Brace yourselves….there may be a blizzard (?) I’m sure there are people freaking out and clearing the shelves. So, let’s keep this shopping list short.

Monday: Kale and Potato Curry– Use this recipe as a base, but add diced potatoes (you can roast separately, or toss in the pan early) to bulk up the recipe. Serve with rice, quinoa, or riced cauliflower.

Tuesday: Whole 30 Taco Salad– I’m inclined to skip the dressing recipe for this. I typically rely on the salsa and avocados I use to “dress” this salad. This will save time and prevent you from buying random ingredients.

Wednesday: Chicken &/or Chickpea salad- No real recipe for this…I like to cook chicken that I plan to shred in the crockpot. Today, I plan to make curry chicken salad. So, I’ll add mayo (or plain yogurt, or a combo of both) to the cooled chicken; along with green onions, curry powder, raisins, and chopped almonds. This can easily be made vegetarian by using chickpeas instead of chicken. Serve as sandwiches, or on top of lettuce/spinach.

Thursday: Salad Bar

Friday: Vegan Gyros– Feel free to use shredded chicken instead of jackfruit. You can also save yourself some time by purchasing pre-made tzatziki. This recipe calls for sumac…you can substitute lemon pepper. I plan to serve this with oven roasted fries.

Saturday: *Freebie*

Sunday: Vegan Butternut Squash Lasagne with Cashew Cheese and Kale Pesto– This recipe will come together very quickly…if you have a blender or food processor for the pesto and cheese. Also, I plan to use pre-cut butternut squash, which will change the overall look of the “lasagne.” Oh well. We’ll have this as a side dish along with roasted salmon.

Monday: Moroccan “Meatballs”– This is a vegan recipe, but you can easily use lean ground beef or lamb instead of chickpeas.

Tuesday: Sheet Pan Shrimp Boil– You can lighten this up by reducing the amount of butter used….1/4 cup is a bit much for this recipe (in my opinion). Remember, the sausage will release some fat when it cooks. I suggest spraying lightly with olive oil, and then tasting after everything is cooked. Each person you serve can add some butter/ghee to their own dish if they’d like.

Wednesday: Paleo Butternut Apple Chicken Salad w/ Creamy Maple Dressing– Very straightforward. If you have a favorite dressing/dressing recipe- use that. ***You can make extra chicken today, and use for tomorrow (if you want tomorrow’s recipe to be carnivorous).***

Thursday: Jackfruit Chickpea Coconut Stir Fry–  This recipe has a few spices that you can substitute. For the initial spice mix, I plan to skip the peppercorns (and simply use ground pepper). This way, I don’t have to dirty something else by grinding one spice. No mustard seeds? Replace with ground mustard. No cumin seeds? Replace with ground cumin. No asafetida? Add more garlic. No jackfruit? Use shredded chicken or tofu.

Friday: Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos-Easy recipe, that can be multiplied and frozen for the future. Be sure to check your can of chipotles if you’re gluten free…some brands contain wheat to thicken the sauce.

Saturday: Honey Mustard Salmon– Don’t like salmon? Try this glaze recipe on chicken or pork loin.

Sunday: Super Vegan Bowls– You can use this recipe as a base to clean out your fridge for the week. Use whatever vegetables/protein you have leftover from the week.

Incredibly quick and easy is my goal this week. And I’m pretty confident that the meals this week won’t break the bank at the grocery. We’ll be using (what I consider) to be mostly staples.

Monday: Crispy Potato Curry: I like this recipe because it’s your veggie and carb all in one! I think I may add some more vegetables (like carrots and peppers) to the roast, just to add some more nutrition. If you like naan, because you’re a human with a soul, try this Paleo Naan recipe. Or, buy some! Costco has a pack of a million individual sized naan pieces (not gluten free) that can be frozen. I found them in the “ethnic” refrigerated section…by the kimchi, seaweed salad, and pork buns.

