Here’s this week’s menu….if you’ve noticed that the recipes aren’t quite as exciting as they used it be, it’s mostly because we’re really trying to budget our grocery money. So…lots of rice, beans, lentils, and things to fill in. We’re also trying to cut back the amount of meat we eat, so I’m trying to throw in more vegetables wherever I can. I do have some recipes for baked goods I’d like to share, so hopefully I’ll get it together and post a few of those soon!

Monday: Pulled Pork Sandwiches with black beans, salad, and fries. Toss a pork or beef roast into a crock pot, add a bottle of Kraft BBQ sauce plus about 1/3 of a second bottle. Cook all day on low. Half an hour before dinner, throw in one or two cans of rinsed black beans and pull the meat apart, stir well to combine all ingredients. Cook another 1/2 hour. Serve with gluten free buns (I’m loving the Ener-G “Seattle” hamburger buns…they taste like whole wheat!).

Tuesday: Chicken and vegetables, brown rice. Put two large whole chicken legs (thighs and drumsticks) into a large oven-safe pot. Cover with two cans of diced tomatoes with the liquid, several cloves of garlic, and a chopped onion. Bake, covered, at 350 until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees. Add 2 cups lentils (add water, broth or wine if you need to) and let cook 1/2 hour. Add a chopped bell pepper, a chopped banana squash, and a couple of small chopped zucchini and let cook another 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Serve over brown rice.

Wednesday: Leftovers and Mac and Cheese. I’ll serve leftovers for those who can’t have milk, and make mac and cheese with rice noodles, Velveeta, a little milk and butter and some grated cheddar cheese. I’ll also serve a green salad.

Thursday: Baked chicken, brown rice, and beets and kale. Put several chicken breasts in a baking dish, sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, pepper, and rosemary and thyme. Bake until a meat thermometer reads at least 165. Thinly slice peeled beets, and wash and trim kale. Cook the beets in a drizzle of olive oil until tender, add kale and cook until tender. Salt and pepper to taste.

Friday: Chicketti and salad. This is a simplified version of a family favorite, from the wonderful cookbook my step-mom compiled of her recipes (a priceless book in our family!). Cook 3 chicken thighs in a pot of chicken broth, take out and set aside. Add celery and thinly sliced carrots and a diced onion to broth, plus a little poultry seasoning and salt and pepper to taste, cook until the vegetables are tender. Add a can of sliced olives, and a pound of gluten free spaghetti and cook until the pasta is done (broth should be almost all absorbed), shred chicken and toss with the noodles, add a cup of grated cheese (I’ll take some out for the dairy free folk before doing this) and toss again. If anyone wants exact measurements, email me or leave a comment…I do this recipe from memory now and never really measure anymore!

Saturday: Hamburger Pizza, salad. Prepare gluten free pizza crust and bake while you cook a pound of hamburger or ground turkey. Layer sauce, ground beef or turkey, red onion, mushrooms, green pepper, olives, cheese…whatever you’d like…on the crust and bake again until the cheese is melted and bubbly. We always end up doing some pizza with cheese, some without, and some with cheese but no sauce.

Sunday: Gluten free eggplant Parmesan and marinara, green salad. Peel and slice an eggplant. Pulse a few cups of Rice Chex cereal in the food processor, with some garlic salt, oregano, basil, black pepper and thyme. Beat two eggs in a shallow bowl. Dip the eggplant into the egg and then in the crumbs. Fry the slices on a griddle with a little olive oil until they are crisp and brown on the outside, then layer them in a baking dish (or two) and place a slice of provolone or soy cheese on each piece. Cover the eggplant and cheese with marinara sauce (I make my own with a couple of large cans of tomato sauce, garlic, onion, salt and pepper, basil, oregano and thyme….you can throw a few grated carrots and some grated zucchini in the sauce and let it cook for several hours on low, and so far nobody’s noticed the vegetables!). Serve on a bed of gluten free noodles with extra sauce and a side salad.

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