Money in My Pocket Veggie Menu Monday

I’m a busy bee this week, and not eating at home so much. However when I have my classes I’m packing lunch and dinner to take to work. I really like the leftover money from my check last week!

I’m still keeping with my breakfast/lunch theme of soup, muffin, and cookie. It actually made it fun to eat at work last week. In fact a friend just called me to go to lunch with her today and I’m actually disappointing I won’t be eating the lunch I made!

Muffin of the week: Apple Crumb Muffins – warning don’t do the stupid thing I did! I have been using olive oil in place of butter lately, so I poured my hot butter into the bowl with my egg without thinking. Yes, it became a scrambled egg – yuck!

Cookie of the week: Chocolate chip, pecan and coconut cookies – Cheryl asked for something like this and they turned out pretty good.

Lunch Soup of the week: Cauliflower Bisque – made without goat cheese this time. I added a little coconut creamer instead for a vegan soup.

Monday: Leftover bbq tofu pizza

Tuesday: Marinated Baked Tofu, asian style greens (add ginger, garlic, sesame oil, and a little sriracha chili sauce), mashed potatoes with gravy 

Wednesday: Metals class – pack leftovers to eat at work

Thursday: Spicy tempeh with broccoli and whole wheat pasta – from Veginomicon

Friday: Eat at Faith and Christy’s

Saturday: Sweet Potato, Okra, and Chickpea Gumbo and cornbread

Sunday: Pizza with salad (use up leftover veggies on the pizza)

I Love Fall Veggie Menu Monday

I love fall. I have the windows open to the fresh air, and have major cravings for swiss chard, kale, apples, soups and pumpkin in everything!

This is my second week of making a batch of muffins for my morning sweet fix. I’ve been sneaking in flax and oat bran for good measure.

I also decided I need a cookie fix and I had leftover canned pumpkin – the soft pumpkin pecan cookies are crazy good – very cakelike with a decadent brown sugar glaze.

To counteract the cookies I have a super healthy soup for lunch. The red kale is so pretty and it was a great way to use some of the last of the basil from my garden.

Muffin of the week: Low fat Apple Walnut Muffins

Cookie of the week: Soft Pumpkin Pecan Iced Cookies

Lunch Soup of the week: Red Kale and White Bean Soup

Monday: Leftover Pasta with pumpkin mushroom sauce (I will post recipe later). It’s a combo of these recipes and my own touch: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=550003# and http://www.momadvice.com/blog/2009/09/creamy-pumpkin-pasta.html

Tuesday: Tofu stir-fry with bok choy, and other greens in a soy ginger sauce with green beans in black bean sauce and steamed dumplings

Wednesday: Chickenl-ess Parmigiano with vegan Cesar salad and garlic bread

Thursday: Slow cooker Lentil Chard Soup or Curried lentil with greens soup

Friday: Homemade biscuits and veggie sausage gravy

Saturday: Gumbo of some kind – maybe z’Herbes

Sunday: Clean out the fridge veggie soup made in the slow cooker and fresh bread recipe from sparkpeople

Tail Between My Legs Veggie Menu Monday

brenna1

Sorry for disappearing. Let’s just say too much money was spent and there was an eating out frenzy that’s made my budget look like the dog chewed it.

So here I go with the basics – menu planning. Over and over again it proves itself to be invaluable!

Fall is the perfect time to pull out the slow cooker if you haven’t used it in awhile. Take a look at a few of my favorites, and see if there are any you want to add to your menu plan this week.

I also recommend spinach salads for the week. Buying a large container of pre-washed baby spinach is a great investment. Not only does it keep longer than baby lettuce, when it’s at the end you can saute it, add to pasta sauces and even sneak some on sandwiches to add extra fiber and vitamins.

Monday: Minestrone and spinach salad (recipe near the bottom of linked post)

Tuesday: Refried Bean Tacos in blue corn shells with chorizo Spanish couscous over a romaine salad

Wednesday: Cauliflower curry potato curry with dahl over basmati brown rice and naan

Thursday: Grilled Pizza and salad

Friday: Pepper steak with steamed brown rice and wonton soup

Saturday: Chickenl-ess Parmigiano with vegan Cesar salad and garlic bread

Sunday: Clean out the fridge veggie soup made in the slow cooker and fresh bread recipe from sparkpeople

Mostly Veggie Menu Planning Monday

Ok, this week is not entirely veggie. My Dr. told me to eat fish for awhile and I’m going to do what she says. It should raise my good cholesterol. Wish me luck!

