My sweet celiac and youngest, Izzy

Friday, January 6, 2012

First week of the New Year menu, Epiphany and one year ago....

This week of the new year has been one of alot of reflection.  1/4/11 I packed up my car with 3 of my 4 kids and all the supplies we would need for a few weeks and drove to Little Rock (3 hours away) and admitted my oldest daughter into the cardiac ICU unit at Arkansas Children's Hospital to awat a heart transplant.  We had no idea how long the wait would be, she was hooked up to a medication to preserve what was left of her heart function, and we had no idea the outcome.  Luckily God brought us back from what can only be described as close to hell as it comes and on 1/25/11 she received a new heart.  This week has been an emotional journey for us as will the next few weeks will be.  The good news is, we are not there anymore, and we can focus on more amazing things going on in our family.  THANKS BE TO GOD!
Today as I right this, it is the Epiphany. The day the wise men reached the birthplace of Jesus and brought him amazing gifts.  Some countries call it the celebrations of lights given that the north star is what led them to the littel child in the manger. Most people do not take their Christmas trees down until after the Epiphany but alas, I had to.  Everyone was having allergy attacks and asthma type symptoms and the clutter almost drove me batty so away it went...Oh well, at least I waited til after the new year:). 
As I prepared my menu for the week, I tried to focus on healthy eating since most people do that in the new year.  We typically eat as "clean" and healthy all year round with a few exceptions but I really wanted some new material as it's been more like spring here than January.  With no snow and temps in the 60's it's almost a Florida January and closer to bikini season than usual:).  So, here is a list of my weeks' menu:

Tuesday I made my asian lettuce wraps:
1 pd ground turkey
1 onion diced
1 red bell pepper chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 bag deluxe stir fry mix (frozen food section)\
1/4 C of GF San J terryiaki stir fry sauce
1/4 C of GF San J Orange Sauce
1 head butter living lettuce or boston lettuce

In a medium skillet saute onion and bell pepper ( adding 1 TBSP olive oil if necessary) for about 5 minutes and add ground turkey and brown together.  At end of browning add in garlic and cook for another minute or so.  Add in the frozen stir fry veggies, thawed or frozen.  Cook about 10 minutes until veggies are warmed through yet still firm.  My kids like the texture small so I add this mixture to my food processor and pulse briefly to make it more of a crumbly mixture and add back to saute pan but this step is not necessary.  Add the stiry fry sauces and lightly cook on medium low until more of a carmelized texture.  Break the lettuce leaves apart to make cup sized wraps and set aside, add beef/veggie mixture to bowl and serve.  You add about 1 heaping TBSP to the small leaves and maybe two to the larger leaves and wrap to eat like a taco wrap. 

Wednesday was Lime in the Coconut Chicken drumsticks with avocado and tomato salad and roasted broccoli:
Rachel Ray's recipe for the chicken is both gluten and dairy free and was good, although the marinade did not sink into the chicken as much as I thought it would.  I would reccomend poking more slits in the chicken and letting is marinate longer with possibly even more lime juice:

For the chicken:
3 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 c chopped scallions, whites and greens
1 c cilantro
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/3 c honey
1 c coconut milk
1/3 c lime juice
10 skin on chicken drumsticks

In a blender combine all ingredients but chicken and puree.  Cut 2 deep slits in each drumstick and marinate in coconut mixture at least an hour.  transfer chicken to a rack placed on a foil lines cookie sheet and season.  bake at 450 for 20 minutes, flip and bake 10 more minutes.

1 bunch broccoli florets
3 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic minced

preheat oven to 450, spread broccoli in  a single layer in a baking sheet or casserole pan.  Melt butter in microwave and stir in garlic.  Drizzle butter mixture over broccoli and season with salt/pepper and roast about 10 minutes until tender.

Avocado/tomato salad:
2 avocados
1 pint cherry tomatoes
4 Tbsp lime or lemon juice and salt/pepper to taste

Halve, unpit and score both avocados and scoop our into small bowl.  Slice or halve the cherry tomatoes, add juice and seasoning and toss.

Thursday was -GF Penne with turkey ragu:
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts finely chopped
2 ckives garlic minced
1 pd ground turkey
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
14 c fresh basil chopped
3 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
12 ounces GF penne (I prefer Schar Penne or Quinoa Rotelle)
2 Tbsp half and half

Bring a pot of salted water to boil and add pasta.  Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  Add leeks, garlic and turkey and cook, stirring until turkey browns, abut 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.  Bring sauce to boil and cook 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium and add half the basil and parmesan.  Simmer stirring occasionally until thickened, about 10 more minutes.  Stir and cook pasta until al dente then drain.  Reserve 1/2 c cooking liquid and empty pasta directly into saute pan and stir.  Add half and half and toss to coat, adding some of the cooking liquid to loosen if necessary.  Serve warm with additional parmesan if wanted.

Finally Friday: Enchilada casserole and black bean salad:

1 pd ground sirloin or 1 pd ground turkey
1 c chopped onion
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp garlilc minced
1 1/2 Tbsp GF flour blend
1 C reduced sodium, GF beef broth
1 Tbsp 40% less sodium, GF taco seasoning mix (Old Elpaso)
1 8 oz can no salt added tomato sauce or homemade tomato sauce canned
1 small can chopped green chilis
12 small GF corn tortillas or 4 8 inch brown rice tortillas
1/3 C Weight Watchers Fiesta Blend shredded cheese or 1/3 C shredded Jalepeno jack cheese

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Add beef/turkey and onion to pan.  Cook 6 minutes stirring to a crumble mixture.  Preheat over to 400.  Melt butter in small saute pan.  Add garlic, saute 1 minute.  Sprinkle with flour and cook for about 30 secondsstirring constantly until lumps are gone. Add broth, taco seasoning, and tomato sauce to pan and bring to a boil, cook for 2 minutes.  Add 1 1/2 C of tomato mixture to beef mixture and stir to combine.  Place 1 brown rice tortilla or overlapping 4 corn tortillas in the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan.  Top with 1 C beef mixture and spread around, top with 1 Tbsp cheese and layer accordingly ending with tortillas and top with leftover sauce and then leftover cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until cheese melts. 

Black bean Salad:
1 can whole balck beans drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained and rinsed
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes halved
1 avocado, halved, seed removed and scored then scooped
1 head romaine, chopped
lime juice

Add first 5 ingredients to bowl and toss with lime juice and season to taste.