Fruit and Potato Free Menu
|Breakfast||Quick Huevos Rancheros||Butternut Squash Oatmeal||Nut Butter Toast and Watermelon Smoothie||Quick Ham and Eggs Florentine||Butternut Squash Oatmeal||Pancakes, with Eggs and Homemade Sausage Patties||Oatmeal topped with Warm Rubarb Compote|
|Snack||Cheese and Crackers||Tortilla Chips, Beans and Salsa||Hard Boiled Egg||Tortilla Chips, Beans and Salsa||Hard Boiled Egg||Celery and Nut Butter with Cinnamon||Leftover Granola bars|
|Lunch||Chicken on Green Salad with Quick Dressing||Sandwiches, and Veggie Soup||Leftover meatloaf, Salad with Quick Dressing||Sandwiches, and Soup||Soup and Salad||Pasta salad||Leftover Grilled Veggies on Salad with Sandwich|
|Snack||Hard Boiled Egg||Homemade Hummus, Sliced cucumber, and Baby Carrots||Celery and Nut Butter with Cinnamon||Hummus, Sliced cucumber, and Baby Carrots||Celery and Nut Butter with Cinnamon||Homemade Granola Bars||Celery and Nut Butter with Cinnamon|
|Dinner||Orzo with Red Sauce, Shrimp, and Green Beans Note: Make the Hummus for the rest of the week’s snacks||Meatloaf, with Garlic Collard Greens||Beans and Rice with Turkey and Fennel||Quick Asian Stir Fry||Taco Salad||Grilled steak, Salad, and Grilled Veggies||Roast Chicken with Asparagus and Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls|
Fruit and Potato Free Menu Tips:
The easiest way to split up your Potato and Grain combination is to completely eliminate one. For this week we’ll eliminate Potato. Our menus are written following this “avoid one” guideline. You will see reminders in the tips to avoid potato, and remember to always read labels, as different forms potato are added to so many foods.
Potato can be hidden in so many foods by other names, such as dextrose, but it’s also in many foods because it’s in processed salt. I say processed salt because all iodized table salt has potato, but pure sea salt does not. Since salt is in so many processed foods avoiding it can be challenging. One of the easiest ways to avoid salt in things like ham, or cheese is to purchase these ingredients from an import store. Imported foods that are made in other countries, like imported prosciutto ham from Italy, would not have potato. It wouldn’t have potato because in Italy potato is not added to the salt that the ham is cured with. You can find these items made with sea salt in the United States, but it is sometimes easier to find the imported version at your local healthfood store.
Fruit is also added to many foods. These tips will help you avoid fruit, and potato, and give you some tools to spot fruit in some unlikely places. Again, steer clear of processed, low nutrient foods. Most all commercial white flour has some form of acid, such as ascorbic acid, that is usually derived from a fruit source. You can replace white flour in baking with whole wheat pastry flour. Find a reputable brand that only uses limited, straight forward ingredients in their flour such as Bob’s Red Mill.
You will not always know if there is fruit in a commercially produced product, or food at a restaurant. Once you have cleared your diet of any processed foods, and you’ve been without fruit for some time then your body will be able to tell if you’re eating something reactive. You may notice a change in mood after eating a meal, or you may get some physical reaction. Some people who are reactive to fruit and haven’t had any for an extended period of time, can actually get a physical reaction such as a slight burn in their mouth, or immediate heartburn. Sometimes when people ingest (knowingly or unknowingly) the food they are intolerant to they notice an increased level of anxiety, and their whole mood shifts. Some people notice a more solemn mood. Everyone is different, you will eventually learn your body, and learn what symptoms you get when ingesting fruit.
Quick Huevos Rancheros: Monday
While you have a couple eggs frying in your pan, open a can of black beans, and quickly chop up some fresh cilantro, and a plum tomato. You can find no salt added beans, or sea salt beans at health food stores, or make your own and store the in the freezer in small batches so you always have potato free beans. Sprinkle a little chili powder, and cumin onto the beans, and mix. You can microwave the beans to heat them through.
