Sunday, November 4, 2012

Week of Nov. 4 menu, based on Publix sales

These weeks are getting busy and with the holidays approaching, I can only image that I will have less time for cooking and planning.  But I will not let my grocery budget increase (as mommy needs some new fall clothes) and my family eat unhealthy.  This is my goal for the 4th quarter of 2012!

So with that being said, here is this weeks menu.  Starting on Sunday with a casserole that will leave some left overs for Monday, then some quick mindless meals for the week.


Night 1- Ground turkey casserole served with steamed broccoli
Night 2 -Left overs with a side salad
Night 3- Crab cakes served with fresh green beans
Night 4- Honey mustard split chicken breasts
Night 5 - Black bean soup with corn bread (hoping for a chilly night)

...and all of these meat are on sale!


NIGHT 1: For the ground turkey casserole, I found this recipe HERE, but turned it into my own to make it healthy and substituted some ingredients, as I am not going to buy dry milk for one dish and my family loves fresh broccoli so no need to add to the dish (as I did when I first made it).

Ingredients for my version:
3 cups of whole wheat egg noddles
1 lbs. of ground turkey
1 small chopped yellow onion
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
1 tsp. of Italian seasoning
4 oz. of fat-free cream cheese
1/2 cup of fat free sour cream
1 Tbs. of fresh parsley (or 1/2 Tbs. of dried)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cup of shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

1. Cook noodles.
2. In large skillet, cook turkey & onion over medium heat, drain.
3. Mix in spaghetti sauce & Italian seasoning. (you can add your broccoli into the turkey mixture here, if you want it in your casserole, but I think the broccoli got to soggy)
4. In a separate sauce pan, combine sour cream, cream cheese, parley and fresh garlic.
5. Cook and stir over medium heat until cheese is melted.
6. Drain noodles, add to cream cheese mixture.
7. Place into a 9 x 13 in. baking dish, coated with nonstick cooking spray
8. Top with the turkey mixture and cheese.
9. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

FOR the broccoli, steam or roast in the oven with some olive oil and lemon.

NIGHT 2: Left over night (t-ball night for my house lately)

NIGHT 3: Crab cakes-so easy and surprisingly inexpensive.  Tip, mix the crab mixture the night before and instead of making your own bread crumbs, I used panko crumbs.  And when I say inexpensive to make, you can get bumblebee crab cake cans, two for $5. Recipe is HERE. I served with my own sauce, as follows:

1/3 cup of dijon mustard
1/3 cup of mayo
1 Tbs. of lemon juice
1 tsp. of capers with juice
1 tsp. dill
salt to taste

Side Salad, not too fancy.  Just some tomatoes, cucumbers on top of a bag of salad, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic glaze.

NIGHT 4: Honey Mustard Chicken, recipe HERE.

SIMPLE, that is all I have to say.

NIGHT 5: Ok, so I will let you in on a little secret, I buy it pre-made from a can, ssshhh...

HERE is my top choice.  Just add some salt and pepper to taste.

For the corn bread, also, pre-packaged.  Hey I can't be amazing ALL the time.


  • 1 lbs. of ground turkey meat - on sale $3.49/lbs.
  • 2 split chicken breast - on sale $1.99/lbs.
  • 1/2 carton of eggs
  • 1 bag of shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 4 oz. of fat-free cream cheese
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 package of salad - Fresh Express salad on sale BOGO
  • 1 tomato & 1 cucumber (if you want for your side salad)
  • 1 small package of fresh broccoli
  • 1 cup of fresh green beans
  • Garlic bulb
  • 3 small cans of bumblebee crab meat, in water (this is enough for approx. 9 medium crab cakes) 
  • 2 cans of black bean soup
  • 1 container of panko bread crumbs
  • 1 bag of whole wheat egg noddles - Ronzoni pasta on sale BOGO
  • 1 box of corn bread mix
  • Honey
  • Salad dressing or balsamic glaze (for the side salad)- lots of dressings on sale
  • 1 small jar of capers (suggested,only for the crab cake sauce)
  • 1 small jar of light mayo
  • Dijon mustard (I like stone ground)
  • 1 small jar of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce- Prego on sale BOGO
  • Olive oil 
  • Seasoning: salt & pepper, Italian seasoning, dried parsley flakes, seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay Seasoning), rosemary, dill

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Week of October 15-19

Short menu this week, due to our crazy schedule, but I thought I would share what's on our menu this week.


Night 1 - Crock-Pot sweet and sour chicken
Night 2 - Spicy tomato, arugula, turkey bacon grilled cheese serve with a light Light Tomato Basil Soup


Night 1 - Click here for the Crock Pot sweet and sour chicken.

This recipe looks easy and great.  I love Chinese food, but I hate the calories that go with it.  This recipe does call for some perpetration, but it as the creator of this menu stated, most are staple items in your pantry and fridge.

Night 2- Spicy tomato, arugula, turkey bacon grilled cheese serve with a light Light Tomato Basil Soup - click here for the soup recipe.  

For the grilled cheese, it is pretty basic.  Between two slices of good whole wheat bread, stack pepper jack cheese, tomato slices, cooked turkey bacon and little bit of arugula. Grill on a panini maker or on the stove will be posted soon :)


  • 1 lbs. of chicken breast
  • 1 package of turkey bacon
  • 1 cup of plain greek yogurt
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 pkg. of monetary jack with jalapenos cheese. 
  • 1 package of fresh arugula
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 small onions
  • 1 small green pepper
  • 4 medium fresh tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1, 28-oz cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 small cane of tomato paste 
  • small can of pineapple chunks
  • brown sugar (only need 1/2 cup)
  • white sugar (only need 1/2 cup)
  • white vinegar
  • olive oil
  • vegetable or reduced sodium chicken broth (only need 2 cups)
  • soy sauce (reduced sodium)
  • cornstarch
  • Rice of your choice (to be served with the crock pot chicken)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh basil
  • seasoning/spices: garlic powder, ground ginger, Italian seasoning blend (sage, oregano, parsley),  crushed red pepper flakes, sale & pepper.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Ready for Fall!

I, like every Floridan, am ready for fall.  And just because it is still humid and in the 90's during the day, doesn't mean you can not cook with the new season of produce, spice and flavor.  I am starting the week off with some easy dishes and hopefully by Thursday  the week calms down work wise and I have some time to experiment with this new pumpkin recipe I found while searching the web a.k.a Pinterest!


Night 1: Ground Turkey sloppy sliders served with a mixed salad.
Night 2: Left over turkey sloppy mixed with whole-grain spaghetti and a side of green beans.
Night 3: Pear Black Forest Bacon Frittata with fruit and whole grain toast.
Night 4: Pork and Pumpkin Noddle Bowls


Turkey Sloppy Sliders, click here.  This recipe has all of my favorite ingredients and LOVE LOVE LOVE that she likes to add flavor with spices and fresh vegetables and not with processed canned ingredients.  This recipe make about 8 sliders and 4 regular sandwiches   To make sure I have enough for the next night I am adding the ingredients by half.

