Monday, February 19, 2018

Menu Plan Monday: Two Menus - February 17


Good morning! I am ready to report how I liked the sample menu plan from Forks Over Knives. For the most part, the meals were tasty and very filling. I had asked for the plan for a single person, as I am the only one in our house who eats vegan. Every meal made two servings, which gave enough for a lunch or breakfast left-over for the week. Well, as I am a small person and don't require the same calories as a taller, larger boned person, I found that the two meals were more like three or, sometimes, four. At first, I tried to get it all eaten in two meals but then felt overly full and sick. By the end of the week, I was putting a serving in the freezer for a later date.

The Forks Over Knives meals were great, as I already said, but one of them, Peanut Noodles, did not set well, either the first round or the left-over round. I suspect it is because I have an unhealthy digestive system and the peanut sauce is just too hard to digest (I have had trouble with peanut butter before and now eat sunflower seed butter or, on occasion, almond butter). Other than that, it was all fantastic.

This week, I have planned my own menu, as well as the menu for the rest of the family. As a side note: I am sure our grocery bill would not be nearly as high if I could stop purchasing meat. I ended up paying $200 at the grocery stores (yes, plural) yesterday because I had to buy meat and dairy. Looking at my receipts, I found that meat was most expensive, with dairy second. Fruits and veggies were just a tiny fraction of the total bill.

So, I think I have a menu plan to fit most anybody, except maybe Paleo eaters. There might be something in there for them too, but not whole meals. I like to use healthy carbohydrates in my plans. I am posting my plans for dinner only, however, I did plan for all three meals for every day with the vegan plan. Please message me if you are interested in seeing that. Have a good week!

Meal Plan for WFPB Vegans

Monday

Veggie Burger with Russian Dressing

Tuesday


Wednesday


Thursday

Plantain & Potato Soup
Gluten-free Cornbread (Leftover)

Friday


Saturday

Plantain & Potato Soup (Leftover)

Sunday

Salad or whatever I find


Menu Plan for Carnivores

Monday

Beef Noodle Bake
Green Beans
Ice-cream

Tuesday

Chicken Breast Smothered in Tomatoes & Mozzarella Cheese
Baked Potatoes
Peas

Wednesday

Roast Beef
Root Veggies

Thursday

Left-overs
Spring Rhubarb Cake

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Lasagna
Salads
Garlic Bread

Sunday

On your Own

Monday, February 12, 2018

Menu Plan Monday - February 12


This week I have only one menu plan for you, but next week I will have two. That is because I signed up for the Forks Over Knives sample weekly planner and am sampling the menu they gave me this week. Next week, I am making my own plan to see how it goes. By comparing how long it takes me to do this on my own with how long it takes me with an already prepared plan, I will know if I can afford to invest in this thing. One thing I already know is that I can't eat the food that the rest of my family does. I get sick if I do. A whole food plant based diet seems to be the best thing for me and I plan to do whatever I can to make it work.

Here's what the family is getting, by their request:

Monday

Scalloped Potatoes with Ham
Green Beans
Biscuits

Tuesday

Tossed Salads
Cottage Cheese

Wednesday

Buttered Egg Noodles
Peas

Thursday

Meat Loaf
Corn
Biscuits
Raspberry Cheesecake

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Hamburgers
Salads
Pumpkin Pie

Sunday

On Your Own

Monday, January 29, 2018

Menu Plan Monday - January 29



Over the weekend, I made up lots of vegetable soup for the refrigerator and freezer. This kind of planning has given me a little more freedom during the week, and it has ensured that I will have something to eat when the carnivores are having their meals. In a whole foods, plant based diet, planning is everything.

Here's what is on the menu for this week:

Monday

Chicken and Beef Enchiladas
Brussels Sprouts
Salads

Tuesday

Beef Stew
Vegetable Soup

Wednesday

Baked Potatoes
Broccoli
Brownies

Thursday

Steamed Snap Peas
Salads

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Burgers (including homemade veggie burgers)
Winter Fruit Salad

Sunday

On Your Own

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Book Review: The Crooked Path by Irma Joubert


The Crooked Path is written by Irma Joubert and is published by Thomas Nelson.

I am a huge Irma Joubert fan. If you haven't heard of her, you should know that she is South African and her books by Thomas Nelson are translated into English. You should also know that the majority of her characters are South African. But don't let that intimidate you.

In The Crooked Path, Irma Joubert takes the reader back to South Africa to visit favorite characters from her previous novel, Child of the River. Beginning with World War II, things are happening around the world, especially in Italy, where Marco Romanelli meets his beloved Rachel and risks his life to save her and her family from the Nazis. Lettie Louw is an overweight young girl who watches the boy she loves fall for another girl, one of Lettie's good friends. As the war ravages, Lettie pursues her dream of becoming a doctor and taking over the family practice while Marco wastes away in a concentration camp.

After the war, Lettie loses weight and builds self-esteem while Marco, wasting away physically because of what he had to endure decides to move to South Africa. Marco and Lettie find happiness in each other, but life is not always full of happy endings.