Top a corn tortilla with the beans, then egg, then fresh tomato and cilantro. You can top the whole thing with a good jarred salsa from the store, just make sure it does not have citric acid, as many tomato products have this ingredient. There are salsas that don’t have this, and it should be easy to find.
Butternut Squash Oatmeal: Tuesday, Friday
You can microwave rolled oats, or stovetop cook them, with whole milk, homemade almond milk, or even water. I say homemade almond milk as I have not been able to find almond milk without some form of potato. There’s a recipe below for homemade almond milk. Also, if using cow milk you will have to use whole milk since the low fat varieties have vitamin A palmitate which is potato derived.
You can find butternut squash canned, or roast your own. To cook a butternut squash, cut it lengthwise in half, scoop out the seeds. Roast at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes until the meat is fork tender, but more on the mushy side. You want the squash mushy so it mixes in easily with the oatmeal.
Cook the oatmeal with your prefered liquid, and once cooked add in a few tablespoons of cooked squash. Top with raw walnuts, and maple syrup, or molasses. I recommend sweetening your oatmeal with maple syrup or molasses as processed white sugar is not the healthiest option, plus you get some trace minerals in molasses and pure maple syrup.
- 1 cup of raw, skin on, almonds
- 2 cups of water (for soaking)
- 4 cups of water (for blending)
- 2 tsp pure maple syrup
Soak the almonds overnight in the 2 cups of water. In the morning strain the almonds and rinse. Then put into your blender with the remaining ingredients. Blend until almonds are pulverized and you have a white liquid. Strain with a fine mesh strainer, if you don’t have a fine mesh strainer you can use cheesecloth, or a nut milk bag. You can keep the milk in the fridge for about 5 days.
Nut Butter Toast and Watermelon Smoothie: Wednesday
Find a quality whole wheat bread with no fruit or bad potato ingredients. There’s some options in the health food section of your store. You should be able to find a sprouted grain bread in the freezer section of any health food store. Remember to read ingredient lists, but all of the sprouted breads I’ve read have no fruit, and are made with sea salt, so you’re good to go!
For the watermelon smoothie, blend up some watermelon chunks, and some yogurt. With the yogurt you again should be careful to purchase a plain (unflavored) whole milk yogurt. Blend the two together with some sweetener, I like maple syrup. Taste as you go, and adjust as you go. If you want it creamier add some more yogurt. I start out by blending about 1 cup of the melon, then add about ¼ cup of yogurt, and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. This can be changed to use any melon you like, and it’s delicious!
Quick Ham and Eggs Florentine: Thursday
To make the Eggs Florentine, scramble some eggs, and when they’re about halfway finished cooking toss in some fresh spinach and cover with a lid. I use about ½ cup fresh spinach for every egg. You can add much more if you like.You can add some garlic powder, onion powder, or any premixed herb seasoning that’s fruit, and potato free. If I’m not in such a hurry I grate in a clove or two of garlic, and cook that with the eggs.
For the ham portion, I like to buy sliced prosciutto ham imported from Italy (so it’s potato free) and quickly toss that in the hot pan that you cooked the eggs in just long enough to warm it up. This shouldn’t take more than 5 seconds on each side. Put the ham and eggs on a plate and enjoy!
Pancakes, with Eggs and Homemade Sausage Patties: Saturday
If you normally make your pancakes with white flour, switch to whole wheat pastry flour. It reacts the same as white for quick breads like pancakes. Find a one ingredient flour such as Bob’s Red Mill. Commercially produced white flour usually contains some sort of acid that is derived from fruit.
Homemade Sausage Patties: Saturday
This sounds more daunting than it really is. By making your own you can make a couple pounds and keep them in the freezer so they’re ready to go on quick weekday mornings, and you don’t have to worry about processed additives that contain potato, or even possibly fruit.
If you don’t currently make your own sausage patties all you really need is some ground turkey, an egg, dried sage, garlic and onion powder, sea salt, pepper, dried thyme, and ground cayenne if you like it hot.