For the salad, I am going to use some of the green beans I need for tomorrow, cucumber, crasins, sunflower seeds and a little bit of the feta needed for the last meal of the week.  Topping it with a blue cheese vinaigrette (my new addiction).

Left over creation - EASY. Boil half a package of whole wheat pasta.  In another pan, heat up the left over sloppy mix on a stove top over medium heat.  When the pasta is done, mix with the sloppy.  Top with some shredded low-fat cheddar cheese. DONE!

For the green beans  I simply steam, but you could easily bake in the oven with some olive oil, lemon, garlic and salt.  Gives them a fresh, crunchy taste. 

Frittata, click here for the recipe.  This dish isn't that bad for you, calorie wise, however, the sodium is pretty high.  To make this one with a healthy twist, I use turkey bacon, 2% milk and reduced-fat feta cheese.  Also, I am not adding potatoes, but if you want to add, go for it and just add to your grocery list. . 

Whole wheat mountain bread and pre-made fruit salad is on sale, so this was an easy side for my family. 

Pork and Pumpkin Noddle Bowls, here for the recipe.  This is a new one and very excited to try. Really have no tips as it appears to be pretty healthy and full of flavor.  I will keep you updated. 
ok, no bowls, didn't add sage and included red onion in the sauce... AMASSING!!


1 small package of Public pork loin - on sale for $4.99/lbs.
1.75 lbs of ground turkey (only if you are making approx. double of the sloppy recipe) - on sale for  $3.49/lbs.
1 loaf of whole wheat mountain bread - on sale for $2.59
1 package of small slider buns or pkg. of wheat wheat buns.
1 small red onion
1 small sweet onion
1 garlic bulb
1 cucumber (for the side salad)
2 pears - in season and on sale for $.99/lbs.
1 lbs. of green beans - on sale for $1.69/lbs.
1 pkg. of Fresh Attitude salad mix- on sale 2 for $4
Turkey bacon - Jenny O turkey bacon on sale for $1.99
1 box of whole wheat linguine
1/2 cup of canned pumpkin
2- 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 small can of black beans
1 pkg. of Crasins (for the side salad)
1/2 gallon of low fat milk
1/2 carton of eggs
1 pkg. (at least 4 cups) of Low fat cheddar cheese or Gouda (for the sloppy)
Feta or blue cheese crumbles (for the pork and pumpkin noodle bowls)
Salad dressing of your choice
Soy sauce
Cider vinegar
Small container of corn starch
6 fresh sage leaves
Spices: salt, pepper, paprika, ground cumin, celery salt, garlic powder, chili powder

      Saturday, September 15, 2012

      Spatchock Chicken and more...

      I have been inspired by a friend to try something new this week and since a whole chicken is on sale at my Publix, why not?  It's called Spatchock Chicken (breaking the back bone).  Martha Stewart has a great step-by-step guide (HERE), and her ingredients for the Chicken is AMAZING!
      Another item for this week is Beef Cube Steaks, they are on sale and already breaded.  1 1/2 lbs. will make two meals for my family.  Plus Beef Cube Steak, per, is a great source of protein!  However, to lower the calorie count, I seared both sides in olive oil then bake.  


      Night 1- Spatchocked Chicken served with roasted sweet potatoes with olive oil, garlic, walnuts and rosemary.  

      Night 2- Shredded BBQ chicken salad

      Night 3 - Beef cubed Steak with a cilantro-humus sauce served with a side salad.

      Night 4 - Left over cooked beef cube steak soft tacos.


      Night 1-
      Spatchock Chicken (breaking the back-bone of the chicken)
      Click HERE for the ingredients.   I have created my own step-by-step on cooking this chicken because the recipe I followed cooked the chicken quicker than suggested.  But I am not complaining because dinner was ready in 40 minutes.

      I would recommend to prep the chicken the night before with the ingredients.  It says to let chill for an hour with all of the ingredients rubbed on the chicken, but it will only make it more favorable if it is on over night.

      How To: Place the chicken in a pre-heated oven at 450 degrees, covered with tin foil.  Cook for 30 minutes, check to make sure it is cooked (no pink meat or pink juices), it may need 10 more minutes as mine did.  Proper temperature for chicken is 165 degrees.

      For the sweet potatoes: slice the potatoes into quarter inch round slices, quickly steam for 10 minutes.  In the meantime, combine 2 Tbs.of olive oil, 1-2 fresh garlic wedges, 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts and 1 Tbs. of rosemary in a small bowl.  After the potatoes are done steaming, place in an oven safe dish, toss with your nut & oil mixture and cook in the oven for 5-10 minutes.  (I placed the potatoes in the oven for the last 10 minutes of the chicken) 

      I highly recommend to prep your chicken the night before because there is no way I would have spent an hour on a Monday to make this!

      Night 2- With the left over chicken, I am making a family fav, Shredded BBQ Chicken!

      Taken from a prior blog, shred and heat up the left over chicken, mix in about 1/3 cup of your favorite bbq sauce.  Click HERE to go to July's post.

      Night 3-  Simple.  That is all I have to say.  The beef cube steak comes breaded.  Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Heat up a saute pan with olive oil and fresh garlic on medium heat.  Sear each side for about 4-5 minutes then place in the oven for 20 minutes to cook.

      I served with a classic side salad with cashews, tomatoes, cucumbers and cauliflower.

      Night 4- Beef Steak Tacos.  This is a classic go to for me.  To make it healthy, I always make my sour cream from greek yogurt, add some lime juice and cilantro! If we use cheese, I use shredded, part-skim mozzarella.

      Recommend to chop your left over beef steak in a processor, then re-heat on the skillet.


      • 4 lbs. whole chicken
      • 1 1/2 -2 lbs. of beef cube steak
      • 1 sweet potato
      • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
      • 1 cucumber
      • 1 granny smith apple
      • 1 bag of broccoli slaw or shredded carrots (for the salad)
      • 1 container of spinach
      • 2-3 shallots
      • 1 bulb of garlic
      • 3 lemons
      • 1 small bag of walnuts
      • nuts of your choice for a mixed salad
      • 1 container of reduced fat feta cheese
      • 1 small bag of part-skim mozzarella
      • olive oil
      • dijon mustard
      • fresh cilantro, rosemary, & parsley
      • salt, pepper, herbs de Provence

      Sunday, August 26, 2012

      Crock pottin'

      It has been some busy weeks for my family so I haven't been able to enjoy my blog lately.  But I am back in full swing!

      I must share what I did last week!  The below recipes asked for basic ingredients that do not go on sale much, so I was still able to keep the grocery bill low.

      I found an amazing crock pot dish on pinterest (my addiction), Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken.  I made this one night for friends,  then chicken stir fry with the reserved sauce from the night before, and since the family wasn't tired of chicken or oriental food, I made an amazing salad with all of the left over ingredients.

