This Week’s Menu

du Jour

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Monday Greek yogurt & berries Cabbage & Quinoa Stir fry Stuffed Pulled BBQ Chicken Taters
Tuesday Egg in a Nest Stir Fry Stir Fry & Rice
Wednesday Greek 7 Layer Pizza Fried Rice
Thursday Oatmeal Open Faced Chicken Sandwich Chicken & Coleslaw
Friday PB Apple & Rice Cakes Sandwiches Homemade Chili Dogs

Ch-ch-ch-ch-chili Cornbread C-C-C-C-C-Combo

I have made this a few times, and I FINALLY remembered to take some pictures for a post!

 

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This is a pretty amazing lunch dish, so I would highly recommend it.

Super easy comfort food.

5/5 kids agree.

And 1 husband.

 

Here We Go!

Ingredients

Cornbread-

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1.5 cups cornmeal
  • 3 tbsp shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups milk

Combine all in a Kitchen Aid and mix until well combined.IMG_3232

 

Pour into sprayed muffin tin or casserole dish, and top with chili…before baking.  You are going to be baking the chili into the cornbread.

400F for 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

IMG_3236

Down HomeChili-

  • 4 cups of dried pinto beans (do. not. use. beans. from. a. can.)                                                                        Bonus: if you want to spice things up in the bean dept., get a bag of dried bean mix, or throw some navy beans in.  I’m all for experimenting (within reason…like, don’t start getting brussel sprouts in here or anything), so try some new beans!  Just make sure the base of the chili is pinto beans.  Their texture and flavor make it chili.  That’s what I think.
  • 10 cups of water
  • 1 can organic stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can organic tomato paste (just a side note: at Costco, this costs just as much as the non-organic.)
  • 1 lbs. organic ground beef (I know it’s expensive, but it’s 1 lbs. and it’s worth it.  You have just got to trust me on this one.)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • garlic powder, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, paprika, dried parsley

So here’s what you do:

Put the load of beans and water, and a little garlic powder into the electric pressure cooker.  The garlic powder really just makes the house smell amazing while you’re cooking it, which I think makes a big difference.  A house that smells like cooking plain beans isn’t the best place to be.  Just a personal preference here.  You want people to have excited anticipation about the meal, so create it for them.  Just a Tamarahism for ya.

Cook on high for 50 minutes.

While it is naturally releasing steam, throw the seasonings and spices into a pan with the stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, onion and ground beef and cover for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Side Note: You totally can just throw the beef in the pressure cooker at this point if you wanted; it will cook just as well there.  But I have found that my family and I prefer the flavors of the chili if I cook the beef and onion in a pan a little slower.  But it’s totally up to you and what you like.

 

When that is all nice and cooked, spoon (or dump) the pan contents into the pressure cooker and mix into the beans.  Let it sit for a few minutes before serving, just to let the flavors mingle a little.

That is really all you do for homemade chili.  It is crazy easy to make, and it is nice and thick so you can have it with a bunch of other things: pour it on cornbread, make chili dogs, put a dollop of sour cream on top of a bowl of chili (this is my favorite)…it is a great chili.

 

 

 

Pineapple Rocketships

IMG_3079

 

I just made these for the kids for dinner, and I’m going to be straight with you:

It is totally awesome.

This is an easy meal, it is a healthy meal, and inexpensive meal…and it is kind of off the charts with how fun it is.

I was originally going to call it a boat, but one of the kids said it looked more like a rocketship blasting off, so they are Pineapple Rocketships!

 

Ingredients

  • 2 whole pineapples, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 3 sliced chicken-apple sausages
  • 5 cups of cooked white rice

 

The Method Behind The Madness

  1. Preheat your galley oven to 375F
  2. Cut the pineapples in half, lengthwise.  Use a knife to cut slices down the meat of the fruit, and use a spoon to scoop out the pineapple to make a shell.  Place the pineapple chunks into a separate bowl for later.
  3. IMG_3072
  4. Slice 3 chicken-apple sausages and place them inside the pineapple shells.  Then scoop the pineapple chunks into the pineapple shells.
  5. IMG_3071
  6. Bake for 30 minutes at 375F
  7. While it is baking, make your white rice.  I use a rice maker, with 1 cup of rice to 1.5 cups of water ratio.
  8. After the pineapples have finished baking, take them out and put a scoop of rice into the pineapple rocketship.
  9. Serve once it’s cooled!


    IMG_3079

Gluten Free Turkey Meatballs

IMG_9279

Ingredients:

  • 1 lbs ground turkey
  • 2 skinned apple sausage links
  • 2 spoonfulls of tomato paste
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of finely crushed corn tortilla chips
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • a few shakes of thyme
  • a couple shakes of fennel seed
  • a good portion of garlic powder

 

Here Is the VooDo That YOU Do:

Preheat the oven to 375 and get a cookie tray ready

1. Place the ground turkey into a bowl and mash it up with a wooden spoon

2. Deskin the sausages and smash them into the ground turkey

3. Mix in the eggs, tomato paste, salt, pepper, thyme and fennel seed

4. Take the tortilla chips and put them into a sealed ziplock bag.  Take out your rage on the chips until they are all powdery (just make sure the chips aren’t more than 2 mm long)

5. Mix the pulverized chips into the meat bowl.

6. Now, take 2 spoons and spoon the meatballs onto a sprayed tray.  They don’t expand, so you can put as many meatballs as you want on the tray.

7. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes

8. Let these babies cool before you eat them, and then enjoy!

 

20 Shades of Quinoa

 With 50 Shades of Gray coming up this weekend, I thought I’d add my $.02 in on torture:

int-quinoa-1

Quinoa can definitely be an instrument of torture.  If you have had a lump of quinoa served to you at any time, you understand that it can be soggy, mushy, gray, weird, bland and grainy.  There ain’t nothin’ good about poorly served quinoa.

