Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June Meal Plan

This month I have the world's most boring meal plan.  The reason is simple, my husband has been working long hours and I wanted to maximize my hubby's day off.  So we are having a lot of repeat meals this month.  Which I am Okay with.

My Weekly Meal Plans For This Month
Cheesy Chicken, Brocoli and Rice Casserole
Pot Roast with red potatoes and Carrots
Mrs. Leepers Helper Meals
Breakfast for Dinner

Repeat 4 times and you have my monthly meal plan.  I'll probably make some fresh breads and interesting side dishes through out the month to shake things up, but this is what we're doing.

It may be boring, but I won't have to cook again till July : )

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bisquick Pudding Cupcakes

If necessity is the mother of invention, then needing to go shopping is the mother of new recipes.  It's my daughter's 2nd birthday today and my experiment turned out very tasty.  You will love these bisquick pudding cupcakes.

2 Cups Bisquick (I used  Gluten-Free  of course)
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of  pudding mix (check labels! Some brands contain modified food starch.)
1 cup of milk
2 eggs
2 tbs of oil

Substitution option: If you don't have or can't find gluten free pudding mix then use a full cup of sugar and flavor the cupcakes with  vanilla  or  Cocoa  .

Combine ingredients and pour into a muffin pan.  Bake for 16-20 minutes at 400 degrees.  Makes 12 very yummy birthday muffins!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Make Homemade Healthy Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt

Summer is here, and that means ice cream is everywhere!  And why not?  It's oh so good.

But whether it's because the hippie in you hates additives, you're counting calories, watching sugar intake, watching your fat intake, or just counting calories eating ice-cream is often laden with guilt.

But no more my friends!

If you don't have an ice cream maker you'll need to learn how to make freezer bag ice cream for some of these recipes.  (Your kids will LOVE this)

Here's basic ice cream recipe to get you started.  Use the below tips to make it healthier.

Ice cream can be made with Cream, sugar, and vanilla.  Simple as that.  No additives. But full of calories and fat.  (Don't get me wrong I love both but we're going for health here : ) )

If you want to cut out the sugar combine cream with slushy pureed fruit instead.

If you want to cut out some fat use whole milk in your recipe.

If you want to cut out even more fat use skim milk and a lot of fruit puree.  The fruit puree will thicken things up for you in your recipe. A banana and skim milk works great!

Make frozen yogurt simply by putting the yogurt of your choice in an ice cream maker. Flavor low-fat plain yogurt with fruit and you've got a very healthy treat.

Image from

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Shipwreck Casserole

This is a freezer friendly casserole that my family loves.  Be sure to check the labels manufacturers have been known to change ingredients so that they're no longer gluten free.


  • 1 lbs ground beef, seasoned and browned
  • 1 Onion. sliced or diced, it doesn't particularly matter
  • 1 bag of sliced frozen carrots or sliced fresh carrots
  • Enough diced potatoes to fill your pan when everything is combined
  • 1 can of tomato sauce (generally gluten free but always check the label!)
  • 1 can of sloppy joe sauce (generally gluten free but always check the label!)

Combine all the ingredients in a casserole dish and bake for 1 hour at 375 degrees.  Seriously that's it. Make a double batch and freeze half of it.  You can also make this with peas, but my family definitely prefers the carrots.

Monday, April 30, 2012

May Meal Plan

I made all my meals for the month in one day again, so most of my dinners for May are sitting happily in the freezer or refrigerator.

This is what's on the menu, certainly nothing too terribly fancy.  All the meals are naturally gluten free or made with gluten free alternatives.

  • Corned Beef for Rubens (My husband is in LOVE with Rubens)
  • Pot Roast
  • Lasagna (2 times)
  • Shipwreck (3 times, I made too much by mistake)
  • Enchiladas
  • Enchilada Casserole (Because I was too lazy to roll the corn tortillas in the 2nd pan)
  • Taco Filling
  • Chicken and Peppers for Fajitas
  • BBQ Chicken Wings (2 times)
  • Chicken dippers (2 times)  This is just chicken breasts cut up into bite size pieces, my girls are much more apt to eat chicken this way.
  • Ground Beef for Mrs. Leeper's Cheeseburger Mac ( I love these pasta helpers!)
  • Meat Loaf (3 times, I made too much of this too)
  • Grilled Italian Sausage and peppers
  • Ground Beef for Bear Creek Country Kitchens Darn Good Chili Mix (2 times) 
In addition to these meals we'll be rounding out the month with pasta, breakfast for dinner, pizza, corn dogs made in my  Good Times Xpress Redi Set Go Cooker and Bear Creek Country Kitchens Cheddar Potato Soup

I also made some apple carrot muffins using  Gluten Free Bisquick  and my go to muffin recipe.