Tuesday: Whole 30 Sloppy Joe’s with…spaghetti squash/buns/sweet potatoes/white potatoes/rice/quinoa/cauliflower rice. That’s a ton of options. If you have a favorite recipe, by all means use it…but “Whole 30” ensures that there’s no added sugar from condiments, or general ick from a can. This recipe is very fast, and can easily be doubled or tripled if you want to make it in bulk and freeze for another day. ***If you plan to freeze, portion it out before freezing, so you don’t have to thaw the remainder and re-freeze.***

Wednesday: Mexican Pizzas- This used to be my Taco Bell jam! This, a Supreme Chalupa, and Dr. Pepper. Because when you’re 16, you can treat your body like a landfill, because the future is never going to come for you. Anyway…there’s no recipe for this one. I just plan to use corn tortillas (that I’ll lightly pan fry), layered with black beans, and taco filling. I pulled some taco seasoned chicken (for the male), and some taco seasoned jackfruit (for me) out of the freezer. Then I’ll top with “cheese” before putting in the oven to melt, and serve with guacamole.

Thursday: Avocado curry rice noodles with shrimp: My only issue with this recipe, is that I find the serving size to be incredibly unrealistic. I think I can get 4 servings out of this…6 would leave me needing to make another meal an hour later. Use whatever kind of noodles you have/like. You could also substitute the shrimp for chicken, tofu, or just add a lot of vegetables and make this a vegan dish.

Friday: Protein grilled on pineapple skin: Sounds weird, I know.  I’m going to use cod for this, because I have some. This would be great with another white fish, salmon, or chicken. I’m just trying this because I love pineapple, I always cut my own, and I’m hoping that there’s a use for all the waste. I’m going to serve this with Pineapple Fried Cauliflower Rice, and I will most likely not make this with all of the bacon and eggs that the recipe calls for. I just don’t require that much protein.

Saturday: 15 Minute Spicy Shrimp with Pesto Noodles: I don’t think I’ll make this with shrimp. I haven’t determined what I’ll use instead, but…something. Helpful, I know. If you have a favorite pesto recipe, by all means. You can also use store-bought, which will really save time. The sauce would taste great on quinoa too, if you don’t want pasta twice in one week, or if you don’t want to use zucchini noodles, per the recipe.

Sunday: Funday- free day! Try a new recipe, go out, eat PB&J’s…

Monday: Sweet Potato Coconut Curry– This is a perfect, quick, vegan meal. I plan to use white potatoes instead of sweet, because I already have some…and I’ve been reminded by my husband that, “We eat sweet potatoes a lot.” Which in his language means, “Stop fixing sweet potatoes.”

Tuesday: Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Miso Dressing– Don’t have shrimp, and don’t want to buy any? That’s ok. This will be great with any kind of protein (including beans to make this vegetarian).

Wednesday: Leftovers- It’s that time again. Clean out the fridge and freezer! You can try and play this off by putting each meal in a separate serving dish, and call it a buffet. I don’t know how that would make anything better, but at least you have the night off!

Thursday: BBQ and Coleslaw- You can make any kind of bbq you and your family enjoy. I’m going to go the jackfruit route, but use the recipe for this BBQ sauce. Jackfruit has a meaty texture and the look of pulled pork. I ordered a large bag from Vegan Essentials. Much easier than tracking down a store that carries fresh jackfruit, and then attempting to break it down myself.

As for coleslaw, I really don’t use a recipe. I buy pre-shredded coleslaw, and add some green onion. Then, I mix a good dollop (or more, depending on how many I’m trying to feed) of mayo (classic, homemade, or vegan) with about 1 TBSP lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, a squirt of mustard, salt, pepper, and a few drops of liquid stevia (sounds strange, but you really need a tiny bit of sweetness to balance out the fat and acid).

Friday: Spicy Ramen with Tofu– I’m going to begin by cutting the miso paste recipe in half. You only use half for this recipe anyway, and what happens if you’re not in love with it, and then you’re stuck with a buttload? I’m also going to use shiritaki noodles instead of ramen. If you don’t have either, linguini or spaghetti will also work here. If you/yours aren’t pumped about tofu- don’t use it! Try out a different protein.

