Monday, October 17, 2016

My Recipes on the Blog

My recipes:
Vietnamese Bun Salad
Chicken Taco Salad
Chinese Chicken Salad
Chipotle Sauce

Vietnamese Bun Salad

I was making a meal for a friend who had a baby and was gluten free/dairy free. It was hard to find a recipe to make (life is easier for all you GF people now, seriously!). I found this recipe....somewhere. I would cite it if I knew, but honestly it has morphed into my own over the years (and probably isn't so authentic). When I asked my people which recipes I should submit to the Goleta MOPS cookbook, my 6 year old described this one in detail! Sometimes I make the dressing and sometimes I uses the Annie's Organic Sesame Ginger Dressing.

2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
2 cups bean sprouts
1 1/2 cups cucumber, peeled, seeded and julienned
1/2 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 cups grilled meat (chicken), diced
1/4 cup peanuts, finely chopped
4 ounces thin rice noodles

Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions.Toss all ingredients. Add peanuts as the garnish.

1 T peanut butter
3 T milk
1/2 t garlic powder
1 t tamari (or soy sauce)
1 t chili sauce
1 dash chili flakes

Whisk all ingredient together and add as desired.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Meal Planning

This is my 100th post, y'all! It started just for the parks, but I have loved keeping it going. I have a few more park and beach posts coming, but on another topic....

On Friday, we had a MOPS speaker, Paige, share about meal planning. She had shared before about meal planning 2 plus years ago. Both times it was really helpful! Here are some of the things I have run with.
My first monthly meal plan

1. Start with what you are already doing. When I started, I only had a few meals in my repertoire and I commited to adding one a week. It took a long time,but now I have a 4 week rotation.

4 week meal rotation using themes.
2. Plan around themes. You can plan around mexican meals for a specific night. Or soups,or salads, asian, etc. Here are our themes (in the list above): Mexican, Asian, Pasta, Salads, Soups, and Quinoa Salads.

3. Organize! I know several people who love the Paprika app. I tried it and went back to my binder. Each recipe has its own sleeve after I try it and decide it belongs in the rotation. It is civided into categories: mains, salads, soups, breads, desserts, breakfast, drinks and sauces. The front has a month calendar. You can use a cute one like this or simply print out monthly calendars with the numbers already on it (I print several months at a time.). The back has the weekly planner that I have our themes listed and all 4 options

Recipe Swap: Soups and More

Our last general group of meal themes is soups (and an extra bonus thrown in). This year I have been attempting more crockpot recipes since they are so easily doubled and frozen for another day.

Split Pea
Corn Chowder
Ham and Potato
Greek Lemon

And our favorite gluten free pizza crust!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Recipe Swap: Salads

Summers around here are mild, but our falls are hot!! We love salads on those hot days. We generally have quinoa salad once a week, but at this time of year we also have another salad. These are easy to make during naptime and great to come home to after a playdate. Here are several we love.

Vietnamese Bun (I will post my recipes soon.)
Chicken Pesto Salad This is great with pasta but I also make it with rice. 
Chicken Buffalo Salad This one is spicy and I often give the kids a taste of it along with something else. 
Chinese Chicken Salad I like the dressing on this one, but generally make the other ingredients a bit differently. 

Chinese Chicken Salad
4 cups romaine lettuce
2 cups rotissaire chicken, chopped
2 cups snow peas, halved
2 cups bean sprouts
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup chow mein noodles
 1/4 cup sesame seeds

Put all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Use the epicurious dressing above or Annie's Sesame Ginger Dressing.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Recipe Swap: Mexican Recipes

The best piece of advice I received on meal planning from my friend Paige was to organize around themes. I have shared several of ours (Asian, Pasta, Quinoa Salad). Our Mexican line up is:

1. Tacos (no recipe: seasoned chicken, shredded cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, guacamole/chipotle sauce)
2. Chicken Taco Salad
3. Quinoa Taco Casserole (I add ground beef .)
4. Enchiladas: (still searching for my favorite but here are some in the running)
Green Chili Enchiladas:
Beef Enchiladas:
Enchilada Casserole:
Enchilada Sauce:

Friday, October 7, 2016

Recipe Swap: Pasta Recipes

Our meal planning MOPS talk has inspired me to continue sharing my favorite recipes! Another theme we plan around it pasta. Since we have been eating mostly gluten free, the go-to pasta is Trader Joe's Brown Rice Quinoa Pasta. We also often create zoodles for some of the pasta. There are 4 in our rotation.

1. Skinny Chicken Alfredo  I sometime substitute 2t Cajun spice in place of nutmeg.
2. Garlic Bail Chicken
3. Pasta Primavera I make with half of all veggies except tomoatoes and half of the pasta is Zoodles.
4. Red Sauce I add browned ground beef. This makes a lot and  I throw the extra in the freezer for another meal.

40 Recipes of 2016

One of my goals for my big birthday year was to make 40 new recipes! I reported out some on Facebook but here are the final 40 (the last one made yesterday). I have subscribed some to two recipe sites, Relish! Relish! and No More to Go so I can't share all the recipes here. When I first started meal planning, the sites were helpful, but at this point, I can generally find what I want through a Google search, my favorite blogs or Pinterest. Some favorite blogs are: Gimme Some Oven, Pinch of Yum, and I Heart Naptime. I would (and do) make 23 of these again! And about 10 more I might make again.

These ones I will make again:
* Greek Lemon Soup: ( I substituted rice—yum!)
* Gluten Free Banana Bread:
* Cajun Chicken Alfredo:
I used a different recipe (No More To Go) and still prefer this one:  but will use 2t Cajun spice in place of nutmeg.
* Lemon Chicken:
My family preferes the orange version, but I like the lemon. 
* Quinoa Taco Casserole:… (I will add some kind of beef next time.)
* Pad Thai: (I add cooked chicken.)
* Gluten Free Pizza Crust:
* Pasta Primavera: (I make with half of all veggies except tomoatoes and half of the pasta is Zoodles.)
* Enchilada Sauce:
* Red Sauce:
(Add browned ground beef.)
* Lemon Chicken Picata:
I loved it --my people not so much.
* Apple, Pecan, Blue Cheese Salad:
Garlic Bail Chicken:
* Baked Salmon:
* Apple Crisp Pie: Make the Bread, Buy the Butter
* Slow Cooker Chicken Tikki Masala:
* Blueberry Muffins:
* Curried Chicken Salad
* Ham and Potato Soup:
* Mexican Chicken (Relish! Relish!)
* Hillary's Taco Salad
* Lawn Mower Tacos:

Might Make Again:
* Cheesy Bow-tie Pasta with Peas and Bacon (No More to Go)
* Thai Chicken (Relish! Relish!)
* Enchilada Casserole:
* Green Chili Enchiladas:
* Cilantro Lime Chickpea Salad:
* Beef Enchiladas:
* Baked Herbed Stuffed Salmon:
* Slow Cooker Chicken Chicken Cacciatore:
* Lemon Garlic Chicken: (Relish! Relish!)
* Peanut Greens: Paige's Cookbook
* Cornmeal Cornbread Muffins (No More to Go) Still like Jane's better
* Thai Peanut Chicken

Not for Me:
* Slow Cooker Chicken Chicken Cacciatore (Nomoretogo)
* Orange Cranberry Coconut Muffins:
* Slow Cooker Chinese Chicken (No More to Go)
* Chocolate Coconut Almond Energy Bites:
* Healthy Avocado Chocolate Cookies: