Saturday, January 31, 2015

MY BOUNTIFUL BASKETS WEEKLY MEAL PLAN 1-31-15


SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR BASKET THIS WEEK:


CAULIFLOWER POMELOS BLOOD ORANGES PINEAPPLE ZUCCHINI RADISHES ROMA-TOMATOES AVOCADOS 

EAT FOR A WEEK (or more) WITH BOUNTIFUL BASKETS

We've put together a meal plan, with feeding a family of 4 in mind.  However, these ideas would be great no matter how many you're feeding.  This meal plan uses produce from a Utah basket from Bountiful Baskets and is based on MyPlate recommendations.  We'll also use a few simple ingredients from a well stocked kitchen and minimal additional items from the market.  You can click on each recipe name for the recipe.  Everything shown here was included in the basket contribution - $15 plus a small fee ($2.50).  Everything pictured came from my personal Bountiful Basket.






MONDAY
BAKED APPLES AND SWEET POTATOES

Basket Items:  4 apples
I have sweet potatoes on hand already and Kristi has been telling me how much everyone has liked this recipe.  It's super simple and would make a great side dish for chicken or any protein.  I would just add some greens and a bread or grain, if you like.







TUESDAY
MASHED POTATOES WITH CAULIFLOWER AND ROASTED GARLIC

Basket Items:  1 head cauliflower, 2 lbs potatoes
Did you know cauliflower can imitate mashed potatoes?  For a healthier spin on mashed potatoes, this recipe combines both potatoes and cauliflower.  Some people even completely replace potatoes with cauliflower.  Do you have pantry items leftover from thanksgiving? Now would be a fun time to use things like stuffing, cranberry sauce, canned yams, etc.  Maybe you purchased a turkey or ham after the holidays when they were on sale?  Use this recipe with anything you normally enjoy with mashed potatoes.





WEDNESDAY
CUCUMBER RADISH YOGURT DILL PASTA SALAD

Basket Items:  1 cucumber, handful of radishes
I'm still attempting to throw in something summery every once in a while to help brighten up winter.  A cold pasta salad is great because it lets you use pantry items (pasta) as a base and then just create a flavor combination that works with the veggies you have on hand.  This would go well with chicken or add beans and make it a one pot meal.

THURSDAY
COPYCAT PF CHANG CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS
Basket Items:  1 head iceberg lettuce
A lot of people tell me that they or their family members have a hard time not eating out.  One of the tips I recommend to them is to do restaurant copycat recipes at home.  I found one for PF Chang Chicken Lettuce Wraps.  That seems to be the most popular restaurant copycat recipe for lettuce wraps around. From what I remember, they are delicious!










FRIDAY
AUTHENTIC MARGHERITA PIZZA

Basket Items:  4 roma tomatoes (or less, depends on how many pizzas you make and how much you like tomatoes)
I'll set my roma in a paper bag to help them ripen by Friday.  If you don't want pizza after watching this video tutorial I found on making authentic Margherita pizza, you aren't human.  ;-)  Warning:  mouth watering almost guaranteed while viewing.  We have easy steps for you to make homemade crust, sauce and every kind of pizza you could want HERE.  The focaccia rounds from BB are delightful as pizza crusts as well.  Mmmmmm...







SATURDAY
GRILLED/BAKED FISH WITH PINEAPPLE SALSA

Basket Items:  1 pineapple, 1 cucumber
I'll serve this with a side of rice and green salad or other green vegetable.  There are a few places in Utah County that have fish on sale right now.  If you life in a different county in Utah, you can find what's on sale in your county by going to this price matching site.  If you live outside of Utah - check your local ads for a good deal!  I saved the pineapple for later in the week to give it time to ripen.  You'll know your pineapple is ready to eat when you tug gently on the very top leaves and they freely pull out.

Utah County:
Wild Alaskan Cod - $8.99/lb @ Harmon's
Salmon - $9.99/lb @ Macey's
Whole Tilapia - $1.89/lb @ Ream's




SUNDAY
VEGETABLE & HASS AVOCADO SAUTE

Basket Items:  1-4 avocado, 1-3 zucchini
This is one of my favorite dishes.  Before I learned to make this, I never considered sautéing avocado.  Boy, am I glad this is something I learned to do.  Try it.  You will LOVE it.  My avocado are pretty green so I think they'll be ready by Sunday.  However, use yours when they are ready!

