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)