      As noted above, my tip this week is to make the sauce required for the crock pot dish and save half for the stir fry night.


      Night 1 - Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken served with 10 minute jasmine rice and steamed broccoli   (This one cooks in 3-4 hours, recommend to make on a Sunday or day when someone at home can start the crock pot a couple hours before dinner)

      Night 2 - Chicken stir fry with fresh peppers and left over broccoli served with oriental noodles.  You can use angle hair pasta if you don't want to buy special pasta.

      Night 3 - Left over shredded chicken salad.

       Night 1- Click here for the online recipe from Chef in Training web page.  This recipe is a double recipe.  I followed the sauce recipe as suggested, however reserved 1 cup for the next night for the stir fry. I used 3 chicken breasts and that was more than enough for 4 adults. If you wish for your sauce to be a little more sweeter, I recommend to add a little peanut butter. Save the left over chicken for night 3.

      Night 2- Chicken stir fry! Quick 25 minute meal.  Recommend to use 2-3 thin chicken breasts.
      How to make:
      Slice up fresh chicken breasts, 1 small yellow onion, 1 red and green bell pepper and broccoli if you have it.

      Over medium-high heat, saute your onions in 1 Tbs. of olive oil.  After translucent, add the chicken. At this point, start boiling the water for your pasta!  Cook the chicken for about 10 minutes, then add the peppers and broccoli.  Let cook for 5 more minutes, then add the 1 cup of reserved sauce and let cook for 5 more minutes.

      I added my buckwheat noddles to the saute pan after they were cooked.  Please note, if you use buckwheat noddles they only take about 5 minutes to cook so gauge your timing appropriately.

      Night 3- Left over salad creation!
      So the picture does not do it justice.  With the 2 cups of left over chicken from the crock pot, I added all of the veggies I had in my refrigerator;  chopped up romaine, cabbage, apple, broccoli (still extra from the night priors), carrot slices, and cucumber.  You get the jist!  Add what ever you want and make it your own.  I used some yogurt based ranch and it was delish!

      For the kid, he got fish sticks! still working trying to get him to like day.

      • 2 to 2 1/2 lbs. of chicken breasts.  Normally 3 chicken breasts is a pound and a half. 
      • 1 small bulb of garlic
      • 2 small yellow onion
      • Large head of leaf lettuce 
      • Shredded carrots (or 1 large for the salad)
      • 2-3 small heads of broccoli
      • Cucumber (to be diced up for salad)
      • 1 fuji apple
      • Yogurt ranch dressing (in the produce department)
      • Small jar of honey
      • Low sodium soy sauce
      • Ketchup
      • Canola oil or olive oil (sauce recipe calls for canola, I use olive oil for EVERYTHING)
      • Small container of corn starch
      • 10 minute jasmine rice
      • Whole wheat angle hair pasta or buckwheat soba noodles
      • White or black sesame seeds, red pepper flakes (optional)

      Thursday, August 2, 2012

      Another week of 2 meals from one dish!

      I have been searching and experimenting with dishes that produce 2-3 different meals.  Well so far I have only found a few recipes and blogs that produce such ideas, but I found a great one this week, and it has the limited ingredients which I like and a little on the healthy side (or I will at least substitute some alternative healthy choices).

      This idea has to be started on Sunday for me as the Primavera Quinoa takes a little longer to make then I like on a week night.


      Night 1- Primavera Quinoa with grilled chicken breasts.
      Night 2 - Southwest Shrimp and Quinoa 'Lasagna"
      Night 3 - Shredded BBQ Rotisserie chicken served on whole wheat buns and healthy broccoli slaw.
      Night 4 - BBQ chicken cobb salad.


      NIGHT 1  - Quinoa is a healthy alternative to rice.  I switched my family over to it about a year ago and they hardly noticed the difference, and surprisingly, liked it better because it has so much more flavor (added by me of course).  As stated above, this recipe takes about 15 minutes to prep, 25 minutes to cook in addition to grilling your chicken.  So I would make this menu when you have a free Sunday or don't mind being in the kitchen for an hour after work.

      For the chicken, buy thin fillets or cut your breasts in half, this way they cook faster.  I use the rule of about 8-10 minutes per side on Medium-high heat.   I must admit, I am not the best griller and I am still perfecting this, so if you have a great web page I could read up on, please let me know.

      Click here for the recipe for Night 1 & Night 2

      NIGHT 2 - This may take a little more than 20 minutes to put together before you put in the oven for 30 minutes, but the leftovers for lunch will be AMAZING!  Enjoy.

      NIGHT 3- Ok, so I am not a fan of making more than one trip to the grocery store a week, but nothing beats picking up a fresh rotisserie chicken sometime.  If you choose not to pick up a fresh one, the deli sometimes has cold rotisserie chickens that you can heat up when you are ready to use. Never done this, but I am sure it would be just as good.  I would recommend brushing it with some additional BBQ sauce though.

      Needed ingredients for the Coleslaw: 1/2 package of pre-made broccoli slaw (in the produce section), 2/3 cup of light mayo, 2 Tbs. of apple cider, 2 Tbs. olive oil, 2 Tbs of honey, 1/2 teaspoon of celery seed, salt & pepper to taste.  Let me just say, it taste like Carolina slaw!

      To Make: Add it all together in one mixing bowl!

      NIGHT 4- If you have walked into a Publix lately and looked at the Aprons dinner suggestions, you might have seen the BBQ chicken cobb salad recipe.  I suggest making a few changes to make it your own, and also a little healthier.  Click here for the recipe.
      My alternative suggestions are as follows:
      • Instead of the frozen BBQ chicken suggested, use extra chicken from the night before.
      • Instead of fried onions, use the left over broccoli slaw.
      • Substitute romaine or mix green salad mix for the suggested iceberg.
      • Substitute reduced-fat feta cheese, or any part-skim white cheese, for the cheddar jack cheese.
      • Substitute a yogurt base ranch dressing (found in the produce section and LOVE!) for the light ranch dressing.

