15 Days of Dairy & Egg Free Dinners (July 1st- July 15th, 2014)

Before my last blog post, I had never attempted to menu plan for longer than a week. These past few weeks following my 16 Days of Dairy and Egg Free Dinners! have been amazing. It’s been stress free for me. I don’t have to wonder what’s for dinner anymore.

Since I enjoyed planning and following a two week menu, I decided to do it again for July. I tried to menu plan around the meat in my freezer- hence the beef stew in July!

There are a few repeats from last month like the “Crockpot Shredded BBQ Chicken.” Wow. We thought that was AH-MAZING. And my “Mojo Pork Tenderloin” makes another appearance.

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I try my hardest to vary our menu and try new recipes.

Here is my latest labor of love.

Click on this photo to see my printed menu.

Click on this photo to see my printed menu.

July 2014 Menu

Tuesday (1st): BBQ Pork Sandwiches (Use leftover pork from June 30th menu), Oven Potato Wedges & Steamed Cauliflower

Wednesday (2nd): Homemade Shake and Bake Chicken, Baked Potatoes & Grilled Asparagus

Thursday (3rd): Italian Crockpot Chicken Soup (Use HyVee Italian Frozen Veggies)

Friday (4th): Grill Steaks, Baked Sweet Potatoes & Sautéed Zucchini

Saturday (5th): No FPU/BBQ Chicken Pizza (Uses cooked chicken. Use half dough recipe. Sub Daiya mozzarella shreds and use nutritional yeast.)

Sunday (6th): Date Night (12th Anniversary!!!) Spaghetti or Pizza Leftovers

Monday (7th): Oven Roasted Teriyaki Chicken & Lemon Pasta with Spinach

Tuesday (8th): The BEST Crockpot Beef Stew & Homemade Biscuits

Wednesday (9th): Leftover Stew & Biscuits

Thursday (10th): Grilled Pork Chops & “Cheesy” Baked Cauliflower Poppers

Friday (11th): Crockpot Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, French Fries & Steamed Broccoli

Saturday (12th): Last FPU/Date Night. Leftovers

Sunday (13th): Mojo Pork Tenderloin, White Rice & Puerto Rican Style Black Beans

Monday (14th): Mojo Pork Tacos

Tuesday (15th): Veggie Nuggets, Fruit Salad & Homemade Biscuits (Make Homemade Parm Substitute)

Just a few notes. We have a weekly date night so SG and our sitter usually eat leftovers or spaghetti. Spaghetti is my fallback because it’s quick, easy, and yummy. I use frozen ground beef that I’ve already cooked, seasoned, and portioned. I like easy for date nights!

FPU means we have Financial Peace University. If you’ve never heard of it or have ever thought of taking the classes, I highly recommend it!

A few nights ago, I had one new recipe fail- the cauliflower tots. They wouldn’t stay together because I left out the cheese and added nutritional yeast. Instead I smushed them into muffin tins and we ate crumbly cauliflower “tot” kind of muffins. But the taste was good! Sometimes substitutions just don’t quite work out. And that’s okay.

Have you tried any of the recipes from my menus? Please share.

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16 Days of Dairy & Egg Free Dinners!

I took stock today of what meats I had in my freezer. At first I just wanted to know what was in there. When I saw my list, I had this crazy idea of trying to only plan dinners based on what meats I have on hand. Of course, I’ll buy the fresh items needed for each meal.

As you can see, we eat chicken, pork, and beef. SG tested negative to fish and shellfish, but I’ve yet to give her any. And I don’t like fish anyway. I digress.

Here’s my list of meats in my freezer.

All of these were on sale or were discounted. All SUPER deals!

All of these were on sale or were discounted. All SUPER deals!

Here’s our menu plan from tomorrow through the end of the month. It took me about two hours total from taking inventory of my meats to planning my meals. I menu planned my way! 🙂

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Click on this photo to see my printed menu.

Here are the links to my dinners. Not all of them have links. Some of these recipes need adapting. If an egg is needed, I usually sub a flax egg. I sub almond milk or coconut coffee creamer for cow’s milk, and safe margarine or shortening for butter. Some of these recipes are tried and true, and some we’ve never had before.

Without further delay…

June 2014

Sunday (15th): Mojo Pork Tenderloin, baked potatoes, & roasted carrots

Monday (16th): Pork Burritos and Burrito Bowls: Shred leftover pork, seasoned rice, lettuce, tomato, and Daiya cheese

Tuesday (17th): Crockpot Garlic Chicken, roasted cauliflower (P- OAMM), and baked sweet potatoes
**Make chicken & rice soup to freeze for lunches and portion and freeze the rest.**

Wednesday (18th): Grilled Lemon-Rosemary Pork Chops & grilled carrots, onions, and zucchini

Thursday (19th): Crockpot Shredded BBQ Chicken on hamburger buns, french fries, and steamed spinach

Friday (20th): Homemade Hawaiian Pizza

Saturday (21st): FPU/Date Night. Spaghetti & Meatballs

Sunday (22nd): Sweet & Sour Chicken (P), white rice, steamed broccoli

Monday (23rd): Sloppy Joes (BP), tater tots, roasted carrots

Tuesday (24th): Maple Dijon Chicken Kabobs (P) & cauliflower tots (P)

Wednesday (25th): Chicken & Dumplings (P)
**Make biscuits. Use homemade cream of chicken. Use frozen cooked chicken.**

Thursday (26th): Date Night. Leftovers or Spaghetti & Meatballs

Friday (27th): Spicy Black Bean Burgers (P) or Grilled Black Bean Burgers (P) & grilled carrots, potatoes, & onions.
**Soak and cook black beans.**

Saturday (28th): FPU. Nachos- tortilla chips, refried beans or frozen chicken, Daiya cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, olives

Sunday (29th): Picadillo, rice, platanos maduros, & fruit

Monday (30th): Slow Cooker Carnitas (pork tenderloin), flour tortillas, lettuce, tomato, & fruit salad

I know I sometimes get stuck in a rut when it comes to our dinners.

