Thursday, April 6, 2017


And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 18:13)

(Writing and photography by Sheila Gail Landgraf)

Thank you for joining our on-going chronological bible study called COME AS A CHILD.  Today we will begin studying more about the structure of the wilderness tabernacle and our text begins with the scriptures found in Exodus; Chapter 28.

God has just finished giving Moses a general idea about how to place the coverings of the tabernacle.  Now God is advising Moses of the plans for making the framework to support those coverings.   

Moses is instructed that the inside bars which will be used to make up the boards that frame the tabernacle should be made of acacia wood. 

Acacia wood comes from acacia trees.  Acacia trees are graceful trees that like warm climates.  They have deep root structures and are good to use to prevent erosion in landscapes.   They grow in any type of soil, even in sandy areas.  These hearty trees have bright colorful and beautiful leaves and produce very pretty flowers when in bloom. 

Another interesting trait of the acacia tree is that even the flowers and leaves as well as the wood from the tree can all be used in some beneficial way, whether it be food, medicine or building materials.  Nothing from this tree is wasted; all parts of it are useful for something.  It grows very fast and lives to be about 30 years old.    The wood is very durable and able to withstand heavy weights, which would make it an ideal material for supporting the four heavy layers of the tabernacle’s curtain coverings. 

The acacia tree is still used for many modern day purposes.  It is known for its beauty and strength.  Now we use the acacia wood for furniture and hardwood flooring.  Manufacturers especially love this wood for use in making outdoor furniture because the wood is so moisture-resistant and solid.  This would have been a very good fit for the structure of the tabernacle, as the articles of the tabernacle traveled with the people and were constantly exposed to the elements of the dessert.  The hard-wearing, strong and heavy wood; could survive well as the people traveled through the wilderness.    

Despite the beauty and durability of this wood; God told Moses to overlay the acacia bars with gold.  One reason for this might have been that the acacia trees were not very tall, and most of the branches would not have been long enough to form one solid board.  Instead there were several sections of acacia wood in each board held together within a golden overlay. 

These acacia and gold bars were fit together into forms called boards which became a type of foundation for the coverings of the tabernacle.  Each bar was to be 10 cubits high and one cubit broad, but the depth of each bar was not mentioned.

The acacia wood within each bar represented the redeemed of humanity.  Wood was symbolic of flesh.  The wood in the outer courts were overlaid with bronze representing mankind covered with sin.  The wood in the inner courts were overlaid with gold, representing mankind covered by the presence of God.  The gold overlays that surround them represented that they were redeemed of God.

Five is the number for grace.  Five bars made up a board, and one of the bars was hidden in the middle.  It could not be seen; though it was the most important board of each section of bars.  This was the supporting bar that ran from end to end in the middle of the board sections.  The supporting bar represented Christ coming to redeem mankind.  Without that middle supporting bar the whole structure would have been useless.  The other bars are good support; but the support from the middle bar was what made things work together and hold in place.  Without the love of God mankind cannot dwell in unity.  It takes that middle supporting golden bar; the one that holds everything steady and firm.  It takes Christ living within our souls for mankind to dwell together in peace and harmony. 

 There were to 20 boards on the north and the south and six boards on the west with two additional corner boards.  The east had no boards; as it was the place of the entrance, and pillars supported the tent on this side. 

Altogether there were 48 boards of acacia wood overlaid with gold. We will speak more of how these boards were used and held up in our next lesson from COME AS A CHILD.  

Thursday, March 30, 2017



(Written by Sheila Gail Landgraf)

So far in this study of the Exodus, we have seen the plan for three of the coverings for the wilderness tabernacle.  God gave Moses the instructions, starting from the inside of the tabernacle and working from there toward the outside.  The most important things were on the inside.  The less important things were on the outside; yet everything was important when you looked at the tabernacle as a whole.  Each piece supported the other pieces.

There is one more covering that we need to discuss.  It would be the covering that the world would see from the outside when they first glimpsed at the wilderness tabernacle as they passed by.     

The last covering, the one which topped all the other coverings of the tabernacle, was made of badger skins.  No specific measurements for these skins are given in the scriptures.

“Badger skins” translates to Hebrew as “tachash.” This interpretation of the word may refer to a badger or a dugong or a sea cow.  A dugong is a type of aquatic mammal that could be found swimming along the shores of the Red Sea during the days of the Exodus.  Most of the sages believe this may be the creature the scriptures describe.  This creature is almost extinct today, and it would be very rare to spot one.
With this last covering added to the others we can see a progression from a very beautiful inside to a very plain and ordinary outside.  Actually, the outside might have been even downright unattractive.  The fine white linen on the deepest inside of the tabernacle had the lovely blue and purple and scarlet threads woven artistically into its walls.  It was decorated with cherubim and was noticeably beautiful to behold with the eyes. 

The goat skin cloth that came next was attractive; but a lot less beautiful than the white linen covering.

The ram’s skin dyed red was next, and it was a lot less attractive than the goats skin coverings.

The badger skin covering that came last and showed on the outside was quite a contrast to the beautiful coverings of the inside.  It wasn’t beautiful at all.  It was actually the most unattractive part of the whole tabernacle.
One could not tell from looking at the ugly exterior that the interior was so beautiful.  Someone passing by and looking at the outside from a distance might have thought this would be a very unattractive place to worship. They probably would not have even imagined it as a place of worship at all.  They would not have realized all of the inner beauty that existed inside, because it would have been totally hidden from sight.

This is so typical of God’s Kingdom.  The most beautiful things are the hidden things. You will not see them at first glance.  They are the things you must learn to search for with all of your heart.  God must lead you to them and God must reveal them to you.  He will do that if you ask Him to.  This is one reason it has been said that the kingdom of God is like a treasure hidden in a field. One must truly be searching to find it and to discover its hidden beauty.

The deeper you look into the things of God the more beauty you begin to discover.  One cannot stand on the outside; one must go inside to find the real beauty.  It isn’t always evident; but you must hunger and thirst for the truth and search for it with all of your heart and soul.  When you find it; you will be surprised at the magnificent beauty. 

So we have discussed that each of these coverings represent Christ in some way, and true to form, the badger skins also represent Him.  They represent the earthy, physical body of Christ as he lived as a man.

We are told that Jesus was not attractive in appearance.  Neither were the badger skins.

Jesus appeared to be just a normal man with nothing especially attractive about him.  There was no indication of his royalty as The Son of God when you looked upon Him.  He appeared very humble in character.  The badger skins on the outside of the tent that made up the tabernacle were just the same.  They were ordinary and common and there was nothing exceptional about them that would make you think they covered a beautiful place or formed a habitat for the true worship of God, or provided a shelter for the place where God actually dwelled among the people.  The outward physical appearance said nothing about the inward spiritual beauty.

This reminds me of one of my favorite old sayings; “you can’t judge a book by its cover.”  No truer words were ever spoken.  The outside of the tabernacle gave no clue to what went on in the inside of the tabernacle. 

All we know specifically about the physical attributes of Jesus is that He had a beard.  Almost all Israelite men had beards.  This was not a distinguishing characteristic, and it would have actually made Him blend in with the crowd even more.   We really have no idea what the rest of his appearance was like.  

Any person looking upon Jesus and judging by his outward physical appearance would never guess who He actually was; and they would never be able to grasp his deep inner beauty; or that He actually was and IS the True Son of God.  

They would need to really get to know Him and be in relationship with Him in order to see these things that truly matter the most.  This is how the disciple named Peter came to realize who Jesus was; by living with Him day-in and day-out.  This was the only way that an ordinary fisherman like Peter could begin to grasp the magnificance of The Son of God.   To know Christ someone would have to look deeper into the eyes of Christ and listen to Him, and ponder and comprehend His words and spoken thoughts.  They would need to actually see and observe how He lived out His life, all the little details and elements that made Him be who He is.  

This could be such an important lesson to all of us, not only in our relationship with Christ; but also in how we go about dealing with other people.  Sometimes the most insignificant people on the outside turn out to be the ones with truest character and the people of the most integrity and love.  You can never discover these things without getting past the physical and coming closer to the spiritual side of relationships. It is the same with people and it is the same with worship.  If you only saw the outside of the physical tabernacle; you could not experience the depths of what happened inside the tabernacle.

Some things never change. 

Many people today are like those strangers passing through the dessert gazing upon the very place where God dwelled without realizing what was inside.  They are like those who spent their days just passing right by those holy places without even knowing the mysteries and beauty and treasures that were within the structure that had such a humble and common outward appearance.  Such people would be making all of their decisions based on what they saw with their eyes from the outside; the physical appearance.  They would not be interested at all, and they would quickly pass on down the road.  They would pass on by and totally miss the most important treasure they could ever discover.  Tragically they would never even notice that they had happened upon it.  Some people get SO CLOSE; yet they never go inside.

When Jesus walked the earth people passed Him on the street every day.  They considered him to be the common son of a carpenter.  They put no importance on the fact that He existed among them.  He ate and drank and lived and breathed and worked and played among strangers who never knew He was The Son of God.  They could not see His heart. They could not see The Father living through Him.  They did not come close enough to experience what He truly had to offer. 

How many times have we all been guilty? 

There is a little piece of God hidden inside of everyone that He created.  Do we stop and take the time to find it in all of the people in our lives?  

Are we so busy criticizing and analyzing the outward appearance that we forget to look deeper into the inside? 

We can’t point a finger at those who walked right past Jesus and never noticed Him.  We do it ourselves and we do it every day. 