For every 1 pound of turkey use:
- 1 egg
- ¼ tsp of the garlic powder, onion powder, and thyme
- ½ tsp sage, and pepper
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- pinch of cayenne, unless you like it spicy you could go up to ½ tsp
Mix all of the ingredients, form patties, and cook in the same skillet you’re going to cook the eggs in. Cook the patties in batches, and keep them warm by placing tin foil on top of the cooked ones. You can also add in a tablespoon or 2 of maple syrup, for maple sausage patties.
Oatmeal topped with Warm Rhubarb Compote: Sunday
You may have tried Rhubarb in a strawberry-rhubarb pie. It tastes tart, and a little bit sweet, and it very similar to a fruit flavor. It is not a fruit, and is therefore safe for you to consume.
If buying fresh rhubarb, or if you decide to grow it, keep in mind that the leafy green tops are toxic and poisonous to humans, and pets. The red stalk is the edible part of the plant. The stalk looks like a red celery stalk. Most markets will not have fresh rhubarb unless it is in season (summer), but you can buy canned. If your store doesn’t have canned you can always order it online. Make sure to read ingredient labels, there shouldn’t been any added acids, but I like to read labels just to make sure. You will also have to sweeten rhubarb, as it is quite tart. An easy way to cook it up is make a compote. You can top toast, oatmeal, put it on a turkey sandwich, top a pork chop, there are so many ways to use a compote.
- For every 1 pound of fresh rhubarb add ½ cup of sugar or sweetener of choice, such as maple syrup or molasses.
- For every pound of rhubarb, use ¼ water.
- For every pound of rhubarb use about 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger.
Chop rhubarb into 1 inch pieces
Bring all ingredients to a boil, then turn heat to medium low, and simmer until the rhubarb is broken down a bit, and the compote is thick and gooey looking. Taste it for seasoning. You can add a splash of rice vinegar if you want some more acidic flavor.
Now top your oatmeal and enjoy!
Cheese and Crackers: Monday
When purchasing crackers, find some made with sea salt, and whole grain flour. Remember white flour most likely has some form of fruit in it.
When purchasing your cheese, again, imported is your safest bet. Also, the yellow coloring in many foods; including yellow cheddar cheese, comes from a fruit. Always purchase the white cheddar instead.
Tortilla Chips, Beans and Salsa: Tuesday, Thursday
When purchasing tortillas chips look for sea salt, instead of just salt. You can also make your own, if you make your own tortillas, or have a favorite “safe” tortillas brand. To make chips from a tortilla, cut them into triangle pieces. Then toast in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes, then watch to make sure they don’t burn. They should be done in about 7 minutes. You can also brush some light colored oil on both sides, and once they’re crisp you can salt with your delicious sea salt.
You can make your own beans from dried, or you can find salt free, or made with sea salt canned beans at health food stores. The salt in some canned beans may have potato in it, which is why you want to look for sea salt, or salt free.
Salsa can be tough, but there are some really delicious brands that do not add any citric or ascorbic acid to their tomato based salsas. I also like to just chop up some fresh jalapenos, tomatoes, and red onion, and mix that up with a tiny bit of rice wine vinegar, and some cumin and you have a yummy homemade pico de gallo! This can store for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Celery and Nut Butter with Cinnamon: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Try out other nut butters besides the usual. Almond butter and cinnamon is a fabulous combination! Kids and adults love this one. Since it can be hard to transport, you could put the butter in a container, top with cinnamon, and dip in the celery.
Chicken on Green Salad with Quick Dressing: Monday
You can grill up a chicken breast, or cut one up and quickly sauté it with some dried herb seasoning. A good mix is tarragon, thyme, and my all time favorite, garlic powder. I don’t recommend the already grilled and seasoned ones in the freezer section since those will most likely be quite processed, but sometimes if that’s what you have to do then check for no potato or fruit, and go for it.
A quality salad for lunch should become a staple for you and your family. Kids may not want salads, but if they help with the preparation they’ll be more likely to eat the final dish. Kids can help by counting the cherry tomatoes, or washing the cucumbers, or while at the store picking out a leafy green salad mix that looks fun to eat. Always try to get the really leafy greens, such as spinach, arugula, or even red lettuce. Head lettuce has no real nutrition. If you need an easy dressing, mix 2 parts cold pressed walnut oil to 1 part rice vinegar, a squirt of Dijon mustard (check ingredients for Dextrose, or other potato words), sea salt and pepper, and finely chopped shallot. If you can’t find shallot, chopped green onion or a little garlic is delicious as well, but the shallot really makes something special.