REMAINING - We are in love with this citrus!!


Basket items:
A lot of blood oranges
A pomelo or two
A braeburn apple or two
A handful of radishes
A few potatoes
Maybe a zucchini
Probably some lettuce
Probably a few roma tomatoes
Possibly an avocado or two

Ideas:
raw radishes with any dip - I already ate most of mine with hummus as I typed this!
Fresh fruit
Blood Orange Lemonade
Baked french fries
Breakfast burritos
Salad
Toppings for sandwiches or wraps
guacamole

Sunday, January 25, 2015

MY BOUNTIFUL BASKETS MEAL PLAN 12415

This week we were thrilled to find in our basket:  

 Napa Cabbage  CAULIFLOWER Corn Tomatoes YOUNG THAI COCONUT  blood oranges and lots more. 

THE POWER OF CAULIFLOWER

At just 27 calories per cup and packing high levels of potassium and Vitamin C, Cauliflower is a nutritional super star.  For tips on cutting, storing, and cooking with cauliflower, check this out:  Guide to Cauliflower.  Cauliflower has rapidly become one of the most versatile vegetables.  I've seen it used to replace anything from potatoes to chicken to rice to pie filling in a recipe.  There are truly endless ways you could choose to prepare yours this week.  For more ideas on using cauliflower and other items from your basket, check out the LIVEWELLUTAH Farmer's Market recipe book.  It has some fantastic ideas:  Recipes using fresh produce.

EAT FOR A WEEK (or more) WITH BOUNTIFUL BASKETS

We've put together a meal plan, with feeding a family of 4 in mind.  However, these ideas would be great no matter how many you're feeding.  This meal plan uses produce from a Utah basket from Bountiful Baskets and is based on MyPlate recommendations.  We'll also use a few simple ingredients from a well stocked kitchen and minimal additional items from the market.  You can click on each recipe name for the recipe.  Everything shown here was included in the basket contribution - $15 plus a small fee ($2.50).  Everything pictured came from my personal Bountiful Basket.







MONDAY

Basket Items:  4 large carrots, 1 lemon
This recipe comes to you this week from Kristi's test kitchen.  In this case it was mom-tested and kid-approved!  It's a slight twist on an old favorite. Serve with the grain and protein of your choice.






TUESDAY
FISH TACOS WITH NAPA CABBAGE AND AIOLI and CAULIFLOWER COUSCOUS PILAF



Basket Items:  1.5 cups of the cabbage (shredded), 1 orange, 1 head of cauliflower
It's recommended that adults eat about 8 ounces of seafood each week, to help prevent heart disease. Fish also contain important oils that promote a healthy nervous system, especially in young children. If you don't believe me, let these delectable fish tacos do the talking.  This Cauliflower pilaf makes a great side and can be made ahead of time.






WEDNESDAY
BAKED POTATO BAR

Basket Items: 4 or more potatoes
Potato Bar is one of those fabulously convenient menu plans that lets you use up leftovers from the previous several days, also using up things like cheese, sour cream, marinara, alfredo, salsa, and even other veggies as toppings before they expire.  It can also be a way to use some of your food storage like canned or frozen chili.   Perhaps best of all is that this often results in a meal that costs practically nothing and requires very little actual cooking.  If you don't need a potato bar night in the near future but you are going to be entertaining or just looking for Super Bowl food- loaded potato skins might be in your future!

THURSDAY
STIR-FRY

Basket Items:  Anything from some of the corn, carrots, celery, cabbage, peppers, cauliflower....
Truly the veggies in this basket would be perfect for stir-fry, or soup, or adding to sauces.  It's a wonderful variety that would work well in so may dishes.  We're already having stew later this week, so a stir fry seems in order.  We'll use these simple steps and serve over quinoa cooked in broth and seasoned.