It takes living in the kingdom of God for a long time for most people to develop enough inner beauty and strength and love to be able to look beyond the surface of things and find the real treasures that are hidden and lurking deep inside. 

All of this reminds me of the beautiful parable that Jesus gave us about the pearl of great price.  In that parable a man was searching diligently and kept searching until he found the treasure.

To discover the beauty of the wilderness tabernacle, you would have to be searching diligently enough to stop and go inside in spite of the ordinary outward appearance. 

To find the beauty of Christ, you simply have to look at His heart.  You must see the inside beyond the outside.  It is beautiful beyond measure.  Have you seen it?

You would have to be willing to go the extra steps to look beyond the ordinary and dig deep enough to find the extraordinary that is hiding inside to come into a relationship. 

This is the truth of all worship.  It was true of those entering the wilderness tabernacle, and it is true for all who seek the heart of Jesus today.  You must look beyond the surface and see the treasures within. 

I pray that this happens to you this week.  I pray that God reveals his glory and beauty and majesty to you because you have been willing to open your eyes wider and look beyond the surface and risk your heart in the process in order to find the real hidden treasures of The Kingdom of God.   

I pray that your life is full of God’s greatness to the point that your joy is overflowing.

So much beauty could be found in the wilderness tabernacle deep within the folds of all those layers of the curtains.  All of the same things can be found within the temporary tabernacle you call your body, that place that you walk around in; if you allow God’s Holy Spirit to set up residence inside your heart and begin to bless your life.   

Friday, March 24, 2017


(Written by Sheila Gail Landgraf)

Now that we have been through organizing healthy menus for our diet plans and buying all the groceries and preparing all the meals for one month together; don't you think it is easy?  

It is all just a simple matter of getting organized, having a plan and sticking to the plan.  

I hope you have found the meals tasty and nutritious.  I think I have already dropped a few pounds too; what about you?  

I KNOW my life is a lot easier because I have this plan in place, and that eliminates a lot of stress, which is totally healthy.  I hope you are also enjoying more carefree and stress free days.  I'm REALLY loving that new feeling of not dreading the end of the day when there is no plan for dinner after work!  

The eating plan of alternating moderate days with fast days seems to be working well at our house.  On the moderate days we have meats and dairy and oils but leave off flour and sugar.  On the fast days we try to keep our meals down to simple fruits and vegetables as much as possible.  No meats, dairy (most of the time) oils (most of the time), flour or sugar.  

The feast days are my favorite times!  You know how much I love a celebration!  I hope you are rewarding yourself with wonderful treats and rewards on your feast days without going too far away from a reasonable way to eat.  

As promised; I've put everything for this nutritious, healthy and delicious eating plan in one place for those of you who don't like to piece things together, and like to do your grocery shopping just once a month.  

If you DO shop all at once, I recommend freezing the breads and washing and freezing the vegetables until needed in order to eliminate any waste, and in order to preserve things and keep them fresh until needed.  You can chop up the fresh spices and put them into ice cube trays and then add water and freeze.  When they are frozen just place all of the ice cubes for each spice into it's own zip lock bag and pull out what you need when you need it.  This is cost effective and you always have fresh spices on hand.  You can also learn to grow your own kitchen garden, making this even easier.  All you have to do is pick what you need and use it.  Very much worth the time and such a cost saver for your budget.  

If you are buying the list for a whole month all at once, you may still have to go back to the store for a few items that need to always be fresh and can't be frozen; like milk and lettuce, but you can figure that out as you go along.  Most items can either be frozen or will keep until you need them; so go ahead and save those three other trips to the store and do your grocery shopping all at once if you want to!

Also keep in mind that the groceries will not be nearly as expensive on the second month once you will have already bought the spices and dry goods on the list.  They will last through several more shopping trips; so always check your pantry and your freezer for those items that you don't really need to buy, and watch that grocery bill go down.  Don't forget to make sure you don't already have what you need prepared and frozen ahead before you buy all of the items to remake.

Enjoy having the plan all together in one place!  (This is probably the longest blog in history; since I have added all of the menus, grocery lists and recipes as well as the final needed equipment list.)


Day 1 - Fast Day:  Strawberry/Banana Smoothie (Freeze some extras.)
Day 2 - Moderate Day: one apple, one bag of Lemon Blueberry Granola (freeze some extra.)  One pint of skim- milk.  You can either drink the milk, or put in on your granola and eat the granola as cereal.  The granola is very good simply to use as a crunchy snack right out of the bag; eat however you prefer.
Day 3 – Fast Day: Mixed-Berry Smoothie (Freeze some extras.)
Day 4 – Moderate Day : 1 orange cut into bite sized slices.  1 Sausage, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Burrito. (Freeze the extras)
Day 5 – Fast Day: Mango-Pineapple Smoothie (Freeze some extras)
Day 6 – Moderate Day:  Fresh Honeydew slices and 1 Whole Wheat Banana Nut Muffin (Freeze the extras)
Day 7 – FEAST DAY! -1 bowl fresh strawberries with whip cream on top, Cinnamon Waffles And Honey. (Freeze the extras)

Day 8 – Fast Day: Make-Ahead Apples and Banana Fruity Oatmeal
Day 9 – Moderate Day:  Pieces of cantaloupe cut up inside a jar, 1 Breakfast Sandwich. (These can be frozen and you will only have to cook once a month.)
Day 10 – Fast Day:  Make-Ahead Blueberry and Walnut Oat Meal. (Extras keep in the refrigerator for three days)
Day 11 – Moderate Day:  Egg, Sausage, Spinach and Cheese Breakfast Burrito (already frozen from week one) and a cluster of purple grapes
Day 12 – Fast Day: Make-Ahead Ginger, Apricot, Cherry, Almond Oatmeal (Extras will keep in the refrigerator for three days)
Day 13- Moderate Day: Herbal Egg Whites and Feta on an English Muffin  (Freeze the extras and you will not have to cook the next time) and one fresh sliced orange.
Day 14 – FEAST DAY!: 1 Lemon Poppy Seed Scone (freeze the extras and you will not have to cook the next time.), a cluster of red seedless grapes and 1 Breakfast Sandwich (Frozen from Day 9).

Day 15 – Fast Day:  Freeze Ahead Apples And Oranges Smoothie
Day 16 – Moderate Day: 1 Whole Wheat Banana Nut Muffin (already frozen from Day 6 Week One)  and 1 cup fresh sliced strawberries.
Day 17 – Fast Day: Freeze Ahead Raspberry and Mango Smoothie
Day 18 – Moderate Day:  Herbed Egg Whites and Feta on An English Muffin (already frozen from Day 13 – Week Two) and 1 cluster of purple grapes.
Day 19 – Fast Day: 1 Apple and 1 bag of Lemon and Blueberry Granola (already made ahead and frozen on Day 2 Week One)
Day 20 – Moderate Day: 1 sliced orange and one Breakfast Sandwich (already made ahead and frozen on Day 9 – Week Two)
Day 21 – FEAST DAY!:  One bowl of fresh blueberries, One banana, 1fried egg and one piece of bacon.

Day 22 – Fast Day:  One Apple sliced into thin slices, leave the peal! 
Day 23 – Moderate Day:  Sausage, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Burrito (already made and frozen ahead from Day 4 – Week One), 1 Banana
Day 24 – Fast Day  Mixed Berry Smoothie (Frozen Ahead with those made  on Day 3 Week One)
Day 25 – Moderate  Day: One Blueberry Bran Muffin, one orange sliced.
Day 26 – Fast Day: Mango Pineapple Smoothie (Frozen ahead from  Day 5 Week One)
Day 27 – Moderate Day: One Sausage, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Burrito, (Made and frozen ahead in Week One) Several slices of honeydew melon.
Day 28 – FEAST DAY!  Mini Frittatas and a Lemon Poppy Seed Scone (made and frozen ahead in Week Three)

Day 1 - Fast Day:  Mozzarella and Tomato Salad (When preparing separate out one mason jar full of salad for lunch and cover other salad for dinner on the next night.  You have accomplished one less step for preparing a healthy dinner while preparing a healthy lunch!)
Day 2 - Moderate Day: Chicken and Goat Cheese Quesadillas
Day 3 – Fast Day: 3 Bean Minestrone Soup (Freeze extra soup leftover)
Day 4 – Moderate Day : Roast Beef and Horseradish Wrap (freeze extras)
Day 5 – Fast Day: Celery Salad (Make extra and have some for dinner.)
Day 6 – Moderate Day:  Spicy Sundried Tomato Broccoli Pasta (Make extra and store the leftovers for dinner.)
Day 7 – FEAST DAY! –Ham, sliced Pears and Swiss Sandwich with Cherry Compote over Goat Cheese (OR EAT OUT IF YOU WISH – IT IS YOUR FEAST DAY!)

