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Serving Your Company Leftovers

Follow New Nostalgia

IMG_3028I’m all about being perfectly imperfect lately, and serving my company leftovers is a great example of embracing the imperfect and reaping quite perfect benefits.

About a month ago I had my Mom over for lunch.  I love having her as I know her favorite foods and flavors.  I know she loves meatloaf and sweet potatoes which we actually had for dinner the night before, I also knew that one of her favorite flavors is coconut, which ended up being the perfect topping for our sweet potatoes!

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We had a wonderful lunch together, and although she knew most of the meal was leftovers, she enjoyed it and we had precious time together.

So let’s talk leftovers.  At first I felt weird serving my company leftovers, but then I thought about my favorite deli at my local health food store,  and realized everything they serve ‘to -go’ would be considered a ‘leftover.’ The have a glass case with a wonderful selection of foods, and I know that all of their foods are fresh, but not all are made exactly that very day.

I know there are some people who really dislike leftovers, but I love them.  I love the ease of just reheating food and enjoying a hot meal that was easy to just heat and eat!

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Just about everything we ate that day for lunch would be considered a leftover.  Even the wine I served was a bottle that was opened the night before, but one that my girlfriend and I did not finish, so I served it with our lunch.  Why not?

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The meatloaf, beans and sweet potatoes were all made for our dinner the night before.  Even the salad was tossed the night before.  The cheesy bread was a asiago cheese bagel leftover from breakfast that we split, since there was only one and limiting carbs is always a good thing. A simple sliced apple was a great way to round out our little lunch.  Can you tell that my Mom and I don’t mind our food touching?  I purposefully used small plates to make the lunch look filled out and hearty.

Nuts were the appetizer and cupcakes that my lil’ one made the night before was dessert.  A few little touches like lemon in our water and fun napkins made the table look special.

I don’t know about you, but if leftovers looks and tastes like this lunch did, I’m all for reheating food and offering it to my loved ones.

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What about you? Do you use leftovers? Would you or do you use them for entertaining?

 

 

GF, Vegan & Raw/ Meals/ RECIPES

Creamy Chicken Rice Casserole With Crunchy Buttery Herbed Cracker Topping –Gluten Free

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There is nothing like a creamy, comforting chicken rice casserole with a butter crunchy cracker topping.  Back when Todd and I were first married, I made a recipe very similar to this one, but it has not made it into our recipe box in years because the ingredients were not what I would have considered healthy.

When I had the opportunity to come up with a healthy, gluten-free recipe for Breton crackers, a crunchy cracker topped casserole is what immediately came to mind.  I decided to do a little makeover on the recipe that I used to make when we were newlyweds and the results were amazing!

We are no longer newlyweds (we are now going on almost 20 years!) but the flavors of this casserole took me back to those sweet days, and it really made me smile that all 3 of my girls heartily approved of this recipe, too, especially since I don’t make creamy comforting casseroles very often around here!

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I started by baking some organic chicken breasts.  I just sprinkled them with grill seasoning and throw them in the oven until done.  These were sliced pretty thin so they only took about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

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I wanted to keep this recipe gluten-free, as we try to limit gluten around here and I also have several extended family members who eat gluten- free.  I love having a few key recipes on hand that are easy to make and fully gluten- free.

The creamy base of this recipe is sour cream and cream of chicken soup.  I used organic sour cream and used Pacific brand cream of chicken soup as it is gluten- free and also free of ingredients that I would not want to feed my family.  I am pretty picky about pre-made cream soups and this brand make me very happy, and also tasted great!

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I used brown rice for the base of the casserole for extra fiber and flavor. I used to make the rice separate from casserole, but not this time.  I loved throwing it all in one dish.

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After mixing the shredded chicken, sour cream and cream of chicken soup together, simply spread out on top of the rice layer.

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Here is where it gets good.  BRETON GLUTEN-FREE HERB & GARLIC CRACKERS.  I’ve done a lot of tasting of gluten-free crackers, and I have not found one with such tender-crisp texture as Breton crackers.  These crackers are so good,–bursting with herb and garlic flavor. They are made with arrowroot and green lentil flours, which make them quite good for you. They can be eaten alone or topped with delicious toppings for a nutritious snack your family will love.  We like to top them with some organic turkey and cheese for an easy protein-filled snack.

