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Thursday, February 9, 2023

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers: A Week With Lots of Rice

There are two new objectives to our meals this week. One, I'm currently on an elimination diet to get my digestive system back on track. This has actually been going on (and getting stricter with time) for a few months. I'm currently not doing milk, yogurt, cream, glutenous grains, oats, xanthan gum, guar gum, locust bean gum, carrageenan, or tree nuts. The second objective for this and coming weeks is to use our frozen garden produce at least once each day. Many days, I use this produce in breakfasts or lunches. But I will also mention in the dinners this week where we used some of our freezer stash. 

Friday (just 2 for dinner tonight, so I went simple)
chicken fried rice (adding our frozen celery leaves and carrot leaves)
pumpkin pie (the filling was made with soy milk and I had mine without crust)

refried sprouted pinto beans, mexi-style
brown rice
Cole slaw, made with cabbage and our sprouted lentils

Everyone else had flour tortilla chips in place of rice.

chicken and vegetable soup (using our frozen beet greens)
garlic toast (I skipped the toast)

The family had brownie pudding for dessert. I had rice pudding made with soy milk.

beef stew (adding our frozen beet greens)
orange wedges

Everyone else had dinner rolls. I had 2 rice flour pancakes.

ham in gravy (with our frozen chives) over
brown rice
roasted pumpkin
spiced apple compote (our apple chunks from freezer)

brown rice
our frozen beet greens and onions, sautéed

Everyone else had mashed potatoes in place of the rice.

curried lentils (using our apples, frozen, plus our plum preserves in place of chutney), over
brown rice

It's a good thing I like brown rice. For grain foods this week I had steamed brown rice, fried rice, brown rice pudding (made with soy milk), and rice flour pancakes. I really believe my main issue is with dairy and not gluten. Sometimes going on a strict eating plan for several weeks to months will help me get back to eating other grains, just not the milk, the various additives, such as the gums and carrageenan, or most tree nuts. My insides are feeling better, but I miss wheat products. 

On the frozen garden produce front, I've been organizing our freezers again, this time to bring all of the frozen produce into one place. I hope next week to finish that chore. By having all of the produce in one place, I will be able to plan meals to use this all up before we begin harvesting from this coming season's garden, orchard, and berry patch.

What was on your menu this past week? Do you have frozen garden produce to use up still? 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. We'll be getting together with our son and daughter-in-law -- always nice to have the whole family together.


  1. We had a small homemade pizza with simple toppings. Chicken noodle soup, baked chicken, sliced potato, ground beef, and green bean casserole with tomato soup topping, small steak with salads,hamburger and elbow macaroni mix, baked chicken with yellow rice, potato soup made yesterday to be eaten tonight. Lots of good food but smaller portions for just the two of us with very little leftovers.


    1. Hi Alice,
      Your meals sound tasty. What else is in the green bean casserole with tomato soup? That sounds interesting and a change from the usual green bean and cream of mushroom soup casserole.

      Have a great weekend, Alice.

    2. just browned ground beef, sliced potatoes, a can of french style green beans and topped with a can of tomato soup baked until bubbly.

    3. Hi Alice,
      I've never heard of this combination. It sounds delicious and filling. Thanks for answering my question about the casserole.

  2. That's a lot of things to consider when cooking and eating. It reminds me of when my mother developed hives that the the doctors thought came from food. She started on a strict diet with just rice and slowly added another food each week. It took he about a year to finish the whole thing. She found a few foods she was allergic to, but mostly she was allergic to anything with additives. That was back in the day when everything had additives so we grew and processed essentially everything we ate.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Your mother's experience with food and additive allergies sounds like a trying time for her. It does take a lot more effort to grow, process, and cook all of your own foods. I'm glad she eventually pin-pointed her particular allergies.

  3. I hope you find your digestive culprits soon. It adds an extra layer of stress to have to consider possible irritants when cooking for your family.

    I made ham and potato soup with biscuits on Monday and we had leftovers yesterday. Tuna noodle casserole Wednesday, sweet and sour kielbasa over rice Tuesday. Tonight I think I'll make taco pie. Yes, we've been eating our freezer veggies and fruits although come to think about it, we haven't had peaches lately and that's sounding good to me. We still have some carrots, squash, and apples that we are working our way through.

    1. Hi Kris,
      I think the hard part is not being able to cook all of the foods that I know my family would enjoy. They're having to suffer along with me to a certain extent.

      Yum, your meals sound delicious. How do you do your taco pie? Is it like a tamale pie with a cornbread topping, or some other way?

