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Friday, May 19, 2017

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers for Mid-May

  • pork fried rice, using leftover pork roast, carrots, cabbage, asparagus and onions, plus brown rice
  • scratch vanilla pudding

Saturday (husband cooks)
  • black bean tacos, using kale in place of lettuce, and canned tomatoes in place of fresh
  • carrot sticks
Sunday (husband cooks)
  • tomato-vegetable soup
  • homemade breadsticks
  • leftover Boston Cream Pie (daughter made this early in the day to have at lunch)
  • leftover soup
  • leftover breadsticks
  • leftover vanilla pudding
  • leftover soup
  • grilled cheese sandwiches
  • leftover cake
  • whole wheat penne with bolognese (a fancy name for basically spaghetti, right?)
  • broccoli
  • (I had my bolognese over the last of the asparagus, then had a potato on the side)

  • homemade pizza (brown rice, topped with pizza sauce for me)
  • cole slaw

I'm cooking a separate dinner for myself each evening. I am temporarily "off" gluten and dairy. (The bloating and pain went away overnight; sadly, the abdominal fat did not.) So, while I make these meals for the rest of the fam, I microwave myself a potato, scramble an egg, fry some turkey bacon, slather apple wedges with peanut butter, top chopped celery with egg salad, and heat veggies. It's all working out well for me, in some ways better than usual as I can eat only when I'm hungry and not feel I need to eat as much as I serve everyone else. It's also a good excuse to eat bacon. ;-) All of the weeknight dinners have been simple ones, which makes everything super easy for me.

How about you? Anything interesting on your menu this past week? Any outdoor plans for this weekend? Is the weather expected to be nice where you live, this next week? I am volunteering in my once-per-month job with a charity luncheon, tomorrow, and hopefully seeing my daughter in a performance in the evening. It should be a busy day for me.

Have a great weekend!


  1. Hi Lili,

    I know hubby and I spent Mother's Day alone together. All the kids emailed or texted me for Mother's day which I did not expect.

    I can only think of a few things we had this week. It has been a busy week and a blur.

    I know one day I made pizza--two of them. I froze one. I also grilled chicken with rice. We ended up using the frozen pizza another busy night when there was no time to cook. Oh, one day was crazy with a broken lawn mower and no time to cook but ended up making hubby's favorite macaroni and hamburger anyway. Tonight is parents night at son's college so there is a cookout that I'm going to.

    Saturday is son's college graduation so we're going there and then out for dinner with parents for a celebration. He's also moving back home tonight so it will be another very busy day/evening for us.

    The weather has dropped almost 20 degrees from the last two days and it's actually chilly. I guess that's good weather for moving.

    I'm hoping Sunday will be a nice and quiet day for rest and worship.


    1. Hi Alice,
      I didn't realize your son was graduating this year. Congratulations! Does this mean you have one child left pursuing a degree? You will have a busy weekend to be sure. Enjoy the weekend festivities, Alice!

    2. Yes, one more child graduating next year! Two down and one to go.


  2. Our "interesting" food day was Tuesday. I'd had an appointment, done a fill-in grocery trip (small trip between the big twice-monthly ones), and whipped up a batch of refrigerator bran muffins. Just plain old decided not to cook. We baked a pound of bacon, a couple kids made quesadillas and some made grilled cheese, and the little boys and I had bran muffins, bacon, and fresh strawberries for dinner. No one starved. :P

    Yesterday was the last day of school. I am somewhat dreading summer and feeling bad for feeling that way. My 16 YO has a camp job so will be gone most of the summer. The 13 YO won a place (through essays and teacher recommendations) to a science camp about the science behind foods (right up her alley as someone who loves to cook and bake) and also won a half scholarship to a Christian camp in a Bible quiz game, plus plans to volunteer 4 weeks at the camp where her sister works, leaving her gone 6 weeks this summer. So I feel like I'm back to the only little ones at home stage--not all bad but I feel rather trapped as I really love my hiking days during the school year. Will take the kids once a week or so but it's not the same. We also bought a membership to the local museum before prices went up at the end of the year, and there is lots of hands-on stuff, so we may try to go there every couple of weeks. Plus we added on the reciprocal museum membership and can go to the big science museum in OKC for free so will try to do that a time or two.

    Dinner tonight is homemade pizza. Might see if one of the kids wants to concoct some sort of dessert. I've got the crockpot "refried" beans from Pennies and Pancakes going for lunch.

    Do you feel your issue is with the actual gluten? I have been "off" it before for up to 5 months at a time and still am on the fence about whether it helps me (lupus/Hashi's--big symptoms fatigue and joint pain). I'm currently experimenting with making homemade bread using sprouted wheat--does not eliminate gluten but does change the way some react to breads.

    Have a great day!

    1. Oh, and it's storming here today, with an inch of rain expected. We can always use that. :) We did a deep mulch layer on our garden this year and it soaks up the moisture beautifully. A week or so after rain everything is still so nice and moist under the mulch. May be just what we needed in this dry and often in-drought area. Got the mulch free by asking on craiglist and shoveling it ourselves.

    2. Hi Cat,
      that's great about the mulch! I'll need to do some of that later in the season. I hope your garden is super productive for you this summer.

      I don't know if it's gluten or cross-reactions from not staying completely lactose-free. About once or twice per year I begin developing horrible digestive reactions to "extra" foods, like wheat, barley, corn and beans. So if I just eliminate all of those for a month, I usually feel so much better and can go back to the wheat and beans, but just try hard for a while to completely stay off the dairy. I don't know if it helps with energy or not. It would be easy to say that yes, I have more energy or other symptoms go away, but that could also be just not having abdominal pain allows me to enjoy more things.