There are several flavors:

BRETON GLUTEN-FREE HERB & GARLIC

BRETON GLUTEN-FREE ORIGINAL WITH FLAX

BRETON GLUTEN-FREE BLACK BEAN WITH ONION AND GARLIC

BRETON GLUTEN-FREE WHITE BEAN WITH SALT AND PEPPER

For this recipe, I crunched up the herb and garlic crackers and drizzled them with a bit of melted organic butter for the crunchy casserole topping.

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I use a ziplock bag to keep mess to  minimum.  I crunched one sleeve of Breton Herb and Garlic crackers all up and then drizzled the butter right into the bag, then sealed and did a bit of a shimmy- shake to distribute it evenly.

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The crunchy crackers are the last layer to the casserole.  It really is a breeze to throw together, especially if you have pre-cooked chicken and rice ready to go.

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Here is the casserole all baked and ready to eat.  You have the chewiness of the brown rice, the creaminess of the chicken mixture, and the crunch of the cracker topping.  It is GOOD…and for me there is the bonus of being taken back to those newlywed days!

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Creamy Chicken Rice Casserole With Crunchy Buttery Herbed Cracker Topping

2 cups chopped cooked seasoned chicken

1 10 oz-12oz  cream of chicken soup (Pacific in a box is gluten-free)

1 8 oz carton sour cream

1 1/2 cups Breton Gluten- Free Garlic & Herb crushed crackers ( I used one sleeve)

1/4 cup butter melted

2 1/2 cups brown rice, cooked

 

Combine chicken, soup, & sour cream. Put rice in 9×13 pan, add chicken mixture & spread out.  Combine crushed crackers and butter in a large ziplock bag.  Sprinkle over chicken mixture.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Meals/ RECIPES

Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas

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I was told about this recipe from my sweet sister-in-law, Tanya.  I always enjoy asking her what she has made for dinner recently, as she is quite the foodie and great cook.  I also love getting on her Pinterest boards and repinning recipes she has pinned, as she has great taste.

The last time I asked her if she has made any good dinner recipes lately, she told me about this Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas.  She made them on Meat-less Monday & told me they were delicious and well received by her family.

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My ears perked up the minute she said ‘roasted vegetables.’ I love roasting vegetables, so much so that I wrote a whole post about it.  It is a great way to bring out all the amazing flavor of the veggies and it is an easy way to make the whole house smell delicious!  I love that this recipe starts with roasting veggies.

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The recipe comes together so easily.  It is much easier than rolling the typical enchiladas, as you don’t have to worry about the tortillas tearing.

My family loved it, I loved making it, and I’m delighted to have another recipe that will make it into my menu plan regularly.

Thanks to Two Peas In A Pod for sharing the recipe on Pinterest.  I followed her recipe, except I added corn to the recipe and skipped the cilantro and jalapeño. In her post, she talks about how easily this recipe freezes.  I’m not sure I could freeze it after smelling the amazing roasted veggies, but maybe if I doubled the recipe–one to eat and one to freeze–yep, that would work!

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Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas

 

Ingredients:

1 large red pepper, chopped, seeds removed

1 medium zucchini, chopped

1 medium yellow squash, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and Pepper

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 jalapeno, minced (optional, I didn’t use)

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional, I didn’t use)

Salt and Pepper to taste

2 cups enchilada sauce ( I love Trader Joes brand)

9-10 small corn tortillas

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place red pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, and onion on a large baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and toss until vegetables are coated.  Season with salt and pepper.  Roast vegetables for 30-40 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally.  Remove vegetables from oven and let cool to room temperature.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

2. Grease and 8×8 square baking pan and set aside.  In a medium bowl, combine roasted vegetables, black beans, corn, cumin, chili powder, garlic, jalapeño and cilantro.  Stir and season with salt and pepper.

3. Spread 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce into the bottom of the pan.  You might have to cut the tortillas to make them fit.  Top with 1/3 of the vegetable/bean mixture and 1/3 of the cheese.  Make a second layer of tortilla, enchilada sauce, vegetables/beans, and cheese.  Top with a layer of tortillas, enchilada sauce, vegetables/beans, and cheese.  Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray and cover the pan.

4. Bake enchiladas for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the enchiladas are bubbling.  Remove enchiladas from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.  Cut into squares and serve warm.

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I like to serve them with rice. Enjoy~

Featured/ Meals/ RECIPES

Chicken Fried Rice

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This recipe is a new staple at our house.  It tastes better than takeout and is much healthier, too.  You control the amount of oil and it uses brown rice for extra fiber.  It uses ingredients that most would already have on hand, and it is a recipe that the whole family loves and gets excited about.