      • Chicken breast - Publix has 32 oz. pkg. of Chicken boneless skinless on sale for $5
      • Frozen or fresh shrimp (about 1/2 lbs) - Large white shrimp on sale for $6.99/lbs.
      • Deli BBQ rotisserie chicken
      • 1 bag of broccoli slaw
      • 1 bag of Salad mix- Publix salad blends are 2 for $4 (only need one so $2, or you can get a head of romaine that is a little cheaper)
      • 1 Granny Smith Apple
      • 1-2 plum tomatoes (it is not listed that any are on sale, I like the cherry tomatoes as they are easier to cut up for a salad)
      • 1 bulb of garlic
      • For the chopped veggies: 1 zucchini, 1 carrot, 1 small yellow onion, small bunch of broccoli (the recipe also calls for mushrooms but the family is not a fan)
      • 1 bottle of Yogurt based Ranch dressing
      • Whole-wheat hamburger buns, if the deli has them individually pick up the amount you need.
      • 1 container of reduced fate feta cheese
      • 1 small pkg. of a shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese blend for the lasagna
      • Small container of reduced fat cream cheese (you only need 4 ounces, so pick up some bagel thins for the kids, they are BOGO)
      • Parmesan cheese
      • Small container of Part-skim ricotta
      • 1 small carton of eggs
      • 1 small can of whole kernel corn
      • 1 jar of "better than Bouillon", you can buy the Bouillon cubes, they are just high in sodium.
      • 1 1/2 C. of uncooked Quinoa.  If it is not sold in bulk in the organic section, you can buy a box in the same area, you might just have more left over for another week.
      • 1/4 cup of fresh basil  or you can use dried
      • Following condiments if you do not have them: Salsa, light mayo, apple cider, olive oil, honey,
      • Celery seed, salt & pepper.
      Not bad on the grocery list, around 24 items (give or take if you have some of the ingredients left over from prior weeks), comes to about 6 ingredients per meal!  Enjoy!

      Sunday, July 29, 2012

      3 quick meals

      Not really impressed with the weekly grocery flyer this week.  But still loving all of the produce that is still in season! There is a website that I love using.  It is called Peak-Season Map, click here and explore.  Now Florida doesn't have the best produce selection in the summer time compared to say California or New Jersey, but the basil is growing, the avocados are fresh and the seafood is delicious.  This week I am only making three meals as we have dinner plans, so even though my grocery bill will be low, my going out fund will be depleted.

      Also, I am going to let you in on a little secrete, it's called "min-chopper"!  The best invention. My grandma bought me one over 8 years ago and it is used probably 3-4 times a week. If you don't have one, invest!  You can get them at Target for $20.


      Tuna Salad (panini for the boys, salad for me) served with fresh cantaloupe
      Cold sesame noddles with grilled chicken and summer vegetables
      Shrimp or salmon tostadas with fresh guacamole


      MONDAY: Tuna Salad and fresh cantaloupe.  The cantaloupe is so juicy this time of year, we could eat two!
      2 small or 1 large can of tuna (solid albacore in water)
      1 7.5 oz. of gazebo beans
      2 lemons
      1 small onion, chopped
      1/4 cup of mayo or miracle whip
      2 tbs. of fresh parsley

      To make: drain all water out of tuna and beans, and mix it all together!

      Put on top a bead of lettuce or grab some bread and shredded cheese to make some panini's.

      TUESDAY- Bring on the vegetables!  This recipe calls for bell peppers, carrots, radishes and cucumber, but add anything you like and make it your own, and if you don't have time to cut them match-stick size, go ahead and chop them up, it tastes just as good.  
      Also, the recipe calls for buckwheat soba noddles, but I am sure you could make it with angle hair pasta (thanks sis for the idea!). Another added tip, add either a spoon full of peanut butter or teriyaki sauce to the vinegar/sesame oil mixture.  Gives it a little sweet kick.

      For the chicken, I recommend to marinate for 10-15 minutes in the juice from 1 lemon, 1/4 cup of olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh thyme (or what ever spices you have; cilantro, parsley, scallions). Grill it up on each side for approx. 10-15 minutes, depending on how thick the chicken breasts are.

      For the direct link to this noodle recipe click here

      WEDNESDAY- If you are using salmon, bake in the oven at 375 degrees.  I normally bake it about 10 minutes per one inch thickness of your fillet.  I usually just  buy a one pound fillet and that is more than enough for my family.  If you decide to use shrimp, simply saute in some garlic and olive oil until cooked. Chop up before placing on the tostadas.

      While the salmon is cooking, you need to make your black bean spread.  To make you need a mini chopper.


      • Put the following ingredients in your mini chopper; 1 can of black beans, water drained, 1 cup of a of plain greek yogurt, 1/4 cup of salsa, salt & pepper and some fresh chopped cilantro.  Then blend all together. 
      • Grab your tostadas and spray with cooking spray or rub with a little olive oil. Place them in your oven for about 5 minutes. 
      • Take the black bean mixture and spread onto your tostadas
      • Top with the salmon and you are DONE!
      For the Guacamole, I mix the center of 1 avocado, 1 cup of greek yogurt, juice from 1 lime, salt & pepper to taste.  Mix in some cilantro if you have it.   I have some carrots that need to be eaten so we will be dipping those into the guac, but you can even chop up the tostadas for some chips if you need the extra carbs! 

      • 2-4 chicken breasts (depending on how many you are grilling for the dish)
      • 1 lbs. of salmon
      • 3 lemons
      • 2 limes
      • Summer veggies for the sesame noddles 
        • I am purchasing 1 red bell pepper, 1 bunch of carrots (you won't need them all though) and a 1/2 of a cucumber.
      • 1 small bundle of scallions
      • 1 small yellow onion
      • Lettuce of your choice (if you are using for the tuna salad)
      • 1 cantalope
      • 1 loaf of bread of your choice (for the panini's)
      • Cheese of your choice for the panini's
      • 1 package tostadas
      • Whole wheat angle hair pasta or buckwhat soba noodles
      • 1- 15 oz. can of black beans
      • 1- 7.5 oz can of gazebo beans
      • rice vinegar
      • olive oil 
      • vegetable oil
      • Sriracha (hot chili sauce, optional) 
      • salsa
      • 1 jar of black or white sesame seeds
      • 1 container of plain greek yogurt
      • Salt & pepper
      • Fresh cilantro

      Sunday, July 22, 2012

      Co-worker challenge

      Ok- so this week I have been challenged by one of my co-worker's to come up with a menu that works for her family.  She wants healthy protein (not a lot of chicken), her husband wants good soul food and the kids just want to eat!   I am going to start her week out on Sunday as I know she enjoys Sunday's dinners with her family.


      Sunday- Grilled then baked top round London broil with baby green salad
      Monday- London Broil panini's served with oven roasted cauliflower
      Tuesday- Lemon Roasted Chicken served with long grain rice pilaf and steamed broccoli
      Wednesday- Avocado Crab salad paired with Creamy Butternut Squash Soup


      Sunday- Taken from my prior post, Bon Appetit. Make sure to save some of the meat for the next night to make your panini's.

      For the salad, add a chopped tomato, cucumber, feta cheese and sunflower seeds.  Top with salad dressing of your choice, but I recommend olive oil and balsamic glaze.

      Monday- Use your left over meat and heat it in a skillet or oven (the microwave would make it too chewy). Top your meat with shredded cheese and some added mix herbs. Use whatever you have, basil, thyme, oregano, parsley.

      For the cauliflower, arrange same on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Cook at 350 degrees for approx. 15 minutes.

      Tuesday - Adapted from Weekly Greens blog. Make sure to buy skin-on bone-in chicken breasts.  They do not get as dry as boneless chicken breast.

      For the rice pilaf, I only add half of the package of seasoning provided in the box and add my own spices; salt, pepper, fresh thyme and oregano.