FRIDAY
ROASTED CORN and BRUSCHETTA or CAPRESE SALAD
At first I thought that I needed to plan something more complicated than simply just roasting the corn.  There are so many things I could do, including making a salsa, or making more of a meal out of it with Tostadas.  My tastebuds just kept telling me that roasted corn was the way to go.  I think part of it is that I miss summer and I want to pretend a little that winter is over.  So one way to do that is to eat summery food!  If you roast the corn in the oven in the husk, you can get a sweet flavor similar to grilling it in the summer time.  Simply peel back the husks (but leave them intact).  Remove the silk and then fold the husks back over.  Then I soak mine in water for 10 minutes before roasting in the oven for about 40 minutes at 350.  You can add butter and seasonings, parmesan cheese - whatever you'd like-  after roasting and eat it right from the cob.  If you'd like a visual, here's a tutorial I found.  This guy even cooks his in the microwave!

I'm always in the mood for bruschetta which also reminds me of the summer time and Caprese salad is something I can make and keep around for a few days and often take for lunches.  Both the corn and the tomatoes served with some kind of grilled protein should help chase away those winter blues.







SATURDAY
VEGGIE BEAN WRAP (or quesadilla) with COCONUT-MANGO SMOOTHIE

Basket Items:  2 bell peppers, 1 young coconut
The salsa that goes on this wrap includes one of my favorite flavor combinations - mango and avocado.  I sometimes turn this wrap into a quesadilla because I think the cheese adds a lot and sautéed veggies and cheese make a very happy couple.  Whichever way you try it - you'll be getting a meal loaded with veggies!
Don't be intimidated by this young Thai coconut.  There are actually a lot of things you can make with it and opening it isn't as hard as it looks.  Here is a video I found with detailed instructions on how to cut into your coconut to remove the meat and water:  Opening your coconut.  That can be really handy!  Once you open your coconut you can use both the water and the meat in sauces, homemade curries, desserts, and so many things.  I had some mangoes left from a tropical pack I got recently and I'm going to use some of them in the salsa for my wrap and some in a delicious smoothie with this coconut.  Use your coconut in a way that fits what you have on hand and what you're in the mood for!






SUNDAY
AFRICAN BEAN STEW 


Basket Items:  1 carrot, 1 celery stalk, 1 bell pepper
This stew features a lot of vegetables, including sweet potatoes.  It has a lot of flavor, including curry and peanut butter.  It's chunky and filling and would be great for Sunday dinner or Super Bowl food.  If you want something a bit meatier, checkout the chili recipe from last week.  I had everything in my kitchen that I needed to make this.  If you don't, you can make substitutions that sound good!






REMAINING ITEMS
Basket Items:  several blood oranges, 2 lemons, most of a bunch of celery, 1-2 carrots, 1 - 1 1/2 bunch of cabbage

IDEAS:
Cabbage Soup
Celery Soup
Ethiopian Cabbage Dish
Egg Rolls or Spring Rolls
Veggie Tray with dip
These oranges are delicious by themselves!
Ants on a Log
Try new things on celery like maybe cream cheese and dried cranberries
Warm lemon water in the morning is good for you!
Add veggies to pasta sauce

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

FEEDING A LARGE FAMILY ON A BUDGET

This is our first post for feeding a large family on a budget. I have a family of eight plus a grandma that is living with us.  I have six kids ages 15 to 5. My first four are boys, with two teens and a tween that eat a ton. I really have to be careful with the food budget to make money stretch all month long. I will be sharing some of my best strategies and recipes to help save a penny and feed a healthy family.

 I want to share a family recipe I learned from my mother-in-law. I chose this because I was able to use a left over ham that I purchased on sale after the holidays and it uses black beans from my food storage. This is an all day soup great for a cold day or when you have a lot of laundry to keep rotating and folding and will be home. Mom's you know what I mean!!!


Working with dry black beans.

I started with 1lb of dry black beans. Dry beans are so inexpensive they just take a little more work and planning. Honestly, I have struggled with starting here. When I would try, the beans didn't seem to soften. So, I researched and followed instructions carefully and I have been very successful the last few times I have done this. Start by sorting and rinsing your beans. They may contain rocks and dirt.
 I begin by soaking my dry beans overnight in a large pot, covering them with water at least two inches above the beans. No heat, just water.  In the morning I drain the water from the beans and cover them again with clean water and add  2 tablespoons of salt. I then simmer the beans on low until they are the preferred softness. Depending on how old the beans are this will vary, you will want to begin checking them after about 1 1/2 hours.When they are soft and where you like them, drain the water and store in a container in the refrigerator. They can be used in salads, casseroles, soups or anywhere you want in your meals.  If you want to learn more about cooking with beans go to  this website.

