Menu Plan Monday

curry chick peas & naan (trader joe's has the best)
or I could try this atta or pakora (when I was in the south of India they served this on top of a large crepe and topped it with a fried egg and it was delicious
spinach lasagne (ravioli)
I have a super easy recipe I'll post the day I make this
leftovers with roasted veggies (I steamed and roasted the potatoes and added a couple of bags of mixed frozen veggies with chestnuts, brocoli, peppers & snap whole crew loved it, I should've made more coz the baby missed out (he was sleeping).....yeh you snooze you looze in this house!
Last week I did something I don't normally do with our leftovers. I usually do leftovers Friday or Saturday night, so I don't have to do much cooking...but this time I had Indian Chicken leftover and made some roasted veggies on the side, and the leftover beef stew with some frozen steamed veggies, so we got 2 good dinners out of them. I am definitely going to keep doing worked so well.
You don't know how thankful I am that we have food stamps for the moment. Can you believe the amount they've given us is about 3 times what we normally spend on food each month. We went to Costco and stocked up on all the pantry items, chicken. Hopefully i'll find some meat on sale this week and get a few more things we need, then I won't have to buy much except bread, milk & produce each week. It is a little harder living without 'John's farm'....where I've been buying nearly everything between 39c - 99c a lb...but I'm sure we'll manage.

Beef and Sweet Potato Pan Roast

Thank you, Elizabeth for mention Mr Lents' book. As interesting as it sounded, the thought of involuntarily having to live like that....well....let's just say it doesn't appeal to me. And I don't consider myself a fussy person...I travelled in India for 2 months on about $2 a day (that included accommodation) and I was as happy as Larry (whoever he be).

I'm glad to say, we've been rescued by the Government (now you can't say they're not good for anything)...and have food stamps to carry us thru the next month or two.

In the meantime...I've been thinking more along the lines of good ol steak & staple diet. I snagged this from the BGH's site, seeing as they were considerate enough to send it straight to my mail box...and I noticed it didn't have many herbs and spices, which I have depleted in the process of turning mush to gourmet.


1 Tbsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp. bottled roasted minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 lb. medium orange and/or white sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch wedges
4 6- to 8-oz. beef shoulder petite tenders or 1-1/2 to 2 lb. beef tenderloin
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 recipe Chopped Parsley Topping


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a bowl combine Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, and crushed red pepper. Stir in olive oil. Divide seasoning mixture between two large self-sealing plastic bags. Place sweet potatoes in one bag; shake to coat potatoes. Spread potatoes in a single layer on greased shallow roasting pan. Roast, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, place beef tenders in remaining bag. Shake to coat. In a skillet brown beef tenders over medium-high heat, turning to brown evenly. Stir sweet potatoes in roasting pan and push to edges of pan. Place beef tenders in center of pan. Roast, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes; roast 10 to 15 minutes more or until instant-read thermometer inserted in center of thickest part of tenders registers 145 degrees F for medium-rare or 160 degrees F for medium doneness. Let stand for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with Chopped Parsley Topping. Makes 6 servings.

3. Chopped Parsley Topping: Stir together 1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley; 2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel; 2 cloves garlic, minced; and 1/8 teaspoon salt.

4. Test Kitchen Tip: To substitute beef tenderloins for shoulder petite tenders, prepare potatoes and meat as at left, except do not roast potatoes before adding beef. Place browned tenderloin in center of greased roasting pan. Place potato wedges around pan edges. Roast, uncovered, 30 to 35 minutes for medium-rare (140 degrees F) or 40 to 45 minutes for medium (155 degrees F). Let stand for 5 minutes before carving beef.
5. Beef Shoulder Petite Tenders: The versatile petite tender is relatively new to the market. This juicy, lean cut from the top of the shoulder requires little or no marinating. Serve it roasted, grilled, or stir-fried. Each tender serves two.

Approx costs $12
serves 9


I was happy to find a little salad left in the frig, so I collected all the ingredients and made the best frittata ever! Here's what was in it.

chopped onion
chopped orange pepper
crumbed feta cheese
grape tomatoes, halved
arugula & spinach
salt, pepper, oregano

It was so good all of it didn't even make it to my plate!

Tender-Crisp Spring Braise

I'm thinking this would make a nice change to chicken noodle soup.


