Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Feeling a Little L.O.O.Py!

I've posted previously about L.O.O.Ps and how wonderful it is to "recycle" a meal and use the ingredients from one dinner to help out with a meal later in the week.  I think it's a bit of genius really.  

How wonderful to think of two meals at the same time.  It cuts your work in half and it eliminates the number of containers in the back of your fridge containing the "science experiment" (aka mold) that seems to lurk after forgetting what was in each container!

<------ This never happens in your house right??

Some of my all time favorite loop meals use my crock pot!  Don't you just love the ease of dinner in a crock pot?  Many times I can put an entire chicken in the crock pot and then use the meat for two different meals.  I can feed my family of five by serving half of the chicken "roasted" for round one, and then shredded into chicken and cheese enchiladas for round two!

One of my favorite LOOP meals takes about a month to put together, but oh is it worth it!  The recipe was published in Kathi's book... see?                          ----->
I've always liked Jambalaya, but if you buy all the ingredients at the same time... OUCH! It hurts the grocery budget a bit. I think I only planned this meal once before realizing it was time to come up with a solution.  So here's my Jambalaya plan:  you need to plan a months worth of meals to make this work, but don't worry I've outlined how to do that in yesterday's post! You will need to plan a meal using Italian Sausage, (try this one for stuffed mushrooms!), a meal using chicken, a meal using ham (have you ever tried Hawaiian Haystacks? So yummy, fresh and easy to make!) and then if you choose, a meal that uses shrimp.  Each time you fix one of these meals save out the amount of meat needed for the Jambalaya from your recipe.  So for example, say I make those amazing stuffed mushrooms.  It only uses 1/2 lb. of Italian Sausage.  So I brown the other half pound, and then put it in the freezer bag for my Jambalaya later in the month.  Get it?
At the end of the month, you have all the meats needed to make this amazing dish!  (For a chance to win the book stay tuned later this week!)

But you see, here's my dilemma with today's post.  In the past few weeks we've been eating mostly fresh raw foods.  (I gotta admit it helped that my husband was doing a juice fast for seven days because if something needed to be used he'd just toss it in the blender for his next "smoothie"!)  I'm still trying to figure out this new world of eating raw, so I don't feel like I have a lot of wisdom to impart on the left-overs because we haven't had any!  You see, when you don't cook anything it changes how you think about food and about dinner preparation.  It changes the types of foods you select the variety of what you eat.  

Now I know there are a lot of websites out there dedicated to educating people on the benefits of eat raw.  They are also chocked full of great recipes.  Since we are not changing our diet to be 100% raw the difficulty comes in the balance. I loved how this blogger talks about her happy medium!

So, in the mean time check back over my archives and see if any of my Formica Counter Top recipes work for you and your next attempt at getting a little L.O.O.Py!  

And stay posted here at the Homemaker in Training, because you can be sure that as I learn how to prepare healthy meals for my family I'll be sharing with you as well! (Mondays I post my menu including at least one new recipe each week! ) 

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