Walnut oil is a delicious alternative to olive oil. Some specialty or health food stores do carry it, and as always, if you can’t find it in store you can order it online.
Sandwiches, and Veggie Soup: Tuesday
You can find a canned vegetable soup that doesn’t contain fruit product or potato. There are some organic brands that use sea salt, and do not have potato at all you just have to read labels. It is so easy to whip up your own, and I encourage you to do so. Just heat up some good vegetable broth, and toss in a couple bags of your favorite frozen vegetables, and you can add in some beans if you like, diced tomatoes, a mixed herb Italian seasoning, granulated garlic and onion powder, and there’s your soup. Freeze soups in serving sizes for on the go lunches.
For the sandwich, if you’re using deli meat then check for any no-no fruit, or potato ingredients. The pre-packaged deli meats usually always have a potato derived additive, so as always homemade is the best option. Just roast some beef, or turkey, or chicken on the weekend and thinly slice for sandwiches for the week. A vegetable sandwich with fresh cucumber, red onion, hummus, and greens is also delicious.
Leftover Meatloaf, Salad with Dairy Free Dressing: Wednesday
Again, leftovers are your best friend! Throw some meatloaf in the microwave, or toaster oven, toss some salad into a big bowl with our dressing from Monday, or just make some more and you’ve got a delicious and simple lunch.
Sandwiches, and Soup: Thursday
There are great canned, or boxed soup options at health food stores, or even supermarkets that are fruit, and potato free. I like tomato soup, or even a sweet butternut squash. Making your own squash soup is as easy as roasting (or even microwaving) a butternut squash, and once cooked putting the meat of the squash into your blender with some vegetable broth, some garlic and onion powder, and sea salt and pepper, and blend. If you want to add some flavor, sage and squash pair beautifully. The amount of liquid is up to you, how thick do you like your soup?
For the sandwich, if you’re using deli meat then check for any no-no potato ingredients. The pre-packaged deli meats usually always have a potato derived additive, so as always homemade is the best option. Just roast some beef, or turkey, or chicken on the weekend and thinly slice for sandwiches for the week. A vegetable sandwich with fresh cucumber, red onion, hummus, and greens is also delicious.
Soup and Salad: Friday
Heat up some leftover soup either the vegetable or squash, or if you’re feeling crazy and have both soups, mix them. Yes, you can do it! It won’t be as sweet from the butternut, more savory, but it’ll be delicious, and you get more veggies into your day. Make sure to have some protein on your salad like beans, or almonds, or walnuts to keep you full. Also, the healthy fats from your walnut oil dressing help to keep you satisfied. If you want to mix up the dressing, try a different vinegar. There’s all sorts of rice wine vinegars. Some yummy add ins for your salad are pickled garlic, roasted red peppers, baby corn, fresh snap peas, canned artichoke hearts, and drained water chestnuts. As withl all processed foods just read the labels. For example, most stores carry marinated artichoke hearts, which have some sort of fruit acid in them, but right next to those are plain canned artichoke hearts, with no fruit.
*Tip: If you miss the briny flavor of olives, then artichoke hearts can be a great replacement!
Pasta Salad: Saturday
Pasta is a great go-to, but make sure you purchase a good quality pasta with no added potato ingredients. A great pasta salpad needs a great dressing. My favorite is:
For every 1 lb of pasta use about ¾ lb of ricotta cheese, then mix 2 parts walnut oil to one part rice wine vinegar, a few dashes garlic powder, and sea salt and pepper. Dress the pasta while still warm so it soaks up the flavors and then the fun part…add-ins. This is where little ones can help out. Some options are, fresh spinach, sliced almonds, pine nuts, zucchini rounds, cherry tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, broccoli “trees”, cauliflower, green onion, red onion, fresh green beans, green peas, sugar snap peas, bell peppers, or any vegetable combination you like.
