Weekly (well mostly) Meal Plan 7/13-7/19

So, yeah, you might have noticed I haven’t done this for a while. Sorry about that. I mean it – I’m really sorry. We have been in the best kind of whirlwind with school ending, quite a bit of traveling, home renovations, big positive decisions, and friends having babies. See what I mean? Okay, without details it probably doesn’t sound like a lot, but I can assure you that you wanted no part of any meal plan I might have been able to offer these past few weeks.

And now we are home. I have beaten back the weeds (and the cucumbers which were choking the tomatoes) in the garden. I have reclaimed the patio from the weeds and moss (um hello, what is with all the freaking rain?!) and mowed the lawn several times. I’ve done the loads of laundry that result from travel and chaos. I’ve gotten the kids working on the summer math program their school (insert curse words anywhere in the preceding phrase for accuracy) recommended over the summer to prevent summer learning loss. I’ve earned the dog’s forgiveness for his first kennel experience and I’ve admitted that it’s possible that I’ve endured yet another hormone shift that makes my metabolism something less than the wonder that it used to be. As you can see, much of my business has been internal and a little crazy. It’s okay to think it. I’m aware. But I’m home. And I’m finding my compass. And all is well, and in fact better for having visited amazing seashores, distant relatives, friends who are chosen family, and discovered that my kids are actually funny and interesting people. Funny and interesting people who still need to eat, so in order to cease this unrequested and unwarranted vomitous revelation, I shall get on with planning the week of the return to normalcy.

Monday: Lentil Casserole, sauteed zucchini, green salad, zucchini bread for dessert

Tuesday: Zucchini “Crab” Cakes, Grilled Corn, Sauteed Green Beans

Wednesday: Power Tabbouleh; Lentils, Potatoes, and Tomatoes; Green Salad

Thursday: Dinner at Beans in the Belfry before singing a little

Friday: Homemade pizza, cut veggies

Saturday: Zucchini boats with quinoa and vegan sausage (I’ll let you know and yes, we have a LOT of zucchini this year)

Sunday: Homemade pasta, pesto, green salad

Lunchbox Treats: HAHAHAHAHA! Okay, I will be toting some zucchini bread bits around.

Adult Lunches: These now include the children and I’m realizing my planning is entirely inadequate in this arena. More on this topic later, maybe… we’ll see.

I sincerely hope you’ve been having as much fund as I have and have perhaps been faced with exactly the number of life altering decisions that you are comfortable with. Eat well, be well friends.

Homemade weed killer

I used to spray Round-up on a myriad of undesirables…. poison ivy, ailanthus trees (known in some optimistic places as ‘tree of heaven’ and some realistic ones as ‘stink tree’), and dandelions.  Round Up was touted as safe for the environment and gardens.  Well, apparently that was hooey (to be optimistic) or lies covering up a cancerous agent, and since then Monsanto has been hauled up in the court of public opinion and found wanting in oh so many ways, ethics being the main deficit.

So when Super-Step Mom was looking for a better way to kill weeds in the gravel driveway, we did a little asking around, a little searching and settled on an easy formula that has indeed done the trick!  I can not find the original recipe that I followed (sorry whoever you were) but there are MANY versions of this out there.  Here is one that is close: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/158400111867245686/

Here is what I used:

Natural and Cheap Herbicide

1 gallon of white vinegar
1 cup of salt
1 Tbsp of liquid dish soap

Combine all ingredients in a bucket and stir until the salt is dissolved and the soap is dispersed and not clumpy.  Pour into your favorite sprayer – I like this one because I look like the tough chick from ‘Alien’

G8oGPqxQhi0dVw3q2M9AEhTCMFa92Lfa5PUkl6-1-Ig=w333-h592-noWell, maybe a little……

Spray only on plants you want to kill!!  This is not a good middle of your garden bed spray because apparently it will be awhile before anything grows back.  We used it to keep the gravel driveway mostly gravel 😉

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It works best when the sun is shining on the plant and although the website said it could take a couple of days, it took hours for the plants in the sun to reach the sorry looking state you see above.  How wonderful to find yet another way to decrease the nastier chemicals in the world, save money and get the job done!!!

For some other kinder, gentler gardening mixtures check out our post ‘Gentle Garden Arsenal

Eat well, be well & garden well!

Squash Browns (sounds like Hash Browns)

I saw this term somewhere recently and thought, “Hmmmm.”  Now there’s a good idea.  Substituting squash for potato and cutting down on the grease sounds great.  But how to do that and still have some crispiness?  And how to do that without standing over a hot stove in the middle of the summer?  And can I actually make this for breakfast?

I think I have a good answer for 2 of those dilemma and even though I’m not a fan of gastronomic or musical meatloaf, ‘2 out of 3 ain’t bad’.  In fact it’s actually good if it get’s more veggies on the table with less effort.

As far as not standing over a hot stove goes, there is nothing like roasting.  It still gets hot near that oven, but I am not standing there!  I chop, drizzle or coat with oil and spices, put it in the oven and move on to some other task, even if it is sitting down with some PMS tea….. all by myself….. wonder why no one is sitting with me?

As far as the crispiness goes…. my son recently found a bag of packaged croutons in the pantry.  Ooooh – like crack to someone who doesn’t get white bread.  I mean, really they are almost like Dorito’s – crispy with flavor powder sprinkled on top.  He keeps asking to have salads, so there is a definite silver lining to that cloud, but the idea of croutons jumped out as a crispy addition to squash browns and they can be made the same way as roasted vegetables, using your bread and spices of choice:  Chop, drizzle or coat with oil and spice, pop in the oven and walk away…. although not for as long!!

As for the making it for breakfast, well it depends on how much time you have, but as this recipe happens at high heat, it doesn’t really take that long.

So, I give you my version of Squash Browns

1 sweet onion (I used a rather large onion because I love onion – your choice!)
2 medium tender yellow squash
2 slices of Ezekiel bread or other whole grain, hearty bread
garlic salt and/or garlic pepper and/or seasonings you’d like to try
1 – 2 Tbsp high heat oil like avocado

Pre-heat oven to 450
Chop onions, yellow squash and bread into squares
20150630_173027 Now, I tossed them all together and ended up removing the bread during roasting because bread browns much more quickly than squash and onions, so…..
Toss your onions and squash with 2/3 of the oil and spices
Place on tray and place in the oven for about 15 – 20 minutes.  Roasting time depends on how big you cut your chunks and your taste in tenderness and browning.

While the squash and onions are roasting, toss the bread cubes with oil and spices, then go drink your tea 🙂
When your squash and onions are getting close to tender and brown, add the bread cubes and stir it all together.
Continue roasting to taste, but it’s really good if you stir once and let the bread cubes get crispy on several sides.

20150630_180104

 

It will take another 5 – 10 minutes to brown the bread.

Eat it up, nice and hot, maybe things aren’t as bad as you thought
– Garrison Keillor’s rhubarb pie song from A Prairie Home Companion radio show.

It’s not rhubarb pie, but I thought these were awesome.  One of the squash I used was a little tough on the outside and this does not translate so well into the roasting process (unless you peel it and I am an anti-peeler), so I highly recommend using tender young summer squash for this.  I did my experimenting with this recipe in the evening, so we did not have it as part of a healthy breakfast, but!  It certainly could be….. in fact today is Friday, so there are 2 mornings where I’ll have a little more time, maybe we’ll try them out on Sweetie Dad and Super-Step-Mom.  It’s a great way to start,                                or end,the day.20150630_180427Veggies, veggies, veggies, veggies, veggies, veggies, veggies.  Eat well and be well friends!