First Menu of January – as sugar and wheat free as possible.

Magazine Recipe Hoarding

I’ve been “RE-ORGANIZING” and purging my filing cabinets in keeping with my prefix for 2016… ‘The Year of RE’. I started by clearing out over half of the saved magazine articles and recipe tear-outs I’ve been keeping since I first got married in 1993. I filled an entire grocery sack with paper-thin articles and emptied over half of a VERY HEAVY file cabinet drawer. That’s how I spent my Sunday afternoon and evening, looking through all those amazing ideas and recipes again… thinking… WHY HAVEN’T I DONE THIS STUFF or COOKED THIS STUFF or GROWN THIS STUFF yet???!!! 23 years is long enough to get your act together, right?!

And so, I made a folder of STUFF FOR THIS YEAR out of the things I saved and plan to tackle it all! It will fit perfectly with my REsolve for 2016 and I hope to have a lot of amazing instagram photos for you as I get busy doing and making and cooking them all.

Martha Stewart, Rachael Ray and the magazine editor gang from Better Homes & Gardens, Southern Living, Texas Co-op Power, etc. would be proud of me; starting off utilizing their recipes for our first full week’s menu of 2016. I have been hoarding these tasty morsels for decades in hopes of having them make their way onto my plate. No telling where some of those recipes came from!

So without further ado… here’s our line up for January 4-10…


Breakfast — Oatmeal
Lunch — Open-faced Deer Burgers (leftover from Sunday) on toast, drizzled with butter & topped with lettuce, red cabbage and cherry tomatoes (yum… we just ate these a while ago)
Dinner — Baked turkey, roasted sweet potatoes and onion, quinoa almond pilaf, black eyed pea salad (from leftover black eyed peas we made New Years’ day) and possibly a paleo version of Pioneer Woman’s flat apple pie (or just baked apples with cinnamon and butter, which we always love)


Breakfast — Cereal, coffee or Dandy Blend with cream milk
Lunch — Gluten Free Corndog Minis (Applegate, I think – these are more of a snack), Eggplant mini pizzas I discovered on Pinterest (don’t those look yummy??? – image not mine, recipe is at the link)
Dinner — Grilled Chicken (assuming it won’t be too cold to talk the man in to firing up the smoker), Greekish Cucumber Tomato Yogurt Sauce and Relish, Stuffed Mushrooms with Pecans, Spinach Egg Noodle Casserole with Parmesan

Mini Eggplant Pizzas

Photo: Miryam at Eat Good 4 Life

Pinterest is much easier to fit in your filing cabinet than a bunch of outdated magazine articles. Just sayin’.


Breakfast — Eggs and Bacon, Lots of water (and we always take our vitamins and supplements in the morning), peeled fresh orange
Lunch — Black bean vegetarian casserole (we have to accommodate our teen girl at least one meal a week)
Dinner — Massaman Thai Chicken Curry with Potatoes, Peanuts, Onion and Carrot, Sticky Rice, Thai Tea with Stevia and Cream (love drinking it at home where it’s not full of nasty sugar)… note: I just LOVE Thai. If this one turns out to be a winner, it will save me some date night money!


Breakfast — Yogurt, frozen blueberries, and organic cinnamon apple granola, hot tea
Lunch — Black eyed Pea Parfaits – sound gross, but check my image above that has the peas stacked with rice and chopped veggies in a glass. So ingenious. Of course, this meal will only work if there is leftover black eyed peas still – if not, maybe PBJs or leftovers for lunch.
Dinner — Chopped Tex Mex Salad, Home Made Salsa de Fuego and Tortilla chips, iced tea


Breakfast — Oatmeal, latte art in my espresso via Morgan the barista, peaches
Lunch — Italian Lettuce Wraps with leftover grilled chicken (optional for my vegetarian girl… and maybe a paleo-ish dessert if I can talk her in to baking), snacks: deviled egg sailboats with cheese and pretzel sails
Dinner — Sesame Garlic Deer Tacos / Mexican Chicken Soup for a friend (shhhh)


Breakfast — Buckwheat Pancakes, turkey bacon, maple syrup, milk
Lunch — Potato-Zucchini-Carrot Pancakes with brunch salad and a fried egg on top, applesauce snack
Dinner — OUT TO EAT, payday treat, probably Jason’s Deli (my husband’s favorite, where he allows the boys to get ice cream as a treat)