Saturday: Pizza- Pizza is needed for normalcy and happiness in life. It’s also my husband’s lifeblood, and he can’t go more than a few days without a hit.

Sunday: It’s the Super Bowl, so let’s face it…there will be snacks. But, you can make a healthy dinner to fill up on before kickoff, so you’re not starving.

Happy short week!

Monday: Look around and put something together. This is how people have been fixing dinner since day one! No one wants to venture out on a cold day off. I know you have food in your house, and there’s an easy formula for putting it all together to make a whole, nutritious meal: Vegetables+Carb+Protein= Meal. So many possibilities. I have rice, quinoa, and gluten free pasta (made from brown rice) on hand. You could also use potatoes, or cauliflower “rice” as your base. I also have a bunch of roasted vegetables that I made this weekend, as well as some frozen shrimp. Those things will all be lovingly tossed together, and served to a husband, who will probably sneer at it’s lack of beef and potatoes.

Tuesday: Indian Chicken Coconut Korma: I’m 99% sure this would be successful in a crock pot. You could even put chicken and some broth in the crock pot, cook that and use it all week, and add the cooked chicken to the end of this recipe. If you serve this with rice or naan, you’ll take away it’s Paleo-ness. That’s fine with me, but, I’ll choose one or the other to keep this lower carb.

Wednesday: Mustard Roasted Potatoes and Apples with lean protein of your choice: This is an easy one-pan meal. If you plan to serve this with fish or chicken, you could add the protein to the pan when you add the apples (you may need to cut the chicken into smaller pieces to ensure everything is cooked at the same time).

Thursday: Vegan Bowls with Parsley Cashew Pesto: The pesto is the only part of the recipe that “needs” to be followed. So, make the pesto, and serve with a healthy grain and whatever vegetables you have on-hand. Tofu or meat can easily be added to increase your protein.

Friday: Butternut Squash Chicken Skillet: This recipe is Paleo and Whole 30…so, it has the potential to be a little bland. To ensure that this is flavorful, try marinating the chicken in the spices and letting that stay in the fridge all day (you could even take all of the ingredients, put in a bag, and let it all marinate all day). This could be made on the stovetop if you don’t have a cast iron skillet. If you don’t have one- get one! You can buy them from Amazon (very inexpensive, and so easy to take care of).

Saturday: Polenta Stacks with Squash and Cashew Cream with a protein, if you’d like: Don’t be discouraged when you look at this recipe. Personally, I will use the brand of polenta that I already have in my cabinet. You can also purchase pre-made polenta (in tubes), and that will cut off a lot of time. This does take a little planning, though. The polenta will need to set up, so make it earlier in the day. To save time and money, I’m going to skip the delicata squash, and use the organic frozen butternut squash I already have.

Sunday: Freebie!

Some weeks are a struggle for me to find recipes that sound good. 99.9% of the time, these are the meals we’re eating for dinner too. Really, the only times I deviate is when we’re traveling. Finding recipes and reading them to figure out which ingredients I need, is how I grocery shop. I’m a big planner and list-follower. I will say that living back in the states makes it a little harder remain on script. I mean, if I didn’t improvise last week, I never would have picked the one bag of organic “Sour Patch Kids” that was marked for 50 cents. I know there was only one, because I dug through the rest in a ravenous mania. Annnnnnyway. This week, I am ready to eat all of these meals. I hope at least one peaks your interest.

Monday: Sweet and Salty Fall Harvest Salad–  Gluten free, easily made vegan. This salad is one of the greatest things I have ever eaten. It’s just so delicious. There are a couple of changes that I make to make it a lil bit healthier/easier….

1- Buy pre-cut butternut squash. Huge time saver. I used frozen last week, and that worked well too (boiled, drained, and then roasted in the oven).

