Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday Menu Plan

Today was our first big snow, and I admit that soup sounds so heavenly!  I had to resist putting it on the menu every night!  Here's what our week looks like:

Monday (pork)
Breakfast: cranberry orange muffins
Lunch: sunbutter and jelly
Dinner: Italian sausage soup, corn muffins

Tuesday (vegan)
Breakfast: pork sausage, cinnamon roasted butternut squash
Lunch: breakfast sausage
Dinner: two bean chili, whole wheat zucchini herb bread

Wednesday ( turkey)
Breakfast: sunbutter coffee cake
Lunch: chili
Dinner: bbq turkey thighs, cauliflower rice, garlicky spinach, applesauce

Thursday (beef)
Breakfast: turkey sausage, sautéed veggies
Lunch: beans and weenies
Dinner: beef stroganoff, pasta, peas, spiced peaches

Friday (fish)
Breakfast: sweet potato hash
Lunch: hummus and veggies
Dinner: almost tuna noodle casserole, green beans

Saturday (pork)
Breakfast: donuts
Lunch: tuna melt
Dinner: ribs, fried cabbage, honey glazed carrots

Sunday (vegan)
Breakfast: bacon, herb roasted potatoes
Lunch: sausage balls
Dinner: potato leek soup, spinach salad with balsamic berries

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Caramel blanketed Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Caramel apples are an iconic fall treat, and feeling a bit of fall in the air this morning, I opted to carry them right into my breakfast.

The apple cinnamon muffin is wonderful on its own, fluffy and light with tidbits of apple in every bite.  Add a bit of caramel sauce drizzled over the top to elevate this into a perfect Sunday brunch treat.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

1 c all purpose flour (*see note for gf)
1/2 c sprouted whole wheat flour (or spelt, or other whole grain option)
1/2 c cane sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/3 c safflower oil (or oil of choice)
1/4 c non-dairy milk of choice + additional as needed
2 Tbsp flax meal + 4 Tbsp warm water, combined and set aside
1 tsp vanilla
1 c grated apple (Do this with the large holes on a box grater to avoid mush, or chop fine.)

Caramel Sauce (borrowed from here)

1/2 c Earth Balance soy free margarine
1 c light brown sugar
1/2 c maple syrup (the real stuff)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

For the muffins:
Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine evenly. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl and stir to combine.  Add wet to dry and stir to mix well.  Depending on how juicy your apple was, you may need to add up to 1/3 c of additional milk to achieve a moist muffin batter.  Spoon into lined muffin cups and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Now make your caramel sauce!

For the caramel sauce:
Combine the butter, brown sugar and maple syrup in a heavy bottomed sauce pan.  Heat over medium heat and stir to combine.  Once fully combined, step away!  Do not stir.  Allow mixture to come to a boil, and boil gently without stirring for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the salt, soda and vanilla.  Drizzle (or pour- it's your muffin!) immediately over warm muffins.  This sauce will harden as it cools, so make sure to pour warm!  You may also add 1/4 c of the milk of your choice after pulling it off the heat to increase the creaminess and prevent the sauce from getting as stiff upon cooling.

Eat and enjoy!

*Note: for gluten free muffins you can substitute gluten free all purpose flour of your choice, and 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum.  I like to use 1/2 c sprouted millet flour, 1/2 c sprouted sorghum flour, 1/4 c potato starch, and 1/4 c tapioca starch for the flour mix in this recipe.

This recipe is dairy free, egg free, nut free, soy free, vegan, can be gluten free, and fully delicious.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

Down and dirty, here is the plan for the upcoming week.  (Subject to change based on market specials of course.)

Monday (beef)
Breakfast: pumpkin muffins
Lunch: turkey slices
Dinner: chili bake

Tuesday (fish)
Breakfast: blueberry muffins
Lunch: beans and weenies
Dinner: honey sesame salmon, cauliflower rice, roasted beets

Wednesday (pork)
Breakfast: zucchini muffins
Lunch: sunbutter and jelly
Dinner: Italian sausage, pasta with marinara, peas

Thursday (vegan)
Breakfast: sausage balls, fruit
Lunch: pepperoni "lunchables"
Dinner: carrot ginger soup, berry spinach salad

Friday (turkey)
Breakfast: green tea muffins with cranberries
Lunch: hummus and veggie wraps
Dinner: mulligatawny soup

Saturday (beef)
Breakfast: turkey sausage and roasted veggies
Lunch: on your own
Dinner: chipotle shepherd's pie with sweet potato crust

Sunday (fish)
Breakfast: cinnamon rolls, green smoothie
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: crispy baked lemon cod, garlicky spinach, lemon pepper pasta

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Dear Strong Mama, a note of Thanksgiving

Dear Strong Mama,

I've never said it to you, but you inspire me.  You get me through days when life is hard, and heavy.

I watch you show up everyday.  I watch you balance the challenges of your own life, plus those of caring for a child with challenges of her own.  Some days you look tired, and I know you didn't get any time to yourself to replenish your tank.  But you still show up.

Some days you talk and share a window into your day.  And it's real.  It's your life, your experience.  I'm amazed at how much you can see in a positive light, and I love it.  I appreciate it more because it's not a front that you hide behind, and you do share less than shining moments.  They don't claim your focus, and you don't dwell in the world of pessimism.

Thank you for modeling how to do that.  How to see the sunlight more often than the shadows.  How to be strong in the face of opposition.