    2. I ended up making tacos instead, at my daughter's request.

      My taco pie is a Bisquick recipe. Nothing very exotic. I make my taco meat recipe and put a mixture of eggs, milk, and Bisquick on top and bake it. The last few minutes, I add salsa and shredded cheese on top, or diced tomatoes if it's summer and I have them on hand. It's baked in a pie pan.

    3. Hi Kris,
      Yum, your impossible taco pie sounds tasty! I've only done impossible pies a couple of times. For Maxi-type "pies" I've made cornbread tops, for tamale pies. Those are pretty good, depending on the filling.

  4. Sunday-Roast chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and green beans (college kid home and requested the green beans, home-canned from our garden--she also took home leftovers for herself and her roommate, who is GF trying to figure out some health issues)

    Monday-Green chile and chicken enchiladas, served with queso and corn chips. My husband's workplace had a catered Mexican lunch at work last Thursday and he was sent home with a large (like trash bag large!) bag of chips. The green chiles were canned from our garden and the sauce was some of my tomatillo and green chile salsa blended with homemade chicken broth.

    Tuesday-venison cube steaks, mashed potatoes, and sauteed asparagus

    Wednesday-Spaghetti (GF noodles for me) with venison meat sauce, salad, and homemade pear pie for dessert (crust made with GF flour blend and filling was home-canned from pears off our tree).

    Thursday-leftovers for the kids-Hubby and I had an early Valentine's date night to see the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and we ate out prior at a nice restaurant inside a local casino.

    Friday--we'll be having homemade pizza, with GF crust for me, regular for the rest

    It definitely adds a challenge to have to avoid certain foods. I'm sorry you're having to do it. :(
    I need to avoid peanuts, soy, buckwheat, and chicken eggs (shellfish, too, but we don't really consume that) due to allergies, gluten for celiac, and am lactose intolerant, though thankfully not actually allergic to dairy. I have learned that the lactase enzyme tablets allow me to eat some dairy, as long as I don't go overboard.

    1. Just adding a link, hoping that's okay, to an AMAZING gluten-free crescent roll recipe which I tried last week and will be making again. So very good and the closest to a wheat-based bread that I've had, after trying many. I ended up eating three with my soup! :O Froze several so I can just pull a couple out to reheat when we have soup or another meal where I'd want some bread.

    2. The Glenn Miller orchestra sounds fun!

    3. Hi Cat,
      first of all, I agree with Kris, your Valentine's date night sounds like a great evening.

      Your meals all sound delicious. Can I ask -- do most of the family meals you make fit your dietary requirements/ do you adjust recipes and everyone eats pretty much what you can eat, with a couple of exceptions? I was thinking about foods like the mashed potatoes. Do you do those milk-free? The lactase enzyme chewables have adverse effects for me. So when I make mashed potatoes that I plan on eating, I make them with water and butter. My family doesn't care for mashed potatoes made with alternative milks.
      I'm guessing you use only duck eggs in what you plan on eating, right? That's interesting that your allergy is specific to chicken eggs.

      Thanks for the link. I'll check that out.

    4. Lili,

      Yes, most foods I make fit my dietary restrictions, other than making regular pasta, bread, or pizza crust for my family. It's just so much easier that way. I haven't ever tried a chewable form of the lactase enzymes, but went straight to the small, swallowable pills that I buy in bulk from Sam's Club. But I do use milk and butter in the mashed potatoes. I don't have much issue with smaller amounts like that, but will take one of the enzyme pills if having ice cream or perhaps drinking milk with a muffin.

      My allergy just came up as "eggs", but after discussing it with my PCP, I decided to try duck eggs. My chicken egg allergy is more of an inflammatory response than an anaphylactic type. Also, after finding out I was allergic to soy, we feed our ducks soy-free feed. Same with the meat chickens we raise for our personal consumption. One of my husband's co-worker's husband, got a goose, I guess for the novelty of it (they also have chickens for eggs)? So his wife brought in one of those for us to try. It's HUGE! Thinking we might make an omelet out of it this weekend.

    5. What a fun and novel type of egg to try, the goose egg, Cat!
      Thanks for answering my questions. I'm still making some foods that my family eats, but I can't. But I am serving more rice or potatoes with dinners and less bread for everyone. I hope they're okay with these changes.