2- Substitute the butter for coconut oil or ghee, and substitute the brown sugar for coconut palm sugar.

3- Use dried cranberries with no added sugar or oil, or (what I do) use chopped dates instead. Dates have no added sugar, and are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

4- Use goat cheese, or use a dairy free cheese to keep this vegan. I’m really loving Treeline Cheese, which I just found out is made in the city where my dad grew up. Huh. Small world.

Tuesday: Tuna Wasabi Ginger Burgers- This is a recipe I saw Gwyneth make back in the day. It’s a favorite of ours, and I hope you like it to.

Serves 4-ACTIVE PREPARATION TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL PREPARATION TIME: 15 Minutes plus at least 1 hour chilling
The patties can be pre-formed and refrigerated.

1 teaspoon wasabi powder (or prepared wasabi)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon water
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon coarse salt
1 Tbsp peeled and finely minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp peeled and finely minced garlic
1 ½ Tbsp oil, plus more for cooking
1 pound highest quality tuna, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
4  buns
½ cup Soy & Sesame Mayo (recipe to follow)
Handful fresh arugula

 

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the wasabi, mustard, water,  pepper, salt, ginger, garlic, and oil in a food processor.

Pulse it all together to make a flavorful paste. Add the tuna and pulse just to combine—be careful not to overprocess the tuna as you want your burgers to have texture.
Form the mixture into 4 burgers and set in the refrigerator for at least an hour (up to overnight) to let the flavors really settle in.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add the shallots and sauté for about 10 minutes, until they get soft and sweet and a little brown. Reserve.
Preheat your grill or grill pan over high heat. Rub the tuna burgers with a little oil and grill for 2 or 3 minutes a side, to desired doneness. Grill the buns alongside the burgers. Spread the buns with the mayo, pile on the sautéed shallots and a bit of arugula and tuck in the burgers. 

 
Soy and Sesame Mayo

INGREDIENTS:
½ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

Wednesday: Low Carb Mexican Tamale Skillet Pie– Gluten free- You can really simplify this and use a store bought cornbread mix and enchilada sauce. Serve with a side salad and guac to bump up that veggie game.

Thursday: Spicy Shrimp with Cauliflower Mash and Kale– This just checks a lot of boxes for me. And finally, a cauliflower mash that doesn’t seem awful.

Friday: Pizza! What can I say? Those Domino’s commercials are really getting to me. For some reason, pizza and Friday just go together. So many options. Maybe have yourself a Joey special (Friends reference, anyone?). Have you tried Cappello’s pizza? You can order from their website, and can also find which stores close to you carry their products. They sell grain free pizza (paleo)…as well as pasta and cookie dough.

Saturday: Spicy Sushi Bowl– This is vegan, but you could easily add meat. You can also make the mayo using store-bought, by replacing the tofu with mayo and mixing in the rest of the ingredients. Add/take away whatever vegetables are fresh and look good to you.

Sunday: Homemades! Relax; it’s Sunday. Why not toss a bunch of stuff in the crock pot and call it good?

This is kind of a strange time of year. It’s still hot, but doesn’t feel like summer. Fall is a little over a week away, but stews and pumpkins seem far off. I’ll try and come up with a balance for you.

Monday: Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce- The beauty of spring rolls is that you can put anything you have into them, and they’ll taste delicious. You can use any recipe for peanut sauce, or pre-made sauce, or use my recipe:

In a small saucepan combine  1/4 cup peanut butter (only peanuts as the ingredient), 3 tablespoons liquid aminos/coconut aminos/tamari/soy sauce, 3 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons coconut or sesame oil, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, and 5-10 drops pure liquid stevia. Heat until everything is combined and slightly thickened,  stirring frequently. Makes about 2/3 cup.

Tuesday: Cilantro Sweet Corn Soup– Vegan and gluten free. Soup! I know. But this sounds good, so sue me. Feel free to add shredded chicken, black beans, use dairy milk…aka milk. I’m going to halve this recipe, because I can only eat soup one time. And, really, soup is a means to eat bread, so I’m going to try out this Gluten Free Cornbread Muffin recipe.

