Meal Plan for August 22, 2018

Try something new this week! If you’ve never had pickled red onions, I highly recommend trying it. They are lovely to add to salads or just to enjoy with just about any dish.

Chicken Cacciatore was a childhood favorite for me except it was always pre-made out of a jar. It’s so easy to make at home with fresh ingredients though!  I’m looking forward to making this with fresh local bell peppers and basil.

I’ve included one of my family’s recipes that I use every single week! It’s Fried Rice. I make it to use up any leftover veggies in my pantry or fridge. Really anything goes. If you don’t make this regularly, you should! It’s a great way to use up and hide veggies for kids. I always dice up veggies into small pieces to cook them quickly and make it harder for kids to pick food apart.

Watermelon, Cherry Tomato, and Feta Salad
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 2 cup 1-inch cubed red watermelon
  • 1/4 cup vertically sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  1. Whisk together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add tomato, watermelon, and onion; toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese; toss gently.
Recipe Notes

Recipe from My Recipes

Purple Potato and Delicata Squash Fries
  • 1 lb purple potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 ct delicata squash, cut into long slices
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika powder
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Wash purple potatoes under running water by rubbing it well with your hands. There is no need to peel the potatoes.
  3. Cut the purple sweet potatoes into fry-shaped pieces (about 1/2 cm each). Try to cut them into similarly sized pieces. Add the purple potatoes to a large bowl.
  4. Cut delicata squash lengthwise and remove seeds. Then cut into long strips. Add to bowl.
  5. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of sea salt, 1 tsp of black pepper, 1 tsp of garlic powder and 1/2 tsp of paprika powder. Drizzle with olive oil. Toss everything together to coat.
  6. Spread the purple potatoes and delicata in a single layer on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Make sure the potatoes dont overcrowd, otherwise they will stick together and will not end up crispy.
  7. Put in the oven for about 20 minutes and then turn and bake another 12-15 minutes until they have darkened along the edges and soft in the middle.
Okra Pilaf
Servings: 2 people
  • 2 slices of bacon chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup okra sliced into disks
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt use less salt if using seasoned broth
  • 1/2 cup long-grain rice
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock*
  1. Spread the chopped bacon out in a pot so it covers the bottom completely and turn the heat to medium. Fry it until it's crispy, then remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Drain off all but about 1 tablespoon of bacon fat.

  2. Add the onion and green pepper and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.

  3. Add the okra and increase the heat to high. Add the cayenne, salt and rice and stir-fry for 1 minute.

  4. Stir in the chicken broth, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer and cook until the rice is done, about 20 minutes.

  5. Fluff up the rice with a fork and stir in the chopped bacon.

Recipe Notes

*Review the instructions on your package of rice for how much liquid is needed for your particular brand of rice. Some rice calls for a 1:1 1/2 ratio, some 1:2 ratio, rice to liquid. Use whatever ratio is indicated by your rice package.

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes

Quick Pickled Red Onions
  • 1 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 cup water
  1. Whisk vinegar and seasonings with 2 cups of water until fully dissolved.
  2. Place onion slices in a container and add liquid until covered. 1 quart mason jars work perfectly for this.
  3. Let sit for at least 1 hour, but it is best if left in the fridge overnight.
Recipe Notes

Recipe from Fox Valley Foodie

Chicken Cacciatore with Bell Peppers and Basil
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon Alchemy Spice Bella Garlique Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil divided
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lb colored bell pepper cored and sliced
  • 15 ounce crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ heavy cream optional if dairy free
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon Alchemy Spice Bella Garlique Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup fresh basil chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese for garnish optional if dairy free
  1. Season the chicken with Italian seasoning and salt and pepper.
  2. In a large skillet add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat to medium high.
  3. Cook the chicken about 3 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 165 degrees and brown on each side. Set aside the chicken on the plate.
  4. Add one tablespoon olive oil to the skillet and add the garlic and bell pepper. Sauté until tender.
  5. Add the crushed tomatoes, heavy cream, chicken broth, italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer until thickened.
  6. Add the chicken back to the skillet until heated through. Serve over hot pasta and garnish with fresh chopped basil and parmesan cheese if desired.
Recipe Notes

Recipe from The Recipe Critic


Pasta with Swiss Chard and Eggplant
  • 2 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 1 bunch fresh Swiss chard trimmed, washed, and cut into 1-inch crosswise pieces
  • 1 lb eggplant cubed
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 8 oz pasta of choice
  • ½ cup crumbled Gorgonzola or Parmesan cheese
  • sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp basil chopped for garnish
  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the tablespoon of salt and stir in the pasta. cook the pasta according to the package directions, then drain water.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sauté the Swiss chard for 2 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet, heat, and sauté the eggplant and garlic for 2–3 minutes. Add the sautéed Swiss chard and cook for 1 more minute.
  4. Toss the hot pasta immediately with the cheese, and add in the sautéed vegetables and season with sea salt and pepper.


Cucumber Quinoa Salad
This Cucumber Quinoa Salad is made with lots of fresh basil and feta, tossed with a simple lemony vinaigrette, and it's SO fresh and delicious! Plus, it's naturally gluten-free and quick and easy to make.
Servings: 2 people
For the salad:
  • 2 cucumbers diced
  • 1 cup chilled* cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 Tbsp roughly-chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 colored bell pepper seeded and diced
For the lemony vinaigrette:
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning homemade or store-bought
  • pinch of salt and black pepper
To make the salad:
  1. Toss cooked quinoa, cucumbers, red onion, feta, and basil until combined. 

To make the vinaigrette:
  1. Whisk oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and spices together in a small bowl until combined. Coat the salad ingredients and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

*If you add hot quinoa fresh out of the pan, it will melt the cheese and wilt the basil a bit in this recipe. So I recommend cooking it beforehand and letting it chill in the refrigerator before making the salad. Or, if you need to cook it immediately beforehand, just spread the cooked quinoa out in a thin layer on a baking sheet and pop it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. That will help it cool down nice and quickly! 

**Cook time does not include the time needed to prepare the quinoa. See this post for instructions on how to cook quinoa. 

Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven.


Fried Rice with Veggies
  • 1 tbsp choice of cooking oil
  • 2 cup of your favorite protein
  • 2 cup short-grain rice rinsed and cooked according to instructions
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup chopped green white or red onion
  • 1 lb green beans
  • 1/2 cup carrots
  • 1 cup any other veggies you like!
  • 3 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce divided (plus more for veggies + to taste)
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • Black pepper
  • Sriracha sauce optional
  1. Cook rice according to instructions.
  2. Heat a large metal pot over medium heat. Salt and pepper your protein. Add oil and cook your protein for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown on all sides. Lower heat if browning too quickly. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. To the still hot pan add garlic, onion, green beans, carrots and any other veggies. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, and season with 1 Tbsp (15 ml) tamari or soy sauce.
  4. Add cooked rice, and remaining soy sauce and sesame oil and stir. Cook over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with black pepper.
  5. Serve immediately with sriracha for heat (optional). Crushed salted, roasted peanuts or cashews make a lovely additional garnish.
Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker


Meet the Author

Michele Reneau

Michele and her husband relocated to Chattanooga, TN from Charleston, SC in 2009. Leaving a successful real estate career upon relocation, and shortly after became a mom, she transferred her passion of helping people into health matters. She became a Certified Health Coach and enthusiast for local real food. Michele is the Chattanooga Chapter leader of the Weston A Price Foundation. The Reneaus who now have 4 children started a family farm in 2015 on Signal Mountain. Michele loves to cook, eat and teach others about real food.