Monday: Wild Turbot Fillet over veggies with an arugula salad

Tuesday: Burgers and Tots

Wednesday: Veggie Pot Pie or Panini

Thursday: Grilled Pizza and salad

Friday: Quesadillas with refried beans

Saturday: Honey Mustard Salmon with steamed veggies

Sunday: Whole Wheat Pasta with veggies

Easy Veggie Menu Planning Monday

We’ve been painting the kitchen cabinets and reorganizing everything in the kitchen.  So I’m going for quick and easy. Last week we ate out every night and my budget just can’t take it anymore!

Monday: Chicken-less Parmigiana with almond cheese over whole wheat angel hair pasta and sauteed zukes

Tuesday: Tofu with green beans and carrots in black bean sauce over steamed brown rice

Wednesday: Dinner out and Harry Potter!! (make fried rice for lunch though…)

Thursday: Taco salads with veggie chili, guacamole, heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and almond cheese

Friday: Veggie burgers on the grill or quesadillas after Zumba class

Saturday: Pasta with mixed veggies in a white wine garlic sauce and Caesar salad

Sunday: Sloppy Lentils and steamed veggies -or- tacos with refried beans and guacamole

Getting Healthier Vegan Menu Monday

I survived my second 6am spinning class! Of course my behind is pretty sore and my quads (and legs) are still wiggly, but it’s worth it to meet my goals. I’m trying to take off a few pounds and get in shape. It can be a slow process, but I’m really working on keeping a positive attitude and eating fresh, healthy food really helps.

I got a csa style box of veggies from Tiny Farm  Saturday at the Durham Farmer’s Market and have tons of fresh heirloom tomatoes and green beans. I bought some cucumbers, lettuce, and tons of assorted berries to round out my week.

I made gazpacho and a chilled yellow beet soup as well for lunches. Salads topped with strawberries, blueberries, apples, nuts and herbs from the garden will be a welcome addition to lunches and dinners.  I may need to add in a cold bean or grain salad as well to round it my day out.

Monday: Tofu with green beans and carrots in black bean sauce over steamed brown rice

Tuesday: Taco salads with veggie chili, guacamole, heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and almond cheese - topped with homemade pico de gallo

Wednesday: Fried brown rice with tons of veggies, portabella mushroom prepared pepper steak style

Thursday: Tunisian Sweet Potato Stew from fat free vegan made in the slow cooker served over whole wheat couscous

Friday: Veggie burgers on the grill with a side salad topped with fresh fruit and balsamic dressing

Saturday: Grilled polenta with veggies covered with a heirloom tomato pesto sauce with a Caesar salad and grilled corn on the cob

Sunday: Sloppy Lentils and steamed veggies -or- tacos with refried beans and guacamole

Pesto Anyone?

basilI have 3 kinds of basil this year Italian, lemon, and Thai all growing in my garden. Some are in the veggie bed and I have others in containers. If you have no space you can even grow some inside on a sunny window sill.

If you don’t have a garden you should be able to get locally grown basil at your farmers market, or local natural foods store at this time of the year. You can get fresh herbs in the winter, but they are expensive and they don’t taste as good to me.

Pesto is fragrant mixture of herbs and nuts ground into a thick paste with olive oil. And there are dozens of variations.

Traditional Basil Pesto

  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 – 1/2  cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (optional – add salt to taste if you are leaving out or use a vegan substitute)

Put basil, garlic, ¼ cup olive oil, nuts, and cheese if using into a food processor. Process the pesto using the pulse setting, so you can still have a few small chunks of nuts for texture. Add more oil if the mixture is too thick. Taste and add more garlic, salt, or cheese until you love what you have and can’t wait to eat it.

What to do with it?

  • Toss with pasta and top with fresh ground pepper
  • Spread on a pizza crust instead of red sauce
  • Put in mashed potatoes
  • Add into a soup (minestrone is great for this)
  • Mix into your scrambled tofu in the morning
  • Blend with silken tofu for a perfect dairy free dip

Ok, so I’ve sold you on trying to make pesto, but you don’t have any pine nuts? Or maybe your basil didn’t do so good this year. Now it’s time to get creative. First off you can substitute any nuts for the pine nuts. I used almonds in mine. Why not try pistachios or walnuts?

Use the recipe above for general proportions, but realize you will have to taste as you go even more since some herbs have a stronger taste than others. You’ll begin to notice how the oils of the bruised herbs smell mingled with the smell of the nut you chose.  And then you’ll know if you need to add more of another ingredient.

  • A few combinations to try:
  • Arugula (Rocket) and Pistachio
  • Oregano and Walnut
  • Sage with Pine nuts and a little lemon juice
  • Mint and Almond
  • Rosemary and hazelnut
  • Tarragon and no nuts at all

If you need more ideas take a look at this post on the gardenWeb herb forum.

Save your new creation for a winter surprise! Oil an ice cube tray and put your freshly made pesto into the slots. Once the cubes are frozen, remove them from the try and place into a freezer bag. Now in January they’ll be waiting to go into your steaming pot of minestrone!

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