Leftover Grilled Veggies on Salad with Sandwich: Sunday
Leftover grilled vegetables are one of those all purpose great go-to ingredients. I say leftover because I’m assuming you made the Grilled steak, Salad, and Grilled Veggies on Friday night. For these leftover veggies, keep them cold and top a pile of fresh baby spinach, or spring salad mix, and then douse with some walnut oil, or butter.
For the sandwich, if you’re using deli meat then check for any bad potato ingredients. The pre-packaged deli meats usually always have a potato derived additive, so as always homemade is the best option. Just roast some beef, or turkey, or chicken on the weekend and thinly slice for sandwiches for the week. A vegetable sandwich with fresh cucumber, red onion, hummus, and greens is also delicious.
Chicken on Green Salad with Dairy Free Dressing: Monday
You can grill up a chicken breast, or cut one up and quickly sauté it with some healthy oil, like grapeseed, or coconut. Remember to season your chicken, try some dried herbs like tarragon, thyme, and my all time favorite, garlic powder. I don’t recommend the already grilled and seasoned ones in the freezer section since those will most likely be quite processed, but sometimes if that’s what you have to do then check for no bad dairy, or grain ingredients, and go for it.
A quality salad for lunch should become a staple for you and your family. Kids may not want salads, but if they help with the preparation they’ll be more likely to eat the final dish. Kids can help by counting the cherry tomatoes, or washing the cucumbers, or while at the store picking out a leafy green salad mix that looks fun to eat. Always try to get the really leafy greens, such as spinach, arugula, or even red lettuce. Head lettuce has no real nutrition. If you need an easy dressing, mix 2 part extra virgin olive oil to 1 part good quality balsamic vinegar, a squirt of Dijon mustard, sea salt and pepper, and finely chopped shallot. If you can’t find shallot, chopped green onion or a little garlic is delicious as well, but the shallot really makes something special.
Veggie Soup and Deli Meat Roll-ups : Tuesday
Vegetable soup in a can could contain some grains. You can find a variety at health food stores that do not have grain or dairy. Making your own quick vegetable soup is also easy. Find a good, vegetable or chicken broth. Then heat up, and toss in a couple bags of your favorite frozen vegetables, and you can add in some beans if you like, a mixed herb Italian seasoning, granulated garlic and onion powder, diced tomatoes, and there’s your soup. Freeze soups in serving sizes for on the go lunches.
For the Roll-ups you can use turkey, roast beef, ham, whatever you like. For turkey roll-ups use avocado, and pickles. I spread out slices of turkey, smoosh (very technical) some avocado onto the slices, and quarter dill pickles (or sweet if you like) lengthwise, and put that on top of the avocado. Then I sprinkle a teeny tiny bit of cayenne pepper onto each one. Kids will probably not like the spicy cayenne, but a little black pepper can also be delicious! Then roll up like a pickle-cigar. You could use toothpicks to keep these secure, but I just shove them into a small container and they stay put until lunch.
For Roast Beef you can do the same thing, but instead of just avocado, I use some fresh grated horseradish root. If you can’t find horseradish root, you could slice some radishes, and layer those on top of the avocado. Play with what you have.
Leftover Meatloaf, Salad with Dairy Free Dressing: Wednesday
Again, leftovers are your best friend! Throw some meatloaf in the microwave, or toaster oven, toss some salad into a big bowl with the olive oil dressing from Monday, or just make some more and you’ve got a delicious and simple lunch.
Collard Wraps with Leftover Coleslaw and Salmon: Thursday
If you’re new to collard greens, they are a giant flat leafed green that you should be able to find in any grocery store. You may have had a collard green dish where they’re all cooked down, possibly with bacon fat, and some vinegar. That’s delicious, but today you’re using collards as wrap for salmon salad.