Wednesday: Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna Salad– Ahi can be expensive, so you can use chicken or salmon instead. Obviously with chicken, you can’t sear it and go on with your day. You can sear it with the sesame seeds, and then finish it off in the oven.

Thursday: Coconut Shrimp Laksa– Ok, this is kinda soupy too. But, there are noodles and spiciness and other excuses. You can definitely leave the shrimp out and use vegetable broth to make this vegan. I also add shredded carrots and thin strips of red bell peppers to increase the vegetables.

Friday: Steamed Butternut Squash over Quinoa with Southwestern Tahini Sauce– Gluten free and vegan. This is one of my favorite meals. The tahini sauce is so delicious. I have used sweet potatoes instead- like a charm. I also add carrots and peppers to this too. Whatever you have on hand to bulk it up with vegetables. I also put all of the vegetables on a pan and roast them together (instead of steaming the squash on it’s own.)

Saturday: Bunless Grilled Chicken BLTs– Simple, but tasty. You could go super healthy and serve this next to quinoa or brown rice, or, enjoy life and serve with a side of pasta salad or roasted potatoes.

Sunday: Homemades! Enjoy your day!

 

 

Pour one out for our homie, Summer.

Metaphorical goodbye, Summer. Labor Day is quite possibly the cruelest of holidays for school-aged people. It’s a day off, but you know what comes after it. For someone who *horn toot* did well in school, I really hated it. School caused so much stress and anxiety for me. I gave myself a freaking ulcer when I was 15! Is there anything worse than learning math and science? I know how that sounds, but my brain can not handle those subjects. According to Lady Gaga, I was born that way. Anyway…if I could go back in time and teach myself some stress relieving tactics and some ways to deal with anxiety, perhaps the thought of Pre-Cal wouldn’t induce black outs and heart palpitations. If you find yourself stressed, or perhaps your children are struggling to make the back to school transition, try some of these easy stress relievers. While some may sound cheesy, shut up.

  1. Take a walk (alone or with the fam) to remove yourself from the situation and get some fresh air.
  2. Get in the kitchen. Make something you normally wouldn’t. Treat yourself.
  3. Do something you enjoy. Watch a favorite show or movie, read for a bit, have a cocktail, exercise…
  4. Deep breathing. This can actually work, and will lower your blood pressure. Close your eyes, and breathe in and out slowly for a few minutes.
  5. Talk/write out the issue. Chances are you may be blowing things up a bit. If you get to the root of your problem, your solution might become more clear.
  6. Be creative. Whether you dabble in a DIY project; writing; or playing an instrument, getting the creative juices flowing can be very therapeutic.
  7. Be present. How many times have you freaked thinking about all of the things that you have to do tomorrow, in a week, in a month? Take everything a step at a time. Make a list. It really helps.
  8. Ask for help. If you’re overwhelmed because you’ve spread yourself too thin, ask family and friends for help. That’s the beauty of people who love you….you’re not putting them out. But, just don’t get crazy with the favors.

As a person who lives a normal life and who graduated high school 16 years ago, I can honestly say that I have never used the FOIL method; had to solve for X; used a microscope to see an Endoplasmic Reticulum (I just always liked those words, so that’s all I remember from Bio); or balanced a chemical equation. So. Take that, ridiculous standards.

Monday: Burger Bar- Happy Labor Day! Bust out that grill.

Tuesday: Roasted Cauliflower Tacos– Vegan and gluten free. I plan to marinate the cauliflower in the milk mixture to really let the flavors get in there. You could also use the marinade mixture for shrimp or chicken.

Wednesday: Coconut Milk Chicken with Jalapeño Mango Chutney– Gluten free. You could use store-bought chutney, but it will more than likely be loaded with HFCS and other sugars. Just make it. I plan to use frozen mango, because that’s what I have on hand. I’ll just let it thaw first. Serve this chicken with rice or quinoa and a vegetable side.

