Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bon Appetit

On my way to Publix (grocery list in hand) I received a call from my aunt.  She had some fresh veggies from the Sarasota farmer's market for my family to have.  How do I say no??  She provided green beans,  salad mix, tomatoes, cucumbers and watermelon. After I collected these goodies and went to Publix, my grocery bill for 4 meals came to $57.00.  Not bad for 4 meals, plus sandwich meat for the week.  

So here is my grilled salmon with the soy and maple syrup sauce.  We didn't have propane for the grill, so I ended up using the panini maker.  Also, due to being blessed with great fresh veggies from my Aunt, I decided not to buy the asparagus and used the fresh green beans instead. The boys were licking their plates....literally.   

Above is the grilled then baked top round london broil with baby green salad.  This meal, like most my meals, only took 30 minutes.  I ended up marinating the steak with some Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.  This steak was about 1 1/2 lbs and 1" thick.  I seared it for 2 1/2 minutes on each side then baked for 20 minutes at 300 degrees. 
The salad was made while the steak was in the oven.  Super simple and full of good, healthy foods.   Salad mix, cucumbers, tomatoes, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, feta and no-sugar added dried cranberries.  I drizzled with a little olive oil and balsamic glaze.  Delicious!   Now time for wine....

As for the rest of the week, I was unable to get photos of the man pleasing chicken or Panini’s (listed on my weeks menu) before they were inhaled. But both dishes were a hit, quick and included some needed nutrients. 

For tonight, everyone had a different Panini on the whole wheat bread. Our son had the classic grilled cheese and turkey. Hubby had chipotle mayo, miracle whip, ham, muenster and pepper jack cheese with some caramelized onions. My sandwich was a classic and reminded me of my Dad when we were kids. He made the best grilled sandwiches. I put Dijon mustard, turkey, ham, banana peppers, caramelized onions and shredded pepper jack. We didn't use butter like my Dad use too, but the olive oil cooking spray taste just as good. I served with the sweet potato fries and watermelon.

 I am on to next weeks menu which will include my favorite, Meatless Monday! 

As always, hope this blog helps you to be inspired to cook daily meals, stay on a budget and feed your family yummy meals! 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

What's for dinner!!

This menu is for post Memorial Day weekend!!!  In my kitchen, this means I am only cooking 3-4 meals (Tuesday through Thursday, maybe Friday).  I typically keep Friday open for picking up food or going out to eat with my boys. Also, as you will see throughout my posts, I like to keep one day a week as an easy meal.  It is something everyone likes; they get the nutrients they need and it is quick and mindless for me. Don’t get me wrong, I do love to cook, but sometimes you have to give yourself that break.


Grilled Salmon ($6.99 lbs) with fresh steamed asparagus ($2.99/lbs).

I love salmon. So whenever it is on sale it always shows up at our dinner table. Salmon doesn’t need much help. Grill it or bake it with some fresh herbs and spices and it is PERFECT!  Don’t be scared of experimenting.  Rosemary, thyme, basil, garlic and/or pepper all taste good with salmon.  Just make sure you put a little olive oil on it before you season.
 I do like to make a light sauce for dipping or drizzling. Here is one that is a crowd pleaser.  It only takes a few seconds so make this right before you serve.

4 Tbs of low sodium soy sauce
2 tbs of maple syrup
1 tsp of paprika
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes, if you like it spicy, use more.

Combine all ingredients in a pan and cook on medium heat.  Stir until it is little thick then drizzle over your salmon.  


Grilled Top Round London Broil (3.99/lbs) with baby green salad.

The salad is made up of whatever I have in my veggie drawer.  I always like to add tomatoes, cucumbers, sunflower seeds/shaved almonds (or pick up some Publix salad blends- on sale 2 for $4), little bit of feta or gorgonzola cheese with light olive oil & balsamic glaze.  The trick with the glaze is to toss your salad with olive oil first then drizzle with the glaze


Split check breast, with ribs ($1.99/lbs), paired with cucumber and red onion salad.

This meal takes about 40 minutes to bake and 20 to prep. But the good thing is you can clean the kitchen or complete a little task around the house while the chicken is baking.  

I found this recipe a while back and the title says it all:  Man Pleasing Chicken!  Very yummy!!
What I like is that I can use ingredients from prior recipes, like the maple syrup, fresh rosemary (again from my garden), and cucumber.

The cucumber salad is easy. Slice up your cucumber and red onion  thin, add some rice vinegar (no sugar added), and some salt and pepper to taste. 

If you have a child that does not like cucumbers or vinegar I would add apple slices, apple sauce, broccoli or any veggie/fruit they would eat. 


I have survived the week.  Panini’s it is!!  If you don’t have a Panini maker an old fashion pan will do. My son just likes cheese and turkey.  Hubby likes the meat.

Publix has their pre-package lunch meats on sale, 3 for $10.  Be careful though, it is sometimes high in sodium.  I like to stick with Boar’s Head meat.

Be creative; add cucumbers, tomatoes,  red onion, feta, basil, rosemary. It’s Friday night so have some fun if you are staying in.  Pair with sweet potato fries and watermelon (on sale for $0.49/lbs) and you got a meal!

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

·         Split check breast, with ribs ($1.99/lbs.), buy 1 breast per person in the family.
·         Grilled Top Round London Broil (3.99/lbs), I portion about ½ lbs per person.
·         Fresh salmon – 1 pound with the skin off
·         2 cucumbers
·         2 vine-ripened tomatoes ($1.29/lbs)
·         1 red onion
·         asparagus ($2.99/lbs)
·         ½ of a watermelon
·         Salad mix of  your choice
·         Publix salad blends- on sale 2 for $4 OR all natural sunflower seeds.
·         Frozen sweet potato fries – Alexia is the brand I normally buy.
·         Sandwich bread for the Panini’s.  Nothing is on sale so I would buy Arnold’s Health-full bread.
·         Lunch meats and sliced cheese from the deli. I buy for the week of sandwiches and for Friday night.
·         Publix fat free feta – for the salad and panini’s if you want it.
·         Dijon mustard
·         Maple syrup- buy all natural, no added ingredients
·         Publix low sodium soy sauce
·         Olive oil
·         Balsamic glaze
·         Rice wine vinegar
·         Fresh rosemary, basil or thyme – for the salmon and panini’s.

*Please note that this list is based on my family of 3.  Increase quantities if needed, just don’t buy too much.  That is where you could waste food or make the doggies happy J.

I am off to Publix, will post pictures of the meals I make.