3 Tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. new potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
4 small carrots with tops, trimmed and diagonally cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cups mushrooms, halved (12 oz.)
1 large onion, cut in thin wedges
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut in 1-1/2-inch pieces
2 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into strips
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp. snipped fresh tarragon


1. In extra-large nonstick skillet heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat Evenly layer potatoes and carrots in skillet. Cook, uncovered, 5 minutes, until potatoes are golden, turning once. Add mushrooms and onions. Cook 5 to 6 minutes, until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring often. Add garlic and asparagus; cook 3 minutes. Transfer vegetables to bowl; set aside.

2. In same skillet heat remaining oil. Sprinkle chicken with half the salt and pepper. Cook chicken in hot oil about 3 minutes, until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add broth; bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 3 minute or until no pink remains. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in cooked vegetables; heat through. Stir in snipped tarragon and remaining salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.
from BHG - for more one pot chicken dinners

Quails falling from the sky?

Well....almost. My hubby was at Costco a couple of days ago and loe & behold what did he find? 2 chickens in a package, sitting in the parking lot.

So I put one in the pot and made some braised chicken.

This is a yummy recipe, one that somehow come over with me from Australia over 20 years ago. I lost the recipe but fortunately I remembered how to make it. My family loves it.

served with skillet corn bread


1 chicken (or pieces)
chicken stock
3/4 cup balsalmic vinegar
1 can tomatoes
snow peas
2 bay leaves
salt & pepper


Generously smother the chicken with crushed garlic, oregano salt & pepper. Brown on both sides in a pan. Add to pot remainder ingredients, except peas. Cover & simmer approximately 3/4 hr. Take lid off and cook 10 minutes for sauce to thicken. Add peas, cook for five minutes and serve.

I usually serve this with couscous, but last night I made mashed potatoes and substituted the canned tomatoes with tomato sauce & sundried tomatoes which was also very good.

It was nice to have a fuller meal after eating this this week. Have to say it's been easier on the cooking side.

Creole-Style Oven Hash Browns

I used the following recipe for my hash browns.


6 large red-skinned potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning or 1 additional teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup olive oil


Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook potatoes in medium pot of boiling salted water until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well. Spread potatoes on heavy large baking sheet. Sprinkle with paprika, chili powder and Creole seasoning. Season with salt. Drizzle olive oil over potatoes and stir to coat.

Bake potatoes until crisp, turning with metal spatula every 10 minutes, about 40 minutes.

Grilled Salmon Cakes with Lemon Mayonnaise


1 cup plus 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
6 green onions (2 minced, 4 cut into 4-inch lengths)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/4 cup (packed) chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 1/4 pounds skinless salmon fillets, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) or fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless French bread
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Olive oil


Whisk 1 cup mayonnaise, 2 minced green onions, lemon juice, and grated lemon peel in small bowl to blend. Season lemon mayonnaise to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

Combine remaining 4 green onions and chopped parsley in food processor; blend until finely chopped. Add cubed salmon, Dijon mustard, and remaining 1 tablespoon mayonnaise. Using on/off turns, blend until salmon is coarsely chopped. Transfer salmon mixture to large bowl. Mix in breadcrumbs, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. With moistened hands and using about 1/3 cupful for each, shape salmon mixture into 8 patties, each about 1/2 inch thick. Brush both sides of salmon cakes with olive oil.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Grill salmon cakes to desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium. Divide patties among 4 plates. Serve lemon mayonnaise alongside.

Every diet

Here's a fun can get your exercise for the day....(just one) and
you'll find reviews on every diet out there...just in case you ever wondered if
it would really work.

Weekly Menu - Emergency Menu

Well, the rubber's hitting the road this week...I'm going to be challenged (which is nothing new). I shopped 2 weeks ago...with $100. I bought fresh fruit & veggies, a steak, pork, canned salmon, flour. My husband hasn't worked for 2 months so the funds are depleted. We received 2 bags of food from our church, and they have the menu & recipes, so waste not want not....I figured I'd post it all this week, maybe someone else will be facing this challenge and find it helpful.

