Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Breaking Out of a Food Rut

This past weekend was all about food. I was getting really bored with our meals lately. Not that I didn't still enjoy what we were eating, but things were getting a bit redundant. I realized I hadn't tried any new recipes in a while and vowed to start doing much more of that immediately! Friday, I made up a 2 week menu plan and picked out a bunch of new recipes to try! It was a mix of breakfast meals, dinners and treats. Thanks to pinterest, it's so much easier to keep track of this stuff now. Maybe now the poor binder in my kitchen will get a break from me always stuffing it with new recipes, when it's already ruined from having too many in it as it is.

Saturday morning, I made some pumpkin muffins.  I pretty much made this one up and I was really happy with how they turned out. I will be posting the recipe in the next couple of days.

I had planned on doubling the recipe and freezing half, but at the last minute, I decided to put a cream cheese filling in the middle and I wasn't sure how well that would freeze. So we have been eating them like crazy and sharing them with others. They also make a great snack to throw in the Munchkin's lunch box (and mine).

For dinner Saturday night, my sister Amy and her little family came over for dinner. She had been wanting to try my Homemade Pizza with Almond Flour Crust, so we made that.  Amy and her husband have been on a low carb diet so regular pizza was definitely out of the question for them lately. They loved it!

But it was Sunday morning's meal that really made my heart a flutter. Before I started eating healthier, one of my all time favorite breakfast meals was biscuits and gravy. Oh how I loved them. I LOVED them. I hadn't eaten them in years and it was one of the things I still missed from time to time. Then last week I came across THIS recipe for gravy that looked amazing. I knew how to make gravy with arrowroot powder, but I hadn't tried sausage gravy before, mainly because I didn't have a good enough grain free biscuit recipe to go with it. The biscuit recipe that came along with the gravy recipe wasn't something I was interested in trying. I didin't want to have to use 6 egg whites just to yield 2 biscuits. But that gravy recipe really made me want to figure something out. Then I remembered seeing a biscuit recipe a while back that looked promising, so I headed over to the Healthy Indulgences blog and found Lauren's biscuit recipe. I thought they would be great together.

So Sunday morning, after throwing my chicken in the crock pot for the casserole I was making for dinner that night, I got started on the biscuits and gravy. The biscuit recipe had very specific instructions, which I followed exactly. They came out perfect. And the gravy, I ended up tweaking a tiny bit as it somehow kept growing in my pan, but it came out equally delicious.  After cooking the sausage, there wasn't much grease left in the pan, so I pulled out a few tablespoons of bacon grease from the fridge and used that instead. I was seriously giddy after eating them. I may have been shuffling around the kitchen singing songs as I cleaned up my mess. It's amazing how much better you feel after eating these biscuits and gravy as apposed to the conventional ones. I didn't feel like a had a brick in my stomach and immediately needed a nap. I was in heaven. I even had to take pics with my phone and send them to my sister. I know, I am a dork.

I reheated some for breakfast this morning and probably will be every day until they are gone. I will definitely be trying out the different variations she had for her biscuits. Like the Garlic Cheddar, Parmesan Herb and a Sweet Cinnamon. Yum!

For dinner that night, I made a Arroz Con Pollo casserole that I had found at the Grain-Free Foodies website. It was pretty darn good and I was glad I had doubled it so that I could put one in the freezer for a dinner later. I froze everything but the cheese and green olives in a ziploc freezer bag, which I would add after thawing and putting it into a casserole dish once we were ready to eat it again. My sister and her fam came over for dinner again, along with my dad, and it went over well with everyone. It was simple, but had lots of good flavors. There is also plenty of room to play with and I think next time I might try to squeeze in some more veggies.  It made a very large and filling casserole that fed my family, Amy's family and my dad. There was also just enough left over for the munchkin's and my lunch the next day.

Overall all, a very successful weekend of food. It was nice to get out of our food rut and try some new stuff out! I have alot more I am looking forward to trying in the next 2 weeks.

Anyone else try out some new awesome recipes lately?


Anonymous said...

We made awesome pizza last night too! :)

Lil' Woman said...

Well I'm alone and I'm a crappy cooker...I hope your happy that I will starve to death drooling over these pictures :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Laura, I was doing some food searches on interest and came across your blog. I love reading about your take on health and nutrition. I have had a really hard time being able to afford to eat the way you describe. We have a family of 3 and are spending anywhere between 500 and 800 a month on grocery. I was just curious as to your monthly food budget.

Laura said...

I try to keep our grocery bill around $500/month. Some months it is easy, other months it goes over. But I figure between $500-$600 is the average. I am actually working on a post right now for ways to save money on a real food budget. Check back soon if that is something that might be of interest to you.