It is super convenient to have a whole meal in one, as it contains protein from the meat, fiber from the brown rice, and even has your serving of vegetables. The recipe calls for uncooked chicken breast, but if you have leftover, already-cooked chicken, use that and make this meal SUPER easy!

For an extra special meal, try serving this with my Baked Vegetable Egg Rolls.

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Chicken Fried Rice

3 cups cooked long-grain brown rice (preferable leftover rice)

3/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 3/4 inch pieces

1 Tbsp sesame oil, divided

1 Tbsp canola oil (or coconut oil) divided

1 1/3 cups frozen peas and carrots blend

3 green onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 large eggs

3 Tbsp low- sodium soy sauce

Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper

Directions

In a large non-stick wok or skillet, heat 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil and 1 1/2 tsp of canola/coconut oil over medium-high heat.  Once hot, add chicken pieces, season lightly with salt and pepper and salute until cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.

Return skillet to medium-high heat, add remaining 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil and 1/12 tsp canola or coconut oil.  Add peas and carrots blend and green onions and salute 1 minute, then add garlic and salute 1 minute longer. Push veggies to edges of pan, add eggs in center and cook and scramble.  Return chicken to skillet along with rice.  Add in soy sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste.

How-Tos/ Meals/ RECIPES

6 Food Categories For Easy Meal Planning

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I’m off track with my meal planning, and boy, do I miss it.

I never have had an elaborate or complicated meal plan that I followed, but I would sit down once a week, figure out the meals I wanted to make and make a list of the groceries I would need before grocery shopping.  I have not been doing that lately, and it sure shows when it comes time to make dinner.

I’ve decided to get back on track, and have come up with a bit of structure to help me in that.  I know I need to keep things super simple right now in order to succeed, so I came up with some broad categories that will help guide my meal planning and keep our menu well-rounded.

 

Eating Meat

You will notice in the below meal categories that we have added meat back into our diet.  There are several reasons why, but the main reason was how hard it was to get all the nutrients and protein my girls needed without having meat in our diet. They are much more picky of eaters than I am, and it was super hard to find enough plant protein foods that they would eat. I believe for my own personal health and cancer history that less meat is most healthy for me, but my focus this year has been brain health, and I became convinced that my growing girls and their beautiful brains needed more nutrition than what our vegan diet was providing.  Because of this, I added fish, organic chicken, and organic grass-fed beef, and organic eggs back into our diet.  I buy our eggs, beef and chicken local, organic and farm-fresh, which makes it much more expensive, so we still eat much less meat than the average household.

I buy enough meat for us to have one meal of ground beef, chicken and fish.  That takes care of 3 meals of the week.  We love having breakfast for dinner, so that makes 4 meals…throw in a vegetarian meal and some sort of easy pasta dish, and that makes 6 meal categories.  I’m not worrying about having a 7th meal category, as there are always leftovers and we order in food once a week for our Friday family nights.

 

6 Meal Categories + meal ideas:

 

Fish

Seasoned Baked White Fish

Teriyaki Salmon

Fish Sticks

 

Ground Beef

Spaghetti Sauce

Meatloaf

Korean Beef Over Rice

Sloppy Joes

Beef Enchiladas

Mexican Food Pile-On

Tacos

 

Chicken

Chicken Fried Rice

Chicken Noodle Soup

Homemade Popcorn Chicken

Rotisserie Chicken In The Crockpot

Chicken Enchiladas

Hungarian Paprika Chicken

 

Breakfast for Dinner/Eggs

Quiche

Breakfast Casserole

French Toast

Pancakes

Egg Salad Sandwiches

 

Vegetarian 

Lentil Taco Salad

Bean  Burritos w/Homemade Crockpot No-Fry Beans

French Lentil Soup

Stir Fry

Baked Vegetable Egg Rolls

Red Lentil Sloppy Joes

Sesame Chili Udon Noodles

 

Pasta

(I often buy quinoa pasta for the added plant protein benefit)

Easy Tomato Sauce

Tortellini Pesto Soup

Pesto Pasta

Company Pasta

Orzo Pasta With Caramelized Vegetables

 

I think I will like having these categories in the forefront of my mind as I make our my grocery list.  I have a ton of recipes here at New Nostalgia to choose from, but I also love using my Pinterest boards for recipe ideas.

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What about you?

Do you meal plan?  How do you decide what to make each week?

Does it help to break it down into categories?

What are some of your staple dinners?

 

Meals/ RECIPES

Mexican Food Pile On

MEXICAN FOOD PILE ON

This recipe is the perfect recipe for when you are having guests over.  It can all be prepared ahead of time so you can enjoy your guests.  For a larger party, all of the ingredients can be doubled.

