Well, after a nearly two year hiatus, I haven’t forgotten about this blog. I could hardly stand to think about beans and other food storage type foods when I was first pregnant, and well, things just never settled down. They still haven’t, but I’ve got to share some great recipes we’ve been enjoying. Forgive the brevity!
We’ve recently discovered that we have some sensitivities to milk in our family, so I’ve been exploring Vegan recipes. I really enjoy making whole grains and fruits and vegetables more the focus of our meals, and turning to herbs and spices for flavor rather than animal products. We still eat milk & animal products, but on a much more occasional basis. I also purchased a stand up freezer, so I am always anxious to get meals in the freezer that I can pull out when I need them. So these recipes are certainly not strictly food storage recipes, but some of my favorites in our efforts to eat better for less.
1. Jamie’s Minestrone
We had this over the holidays and have been making it ever since. Only we cook up a lot more whole wheat noodles and eat them with it. Served with some whole grain bread and fruit, it’s really a satisfying and yummy meal. My son is always asking if we are going to have “noodles and soup?”
2. Warm Winter Pasta Salad
We’ve been making variations of this on a regular basis too the last few months. I like to switch in shelled edamame since my crew isn’t too crazy about the nuts to add some protein. I love to make it with pesto instead of just the olive oil. And the blanched asparagus and crisp squash are fantastic.
3. Peanut Butter Power Bars
Call these power bars, cookies, whatever you want, they are a favorite treat at my house. I’ve adapted the recipe to some variation of basically this:
1 Cup peanut butter (or half peanut butter and half almond butter – fantastic!)
1/2 Cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP Chia Seed
then add and mix:
2 1/4 cup quick rolled oats
Roll into balls and keep in the fridge. But they don’t last long! They are a great high energy, satisfying snack or treat. And you can mix in any kind of chopped nuts, dried fruit, chocolate you want to make them healthier or more of a treat!
4. Chia and Flax. I’ve been enjoying trying to work Chia and flax into more meals. Grainmix.com has some great information on how to use both of these. We usually put them in our smoothies by allowing 2 TBSP of each to soak in about a cup of water for 5-15 minutes, then blending before adding our spinach, frozen fruit, etc. I also just blended about 1/3 cup of a chia and flax mix (I have mixed them together in equal parts in a container since I so often use them equally) in 4 cups of water to make a quadruple batch of whole wheat waffles. We loved them. This is an especially good method for using flax, because whole flax seeds are pretty inexpensive (less than $1/lb at Winco) and will be much more nutritious than flax that has already been ground.
5. Multi-Grain Cereal
This recipe is the only way we’ve been able to survive without milk–it’s a quick and easy breakfast. We haven’t bought cold cereal in about four months! I found the programmable rice cooker at Costco for only 29.99 and had to look around for a lot of the grains. I don’t follow this recipe exactly, but usually have about half steel cut oats and about half other grains. I had good luck finding a lot of the grains at a specialty store here, buying them in bulk is also good.
6. Baked Kale Chips My new favorite way to enjoy Kale, these are surprisingly tasty!
7. Orange Fries
As we like to call them. Wash and slice up 3 or so yams or sweet potatoes (sweet potatoes are white inside but the same basic shape as a yam) into fries. I don’t peel, but you can if you want to. Toss them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for about 25 minutes at 400 degrees, stirring once. Like the Kale chips, suddenly my family devours these vegetables where they never did before!
8. Frozen Pizzas
I learned a great technique for making frozen pizzas here and have adapted it to my favorite pizza recipe. I still make my favorite whole wheat pizza crust but then prebake it (4 minutes at 500, see instructions in her post). I mix about 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese (this is one of those milk/dairy meals we can’t live without!) with about 1/2 cup pesto and spread it on the pizza crust. Top with thinly sliced tomatoes, a little more mozzarella, some parmesan and italian seasoning, then wrap with plastic wrap and put it in the freezer. To serve, just preheat oven to 425, placing pan or pizza stone in the oven while it’s heating up. Then bake pizza for 10 minutes. I LOVE this recipe because most frozen dinners take some time to thaw. This is one we can pull out at the last minute and have dinner in no time.