The trick to using a collard green as a wrap is to warm it up a little bit first. When I’m making my lunch in the morning before work I just put a pan that’s large enough for the collard leaf on low heat. I gently warm up the collard. You do not need to take out the collard stem for this. It should only need to be in a warm pan for 30 seconds or so on each side, then move to a large cutting board, or clean counter, and put some of the Salmon mixture on the side closest to you.All you have to do for the salad is mix your leftover coleslaw with a can of salmon, and cut a lemon in half and squirt a little lemon juice on the mix. I find a long pile of it about a inch wide down the whole leaf is best. I like to fold the very top part of the leaf over the salmon, and then roll up from the salmon side up. Putting the very top of the leaf in over the salmon makes it not squish out so bad when you eat it. You can secure these with toothpicks and place in a container.
Soup and Salad: Friday
There are great canned, or boxed soup options at health food stores, or even supermarkets that are dairy, and grain free. I like tomato soup, or even a sweet butternut squash. Making your own squash soup is as easy as roasting (or even microwaving) a butternut squash and adding a few ingredients. Once the squash is cooked put the meat of the squash into your blender with some vegetable broth, some garlic and onion powder, sea salt and pepper, and blend. If you want to add some more flavor, sage and squash pair beautifully. The amount of liquid is up to you, how thick do you like your soup?
Make sure to have some protein on your salad like beans, almonds, or walnuts to keep you full. Also, the healthy fats from your olive oil and balsamic dressing help to keep you satisfied. If you want to mix up the dressing, try a different vinegar. There’s all sorts of rice wine vinegars. Even chain supermarkets are carrying a variety of different red wine vinegars, or flavored balsamics now. Some yummy add ins for your salad are pickled garlic, canned roasted red peppers, baby corn, fresh snap peas, frozen, and drained artichoke hearts, or canned, and drained water chestnuts.
Tuna Salad over Garlic Lentils: Saturday
Apple and tuna is a classic combination. You can just simply add chopped apples to your favorite tuna salad recipe and enjoy!
Basic Tuna Salad:
- 1 can tuna fish
- 1 stalk celery finely chopped
- 1 dill or sweet pickle finely chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise (read ingredients for not grain or dairy derived ingredients)
- 1 tablespoon good dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp dried dill (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together and top Garlic Lentils.
For the lentils:
I like french green lentils for this recipe since they keep their shape, and have a nice flavor. Cook lentils according to package directions, and remember they double their size once cooked so use a large enough pot. Once cooked add in salt and pepper to taste. To taste means just that, add in a little salt and pepper, taste it, add more if needed and repeat. Pour over some good quality nut or seed (i.e. walnut or safflower) oil, and using a garlic press, press in about 3 cloves of garlic to lentils and mix. If you don’t have a garlic press you can finely chop garlic. I use about 3 average size cloves for every 2 cups of cooked lentils. Mix well, and top with basic tuna salad.
Leftover Grilled Veggies on Salad with Barbecue Meatballs: Sunday
Leftover grilled vegetables are one of those all purpose great go-to ingredients. I say leftover because I’m assuming you made the Grilled steak, Salad, and Grilled Veggies on Friday night. For these leftover veggies, keep them cold and top a pile of fresh baby spinach, or spring salad mix, and then douse with some good extra virgin oil and balsamic vinegar.
Barbecue meatballs you can use your favorite meatball recipe, and omit any grains if your recipe has them. Make sure you use a binder, like and egg so the meatballs stay in their shape. Once the meatballs are formed put them in a pot on the stove. Cover the meatballs with barbecue sauce, and a can pureed tomato to thin out the sauce. Then bring to a boil, and simmer until the meat is cooked through. This should take about 20 minutes.
Orzo with Red Sauce, Shrimp, and Green Beans: Monday
Orzo is a tiny, rice shaped pasta. Again with pasta make sure you purchase a good quality pasta with no added potato ingredients.You can find orzo in the dry pasta aisle. If your store has whole grain orzo, of course opt for that to bump up the nutrition. Cook according to package instructions. Orzo cooks very quickly, and is therefore a great accompaniment to weeknight meals.
You can purchase already cooked frozen shrimp, and reheat per the package instructions. Before cooking the Orzo and shrimp look at the directions on the packages, and try to time them so they’re done around the same time.