Black Bean Soup

(click the names for the recipes)

You will start with a 1/4 lb of bacon cooked in a separate pan. This is to render of some of the fat so don't go too crispy. In a large pot heat the olive oil and cook celery, onions and  minced or pressed garlic until they are soft. I usually add the garlic last to make sure it doesn't burn while the others cook. Add your chicken broth, spices, bacon and ham hocks. Bring this to a boil and allow it to simmer on low for a few hours. You will want to stir it occasionally. Remove the ham hocks from the soup and allow to cool. When they have cooled and you can work with them without burning yourself pull the meat from the bone and add the meat back to the pot. If you are using canned beans or beans that are already softened this is where you want to add them. Simmer 15 minutes. Add the red wine vinegar at the end, this is a must do not skip it.
 Here is the finished meal. I like it  topped with a low fat sour cream. Amy, my sister in law, adds chopped cilantro and salsa. Fresh tomatoes would also be delicious.  I added a spicy, but not too spicy cornbread to go with the soup.

COST

Preparing this from my well stocked pantry the cost was minimal. The ham was purchased on sale and used for Sunday dinner a day before. The spices I keep on hand and always have onions and garlic ready to go. Purchased for this recipe was bacon and celery which I had just run out of. This recipe feeds my family of 8 comfortably, plus Grandma. We had about 5 servings left over for lunches later in the week.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

MY BOUNTIFUL BASKETS MEAL PLAN 11715



An exciting treasure in this week's basket is WHITE ASPARAGUS!  We're also feeling a bit LEMONY!  There are also plenty of peppers to go around and we haven't seen GREEN BEANS in a while.  We also can't overlook the spaghetti squash, gorgeous little tomatoes or the papaya!  There are some great things to work with this week!

ASPARAGUS


Asparagus comes in a variety of colors including white, violet-green, pink and purple.  
STORING:  If you must store any variety of asparagus, treat it as you would treat a cut flower.  Trim the stems and stand them in a glass with one to two inches of water.  Cover with a plastic bag and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days or until ready to use.
WHITE ASPARAGUS is the high maintenance of all the asparagus sisters and requires much more attentive care.  It also takes much longer to cook than green asparagus.  The first few minutes of this Martha Stewart video shows how to remove the woody exterior of white asparagus, which you'll want to do before cooking.  It also shows how to :  The Proper way to Cook White Asparagus.  And here's another one from the UK, because that's where white asparagus is really appreciated and used often:  How to cook white asparagus in the UK.  I liked their idea of topping the asparagus with hollandaise sauce.  Aren't videos just the best?  I think so.  I also liked this idea of a White Asparagus Vanilla soup. 
SEASONING SUGGESTIONS:
  1. Asparagus with Soy Sauce and Green Onions 
    Asparagus with Sesame Oil and Sesame Seeds 
    Asparagus with Parmesan Cheese
    Asparagus with Lemon Juice 

EAT FOR A WEEK (OR MORE!) WITH BOUNTIFUL BASKETS

We've put together a meal plan, with feeding a family of 4 in mind.  However, these ideas would be great no matter how many you're feeding.  This meal plan uses produce from a Utah basket from Bountiful Baskets and is based on MyPlate recommendations.  We'll also use a few simple ingredients from a well stocked kitchen and minimal additional items from the market.  You can click on each recipe name for the recipe.  Everything shown here was included in the basket contribution - $15 plus a small fee ($2.50).  Everything pictured came from my personal Bountiful Basket.  





MONDAY

Basket Items:  2 lemons, 3/4 lb green beans
Our own mom-of-the-year-level-of-awesome Kristi Strongo suggested this family favorite recipe that always pleases her brood of 8.  Sounds delicious to me!  Best part is it's a one-pot meal.  (Add a grain or bread on the side, such as garlic toast.)