We've haven't talked often.  I know you have no idea how much influence you have had on my life.  How watching you go through your day with such courage and authenticity gives me the courage to face my own challenges.  How seeing the huge hurdles in your life gives me perspective on the hurdles in my own life.

I'm so glad that you asked for support when you needed it.  I am honored that I was able to put a hand out and offer support to you in a dark moment, after getting support from you for so long.  I know that I didn't sign my name.  I think it is fitting to support you quietly, without asking for attention or recognition, the same way that you have been supporting me.

Thank you, Strong Mama.  Thanks for being my support, and living an example that helps me to wade through life's hard days.  Keep on, I'll be over here cheering for you quietly.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

And another week rolled by, fast and furious!  In preparation for the upcoming one, I have my meal plan.  It's really quite hard to believe how much this little habit helps me to maintain my sanity when the day is long and bumpy.

Monday (vegan)
Breakfast: apple cinnamon muffins
Lunch: apples and sunbutter
Dinner: Bharta, quinoa pasta, peas (this is held over from last night as our dinner plans changed!)

Tuesday (turkey)
Breakfast: lemon sesame muffins
Lunch: hummus wraps with shredded veggies
Dinner: turkey sloppy joe over baked potatoes, roasted orange peel broccoli, melon

Wednesday (beef)
Breakfast: turkey sausage and veggie saute
Lunch: sloppy joe
Dinner: beef stew, quinoa, garlicky spinach, mandarin oranges

Thursday (fish)
Breakfast: beef sausage and cinnamon roasted butternut squash
Lunch: beef stew
Dinner: fish tacos and corn cake

Friday (pork)
Breakfast: cranberry orange muffins
Lunch: sunbutter and jelly
Dinner: italian sausage soup, melon

Saturday (vegan)
Breakfast: bacon, herb roasted potatoes and pepers
Lunch: raid the leftovers!
Dinner: vegetable soup, zucchini herb bread

Sunday (turkey)
Breakfast: pumpkin waffles with cranberry syrup
Lunch: vegetable soup and grilled cheese
Dinner: corn dogs, green beans, pears

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

It's the last week in October!  That means planning for Halloween happens along with menu planning.  I have my teal pumpkin ready to put out, and a bowl of non-food treats to share for those little tricksters that prefer them.  There will be candy too of course!  We can't leave anyone's favorite tradition out.  (For more about why I have a teal pumpkin check here.)

Let's get this plan rolling!

Monday (pork)
Breakfast: sweet potato muffins
Lunch: sunbutter and jelly sandwich
Dinner: italian sausage with onion and peppers, green beans

Tuesday (vegan)
Breakfast: quinoa apple bake (doesn't that sound healthier than apple crisp?), pork sausage
Lunch: ham wraps
Dinner: lentil sniffle soup, herbed whole wheat zucchini bread

Wednesday (turkey)
Breakfast: honey parsnip muffins, green smoothie
Lunch: sniffle soup
Dinner: turkey pot pie

Thursday (beef)
Breakfast: turkey sausage, sautéed veggies
Lunch: turkey dogs
Dinner: burgers on buns, roasted sweet potatoes

Friday (fish)
Breakfast: black bean sweet potato hash
Lunch: burgers
Dinner: fish tacos, garlicky spinach

Saturday (pork)
Breakfast: on your own
Lunch: taco pasta salad
Dinner: bacon pizza

Sunday (vegan)
Breakfast: bacon pancakes
Lunch: TBD
Dinner: Bharta, quinoa, peas

Of course, I will fill in the holes with market specials this week.  I may adjust veggies listed to use the sale items as well.  Most recipes that I have linked to are the originals, and do not reflect my tweaks for our personal dietary preferences and restrictions.

I hope your trick or treat goes boo-tifally!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bridging the Gap

A pediatric allergist I know recently attended the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference (FABlogcon) and one of his take aways is that the medical community has a lot that they can learn from the allergy community, this is not just a one way street.

I love that.

I agree so wholeheartedly that the medical field has an invaluable pool of knowledge about how to manage allergies, but I love hearing that perhaps the knowledge could flow two ways.  I think that as a community we spend many hours educating ourselves on how to keep our allergic children, family members, and our selves safe.  We know the practical applications of living with allergy that can elude those who don't live with it.

And?  Sometimes, for those of us on the public side of allergy, who chose to be advocates and educators, we have more well rounded knowledge.  We read studies as they are published, we read journal articles, we stay abreast of emerging knowledge in the allergy field.  The medical community is often abreast of this part of the knowledge.  We also know what new products are being launched, where the allergy friendly bakeries are, how to substitute recipe ingredients, and the latest word on 504 accommodations, and how to survive the holidays.  Keeping our family alive and healthy is very much our field, so we learn a lot about the whole picture, the practical application and the theory.

I would love to see a stronger community form. I would love to see allergists that are more involved in the local conversations.  I know that personally I have not had great success getting past the gatekeepers (the secretaries and office managers) to get to the doctors and invite them to be a greater part of the conversation.  We invite every allergist every year to be part of our Walk for Food Allergy, so that they can join the community and not only be seen, but SEE.  What it looks like to come together as a community and be surrounded by people who understand.  How it feels to find that support and grow connections.  The community turns out and revels in finding a whole population of locals who "get it".

The medical community is missing out on being part of this conversation, part of this community.  We can support each other in so many ways, and the conversation is just beginning.

How do you include the medical professionals in your community in the conversation?