Day 8 – Fast Day: Curried Chicken and Rice Soup (Extra soup freezes well)
Day 9 – Moderate Day:  Sonoma Chicken Salad Sandwich
Day 10 – Fast Day:  Cobb Salad
Day 11 – Moderate Day:  Peanut butter and Banana Wraps
Day 12 – Fast Day: Avocado and Pineapple Salad
Day 13- Moderate Day: .Curried Egg Salad Sandwich

Day 15 - Fast Day: Hot and Sour Soup
Day 16 - Moderate Day: Pesto Arugula Wraps
Day 17 – Fast Day: Honey Walnut Power Salad
Day 18– Moderate Day: Chicken, Corn and Tomato Pasta Salad
Day 19– Fast Day: Roasted Tomato Soup
Day 20 – Moderate Day: Chicken, Bacon and Blue Cheese Wrap

Day 22 – Fast Day: Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup
Day 23– Moderate Day: Hummus Spiral Wraps
Day 24 – Fast Day: Egg Drop Soup
Day 25 – Moderate Day: Mexican Bean and Rice Salad
Day 26 – Fast Day: Kale, Grapefruit and Toasted Hazelnut Salad
Day 27- Moderate Day: Hawaiian Pasta Salad

Day 1 - Fast Day:  Vegan Lintel Soup  
Day 2 - Moderate DayPot Roast And Carrots with Mozzarella and Tomato Salad (Already prepared and waiting in the refrigerator from preparing lunch menus.)
Day 3 – Fast Day:  3 Bean Minestrone Soup (Already prepared and ready  in the refrigerator from preparing lunch menus.)
Day 4 – Moderate Day : Ice Cold Celery Salad (already prepared and waiting in the refrigerator from where we prepared the lunch menus) and Beef and Broccoli.
Day 5 – Fast Day: Lemon with Collards and Pasta
Day 6 – Moderate DaySpicy Sundried Tomato and Pasta Salad(already prepared and waiting in the refrigerator from where we prepared the lunch menus) with Roast Beef and Horseradish Wraps ( already prepared and waiting in freezer from where we prepared lunch menus)

Day 8 – Fast Day: Chicken Noodle Soup
Day 9 – Moderate Day:  Orange Ginger Chicken with pear halves and shredded cheese.
Day 10 – Fast Day:  Cobb Salad (prepared ahead with lunch) and cold honeydew melon slices.
Day 11 – Moderate Day:  Beef, Lime and Cilantro Chili with Melted Grilled Cheese on Wheat and Avocado Slices (no recipe – self explanatory)
Day 12 – Fast DayAvocado Watercress and Pineapple Salad (Prepared ahead with lunches)Two boiled eggs with bacon bits sprinkled on top (no recipe – self explanatory).
Day 13- Moderate Day: .Easy Eggplant Parmesan

Day 15 - Fast Day:  Hot and Sour Soup  (See Lunches Day 15).
Day 16 - Moderate Day: Pesto Arugula Wraps (See Lunches Day 16) and Italian Fruit Salad.
Day 17 – Fast Day: Apple Braised Cabbage with a side of Ginger Carrots and Steamed Asparagus (No recipe for the asparagus; just steam it.)
Day 18– Moderate Day: Chicken, Corn and Tomato Pasta Salad (See Lunches Day 18) with Fresh Green Beans and Cantaloupe Slices. (No recipe for the green beans and cantaloupe – simply heat the green beans and slice the cantaloupe)
Day 19– Fast Day: Roasted Tomato Soup (See Lunches Day 19) with Lemon and Black-Bean Spread Veggie Sandwiches.
Day 20 – Moderate Day: Chicken, Bacon and Blue Cheese Wrap (See Lunches Day 20) and Waldorf Salad.

Day 22 – Fast Day:  Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup (See Lunches Day 22) and Greek Chopped Cucumber Pita Sandwich
Day 23– Moderate Day: Hummus Spiral Wraps (See Lunches Day 23) on a tray with Mixed Chopped Vegetables and Tabbouleh
Day 24 – Fast Day: Egg Drop Soup (See Lunches Day 24) with Honey Walnut Shrimp (this recipe which includes shrimp is a slight variation on the diet plan that usually doesn’t allow meat on a fast day, but one variation here and there should not hurt too much.)
Day 25 – Moderate Day:  Mexican Bean and Rice Salad (See Lunches Day 25) with  Vegetable and Goat Cheese Quesadilla
Day 26 – Fast Day:  Kale, Grapefruit and Toasted Hazelnut Salad (See Lunches Day 26) with Baked Sweet Potato Fries and Zucchini and Squash Casserole.
Day 27- Moderate Day:  Hawaiian Pasta Salad (See Lunches Day 27) with BLT Sandwiches on Wheat Bread.

Breakfast Day 29:  Fast Day:  Raspberry and Mango Smoothie  (Already prepared and frozen ahead from previous weeks)
Breakfast Day 30:  Moderate  Day  1 Whole Wheat Banana Nut Muffin (Already prepared and frozen ahead from previous weeks) with small bowl of fresh pineapple chunks.
Breakfast Day 31:  Fast  Day:  1 box raisins, 1 orange and 1 banana
For the last three days of Lunches and Dinners, eat what you already have frozen ahead.  Take you choice of all the many freeze ahead recipes.  After you do this note what is left in your freezer and do not overbuy for next month when you simply repeat all of these menus again.  Be sure to date your freezer items and throw out anything left over after three months.  


sea salt
Fresh black pepper corns
Ground cinnamon
Ground ginger
Ground nutmeg
Garlic powder
Minced garlic
Bunch fresh thyme
Fresh batch of cilantro
1 batch fresh parsley
1 batch fresh mint
Crushed red pepper flakes
Organic dried dill
Ground cumin
Curry powder
Dried thyme
Dried oregano
Red pepper flakes
beef bouillon granules
1 pkg.  dry ranch dressing
Dried parsley
Dried onion flakes
Fresh Dill
Fresh basil leaves (freeze leftovers chopped in ice cube trays)
Fresh chives (freeze left overs chopped in ice cube trays)
Poppy seeds
Bay Leaf
Chili powder
Italian seasoning
white pepper
Cajun spice mix
Greek Seasonings
Small bunch coriander
3 large containers of fresh strawberries (freeze any you do not use this week)
3 dozen bananas (freeze what you do not use this week for the rest of the month)
2 pear
3 bags fresh lemons
1 bag limes
15 organic apples
5 fresh oranges
2 bags frozen mangos
2 bags frozen pineapple chunks
1 bag frozen mixed berries
2 honeydew melon (cut up and freeze any leftovers)
2 cantaloupe
3 pints fresh blueberries (freeze what isn’t used in plastic bags)
Purple Grapes (seedless) (freeze any unused for other meals)
Red Grapes (seedless) (freeze any unused for other meals)
Lime juice
Lemon juice
1 bag frozen raspberries
1 seedless watermelon
2 pink grapefruit
5 red onions
5 red bell peppers
2 zucchini
2 yellow squash
2 heads lettuce
Head of red cabbage
Head of green cabbage
2 bags romaine lettuce
1 bag curly endive (frisee)
2 bags baby spinach leafs
1 bag baby kale leaves
1 bag watercress
1 bag Boston lettuce
1 large container of fresh spinach leaves
1 large bunch arugula (3 ounces)
7 yellow onions
6 white onions
11 regular sized tomatoes
4 English Cucumber
6 large bunches fresh broccoli
3 bags organic carrots
2 bags celery
Collard greens or kale
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 pint box Red cherry tomatoes
1 pint box Orange cherry tomatoes
1 bag avocados
2 large eggplants
2 pints shitake mushrooms
1 (8 ounce can) bamboo shoots
8 ounces firm tofu
green onions
2 ears fresh corn
fresh green beans
Edamame soy beans
4 large sweet potatoes
2 bunches cauliflower
1 bag radish
4 large tubs of Plain Greek Yogurt
1 gallon skim-milk
Heavy Cream
5-4 stick packages unsalted butter
6 dozen organic, cage-free eggs
1/2 gallon purchased egg whites
1 block cheddar cheese
1 quart half-and-half
Spray whipping cream
Part-skim ricotta cheese
Roasted red pepper spread
Sour cream
8 ounces small mozzarella cheese balls
12 ounces mozzarella cheese slices
1 container of Grated Parmesan
2 pkg. shredded Parmesan cheese
Goat cheese (2 pkg. whole 1 pkg. crumbled)
Monterrey Jack cheese (block)
Sliced Swiss cheese
2 pkg. sliced cheese (favorite kind)
1 quart half-and-half
1 package crumbled feta cheese
Crumbled blue cheese
Grated Roquefort
Hard goat cheese
1 large bag of organic flaxseed
Pine nuts
1 bag slivered almonds
1 jar lemon honey cream
2 boxes regular rolled oats
1 box steel cut oats
1 box bran cereal
1 bag dried pineapple chunks
1 bag dried cherries
1 bag dried apricots
1 bag chopped walnuts
1 bag walnut halves
Local organic honey
Vanilla extract
1 bag dried blueberries
1 lb. All purpose flour
Baking powder
Baking soda
Granulated sugar
1 bag confectioner’s sugar
Brown Sugar
Extra virgin olive oil (gallon size)
1 bottle white balsamic vinegar
1 bottle regular balsamic vinegar
1 bottle apple cider vinegar
1 bottle rice vinegar
Red Wine Vinegar
Dry Cooking Sherry
Pomegranate molasses
2 large jars mayonnaise
1 small jar prepared horseradish
Brown or green lentils
soy sauce
2 jars basil pesto
Spelt Flour
Dijon-style mustard
Creamy peanut butter
miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 pkg Bakers Unsweetened Chocolate (4 oz.)
chopped pecans
chopped walnuts
Real Bacon Bits
Tortilla chips
Panko Bread Crumbs
Chili Sauce
1 bottle ranch dressing
packets of ranch dressing dry powder
1 lb. ground Italian Sausage (if you do not eat pork substitute ground turkey)
4 Small package boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 bone-in chicken breast. (Cook ahead on cooking day and store in refrigerator)
2 package bacon (cook ahead on cooking day and crumble and store in refrigerator)
½ lb. deli sliced roast beef
(2) Lean sliced deli ham
2 lbs. beef shoulder roast (boneless)
2 lbs. sirloin tip steak, trimmed and sliced
2 pkg. bacon (if eating pork)
1 pound lean ground beef
1 whole hen
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3-8-pkgs. of 9” flour tortillas
Whole wheat tortillas (2 bags 8 – 10 inch) (2 bags 6 inch) (freeze what is leftover)
Bag of eight corn tortillas (6 inch)
Pumpernickel bread loaf
3 pkg. 12 English Muffins (whole wheat)
2 Loafs of whole wheat bread (freeze what you don’t use)
2 bags whole wheat pita pockets (freeze what you don’t use)
1 pkg. frozen spinach
Yellow corn kernels(frozen pkg.)
1 bag frozen mangos
Frozen peas
(2) cans frozen orange juice
(1) can frozen pineapple juice
1 14 ounce can red kidney beans
1 14 ounce can great northern beans
1 14 ounce can pinto beans
Vegetable broth
Beef Broth
1 gallon Chicken Broth
Oil packed Sun-dried Tomatoes
15 Kalamata olives
1 lb. fresh or canned Bing cherries
2 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
2 14.5 ounce can tomato sauce
2 14.5 can petite diced tomatoes 
3 cans black beans 
1 can mixed bean salad
Marinara Sauce (2 large jars or cans)
1 (14 ounce) can pineapple tidbits
condensed milk
Ditalini noodles
2 boxes whole wheat bow tie pasta
Whole wheat spaghetti
Jasmine rice
Wide egg noodles
8 ounces orzo pasta
1 (20 ounce) package cheese tortellini
6 ounces basmati and wild rice


