20 Days of Dairy & Egg Free Dinners

Menu Plan

It was so relaxing for me to sit down and plan out this menu plan. A few years ago, I never would have made that statement!!!

After our stressful vacation, it feels good to sit down and get back into our safe and comfy routine.

By the way, isn’t this graphic amazing?  My brother is a very talented graphic design artist and is responsible for graphic designs on my blog.  Thanks brother!  I will use this menu plan graphic in all of my upcoming menus.  I’m so excited!!!

Here’s our menu plan for the last few days of December and the first half of January.  I’m always adding new recipes (thanks Pinterest!) and mixing in our old favorites.

Speaking of favorites, I’m currently obsessed with pineapple fried rice. You’ll see that twice on this menu served three times. I could eat it for dinner everyday! And it’s meatless to boot. At least my version is.

I digress.

This menu has a mix of chicken, pork, turkey and meatless meals (beans and veggies as the main protein source).

I hope this helps. Maybe one day I’ll have enough energy to even make a coordinating grocery list. But not anytime soon.  🙂

I share these menus to help other families like ours out there. Meal planning can be a challenge with a special diet.

Just for fun, here’s a pic of my set up for menu planning and getting this post typed up. I love Coke with my homemade Dragon’s Breath Popcorn. It’s the perfect snack for this menu planning blogger mommy!

How I menu plan

How I menu plan

1. BBQ Chicken Sandwiches (Make these awesome homemade dinner rolls, using vegan butter and non-dairy milk. Use dough setting on bread machine.  Follow directions for baking.  Once baked, cut rolls in half, add cooked chicken, top with safe bbq sauce) & Oven Roasted Carrots

2. Taco Pizza Rolls (use homemade pizza crust, use homemade taco seasoning from 100 Days of Real Food, ground turkey breast, & Daiya cheese)

3. Pineapple Fried Rice (omit ham, use only 1/2 cup pineapple & liquid aminos for soy sauce)

4. Lemony Chicken Stir Fry with Asparagus

5. Black Bean Chili & Cornbread

6. Crockpot Rotisserie Chicken, Baked Sweet Potatoes & Steam in a bag Broccoli

7. BBQ Chicken Pizza

8. Flex Meal

9. Vegan Crispy Cajun Chickpea Cakes, Homemade Dinner Rolls (See link from day one & make double batch for use in Day 10) & Sautéed Zucchini

10. Ranch Turkey Burgers made small enough to fit the Homemade Dinner Rolls from Day 9 (use 2 Tbs homemade ranch mix for ranch packet sub), French Fries & Fruit Salad

11. Tangy Slow Cooker Pork Roast, Roasted Carrots & Baked Potatoes (Bake enough potatoes for day 12, too)

12. Garlic Chicken, Baked Potatoes from Day 11 & Grilled Asparagus

13. Chicken Nachos (use leftover chicken from day 12 & Daiya cheese)

14. Pineapple Fried Rice (see day 3 for link)

15. Leftover Pineapple Fried Rice

16. Veggie Spaghetti

17. Ranch Pork Chops (make safe ranch dressing using link on day 10, dip chops on both sides in ranch, coat with panko bread crumbs & bake), Earth Balance Vegan “Cheddar” Flavor Mac and Cheese, & Steamed Spinach

18. Easy Chicken Tacos (use homemade taco seasoning using link from day 2)

19. Picadillo Tater Tot Casserole

20. Vegetable Soup & Bread & Vegan Butter

Here are a few photos of the foods in my menu plan.  Enjoy!

Homemade Dinner Rolls

Homemade Dinner Rolls

Ranch Turkey Burger

Ranch Turkey Burger

Sautee chopped carrots & zucchini in olive oil until tender.  Add spaghetti sauce & serve over noodles.

Sautee chopped carrots & zucchini in olive oil until tender. Add spaghetti sauce & serve over noodles.

Pineapple Fried Rice with Ham.  I now omit the ham and it tastes just as good!

Pineapple Fried Rice with Ham. I now omit the ham and it tastes just as good!

15 Days of Dairy & Egg Free Dinners: Part 4

My menu plans are always my ideal and what I strive for. But let’s be real… sometimes I don’t have the energy or the desire to cook. That’s why I depend on my homemade freezer pizzas and flex meals to get me through some days.

Here’s my latest 15 day menu plan. I’m already behind my schedule because it’s day three and I haven’t used this menu yet! Oh well.

I shall try my best to stick to this plan.

Here’s my menu plan for the first half of October:

1. Sweet & Sour Chicken (Sub 3-4 flax eggs), White Rice & Steam in a Bag Broccoli

2. Baked Tilapia, Sautéed Spinach & Sautéed Zucchini

3. Tomato Herb Soup & Homemade Bread

4. Ranch Turkey Burgers (Use 2 Tbs. of this homemade ranch seasoning), French Fries & Grilled Asparagus

5. Taco Crescents & Steam in a Bag Broccoli

6. Pineapple Fried Rice

7. Veggie Pizza

8. Smothered Italian Chicken  (Sub Daiya for the Mozzarella & Omit Parm) & Noodles

9. San Francisco Chops, Rice & Sautéed Zucchini

10. Coconut Vegetable Curry Soup

11. Healthy Turkey Meatballs, Baked Potatoes & Roasted Carrots

12. Sticky Chicken, Vegan Mashed Potatoes & Green Beans

13. Mojo Pork Tenderloin, Rice & Beans

14. Mojo Pork Burrito Bowls

15. Flex Meal

Did you notice I included a recipe with fish??? That’s major!

