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Is it really the middle of February already? This winter seems to be going very fast. With thoughts of Spring, I’m working on my garden plans. My plans are not as ambitious as last year. We are told that we should expect grasshoppers again. Last year they totally wiped out the garden and the trees we planted. I’m hoping this year I can utilize some row cover ideas on my garden boxes to help protect them.

This is week 7 of my 13 Week Rotating Menu Plan. The Stretchy Bean this week is Red Beans or Kidney Beans. For many years, I thought the only use for kidney beans was added to chili. Of course, they are delicious in chili but they are also quite a hearty bean to use as a main dish. Monday night’s dinner will be a Jamaican Red Beans and Rice. This is adapted from a recipe in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon (it is also in the book Eat Fat Lose Fat by Mary Enid and Sally Fallon). In the original recipe the beans are cooked in coconut milk. For my Stretchy Bean purposes I choose to cook the big batch of red beans in homemade chicken broth using the crock pot until near done. Then I remove enough for my Jamaican Red Beans and add them to a pot on the stove top along with the coconut milk and remaining ingredients to finish cooking. It still works out very well. Usually soaked uncooked brown rice is one of the remaining ingredients that I add but tonight I will do it without adding the uncooked rice to the pot. I have leftover rice from Saturday night and will add that at the end of cooking to warm through. I think it will still work out just fine.

Tuesday night we’ll be having Enchiladas. Last time I made these my family loved them. I make something resembling refried beans with the kidney beans and then add a half pound of cooked ground beef along with taco style seasonings. I make corn tortillas and enchilada sauce and put it all together with plenty of cheese. Very good!

Cowboy soup, our Wednesday night meal, is similar to a chili or taco soup. I pretty much just throw things together for this soup using up any leftover vegetables I might have in the fridge or freezer. While ground beef would be the standard for this recipe, I usually use stew meat since we always seem to have more of that than ground beef.
B- Baked Oatmeal
L- Leftover’s
D- Leftovers and “Chicken Fried” Dinner Patties, Red Cabbage Kraut
D- Jamaican Red Beans and Rice (modified from a recipe in Nourishing Traditions), honey glazed carrots, caraway kraut
D- Bean and Beef Enchiladas, green salad with creamy kombucha dressing, cortido
D- Cowboy Soup, carrot sticks, corn bread
D- German Pancake, nectarine compote
D- Meat Loaf, broccoli, baked potatoes, challah
B- Crock pot Wheat Cereal
L- Crock Pot Orange Beef (something like this) and rice
D-Spaghetti (made with leftover meat loaf)
Photo Credit: sweetbeetandgreenbean

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