3 Bananas
1 pint cleaned strawberries with the leaves removed
¼ cup spinach leaves
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
6 cubes frozen milk
1 Tablespoon flax
Dump ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.  Enjoy!  Freeze the pre-measured fruit portions for this drink in plastic bags in order to use the next time.  Keep a gallon of milk ice cubes frozen in order to use with all of the smoothie recipes.  Once frozen you can put 6 cubes inside the individual fruit bags. 

(Makes 2 quarts)
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup Lemon Honey Cream
½ cup dried pineapple chunks
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 teaspoon salt
½ cup dried blueberries
2 teaspoons lemon zest, optional
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Melt butter and honey cream in a small sauce pan.  Mix oats, walnuts and salt together in a large bowl.  Drizzle butter and honey cream mixture on top of oats and walnut mixture and stir to coat well.  Spread into baking sheets and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with blueberries and lemon zest.  Stir and press down to form large chunks of granola.  Let cool and store in airtight freezer safe glass containers.  (To freeze leftovers pack into freezer safe jars without any air pockets leaving about ¼” head space at the top of the jar.  Defrost overnight at room temperature.  Do not refrigerate; that will make the fruit tough.  You should have enough of this frozen to keep from re-making the next time.  

1 Banana
1 pint mixed berries (buy the frozen ones at the store)
¼ cup spinach leaves
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
6 cubes frozen milk
1 Tablespoon flax
Dump ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.  Enjoy!

Note:  Freeze the pre-measured fruit portions for this drink in plastic bags in order to use the next time.  Keep a gallon of milk ice cubes frozen in order to use with all of the smoothie recipes.  Once frozen you can put 6 cubes inside the individual fruit bags.  Just pull out and add the rest.

(This recipe makes 16 burritos which can be wrapped individually and frozen to be eaten one at a time)
1 lb ground spicy Italian sausage
1 cup of fresh baby spinach leaves
16 eggs, beaten
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
2 cups mild cheddar cheese, shredded
16 – 9 inch flour tortillas
Brown the sausage in a large pan over medium-high heat.  Add the spinach and stir until it wilts.  Add the eggs and sprinkle in the salt and pepper.  Stir all together well and set aside for about 20 minutes to cool.  Shed your cheese and set aside.  Arrange 16 squares of waxed paper into lines.  Place one tortilla on each piece.  Top each tortilla with ½ cup sausage-spinach-egg mixture and sprinkle each with the shredded cheese.  Fold over one side of each burrito (length-wise against filling.)  Fold in both small ends.  Then fold over the last side.  Place each burrito seam side down on the wax paper and wrap.  Then wrap each burrito in a piece of foil.  Place the wrapped burritos into the gallon-sized plastic freezer bags.  Zip, removing as much air as possible and place them in the freezer until needed.  (These can be frozen for up to 3 months, just label and date with a marker.)  When you are ready to eat them, just unwrap from foil and waxed paper and microwave on high for 2 minutes. 

1 Banana
½  pint frozen mangos (buy the frozen packages from the store)
½ pint frozen pineapple (buy the frozen packages from the store)
¼ cup spinach leaves
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
6 cubes frozen milk
1 Tablespoon flax
Dump ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.  Enjoy!

Freeze the pre-measured fruit portions for this drink in plastic bags in order to use the next time.  Keep a gallon of milk ice cubes frozen in order to use with all of the smoothie recipes.  Once frozen you can put 6 cubes inside the individual fruit bags.   

2-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
5 bananas – very ripe
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
½ cup honey
2 eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
½ cup walnuts, chopped
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  Set aside.  In a food processor add the bananas, yogurt, honey, vanilla and eggs.  Pulse together.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix.  Fold in the nuts.  Pour the batter in muffin liners and bake for 25-30 minutes in a muffin pan.  (Makes 18 muffins that can be frozen for up to 3 months.)  Put them into small baggies and put the small baggies into gallon bags, removing air and freeze.  Thaw about 10 minutes before eating.  They are so good, whether you have them hot from the oven or cold from the freezer!

1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup cornstarch
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
½ cup skim milk
¾ cups olive oil
2 eggs separated
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Heat waffle iron.  In a large bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl combine buttermilk, milk, olive oil and egg yolks.  Set aside.  In a separate medium bowl using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Add sugar and vanilla.  Continue beating until stiff peaks form.  Pour buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients, whisking until just mixed.  Fold in egg whites until just combined.  Pour batter onto pre-heated waffle iron, cooking to desired crispness.  Remove waffles, separate sections and allow them to cool.  Place cooled waffles in a gallon sized plastic bag.  Freeze left-overs to reuse another day. When ready to eat, remove desired number of waffles, cook in toaster or oven until desired crispness is reached. 

Apples, chopped very small
Bananas, chopped very small
Steel cut oatmeal.
Cook the steel cut oats as directed on the package.  Add apples, bananas and honey as desired and stir.  (These can be made in a large batch with the oatmeal prepared and stored in small individual sized jars in the refrigerator for up to a week. Just put the chopped fruit desired in a small plastic bag on top and mix other ingredients in on the day you carry to eat.  Seal jar again and drop into your tote bag.)  Carry a plastic spoon and this makes for a good grab-n-go breakfast-take-along.)  Heat for one minute in the microwave to warm.

10 large eggs
1 cup skim milk
1 tsp. kosher salt
6 slices bacon (optional)
6 slices cheese (either cheddar, Monterrey Jack or Swiss)
6 English Muffins
Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Whisk eggs together with milk and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Spray a 9 x 13 cooking tray with cooking oil.  Pour the eggs into the pan.  Place on the lower rack in the oven.  Bake until the eggs are puffed around the edges with golden spots, and a paring knife inserted in the middle comes out clean (25 – 30 minutes)  Cool completely.
Fry the bacon – this is optional if you do not eat pork.  Line a baking sheet with foil and lay the bacon down on it in a single layer with no pieces overlapping.  Turn up the edges of the foil to catch the grease.  Place bacon in the upper rack of the oven and bake until bacon is crispy (about 15-20 minutes)  When done, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.  When the bacon is completely cooled and drained break each piece in half to make them fit on top of the sandwiches.  Finish the bacon and egg cooking; then toast the English muffins, cut side up on a baking sheet, until the edges are toasted.  Set aside to cool.  Using a spatula to lift the eggs out of the pan and onto a cutting board, take a biscuit cutter (or a drinking glass will do) and cut 6 rounds out of the eggs.  (You don’t have to waste these scraps, use them for cooking some of your lunch items later, or freeze for breakfast casseroles.)  Assemble the sandwiches by laying the bottom halves of the English muffins in a row on your counter.  Top each one with an egg round, a slice of cheese, and 2 pieces of bacon.  Finish by adding the muffin tops.  Wrap each sandwich in a square of aluminum foil.  Use a permanent marker to write the contents and date on the sandwich.  Put all the sandwiches in a freezer bag or container.  (These will freeze for up to one month.) 

Walnuts, chopped very small
Steel cut oatmeal.
Cook the steel cut oats as directed on the package.  Add blueberries and walnuts and honey as desired and stir.  (These can be made in a large batch with the oatmeal prepared and stored in small individual sized jars in the refrigerator for up to a week. Just put the chopped fruit desired in a small plastic bag on top and mix other ingredients in on the day you carry to eat.  Seal jar again and drop into your tote bag.)  Carry a plastic spoon and this makes for a good grab-n-go breakfast-take-along.) Heat for one minute in the microwave to warm.
Slivered Almonds
Dried Apricots, chopped small
Dried Cherries, chopped small
1 Tsp. Ginger
Steel cut oatmeal.
Cook the steel cut oats as directed on the package.  Add ginger, apricots, cherries, almonds and honey as desired and stir.  (These can be made in a large batch with the oatmeal prepared and stored in small individual sized jars in the refrigerator for up to a week. Just put the chopped fruit desired in a small plastic bag on top and mix other ingredients in on the day you carry to eat.  Seal jar again and drop into your tote bag.)  Carry a plastic spoon and this makes for a good grab-n-go breakfast-take-along.)  Heat for one minute in the microwave to warm.

