Monthly Archives: May 2012

Menu Plan #1

Menu Plan #1

My plan for this week focuses on easy, especially for breakfasts. I am really nervous about being able to get myself and Quinten ready for the day all before 7 am. I hate, hate, HATE planning meals but cooking for seven makes you quickly realize the benefit of having a real plan every week. The weeks I’m too lazy to work up a real plan has us scavenging the pantry for something to eat.

Okay….I had a nice little table for my menu plan but I can’t figure out how to get it to post in its entirety….and it’s pissing me off. Here it is broken up and nowhere near as nice. Of course, as I’ve made changes, I’ve lost the links to the meals. I will come back and replace them soon.

  Friday Saturday Sunday Monday
Breakfast Eggs and ham Eggs and ham Eggs and Ham Green Chile Egg Cups
Snack None None None Roasted almonds
Lunch Salad and ham Salad and ham Salad and ham Roasted veggies, grilled chicken, dressing, apple slices
Snack Nuts/Q fudge Nuts/Q fudge Nuts/Q fudge Nuts/Q fudge
Dinner Curried meatballs, cucumber slices, cooked carrots Grilled hamburger, no potato salad Grilled chicken, warm spinach and sweet potato salad Steak stir-fry, quinoa
  Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Breakfast Green Chile Egg Cups Green Chile Egg Cups Greek Yogurt, nuts, and blueberries Greek yogurt, nuts, and blueberries
Snack Roasted almonds Roasted almonds Roasted almonds Roasted almonds
Lunch Roasted veggies, grilled chicken, dressing, apple slices Roasted veggies, cheeseburger sliders Mango chicken salad Grilled steak and salad
Snack Nuts/Q fudge Nuts/Q fudge Nuts/Q fudge Nuts/Q fudge
Dinner Bacon cheeseburger sliders, roasted veggies (planned leftovers) Mango chicken salad (planned leftovers), grilled bananas Grilled steak (planned leftovers), baked potatoes, salad Chicken Caesar salad, vanilla cupcakes

I think I’ve listed everything that is included in the recipes. The amounts should feed 6 adults for 8 days. I’ve estimated that it would be $2.54 per person per meal or $7.63 per person per day. I panic over the cost some days until I break it down like this.

8 dozen eggs 2 half hams Seasoning salt 4 small cans green chiles 1 lb cheddar 12 servings Greek yogurt
Macadamia nuts 1 pkg frozen blueberries (Sams) 1 pkg roasted almonds (Sams) 8 large romaine 2 pkg carrots 10 baby zucchini
1 bag potatoes 6 red peppers 4 pkg chicken breast 14 apples 10 lemons 2 bottles EVOO
2 pkg radish 1 box baby spinach (Sams) 2 bunches green onions 1 pkg pecans 8 pounds ground beef 5 onions
Curry powder Salt Black pepper Coconut oil Garlic Honey
1 small can tomato paste Chicken broth 2 cucumbers 2 heads cauliflower 1 dozen pasteurized eggs Apple cider vinegar
1 jar dill pickles 1 bottle yellow mustard 1 bottle spicy brown mustard 4 sweet potatoes 3 pkg bacon Basil (dry)
Cayenne 5 lb steak 2 lb broccoli 1 pkg baby portabellas Coconut aminos 1 pkg quinoa
6 bananas 6 mangos 1 jalapeno 6 cups cooked chicken Anchovies Parmesan
Coconut flour (1/2 cup) 1 lb butter vanilla

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Green Chicken and Grilled Zucchini

Dinner was awesome tonight, if I do say so myself. Quinten complimented it several times so I plan to incorporate it into our weekly menu.  Once again, I am trying recipes (or one tonight anyway) from Nom Nom Paleo.

The recipe I tried tonight is Grilled Green Chicken. It truly was phenomenal and such a nice change from my normal marinated chicken.

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Because my kids are teenagers + now, food that is Shrek green isn’t an immediate draw anymore. However, they liked it once they got past the colors. I didn’t add all of the fish sauce since the one and only other time I’d used it, we couldn’t eat the dinner. I used maybe 1.5 teaspoons. I also forgot to use the maple syrup. I also didn’t have any bone-in chicken so I used chicken breast and added ¼ cup olive oil to the marinade in order to keep the chicken from sticking to the grill.

In addition to the chicken, we had marinated grilled zucchini. After years of gardening, my kids absolutely hate zucchini in any way, shape, or form. Quinten and I loved it. More for us. 😉

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Here is how I made it tonight:

Marinated Grilled Zucchini

  • Zest from half a lime
  • Juice from 2 limes (if also making the green chicken, use the lime juice from the lime you used in that recipe)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, run through the microplaner
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

Wash and trim the zucchini and slice each one in half lengthwise. On each zucchini half, run your paring knife in an S pattern, being careful not to cut all the way through the skin. This will allow the marinade to soak into the zucchini a little better.
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Place zucchini in ziplock bag and pour marinade into bag. Place in refrigerator until ready to grill. When the grill is hot, place zucchini on grill skin side down. Once the zucchini starts to get a little soft, turn over to grill on other side. Continue cooking and turning until zucchini is fork-tender.

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Last Night’s Dinner

IMAG0296 by lmh89

My pictures suck. And I think until I graduate (six classes left), they will continue to suck. It’s just so much easier to snap a pic with my phone than it is to drag out the good camera.

Anyway, in the sucky picture above, you can see the dinner I set aside for Randall after he got home from work. This is also what the rest of us had but pics of dinner on a paper plate are even uglier. When one of the kids isn’t home, I have to put dinner aside for them or it is very likely that Quinten won’t remember that I told him someone hadn’t eaten yet and the poor kid ends up with PBJs or something equally as awful.