      Steam your broccoli on the stove.  If you do not have a steamer, you can put the broccoli in a microwave bowl, add 2/3 cup of water and heat on high for 2 minutes. (make sure to cover)

      Wednesday- Another recipe from Weekly Greens blog.  I just love how fresh and simple she is with her recipes. Follow her easy directions and serve with a creamy soup, I recommend Pacific's Organic Butternut Squash soup.
      Organic Butternut Squash

      • Top round London broil - on sale for $3.99/lbs. (1 1/2 lbs - 2 lbs for 4 people)
      • 4 bone-in split chicken breast halves, skin on. 
      • 1/2 lbs. of lump crabmeat.  Usually found by the canned tuna. 
      • Broccoli and Cauliflower - on sale, 2 for $4.00
      • 1 tomato - on the vine on sale for $1.69/lbs.
      • 1 cucumber
      • 2 avocados
      • 2 lemons
      • 2 limes
      • 1 bulb of garlic
      • 1 shallot
      • sunflower seeds (sold in the produce section) 
      • Publix Wheat Italian 5 grain bread - on sale for $2.99 a loaf.  Sliced thick.
      • Publix shredded cheese - 1 pkg. for the panini's, choose part-skim - on sale for $2.50 
      • 1 container of Publix reduced-fat feta cheese
      • 1 box of rice pilaf
      • Dijon mustard
      • Olive oil
      • dry white wine
      • 1 bottle of balsamic glaze
      • small bottle of champagne or sherry vinegar
      • Salt & pepper
      • dried oregano, fresh thyme

      Saturday, July 14, 2012

      eatin' good in the neighborhood

      I am having so much fun coming up with these menu's and I hope you are enjoying or at least finding your evenings a little more enjoyable.

      If you have any suggestions or recipes you would like for me to try (as I know a lot of you pin stuff but never make it), send it my way!  I will see if I can incorporate it into my weekly menu.

      Monday- Turkey meatball subs served with onion soup.
      Tuesday - Beef and bean chimichangaas served with corn and red pepper salad.
      Wednesday - Taco salad
      Thursday- Flat bread pizza with turkey meat (left over turkey meatballs diced up), sauteed onions and Gouda cheese.

      MONDAY - Pretty easy.  Pre-heat your oven on low broil.  Slice the baguette into 4"-5" subs.
      Heat the meatballs in your sauce of choice, approx. 4-5 meatballs per person, over medium heat and cover; takes approx. 20 minutes. After the meatballs are cooked, place into the individual subs, top with extra sauce and provolone. Place the subs on a cookie sheet and broil until the cheese is melted.

      For the soup, I purchase Pacific Natural Foods Organic French Onion soup and add some extra sliced onions while it is heating up, gives it a little extra crunch.  A little tip, start the soup before you start the subs.

      TUESDAY-  1st, make the salad before making these easy chimichangas.

      Here is the link to the recipe for the chimichangas; this take about 30 minutes and serves approx. 2 adults and 2 children.  Use the left over meat for the next night and have taco salad.

      Corn & Red Pepper Salad - I extracted this idea from the attached link, however made it my own and cut the cooking time in half.  The night before I boiled two ears of corn and then husked same. Come Tuesday evening I combined 1 chopped red bell pepper, the corn from off the cob, 2 Tbs. of green onions, 1 Tbs of olive oil, a little salt and pepper and placed in an oven safe container.  Cooked in the oven for approx. 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  After you remove it from the oven, add the Dijon mustard and vinegar dressing to the corn mixture.   ENJOY!

      WEDNESDAY- Taco Salad.  As noted above, use left over chimichangas mixture to top on your salad.  This is a night to be creative, load the salad with veggies (tomatoes, cucumbers, red pepper).  Top with some salsa and a greek yogurt mixture ( Whisk together 1 cup of greek yogurt, juice from 1 lime, chopped cilantro and salt and pepper to taste -recipe from Father's Day Special menu)

      THURSDAY- For the pizza; rub some olive oil on top flat bread.  Go crazy with your toppings, but here is my concoction:

      • 1 small can of diced tomatoes, caramelized onions, chopped up turkey meatballs, topped with sliced Gouda cheese and fresh basil.

      I wanted to experiment with Gouda cheese this week.  It can be a little on the pricey side, however you only need a little to sprinkle on top. Serve with a nice glass of red wine and you have a mini date night with the hubby!

      GROCERY LIST (sales are based on Publix ad for 7/12-7/17)
      • Armour Meatballs - 14 oz. BOGO, approx. $2.50/pkg.
      • Lean ground beef - on sale for @ $4.50/lbs.
      • Red Bell peppers - on sale $2.99/lbs.
      • 2 ears of corn
      • 2 yellow onions
      • 1 lime
      • 1 scallion
      • 1 bulb of garlic
      • 1 head of romaine lettuce
      • 1 pint of grape tomatoes - on sale for $1.50 each
      • 1 cucumber
      • Italian Five Grain baguette from the bakery - on sale for $1.89
      • Stonefire flat bread  - in the deli normally @ $2.50 for 2
      • Publix sliced provolone cheese - on sale for @ $2.00 
      • Small block of Gouda cheese
      • 1 Voskos plain greek yogurt - on sale for $1
      • 1 small pkg. of whole wheat tortillas
      • Sauce for the meatballs (I make my own, however Prego is on sale for $1.50 per jar)
      • 1 can of chili beans
      • Pacific Natural Foods Organic French Onion soup (typically in the organic section).  Note: 1 box usually makes enough soup for two people. 
      • Red wine vinegar
      • dijion mustard
      • olive oil 
      • Fresh basil and cilantro 
      • Seasoning; paprika, chili powder, ground cummin, oregano, dash of sea salt and pepper
      I am going to freeze my herbs this week so I will let you know how it goes.  And seriously, send me those recipes you have been dying to try, just not sure how to work into your week.  I will let you know how long it really takes and if it is worth trying.  

      Saturday, July 7, 2012

      A healthy break

      I don't know about you, but after all of those back yard bbq's, pool side fun and firework celebrations, my body needs a healthy break.

      This week, my local grocer has some great items on sale to make some healthy meals.  Pork and chicken are reasonably priced this week.  I normally do not make many meals with pork, but since I can make a healthy, delicious meal for the family under $7, it deserves to be on the menu. Also, I still have some ingredients left over from weeks prior, including a bottle of dijon mustard that needs to be used up and some turkey bacon. So here we go, enjoy :)


      Monday - Seared chicken with apricot sauce served with a fruity-nut arugula salad
      Tuesday - Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce served with steamed green beans
      Wednesday - Sauteed shrimp with fresh avocado cream pasta sauce
      Thursday - Hummus backed chicken served with a bacon, onion, arugula salad


      Monday - I found this recipe on pinterest and I have finally been motivated to try it.  It is everything I love; healthy, quick and yummy.