Cooking spray
1-1/2 quarts purchased egg whites
1-1/4 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh chives
¼ cup basil pesto
¼ cup salted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
12 whole wheat English Muffins, split
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare a baking sheet with baking spray.  Set aside.  Whisk together the egg whites, half-and-half, and salt in a large bowl.  Stir in the basil and chives.  Pour the egg white mix into the prepared baking sheet and bake on center rack until the egg whites are set and lightly browned around the edges, 18 – 20 minutes.  Let cool.  Using a large biscuit cutter or drinking glass cut eggs into rounds.  (Use the scraps for something else later, salads, sandwiches, freeze for future egg casseroles, etc.)   To assemble the sandwiches, spread a thin layer of butter over the cut side of the English muffin bottom, spread a thin layer of pesto on the cut side of each English muffin top.   Place one egg round on top of the buttered half of each English muffin.  Top each egg round with 1 tablespoon of feta cheese, close the sandwiches with the top halves of the English muffins.  If not serving immediately, tightly wrap each sandwich with aluminum foil and store in re-sealable bags in the refrigerator or freezer.  When ready to reheat place them uncovered in a 325 degree F regular or toaster oven until they are warmed through (approximately 30 minutes)  These can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days and in the freezer for 3 months.  Label appropriately and date.  

For Scones
1-1/4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for forming scones
1-1/4 cups spelt flour
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup poppy seeds, plus more to sprinkle on top
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon zest
For Glaze
½ cup powdered sugar, plus more if needed
1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice plus more if needed.
Line a baking sheet that will fit inside your freezer with parchment paper and set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add the cubed butter.  Using your hands or a pastry cutter, rub or cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small, course peas.   In a small bowl whisk together the buttermilk, egg, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest.  Add to the dry ingredients.  Using a wooden spoon or flat spatula stir until the dough gathers together in an uneven ball.  Let the dough sit for 10 minutes to allow the whole-grain flours to soak up a bit of the moisture.  Take out a large wooden board and sprinkle generously with flour before turning out the dough onto the surface.  With well-floured hands, quickly gather the dough into a ball and pat or push it down so that it’s circular in shape and about 1 inch thick.  Cut into 8 wedges.  Place the wedges on a prepared baking sheet and place in freezer.  Freeze until firm, about 1 hour.  Place scones in freezer bag and label.  Store in the freezer until ready to bake later. 

To bake:  preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.  Arrange the scones to they are lying flat on the sheet, 2 to 3 inches apart.  Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until tops are lightly brown.  Cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack.

While cooling, prepare the glaze:  Stir together the powdered sugar and lemon juice with a fork.  Adjust consistency with a little more sugar or lemon juice as needed, if too thick.  Drizzle the glaze over the slightly warm scones with a fork or spread with a pastry brush.  Sprinkle with the extra poppy seeds.  Allow to cool completely before serving. 
These will keep in the freezer as frozen for baking for two months.  Date your package with a marker and label what is inside.  (This is one of the few recipes that you will have to make from home, so plan this one on a day off.)

2 Bananas
½  pint chopped apple
1 cup orange juice (juice from a fresh orange
¼ cup spinach leaves
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
6 cubes frozen milk
1 Tablespoon flax
Dump ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.  Enjoy!
(Remember to freeze extra fruit and ice cubes ahead for next time)

1 Banana
½  pint frozen mangos (buy the frozen packages from the store)
½ pint frozen raspberries (buy the frozen packages from the store)
¼ cup spinach leaves
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
6 cubes frozen milk
1 Tablespoon flax
Dump ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.  Enjoy!
(Remember to freeze extra fruit and ice cubes ahead for next time)

(This recipe makes 12 – Freeze the extras!)
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
½ cup olive oil, melted and slightly cooled (although still liquid)
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
¾ cup sugar
2 cups bran cereal
1-1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup pecan halves, optional for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, coconut oil, salt, baking soda, vanilla extract, lemon zest and sugar.  Stir in the bran cereal and both flours and mix well until thoroughly combined.  The batter should be pretty stiff.  Carefully fold in the blueberries.  Prepare 12 standard sized muffin sleeves in a muffin tin and fill each to the very top with better.  Scatter the tops of the muffins with the pecan pieces.  Bake for 35 minutes; or until the tops are firm and slightly brown.  Let cool for 15 minutes before removing muffins from tins.  Serve warm or cover and store at room temperature for up to 3 days, or wrap individually and freeze in gallon bags for up to 3 months.

(Makes 8-10 mini frittatas)
8 eggs
½ cup skim milk
½ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. salt
4 ounces ham, chopped
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Spray 2 mini muffin tins, each with 24 cups each with nonstick spray.  Whisk the eggs, milk, pepper and salt in a large bowl to blend well.  Stir in the ham, cheese and parsley.  Fill prepared muffin cups almost to the top with the egg mixture.  Bake until the egg mixture puffs and is just set in the center, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Using a rubber spatula, loosen the frittatas from the muffin cups and slide the frittatas onto a platter.  (These can be frozen and reheated for up to 3 months)

Salad Ingredients:
2 cups red cherry tomatoes halved
2 cups yellow cherry tomatoes halved
2 avocados peeled and diced
8 ounces of small fresh mozzarella cheese balls
½ cup fresh basic, chopped
Dressing ingredients:
¼ cup olive oil
1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons honey (warmed)
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl except for mozzarella cheese balls.  Set them aside until time for serving and mix in with the rest then.  Combine all dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.  Pour dressing over salad and toss well.  Add mozzarella cheese balls and toss again just before serving. 

(Makes 2 quesadillas)
½ ounce goat cheese softened to room temperature
2 Tablespoons Monterrey Jack Cheese, Shredded
½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup onion, chopped
½ cup corn kernels
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
½ cup cooked chicken, shredded
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
4-6 inch corn tortillas
Combine cheeses and set aside in a small bowl.  Heat olive oil in a skillet over low heat.  Saute onion in oil for two minutes.  Add corn and pepper and cook one more minute, then add chicken and cook for one more minute.  Remove all from heat and stir cilantro into the chicken mixture.  Set aside.

Lay out two tortillas on a cutting board or flat surface and sprinkle one half of the cheeses on top of each.  Divide ½ of the chicken mix onto each tortilla on top of the cheeses.  Top with the remaining tortillas.

Spray a skillet with cooking spray and warm the quesadillas until cheeses are melted into chicken filling (about 5 minutes on each side.) 

Remove from skillet and let cool.  Divide the tortillas into quarters with a pizza wheel.  Place each inside a zip-lock plastic bag and store one in refrigerator until time needed for lunch, and freeze the other one for later use during Week Three.  (If you want to make extras and freeze ahead for reuse later; it is a good idea, but just increase your ingredients.)

1 tsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 celery sticks diced
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. dried thyme
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 cup frozen spinach
1-14 ounce can pinto beans
1-14 ounce can dark red kidney beans
1-14 ounce can great northern beans
4 cups vegetable broth
½ cups Ditalini noodles
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add onion, celery and carrots and saute.  Stir in garlic powder, dried thyme, salt and pepper.  Add beans, frozen spinach and vegetable broth and bring all to a boil.  Add Ditalini and lower heat, simmer for 25 minutes.

Pour into a thermos for lunch later.  Store remainder of soup inside pot with lid secured in the refrigerator until tomorrow’s dinner and reheat.

2 tsp. mayonnaise
½ tsp. prepared horseradish
1 whole wheat tortilla
1 large romaine lettuce leaf
3 slices lean roast beef
¼ cup chopped tomato
Mix mayonnaise and prepared horseradish together and spread over whole wheat tortilla.  Lay lettuce leaf down then roast beef slices, then top with tomato bits.  Roll up the wrap and cover with wax paper and store in a plastic bag in refrigerator until needed for lunch.  (You can make these in bulk if you desire and freeze them for up to 4 months)

6 celery sticks thinly diced
1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
1 diced tomato
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and ground fresh black pepper to taste
Dice and slice vegetables and spices.  Add salt and pepper to taste, then mix in extra virgin olive oil and coat all well.  Put inside a sealed mason jar in the refrigerator until time to pack in insulated lunch box with an ice pack.  Save the leftovers in a sealed container in refrigerator for tomorrow night’s dinner.

½ pound dried whole wheat bow-tie pasta
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1-1/2 pounds broccoli chopped into small bite-sized pieces
Sea salt
½ cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 to 3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled while still cold (1/2 cup after crumbled)
½ cup coarsely grated Parmesan
15 pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
½ small lemon, juiced
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente, then drain in a colander.  Set aside.  In a skillet on the stove heat the olive oil over medium low heat.  Then add the red pepper flakes and garlic and cook as you stir. Add the sun-dried tomatoes next, then  add the broccoli and season with the salt while cooking and stirring for about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and add drained pasta and more oil.  Stir well and add goat cheese and Parmesan, then the chopped olives and lemon juice.  If needed add in more olive oil. 

Store what you need for lunch in the refrigerator in a sealed mason jar until needed.  Pack in insulated lunchbox with ice pack to keep cold.  Store the rest in the refrigerator for tomorrow night’s dinner.

1Tablespoon Plain Greek Yogurt
¼ Teaspoon Dried Dill
2 Slices pumpernickel bread
1 ounce lean sliced ham
1 small pear, thinly sliced
1-1 ounce slice Swiss cheese
Combine yogurt and dill in a small bowl and blend.  Spread over bread slices.  Top one slice of bread with ham, half of the pear slices, cheese and remaining bread slice.  Serve with remaining pear slices on the side.