If you have any easy and yummy fish recipes, please share! I’m in desperate need of some. The easier the recipe, the better.  😃

Sweet & Sour Chicken

 

I don't use ground beef anymore.  I use chicken.  Ground turkey or black beans would work well as the protein, too.

Taco Crescents.  I don’t use ground beef anymore. I use chicken. Ground turkey or black beans would work well as the protein, too.

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.

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!

Menu Planning My Way!

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Menu Planning.

I’ve tried meal plan subscriptions. It seemed like a lot of work.

I’ve tried creating my own weekly meal plans. Took too much time to sort through all of my cookbooks.

I’ve tried winging it and surviving on my frozen pre-cooked freezer meat and meals. That worked best but I found myself most days still wondering at 4:30 pm what we would eat for dinner that night!!

So, I did what most moms do- searched Pinterest for ideas! I found many different good ideas. But none seemed to work for me.

Then I had an idea. I could create my own unique system. Menu planning MY WAY!

I envisioned a system of laminated index cards that contained all of my favorite recipes and then more index cards that had the recipes I want to try.

It ended up looking a little different than I envisioned, but still amazing! This is going to be a long post. Pause, run and turn on the Keurig and make yourself a cup of coffee, and let’s get started. This is going to take awhile! But it will be worth it!

This took me about a month of working on it a few times a week to gather the recipes and print and finish this project. But the time I spent will be worth it to organize meal times!

Menu Planning My Way:

First Step:

  • Gather your cookbooks, paper or index cards, pen and your iPad.

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Second Step:

  • Put headings on each paper/index card. I started with index cards because, well, I love them!
  • Here’s the headings I used: Favorite Chicken Recipes, Favorite Beef Recipes, Favorite Pork Recipes, & Favorite Soup Recipes. Then brainstorm and list all of your favorite tried and true recipes under the appropriate headings. Be sure to note which cookbook it’s in and the page number, if applicable.
  • Come up with an easy way to differentiate between your cookbooks. For instance, I used a Y for my yellow cookbook, a P with a date for another cookbook that had recipes with dates on them {Old meal subscription I had and saved}, a P for Pinterest recipes, an IP for recipes saved to my iPad, a CH for recipes I printed and put in a cheetah notebook, and BP for my big pink binder full of recipes. Come up with abbreviations that work for you.

You’ve sorted through and listed your favorite recipes. Congrats!

Third Step:

  • Grab some more paper/index cards and write out new headings.
  • Here’s the headings I used: Recipes to Try: Chicken, Recipes to Try: Beef, Recipes to Try: Pork, Recipes to Try: Miscellaneous.
  • Now, grab a cookbook and pour through it! Write down the exact names of the recipes that interest you in the appropriate heading. Be sure to note which cookbook it’s in and the page number, if applicable.
  • Do this for each cookbook, blog, and with your pins. This is the most time consuming part of this menu plan. I did this slowly over a few weeks. I enjoyed this part!
Recipes to try

Recipes to try

I read through my cookbooks, pins, and printed recipes and wrote down the recipes I really wanted to make. If a recipe looked too complicated I didn’t write it down.

Fourth Step:

  • Break out your computer. I used Word and changed my page size to 5×8. I typed up my lists, printed on colored card stock (normal sized paper), and cut the lists down to size to fit into my little 5×8 bound sheet protectors.
  • Sometime during this project, head to Staples and buy this 1 package of 10 bound sheet protectors. All of the sheets are bound to this flexible little plastic spine. Insert your printed lists in the sheet protectors. Print a cute little cover for your recipes and add that as the front page.

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I decided to give each category a color: chicken recipes were ivory, beef recipes were pink, pork was green and miscellaneous recipes were gray. You can print them all on white card stock or even plain white paper.

Here are a few pics of my finished pages.

Here are a few pics of my finished pages.

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You also need to decide where you want to keep this little mini recipe binder. I bought little rings to hook through the top little hole on the plastic spine. I also bought a little Command hook. I’m going to put the hook either on the side of my fridge or on the inside of one of my new pantry doors. Then I’ll hook the recipe booklet on that.

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So, that’s how I decided I am going to menu plan from now on.

Why?

Just a few days ago, I bought 10 pounds of ground chuck because it was an amazing deal! I have never had a list of recipes like this before. I decided to brown and freeze some ground chuck, but wanted to prepare and freeze other ground beef meals. I flipped to the page of “Recipes to Try: Beef” and picked out a few brand new recipes to prepare and freeze. Before this list, I would not have had such a great list of recipes right at my fingertips!!! I would have had to sit down and spend time browsing through all of my cookbooks.

Today, I found two packs of chicken thighs for a great deal. I looked for my tried and true recipe and couldn’t find it. I peeked into my “Favorite Chicken Recipes” and realized it was a pin and I was looking in the wrong place! Yay!

How to use this menu planning tool:

Sit down and pick a few favorite recipes and one or two new recipes to try for the week. Base dinners around what is in your freezer or what is on sale. Look through your list for recipes that will easily work with your frozen meats or your latest find (Hello 10 pounds of ground chuck. I didn’t expect to buy that this week!!!)

This plan is working… for me! I know this has been a LONG post. I hope I’ve made the steps clear. If you have any questions, please ask away!

Random thoughts: The upside to the sheet protectors are you can pull a list out and star it if you liked the new recipe or cross it out if you hated it. Update the list as you have time.

One last random thought. Living with food allergies is not easy. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an organized list of safe recipes right at your fingertips??? What are you waiting for? Ready, set, GO! 🙂