      For the salad, top the arugula with one chopped apple, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, tomatoes, & sugar-free craisins.  Finally, drizzle with blue cheese vinaigrette.

      Tuesday- another Martha Stewart classic.  I exclude the frisee.

      Wednesday - This recipe is from our Meatless Monday inspiration folder, however my husband has asked for more substance as he has been working very hard outside.  I have decided to add turkey sausage as it is on sale this week, but it would be good with sauteed shrimp, scallops, chicken or turkey sausage
      Thursday - Everyone knows shake and bake, right?  Well this is a healthier version.  
      Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Baste the chicken with the hummus of your choice and coat with panko crumbs.  Spray a skillet with cooking spray and cook each side of the chicken on medium heat (until brown). Then place on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes until cooked.  The trick to making sure the chicken doesn't take a long time to cook is to flatten the chicken so it is not to fat. 

      While the chicken is cooking, blend together 1/3 cup of hummus and the juice of one lemon.  This will be a dipping sauce for your chicken.

      For the salad, I crisp up some turkey bacon, chop up some onion and toss with the arugula. Drizzle with blue cheese vinaigrette (or any vinaigrette of your choice as arugula is not a leaf you want to use a creamy dressing with, in my opinion.) 

      Grocery List 
      (For me, I have a good amount left over from weeks prior, which saves my family some money. I hope so for you as well!) 
      • 4 chicken breasts, sliced in half to use for both menu ideas (on sale for $2.99/lbs) - pick up an extra package to freeze and use in the future.  
      • 1 pkg of pork chops (on sale for $3.99/lbs, you get about 3 chops per pound)
      • 1 pkg. of turkey sausage (Butterball Turkey Smoked Sausage on sale for 2 for $5)
      • 1 pkg. of Butterball turkey bacon (part of the above sale)
      • 1 avocado (on sale for $1)
      • 2 fresh apricots or 1 pkg of dried apricots
      • 1 apple 
      • 1 small white onion
      • 3 shallots
      • 1 pkg. of arugula
      • 1/2 lbs. of fresh green beans
      • 2-3 lemons
      • 1/2 cup of nuts of your choice (I am using sunflower seeds and almonds)
      • blue cheese vinaigrette (in the produce department)
      • 1 pkg. of hummus (in the deli department)
      • small carton of heavy cream (I buy fat-free)
      • 1 pkg of whole wheat pasta (Barilla Plus pasta is BOGO this week, comes to about $0.76/pkg.)
      • 1 small jar of apricot preserves
      • 1 bottle of white cooking wine
      • 1 can of olive oil cooking spray
      • 1 bottle of olive oil
      • 1 bottle of dijion mustard
      • 1 pkg./can of panko bread crumbs
      • small pkg. of flour
      • salt and pepper
      • Fresh tarragon, parsley (or basil for the avocado pasta, your choice) 

      Saturday, June 30, 2012

      Grill it Up!

      It's officially time to clean up that grill and enjoy the best time of year, 4th of July! This holiday, besides the true history behind it, has provided a reason to eat good, grilled foods and spend some quality time with family and friends.  It has also supplied some great grocery sales!

      If you do not have a grill, or not in the mood to use it, all of these dinners can be cooked on the stove top, in the oven or on a panini maker.


      Monday - Warm bacon shrimp salad served with warm, fresh bread (if desired)

      Tuesday - Grilled salmon with lemon and fennel served with wild rice.

      Wednesday - 4th of July!

      Thursday - BLT sandwiches served with fruit salad

      FridayTurkey burgers topped with grilled peaches (or avocados and red onion), served with grilled asparagus 


      Monday - This is my family's signature salad.  My mom makes this to perfection, I just try to imitate.  But the secret is the dressing.
      Recipe as follows (This will feed approx 6 ppl):
      15-20 grilled shrimp (I do about 8 per person)
      1 lg. bag spinach: wash and tear into bit size pieces
      4 hard cooked eggs: chopped
      1/2 lb. bacon, fried crisp: break into small pieces (you can use turkey bacon instead)
      1/2 pkg. of pine nuts: cooked in the oven, on high broil, for 1-2 minutes.
      1 cup of olive oil              1/4 cup vinegar
      1/3 cup ketchup                1/4 cup sugar
      2 tsp salt                           1 TB Worcestershire sauce
      1 TB onion flakes

      Tuesday - Found this recipe in Martha Stewart's Real Simple Magazine, a summer time classic.
      For the wild rice, I buy it in the box, however only use half of the seasoning provided and add sauteed onions and roasted pine nuts.

      Thursday - BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) sandwiches (or TBLT's if you are using turkey bacon)
      Making this sandwich is self explanatory.  However, if you  need a how-to make site, here is one I found through pinterest:
      If you are using avocado with your turkey burger, add some slices to your BLT.  Also, use left over spinach instead of lettuce.
      Fruit salad:
      Slice up 2 peaches, a few strawberries, and 1 orange.  Place in a large bowl and toss in some raspberries.  

      Friday -  This recipe calls for grilled peaches.  I have never tried this so we are going to experiment.  I will provide slices of fresh avocado and red onion for the non-experiment type.
      For the asparagus, sprinkle with olive oil and little salt and pepper.

      • 1 lb. of fresh salmon fillet (on sale for $6.99/lbs)
      • 3 large shrimp skewers (@ $1 per skewer), I buy one per person.
      • 12 oz. ground turkey (on sale for $2.99/lbs)
      • 1 pkg. low sodium bacon (Oscar Mayer on sale, 3 pkg for $10)
      • 3 lemons
      • 1 red onion (or 1 vidalia onion, on sale for $0.99/lbs)
      • 1 pkg of asparagus (on sale $3.49/lbs)
      • 1 avocado (2 for $3.00)
      • 1 pkg of spinach
      • 1 bulb of fennel
      • 2-3 peaches (in season and very juicy, on sale for $1.99/lbs)
      • Couple tomatoes on the vine ( on sale for 1.69/lbs)
      • 1 orange
      • 1 pkg of strawberries (on sale for 2 for $5.00)
      • 1 pt of raspberries (on sale for $1.99 a pt)
      • Bakery bread for the BLT's and to serve with the salad, if desired. 
      • 1 pkg. of whole wheat burger buns
      • 1 box of wild rice
      • Olive oil
      • Vinegar
      • Ketchup
      • Worcestershire sauce
      • Mayo (for the BLT)
      • Dijon mustard
      • Salt/Pepper
      • Sugar
      • Onion flakes (by the spices)
      • 1 pkg of pine nuts
      • 1/2 carton of eggs
      • Fresh parsley

      Tuesday, June 26, 2012

      1 meal served 3 ways

      This week has been, and continues to be, a busy week due to work, so I was unable to provide a list or have time to be in the kitchen.

      For weeks like this, I make a crock pot meal that can last a few days.

      With the help of my hubby, we made a big crock pot of taco soup.

