(This post has Crock Pot Yoghurt, Homemade Granola, Pizza Dough, Smoothie, Turkey Salad, & Shake and Pour Chicken Stir-Fry Recipes in it)
I purposely decided to start on a Monday. Monday’s are my day off, so I thought it would be a good day to get a head start on anything that I wouldn’t have time to do during the rest of the week.
Last week, I took about an hour to just decide what recipes I would use on which day and put a calendar together. This helps remind me what recipe for each day, also I can think about it and realize which days I’m not going to have much time to cook food so do easy meals those nights. As well, as a reminder of when and what I need to thaw out. It also means I don’t have to buy all the meat, fruit and veg on one day and risk it going off or just not having room to store it.
Where we live, there is a Saturday market in town. I love getting fresh fruit and veg there. Forget packaged stuff at Tesco. Often times, it ends up being cheaper as well – fancy that! So I bought this week’s supplies on Saturday and I will do a top up shop in the middle as well.
So I will start with the steps of what I’ve prepped today for use throughout this week and next. And then I will share the recipes of the Monday Menu.
I should mention, I’ve had to compensate certain ingredients and measurements due to American/Canadian/UK conversion. I will try to note the specific ingredients when they come around. As well, to anyone British a “cup” is a proper measurement, not just a generic cup you pull out of your cupboard. It is equivalent to ½ a pint. And do check whether the temperature says F (for Fahrenheit) or C (for Celcius)…there is a BIG difference.
Crock Pot Yoghurt
It is sort of like making your own yogurt. But the first time, you have to start with some pre-packed yogurt. I used Yeo Valley Natural Yoghurt 150ml from tesco. It says “Proper organic bio live yeogurt” which I am hoping is the same as “live and active cultures” that the recipe calls for. Because this recipe takes almost 24 hours (most of that time it’s just sitting), you need to prep at least a day before you want to use it.
The original recipe is from the blog Bless This Mess, I’ve altered it only slightly due to the amount of milk we had on hand.
-6 cups (3 pints) of whole milk (you will get runnier yoghurt if use semi-skim or skim)
-½ cup (1/4 pint) of yoghurt (make sure it says “live and active cultures” or something like that on it)
1. Pour the milk into your crock pot. Turn on low for about 3 hours. Then turn off the heat and let it sit for approximately 3 hours.
2. Stir in the yoghurt. Put the lid back on the crock pot and cover with heavy towels or even a blanket and let it sit for about 12 hours (overnight is the easiest). Put in the fridge for a few hours to allow it to chill and thicken and then enjoy!
Make sure you keep ½ cup of this yoghurt to use next time you want to make this – then you never need to buy yoghurt again!
You need to scald the milk which will happen around 180 degrees. The first time you make this recipe check the temperature of the milk before you turn off the crock pot, then adjust time as necessary.
*Mine only reached 160 after 2 ½ hours, so I turned it on high for another 30 minutes*
Once you figure out the time, just write it down or remember it and you won’t need to check everytime. After the milk has reached the 180 degree mark, you need to allow time for it to cool back down to about 110-115 degrees. This means it is still warm, but won’t end up killing your yoghurt cultures.
Original recipe is, again, from Bless This Mess, found here. In this go, I’ve just followed the recipe and not altered anything.
-6 cups old-fashioned oats
-1 cup shredded coconut (if you don’t like coconut, just add another cup of oats)
-3/4 cup wholemeal flour
-pinch of salt
-2 Tbsp cinnamon
-1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
-1 cup honey
-2 ½ Tbsp vanilla
-3/4 cup raisins or craisins, or none to taste
-1 cup nuts, optional
1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Line a big cookie sheet with parchment paper, or grease tray well!
2. In a large bowl combine oats, coconut (if using), flour, salt, and cinnamon. In a small bowl, whisk together the water, coconut oil, honey and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients. Mix them all together, make sure there are no dry spots in the mixture.
3. Spread the mixture onto the cookie sheet – it will be quite full! Bake for an hour and half total, stirring every 20 minutes (gently, so as not to break up all the clumps)
4. When granola begins to turn a light golden colour (about an hour into baking), add the nuts and dried fruit. Continue cooking until everything is a nice golden colour. Taking care not to burn the nuts. The granola will still be a bit sticky when you take it out of the oven, it will crisp up after it cools
Store in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge if you aren’t going through it very quickly.