TUESDAY


Basket Items:  1 bundle white asparagus, 2 cups grape tomatoes, 1/2 orange bell pepper, 1 lemon (juice)
Delicious white asparagus with an orzo salad would go perfect with the baked or grilled fish of your choice.  I decided to make the asparagus as an au gratin because everything I read about it online tells me that it is going to need either a lot of fat or a sauce.  First time trying it so Im going to err on the side of safety and have it with a delicious sauce.

WEDNESDAY
Basket Items:  1.5 -3.5 Lemons (for the juice
Growing up with Greek family members and friends, this has always been a favorite of mine.  You can go with the meatless option or one with chicken.  Both are delicious!  Serve with your favorite bread, sandwich or go with the theme and make spinach pies!  Both of these recipes are very simple to make.

THURSDAY
OMELETTES

Basket Items:  1-2 bell peppers, handful of tomatoes, 1 onion, 1 papaya
Follow these simple steps to create delicious omelettes.  Serve with toast and sliced or cubed fresh Papaya.








FRIDAY
PIZZA NIGHT

Basket Items:  1-2 bell peppers, 1 onion, a few tomatoes
Follow these simple steps to create pizza from scratch.  Or, like me you might use the Focaccia pizza rounds from BB (pictured).  I suggest sautéing the onion and pepper a little prior to adding as a pizza topping.  I also would slice a few of the little tomatoes thin and add them last before baking.  What other veggies do you have on hand?  

















SATURDAY

Basket Items:  1 Onion, 1 Bell Pepper, 1.5 celery stalk
With plenty of onion, celery, and peppers in this week's basket - it's almost a no brainer to make a sauce, a soup, or a chili from scratch!  Kristi's recipe is tried and true, or maybe it's time to pull our one of your family recipes!  Perfect on it's own, with cornbread, bread bowls, or fry bread.

SUNDAY

Basket Items:  1 spaghetti squash
Cheesy squash for the win!  You can cook the spaghetti squash in the microwave more quickly, prior to adding it to the other ingredients.  Here's a video that shows you how to cut and microwave it.  This makes a hearty dish.  It would go well with a roasted vegetable or green salad on the side, bread or rice, and any grilled protein if you like.





REMAINING ITEMS


6 oranges
6 apples
1.5 lemons
Plenty of celery
onions
1.5 bell pepper
2 onions

Ideas:
Fresh is best!
Orange Julius
Fresh orange yogurt
Cottage cheese w/oranges
Frozen lemon custard
Apples with peanut butter, hummus, cheese, or any other dip
5-Minute Apple Crisp
Apple Bread or dumplings
Ants on a log
Celery and bell pepper with dip (such as hummus)
French Onion Soup
Stir Fry or Lo Mein
Baked Apples and Sweet Potato
Homemade Stuffing (with celery, onion, and apples)

*As always, look at what you have on hand and make something from there!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Healthy Crock Pot Meals

My brand new husband and I always joke about how the classic wedding present is a crock pot. We specifically didn't register for one because I didn't want one more appliance hogging space in our tiny kitchen. But, sure enough, we got a couple crock pots as wedding presents. However, I'm actually very grateful and can't wait to try some crock pot recipes!

In our Food $ense classes, we often teach about cooking a skillet meal. A skillet meal is a one-pot meal you can cook up quickly. We strive to incorporate protein, grains, and vegetables (at least three food groups) into a skillet meal to make a well-balanced meal in a SNAP. 

If you're even more crunched for time, however, you can make a one-pot meal in a crock pot.  The appeal of crock pot cooking is tempting for anyone: walking into the house after being away all day to the smell of dinner all ready to eat. Crock pots (or slow cookers) can really help a busy family still have nutritious dinners together. However, many crock pot recipes have lots of fat and meat in them, and few vegetables or other nutritious foods. Do a search for crock pot recipes, and you'll get pork chops and gravy, pot roasts, and even very cheesy macaroni and cheese. And while a little meat and cheese has it's place in a well-balanced diet, it's expensive. Crock pot cooking can be a great way to make a quick well-balanced meal on a budget if you do it right.

Here are some recipes for well-balanced crock pot meals. Set the goal this new year to eat as a family more often. Let your crock pot help you.

These recipes and more are also found on our Pinterest board.  Click the recipe name for a printable version.