      We ended up serving it 3 different ways:

      Hot dogs topped with the taco soup ingredients and served with sweet potato tater tots.
      Taco soup served with corn bread
      Taco salad.  (By the 3rd day this soup is thicker so it is nice a hearty)

      Grocery List:

      • 2 chicken breasts
      • 1 white onion
      • salad mix of your choice
      • tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers (whatever you like to top your taco salad with)
      • 1 package of hot dogs
      • 1 package of hot dog buns
      • 1 package of frozen sweet potato tater tots
      • 1 package of corn bread mix
      • 1 16-oz of black beans
      • 1 16-oz can kidney beans
      • 1 16-oz of corn
      • 1 8-oz of can tomato sauce
      • 1 14.5-oz cans of diced tomatoes w/ chilies
      • 1 1.25-oz packet of taco seasoning
      • shredded cheese (if you like to top your soup, salad or hot dogs with it)
      This grocery list will cost you around $35 dollars, depending on your store and specials.

      Next week will be another short dinner menu week due to 4th of July and all of the fun activities it brings!

      Friday, June 15, 2012

      Father's Day Special

      Father's Day is around the corner.   My hubby has asked for a meal fit for a King!  So this week my home cooked meals will begin on Sunday.

      Also,  I am changing my blog a bit in hopes to make it little more user friendly.  Let me know what you think!

      Sunday - Grilled sirloin fillets, baked potato and a mixed nutty salad. For desert it will be an Crispy Apple Crumble.

      Monday- Meatless Monday is back! Mediterranean Quesadilla's from Budget Bytes.

      Tuesday- Spicy Basil Chicken (an oriental dish) served with brown rice.

      Wednesday- Fish Tacos served with a cold corn/cucumber salad.

      Thursday- Grilled Pork Rib Chops with fresh broccoli.

      GROCERY LIST: (if you don't already have left over from the week(s) before)

      • 1 - 2 chicken breasts
      • Sirloin fillet (on sale for $6.99/lbs.) Again, I buy about 1/2 lbs. per person
      • Center-Cut Pork Rib Chops (on sale for $3.69/lbs.) 1 per person will be more than enough
      • 2 small fillets of talapia or a white fish. 
      • 1 Mango (on sale for $1)
      • 2 bags of Fresh Express Salad blends, one spinach and one mix spring salad. (These are BOGO, comes to about $2.04 per bag)
      • 1 bag of broccoli, you should only need 1/2 a bag so save the rest for the next week (Eat Smart products are on sale 3 for $5, @ $1.67 per bag)
      • 1 lime
      •  lemon
      • 1 head of cabbage
      • 1 red onion
      • 1 cucumber
      • 1 garlic clove
      • 1 shallot (or small white onion)
      • 2 potato's
      • 1 apple (I am going to buy the Crunch Pak Apple Slices as they are one sale for $2.50 and my son will eat the rest during the week)
      • roasted red peppers (optional for the quesadillas, you can use fresh peppers too)
      • 1/2 cup of kalamata olives (again, optional for the quesadillas) 
      • 1/2 cup of sunflower seads
      • 1/2 cup of almonds ( measure your own amount in the organic area)
      • 1 container of fat-free crumbled feta
      • 1 container of voskos greek yogurt, plain (on sale for $1)
      • 1 package of whole wheat soft tacos
      • Panko breadcrumbs.
      • 1 package of brown rice (Near East Rice or Couscous is BOGO, comes to about $1.01 per box)
      • cornstarch
      • Olive oil
      • Balsamic glaze
      • Salsa
      • Fresh basil, fresh cilantro, red pepper flakes

      Grilled sirloin steaks

      • Season the steak with salt, pepper and fresh garlic.
      • Bake your potato's in the oven for 1 hour at 400 degree.  Found a great website if you have not "mastered" the baked potato:
      • Mixed  nutty salad:  Salad mix, chopped cucumbers, chopped apple, sunflower seeds, chopped almonds and feta.  Then drizzled with olive oil and balsamic glaze. 
      For the desert...  AMAZING!! That is all I have to say.

      mediterranean quesadilla's, served with salsa.

      Spicy basil chicken
      I make a few substitutes to this recipe:
      • I use olive oil instead of canola oil. 
      • Instead of chili paste, I use some red pepper flakes (we are not a spicy family).
      • I take the advice of the recipe and do not use fish oil and add some extra low-sodium soy sauce.
      • Also, if you don't want to buy the shallots, substitute chopped up white onion.
      For the brown rice (or couscous), I saute 1/4 of the purple cabbage (chopped), red onion and any leftover peppers I had from last week.  Stir the veggies into the rice about 5 minutes before it is ready.

      Fish Tacos
      • Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
      • Meanwhile, take the fish of your choice, and lightly cover with planko crumbs.
      • Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  
      • After the oil is hot, place the the fish into the pan.  Cook on each side for about 4-5 minutes or until lightly brown. 
      • Transfer to a cookie sheet and place in the over for an additional 5-10 minutes.  
      • While the fish is in the oven, cut up the mango, cabbage and red onion (these are toppings for the tacos). 
      • Instead of tarter sauce, I make my own cream dressing with greek yogurt.  Whisk together 1 cup of greek yogurt, juice from 1 lime, chopped cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.  
      • Salad consists of the corn from one ear of corn, 1/2 cucumber peeled and cut into small bites, 1/4 cup of feta, 2 Tbps. of chopped cilantro, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic glaze.
      For the pork chops, I marinate mine in a homemade remedy, then dip in whatever bbq sauce we have in the house.
      For the marinade, mix together:
      • Juice from 1 lemon. 
      • 1 table spoon of olive oil.
      • 2 garlic gloves, pressed.
      • Salt & pepper
      Broccoli, I steam mine.

      This grocery list may be a little more than my normal bill (under $80), but hey, we are celebrating Dad's day!

      Saturday, June 9, 2012

      What are we making for dinner Mommy?

      The classic quote I get every day.  "What are we making for dinner Mommy?" This question use to make my head spin, but now with my meals planned, I have an answer.

      So after looking at what I have in the kitchen, here is next weeks menu....

      Monday - Baked Ziti with ground beef and fresh steamed broccoli.

      Remember that penne from last week for the lemon chicken, well now use it for this dish.
      You can find  numerous recipes for this dish online and in books.