I know there are some repeat meals on here, but quite frankly it makes cooking day SO MUCH easier.

What are your favorite freezer friendly recipes?

Be sure to join my Tuesday Link-up at Lessons From Ivy.  (the other link parties I frequent are in my sidebar)

What I Learned From Freezer Cooking

I decided to cook all my meals for a month in one day again : )  In fact I've been cooking and freezing meals all day long.

You may wonder why someone would want to cook all their meals for the month in one day, when last month her house almost burned down (that might be a slight exaggeration). The fact of the matter is, cooking once a month means  A LOT of work in one day. But that's just it, it's JUST ONE day.

I was inspired after hearing the author of Once-A-Month Cooking on Focus on the Family last month, and I immediately started writing out a meal plan.
It made my evenings so much smoother last month and we had no emergency take out trips.  It also lowered our grocery budget slightly.

I normally would need to make up to three meals in one night because of picky eaters, so having a meal already made for our entree was great.  It just meant heating up a side or two I knew everyone would eat.

Everything I made turned out well after freezing too, with the exception of one rice dish that my husband and I didn't really care for.  My picky eaters however gobbled it up, go figure.

My favorite part about this whole endevour was how much faster I was able to clean my kitchen during the month.

Last month our menu included:

  • Cheesy chicken and rice with broccoli
  • Italian Chicken and rice
  • Beef and cheese enchiladas
  • Corned Beef
  • Turkey Roast
  • Sloppy Joes
  • Meat Loaf
  • Spaghetti and Meatballs

Hopefully I'll be able to ad some recipe links within the next few days.  In the mean time I would love to know what meals that you've made that freeze well.

Be sure to join my Tuesday Link-up at Lessons From Ivy.  (the other link parties I frequent are in my sidebar)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Should the Whole Family Go Gluten Free?

Last day to enter the modest swimsuit giveaway at Lessons From Ivy.

Is it fair when one family member has an allergy or a food intolerance to expect everyone else in the family to follow the same diet? You may have a different philosophy when eating at a restaurant or going to a party, but consider the following:

If you have to make separate meals for everyone, will it cost your family more money?  Is your family willing to sacrifice other things, say cable TV or internet, just so they can have the treats that they are used to because they want their own meals?  The fairest thing for the family as a whole is financially stability which in my book trumps individual fairness any day.

Is it fair not to teach all your children self-control not just the allergic one?  Yes, a chocolate cake made with real flour tastes good, but teaching your kids how to say no to their desires now isn't unhealthy.  In fact it will pay huge dividends as they get older.  If they can't say no to a brownie now how are they going to learn how to say no when it really matters?

Is it fair not to teach your children how to show love and compassion on the family member with a food intolerance?  My cravings for gluten have gone away, however when I had to be dairy free because of nursing I would have traded my soul for a glass of milk or a piece of cheese.  Before our bodies develop an apathy to the foods we can no longer eat, it is hard to sit and watch someone eat a real plate of spaghetti, or real pizza, or real cookies when we might not be able to eat them ourselves.  It is kind and compassionate not to parade these foods in front of someone's nose when they are still tempted by them (which will be for awhile) Take this as an opportunity to allow your family to be kind and compassionate on someone they should care for and love.

Is it fair not to provide your family with the best nutrition?  A gluten free diet can be very healthy if done right, in fact everyone may notice a difference in their waist lines after beginning one.  Giving your family healthy options as often as possible is the right thing to do and you shouldn't feel like you're depriving your children because you're giving your family a healthy diet.

So is it fair?  I think so, most importantly it lets whoever has the food restrictions know that they have a family in the "fight" with them, and it also sends the message that "hey, this isn't so bad" which can be immensely helpful especially to a child with special dietary needs.