The Menu at Chez Heather

 Posted by on March 9, 2012  Add comments  Tagged with: ,
Mar 092012
 

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.”

Urgh.

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):

Breakfasts
Chocolate chip waffles with fresh strawberries
Bagels with cream cheese, strawberries, bananas
Poached eggs, toast, clementine segments, bananas
Oatmeal, green smoothies

Lunches
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)

Suppers
Monday
Enchilada casserole, topped with sour cream, shredded lettuce, and avocado
Corn

Tuesday (out – special treat for the girls after their excellent parent-teacher conferences)

Wednesday
Grilled hamburgers (it was an unseasonably warm day), vegetarian baked beans, vegetable chips, fruit salad (pears, strawberries, tangerine segments)

Thursday
Roasted chicken breasts, red beans and rice, roasted asparagus, fruit salad (kiwi slices, tangerine segments, blueberries)

Snacks
Greek yogurt with fruit
Celery with peanut butter and raisins
Apple slices with cinnamon sugar
Any other fruit in the house
Granola bars
Whole-wheat crackers with sharp cheddar cheese spread

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  16 Responses to “The Menu at Chez Heather”

  1. Heather, I love your food posts. They are very inspiring for me because I never learned to cook growing up. It is a real struggle for me because I have no idea what I am doing in the kitchen. And with 2 small children it makes it even more stressful. It is one (of the many things) I really want to improve on. It is so important to give our children (and us) healthy foods. As I write this I pour myself a bowl of cereal! haha trying….

  2. Love this post.  I wouldn’t mind seeing a post for the cookies and the enchilada casserole recipes 😉 I am trying to cook more of a variety so the kiddos don’t get bored.  Since 2 of the 4 girls are half Mexican they naturally love Mexican food but I however am Cuban and not very fluent with the Mexican menu.  Thank you for all your posts.  They are very helpful (not to mention fun to read)!

  3. For those that wanted the cookie recipe I checked out Heather’s recipe tab and it is in there in her “economical eats”. 🙂 It was posted back in 2008.  There are sooooo many other great recipes that I will have to try as well.  Thanks a bunch for the time and careful planning and posting Heather.  You are truly an angel.  🙂

  4. Looks delicious! Thank you for your always-inspiring posts.

  5. Fresh fruit and veggies are always the first option for us for sides and snacks.  Thanks for the inspiration…I have been lazy with meal planning lately!

  6. Thank you for posting your menu. It has given me some great ideas on how to use up my produce in the future. Also, I have never heard of blueberry cookies. YUMMY!!! I will have to try out your recipe soon!

  7. I love, love, love your blog! I’m a new sahm and you have inspired me, picked me up when the monotony has beat me down, and made me laugh when I wanted to cry. It’s so satisfying to know that there Are people out there like me, frugal and family focused.

  8. Great post, Heather! I’ve been keeping up with your blog for some time now and I thoroughly enjoy it! I’ve got it up on my bookmarks toolbar and I’m constantly checking it to see what you’ve come up with next! 🙂 I totally agree with you about eating Biblically clean meats. I’m sure it’s the way God intended it! By the way, you’ve been an absolute inspiration to me! Have a FABULOUS day!

    Danielle

  9. Can we just come eat at your house?   I promise to wash the dishes!  A serious question though…Do your kids really, honestly, eat all those things?  I cook reasonably similar meals, but, more often than not, the kids eat the fruit, maybe a bite or two of the entree, and that’s all.  I refuse to fix “kid food” just so they’ll eat, but do you have any tips to get my littles to try what’s on their plate?  I’ve tried letting them help prepare, all the way to growing their own garden last year.  My 4.5 year old loves it–up until the eating part.  Then he puts his little foot down and won’t even try it.  Ugh!

  10. I love you and follow every post you have. Don’t you think the “Biblically clean” thing is a little outdated? I personally think people don’t give themselves enough credit and they can make the right choices without an old scripture telling them so.

    • Sure, I think people can make their own choices, but I don’t think God’s wisdom is ever outdated.

      • sometimes it’s best to agree to disagree lol

        • As every other Christian in the country tucks into that honored Easter ham don’t you think avoiding unclean meats absolutely constitutes making your own choice? Heather’s family isn’t doing this because “an old scripture tells them to.” They do it because they see the wisdom of old advice in light of modern scientific and medical findings. That takes a lot more thought and personal credit than blind following of outdated information.

  11. Thank you so much for going into the clean/unclean thing. I’ve been SO curious about that for SO long, but it seemed invasive to ask. (I’m a giant dork.) And thanks for the link, that is very helpful!

  12. Oh, and DUDE. Those cookies. Hades.

  13. blueberry cookie recipe?

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