Sunday, October 26, 2014

Let's Eat!

Nell at Whole Parenting Family started a weekly meal plan link-up. Just in time, too, because I have become uninspired in the dinner department. We eat spaghetti with meat sauce, nachos, and salad with chicken nuggets every week. On Fridays, we eat some variety of fish with some form of potato and cooked broccoli. The other three nights I totally wing it, and throw something together from what we have in the house. Usually a soup one night, rice or bean one pot meal another, and maybe burgers or meatloaf or baked chicken another night. We rarely eat out or get take-out.

Here are the highlights from this past week.

Haluski  or Cabbage and Noodles - My grandfather grew up eating it. His parents were from Hungary. If I remember correctly, his mother cooked the cabbage and noodles in bacon grease, not butter. This time I cooked about a pound of thinly sliced pork chops in the pot with a little butter first. Once cooked, I removed them from the pot and added the onions and cabbage to the pot. While the onions and cabbage sauteed, I cooked the egg noodles according to the package directions a different pot. Once the onion and cabbage were soft and the egg noodles al dente, I transferred the noodles to the pot with the cabbage. I then sliced the pork chops into thin pieces and threw them into the pot and added a couple more tablespoons of butter and salt and pepper to taste. The recipe I linked to suggests using a cup of butter. I have never used that much. Butter is an important ingredient in this recipe because it gives it flavor, but I think a cup is way too much.  Also, I never finish this recipe in the oven. From the start to finish, it is cooked on the stove top. 

That same night I made an apple cake. It was very yummy. I reworked an old recipe to use the ingredients that I had on hand. 

Apple Cake Redo 

2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup virgin coconut oil 
1 1/2 cup natural sugar 
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt 
4 cups chopped Granny Smith apples 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch pan. 

Mix the eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl or stand mixer. In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients. Then slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Once combined, gently stir in the chopped apples. Pour into a greased pan and bake until the sides start to pull away from the pan, and the center is firm (about 45 minutes). The cake will be moist.

Also, I gathered the last of the kale, Swiss chard, and peppers from my garden. We ate the peppers with sausage and onions one night. Then I made baked kale chips with my kale (except I use coconut oil, not oil). I love kale chips so much that I tried to make Swiss chard chips and ruined the Swiss chard. Don't do it! It is not tasty cooked that way. 

This week we are looking forward to enjoying two family favorites. They are full of flavor and very easy to make.

Sausage and Black Bean Chili

1/2 pound to 1 pound mild sausage 
1 onion diced 
5 cups cooked black beans (if using canned drain and rinse them)
1 cup frozen corn
2 (14.4 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
*spices are approximations* (add as little or as much as you like)
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp oregano
dash cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
water to thin 
garnish with fresh cilantro and sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

Crumble and cook sausage in a pot. Once browned, add onion and cook until tender. Next add the cooked beans, frozen corn, tomatoes, spices, and water to preferred consistency (thick like chili or thin like soup). Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. Top individual portions with fresh cilantro and sour cream, and serve with tortilla chips or corn bread. 

Red Hot Chicken (this recipe is easily doubled and tripled) 

2 chicken breasts
1/4 cup cayenne pepper sauce 
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar

Place chicken breasts in an oven safe dish or crock-pot. Combine the cayenne pepper sauce, mustard, and brown sugar in a bowl and pour over chicken breasts. Bake at 350 (or in a crock-pot) covered until the chicken is tender enough to shred. Shred the chicken and serve with tortillas, taco shells, or on top of a big bowl of lettuce with beans and corn and a dollop or sour cream or plain Greek yogurt. 

Need some more meal planning inspiration, head over to Whole Parenting Family for a lot of great ideas. I am looking forward to trying some in the coming weeks! 


  1. These recipes look great, I am looking at trying your chili next weekend. We make chili a lot on Sat/Sun in the fall/winter. I like how you threw together a smattering of your weeks recipes. I was thinking about doing the same since I do not usually cook from recipes, but rather look and find whatever will work in the cupboards. I plan to link up next Saturday!

  2. Oh my gosh these all look so good! THank you so much for linking up and inspiring me! That chili looks to die for!


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