 

If you insist on treating it like rice, you will have a bad time.

 

However…if you treat it as a blank canvas of foods, you will see the wide spectrum of possibilities quinoa has!  Stop forcing it into little bento boxes of conformity.  Start cooking quinoa with the respect it deserves: especially with smoked gouda and roasted tomatoes. (omg)

So this weekend, surprise your loved ones by blindfolding them, tying them to a chair and serving them actually good dishes of quinoa!

 

Quinoa (prounounced keen-wa) (link) was a staple food for the South American Indians living in the high altitudes of the Andes Mountains. It was immensely popular because it was one of few crops that could survive in such high altitudes (10,000 – 20,000 feet above sea level). It could withstand frost, intense sun and the often dry conditions that characterized the Andean climate. It was also recognized for its superior nutritional qualities. For these reasons, it was dubbed “mother of all grains” by the Incas, so much so that it came to have spiritual significance for them. Many traditions and ceremonies surrounded the cultivation, harvest and consumption of quinoa.

Quinoa is a “pseudo-grain”—actually a gluten-free seed, but used in cooking like a whole grain. This nutrient-rich grain is a wonderful source of complete protein, providing all of the essential amino acids. It is also a good source of dietary fiber. Naturally gluten free, this powerful little grain is a great addition to any diet, but is an ideal solution for those following a gluten free, vegan or vegetarian diet that are looking to increase their protein and fiber.

 

It is like rice, but it isn’t rice.

 

To begin, here is the easy how-to on quinoa cooking:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water in a medium saucepan.
  • Bring it to a boil, then put a lid on top and turn the heat to low
  • simmer until quinoa is tender  (this will take about 15 minutes)
  • Listen: quinoa retains water like crazy, so make sure you drain it completely after it is done

 

Now that you have quinoa, here are 20 ideas of what to do with quinoa!

  1. Quinoa in taco meat
  2. Quinoa in salads
  3. Quinoa with stewed tomatoes, parsley and gouda
  4. Quinoa with baked garlic and stewed tomatoes
  5. Quinoa with steamed carrots, peas paprika and cilantro
  6. Quinoa with salsa and chicken
  7. Quinoa with garlic/paprika seasoned roasted corn
  8. Quinoa with roasted garlic eggplant and tomato slices, with melted pepper jack cheese
  9. Quinoa burgers (just add an egg, herbs/spices and some parm. cheese, form them into patties and fry them in oil.)
  10. Add Quinoa to soup instead of beans, lentils, rice or noodles
  11. Add Quinoa to stews for extra protein
  12. Quinoa salad – quinoa, corn, tomatoes, avocado, green onions
  13. Black beans, Quinoa, corn, tomatoes, cilantro
  14. Stewed lentils, Quinoa, stewed tomatoes, cumin
  15. Quinoa pudding (like rice pudding)
  16. Quinoa with steamed garlic broccoli and hollandaise sauce
  17. Quinoa stuffed acorn squash with sausage
  18. Quinoa bake: have a layer of quinoa on a casserole dish, layer citrus and honey chicken (or fish!) on top and bake
  19. Quinoa stuffed bell pepper with carnitas
  20. Quinoa mixed into a curry

 

(from tamarah.org)

Gluten Free Garden Pasta Salad

Making a really good gluten free pasta salad that you would feed to people whom you love…

…is a challenge.

 

The noodles need to hold their shape in the salad, they can’t fall apart, and it would be  nice if they tasted good as well.

Listen peeps, I have the recipe for you!

 

IMG_5494

 

What’chu Need, Baby You Know I Got It:

  • 2 boxes of Quinoa brand rotelle pasta
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 a small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 ribs of celery, sliced
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 package of apple sausage, sliced
  • handful of chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

 

Here’s What You Do:

 

1) Boil Your Gluten Free Noodles!

Keep an eye on them for 8-9 minutes. These noodles can be tricky.  Don’t under-cook, but for heavens sake…don’t over-cook!

 

 

IMG_5492

 

I like rotele noodles because they’re fun, and they’re easier to fork than penne. 

2)  While the noodles are boiling, cut your veg and let them marinate for a few minutes:

  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 a small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 ribs of celery, sliced
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • handful of chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

IMG_5489

4) Now slice your apple sausage and cook in a pan for 5 minutes:

 

IMG_5491I prefer Aidells sausage because you can find nitrite free sausage, and they are almost always gluten free.

5) Combine them all!

Stir lightly with a large spoon so you don’t break the noodles.  I also added some sliced parmesan on top for some added zest.

IMG_5493

Chickpea Burgers

These things are so fantastic, I am making them constantly these days.

The creamy, buttery chickpea taste met with the crispy outside.  These are good for lunches, dinners, appetizers or picnics!

IMG_4972

Here is the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cans of chickpeas, or about 4 cups of cooked chickpeas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 handful of chopped, fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 1 can of stewed tomatoes
  • 1/4 c. corn oil

IMG_4969

Directions:

  1. Take the cooked chickpeas and put them in a large pan with 2 Tbsp of oil.  Add the salt, garlic powder, pepper and cover for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the chickpeas and put them into a mixing bowl.  Mash lightly, but with gusto.
  3. Add the eggs and stir until well combined
  4. Add 1/4 c corn oil into the pan and heat until simmering
  5. Drop 1 large spoonful of chickpeas into the pan to create a patty,and lightly smoosh it down with the spoon. You should be able to fit 3 patties into the pan.
  6. Cover and fry for 4 minutes each side
  7. Remove and put onto a plate to cool
  8. Serve with hot stewed tomatoes for the full experience!

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