1 lb sweet cherries, pitted (Bing cherries will work well)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon minced fresh thyme
4 ounces goat cheese
Cook cherries and sugar over medium high heat in a skillet, stirring occasionally for about 4 minutes.  Sprinkle on vinegar and thyme.  Cook 1 minutes more.  Slice goat cheese into rounds and top with warm compote.  (This will be good cold or hot and will keep in the refrigerator in a mason jar for lunches.  Use insulated lunch box with ice pack to keep cold during transport.)

2 bone-in chicken breast
2 medium carrots, diced
1 bay leaf
Sea salt
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion sliced thin
1-1/2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
1/3 cup jasmine rice
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 lemon cut into wedges
Combine the chicken, carrots, bay leaf and a pinch of sea salt in a medium saucepan.  Add 3 cups broth and bring to a boil.  Immediately reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the chicken is just firm about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile heat the oil in another saucepan over medium low heat.  Add the onion, one teaspoon of salt, and cook until the onion is soft (about 5 minutes.)  Add the curry powder and cook for one minute.  Add the rice and the remaining 3 cups of broth.  Increase the heat to medium and cover and comer until the rice falls apart (15 – 20 minutes.)  Remove the chicken from its broth; discard the skin and shred the meat into pieces.  Return the shredded chicken to the same broth.  Puree the rice mixture with a blender until smooth, then return to the pan.  Pour in the shredded chicken and broth, stirring gently to combine; bring to a simmer.  Toss in the chopped herbs and serve the soup with lemon wedges. (Whatever is leftover can be frozen and reused later)

2 slices whole wheat bread
1 chicken breast, cooked and diced
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. poppy seeds
¼ cup raisins
2 slices tomato
3 leaves organic lettuce
In a bowl combine mayonnaise, poppy seeds, raisins (plump them first) and diced chicken.  Stir until well combined.  Place this into one small air-tight container inside your insulated lunch box.  Wrap two slices of bread with wax paper and store in lunch box.  Place lettuce and sliced tomato inside another air-tight container and store in lunch box.  When lunch time comes; pull out all three pre-packed ingredients and cover the first slice of bread with already made chicken salad.  Top with lettuce and sliced tomato.  Complete sandwich with the second slice of bread and enjoy. 

½ head romaine
½ head Boston lettuce
1 small bunch of frisee (curly endive)
½ bunch watercress (stems discarded)
6 slices bacon
2 ripe avocados, seed  removed, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
1 tomato seeded and chopped fine
1 whole skinless, boneless chicken breast halved, cooked and diced.
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2/3 cup olive oil
½ cup finely grated Roquefort
Pre-cook the bacon on cooking day and crumble into a plastic bag until time to prepare this salad.  Also on cooking day wash and shred the lettuce leafs and de-stem the watercress.  Store the watercress in a plastic bag with a damp cloth inside the refrigerator until time to use and store the prepared lettuce leaves inside you salad spinner in the refrigerator. On lunch day toss the watercress with the other lettuces and place in a medium sized plastic air-tight container in your insulated lunch box with the ice pack.  Place the bacon, diced chicken, diced tomato, diced avocado, chopped chives,and diced eggs into separate baggies on top of the lettuce container.

 At lunch time compose the salad by arranging the chicken, the bacon, the tomato, the avocado decoratively over the container of greens and garnish the salad with the grated egg and the chives. 

On cooking day prepare the dressing ahead and store inside a small air-tight container until time to pack your lunch.  To prepare dressing:  In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, the mustard, the salt and pepper to taste.  Add the oil in a slow stream while whisking, and whisk the dressing until it is emulsified.  Stir in the Roquefort.  Whisk once more.  Keep refrigerated in a proper storage container until time to use.

½ cup creamy peanut butter
4 whole wheat regular flour tortillas (8 – 10 inch)
¼ cup honey
2 small bananas, sliced
¼ cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips (if desired)
Spread 2 tablespoons of the peanut butter evenly over each tortilla.  Drizzle one tablespoon of the honey over each tortilla.  Top with banana slices and chocolate chips.  Roll up tortillas.  Secure with toothpicks.  Place inside plastic bags until time to use.  Pack in insulated lunch box with ice pack on day of lunch.  (These can be made ahead and frozen.  They are handy to keep in the freezer for healthy snacks for the grand kids.)

(Prepare the element of this salad ahead on cooking day and combine everything the day you use it.)
2 bunches watercress
1 (2-1/2 lb.) pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into four 1 inch slices.
3 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon brown sugar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large avocado
1 small red onion thinly slivered lengthwise
For the Watercress:
On cooking day place the watercress in a colander and wash under cold water.  Remove the stems.  Pat dry with paper towels and refrigerate.
For the Pineapple:
Prepare the pineapple on cooking day.  Preheat the broiler.  Place the pineapple slices on a baking pan and sprinkle the brown sugar evenly on top of them.  Broil about 3 inches from the heat source, turning once for 10 minutes on each side.  Let cool then cut into 1-inch cubes. (Refrigerate these until lunch day inside a plastic bag on top of the watercress for this salad.)
For the Dressing:
Place the garlic, olive oil, lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk to combine.  Set aside in an air-tight container until time to carry in lunch.  Place next to watercress and pineapple in refrigerator.
For the Avocado:
Cut the avocado lengthwise in half around the pit and remove the pit.  Place the avocado halves cut side down on the work surface and slice lengthwise into 1 inch wide wedges.  Peel each segment by hand or with a paring knife and cut into 1 inch cubes.  Cut this up on the day you are taking the lunch and place inside a plastic bag on top of the watercress container.
To Assemble The Salad:
When you have placed everything separately into your insulated lunch box with an ice pack, take it all out at lunch time and toss the watercress in its larger container  with half the dressing. Add the pineapple and avocado to the same container and toss with the rest of the dressing.  Mound the pineapple and avocado over the bed of watercress.  Garnish with the slivers of red onion.  Enjoy!  (Don’t forget to pack a plastic fork every day.)

If you have leftover ingredients; place all on a platter for dinner with the watercress on the bottom of the platter and the pineapple and avocado in mounds on the top of the platter.  Looks nice scooped out like ice cream with the red onion pieces sprinkled as a garnish. 

2 hard cooked eggs, chopped
2 tablespoons plain Greek style yogurt
2 Tablespoons chopped red bell pepper
¼ teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 slices whole wheat bread
½ cup fresh spinach
1 orange
Combine eggs (boil these ahead on cooking day), yogurt, bell pepper, curry powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and stir well. (Mix this ahead on cooking day and store in an air-tight container in refrigerator until time to use.)  Place spinach in a plastic bag and wrap up the bread in wax paper until time to eat lunch.  Store all inside insulated lunch box with an ice pack.  When lunch time comes top the bread with the spinach and egg salad, then place the top slice of bread over all.  Peel and slice the orange for a side dish.

1 small medium zucchini, thinly sliced
½ medium onion peeled and sliced
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Whole Grain Pita pocket
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 cup baby spinach
1 medium red roasted red bell pepper cut into strips
½ avocado, sliced and drizzled with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
4 slices of your favorite cheese
Place all the vegetables inside a baking dish or rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.  Bake on 375 degrees for 20 minutes until vegetables are soft, but still a little crunchy.  Place veggies in bowl with mayonnaise mixture and coat.  Place cheese slices inside pita bread pocket and then stuff it with the vegetables.  Heat the whole sandwich in the oven just long enough to get the cheese to melt.  Cook these sandwiches ahead on cooking day, then wrap up and store in refrigerator until time to pack for lunch.  They are good either hot or cold. 

1 pkg Bakers Unsweetened Chocolate (4 oz.)
¾ cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.  Microwave chocolate and butter in a large microwaveable bowl on high for 2 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.  Stir in sugar.  Blend in eggs and vanilla.  Add flour and nuts and mix well.  Pour into prepared pan.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudge crumbs.  Do not over-bake.  Cool.  (These can be frozen in bulk – but NO EATING EXCEPT ON FEAST DAYS!)  It is your FEAST DAY today; so if you would rather eat out or have something else; don't feel guilty.  The Veggie Sandwich and the brownie will keep for another Feast Day when you are not able to go out; or want to be lazy and stay home in your pajamas all day!  You decide; you deserve it.

2 tablespoons butter
½ large yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cups seedless red grapes, washed and cut in half
2 cups Edam me
1 cup uncooked steel oats (or any grain)
¾ cup walnuts
¼ cup honey
¼ cup water
Fresh baby spinach
Crumbled blue cheese
Sea salt to taste
Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over low heat.  Add onions and sauté on low for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and golden brown.  While onions are cooking, pour steel oats and 2 cups water into a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes until most of the moisture has absorbed and the grains are soft enough to eat.  Let cool for 15 minutes.  When onions are done stir into the steel oats so the butter is absorbed by the grains.  Season with sea salt.  Combine grapes and edamame in a large mixing bowl.  Add cooled bulgur and walnuts.  Whisk water and honey.  Pour over mix and stir well.  Add fresh baby spinach and crumbled blue cheese just before serving.