The green blob in the picture (see? I told you my pics sucked! Green blob definitely isn’t appetizing) is sautéed spinach. I sautéed it in a little coconut oil. I forgot to add the soy sauce like I normally do but I still liked the spinach.

The orange strips were my attempt at sweet potato noodles. I saw the idea somewhere but can’t remember exactly where. I peeled them and sliced them thinly with the mandolin and then they were cut into noodle-width strips. I then dunked them into boiling water until the water returned to boiling, drained them, and then threw them into a butter-coated pan and coated the noodles with the butter. They weren’t bad but definitely not a noodle texture. I will have to find the source of that idea to see what I was really supposed to do. Kayleigh thought they were carrots and took a big mouthful before discovering her mistake. giggle.

The meatballs, however, were awesome. I based my recipe on this one (scroll down to the meatball recipe) but decided to change up the flavors to go with the guacamole that I’d made. I doubled the amount of meat since I’m cooking for an army every day, doubled the onion and garlic, omitted the egg, spices, and tomato paste. Instead, I added 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp cumin, and about 1/4 cup bottle lemon juice (I’m out of the fresh). I shaped them into golf ball sized meatballs and popped them into the oven for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.

The link I provided above is to Nom Nom Paleo’s blog. If you haven’t visited her blog before, I highly recommend it. It is my *very favorite* Paleo blog and every recipe I’ve tried has been terrific. In fact, many of the recipes I plan to try this next pay period are coming from her blog. 🙂

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Coconut Oil

I hope to post the various dietary measures we are taking to help fight Quinten’s Alzheimer’s. His neurologist is great about researching what is out there that might help. She’s had several suggestions that I’m still working to incorporate.

Quinten takes Axona daily which is in the form of a shake. It is by-prescription only and is derived from coconut oil. In addition to this, we had already been using coconut oil on a daily basis. It has replaced butter and olive oil in my cooking for the most part. It took a while to get used to it, but I now actually prefer my eggs cooked in coconut oil.

The Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) are thought to be the active ingredient in coconut oil which is providing the memory improvement in patients with Alzheimer’s. Caprylic Acid is the MCT in coconut oil which converts to ketones in the body and provides the brain with an easily used energy source. Because ketones are easily used by the brain, I’ve wondered if a lower-carb diet would improve Quinten’s functioning. This is one reason that I am looking at the Paleo diet.

Here are some articles about coconut oil:

Livestrong

Finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, a fatal and progressive disorder, is as mysterious and complex as the disease itself. The escalation of this form of dementia has risen dramatically in the past decade, according to the Alzheimer’s Association website. While research lacks scientific confidence, coconut oil’s properties show a gleam of hope for some with the frightening disease.”

When Dr. Newport couldn’t get her husband into a drug trial for a new Alzheimer’s medication, she started researching the mechanism behind Alzheimer’s.She discovered that with Alzheimer’s disease, certain brain cells may have difficulty utilizing glucose (made from the carbohydrates we eat), the brain’s principal source of energy. Without fuel, these precious neurons may begin to die. There is an alternative energy source for brain cells—fats known as ketones. If deprived of carbohydrates, the body produces ketones naturally.

The Coconut Diet

The role of diet in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is continuing to make strong headlines here in 2011 as hundreds of millions of dollars in drug research have yet to produce any significant cure. One of the latest studies published appeared in the European Journal of Internal Medicine: “Nutrition and Alzheimer’s disease: The detrimental role of a high carbohydrate diet”1.

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Diet Fail

IMAG0273 by lmh89

Bwwwwaaaahahaha. The irony. Start a diet blog one day and the next day buy this load of crap.

In my defense, I rarely (I almost said never….but…well…there’s the proof) buy this sort of junk. The last time I bought this stuff was probably 2 years ago for our last high school graduation. My youngest son graduates from high school on Saturday and we have my family coming in to help us celebrate (YAY!!). There are 20 of us and we will be crazy busy.

The change my diet so we’re healthier mantra is temporarily suspended. 😉

Let the partying begin!

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5/16/2012

I read. A lot. Right now most of my reading is directed toward finishing my degree but I can also be found reading anything I can get my hands on regarding health and diet. One of these days all of this knowledge is going to pay off. ;o)

My goal for this summer is to completely clean up our diets and begin to incorporate what I’ve learned. I read something somewhere that said that it is more important to eat organic meat than it is to eat organic produce since the toxins in the meat accumulate in the fat. I’ve also read that grass-fed meat is better for people with Alzheimer’s. I’ll look for the source for that information and post it soon. In the meantime, I found this article this morning and it’s another reason to add to the ever-growing list of reasons to avoid commercially produced meat.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/moms-doctors-aim-mrsa-superbugs/story?id=16352562

“MRSA is among a growing number of bacterial strains that are highly resistant to antibiotics and are very difficult to treat when they cause serious infections. According to infectious disease experts, the increase in the number of superbugs over the past three decades comes from the overuse of antibiotics — not only in humans  but also in farm animals. All told, livestock consume nearly 25 million pounds of antibiotics versus the 3 million pounds used in humans each year, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.”

Reading that makes me even more thankful that my mom and dad are bringing me 1/4 of an organic beef when they visit this week. They have been so terrific. They truly love Quinten and want to do what they can to help him fight this disease for as long as he can.

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5/15/2012

Welcome! I started this blog as a way to keep accountable for cooking healthy…..I need all the help I can get.

My husband was diagnosed in October 2010 with early-onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 42. My motivation to cook healthy comes from my desire to do whatever I can to slow down the progression of the disease. It may be a losing battle, but it is one that I intend to fight with all that I am.

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