Heat a jar of ready made marinara sauce (no bad potato words, or acids look at labels) while the shrimp and orzo are cooking. If you can’t find a jarred one, you can cook up some fresh chopped tomatoes with some garlic and basil, until thickened, then you have a quick sauce! Once all are done and hot, mix them together for a fast delicious pasta dish. For bonus points you can add in a couple cloves of fresh garlic, a box of frozen artichoke hearts, or frozen zucchini mix to the pan the shrimp is cooking in.
Frozen green beans can be just as nutritious as fresh. You can add a bag, or two depending on your family size, to a glass dish, and cover with a plate, or glass lid and microwave to steam the beans until hot. Once hot, drain off excess water by holding the lid on the dish, but slightly tilt it over the sink and pour out the water. You can add some garlic powder, onion powder, or any premixed herb seasoning that’s fruit, and potato free.
Premixed seasoning packets usually always have added chemicals, and potato derived ingredients, as well as many other additives your food, and body, don’t need. There are bottled seasonings that have only dried herbs and spices that are readily available in all grocery stores.
Meatloaf, with Garlic Collard Greens: Tuesday
If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, leftovers are your best friend! When making your meatloaf, prepare two. This menu guide is assuming you will have leftover meatloaf for lunch, so please, make more than you need for dinner alone. It doesn’t take hardly any extra time, and you can make sure to have some for lunch the next day, or freeze it and have dinner one night the following week! I say even if you live alone, or with just one other person still double the recipe, and freeze the leftover. This makes life easier when you have a stock of properly labeled food ready to eat on a particularly busy evening. Always label what you freeze! Trust me, this is the best tip thus far.
If you use pre-packaged breadcrumbs for you meatloaf, make sure to read label. It’s not always just bread crumbs in those cans. You can always use crackers in place of breadcrumbs if need be, or just toast a piece of bread, then processor quickly in a food processor, or blender to make crumbs.
Collard Greens are related to Kale, and in the same family as broccoli. You can find collard greens in the frozen food section, but if not, they are available in produce in bunches. Cut the green leaf part off of the stem, and toss into a big pan with a couple chopped cloves of garlic, add some water and sauté until tender. If you are using them from frozen, you can just add them to the pan, and heat up with the garlic. When they’re done cooking, top with some of your walnut oil, this helps your body absorb all the nutrients it can.
Beans and Rice with Turkey and Fennel: Wednesday
Beans and Rice can be made into so many different, and budget friendly, variations. If you’re really crunched for time pick up a couple cans of black beans, or one can of black eyed peas, and one can of pinto beans. You can find salt free, or made with sea salt canned beans at health food stores. For the rice, you can find heat and eat brown rice in a bag at any grocery store. You may need a couple bags depending on how many people you’re serving.Pick up a bag of frozen mixed vegetable that will also go into this quick dish. I like a bell pepper and onion mix for this.
Cook up some ground turkey with the frozen peppers, a small can of tomato sauce, or some fresh chopped tomatoes, your favorite dried Italian seasoning, or just garlic and onion powder, sea salt and pepper, and fennel. The amount of fennel seed depends on the amount of turkey. I use about a half teaspoon of dried fennel seed per pound of turkey. Once turkey is thoroughly cooked taste it for seasonings. The fennel adds a slightly sweet sausage flavor to the dish. Add all ingredients together, the beans, rice, veggies, and turkey.
Quick Asian Stir Fry: Thursday
The most important element to this, as with many dishes, is the sweet, yet salty sauce. You could use a bottled teriyaki sauce, it will probably be difficult to find one that doesn’t have potato ingredients. The soy sauce used in most bottled teriyaki sauces is not made for sea salt. Instead, you can mix a sea salt soy sauce (which is easily found at any health food store, or maybe even a supermarket) with brown sugar, or maple syrup. The ratio I like is 2 parts soy sauce to 1 part sweetener. If you have time, a fresh chopped 1 inch hunk of ginger, and a couple chopped cloves of garlic take this sauce to the next level! If you’re in a rush, a couple shakes of dried ginger, and garlic also are delicious.
