Meal Plan 2/3 to 2/8

This is quite late but better late than never!

Sunday:  Super Bowl party.  Football food that thankfully someone else prepared! :-)

Monday:  BBQ chicken sliders – this idea was born of 3 things (1) we had leftover slider buns from last week’s turkey burgers, (2) we had a freezer bag full of cooked, shredded chicken in the freezer, (3) we had a bunch of little containers of Rudy’s sauce from the last time we picked up Rudy’s BBQ for dinner.  So, I thawed the chicken, stirred it around in a bowl with some Rudy’s sauce, piled it high on the slider buns, topped with pickles and onion and VOILA!  A surprisingly very good and ridiculously quick & easy dinner!  Think about what you have on hand when you make your meal plan and see if you can throw together delicious with what you already have!  It’s pretty satisfying to be able to do that!

Tuesday:  BBQ chicken sliders again

Wednesday:  Three bean cilantro-lime burritos

Thursday:  Leftover burritos

Friday:  Spaghetti & meatballs (ehh, not very excited about this but sweetie pea loves meatballs and ya can’t argue with how easy it is.)

Saturday:  Leftover spaghetti & meatballs

Meal Plan 1/26 to 2/1

Well hello, blog.

It’s been a while.  I’ve been rather uninspired and toward the end of 2013 we unfortunately (for our hearts, waists and bank account) did a lot more eating out than eating in.  It happens.  Holidays, end of semester exhaustion, anniversary/stuff to celebrate, etc.

But as of last week we are back to being committed to eating at home the vast majority of the time and making a plan & sticking to it.  We also ordered a new thingamabob that will hopefully result in some yummy juicing going on in our house so assuming those drinks turn out well, I may post some of the how-to’s here.  You can bet your bottom dollar they will be in mason jars because if you are drinking your vegetables, you’ve gotta dress it up a little bit with some Southern flair to make up for the fact that, well, you are drinking your vegetables… :-)

So here is our meal plan for this week:

Sunday:  Pizza – have you had the Domino’s Brooklyn style pizzas?  YUM.
MondayTaco salad, using homemade taco seasoning

Tuesday:  Leftover taco salad

Wednesday:  Turkey burger sliders

Thursday:  Leftover sliders

Friday:  Chicken sandwiches (I cooked some chicken last week and then it got freezing cold so we decided to switch gears and have chili that night instead.  The chicken got shredded and thrown in the freezer, so we will have it on sandwiches this week.)

Saturday:  Vegetable soup.  Don’t get too excited.  It’s Progresso.  Very busy day in our house on this day so I am taking the easiest possible route for dinner.  Even easier than driving through Chick Fil A.

So that’s the plan!  I do not promise to post a meal plan every week!

Stuffed bell peppers – revisited

IMG_4615One of my first posts here on the blog – back in October 2009! – was stuffed bell peppers.  That recipe was passed along to me by my wonderful mom-in-law and it’s been my favorite stuffed peppers recipe for years but I have to say this revisited, low carb version hit the spot just as well.

Hubby and I just threw this together last night without a lot of thought or reason put into it and it turned out so well that I am genuinely excited about the leftovers tonight. :-)

Stuffed Bell Peppers -Low Carb Version
Preheat:  350
Time:  About 45 minutes or so.  About 20-25 minutes prep; 20 minutes bake
Makes:  4 to 6 bell peppers

4-6 bell peppers
1 lb. lean ground beef or turkey
1 small/medium sweet potato, grated
1 good-sized carrot, grated
1 small onion, diced
1 can stewed tomatoes, diced
Salt & pepper

Cut tops off of peppers & clean out the seeds inside.  Boil in salted water for about 5-10 minutes or until they are at the tenderness you like.  Drain and sprinkle the insides with salt.  Place in baking dish.

Cook beef, onion, carrot and sweet potato until meat is browned and veggies are tender.  Add tomatoes and combine.

Stuff peppers and stand upright in a baking dish.  If you have extra filling just place that in between the peppers to bake.

Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes.

Sweet potato hash and roasted green beans

IMG_4563I’ve blogged about my hamburger steak before, so in this post I want to share with you two sides that have been some of our go-to dinnertime veggies for the past few months – sweet potato hash and roasted green beans.  Both are quick, easy, fresh and healthy – and the sweet potato hash is a great, hearty alternative to mashed potatoes.  (though if you have read through this blog for very long, you know I will be the first to say there isn’t much that beats homemade mashed potatoes…)

If you have only ever had sweet potatoes served, well, sweetly, with brown sugar and marshmallows you are missing out. Savory sweet potatoes are the way to go!

Sweet Potato Hash
Time: 20 minutes
Makes: up to you!
Serves: up to you!

For Hubby and I (Sweetie Pea isn’t a fan, unfortunately), I usually use –
1 sweet potato, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced
EVOO – just a splash. A little goes a long way.
salt to taste
garlic powder to taste

Put all of the above in a skillet on medium-high. Mix it all around to coat well with the olive oil. Stir occassionally until potatoes are soft enough for your taste. I like it on medium-high because it gives the veggies a little bit of a char. If you prefer to not have that, have the heat down lower but know it’ll take a bit longer to cook.

 

Roasted Green Beans
Preheat:  400
Time:  5 minutes prep; 20 minutes bake
Serves:  up to you!