      I have heard of folks using sprouted wheat in bread. I'm glad that works for you. Do you sprout the wheat berries yourself or buy a sprouted wheat product? Do you bake a special loaf for yourself, or does your whole family switch over to what you're eating? I hope it does bring you relief from symptoms.

      Have a great weekend, Cat! When do your two eldest kids leave for camp?

    3. It's good that you've figured out what helps you to feel better!

      Oldest leaves the 28th to start her job. Not sure yet on next one--depends on what weeks they want her to volunteer.

      As for the sprouted bread, I am trying to switch the whole family. The recipe I'm using (from the Joyful Jane blog) is very good, so it's not hard to get them to eat fresh-from-the-oven bread. They don't like it as well the rest of the time, though (aside from dh, who likes it any time). I am using the One Degree brand flour. It is definitely pricey! However, in comparison with buying something similar as a finished loaf, it does save quite a bit.

  3. We had a week of eating leftovers. Either our appetite is shrinking or we are snacking too much between meals. Lately, I have given almost no attention to food preparation. I don't care to eat out either. This may be just a break from doing the same old thing, or it may be a signal that I want change. I guess it suddenly hit on me that I don't have all the time in the world and I better start prioritizing my bucket list. I think this realization sank in deep when my husband enrolled for Medicare last month...that we are entering the final phase of our lives.

    Hope you feel better, Lili, and have a nice weekend!!


    1. Hi YHF,
      Leftovers are good! So is changing things up from time to time.
      Thanks for the well wishes. I just needed to clean up my eating for a few weeks.
      I hope your week is off to a great start, YHF!

  4. So happy, Lili, that you have figured out what foods irritate you and you are able to avoid them. It may not be fun, but I guess that it's better than terrible digestional stress.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      You are so right, way better than tummy troubles. I have to remind myself of that when I'm tempted to eat something that I know is bad for me.
      Have a lovely evening, live and learn!

  5. I've been cooking up a storm since it's been snowing here for the past 24 hours, and I'm sorta feeling like it's "last chance" to do stuff that requires a long time on the stove or in the oven. So yesterday I roasted a chicken & some potatoes, made stock, put some white beans in the crock pot overnight and now I'm about to stick them in the oven with fixin's to make baked beans. Later today I'll bake some oatmeal bars and lasagna!

    Did you get tested for celiac? I finally went in and got the blood test and it came back negative, so I'm back on gluten. My only concern is that I hadn't been eating very much gluten before I had the test, and I guess you need to have some in your system for the test to be meaningful. But I have no symptoms to report so I think that's good. Anyhow, I became a huge fan of oatmeal, quinoa, and corn tortillas during my gluten prohibition. Quinoa isn't cheap, but it's oh, so easy and really yummy. Good luck with it - and so glad you're feeling better.

    BTW - on your recommendation I watched the first episode of Victorian Slum House last night and HOLY MOLY!!! You weren't kidding about the perspective thing! I was having a cup of my chicken stock just as a snack while I was watching, and I have to say I was grateful for every sip! Anyhow, thanks for letting us know about the show, I'm looking forward to watching the rest.

    1. Hi Cat,
      that is so crazy that it snows in May sometimes, there. It did give you a great opportunity to do some last slow-cooking while you can appreciate adding heat to the kitchen.

      I'm pretty certain that I'm not celiac. I'm primarily lactose intolerant. When I cheat too much, it throws my whole digestive system into a tizzy and suddenly foods like wheat and beans cause pain. I have found that it I refrain from any of the offensive foods for a few weeks, I can usually add back almost everything but the milk and corn.

      Yeah, doesn't that show make you feel badly for the last time you complained about something trivial. We have so much.
      Have a great evening, Cat!

  6. Our meals have been kinda weird lately, due to crazy schedules and my husband/son being out of town. We ate at the youth group cookout last night and there were enough leftover burgers that we had supper with them tonight. Sure makes for easy cleanup. Weeknight meals this week included roasted sausage and veggies with rice, and tacos.

    I'm sorry your digestive system is giving you fits! What a nuisance. At least you have an idea of where the problem lies and what to do about it.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Yum, roasted sausage and veggies sounds really delicious to me! And I love using leftovers from events. We had sandwiches tonight, leftover from a luncheon that I worked on Saturday. It made for a super easy dinner for me.
      Have a lovely evening, Kris!

  7. That pizza and those tacos look sooo good!

    It's been hot here, in the 90s already. We were outside at school for a couple of hours yesterday and I am burned a little bit. I wish it would not get hot so quickly here. I would love to have spring just a little bit longer. :)

    Hope your Saturday is fantastic. :)

    1. Hi Belinda,
      90s, wow. We are so far from that kind of weather! I hope you have a way to keep cool, especially in the kitchen.
      I had a busy weekend. I hope yours was enjoyable, Belinda!

  8. Lili,
    Your pizza looks delicious! Would you mind to share your recipe for the gluten free pizza crust?

    1. Hi Deborah,
      I'm sorry. I wasn't very clear. That was a regular pizza crust. I ate my own "pizza" as brown rice topped with spaghetti/pizza sauce. I do know people who use gluten-free tortillas for pizza crusts. Sorry I can't be of more help with the pizza crust. For my own GF eating, I simply stick to eating plain, whole foods, like rice or potatoes, instead of trying to replicate a GF version of a favorite wheat-based food item.
      Have a great weekend, Deborah!

  9. Thanks for explaining Lili! You have a great weekend, too!


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