From the church we have
2 bags rice
4 cans kidney beans
4 cans black beans
1 box raisins
1 packet pasta shells
a bunch of dried chicken soup
1 can campbells chicken soup
4 cans tomato sauce
2 boxes kraft mac & cheese
2 tins powdered milk
4 cans vienna sausage
2 cans spam

I have on hand
2 cans salmon
some organic salad
fresh green beans
1 bag frozen corn
2 yellow peppers
green onions
1lb carrots
1 package cranberry bread pudding
   compliments of Tami
2 eggs
sour cream
some frozen peppers & tomatoes
1 apple
a couple of bananas
1 cresent bread

dh bought tonight at Costco
1 bag brown sugar
2 gallons milk
1 3lb loaf of bread
2 lbs cheese

Heres a rough menu

mueslie with grated apple
ww pancakes

banana sandwiches
toasted cheese sandwiches
pb & jelly sandwiches
egg salad sandwiches
cucumber & salmon sandwiches

my kids eat more when they come home from school than any other time of the day
rice pudding
cranberry bread pudding

I made some sofrita for the beans & rice tonight and cooked the green beans
fried rice, made with the spam, eggs, salad, green onions, peas
or I could use the spam as kebabs if I have pineapple, with peppers & onions
mac & cheese with tuna & corn
chicken soup

I don't know what to do with the vienna sausages. My toddler may eat some. My son suggested making mini hot dogs with them using cresent rolls.

Last time I had spam we made these...

and the kids loved them. (I just did a quick search to find the recipe and're gonna love this....spam.) Epicurious has a recipe too....and just in case you are craving more I noticed Top Chef featured a recipe with spam which was a winner! Who knew!

Hope to buy
chop meat

click to enlarge

Lentil Soup


1 lb lentils
1 onion
4 medium tomatoes
1 parsnips
2 carrots chopped
1 tablespoon each thyme, basil, oregano
salt & pepper
Mrs Dash (if you have)


I made this the other night before our blizzard, I literally threw all the ingredients in the pot and we went out shopping (my husband doesn't give me much warning) it cooked for 3 hrs. Great to come home to a hot pot of soup. Great served with corn bread.

Tomato tip - If you're luck enough to get very cheap tomatoes or grow your own and find you have excess, you can throw them in the freezer and add them whole to you dish. They break down nicely and you can remove the skin if it's not desired. Much healthier than the canned variety.

Children's Diseases Linked to Chemicals Are on the Rise

This is an excellent article and just too important to ignore. 

Posted by: Dr. Mercola
October 24 2009

Chronic childhood diseases linked to exposure to toxic chemicals in the environment have been surging upward, costing the U.S. almost $55 billion a year.

There are 3,000 high-volume chemicals used today; for roughly half, there is no basic toxicity information publicly available. For the past six to eight years, national surveys have found these chemicals present in the blood and urine of practically everyone in the U.S.

Asthma can result from a range of environmental factors, including tobacco smoke, pesticides, mold and cockroach droppings. Cancer in children has been linked to exposure to radiation, solvents, paints and pesticides.

Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel October 1, 2009
Dr. Mercola's Comments:

There are about 75,000 chemicals regularly manufactured and imported by U.S. industries, and of the 3,000 high-volume chemicals (over 1 million pounds per year) used, about half have no basic toxicity information available. What this likely means is that no one knows whether commonly used chemicals all around you … in your food, water, and air … are safe.

And unfortunately it is our future generations who will pay the price for this lack of safety concern.

Pregnant women may be most at risk from environmental chemicals, as an embryo and fetus develop at a much faster rate than adults. While this development occurs, cell division and growth is rapid -- and these rapid changes provide many opportunities for mistakes to occur.

What Happens When Fetuses, Babies and Children are Exposed to Toxins?

If a baby is exposed to numerous toxic compounds in utero, changes may occur that either directly cause cancer, or lengthen the period of sensitivity to carcinogens, therefore making the child more susceptible to cancer, and other diseases, later in life.

Babies are actually born at considerable risk nowadays due to the toxic load of their mothers. One study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that blood samples from newborns contained an average of 287 toxins, including mercury, fire retardants, pesticides, and Teflon chemicals.

Of the 287 chemicals EWG detected in umbilical cord blood, it’s known that:

180 cause cancer in humans or animals

217 are toxic to your brain and nervous system

208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests

Children, meanwhile, experience greater exposure to chemicals pound-for-pound than adults, and have an immature and porous blood-brain barrier, which allows greater chemical exposures to reach their developing brain.