This novel satisfies. I love how Joubert expertly weaves a story that is complex and not just an easy read. It is rife with history, some of which has helped me to understand the rest of the world's past and not just my little corner in North America. Joubert does not just make everything a pretty picture, either. Real life is hard and so it is for the characters in The Crooked Path. Not everyone gets a happily ever after ending. And that's okay because the reality is so very well woven into the imaginary that the reader is left feeling that things are as they should be.

I hope Irma Joubert keeps writing and that subsequent novels are translated. She's that good.

*I received a copy of The Crooked Path in exchange for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.*

Monday, January 22, 2018

Menu Plan Monday - January 22


I am still on track with my whole foods plant based diet. It is going well. The first week, I didn't think ahead enough to prepare myself meals to have while the rest of the family ate meaty/fatty meals. This weekend, I prepared a homemade vegetable soup with yellow potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, frozen corn, organic canned kidney beans, and a pint of my own home grown, home canned tomatoes. I used some organic vegetable broth mixed with water as the base. I added my own dried oregano and some freshly ground pepper and salt. I don't know the ratios. I made it up and it is delicious! I have enough to last me most of the week for lunches or light supper.

I also prepared a pot of lentil sloppy joes. It too is delicious. I ended up freezing some of it for later, as the recipe made more than I think I can eat in a week. I also made some tostones. Again, delicious!

I make tostones periodically and always freeze them between waxed paper. I just mash up two large plantains and put a cup of black beans, a cup of gluten-free flour blend, some chili powder, salt and pepper in the mix. Drop by spoonfuls and bake at 350 F until dry and cooked.

The last thing I made was a gluten-free banana bread. I like it for breakfast sometimes.

Here's what I'm planning for the family for the week:

Monday

Chicken Thighs
Roasted Veggies
Tapioca Pudding
Homemade Bread

Tuesday

Dutch Oven Meatloaf
Mashed Potatoes
Cauliflower

Wednesday

Pot Roast with Vegetables
Salads

Thursday

Left-overs

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Roast Chicken in the Slow Cooker
Baked Potatoes
Herbed Veggies

Sunday

On Your Own

Monday, January 15, 2018

Menu Plan Monday - January 15


This is week two of my resolve to eat purely whole food plant based foods. It's hard to tell if I feel a lot better than before since I am working many more hours than normal this week and last.

I have been researching meals in the 17th and 18th centuries. Talk about eating lots of meat and fat! Some of the most interesting cookbooks are: Susannah Carter's The Frugal Housewife, Or Complete Woman Cook, Amelia Simmons' The First American Cookbook: A Fascimile of "American Cookery", and The Compleat Housewife by Eliza Smith. I can only imagine living in those times and eating all of that rich, fatty food. My stomach revolts just reading about them. Still, I greatly admire the women who were able to take a hunk of something and turn it into a meal that their families devoured.

These days, I am preparing meals that may have started out fatty and filled with cholesterol, but have been transformed by my need to eat less fat. By the way, I have read all of the books out there, plus the internet plethora of information concerning "healthy fats". When your body cannot digest those fats, none of it is healthy. Just saying.

My menu plan reflects the carnivorous people in my family, which is everyone except me. Here is my plan:

Monday

Teenage daughter making tacos

Tuesday

Mashed Potatoes (no butter or milk)
Snap Peas (steamed)

Wednesday

Brown Rice
Salads
Green Beans

Thursday

BBQ Beef Ribs
Zucchini

Friday


Saturday

Burgers (including veggie burgers)

Sunday

On Your Own

Monday, January 08, 2018

Menu Plan Monday - January 8


Today is warmer than it has been lately! It is now in the 20's, whereas the temperatures dropped below zero for a couple of weeks ago. Saturday morning we awoke to 20 below! So, 26 degrees F. is balmy. For those really cold days, I go to warming foods like potatoes and rice. I know lots of people are on the low-carb kick, but I find that I need those whole foods that warm my body and keep my full for longer periods of time. Meats and fats continue to make me ill, so I have cut them out completely - for me, that is. The rest of my family appears to be strongly against any sort of vegetarianism or veganism. I am not really either of those. I am focusing on whole foods while eliminating animal proteins. And yes, there is a difference. Vegans often eat quite a bit of processed foods and healthy fats. I can't have those.

So, here is the plan that includes those foods my family loves. Those items that are whole food, plant based are marked with an asterisk.

Monday

Chicken Breasts
*Baked Potatoes
*Green Beans
Yogurt and cupcakes for dessert

Tuesday

Hamburgers (some of them homemade *veggie burgers)
*Brussels Sprouts

Wednesday

Roast Beef
*Potatoes
*Carrots
*Homemade Bread

Thursday

Steaks
*Baked Potatoes
*Salads
*Peas

Friday

Pizza & Pop
(I might try making a WFPB pizza, gluten-free)

Saturday

Sloppy Joes
French Fries
*Salads

Sunday

On Your Own