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup brown or green lentils, rinsed
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt to taste
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped fresh collard greens or kale, tough ribs removed
Juice of 1 medium lemon to taste
Warm the olive oil in a large Dutch oven.  Once oil is shimmering add chopped onion and carrots and cook, stirring often until onion has softened and turning translucent (approximately 5 minutes).  Add the garlic, cumin, curry powder and thyme.  Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly about 30 seconds.  Pour in the drained diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often in order to enhance their flavor.  Pour in the lentils, broth and water.  Add 1 teaspoon salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes.  Season generously with fresh ground black pepper.  Turn up heat and bring the mix to a boil.  Cover pot and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer.  Cook for 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender but not falling apart.  Transfer two cups of the soup mix to a blender.  Puree until smooth.  Pour puree back into the pot and add the chopped greens.  Cook for 5 more minutes until the greens are soft.  Remove the pot from heat and stir in the juice of half a lemon.  Taste and increase or decrease according to your desire.  Add more salt and pepper if you wish.  (This can be cooked ahead on cooking day and stored in air-tight jars or containers until time to eat – simply heat and serve.  Also any leftovers will keep for 4 days in the refrigerator and will freeze for up to three months.  Thaw before cooking after frozen.   Why not make enough for a few months worth of meals on cooking day and just heat and serve when dinner time comes around?)

2 lb. beef shoulder roast (boneless)
1 bag of carrots peeled and chopped
1-1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
4 Teaspoons beef bouillon granules
1 teaspoon soy sauce
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 pkg.  dry ranch dressing
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
¾ teaspoon dill
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on low setting for 8 hours or until meat shreds easily with a fork.  Shred meat and return to slow cooker to mix it with juices.  (You can freeze these ingredients together inside a gallon sized plastic freezer bag for up to three months.  On cooking day just dump previously thawed bag over roast into crock pot and cook as instructed above.  You might want to prepare a few of these ahead on cooking day and freeze the bags and the covered roast inside another larger bag together.  Thaw together overnight and cook in crock pot the next morning.  Everything will be delicious and ready when you arrive home.)

2 lbs. sirloin tip steak, trimmed and sliced
4 cloves garlic minced
1 onion, chopped
3 tablespoons corn starch,
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
½ cup beef broth
½ cup soy sauce
½ teaspoon pepper
1 pound fresh broccoli florets
Add steak and broccoli to crock-pot.
In a bowl combine remaining ingredients and pour into crock-pot.
Cook on low heat for 6 hours. 
(This too may be frozen ahead on cooking day and cooked later (everything but the broccoli which needs to be fresh.)  Label a gallon-sized freezer bag and add all ingredients except for the broccoli.  Remove air and seal bag.  Freeze for up to three months.  Thaw in refrigerator overnight the night before cooking.)

8 ounces fresh collard greens
½ package whole wheat spaghetti
3 tablespoons pine nuts
Extra virgin olive oil
2 small cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
10 ounces Parmesan cheese
½ a lemon, cut into wedges
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to directions.  Drain.  Cut the center rib out of the collard greens.  Stack a few greens at a time and roll them up into a cigar shape.  Slice across the roll as thinly as possible.  Shake up the greens and give them a few chops so that the strands of collards are not too long.  Heat a 12 inch skillet over medium heat and toast the pine nuts until they turn golden and fragrant.  Set aside to serve later.  Return the skillet to medium heat and pour in one tablespoon of extra pure virgin olive oil.  Sprinkle in a pinch of red pepper flakes and the garlic and stir.  Toss in the collard greens.  Sprinkle all with sea salt and stir for about three minutes.  Remove from heat and put greens into the pasta pot and toss adding a little bit more olive oil.  Divide into plates and top each plate’s serving with pine nuts and Parmesan shavings.  Serve with two big lemon wedges per person.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
4 medium carrots cut into pieces
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
3 large sprigs fresh dill
1 onion chopped
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups wide egg noodles
1 cup frozen peas
Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Place at the bottom of a crock pot.  Top with carrots, celery, garlic, onion, and 2 sprigs of dill.  Add the chicken broth and cook covered until the chicken is cooked through for about six hours on low heat.  Remove chicken and let cool, then chop.  Remove dill stems.  Add noodles to slow cooker, turn to high and cover until noodles are tender (15 minutes. ) Stir in peas and then chicken.  Garnish with dill leaves when serving.)  This soup can be stored in the refrigerator and used again for lunches for up to four days.  

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 cups orange juice
4 Teaspoons ground ginger
½ cup honey
½ cup olive oil
Red pepper flakes (just a pinch)
On cooking day mix all the dry ingredients together, then mix all the wet ingredients together.  Place the chicken breasts inside a gallon bag.  Mix the rest of the ingredients with each other and pour into bag.  Freeze.  Pull out the night before using for dinner and thaw in refrigerator.  Next morning dump all into crock pot and cook for 8 hours on low heat.  (I would mix up two or three of these at one time and freeze ahead for the next few months.  Be sure to label and date the bags.  This is so easy!)

1 pound lean ground beef (browned)
14.5 ounce can tomato sauce
14.5 can petite diced tomatoes with juice
2 cans black beans drained and rinsed
1 small yellow onion minced
Zest from 1 lime
Juice from 1 lime
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Fresh chopped cilantro (for garnish)
Shredded cheese (for garnish)
Tortilla chips (for garnish or side)
Add all ingredients (except cilantro) to slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.  When serving top with shredded cheese and crumbled tortilla chips. (This can be labeled and frozen in gallon bags if you have extra left over.)

2 large eggplants sliced
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 cups marinara
12 ounces mozzarella cheese slices
1.2 cup grated Parmesan
Fresh basic for garnish
Kosher salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Place eggplant on paper towel lined baking sheet and sprinkle each piece with salt.  Let sit for 30 minutes and pat dry.  Spread about a third of the sauce in the bottom of a slow cooker.  Whisk together Panko bread crumbs, garlic powder and Italian seasoning.  Season with salt and pepper. Dip each piece of eggplant in eggs then dredge in bread crumbs.  Lay an even layer of slices into a slow cooker.  Top with more sauce and mozzarella.  Repeat layers 2 more times. Cook on high 4-5 hours.  Sprinkle with Parmesan and garnish with basil when serving.  (This too will freeze for up to 3 months, just label and date and you have extra meals on hand whenever you need them.)

4 cups chicken broth
4 ounces shitake mushrooms, sliced thin
1 (8 ounce can) bamboo shoots, drained and sliced thin
8 ounces firm tofu, drained and sliced in ¼ inch strips
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
3 Teaspoons grated ginger
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon chili sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch mixed into 2 tablespoons cold water
2 eggs lightly beaten
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
4 green onions sliced
Bring the broth, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, tofu, garlic, ginger, vinegars, chili sauce, soy sauce and sugar to a boil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat, reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes.  Mix in the cornstarch and water mixture and simmer until the soup thickens a bit, about 2 minutes.  Slowly pour in the eggs in a thin stream while whisking the soup.  Mix in the extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground black pepper and green onions. (Freeze the soup that is left over for another meal.)

1 pound seedless watermelon, cut into cubes (about 4 cups)
3 cups seedless grapes (sliced in half)
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Combine watermelon, grapes, blueberries and basil in a large bowl, then; prepare the dressing in a small bowl.  Whisk together the vinegar and honey and pour all over the fruit.  Stir to coat.  Chill well before serving.

4 (10 inch) flour tortillas
1 cup pesto
12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese sliced thin
6 cups arugula (3 ounces)
Lay tortillas on a work surface. Spread each with ½ cup pesto. Place a cheese slice on top of the pesto. Cover cheese with arugula. Roll up the tortilla and press the edge to seal. Secure with a toothpick.  Slice the roll into 1-inch pieces, removing toothpick when no longer needed. (These freeze nicely. If you are going to freeze; save the slicing until after they are frozen, it is easier, then let thaw for serving)

1 Apple, chopped
1/2 head red cabbage
1/2 head green cabbage
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 Teaspoon brown sugar
Shred cabbage and chop apple.  Mix together.  Add olive oil and cider vinegar into a skillet and heat until hot.  Dump in apples and cabbage and teaspoon of brown sugar and stir well.  Turn heat to medium and cover until cabbage is tender, but not limp (about 20 minutes.)

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces
1-1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tablespoon dry Sherry
2 Teaspoons Soy Sauce (low-sodium)
1 Teaspoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
Using a 3-quart sauce pan bring some water to a boil over high heat.  Add ½ teaspoon of sea salt and carrots and allow to boil for seven minutes. Drain carrots and set aside.  Combine vinegar, sherry and soy sauce, brown sugar and pepper in a small bowl. Heat Wok and put oil inside, swirling around to coat sides of wok.  When wok is hot add ginger and stir until fragrant.  Add the carrots and stir for one minute coating carrots well with oil and ginger.  Swirl the liquids into the wok and stir fry until carrots are crispy yet tender.  Transfer to serving bowl and sprinkle with fresh chives.

1 large red sweet pepper cored and quartered
1 15 ounce canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Teaspoon ground cumin
¼ tablespoon sea salt
8 slices whole wheat bread, toasted
½  cucumber, sliced thin
1 cup fresh baby spinach
½ medium avocado, sliced thin
Preheat broiler and place pepper quarters on a baking sheet, skin side up and broil for five to eight minutes until skin is blackened and blistered.  Transfer peppers to a bowl and cover and let steam.  After 15 minutes remove the skin of the peppers and cut them into strips.  Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, oil, cumin and sea salt into a food processor and process until smooth.  Toast the bread and spread the bean mixture on the bread.  Top bean spread with roasted peppers, cucumbers and baby spinach.  Spread the avocado slices onto the sandwiches and top with the remaining bread slices. 

