Monday, June 27, 2011

Killing as many birds as I can with this stone.

Today we are settling back into our routine after a 3 day excursion driving through beautiful Kentucky. The laundry was tackled yesterday... today is meal preparation for the week.

We returned home to a totally stressed out dog, and even though he was more than well taken care of by my in-laws, he is still a bit psychotic. I won't go into details, but lets just say our dog Charlie will be eating a special diet for the next few days until he gets back to somewhat normal.

So the morning started off with boiling chicken and cooking rice for Charlie's tumultuous tummy.
I pulled 3 chicken breast aside for us to make some delicious chicken salad for lunch for the Mister and myself.

Balsamic Chicken Salad
3 cooked chicken breast
1 - 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup of relish or chopped up pickles
about a 1/3 Cup of mayo (enough to just barely cover the chicken, not coat it)
salt & pepper
fresh basil and oregano leaves
serve over fresh greens with diced roma tomato

Makes enough for 2 to 3 servings depending on the size of the chicken breast you use.

I saved the broth from the cooked chicken to start my stock for the week. I may as well as make it while the stove is still hot, right? I tossed in the remaining bulb of garlic that was trying to root itself right there in the basket, along with the bottoms of a few celery stalks since the girls were having ants on a log for lunch. Finally, I threw in the bottoms and tops of the carrots I was preparing for the next two weeks.  I tossed half the peels in the stock and the other half in the compost.

Our family eats about 5 lbs of carrots in 2 weeks. I shred a third to use for salads, soups, stir-fry and baked goods that we will eat during the week. Another third is cut into carrot sticks to snack on when the mood strikes and the final third is sliced, blanched (5 to 7 minutes) and frozen.

We ended up with 3 jars of broth. This will last a little over a week for us.

When we returned we found ourselves with some very dark strawberries and 4 brown bananas. Since we are all out of nuts I went with a new version of the banana bread I usually make.

Smoothie Bread
4 mashed bananas
1 Cup blueberries
3/4 Cup strawberries
1 Cup all-purpose flour
1 Cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 Cup oats
1/3 Cup flaxseed
1 egg
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 Cup sugar
3/4 Cup brown sugar
1/2 stick butter

Bake 350 degrees for about an hour. Makes 2 short loaves.

I used the remaining strawberries to make a strawberry vinaigrette for salads this week and a bit of strawberry syrup for pancakes.

I set aside about a cup of the rice I made for Charlie this morning to make rice pudding for breakfast tomorrow.

Rice Pudding
1 Cup cooked brown rice
1/4 brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Cup almond milk

Cook over medium heat 15-20 minutes.

Marathon cooking day... but at least we have a good start for our week.

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