Monday Meals: Butternut Squash and Spinach Rice Bowl

This is a spin on last week’s Monday Meal (click here for Zucchini Noodles and Rice).

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. This is no less true than trying to cook for a road trip because of food intolerances. Happily, shredded butternut squash was on sale at Kroger last week, so I snagged a bowl, along with two pounds of beef and a bundle of spinach.

The following recipe makes 4 meals. I ate one as a freshly cooked dinner. The other 3 were simply 1/2 cup each of rice, beef, and shredded butternut squash layered and frozen for my on-the-road meals.

This recipe is great for making lunches or just having a homemade freezer meal to reheat on a busy night. The meals reheat beautifully without losing flavor or getting mushy.

*note: I do not use much added spices to flavor this meal. I relied on the caramelized flavor of the cooked squash and salt to round out the meal. The more I cook simply for my diet, the more I enjoy the distinct flavors of the food itself that can be otherwise masked with other flavors. The savory flavor of the beef with the hint of sweetness from the squash is a great combination.

1. Brown 2 lbs of lean hamburger meat, salted to taste. Save grease and set meat aside to drain/cool.

2. In the same skillet, sauté 2 cups shredded butternut squash in 2 Tbs. of hamburger grease. Season with salt (and ginger, if desired). Cook about 10 minutes on high heat so that the squash is cooked through (but not mushy), and getting some crispy-ness and caramelizad for extra flavor.

3. In a smaller skillet, sauté 1-2 cups of spinach on high heat with 1 Tbs. oil and some salt to taste. Cook about 2-3 minutes, or until desired done-ness.

4. Top 1/2 cup warm, cooked rice with desired amount of beef, squash, and spinach. Divide the remaining beef and squash with rice (see notes above) for freezer meals. Enjoy!

Monday Meals: Spin on Pot Roast

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The chill of winter is almost out of the air here… although I’m told that there is a cold snap coming back.

Pot roast is one of my favorite dishes. For me, it’s comfort food that’s perfect for chasing away a cold, grey day. Also, the flavors are deep and full, which is something I miss on my restricted diet.

As a single working girl it is great for easy meal prep — and cost effective if I can get the meat on sale!

White potatoes are off the menu, as is beef broth (gluten!), so I changed it up a bit:

Pot Roast:

  • 2-3 lb. roast salt and paprika to taste
  • 3 large sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 6-8 carrots peeled and chunked (I really add until the pot is full)
  • 2 parsnips peeled and cubed/chunked

Cooke in a crock pot on low heat for 8-10 hours or high heat 4-6 hours until internal temperature is reached.

When cool, separate into 5-6 containers for lunches for the week. Comfort food at work — can’t say no to that! :)

 

 

Rainy Day Pancakes

Rainy mornings call for pancakes. I wanted to experiment with different flours… trying to get in more fiber, iron, and protein while reducing carbs. After comparing flours, I decided to go with Almond (low carb, good fiber and iron, high fat), oat, and sweet sorghum (higher carb, low fat, good fiber and iron).

Almond Flour Compared to…

General purpose gluten free flour (which is still great for cakes, but I’m trying for “cleaner” baking).

Here were the oh-so-very delicious and filling results.

The recipe:

To make these nut free, use either sorghum or oat flour in place of the almond meal and coconut milk for the almond milk. Also watch the consistency of the batter. Extra milk might be needed with the nut-free version.

I used slightly less than three cups milk for the above recipe.

They bake up so nice and thick, even without a lid on the skillet.

Recipe makes about 18 4-5 inch pancakes. Serving size is pancakes. If you put syrup on them, you might want to go for 2 to start. These are super filling!

Here you can see me trying to figure out the nutrition facts:

Best as I can tell… without factoring in the less than 1tsp. Honey for each pancake, here are some basic facts:

For 3 Pancakes:

419 cal.

15.25 g. fat

60.3 carbs (about 20%)

8.6 g. dietary fiber (about 33%)

13 g. protein

22.7% daily iron

Easy to whip up, even easier to eat! 😋 Enjoy!

Monday Meals: Butternut Squash and Brussel Sprouts

This new quick meal idea is definitely a keeper!

Ingredients:

  • One package shredded butternut squash (mine was one sale for 1.50… otherwise they can be pricy)
  • Cumin
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 package frozen brussel sprouts

Directions:

  • Sauté butternut squash in olive oil. Add salt and cumin to taste. Start off at medium heat until the “noodles” start to get soft, then increase the heat to get it crunchy.
  • Microwave brussel sprouts according to package.

All should be done in 20 min or less. Add in a rotisserie chicken and you have a healthy meal for 2 in no time (or clean up)!

Oat Breakfast Muffin

It’s no secret that I’ve been doing a lot of baking lately… well, the last 4 months. This past week, I thought more about the flour I’ve been using. Four years ago, I was very strict about the flour I used. No blends, no tapioca, no potato flour, no bean flour. Oh, and I definitely didn’t use sweetener outside of honey, fruit, or unsweetened applesauce.

I wanted to get back to that cleaner way of baking and eating. I really do feel better, even though I almost never stray from gluten and dairy free.

I also wanted to get the best deal nutritionally from my flour. (But more about that in a later post.)

All this led me to bring back an old muffin recipe and tweak it just a bit (click for original post). One thing I remember is that the muffins were good, but crumbly and the taste could have been better.

As soon as I tasted the first muffin, I remembered how much I enjoy the taste of honey and the homey, comforting flavor of these flours without the add-ins of a blend. These muffins are so smooth and NOT crumbly, it’ll be hard to eat just one. AND these are dairy-gluten-egg-soy-nut-refined sugar free. It’s a tall order for a muffin, but it comes through!

So, without further ado, Oat Breakfast Muffins!

Oat Breakfast Muffins Recipe:

1 c. Brown Rice Flour

1 1/4 c. Oat flour (plus extra if needed)

1 c. Sweet Sorghum flour

1 scant tsp. salt

1 tsp. Cinnamon

2 tsp. Baking soda

2 c. Unsweetened applesauce

2 Tbs. Apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. Gluten-free vanilla extract

Flax seed egg (2 Tbs. milled flax seed + 2-3 Tbs. cold water and sit for 5 minutes)

2 Tbs. melted coconut oil (plus some for greasing pans)

6 Tbs. raw honey (I *may* have used a bit more)

  • Preheat oven to 380F. Grease pans with the extra coconut oil. (This recipe makes 18 muffins.)
  • Whisk dry ingredients together
  • Add wet ingredients and stir until mixed. If mixture seems loose, add a couple Tbs. of oat flour.
  • Scoop into prepared baking pans. Filled cups 1/2-3/4 full. These muffins don’t rise a whole lot, so keep that in mind.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes.
  • Let set in pan about 10-15 minutes to firm up. Let cool on wire rack or plate.
  • Enjoy as they are, or with honey or fruit spread! Oh, and coffee. ;-)