Meal Plan for Sept 26, 2018

In case you haven’t heard yet…there is a new feature available to you! Log into your account and check out the option to remove veggies you don’t want or like and add more of what you do like. Try it out and let us know what you think.

Last week, I mentioned the kinds of things I keep stocked in my pantry. This is super important if I want to avoid unnecessary trips to the grocery store. I can virtually make any recipe by keeping the essential pantry items on hand. But what happens when you have a recipe you want to make but not all the ingredients. I have found that most recipes can be fudged. First, often there are ingredients that aren’t a must. I have made many recipes and just left out random items and it still tastes great! Proper salting and seasoning goes a long way. I’m always a fan of adding the unexpected as well. So if you don’t have bok choy, try cabbage or any other green. Or kind of like the French Onion Soup recipe below, add Swiss Chard to pack a bunch of some leafy green nutrients. Knowing the substitutions can be made in a recipe with something you might already have can make it less stressful.

Some popular substitutions for me are:

Red wine/beer – Broth

Vinegar- Use any other kind of vinegar like Apple Cider, Rice Wine or Lemon juice

Cornstarch – Flour (1 tsp: 1 tbsp)

Specific Cheeses can almost always be substituted with whatever you have on hand.

Leafy greens can be interchanged (kale, bok choy, collards, even green cabbage)

Bread crumbs – Oats (1:1 ratio)

Mayo – Sour cream or yogurt (depending on the recipe)

Fresh Herbs – Dried Herbs (1 tbsp fresh: 1 tsp dried)

Onion (1 cup) – green onions, shallots, leeks or  1/4 cup onion powder

Rice – Quinoa, Lentils, Pasta, Gnocchi, Polenta

You might be surprised what substitution ideas there are. Search the web for alternatives to a recipe ingredient. You might be surprised that you have what you need.


Muscadine Cobbler
  • 306 g all-purpose flour
  • 8 g sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar divided
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 g active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon light olive oil
  • 1 cup muscadines See Note
  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine flour, salt and 1 tablespoon sugar. In a small mixing bowl, combine water, yeast and olive oil. Make a well in the flour and pour the water and yeast mixture in the center of the flour. Knead until combined, about 3 minutes. Place a tea towel moistened with warm water over the bowl and allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes. The warm water clinging to the tea towel will create a warm, moist environment for the dough to rise.
  2. On a floured surface, knead the rested dough for 3 minutes. Place the dough on a heavily floured plate or baking sheet, sprinkle with more flour and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to slowly rise in the fridge for 12-24 hours. Whenever you are ready to make the focaccia, take the dough out of the fridge 30 minutes before shaping.
  3. In a small bowl, combine muscadines and the remaining tablespoon of sugar.
  4. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, and gently pull the dough into a 10” inch circle. Place the dough in a generously buttered 10” skillet. Cover the top of the dough with the muscadines (including any juice that has come out of the muscadines), pressing the fruit firmly into the dough. Cover with a warm, moistened tea towel, and allow the dough to prove once more for 45 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400oF. Bake the focaccia until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar right before serving. This sweet treat is also lovely slathered in ricotta and drizzled with honey.
Recipe Notes

Note: Leave smaller muscadines (the size of a marble) whole and cut larger ones (the size of a cherry) in half and discard seeds.

Recipe from For the Love of South


Potato and Pepper Breakfast Scramble
  • 1 lb potato
  • 1/2 lb sweet bell peppers
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 pastured eggs
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Red chili flakes optional
  • Black pepper and sea salt
  • Oil of choice
  1. Chop up potato, peppers, onion, and garlic. Stick potatoes in a bowl and microwave for 3 minutes to soften.

  2. Heat up some olive oil in a pan and cook potatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic until onions are translucent and veggies get a little bit soft.

  3. Crack an egg in the pan and mix around until cooked (if you prefer, you can scramble the egg beforehand). 

  4. Top with pepper, red chili flakes, and sliced avocado.

Recipe Notes

Recipe from


Southern Turnip Greens
  • 1 14 ounce can chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch turnip greens chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  1. Bring chicken broth, water, oil, salt, and pepper to a boil in a stockpot.
  2. Add turnip greens and sugar and return to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring every 15 minutes, until greens are tender, at least 30 minutes.
Recipe Notes

Recipe from Allrecipes


Sausage and Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1/2 lb mild sausage
  • 8 ounce mushrooms chopped
  • 1-2 tsp fresh thyme chopped
  • 1/2 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Carefully slice each squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place the halves skin side down on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 50-60 minutes or until soft.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat, brown the sausage until nearly cooked through. In the last couple of minutes of cooking, add the chopped mushrooms and thyme. Continue cooking until the meat is no longer pink and the mushrooms are softened. Add the rice, stir well, and cook 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and stir to ensure all rice is submerged. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese.
  4. Once squash is cooked, remove from the oven and reduce heat to 350. Scoop the cooked mixture into each half, filling as much as possible. Return to oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Serve hot.
Recipe Notes

Recipe from See Aimee Cooks


Apple Radish Slaw
  • 1 lb tart apple sliced matchsticks
  • 1 cup carrot matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup radish cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup scallions/green onions diced
Honey Lime Jalapeño Vinaigrette
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 juice of lime
  • 2 tablespoons jalapeño minced
  • 1 clove garlic grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette.
  2. Add slaw ingredients to the bowl (apples, carrots, radishes and scallions). Toss well and check for seasoning before serving. Adjust accordingly and serve.
Recipe Notes

For a mild vinaigrette, remove the seeds from the jalapeño before mincing because that is where the heat lies.

Recipe from The Lemon Bowl

Sautéed Cabbage
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or pressed
  • 1 medium head green cabbage sliced into 3/4" thick slices
  • 2 Tablespoons butter cut into 2 pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes optional
  1. Heat a 12" skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until onion is softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir, cooking an additional 30 seconds.
  2. Turn heat up to medium-high heat and add about 1/3 of the cabbage. Stir to mix onions and garlic with the cabbage. Now leave it alone and let the cabbage start to brown, but be careful not to let it burn. Using a spatula, turn the cabbage over and let other side brown slightly. Season lightly with a dash of salt.
  3. Add another 1/3 of the cabbage and 1 tablespoon butter. Flip cabbage again after a couple minutes.
  4. Finish with remaining cabbage and last tablespoon of butter. Once cabbage is browned to your liking, add more salt to taste and pepper, if desired. Remove from heat, season with red pepper flakes, if desired. Serve.
Recipe Notes

Recipe from Good Dinner Mom


French Onion Soup with Swiss Chard
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 lb onions sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup red wine or 1/2 cup of dry vermouth or dry white wine (depending on your preference) or you can leave this out.
  • 1.5 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart beef broth
  • 1 baguette sliced
  • 1/4 pound grated Gruyere or Swiss Cheese
  • 1 bunch Swiss Chard stem removed and chopped thin.
  1. Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes.
  2. Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves.
  3. Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.
  4. Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Add swiss chard to wilt. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  5. When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere and broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Ladle the soup in bowls and float several of the Gruyere croutons on top.
Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Food Network


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.