I hope this helps your dinner planning.

Enjoy!

Frugalista: Homemade Dry Shampoo

Y’all, I’m just so excited about this post today. I mostly write about faith, family, fertility and food allergies. But today you’re gonna learn something new about me… I’m also a frugalista! Yes, I have a stockpile. But that is not what I’m so fired up about today.

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Dry shampoo. Do you use it? I do. And y’all, it’s SO expensive. I’ve used Alterna dry shampoo for over a year. I believe I pay $22 for it. Yes, honey, that’s spendy! But it’s worth it for the ease of not washing and styling my hair everyday.

Well, I’m kind of a pinning fool on Pinterest. I even have a board I named “Frugalista” for all of those make your own pins or how to do groceries on $30 a Week! pins. Yeah, y’all food allergy moms know we cannot survive on $30 a week. That buys us a few half gallons of dairy free milk and some dairy free yogurts. So, I economize in other areas. And my latest and greatest find is making my own dry shampoo.

The best part? You probably already have one of the just TWO ingredients needed in your pantry. I did. And really, the second ingredient is used for a fresh scent to your hair.  So the second ingredient is optional.

I also texted back and forth with my hairstylist Emily, to make sure I wasn’t going to ruin my hair. I have it colored to hide my tons of gray hairs and I surely didn’t want to ruin my every 6 weeks investment.

So here are the two ingredients… cornstarch and essential oils. That’s it! I already had the cornstarch and bought a little bottle of lavender essential oil for $9.79 at HyVee. The $9.79 seems a little steep for a half ounce of the essential oil, but when I realized I will only use 5 drops of it per batch, it seems like a steal!

Here’s how to make Homemade Dry Shampoo:

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch
  • 5-10 drops of any essential oil you wish (Optional. I used lavender.)

Directions:

  1.  Mix 1/4 cup of cornstarch with 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil in a bowl.  I used 5 drops.  Mix well with a fork.
  2.  Spoon mixture into a labeled airtight container.

That’s it! Now here are a few ways to use the dry shampoo:
At first, I put my homemade dry shampoo back into the purple store bought container. This didn’t work because my dry shampoo wasn’t thin enough to pass through the little hole in the top.

I solved this by storing my dry shampoo in a plastic GLAD bowl. I use a $1 make up brush from Target and dab it in the dry shampoo and then target the oily zones in my hair. Gently rub in.

Here’s the key for us dark haired girls. Use a blow dryer and brush and blow out that dry shampoo! If you only brush your hair, there will be a few gray-ish spots. Trust me on this one. Thanks Emily for the blow drying tip!

One other way to use the dry shampoo is to put it on before bed. I tried this and it worked just as well. When I woke up, a teeny bit of dry shampoo was visible and a quick run through of the blow dryer was all I needed. This is perfect for hectic mornings. Take a quick shower the night before with a shower cap, toss some dry shampoo in your hair before bed, a quick blow dry in the morning (oh and make up for me) and the morning routine is over in a snap.

Another way to store and use the dry shampoo is to store it in an empty and cleaned spice jar and sprinkle it in your hair.

I like dabbing the exact areas I want with the make up brush. It seems to waste less dry shampoo.

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There you have it. Dry shampoo on a budget. The entire 16 ounce cornstarch bottle cost me $1.69. The essential oil cost me $9.79. $11.48 all in. With a brand new cornstarch, I can make this dry shampoo 8 times. EIGHT TIMES! And I’ll still have tons of essential oil left. Considering the store bought dry shampoo (2.65 U.S. Oz. and $22) last me for approximately 6 months, this is an incredible cost savings!

I’ve only used it for about a week and I see no difference between the way the homemade dry shampoo and the store bought dry shampoo works.

This would make adorable gifts! Use a pretty glass jar and attach a brand new $1 make up brush and you have a thoughtful and very practical gift.

If you end up trying this, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I already gave some of this dry shampoo to my mom and sister-in-law and made a second batch for myself. I asked my sister-in-law for her honest opinion and she said, “It’s fantastic!! I may never shower again! You can quote me on that.” Y’all know she’s just kidding about the shower part. She’s a clean lady! 🙂

(P.S. We just got back from a week in the South, and the y’alls are flowing out of me and I just can’t stop!!! And I don’t think I want to stop, y’all!)

*This dry shampoo was inspired from these two websites.

http://lightcleansimple.com/dry-shampoo-recipes-that-keep-hair-fresh-and-save-money/
http://smallhomebigstart.com/2013/02/dry-shampoo-for-light-hair-and-dark-hair.html (This site gave me the great idea to use a make up brush, which was perfect after my original idea didn’t work. She also suggested using a spice jar, which I reference above.)