This right here is SAVING me. Our local schools are offering breakfast and lunch to all kids in the county, whether they attend public schools or not. Knowing that I at least will have breakfast and lunch covered for the boys is a HUGE weight off my shoulders. Thanks, Hamilton County Dept. of Education!
It's been several weeks now since grocery store shelves around Chattanooga started looking empty and I had to adjust how I feed my family. I'll admit that the first couple of weeks caused me a bit - ok A LOT - of anxiety. As someone who is used to feeding a large family in a particular way, having that system shut down was stressful to say the least. Dietary restrictions make matters even more difficult, but I think we are finally settling in to a routine.
Since I'm starting to get a handle on "cooking during the apocalypse," I thought I'd share what's been working.
Online grocery ordering is no longer the simple process it used to be. For years I sat down on a particular afternoon, with my meal plan in hand, searched for the ingredients I wanted, added them to my cart, and picked them up within a few hours. Ah, the good old days. I now grab a pickup time days in advance and add items to my cart a little at a time as they become available, knowing that what I order may not be available on the day I pick up. I order simple things as much as possible - meat, veggies, fruit, and pantry staples - so that I have options when I pick up the groceries and only get half of what I ordered. Think: chicken, broccoli, gluten free flour; not chorizo, fresh garlic, and cassava.
Once I pick up my groceries I look at what I have and plan our meals from there - the opposite of what I've done most of my adult life. Yeesh.
This week, I created a Google doc and added a table, listing proteins, veggies/sides, etc. Then I simply combined a protein with a couple of sides to come up with meals for the week. Here's what I came up with!
Gluten and Dairy Free!
I figure if I'm going to stress-bake, I might as well share my recipes! This is an old favorite that I've adapted to our food intolerances. With practice, I've made the altered version taste even better than the original!
- 1 stick of plant butter (I just tried Country Crock Plant Butter and the consistency is amazing!)
- 1 1/4 cup sugar divided (sorry, but real, unhealthy sugar is the best for this recipe. It's a treat. Just go for it.)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup gf all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup almond flour
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6oz vanilla Greek yogurt (even with our dairy sensitivities, we do ok with Greek yogurt, but a soy or coconut milk yogurt would work just as well)
- 2 1/2 cups strawberries (fresh or frozen - thaw first if using frozen, slice if using fresh)
Add sugar and plant butter to a large mixing bowl. Mix with electric mixer until fluffy. My Kitchenaid mixer with the whisk attachment is perfection. Add eggs in one at a time and continue to mix until incorporated. Add vanilla.
In a separate mixing bowl mix together dry ingredients. Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix. Add 1/2 the Greek yogurt and mix. Repeat.
Add strawberries to batter and gently fold in with a spatula.
Spray a large glass rectangular baking dish with cooking spray and add batter. Top with extra strawberries and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until top is golden brown and set. It will continue to cook once removed from the oven, so don't worry if it isn't completely done in the middle!
Let sit in warm baking dish for 30 minutes. Serve warm. Or cold. Its good either way.
I've got a fairly simple week (two weeks, actually) planned because of a busy schedule and zero desire to go grocery shopping! Some of these dinners aren't even recipe-worthy - just simple meals I've cooked since I was newly married.
Gluten Free and Dairy Free
Bake for one hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack, slice, and serve!
We have an insanely busy week, so I'm trying my best to keep things simple. I'm also in a baking mood - NOT a cooking mood - so we'll be eating yummy desserts after our simple dinners!
I also have to say that I am ordering FOUR containers of Vibrant Meals Chicken Salad because my kids loved it so much! I bought one for myself and one for them last week and they all absolutely loved it. It's an absolute miracle to find something all four of my boys like, but this chicken salad with Good Thin crackers, fruit, and yogurt-covered raisins was the hit of lunch time last week. Want to try it? Enter JAMA-10 at checkout for $10 off your first order!
For the first time, I'm just giving you link to a recipe...becuase it is absolute perfection. So much so that I actually emailed the blogger to tell her how great it was!
So here you go: if you're from Northeast Tennessee you know what a Petro is, this is the closest you'll get to making one at home. If you're not from around here, a Petro is the best chili dish you'll ever taste. You're welcome.
Copycat Petro from Andreas Cooktales
My afternoon snack this week!
1 scoop Vegan Latte Shakeology
8oz unsweetened soy milk
1 cup frozen berries
1 sliced, frozen banana
Place soy milk, berries, banana, and Shakeology in blender and blend until smooth. Prepare for the consistency of a Wendy's Frosty (i.e., you'll need a straw AND a spoon)
Remember, if you want to try out Vibrant Meals, enter JAMA-10 at checkout to save!
Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and top each with a sprinkle of real sugar (trust me, the little bit of REAL sugar on top makes these muffins absolutely perfect). Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, remove and cool completely.