Children also have lower levels of some chemical-binding proteins, according to EWG, which allows more of a chemical to reach their organs, while systems that detoxify and excrete chemicals in adults are not fully developed. These factors, coupled with the fact that a child will be around for 80 years or more, allows more than enough time for chemicals to do their damage signals a major challenge for kids born today.

Experts believe rising rates of birth defects, asthma, neuro-developmental disorders and other serious diseases in U.S. children are a result of these early chemical exposures.

How are Children Being Exposed to Chemicals?

Like adults, children are exposed to chemicals every day. During pregnancy, many chemicals are passed on to newborns either in utero or through breast milk, and once born contaminants are literally everywhere … in your home, food, water and air.

In an average day, children are exposed to 61 chemicals in personal care products alone, 27 of which have not been found safe for kids, according to a national survey by EWG.

This means that the simple acts of shampooing your baby’s hair, giving him a bath and putting on some lotion, several times a week or more, is exposing him to chemicals that could very well harm his health. Even though they are likely small exposures at each bath time, over time these exposures add up and may contribute to disease … and the same scenario goes for chemicals that exist all around you.

Of course, this does not mean that the only safe option is to live in a bubble. Awareness is the first step, and I suggest you first become aware of some of the most ubiquitous toxins and begin taking the steps you can to avoid them …

10 of the Most Common Environmental Toxins and How to Avoid Them

1. PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls): This industrial chemical has been banned in the United States for decades, yet is a persistent organic pollutant that's still present in your environment.

Risks: Cancer, impaired fetal brain development

Major Source: Farm-raised salmon and other farm-raised fish. Most farm-raised salmon, which accounts for most of the supply in the United States are fed meals of ground-up fish that have absorbed PCBs from the environment and for this reason should be avoided.

2. Pesticides: According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 60 percent of herbicides, 90 percent of fungicides and 30 percent of insecticides are known to be carcinogenic. Alarmingly, pesticide residues have been detected in 50 percent to 95 percent of U.S. foods.

Risks: Cancer, Parkinson's disease, miscarriage, nerve damage, birth defects, blocking the absorption of food nutrients

Major Sources: Food (fruits, vegetables and commercially raised meats and dairy products), bug sprays

3. Mold and other Fungal Toxins: One in three people have had an allergic reaction to mold. Mycotoxins (fungal toxins) can cause a range of health problems with exposure to only a small amount.

Risks: Cancer, heart disease, asthma, multiple sclerosis, diabetes

Major Sources: Contaminated buildings, food like peanuts, wheat, corn and alcoholic beverages

4. Phthalates: These chemicals are used to lengthen the life of fragrances and soften plastics.

Risks: Endocrine system damage (phthalates chemically mimic hormones and are particularly dangerous to children)

Major Sources: Plastic wrap, plastic bottles, plastic food storage containers. All of these can leach phthalates into our food.

5. VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds): VOCs are a major contributing factor to ozone, an air pollutant. According to the EPA, VOCs tend to be even higher (two to five times) in indoor air than outdoor air, likely because they are present in so many household products.

Risks: Cancer, eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, visual disorders, and memory impairment

Major Sources: Drinking water, carpet, paints, deodorants, cleaning fluids, varnishes, cosmetics, dry cleaned clothing, moth repellants, air fresheners.

6. Dioxins: Chemical compounds formed as a result of combustion processes such as commercial or municipal waste incineration and from burning fuels (like wood, coal or oil).

Risks: Cancer, reproductive and developmental disorders, chloracne (a severe skin disease with acne-like lesions), skin rashes, skin discoloration, excessive body hair, mild liver damage

Major Sources: Animal fats: Over 95 percent of exposure comes from eating commercial animal fats, so seek out grass-fed, naturally raised, organic animal foods instead.

7. Asbestos: This insulating material was widely used from the 1950s to 1970s. Problems arise when the material becomes old and crumbly, releasing fibers into the air.

Risks: Cancer, scarring of the lung tissue, mesothelioma (a rare form of cancer)

Major Sources: Insulation on floors, ceilings, water pipes and healing ducts from the 1950s to 1970s.

8. Heavy Metals: Metals like arsenic, mercury, lead, aluminum and cadmium, which are prevalent in many areas of our environment, can accumulate in soft tissues of the body.

