What’s for Dinner: Week of 8/10/15

Sometimes I feel like the most mundane things are potentially the most helpful. I see friends looking for dinner inspiration on the regular–even with the whole wide web to search. Menu planning is something I’ve done pretty much since I moved away from home in ’95–I honestly cannot fathom how you’re supposed to go grocery shopping without knowing what you’re going to cook the next week! It’s my week to cook, so here’s this week’s menu, along with some notes about planned substitutions (both for ingredient availability as well as Low-FODMAP adjustments).

Monday: Orange Chicken with Brown Rice and Spinach
The only adjustment I need to make for the Panda Express Orange Chicken Copycat recipe from KitchMe.com is substituting a wheat-free flour for to regular flour called for.

Tuesday: One Pot Lemon Orzo Shrimp
From DamnDelicious,net, this recipe assumes you have a dish that will go from the stovetop to the oven. Somehow I have yet to add one of these to my kitchen arsenal, so it won’t be quite one-pot, but it’ll still be fairly low-mess. Our local stores have started stocking gluten-free orzo again so we stocked up, I’ll use garlic olive oil and green onions for their counterparts in the recipe, and whatever frozen vegetables we have on hand.

Wednesday: Mongolian Beef, Rice and Spring Rolls
Another copycat, this time of PF Chang’s from Jo Cooks. Aside from the garlic oil for the garlic, this recipe is okay as is. The spring rolls are store-bought and while I could detour to Whole Foods for some gluten free ones, I opted not to. Overall Low-FODMAP isn’t as strict as allergy-level cautions, so a little wheat here and there isn’t going to hurt (it’s actually good to test tolerance levels regularly once the initial elimination period is over).

Thursday: Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats
From Cooking Classy, I’m going to use pre-cooked chicken breasts (I have several cans left from one of our Sam’s club trips), skip the onion as unnecessary with all the other spices going on, and use a sour cream substitute in the toppings. I’ll also use a can of strained diced tomatoes over the sauce called for–sauces usually involve tomato paste, and the concentrated tomato-ness can be a bit of a tummy-turner.

Friday: Latkes and Sausage Links
No recipe here, just shredded potatoes, seasoning, and a bit of egg to bind them. On our last Sam’s run we bought a huge carton of dehydrated shredded potatoes, just to see if they were any good (we do hash browns a fair bit). They actually work really well and I’ve used them in casseroles and as nests for fried eggs.

Saturday: Crock Pot Pork Taco Bowls
Spinning off from the Clean Eating Chicken Taco recipe on Dashing Dish, I’m subbing a pork roast I already had in the freezer and adding cheese to the other toppings. I’ll go ahead and put a jar of prepared salsa into the crock pot, but skip the tomatoes with green chilies as I think it’ll be unnecessary. I don’t usually use the slow cooker on weekends, but I’ve found that I’m more likely to not want to cook on the weekends, so this is my attempt to curb the take-out cravings.

Sunday: Dinner out with friends
A meetup group we joined ages ago always meets on the 3rd Sunday to hang out and then go to dinner. We could end up anywhere from a burger place to sushi, just depends on the whims of the group on the day.

There’s always a chance that any of the above nights might get scuttled due to unforseen events (or just plain not wanting to cook). The orange chicken, for instance, was a skipped recipe from 2 weeks ago when we had an unexpected take-out night. I try not to do it more than once a week, if even that often, because it messes up our lunch plans. Of course, if we manage to cook all nights then that usually puts us a day or two ahead on lunches, which makes the occasional night off not so big a deal.

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