On Monday, when I posted about our weekly produce purchases, a couple of readers asked if I would include some menu ideas for using up all those fresh fruits and veggies.
This is a great idea…except I knew that by the time today rolled around, I would already have forgotten most of what we ate earlier in the week (see yesterday’s post). I considered writing it down, but I knew that if I did, my notes would just get lost in the dreaded paper pile.
So, my solution? Two posts, and a few pictures to jog my memory. Today, I’ll show you what we ate on Monday through Thursday, and on Monday, I’ll cover today through Sunday.
Before we start, I should make a few points (because I always have points to make…again, it’s the English major in me). First, I’m a Midwestern girl, and I cook like a Midwestern girl. I was born, raised, and lived my entire life in the heart of the Midwest, and I grew up eating simple, hearty, down-home fare. My grandparents were German dairy farmers, and the meals my Grandma served (and in turn, my mother, and now I, serve) always featured meats, eggs, cheese, and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Seasonings are generally mild. As I’ve expanded my culinary horizons, I’ve learned to love ethnic cuisine of all varieties, and that strongly influences my cooking, but I still make a lot of traditional Midwestern food.
Most nights we eat fresh fruit (sometimes with whipped cream) for dessert, except on Fridays, which is our “Treat Day.” Today for treat day, I made delicious blueberry drop cookies – one of our favorites – with the added benefit of using up a half pint of fresh blueberries:
These are moist, buttery cookies with little bursts of juicy blueberry….you cannot eat just one (I ate three as soon as they came out of the oven).
Also, we eat only Biblically-clean proteins. This has confused readers in the past, so I want to clarify the reason why. Our choice to eliminate Biblically-unclean meats from our diet has absolutely nothing to do with our assurance of our salvation. We know that the death of Christ on the cross, and our new covenant with God because of it, means that what we eat does not make us unclean (Matthew 15:11), and we’re free to eat whatever we want. However, have you ever thought about God’s reasons for giving us the dietary laws in Leviticus 11?
The medical wisdom behind Biblical dietary laws is seldom taught today, but God’s list of clean and unclean meats clearly illustrates what modern science now understands – some meats are unhealthy for us. And who better to tell us this than God, who created our bodies? Most unclean animals are carnivores or scavengers that can transmit dangerous diseases to people, and unclean fish are typically bottom feeders, and organisms with concentrated poisonous chemicals, bacteria, and viruses in their tissues (such as oysters and clams). I once heard shellfish described as the garbage cans of the ocean, and “eating an oyster is like eating your vacuum cleaner bag.”
God, in His great wisdom, created his dietary laws to protect people from contracting dangerous diseases, and also to preserve the existence of a janitorial staff (so to speak) for His creation, which is why He designated them as off limits. Because of this, we limit our protein intake to only clean meats, primarily beef, chicken, turkey (including low-sodium turkey bacon, and pepperoni), tuna, and other clean fish when we can find good quality at a decent price (tough to do in the Midwest), and so you’ll see a fair amount of protein repetition in our menus.
If you’re interested in learning more about this subject, this site has a comprehensive list of clean and unclean meats.
So. Now that I’ve cleared that up, on to this week’s menu (so far):
Chocolate chip waffles with fresh strawberries
Bagels with cream cheese, strawberries, bananas
Poached eggs, toast, clementine segments, bananas
Oatmeal, green smoothies
Mostly supper leftovers from the night before
Chef salads with every fresh veggie in the house, plus chopped turkey, cheese, hard-boiled eggs
Quick pasta dish with tuna and 4-cheese sauce, garden salad (Romaine lettuce, carrots, green pepper, celery, onion)
Enchilada casserole, topped with sour cream, shredded lettuce, and avocado
Tuesday (out – special treat for the girls after their excellent parent-teacher conferences)
Grilled hamburgers (it was an unseasonably warm day), vegetarian baked beans, vegetable chips, fruit salad (pears, strawberries, tangerine segments)
Roasted chicken breasts, red beans and rice, roasted asparagus, fruit salad (kiwi slices, tangerine segments, blueberries)
Greek yogurt with fruit
Celery with peanut butter and raisins
Apple slices with cinnamon sugar
Any other fruit in the house
Whole-wheat crackers with sharp cheddar cheese spread