      Below how I make my quick baked ziti:
      1. Brown ground beef  (I am using my half pound left over from last week)
      2. At the same time, boil your penne.
      3. After the meat is cooked, add chopped up garlic and onions, cook until onions are translucent. (you can also add some fresh veggies here, like zucchini or squash)
      4. At the same time, combine 1/4 cup of part-skim ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of mozzarella and 1 egg in a separate bowl.  
      5. Pour a jar of sauce into the meat mixture,
      6. Then add the cooked penne and cheese mixture into the same pan.
      7. I add some spices and fresh herbs; salt, pepper basil and rosemary.
      8. Transfer into a square baking dish, top with 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella, and cover with tin foil.
      Bake this dish at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

      Tuesday - Pepper Chicken with quinoa (you can use an rice)

      I usually make this with steak, but the chicken is on sale again this week, so why not!
      1. Marinate chicken in McCormick's Grill Mates Montreal Steak Marinade, as directed on package. (I slice up my chicken before putting it into the marinade)
      2. Cut up 1 to 2 peppers into thin slices (I use red and green pepper) & 1/2 of an onion.
      3. In a pan, add a little bit of olive oil, fresh pressed garlic, the chopped up onion and peppers.  Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes (until the peppers are bright in color).
      4. At the same time, start cooking your rice per directions on the box. 
      5. After the peppers and onion are cooked, add the chicken and the marinade into the pan, cook until the chicken is fully cooked (approx. 15 minutes).  
      6. Add some parmesan cheese in the pan and you are DONE!
      7. Place rice on plate, top with the chicken mixture and marinade sauce.
      Wednesday - Grilled bbq drum sticks, corn on the cob and broccoli

      This one is easy.  Marinate your drum sticks the night before in your favorite sauce. 

      Fire up the grill and place the drum sticks over the burners.  If you are intimidated by grilling, here is a great post I found:

      While the drumsticks are grilling, I would boil your water for the corn and get your broccoli ready to be steamed. ( I place my corn in the water while it is heating up)

      When there is about 10 minutes left for the chicken, I would start steaming the broccoli.   After everything is cooked, place some extra bbq on the table for dipping and let's eat! 

      Thursday- make your own omelet served with fresh berries and toast

      I am going to use some left over peppers, onions, lunch meat, fresh herbs and feta! 


      This night I am going to keep open.  Either for left overs or grabbing something.  Freschetta Pizza is Buy 1 Get 1 Free! 

      My grocery list (if you don't already have these items)

      • 1/2 lbs. of lean ground beef (as the meat department to cut a package in half) 
      • 2 chicken breast (Publix chicken is on sale for $2.99/lbs.)
      • 8 drum sticks
      • 1 bunch of broccoli
      • 1 package of tri-color peppers (on sale for $4)
      • 1 onions of your choice
      • 1 bulb of garlic
      • 3 fresh corn on the cob (1 per person) (on sale 6 for $2)
      • 1 pt. package of blueberries ($1.99 a package)
      • 1 package of fresh strawberries (2 for $5)
      • 1 block of mozzarella cheese (Publix brand is on sale 2 for $5)
      • 1 small container of part-skim ricotta cheese
      • 1 container of feta (if you want it in your omelets)
      • Parmesan 
      • 1/2 carton of eggs
      • 1 jar of pasta sauce
      • 1 small bottle of bbq sauce
      • 1 package of whole wheat penne pasta (if you don't have any left over)
      • 1 small package of quinoa or rice of your choice
      • Bread (for lunches and breakfast night)
      • Olive oil
      • Red wine vinegar 
      • Fresh basil or rosemary 

      I hope you enjoy, and please let me know your thoughts or suggestions.  Would love to hear from you all!

      Saturday, June 2, 2012

      Must have menu of the week

      Before I make any menu list, I like to see what I have in my pantry.  For this week’s menu I do have a good number of the items, but I provided a list of everything you would need.  Looking at this list though, it doesn't appear that you would need a lot of ingredients. Also, I chose the meals based on what meat was on sale.

      Monday -This week I am incorporating meatless Monday. 

      Amy’s Organic Vegetarian Black Bean Soup (@ $2.50 a can) and Chipotle twice backed potato.

      For meatless meals I usually like to make a vegetarian chili, but I make that on the weekends when I have more time.  

      With the Black bean soup, I add chopped up onions and a dab of Greek plain yogurt or sour cream.  Since I have another item on the menu that calls for sour cream, I am going to put the cream on my list!

      There are so many variations of twice baked potatoes.  They are like pizzas in my family.  We love to experiment and be creative with these.  In searching for ideas for the potatoes, I came across this web site.


      Stuff Chicken (Purdue Chicken on sale for $2.99/lbs.) with pepper jack cheese, spinach and caramelized onions served with spinach salad. 

      Stuffed chicken is the easiest meal. Mine is not stuffed though, it is rolled.  The trick is to pound the chicken very thin, place your ingredients, roll up and place a tooth pick to keep in place. 

      For this meal, I am adding about 1/8 cup of shredded pepper jack cheese spinach and onions, then season with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  Cook at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

      For this salad I am going to make my own dressing with the left over Dijon mustard and rice vinegar from last week.  Also, adding chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds to the salad.

      Dressing: Combine 1/8 cup of Dijon, juice from 1 lemon, 1 table spoon of rice vinegar and dice up a small shallot or onion.  .


      Taco Salad

      I only use ½ lbs. of lean ground beef.  After cooking the meat, I add a can of low sodium black beans, a package of chili mix, 1 small can of tomato sauce and a little water.  Mix together over medium heat.

      Build the taco salad as follows:
      Salad of your choice (baby spinach, mix greens, romaine)
      Beef mix
      Low fat shredded cheese
      Sour cream

      **Also, make sure you marinate your chicken for tomorrow night’s meal.


      Grilled chicken with lemon basil

      It calls for you to marinate the chicken for about 24 hours before grilling.

      Marinate in the following concoction:
      Olive oil
      Juice of four lemons
      Dijon mustard
      A tiny bit of honey (use syrup instead if you do not want to purchase)
      A dash of salt

      For the sauce, you will need:

      Four Lemons
      a bunch of basil
      1 cup of a hard cheese (either Parmesan or Romano cheese)
      1 cup of fat free half-and-half.  It does call for cream and half-and-half, but to cut down on some calories it taste just as good with only the half-and-half.
      It also calls for a ½ stick of butter, but I would use a light margarine spread as a healthy alternative.

      I purchased whole wheat penne pasta for this dish. 


      Going out to dinner this night J

      Below is my grocery list of the items you need, if you don’t already have in the pantry or refrigerator:

      4 chicken breast (Purdue chicken on sale for $2.99/lbs.)
      1/2 lbs. of lean ground beef (as the meat department to cut a package in half) (on sale for $4.50/lbs.)
      9 lemons
      A couple tomatoes (tomatoes on a vine are on sale for $1.99/lbs.)
      2 onions of your choice (Vidalia sweet onion is on sale for $0.99/lbs.)
      Bag of spinach (Fresh Express spinach is on sale for B1G1)
      1 fresh corn on the cob
      Publix fat free sour cream (small)
      1 small tube of light margarine spread
      Shredded Mexican cheese (or cheese of your choice for the taco salad and stuffed chicken)
      Shredded Parmesan
      Small carton of half-and-half, fat free
      1 can of Amy’s organic vegetarian black bean soup
      2 cans of low sodium black beans
      1 jar of salsa
      1 package of whole wheat penne pasta.
      1 small can of tomato sauce
      Syrup or honey
      Dijon mustard
      Olive oil
      Rice wine vinegar
      Fresh basil