the kitchen arts

In the kitchen…

dinner balljar candle

We’re returning to a new normal around here. I’ve found it interesting that since we have returned from vacation, I have not actually made a meal plan, and have cooked from the pantry. This is the shift I have been looking for since the diagnosis: with this groove back in place I know that the grocery budget will start to level out and I can begin getting it to a place of comfort instead of extreme stress. The hardest part, I believe, in a fundamental shift like this is actually the sourcing of things. It is easy to eat frugally in a normal grocery environment, but when special things like almond flour and the like are required to make the meals, you often find you are spending premium dollars until you can find bulk options that work. I was finally able to source gluten free oats in 25 lb. bags for a reasonable price ($1.28 lb) through our local independent health food grocery store, versus the premium ($6.89 lb) for what is available in grocery stores here. The same with flour, finally.

The kitchen preparatory routines are also returning. Tortillas and the occasional loaf of gluten free bread are getting made again (usually all in one day). I am certainly finding that one day a week must be dedicated to prep and baking. It’s movable- it’s often the day after I have done the grocery run. I am still struggling to find a few more regular pantry items for reasonable cost (gluten is in everything!!!) and I think once that is replaced, things will be just about right. I am considering joining a CSA co-op this year for our vegetables. That has certainly increased around here- green salads and quickly sauted veggies are the most common lunches and sides around here so we are going through much more than we used to.

My husband has been reading and studying about blue light contamination lately, and we’ve been trying to dim the lights and add candles in during the normally dark hours (both our breakfast and dinner meals fall within this category). I must say, the addition of the candlelight is beautiful and calming to the dinner crazy. It may still be a crazy disaster and kids pulling kids hair and all, but it is an addition we have been greatly enjoying.

Here’s what we’ve eaten this last week, all pulled from the pantry. Most of the crockpot meals are served over rice. Sometimes we switch it up and make mashed potatoes instead. You can always visit my Pinterest board for inspiration, and my husband’s accompanying GF one.

Saturday- Chicken, Bacon, Potato Hash w/ Green Onions, Cheese, Mushrooms

Sunday- Butternut Squash, Pear, and Cranberry (Crockpot)

Monday- Honey Mustard Ck. and Peppers (Crockpot)

Tuesday- Shepherd’s Pie

Wednesday- Spaghetti

Thursday- Chicken and ‘Gravy’ over Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans (the ‘gravy’ was GF cream of chicken soup with carmelized onions, garlic, mushrooms and spinach)

Friday- Nachos (the meat is all tossed in the crockpot to simmer all day- peppers and corn, too, with a can of salsa and taco seasoning to your liking)

What adventures have you been having in your kitchen lately?


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