Thursday: Brazilian Bowls– Vegetarian and gluten free…can be vegan if you use a dairy free “sour cream.” I love this recipe. I always serve this over plain rice instead of the rice the recipe provides.

***Soak 1cup of cashews for tomorrow’s dinner!***

Friday: Magic Mushroom Sauce and pasta- Vegan and gluten free. This sauce will come together so quickly. Serve over pasta for a creamy, satisfying meal.

Saturday: Moroccan Carrot and Chickpea Salad and your choice of protein- Gluten free; salad can be made vegan if you use non dairy, “feta.” If you use jarred chickpeas and pre-shredded carrots, this will take 5 minutes to make. Don’t like/have pistachios? Use cashews, almonds, or pumpkin seeds. This salad will taste great paired with a white fish seasoned with Ral el Hanout.

Sunday: Crabby Snacks and Homemades- From now until the end of football season, this is what you’ll see as the meal de jour for Sundays. Crabby Snacks and Homemades comes from Silver Linings Playbook, which is one of my favorite movies. The main character’s mom makes this every game day. To me, this is going to be comfort food. This is an opportunity to bust out the seasonal/family recipes, get in the kitchen as a family, and enjoy the last of the weekend.

We’re half way through August….and it’s still mega hot. Only one of these meals suggests using an oven. I know it’s more difficult to find the time to cook healthy meals with school and activities beginning again, but you and your family are worth it! It may require a little weekend prep, but these meals will not keep you in the kitchen. Unless that’s your thing; then just stay in there.

 

Monday: Simple Tofu Scramble– Gluten free and vegan. I understand that, “tofu scramble,” is not the most appetizing phrase…but they’re always delicious (to me). If you don’t like or want tofu, just use eggs. Use whatever vegetables and seasonings you like. This would be great with a side of potatoes or toast and avocado.

*The key to a good scramble (if using tofu) is to squeeze as much of the water out as you can. Open the container, take out the tofu, and set it on a plate with paper towels or a kitchen towel, then place more paper on top, followed by a heavy can to weigh it down. I leave mine for a while, and will sometimes change the towels after they’re soaked.

Tuesday: Chicken Parmasean Zucchini Boats–  Gluten free; to make vegan, use textured soy crumbles and non-dairy cheese. Pretty self explanatory. Serve with a salad to bump up the veggies.

Wednesday: Creamy Vegan Mushroom Fettuccine Alfred0– Vegan, use gluten free pasta if needed. Ok…this recipe might be a bit much for a normal Wednesday. So, you could just make the pasta, add the vegetables, and use butter or olive oil and some of the pasta water as your sauce. You can go for it and make the cashew sauce. You can make your favorite alfredo sauce. Or, you can say f*&k it, and buy a bottle of Ragu.

Thursday: Sandwiches…try baking these Gluten free Sandwich Rounds– This can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like. It could be a Wonder Bread PB&J; Grilled Cheese; or a baguette with slow roasted turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and a Sriracha aioli. Options.

Friday: Lentil Taco Salad– Vegan and gluten free, but you can easily use ground beef/chicken/or turkey instead of the lentils. Load up your plate with salad toppings, and then add this and whatever else you like to eat with tacos.

Saturday: Liver Support Quinoa Bowl with Sweet Sesame Dressing– Do you need this today? I really like beets. If you don’t skip this recipe. If you haven’t cooked/eaten beets: try them. Warning: they turn everything they touch red, if you eat too many you could feel a lil sick (they are serious detoxers), and they might make your pee a lil orange/red….every time I eat beets I forget this and think I’m dying.