I like soba noodles with my stir fry, but if you can’t find soba noodles a whole wheat linguini, or whole wheat spaghetti works just fine. Always read labels on pasta. While the noodles boil, cook up the vegetables. To make sure the noodles are done around the same time as the other elements, I put the water on to boil before I start preparing chicken. Add noodles once water’s boiling. If the noodles are done before the veggies, and chicken, just drain them, and add a little sauce so they don’t stick together.
Chop chicken breasts into bite size pieces. Half to a whole breast per person; depending on if you’re feeding little ones. Toss those into a little bit of sauce to marinate.
While chicken marinates, prep your vegetables by washing and cutting into bite size pieces. If you have fresh produce that’s maybe not so fresh, a stir fry is a great way to use them up. If you don’t have any fresh, frozen is also great! My favorite vegetables for a stir fry are broccoli, snap peas, red bell peppers, and zucchini. You can also find an Asian vegetable mix in the freezer section.
Once everything’s prepped, cook the chicken in your largest pan, then add vegetables, and finish with enough sauce to coat. Add all those goodies to the noodles. Add more sauce as needed.
Additional toppings: chopped fresh green onion, cilantro, toasted sesame seeds, sesame oil, chili pepper flakes.
Taco Salads: Friday
Make your own pico de gallo with delicious fresh tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, and plenty of salt and pepper. Fresh cilantro is usually available year around, and adding that brings a freshness to you taco salad that will become a staple for you.
Do you like it a little spicy? Great! Add fresh jalapenos, or branch out to other new peppers you haven’t tried. A red Fresno chile looks like a red jalapeno, but is spicier. You can add flavor, and a little spice, with canned chipotle peppers. Add 1 chopped chipotle, and some of the juice in the can, to your beans, or meat while they cook. Keep in mind, little ones will probably not want this heat, so you can add the chipotle and sauce to the beans or meat separately for the grown-ups.
Some extras to add onto your salad are, fresh green onions, spinach, shredded cabbage, and lots of spicy salsa, red pepper flakes, and a white cheese such as mozzarella, or white cheddar.
Grilled Steak, Salad, and Grilled Veggies: Saturday
Grill your steak, and some large sliced zucchini, red bell peppers, red onion slices, and mushrooms. If you normally brush your vegetables with a processed sauce from the store, whip up your own! Add fresh chopped garlic, Italian herb seasoning, salt and pepper with some sea salt soy sauce and brush over vegetables as they cook. Make sure to make extra vegetables for leftovers to have with lunch tomorrow!
A big salad is a great addition to steak and grilled veggies; you can even top the salad with the warm vegetables. I like a salad mix of fresh spinach, and arugula, with fresh cucumbers. If you need a yummy potato free dressing, mix 2 part walnut oil to 1 part rice wine vinegar, a squirt of Dijon mustard, salt and pepper, and finely chopped shallot. If you can’t find shallot, chopped green onion or garlic is delicious as well, but the shallot really makes something special.
If you want some fresh bread to sop up your steak juices, add a good quality fruit and potato free bread to the menu. To kick the bread up a notch, grill slices of bread until just toasted, and the rub a peeled garlic clove over one side for a fresh garlic bread!
Roast Chicken with Asparagus and Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls: Sunday
If you don’t normally have leftovers from one chicken, then roast 2. Really it takes the same amount of time. If you only have one roasting pan, roast the other in a large enough glass dish. The next day send the drumsticks in someone’s lunch, one breast for your for lunch, and divide up the rest to whoever doesn’t insist on drumsticks.
You can purchase whole wheat dinner rolls, but if they have fruit, or potato ingredients then look at some other options. If you can’t find one without potato, you can always toast some good (fruit and potato free) bread and smear it with some good butter.
Either sauté or broil asparagus, once it’s just done cooking, and still hot grate some good imported parmesan cheese over the top. If you’re in a time crunch, you could steam the asparagus in the microwave. If you have little ones that won’t touch asparagus, of course always try to explain how it takes tasting things many different times until they really know if they like it or not. Another option is any other green veggie they like, or at least fight with you less about. You can cook these in the microwave, or sauté them. I find a frozen bag of mixed veggies with green beans, carrots, and lima beans seem to always work. Top with butter, and some dried herb seasoning for the little ones too.