Fresh green beans
EVOO – just a splash.  A little goes a long way.
Salt
Pepper
Garlic powder

For these, you want to start with fresh green beans from the produce department.  Snap the ends off and then snap in half, if desired.  You can leave them long if you prefer.  Wash and dry them.  Place in an 8×8 glass casserole dish.  Pour a little olive oil and season with your salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Mix all around with your hands to coat all of the green beans.  Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes or until they are at your desired tenderness.

 

Sweetie Pea loves to sit up on the counter and help me snap the beans in half. :-)  This is an easy way to get your toddler involved!  For the sweet potato hash, she loves to brush the diced veggies off of the cutting board into the skillet. She also helps me sprinkle the seasonings on the veggies. :-)

Quick Taco Casserole

IMG_4528I found this recipe on a new favorite blog of mine, Mix and Match Mama.  Seriously, check out that blog.  It has TONS of family-friendly, semi-homemade recipes.  And just look through that list of 100 bundt cakes.  YUM.  I can vouch for her original chocolate chip bundt cake. I made it for a work potluck and it was a huge hit.  I’ll definitely be making more!

Anyway…back to this casserole.  In a couple of weeks I will be making a big lunch for Hubby’s work – specifically for like 15 grown men who work really long hours and are hungry. :-)  Last year, I made Four Pasta Beef Bake.  That is always a crowd pleaser but I thought I would try something different and this looked like the winner.  So, I thought I’d make a trial run.

This was good, and I know if I made it with ground beef, regular flour tortillas and full fat cheese it would be even better.  But Hubby and I both thought the filling was a little too creamy/stuck together and not saucy enough.  So while I would make it again and play around with the ratios (maybe add a little salsa or enchilada sauce or something in) for my own family, I don’t think I will be making it for the guys.

That’s a really picky thing, I know, but when you are making food for a bunch of people, you want it to be just right. You know what I mean?

This recipe has 2 thumbs up from me because:
1.  It’s a kid pleaser.
2.  It is a very easy and quick weeknight supper. It could easily be made the night before and stuck in the fridge until ready to bake, or made well in advance and stuck in the freezer until ready to bake.
3.  It would be incredibly easy to double the recipe.

Quick Taco Casserole
Preheat: 350
Time:  40 or so minutes total (10 minutes prep; 30ish bake)
Makes:  one 8×8 casserole dish

1 lb ground beef (I used ground turkey)
1 package taco seasoning
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided (I used reduced fat)
1 can cream of chicken soup (I used 98% fat free)
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
5 or so tortillas (I used wheat and I quartered them)

Preheat your oven to 350.

Brown your meat. Once browned, add in taco seasoning, 1 cup cheese, soup, about 3/4 of your green onions.  Reduce heat to low.

Spray your casserole dish with a little Pam.  Spread half of the meat mixture in the bottom of the casserole dish.  Layer half of your tortillas on top.  Spread the other half of the meat mixture on top of the tortillas.  Layer the other half of your tortillas on top.

Top with the remaining 1 cup cheese. Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes.  Uncover and bake 5-10 more minutes.

Top with remaining green onions before serving.

It would also be delicious with a dollop of sour cream on top of your portion.  Yum. :-)

IMG_4527

 

Meal plan (9/2-9/8)

Welcome, September!!!  I traded my bright pink nail polish for a lovely dark grey in celebration of the new month.  I’m done with summer.  It was awesome and I loved all the time in the pool, the tanlines, the sunscreen smell on my kiddo but oh how I love fall.  Bring on the cooler temps, the sweaters, the boots, the pumpkins….the Pumpkin Spice Lattes (!!!!!!). 

Today is PSL Opening Day 2013.  I will say though, I am not rushing to get my first PSL today.  I am going to wait until the first crisp, fall-feeling morning to get it.  It’s always better when it’s cool outside. :-) 

But none of that has anything to do with this week’s meal plan…

M:  Tuna sandwiches for Sweetie Pea & Hubbs.  Turkey/avocado/tomato “salad” for me.  Not very Labor Day-ish.  Fear not, we had burgers on Sunday. :-)
T:  Salamanca chili
W:  Leftover chili
R:  Stuffed bell peppers (with diced sweet potatoes as the starch rather than rice)
F:  Leftover stuffed peppers
S:  Grilled BBQ chicken
Su:  Leftover grilled BBQ chicken

Silk almond milk

In our journey toward making better food & drink choices, we have tried several new things lately.  Some of them have been terrible (hello “healthy Wendy’s frosty” recipe on Pinterest), some have been so-so, and some have been downright delicious.

Enter Silk almond milk.

No, this isn’t a sponsored post of any sort.  I am specifying Silk brand because I tried another brand and it was alright but this…..THIS is delicious, creamy and rich.

A glass of the dark chocolate flavor or the vanilla flavor tastes almost decadent.  I say almost because let’s be real.  It’s not a milkshake.  Or a brownie a la mode.  Or Blue Bell Cookies & Cream.  It is almond milk.  We do need to keep it in perspective but I can wholeheartedly say I like this stuff a lot. 

almond vanillaalmond chocolate

We are both happy to sit down and enjoy a glass of either of these and we put the vanilla flavor into our oatmeal in the mornings.  (I add a little cinnamon to mine and it’s really yummy.)

Sweetie pea still enjoys her regular ol’ milk but she has tried the vanilla flavor almond milk and thought it was tasty. :-)

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