The recipe consists of all types of Mexican food toppings & a crockpot full of a meat & bean mixture.  There are 2 ingredients that make the recipe extra special, which I will share with you later in the post.  The foundation of the pile-on is a bed of frito’s, the meat mixture, rice & cheese; but really, your guest can choose to make their Mexican Food Pile On’s any way they would like!

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The first time I had this recipe was at a sweet friends house.  I was so intrigued by 2 of the topping ingredients that she set out among all the typical Mexican toppings.  Sweetened shredded coconut and chopped pecans! I piled the typical Mexican food toppings on, and was brave and added the coconut and pecans.  Boy am I glad I did.  Those two ingredients MADE the dish.  The coconut gives a nice sweetness that compliments the savory and spicy of the rest of the toppings.  The pecans add a nice nutty crunch.

The second time I had this recipe it was at a Christmas Party at my dear mentor’s house.  She had quite a group but was not stressed at all about feeding all of us.  She had it all prepared ahead and we just helped ourselves.  Everyone raved about the recipe and what great party food it was.

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I decided it was time to make it at my home.  We had some great friends over, I made the meat/bean mixture ahead of time, set out the toppings, and it was the easiest entertaining I had done in a long time.

I’ve made this recipe a couple of times just for our family, too.  The kids love it.

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Mexican Pile On

2 lbs ground beef

1 large onion

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 can tomato sauce

1 can tomato paste

1/2 tbsp garlic salt

2 tbsp chili powder

1 can chili beans

Cook ground beef and onions in a frying pan together until meat is no longer pink and onions are nice and soft.  Drain.

Put meat and onions into the crockpot.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir.  Cook 4 hours on low, or put into the refrigerator to cook on party day for 4 hours.

To Serve:

Time to pile it all on! In separate bowls, offer the add-ons of choice & let your guest make their own pile-on’s:

~frito’s (I like to use Trader Joes brand, as it uses organic corn and no high fructose corn syrup)

~rice

~onions

~shredded cheddar cheese

~tomatoes

~lettuce

~black olives

~picante sauce

~sour cream

~guacamole

~jalapenos

~pecans

~coconut (sweet & shredded)

Enjoy!

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GF, Vegan & Raw/ Meals/ RECIPES/ Sides

Spicy Chipotle Tomato Sauce

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by Teniel Moore–Raw Foods Contributor

Want dinner made in way under 10 minutes?

Then keep reading and get the recipe below for my Spicy Chipotle Tomato Sauce.

 

For those of you that follow me on my face book page Addicted To Raw, you will

know that at the beginning of February I went on a raw food cleanse.

 

I eat lots of raw in my diet but not 100% so I like to do reboots like this every few months.

 

This is where I choose to eat raw, almost completely raw (except for a few sneaky chai’s)

but I did admit that to my followers that I am going to have a hot tea if I feel like it.

So I am being naughty!

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I love doing these raw food cleanses because it reminds me of why I love raw food so much. I love the simplicity of it and how I can get so much flavour from my food using all natural ingredients.

It gets me back into experimenting and using my imagination as to what I can come up with.

This raw food cleanse I’ve had an addiction to zucchini noodles and the sauce I made. I must have made this for dinner about 5 nights in a row, so I thought I would share it with you all and hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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Spicy Chipotle Tomato Sauce

Serves 1 (generous serving)

Large handful of cherry tomatoes or about 2 large tomatoes

3 delicious sun dried tomatoes
Generous pinch of himalayan salt
Generous dash of smoked paprika

Generous dash of chipotle powder (I use Frontier brand)

1/2 small knob of garlic
1/4 large red capsicum (red pepper)

Throw all your ingredients into a blender and blend till smooth.I love to give mine a good kick of spice so I am quite heavy-handed with the chipotle.Pour straight over your pasta of choice. To keep it raw I use zucchini noodles or you could use kelp noodles.This would be lovely over cooked gluten-free pasta. also. and don’t forget to throw in additional flavours like olives or basil if you fancy. I have just been enjoying it as is or with a dollop of my cashew cheese on top.

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Its summer over here in Australia so it’s a perfect meal in the heat. If you want it warm you can heat the sauce on the stove or warm in your dehydrator if you have one.

Hope you try out this super easy recipe. Its a great one for a fast lunch or dinner.

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Teniel-Veggies-Resized

Teniel Moore of Addicted To Raw

Raw Foods Contributor

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