On the Plate: 9.21.15-9.27.15


Avoid the dreaded “What’s for dinner?” by coming up with a menu for each week. It simplifies grocery shopping and makes it easier to get dinner on the table each night when you have a plan in place.

On the Plate 92715

Monday: Pork and Pepper Curry over Rice with Green Beans A simple, light curry that comes together quickly. I like to make my own curry powder blend (many of the commercial blends have onion or garlic powder in them, making them High-FODMAP).

Tuesday: Cabbage Roll Soup from SimplyStacie.net Tuesdays are often sloggy days at work, so being able to put everything for this soup into the slow cooker in the morning and add the rice when I get home? Perfection! And the leftovers were even better later in the week for lunch! I did simplify things a little bit  by using a jars of Rao’s Sensitive Formula Marinara since I had it in the pantry. It’s made without onion or garlic, making it Low-FODMAP. I also did not cook the rice separately–that defeats the benefit of the one-pot meal, in my eyes–so I just added it to the slow cooker along with a little extra water, switched it from low to high, and left it for another hour.

Wednesday: Dijon-Pretzel Crusted Chicken Breasts with Salad This was one of my favorite meals this week, and (again) super simple. I crushed a cup or so of gluten-free pretzels in the food processor for the crust. Then I mixed up some Dijon mustard, olive oil (part regular, part garlic-infused), and some white wine vinegar into a sauce. Placed the salt & peppered chicken breasts in a baking dish, spread the mustard mixture over them and then topped with the crushed pretzels. Bake at 375F for 30-45 minutes (until thickest part of the chicken has  reached 165F) and done!

Thursday: Asian-Style BBQ Ribs with Coleslaw from WholeFoodBellies.com Another slow-cooker meal, I skipped the layer of onions in the crock pot and added 1/2 cup of water before setting the ribs to slow cook throughout the day (you really should never use a slow-cooker without at least 1/4 cup of liquid inside). I decided to serve the sauce on the side and it ended up being a lot less messy than drenching the ribs in them completely. But for lunches I went ahead and removed all the bones and poured on the sauce, a la pulled pork.

Friday & Saturday: Dining Out If we go out two nights in a row, it usually means we’re out of town. This time was a fluke. First, a friend invited us out for “Therapeutic Sushi” for Saturday, so we shifted our plans for that. Then, when I got home Friday after work there was a bit of a problem in the kitchen. A problem that required Todd to solve, and by the time he got home I was over the whole idea of cooking. So the Fish Taco Nachos I’d planned for Friday will hold until the following week, and we went to Barbarito’s instead.

Sunday: Chicken & Rice Casserole This was my other favorite meal of the week–excellent comfort food! Any search will find you several recipes for chicken and rice, most of which involve a can of cream of something soup. I have attitude about ‘cream of’ soups–they’re something I prefer not to use and I couldn’t even tell you the last time I purchased one. Even before I went Low-FODMAP to control my IBS symptoms, I was interested in ways of working around them (see my Scratch-Made Green Bean Casserole recipe for a perfect example), but now it’s to control what ingredients are in my food.

But when you substitute ingredients, you have to keep in mind all of the attributes you’re trying to replace. In the case of cream of something soups, there’s a certain fat content and richness, along with some thickening power. So I had a flash of inspiration and decided to see if a can of coconut milk (not the lite stuff!), seasoned as I would any other chicken dish, would work. Not only did it work, it was probably the best chicken and rice I’ve ever had! And now that we know this will work reasonably well, Todd’s happy because it means he doesn’t have to pass up on those canned soup-based recipes that sound good out of deference to my dietary needs and preferences.

See something you liked? I hope I’ve given you some ideas for upcoming suppers and that you have an amazing week!


36 thoughts on “On the Plate: 9.21.15-9.27.15

    1. I really wouldn’t know how to act without a weekly menu! And the weeks that Todd decides to wing it are always a bit more haphazzard in our house.

    1. Me too! At least having a plan takes some of the stress out of the evening, even if you decide to change things up mid-stream.

  1. I have never made a menu plan before but I’m going to start. I recently went to visit my sister for a week and was surprised by how organized she has become, especially with her meal planning.

    1. It has the real potential to change your life! And if you find you’re overthinking the planning part, there are tons of services out there that will send you weekly meal plans, recipes, and shopping lists for a nominal fee to make even THAT part easier!

  2. I’m kind of a yo-yo menu planner. Sometimes I’m really good about it, and then when I fall off the wagon I kind of stay there for a while lol. I planned this week though! And I am always amazed how smoothly the week goes and how much more free time I end up with (in lieu of going to the store, meandering about and wondering what to cook).

    The BBQ ribs and coleslaw looks delish!

    1. The ribs were really yummy and so easy to prep. I’m glad you’ve had success in menu planning when you do it, next post I’ll have to share some of my strategies for simplifying the process for those weeks when it’s harder.

  3. I love menu planning. Sitting down with the piece of paper and some cookbooks to jot down the grocery list for the week is one of my most favorite things to do.

    We love cabbage. I wonder, if cabbage roll soup is going to appeal to my kids.

    1. I will be honest, I’d forgotten I’d set up the crock pot that morning and so, when I got home, I wondered to myself what the awful smell was, haha! Then I remembered, ‘oh, that’s dinner’ and was a little skeptical. Thankfully it tastes loads better than it smells (which is usually true for cabbage in general).

    1. I hope you do, and let me know how it turns out for you! There’s just something so awesome about the distinctive flavor of pretzels, right?

    1. On Friday, at Barbarito’s (quick service tex-mex) Todd had nachos and I had a burrito bowl. On Saturday I got some yummy Phad Thai and a tuna roll and Todd ordered Shrimp & Pineapple Fried Rice and the best Crab Rangoon we’ve had in ages.

  4. Great dinner ideas! Planning ahead is the only way that I can make sure a healthy and tasty dinner happens!

    1. Exactly! Without a plan we usually end up grabbing for the quickest thing, which often isn’t the best option if others are available. And since we don’t stock a lot of convenience items in our pantry, quick usually means take-out.

  5. I tried to comment once, but it looks like it didn’t go through. The pretzel crusted chicken looks yummy. I love that you menu plan. I really need to do this because I think it would make things a lot easier!

    1. Sorry for the technical gremlins, but thanks for coming back to comment! Menu planning frees up so much time for me, I shudder to think how I’d eat if I didn’t!

  6. I also dislike using canned soups due to all of the preservatives and generally blah stuff in them. Can you say more about how you used the coconut milk? Did it taste sweet or coconutty at all? I’m also not a big fan of fruit tastes with meat or poultry, so I’d love to hear your feedback!

    1. In this case I just poured it into the pan with the water, rice, and seasonings. Yes, we could taste the coconut flavor but it was mild and not sweet. If you’ve ever had a Thai green curry or Thai chicken soup, the coconut is there but savory. The stronger the flavors you pair it with, the less apparent it’ll be, so if you like onions in your chicken and rice, that will tone down the coconut, etc.

      Otherwise, if I needed to sub a cream of something soup I’d start by making a roux or white sauce and go from there.

    1. That settles it, lol. On next week’s On The Plate post I’m going write down just how I come up with my menus in the hopes of making it easier for people to start. It’s SOOOO helpful and really doesn’t take much time at all once you get into the groove of it.

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