  5. I know I have an intolerance to dairy and some fruits like kiwi give me hives. A friend of mine for years would lose her voice for extended periods of time. She went through a battery of allergy tests and found out she was allergic to beef but not pork or bison. She can’t eat chicken but can eat turkey.
    We are working our way through the freezers. Produce is so expensive now that the $5.00 Flashfood boxes are appreciated. When they appear in the app they disappear immediately so you have to decide on the spot if what they have you want.
    Same thing when meats are put in and the prepared deli meals like pulled pork and sides go quickly.

    1. Hi Teresa,
      I hope your list of allergic fruits is a short list and doesn't contain any favorites of yours. It's interesting how specific some of our allergies can be. Like with your friend, she can eat turkey but not chicken, and bison but not beef. I can eat canned pineapple, but not fresh pineapple. And I can eat almonds, but no other tree nut or other tree nuts in very limited amounts. And I'm fine with peanuts.

      I haven't heard of Flashfood boxes. Is this through a local store? They sound like a great source of bargains in produce and meat.

    2. Flashfood is an app that reduces food throughout the day in boxes. One of the major grocery store and its affiliates Superstore and No Frills in my part of Canada use it to move quickly expiring foods.
      I notice on some U.S. blogs( The Prudent Homemaker, Frugal Girl, Non-Consumer Advocate) that posters in various parts of the U.S. (Ohio as an example do have the app working with some of their grocery stores)
      If there are stores in your area the app will tell you how close. If none, the app will also tell you.

  6. Hi Lilly and friends, I had a surprise this past week! My husband has been working out of state for the last 2 years . A week ago Monday he was sent back to the NW for the next 30 days...SURPRISE 😆 so my menu plan changed this past week. He arrived and I decided to make him his favorite meals. So it was spaghetti and garlic toast X2, chili dogs with cheese and onions, Swedish meatballs over rice X 2, pancakes and bacon. Tonight I tried my hand at chicken gnocchi soup...he liked it! It's a real treat to be able to cook for him . 😋 I always enjoy your menus they are so creative and give me inspiration. Have a great weekend 😀
    Gaila in the NW

    1. Hi Gaila,
      What a wonderful surprise! And how kind and thoughtful of you to prepare your husband's favorite meals. I'm sure he really enjoyed them. Enjoy your time with your husband. I'm glads it's a full 30 days.

  7. Hi Lilly and friends, I had a surprise this past week! My husband has been working out of state for the last 2 years . A week ago Monday he was sent back to the NW for the next 30 days...SURPRISE 😆 so my menu plan changed this past week. He arrived and I decided to make him his favorite meals. So it was spaghetti and garlic toast X2, chili dogs with cheese and onions, Swedish meatballs over rice X 2, pancakes and bacon. Tonight I tried my hand at chicken gnocchi soup...he liked it! It's a real treat to be able to cook for him . 😋 I always enjoy your menus they are so creative and give me inspiration. Have a great weekend 😀
    Gaila in the NW

  8. Lili, hope you find the source of your discomfort soon and a speedy recovery. About four years ago, I had bloating and stomach cramping after meals. I brought it up to the endo doctor, and he said he could scope my stomach at the same time a colonoscopy screening was scheduled. A polyp was found in my stomach, that was removed and biopsied. I forgot about my stomach issues over the years, but it probably was caused by a supplement I had taken to aid digestion that may have irritated my stomach. I stopped the supplement months before the doctor's visit yet the bloating and irritation continued. Digestive problems are difficult to solve. Sometimes they go away on its own after eliminating the culprit, yet take awhile.

    Our meals are so unplanned. I made a tuna pasta salad and tossed green salad yesterday. Husband made a shrimp curry with a Thai sauce in a jar bought from Costco, and ham/mashed potatoes/Chinese spinach. I made salsa, so had tacos, chopped steak instead of hamburger (using frozen corn taco shells since we can't eat the entire bag of shells before the due date.) We have tossed greens every day. I can't remember what else, probably had the curry for two days.

    Have a great weekend,

    1. Hi Laura,
      Oh, your previous stomach issues sound painful. I'm so glad your doctor was able to remove the polyp and help you resolve those issues. I'm doing pretty well right now. I haven't had milk or its products in several weeks. I hadn't had wheat in weeks either, until yesterday when I had 1 cookie. I figured I better have that one cookie or else I'd build up some resentment and then binge. It was just one cookie, but it sat weird in my stomach. I'm fine today, though.

      Great idea to freeze taco shells. Not only do they become stale, but the oils can go rancid, making them not just bad for your health, but really terrible tasting. This has happened a couple of times for us.


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