I just used “porridge oats” which, as long as they are the full oats and not milled down, do the trick fine!
Also, honey burns quite easily, so if it starts to, turn the oven down by about 25 degrees, and let it cool down before you put the granola back in.
Egg and Potato Breakfast Casserole
I must admit, I’m not a big breakfast eater. I do eat breakfast, but I tend to be very lazy. A smoothie or some boxed cereal suits me just fine. But in an attempt to eat healthy and add a little more protein to my mornings, here is something I made today which will hopefully last us a few days.
This recipe is also originally from Bless This Mess, right here. I don’t think we have in the UK (at least I couldn’t find), what she uses for the potatoes, but I just used normal potatoes instead.
-2 Potatoes, diced into approximately cm squares
-1/3 cup of milk
-½ tsp salt
-1 cup cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of an 8×8 baking dish. Pour the potatoes into the dish. In another bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, and salt. Pour this over the potatoes.
2. Sprinkle evenly with cheese.
3. Bake, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes until the centre is set. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
You can add almost anything to the recipe. I’m not very adventurous, but you could add onions, peppers, spinach, bacon, sausage. Add it to your taste.
I also made the dough for a pizza I will be cooking on Wednesday. It needs about 24 hours just to sit, and I won’t have ANY time on Tuesday to put this together. So it gets about 48 hours, which won’t hurt it at all. I will give you the dough recipe now and then add a link to the pizza recipe on Wednesday after I make it.
Again, this recipe is from Bless This Mess, clicking here will take you there.
-3 cups wholemeal (whole wheat) flour
-2 tsp sugar (or honey)
-1 ½ tsp salt
-1/2 tsp yeast (*I used “dried active yeast”)
-1 1/3 cups of cool water
-1 Tbsp olive oil
1. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add the water and olive oil and mix until a soft dough forms. It will be sticky and quite a bit wetter than a traditional yeast bread dough, don’t fear, this is how it’s supposed to be.
2. Cover bowl with cling film and refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 3 days. The dough won’t rise much in the fridge,..this is okay!
So those are the recipes I’ve prepped today. You may have more time in your days that you don’t need to prep many of these things (unless they need 24 hours), this is what I need to do however to make sure it all gets done.
I may make a few more snacky items this afternoon as well.
As for what I’ve actually eaten for Day 1 of the Clean Eating Challenge
Breakfast: Fruit Smoothie.
This will last me (1 person, not sharing) 2-3 days. How I make them changes ALL the time, depending on what I have in and what I fancy. Here’s a picture of the ingredients I used today.
Lunch: Turkey Salad
Just a plate of Romaine Lettuce with about 8 slices of cucumber. Some shredded turkey and a crumbling of Feta cheese. Topped with just a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Dinner: Shake and Pour Chicken Stir-Fry
This recipe comes from Lil’ Luna. I’ve only adjusted the quantities as I’m only cooking for 2.
Due to un-labelled food jars, I mistakenly added about 1/2 cup of icing sugar instead of cornflour. The sauce, surprise surprise, will NOT thicken properly. However, it did not end up tasting bad, just like a sweet stir fry sauce. I will now label my jars! 🙂
Shake and Pour Chicken Stir-Fry
-1 pound of chicken (2 chicken breasts), cut into bite-sized pieces
-1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
-1/4 cup corn starch (corn flour)
-1/4 cup cold water
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1/4 tsp ground ginger
-1/4 cup honey
-1/4 cup soya sauce
-3/4 cup chicken broth
-pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
-1 package frozen stir-fry vegetables
-3 cups cooked brown rice
1. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat for about 30 seconds. Add the chicken and cook until it is cooked through and no longer pink (check the centres)
2. While chicken is cooking away, add all the sauce ingredients into either a) a sealed jar and simply shake well to combine it all or b)a bowl and mix well until it’s all combined.
3. Once chicken has been cooked through, reduce to medium heat and pour the sauce over the chicken. Stir continuously until the sauce thickens up. The colour should change from a muddy brown colour to a more clean red – about 3 minutes.
4. Add frozen vegetables and cook until the veggies are heated through.
5. Serve chicken/sauce/veg over hot brown rice and garnish with chopped green onion and/or sesame seeds if desired!
Cornstarch/flour often goes clumpy in wet mixture. To avoid this, combine the cornstarch/flour with the water first and get all the clumps out, then add the rest of the ingredients.