Slow Cooker Lentil Sloppy Joes:
  • 1 cup dried brown or green lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 28-oz can crushed tomatoes or diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika (smoked paprika is delicious in this)
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • dash of black pepper

Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Serve on toasted whole wheat hamburger buns with shredded cheese.
Courtesy of makeandtakes.com. 

Three-Bean Vegetarian Chili

1 3/4 cups organic vegetable broth 

1 cup chopped onion 

1/4 cup chopped seeded jalapeno pepper (2 peppers) 

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin 

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt 

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained 

2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained 

1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added kidney beans, rinsed and drained 

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream 

2 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 

Preparation:
1. Combine first 12 ingredients in a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.
2. Ladle soup into bowls; top with sour cream, cheese, and cilantro.

From myrecipes.com
 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

MY BOUNTIFUL BASKETS MEAL PLAN 011015

Hooray for more peppers!  I never get tired of them.  I'm always excited to see them.  That's probably because I haven't had a garden where I've grown them yet and too many than I know what to do with.  Even then, I think I would feel as amiably towards them as I do now.  They make everything yummy.  Sally & Tanya must have read my blog post from last week saying how much I adore them because they were kind enough to spoil me with piles of them this week.  You'll see a lot of peppers in this week's post, as well as lots of other good stuff.  This handout has lots of great ideas for using peppers, including recipe for fajitas and breakfast burritos.

Fun Fact:  Did you know that peppers are a great source of Vitamin C?

EAT FOR A WEEK (OR MORE!) WITH BOUNTIFUL BASKETS
We've put together a meal plan, with feeding a family of 4 in mind.  However, these ideas would be great no matter how many you're feeding.  This meal plan uses produce from a Utah basket from Bountiful Baskets and is based on MyPlate recommendations.  We'll also use a few simple ingredients from a well stocked kitchen and minimal additional items from the market.  You can click on each recipe name for the recipe.  Everything shown here was included in the basket contribution - $15 plus a small fee ($2.50).  Actually this week at our location, we even got a $2.03 credit so all of this cost me just $15.47!  Everything pictured came from my personal Bountiful Basket.



MONDAY
STEAMED BROCCOLI
Basket items:  1 head broccoli

Keep it simple.  Steaming broccoli for just a few minutes will maintain a lot of the vitamins it's packed with.  Serve alongside a protein and a grain or starchy vegetable.  Sprinkle with cheese, if you like.  I like keeping some chicken frozen with pre-made sauce in my freezer for times like these - then I can just throw them in the oven.  Simple meals like this make me happy because it's easy to keep the kitchen clean!  Use these simple steps to create wonderful steamed broccoli.

Basket items:  4 red bell peppers, 1 large potato (or several small), 1 large onion

A neighbor friend of mine introduced me to this soup a few years ago and it is still one of my favorite go-to recipes.  The richness of the roasted pepper with the faint sweetness of the pear are a perfect combination.  You could also use peppers from a jar to make this.  Will serve with cheese quesadilla or breadsticks and a side salad.

WEDNESDAY
BREAKFAST BURRITOS WITH STRAWBERRY SMOOTHIES

Basket items:  1 clamshell strawberries, several small potatoes, 1 bell pepper
Breakfast for dinner is a great theme to have because breakfast food is generally really inexpensive and it also feels like a treat.  Also, I never see them anymore - but I stil have loads of the amazing raw tortillas that we used to get from Bountiful Baskets in my freezer.  They make yummy breakfast burritos.  The wraps that are currently offered would also be really good.  Use these simple steps to create a delicious breakfast burrito with what you have on hand.  And these ones for the smoothie.  Bon appetit!

THURSDAY
Ratatouille basket items:  1-2 eggplant, all the zucchini, 1-2 onion
Zucchini Fries basket items:  all the zucchini

Kristi (one of our fabulous health educators) picked her basket up on Thursday in Lehi and her basket had eggplant.  Mine did not.  So, I am sharing two ideas for those of you who may be one of the lucky ones that got eggplant.  HOWEVER, you will love these zesty zucchini sticks!  Another favorite - everytime I make them in a class people can't wait to make them at home.  If you make the ratatouille, you can make it a day ahead and the flavors will only get better.  I would serve that with a risotto (or just rice) and garlic toast.  The zucchini fries make a fantastic side dish so just pick a grain and a protein.  I'll do baked cod and seasoned quinoa with black beans.