CHICKEN CORN AND TOMATO PASTA SALAD (Leftover and already prepared from Lunch Menus)
8 ounces orzo pasta
1-1/2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup light sour cream
2 teaspoons lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup fresh corn kernels (sliced form 2 ears of corn)
½ medium red onion, diced
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1-1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes
½ cup thinly sliced basil leaves
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salt water until tender. (Approximately 10 minutes.) Drain and rinse thoroughly under cold water until cool.  In a medium bowl whisk together ricotta, sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  In a large bowl, toss together pasta, corn, red onion, chicken, tomatoes and basil.  Add ricotta-lemon dressing to pasta mix and stir to evenly coat pasta Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
½ cup ranch dressing
3 tablespoons blue cheese crumbles
½ cup halved grape tomatoes
1 and ½ tablespoons chopped fresh basil
4 10 inch tortillas
Romaine lettuce leaves
Combine the chicken, dressing, blue cheese crumbles, bacon crumbles, grape tomatoes and basil in a medium bowl. Line each of the 4 tortillas with lettuce.  Distribute the chicken over the four wraps.  Roll and fasten with a toothpick if needed to keep the wrap together.

½ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3 medium gala apples, cored and diced
1 cup thinly sliced celery
¼ cup raisins (plumped)
½ cup chopped walnuts
In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, lemon juice and sea salt. Stir in apples, celery and raisins.  Chill.  Just before serving sprinkle with walnuts.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes (reserve ½ cups for garnish)
1(15 ounce) can tomato sauce
3 cups chicken broth
¾ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 (20 ounce) package cheese tortellini
Garnishes (if desired)
Additional Parmesan Cheese
Diced tomatoes
Fresh Basil Leaves
Heat extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat in a stock pot. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté for another minute. Remove from heat. Transfer mix to a blender. Add the 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes. Blend together for 30 – 45 seconds until smooth. Pour the puree back into the Dutch oven. To the puree, add 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes (remember to reserve ½ cup for garnishing), can of Tomato sauce, chicken stock, heavy cream, sugar, salt, pepper, oregano, basil and nutmeg.  Stir well. Heat over medium high heat until mixture comes to a simmer. Reduce to medium heat and continue to simmer for five minutes. Add the Parmesan cheese and tortellini. Bring back to medium high heat and bring back to a simmer. Reduce to medium-low heat and simmer for five more minutes. Remove from heat and ladle into bowls. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese, tomatoes and basil if desired.

2 cups chopped cucumber
1 small chopped onion
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 Teaspoon garlic salt
1 Teaspoon Greek seasonings
1 teaspoon wine vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 bag of baby spinach leafs
1bag pita pockets (whole wheat)
Mix chopped cucumbers with onion and baby spinach in a small bowl and set aside.  In another small bowl whisk together yogurt, garlic salt, Greek seasonings, wine vinegar and olive oil.  Put the liquid ingredients into the vegetables until you have the desired amount (taste as you go.)  Stuff it all into the pita pockets.  Keep cold until time to eat.

10 inch tortillas
2-3 tablespoons roasted red pepper spread
Handful of shredded carrots
Handful of baby spinach
Splash of olive oil
Splash of lemon juice
Fresh ground pepper
Edamame soy beans
Avocado slices
Spread the hummus over the tortillas. Add the ingredients in a thinly spread layer – distribute evenly. Roll up the tortilla tightly.  Slice into one inch thick rounds. (The extras can be frozen and used later. I often double the recipe to make some ahead so I don’t have to make this recipe next time.)

3 cups packed parsley leaves, chopped
1-1/2 cups packed mint leaves, chopped
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 vine ripe tomatoes, minced
1 medium red onion, minced
Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
Stir ingredients together in a large bowl and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

3 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups of chicken broth
1 tablespoon of corn starch
½ teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
3 green onions, chopped
¼ teaspoon of white pepper
¾ cup of mushrooms, sliced
Reserve ½ cup of the chicken broth and mix with the cornstarch until dissolved. Place the chicken stock, ginger, soy sauce, green onions, mushrooms and white pepper in a pot and bring to a boil.  Add in the cornstarch and chicken broth mixture and stir.  Reduce heat to s simmer.  Slowly pour in the beaten eggs while stirring the soup. The egg will spread out into ribbons.  Turn off the heat and garnish with a few more chopped green onions.  Pour into your lunch thermos with the cup attached and reserve the left-over soup frozen in the freezer for use later.

1 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup walnut halves
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 Teaspoons of honey
1-1/2 teaspoons condensed milk
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground black pepper
1 large egg, beaten
½ cup corn starch
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Heat ½ cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Add sugar and stir constantly, until golden and thickened.  Add walnuts and toss to combine.  Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.  In another small bowl whisk together mayonnaise, honey and condensed milk, set aside.  Season shrimp with salt and pepper to taste.  Dip the shrimp (one at a time) into the egg, then dredge in the cornstarch, pressing to coat  working in batches, add the shrimp to the skillet, 8 -10 at a time and fry until evenly golden brown and crispy, about 1-2 minutes on each side  Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.  In a large bowl, combine shrimp and honey mixture.  Top with walnuts when you serve.

6 ounces of basmati and wild rice
1 can of mixed-bean salad, drained and rinsed
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 avocado
Juice of one lime (save some wedges for serving)
1 teaspoon Cajun spice mix
Small bunch coriander, chopped
Cook this ahead on cooking day and reserve in refrigerator.  Just follow package instructions for cooking the rice.  Drain, then cool under the cold running water until completely cold.  Stir in beans, onions, pepper and avocado. Mix the lime juice with the Cajun spice mix and some black pepper.  Pour over the rice mix, stir in the coriander and serve with extra lime wedges.  This can be stored in small mason jars or air-tight containers in the refrigerator until time to pack in lunches. (Leftovers can be used at dinner time.)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup thinly sliced white onion
½ teaspoon cumin
Sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 whole wheat tortilla
½ cup shredded hard goat cheese
½ large tomato, sliced
Fresh herbs (basil or sage)
Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and sauté until translucent (5 minutes) seasoning with cumin, salt and pepper.  Remove the onions from the pan and set aside.  In the same pan lay tortilla flat.  Sprinkle cheese evenly on top.  Top half the cheese with cooked onions, tomato and herbs.  When cheese begins to melt; fold cheese-only side of tortilla over.  Cook for another minute.  Serve hot.

2 pink grapefruits
½ small red onion, thinly sliced, divided
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup fat free plain yogurt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces baby kale leaves
1 ounce toasted hazelnuts, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
Peel and segment grapefruit; reserve 3 tablespoons juice in a large bowl. Mince 2 rings of the onion.  Add to grapefruit juice with lemon juice, yogurt, oil, salt, and pepper.  Whisk until well mixed.  Toss in kale.  Top with remaining onion, grapefruit and hazelnuts.  Store in mason jars or air-tight containers until time for packing lunch.  If you have leftovers these would make a good salad side dish for dinner.

1 zucchini squash, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
½ onion, chopped
Grape tomatoes, cut in half
Sea salt (to taste)
Garlic salt (to taste)
Fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
Balsamic Vinegar (drizzle to taste)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (drizzle to taste)
Turn the oven to 450 degrees F.  Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.  Chop the vegetables and place inside the pan.  Season with salt and pepper and garlic salt.  Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil and then come over that with the balsamic vinegar and drizzle again.  Roast for 20 minutes.  Vegetables should be soft yet crisp. 

8 ounces bow tie pasta
1 (14 ounce) can pineapple tidbits, juice reserved
1 red pepper, diced
2 cups diced deli ham
1 green onion, thinly sliced.
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 /3 cup pineapple juice
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and run under cold water. Whisk together all dressing ingredients until smooth.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss with dressing.  Refrigerate.  Store what you will need for lunch in a small mason jar and put into insulated lunch pack with an ice pack on the day you will have it for lunch. This can be kept in the refrigerator for up to five days. Save what is left over for a side with some of your dinner on the same night.

Food Processor:  buy one that will process food and mix smoothies too according to the setting you use.  If you have a smoothie blender, and want to chop your other food by hand, that will work too.
5 old fashioned Ice trays
1 large roll parchment paper
1 large roll of aluminum foil
3 large cooking trays that will fit inside your freezer, about 1 inch in depth (not flat, but with a short section around the sides.)
Plastic spatula
Wooden spoon
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cooking Spray
12 small canning jars with lids that seal
Muffin Tin that makes 24 mini muffins
Muffin Tin that makes 12 regular sized muffins
Pepper grinder
Cheese grater (if your food processor doesn’t do this for you)
Sharp knives in different sizes for cutting, slicing and chopping
2 boxes of gallon sized freezer bags (zip-lock is good)
1 box pint sized zip-lock baggies
1 large biscuit cutter
1 skillet (any type you like)
Muffin/cupcake liners (regular size and mini-sized)
Waffle Iron
1 large mixing bowl
1 medium sized mixing bowl
1 small mixing bowl
Set of Measuring cups
Set of Measuring spoons
1 gallon sized glass measuring cup with a pour spout
Tote bag for carrying food on the go (if you can get one that is insulated that might be nice.)
Black permanent marker
Pastry brush
Chopping board
Bakers wire cooling racks
Thermos with detachable cup to drink and serve soup from.
Pizza wheel for slicing
Small insulated zip up lunch box that will hold ice packs
Small ice packs for keeping things cold in insulated lunch box
1 Salad Spinner – the size that will conveniently fit your refrigerator shelves.
1 large crock pot (slow-cooker)
1 large Wok

Please don’t be overwhelmed with the list of equipment.  Chances are you already have most of it; but if not – these items will vastly improve your life and give you a lifetime of happy kitchen organization.  Trust me.  This will be worth the extra up-front effort and expense in the long run.

Congratulations once again on taking the positive steps to move forward with a healthy, nutritional food plan that is easy and stress free!

Here's to The IN SEASON Lifestyle!