Breakfast — Eggs, bacon, hashbrown potatoes or fried cubed potatoes per Daddy’s potato cutter
Lunch — 3-Herb Chicken and Mushrooms (may sub the mushroom part for a twist off of another recipe that has roasted mushrooms and kale), Green Bean Rice Pilaf
Dinner — Tex Mex Brown Rice Deer Chili (adapted from a beef recipe)… assuming Daddy will make a peanut-butter jelly that night as he really hates Chili for some reason (I’m not even sure he can be Texan if he hates chili, but then again, he says I’m not American because I don’t like apple pie)

At some point during the week I’ll be making turkey broth, also… and we most likely will have our share of buttered popcorn that Daddy makes in the popcorn popper if we watch a movie… and stevia or honey sweetened chocolates as a tiny daily treat to keep the dessert monster at bay. My teens like to come down and make coffee or tea during the day also, and my daughter often makes protein shakes or vegetarian substitutes for meals since she doesn’t eat meat. She uses protein powders – preferably those without soy and made from pea protein instead of dairy or animal products. Her favorite is Vega chocolate flavored “shake” and she drinks it with whole milk (which isn’t really the best choice, but makes it taste really good). She also snacks on free food from Starbucks which has gluten and sugars, so she’s not the health food angel she appears!

— I’m checking the list off as we eat through our week. Not necessarily in order… as CDO as I am (that’s OCD in alphabetical order for those of you scratching your heads).

Speaking of Starbucks… if I do go through the line while dropping her off (she sometimes gives me her free drink or discounted one), I usually order as non-sugar as I can. Originally I was getting a green tea frappucino but found out that the matcha powder is a blend of sugar and matcha. Maybe it is because they want it to taste sweet like their other products, or maybe it is because it works better in their machines, but either way, getting the “green tea frapp” sugar free there is impossible.

My favorite order goes like this:
Grande (Medium)
Green Tea
NO BASE, sub 1 pump of skinny base (there is sugar in the base, and less sugar in the skinny base)
1 extra scoop of green tea (to hide the coffee flavor of the skinny base)
NO WHIP (not because of the fat – because of the syrups they use to sweeten the whip)

cost is over 5$ without discount, coupon, or a nice person in line in front of you paying for your drink just because.

After that mouthful, it is never a guarantee that any drink they make me will be the same as the last one I got… and sometimes they add the two bases together, making it ultra sweet. All the benefits of the matcha seem to be negated by the sugar they cut it with, which makes me very sad indeed. My daughter can make a sugar-free green tea frapp at home that is divine… honey and stevia only. She even makes home made whip!

Home made version:

Home made Green Tea Frapp

This is why you need to commend Starbucks for hiring Morgan when she applied… they had no idea what a gem they got with this girl!

So lately, after watching yet another sugar-is-evil documentary (“That Sugar Film“), my order is:
Venti (large)
Iced Coffee
With Cream
No syrups or sugars

cost is under 3$ and aside from the caffeine and acid in the coffee, this is a much better deal if it is before noon. Otherwise, prepare to stay up reeeeally late with a racing heart. You can also do this same type of sugarless drink with espresso instead of iced coffee, but it contains FOUR shots, so there may be a jitter-bug in your pants if you don’t order it decaf.

So there you have it… if you are trying to avoid sugar, there are options at Starbucks. The Peach Tranquility tea is not at all bad, either. I kind of burned out on the Passion tea a while back, but might start drinking it again over the summer if Morgan is still working there. We have even bought it boxed and brewed it at home in the past.

Another fun thing we did over the holidays was watching the “Caffeinated” documentary — which is a real eye opener about all things coffee and had me in tears thinking of how much the coffee business is helping people survive in other countries where coffee is grown.


My very favorite thing about Starbucks in particular is their drinkware. I adore my mug from this Christmas. They were 30% off before Christmas (you should check and see on their site if you want one before the sale is over).

Off to help bake a mock Thanksgiving dinner for a Monday night in January… have a GREAT WEEK, all!!! Happy new year!!!

Want more food ideas for your menu-making? Visit Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday!


  1. says

    I prefer the cold brewed coffee with cream. If I want a little sugar I ask for one pump of vanilla but I’m really happy without it and it’s much cheaper than the white chocolate latte I used to get. 😉

    • says

      I tried that after you mentioned it and guess what? No decaf. :( Bummer. I’ve also heard a “pour over” is good and made fresh if you have time to wait – about 5-10 minutes. Maybe if the drive thru line is long and you use the mobile app to order? One can hope…