FRIDAY
Basket items:  5 small potatoes, 4 carrots, 1 onion

Have you ever had Ethiopian food?  It's one of my favorite dining out experiences.  When I go, this is one of my favorite dishes so of course I had to learn how to make it at home.  Ethiopian food is especially great for those who are eating gluten free or vegetarian because they have a lot of great veggie dishes and the bread (which you scoop the food with - there are no utensils) they use is made with Teff, a gluten-free grain.  

SATURDAY
FRESH VEGGIES WITH HUMMUS
Basket items:  cucumber, bell pepper, grape tomatoes, carrots

This would work well as a side item or put it all on a pita or wrap and make it part of the entree!

SUNDAY
Basket Items:  2-4 bell pepper

Fajitas are a happy food.  I have tortillas, limes left from last week, onion still from a previous basket, cheese, sour cream, and avocado all in my kitchen already. Use what you have on hand and serve hot!  I'm thinking cornbread casserole on the side.

SNACKS, BREAKFASTS AND EVERYTHING ELSE
Basket items:  7 oranges, 2 grapefruit, whatever is left of the carrots, potatoes, grape tomatoes, cucumber and peppers.


Ideas:
fresh fruit & veggies
grapefruit sprinkled with cinnamon
orange julius
sparkling juice - just add to sparkling water or club soda and make a refreshing treat
Top a homemade pizza with the veggies
vegetable soup
Blend fresh oranges with plain yogurt and add a touch of honey to make a fresh orange creamcicle flavored yogurt
add to salads

Saturday, January 3, 2015

MY BOUNTIFUL BASKETS MEAL PLAN - 01032015



If you ask me, the prize of this week's basket was RAINBOW CHARD!  It's one of the most exciting of the winter greens because it brings so much color to what is usually the least colorful time of the year.  Good chard looks, feels and smells crisp and fresh.  You'll want to store it in the refrigerator in a plastic bag with excess moisture removed.  Once you're ready to use it, you've got plenty of options.  Here are a few:
  • Add to omelets
  • Add to soups and stir fries
  • Boil, steam, or stir-fry them on their own
You'll want to wash it thoroughly under water.  Uncurl the leaves or anywhere there might be dirt in the crevices.  Let air dry, blot dry with a paper towel, or use a salad spinner.  Both leaves and stalk are edible.  The stalk just needs longer cook-time.  Quick cooking tips:
  • To Boil:  Should take about 3-5 minutes - just until tender.
  • To Steam:  About 2-3 minutes.
  • To Saute:  Heat a little olive oil over medium heat.  Add some minced garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 30 seconds, then add the greens.  Saute until slightly wilted, then cover and cook until tender.  It won't take long!

We've put together a meal plan, with feeding a family of 4 in mind.  However, these ideas would be great no matter how many you're feeding.  This meal plan uses produce from a Utah basket from Bountiful Baskets and is based on MyPlate recommendations.  We'll also use a few simple ingredients from a well stocked kitchen and minimal additional items from the market.  You can click on each recipe name for the recipe.  Everything shown here was included in the basket contribution - $15 plus a small fee ($2.50).  Everything pictured came from my personal Bountiful Basket.  





MONDAY
CHICKEN DIVAN
Basket items:  Head of Broccoli
I'm torn this week.  We've had broccoli almost every week lately and I'm usually not a broccoli lover.  Having it so often and being forced to find ways to enjoy it has actually helped me to like it!  Now I can't decide if I just want to crunch on it raw, simply sauté it with some light flavorings, or turn it into a one-pot meal like Chicken Divan.  (Serve with rice)  Chicken Divan (which has a delightful curry flavor) would stretch it the most to make a complete meal and feed more people, so I'm putting that in the meal plan. Broccoli & Cheese soup would also make an affordable meal.  You can also make both dishes using our fabulous SOS mix.


TUESDAY
BERRY SALAD
Basket items:   1 bell pepper, most of one head of lettuce, handful of blueberries, handful of strawberries
Won't these items make a pretty salad?  I'll add almonds (you could also use chicken, beans, or other protein), shredded cheese, and cooked long grain wild rice (or other grain).  Add your favorite dressing or just oil and vinegar.  