Risks: Cancer, neurological disorders, Alzheimer's disease, foggy head, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, decreased production of red and white blood cells, abnormal heart rhythm, damage to blood vessels

Major Sources: Drinking water, fish, vaccines, pesticides, preserved wood, antiperspirant, building materials, dental amalgams, chlorine plants

9. Chloroform: This colorless liquid has a pleasant, nonirritating odor and a slightly sweet taste, and is used to make other chemicals. It's also formed when chlorine is added to water.

Risks: Cancer, potential reproductive damage, birth defects, dizziness, fatigue, headache, liver and kidney damage.

Major Sources: Air, drinking water and food can contain chloroform.

10. Chlorine: This highly toxic, yellow-green gas is one of the most heavily used chemical agents.

Risks: Sore throat, coughing, eye and skin irritation, rapid breathing, narrowing of the bronchi, wheezing, blue coloring of the skin, accumulation of fluid in the lungs, pain in the lung region, severe eye and skin burns, lung collapse, reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS) (a type of asthma)

Major Sources: Household cleaners, drinking water (in small amounts), air when living near an industry (such as a paper plant) that uses chlorine in industrial processes, tap water in your shower/bath.

You should also look out for bisphenol A (BPA), a common ingredient in many plastics, including those in reusable water bottles and resins lining some food cans and dental sealants that can change the course of fetal development in a way that increases your risk of breast cancer.

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), meanwhile, found in grease- and water-resistant coatings and cookware like Teflon and Gore-Tex, is a likely carcinogen that can be partly avoided by not using Teflon non-stick cookware.

10 Simple, Common Sense Tips to Reduce Your Chemical Exposures (and Your Child’s)

Rather than lamenting over past toxic exposure to yourself or your family it is far healthier to take control over that which you can positively influence, such as your diet, your physical fitness, your emotional state, and your current and future exposure to toxins.

You can limit your exposure to environmental chemicals as much as possible with the following tips:

Buy and eat, as much as possible, organic produce and free-range, organic foods.

Rather than eating fish, which is largely contaminated with PCBs and mercury, consume a high-quality purified krill oil.

Avoid processed foods -- remember that they're processed with chemicals!

Only use natural cleaning products in your home. Most health food stores will have these available or you can search online for them.

Switch over to natural brands of toiletries, including shampoo, toothpaste, antiperspirants and cosmetics. Same sources here, either your local health food store or you can search online.

Avoid spraying insect repellants that contain DEET on your body. There are safe, effective and natural alternatives out there.

Remove any metal fillings. Amalgams are a major source of mercury and any metal, including gold, can cause biogalvanism. Be sure to have this done by a qualified biological dentist. Although nearly any dentist is technically qualified to replace your amalgam fillings, far less than 95 percent have any clue on how to do it properly so your risk of mercury exposure is minimized.

Avoid using artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners or other synthetic fragrances as they can pollute the air you are breathing.

Avoid artificial food additives of all kind, including artificial sweeteners and MSG.

Limit your use of drugs (prescription and over-the-counter) as much as possible. Drugs are chemicals too, and they will leave residues and accumulate in your body over time.

Finally, Dr. Doris J. Rapp, MD, board-certified as both an environmental medical specialist and pediatric allergist, has a web site,, that is an excellent resource for anyone interested in avoiding environmental toxins.

I highly recommend browsing through her site for more information, and also reading Dr. Rapp’s intriguing book Our Toxic World: A Wake Up Call. It contains many insights that can protect you and your family from the toxins that are so common in your environment.

Ten Minute Enchilada Sauce


1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons self-rising flour
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion salt
salt to taste


Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until lightly brown, stirring constantly to prevent burning flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion salt into the flour and chili powder until smooth, and continue cooking over medium heat approximately 10 minutes, or until thickened slightly. Season to taste with salt.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

I've added this yummy recipe to my book from Elizabeth at The Last Door Down the Hall.

This is great on grilled shrimp salad!

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped green chile, jalapeno or chipotle pepper
2 tablespoons honey or sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil


In a blender, pulse the lime juice, vinegar, garlic, chile, honey, salt, and cilantro to a puree. With the machine running slowly add the oil to emulsify. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Whisk before serving to make sure all is mixed.

This is also a good marinator for steaks and chicken.