Sunday: Bourbon Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Watermelon Peach Salsa– Be sure to use tamari, coconut aminos, or liquid aminos to make this gluten free. To save a lot of time, skip making your own salsa. There are tons of “fruity” salsa options. The key to this recipe will be marinating the pork early enough (toss everything in a Ziplock the night before and forget about it until it’s time to cook), and letting the pork sit for 10 minutes (UNCUT!!!) after it cooks. If you slice right in….ciao ciao juiciness, and hello dry pork.

Again…sorry for bouncing on you. But, I knew you could figure things out for yourselves. So, wave “see ya later” to the pizza guy, forget the number to Szechuan Palace and try some of these:

Monday: Vegan Turmeric Quinoa Power Bowls: This is a great way to get back on track after the weekend. Naturally gluten free and vegan. Great to double or even triple the recipe so you have extra meals for leftovers and lunch. As always, meat can easily be added for those who “need” meat at every meal.

Tuesday: Easy Jalapeño Shrimp Veggie Bake: Low carb, grain free, gluten free…recipe includes modifications for dairy free. Can be made vegan if you leave out the shrimp, and follow the dairy free modifications. It’s still summer, so there is still beautiful squash and tomatoes available- buy them and make this! This dish will keep well, so you can warm it up for lunch leftovers. If you don’t want/like shrimp (shrimp is another ingredient that we HAVE to be careful with, load this up with more vegetables, or try chicken or white fish. For shrimp, try to purchase raw, wild-caught shrimp from Argentina or the US. It’s not difficult; just read the label or ask your fish monger. Be sure to thoroughly clean and cook your shrimp (and any meat, for that matter).

Wednesday: Baked Pasta with Creamy Spinach and Brussels Sprouts: Vegan; use gluten free pasta if that serves you. This can be easy…you don’t have to make the sunflower seed cream (if you’re interested in this step but don’t have sunflower seeds, try cashews or almonds). OR you can sub this cream for cashew butter. If you can consume dairy, try using Greek yogurt instead.

Thursday: Avocado Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps: Naturally gluten free, can be made dairy free if you sub non-dairy yogurt or “sour cream,” for the sour cream. This recipe is easily multiplied for a crowd, or for leftovers. For a heartier meal, serve with pitas, naan, or as a sandwich. To save time, use a rotisserie chicken. Did you know that you can buy all white meat rotisserie chicken (as in: the meat is taken off of the chicken for you and packaged up nicely) from Costco? Well, you can.

Friday: Pizza! Who doesn’t love a good pizza Friday? I told you to ditch the pizza guy…but you can still have pizza without the preservatives and junk. Here are a few recipes to peruse, or, you can use your favorite dough recipe.

  • This Wolfgang Puck recipe can not get any easier…it was my favorite back in the day when I could handle it. My husband still requests it, and I recently followed this recipe but subbed Cup4Cup to make it gluten free (Just follow the recipe, but skip the kneading steps. This will still look like a batter instead of a dough, so just make sure you oil your pan well before you spread it out and bake). This dough is amazing cooked on the grill, btw.
  • Hawaiian Pizza– Gluten and egg free crust…use whatever toppings you’d like.
  • Emeril Lagasse’s Gluten free Pizza
  • I’m pretty sure you can still buy raw dough from Trader Joe’s, and save yourself some time. I’ve also been introduced to Cappello’s , which sells gluten and grain free pizza. They sell just the crust, and versions with Mozzarella or Sheep’s milk cheese. Their products can be ordered, or bought from Whole Foods and other local organic markets (their website will tell you the store closest to you.)

Saturday: Peanut Chicken Zucchini Noodles: Yes, I’ve posted 2983498374 versions of this dish, but, it bears repeating. It has everything you need!

Sunday: Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon and your choice of protein: This can easily be made vegan by leaving out the bacon, or by substituting with a vegan/vegetarian “bacon.” This would pair well with grilled chicken/shrimp/salmon/steak and side salad, or with grilled portobellos, Gardein, or (my new favorite) Tempeh. Tempeh is made from soy, so be sure to make sure it’s organic. I found some with flax seed added at my local Whole Foods. Yes, world, I now have a local Whole Foods.