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Monday, April 19, 2010

Wild Venison Sandwiches

Wild game is a healthy and sustainable food (this is assuming that the game is only hunted legally).  Since ours is not a family of hunters, we only have wild game when friends share.  Here's a good way to enjoy it!

Place 1 pound per 3 servings of venison into the crockpot.  Pour a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce (We like Black Horse Savory Gluten Free) over it.  Cook on low for about 4 hours or until you can shred/pull it apart with a couple forks.

Shred using two forks.

Serve on whole wheat bread or buns spread with homemade mayo and an organic garden salad.

By preparing your wild game this way, you lose much of that wild flavor that some don't enjoy.  This is a perfect game day meal... throw it in in the morning and enjoy it once you actually have time!

*Don't overcook or it becomes tough.  
**Go here for a great mayo recipe.
***Buns in the picture are not healthy... I sent Teengirl to the market for them. :)

Menu Plan Monday - April 19

In an effort to become more organized... I'm going to attempt start weekly Menu Plan Monday. This should be a no brainer for me, given that once upon a time I was considered anal retentive regarding organization and tidiness... let's just say that having children + a giant Saint Bernard + in home daycare has changed my standards a bit. :)

I'm still planning freezer meals... hopefully I will have a full launch in early May.  Many of our meals are ones that I have chosen with advanced prep in mind.

All meals are served with Organic, Whole, Non-Homogenized Milk.  Raw is best!

Oatmeal, Mixed Berries (previously frozen)
Brown Rice with Cranberries & Almonds
Baked Oatmeal Squares & Raw Applesauce/slices
Whole Wheat Cinnamon Toast with Fruit Salad (Bread recipe link at end of post)
Honey Whole Wheat Sourdough Pancakes & Berry Compote
Dry Cereal Day w/ Bananas (We keep select cereals on hand for now)
Eggs anyway day... usually a Saturday or Sunday treat. With Whole Wheat Toast & Fruit of choice

Whole Wheat Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Organic Garden Salad, Organic Baby Carrots
Homemade Mac & Cheese Bake w/ Broccoli & Organic Garden Salad
Turkey Flatbread Sandwich, Tomatoes & Organic Garden Salad 
Black Beans w/ Rice & Shredded Cheese, Fresh Tomato Salsa, Carrot & Celery Sticks
Scrambled Eggs w/ Whole Wheat Toast, Fruit Salad & Organic Garden Salad
Cheese Quesadilla's, Veggie Sticks & Apple Slices
Tuna & Crackers, Organic Garden Salad & Fruit Salad

Beef Lasagna w/ Chopped Tomatoes and Sauce & Organic Garden Salad
Chicken Enchilada's with Kefir Sour Cream, Fresh Carrots & Broccoli (Tortilla Recipe Below)
Tilapia w/ Seasoned Brown Rice, Lightly Steamed Spinach & Organic Garden Salad
Shredded Wild Venison Sandwiches, Fruit Salad & Veggie Sticks
Black Bean Tacos, Avocado, Tomato, Kefir Sour Cream, Organic Garden Salad
Chicken and Rice Bake w/ Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup, Fruit Salad & Veggie Sticks
Shrimp Alfredo w/ Whole Wheat Bow Tie Pasta, Organic Garden Salad, Baked Apples

I will link to recipes as they are posted on one of my blogs or the site I get the recipe from!

My tortilla recipe
Whole Wheat Bread Recipe (non-soaked)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Freezer Meals: First Up, Whole Wheat and Gluten Free Waffles

I'm starting freezer meal planning.  It's a bit overwhelming, but I think it's doable and will be easy once I have a routine down.

My plan is to have 22 meals prepped and ready in the freezer at the beginning of each month.  I'm also prepping breakfast foods.  Watch for my game plan in the next couple of weeks.

I started easy, with breakfast.  My plan is to have waffles, pancakes, and muffins baked and ready to reheat.

The first step is to soak my batters.  This can be done using kefir, apple cider vinegar, whey or buttermilk. (If using apple cider vinegar or whey, simply add 1-2 Tbs per cup of regular milk prior to mixing into flours.)

The trick to making both gf and regular waffles at the same time is to have a separate waffle iron for each, separate mixing bowls & utensils, and a separate prep/cooking areas (counters across the room from each other).  I get out the gf ingredients first, mix it first and then switch to the wheat mix.  Ideally, I'd man one waffle iron while my husband or teenager would man the other.  This doesn't always happen, so I have to wash my hands well between batters if cooking simultaneously.

Here are my waffle recipes (Makes about 16 waffles in my iron).  For freezing, this may need to be doubled (or more depending on your family size and consumption).

Whole Wheat Waffles (modified from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook)

1 3/4 cup whole white wheat flour (King Arthur)
1 3/4 cup unbleached wheat flour (King Arthur)
1/4 cup Sucanat (or agave or honey)
2 Tbs aluminum free baking powder
1/2 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
4 free range chicken eggs (or sub 3 Tbs applesauce for each egg)
1 cup liquefied coconut oil or melted pastured butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups kefir (or buttermilk)
If using applesauce, add 2 tsp cinnamon if desired

Gluten Free Waffles- change flours and add xanthan gum in above recipe

1 1/4 cups almond flour
1 1/4 cups coconut flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1 Tbs xanthan gum

Night before- Combine flours and kefir in a large mixing bowl.  Allow to sit for 12 hours.

In the morning-
Preheat your waffle iron.
Oil your waffle iron.
Whisk together eggs (or applesauce), vanilla, and coconut oil/butter.
Combine baking powder (and xanthan gum for gf), cinnamon if using, Celtic Sea Salt, and Sucanat (if using liquid sweetener, add to egg mixture instead).
Sprinkle baking powder/sugar mixture over soaked dough from last night. 
Add egg/oil mixture and combine well.  A wooden spoon should work because this will be a fairly liquid mixture.  If too dry, add a bit more kefir until desired consistency is reached. 
Pour onto waffle iron using a measuring cup or ladle (amount will depend on size of your iron).
Cook according to your iron, some have indicator lights... on mine, I just watch for the steam to taper.
Re-oil iron every few waffles as needed.

To freeze, allow to cool.  Place sheets of parchment paper between waffles and store several waffles in freezer bags or containers.  Label with date prior to freezing.  Reheat using toaster oven.

*My preference is to make the standard recipe (using eggs), sub honey for Sucanat, then fold in a cup of applesauce and a couple teaspoons of cinnamon (sometimes I also add diced apples).  If this is my plan, I usually reduce the initial amount of kefir when I soak so that I don't end up with too thin of a batter.

**Since kefir grains can often be found for free (like mine where) or inexpensively and used FOREVER, they are essentially a no cost ingredient... so a quart of kefir is equal to the milk used (coconut milk runs me about $3/half gallon as does non-homogenized milk, organic milk I can get for about $3/gallon).

***Sweetener can be pricey, a pound of Sucanat runs $4-$5.  It can be left out, but I've found that a little sweetener goes a long way and adds a great flavor.  Sucanat adds many vitamins & minerals versus regular sugar.

****Since the price of ingredients is variable, it's hard to put a price tag on these.  However, they are a nourishing way to start the day.