WEDNESDAY
RAINBOW CHARD STRACCIATELLA
Basket items:  leaves of the Rainbow Chard
This egg-drop soup is one of my favorite cold-weather comfort foods.  And, it's a crowd-pleaser! We'll just be using the leaves of the chard for this recipe.  Save the stalks for later in the week!  This would go well with italian seasoned breadsticks and side salad.










THURSDAY
SPAGHETTI SQUASH PRIMAVERA
Basket items:  1 large spaghetti squash, 1 bell pepper
My best friend makes this regularly for her family and occasionally when I am lucky enough to be a guest at their home for dinner.  She's one of the best cooks I know (and today is her birthday!)  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRITTANY!!  This dish is very healthy and tasty.  Use whatever vegetables you have on hand or pick up a few more at the market.




FRIDAY
HAWAIIAN-STYLE BURGERS WITH POTATOES
BROILED PINEAPPLE
ROSEMARY ROASTED RED POTATOES
Basket items:   A few leaves of lettuce, 1/3-1/2 of the pineapple, 4 medium potatoes
All I need are the burger buns, the hamburger patties (or vegetarian option...Mmm... portabello burgers sound mouth-wateringly good), and some sweet onions (which I will sauté.)  This recipe makes delicious roasted potatoes.  Potatoes can be baked whole or cut into fries, seasoned, and baked.













SATURDAY
BREAKFAST SKILLET AND WHOLE WHEAT BLUEBERRY PANCAKES
Basket items:  handful of blueberries, 1/3 of 1 bell pepper, several potatoes
I love having breakfast for dinner.  And I double love blueberry pancakes.  Of course, I could eat a package of blueberries in one sitting.  Making something with the blueberries will help to stretch them to make sure everyone at your table gets to enjoy them.  You can add them to any pancake batter recipe or use the one above.   I pour the batter onto my skillet, then drop the blueberries onto each one as it is cooking.  This helps the color from the berries not to run into the pancakes and turn them blue or green.

I'll make a skillet meal with the potatoes and part of one of the peppers.  I'll also use an onion, seasonings from my kitchen, and possibly eggs and cheese (sausage or ham would also be good!).

SUNDAY
SAUTEED RAINBOW CHARD STALK
ROASTED BELL PEPPER BRUSCHETTA
Basket items:  1-2 bell peppers, stalks of the Rainbow Chard
Serve as side dishes with the main course of your choice.
RAINBOW CHARD:  Don't waste those gorgeous stalks!  Slice them into bite site pieces and sauté.  Melt butter or oil in a saute pan at medium heat. Add the stalks. Stir slowly but constantly for two to three minutes or until the stalks are slightly browned. If desired, add salt, paprika, garlic or lemon juice for flavor, or other ingredients.  Mashed potatoes would go nicely as another side dish.

PEPPERS:  I just love orange peppers.  It's probably because they sport one of my favorite colors and are just so darn cute.  I would eat all of them raw and be pretty happy about it.  But I need more of a meal for Sunday so I'm thinking I'll roast them in olive oil and have them over a sliced baguette.  To stretch even further, use as topping on a pizza.


REMAINING FOR SNACKS, BREAKFASTS, DESSERTS
Basket items:  Most of 1 clamshell of strawberries, 1/2-2/3 pineapple, 3 grapefruit, 1 dozen fuji apples

Ideas:
Strawberry Smoothie or other smoothie
fruit parfait
Strawberry Shortcake
Fresh grapefruit halves sprinkled with cinnamon
5-minute apple crisp
Pineapple Curry
Fruit salad
Apple slices on grilled cheese sandwich/quesadilla
Strawberry or apple empanadas
sliced or whole fresh fruit
Fresh fruit in a green salad
Apple slices with peanut butter
Fresh fruit sliced over a bagel w/peanut butter or cream cheese
yogurt or cottage cheese with fresh fruit
Waldorf Salad
Strawberries dipped in fat free plain greek yogurt sprinkled with brown sugar
homemade applesauce
dried apples
homemade fruit roll ups
freeze fruit for homemade sherbet