Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Recipes to go with Feb Menu #1

Vegetable Soup:

You can use any type of meat you would like.. Turkey, cubed beef, or chicken...

Personally we like beef & turkey.. If I use beef I buy stew meat & cut it up into smaller chunks & pan cook it with spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and pepper.

Start with beef or chicken broth (typically I use 1 can), 1 throw in a can of diced tomatoes (or you can cut up fresh tomatoes), I am a tomato eater so I also add some tomato juice..  Add diced potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, green beans, corn, whatever veggies you like.. Personally I am not a big celery eater so I skip that.. I also use frozen veggies rather than canned.. and I season with a little creole seasoning.. You can put this in the crockpot to simmer or cook on the stove for 20-30 minutes until all veggies are tender :-)

You can cook a pan of cornbread to go with this as well :-)

Shake N Bake Porkchops & Veggies:
Butterfly porkchops that are boneless
Shake N Bake for pork

Just shake your pork chops up in the shake n bake bag & follow the box instructions.. I also season with garlic powder, paprika, and onion powder once I coat with the shake n bake...

Our Veggie of choice will be Garlic Green Beans & baked okra:
Green beans: Buy fresh green beans, cut the ends off, put on a baking sheet with a little minced garlic, drizzle a little olive oil over it, a splash of lemon juice (optional) and sea salt.. Bake until tender

Same ooes for the okar except skip the lemon juice.. When okra isn't in season (like now) I use frozen bags :-)

Crockpot Chicken Tacos
I use bags of frozen chicken breast & usually use about 3 breast for this recipe.. Throw them in the crockpot.. Mix up taco seasoning with some water.. Cook on low all day.. I then shred the chicken... Serve however you would eat your tacos.. I use whole wheat 60 calorie (skip the sandwich) tortillas, diced tomatoe, lettuce, fat free sour cream, fat free cheese

Sausage, Corn, Potato, Shrimp Kabobs:

I buy the turkey sausage (the is shaped like a horseshoe) cut it up into cubes.. Boil corn & potatoes until they are fairly tender but not cooked all the way through (You can even boil in a cajun boil) put on kabob sticks with the sausage & shrimp.. season however you want & throw them on a grill for about 10 minutes. YUM!!!

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie:
2 (9 inch) deep dish frozen pie crust (thawed)
1 can mixed veggies (or you can use frozen)
2 cups cooked diced chicken breast  (Rotesserie chicken is really good for this)
1 can fat free cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk (I use 2% or 1% whatever I have at the time)

Preheat oven to 350.. In a bowl combine mixed veggies, chicken, cream of chicken soup, and milk. Pour mixture into 1 of the pie crust. Turn the other crust over & pop out of the tin onto the top of the filled pie crust. Seal the edges & poke holes in top crust. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until crust is golden brown.  I also season it with garlic powder or salt, onion powder, paprika, etc.. so it isn't bland (Are you seeing a trend with my spices yet? lol)

Hope you enjoy some of these recipes!

Feb Week #1 Menu

Last week I was a day late so this week I decided to be a day early!!! This is the 1st menu for Febuary... I hope January you were able to find some of the menu options tasty, healthy, and that they were able to work for your family!!

So as you know Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday!!  Woo hoo :-) This always means yummy appetizers and food!! I will not post a menu for Sunday because we do actually have plans other than sitting home alone this year! SCORE!!!  So I will be making homemade salsa & crack crackers to take to the Super Bowl Party :-)

So I will start with Monday this week:

Monday: Vegetable Soup (nice meal for the cold days we have had)

Tuesday: Shake N Bake Porkchops with garlic green beans & baked okra

Wednesday: Whole wheat crockpot chicken tacos & either black beans or refried beans

Thursday:  Turkey Sausage Kabobs made with corn, potatoes, shrimp & turkey sausage

Friday: Homemade healthy chicken pot pie

I will post the recipes for these soon :-)

I hope something sounds yummy to you & you enjoy!!!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Recipes for week 3


It can't get much easier than this! Put whatever you want :-)  Here is what I like:
100% Turkey deli meat (no meats added)
60 calorie whole wheat wrap (Kroger has a skip the sandwich wrap that is great)
Dijon mustard
Spinach leaves
A pinch of cheese
wrap it up and go

Carrot Fries:
Shredded carrots (matchstick carrots) tossed with a little olive oil, garlic powder, sea salt.. Bake until crispy.. YUM!

Fish Tacos:
Blacken whatever kind of fish you like serve in the whole wheat wraps.. I put pico (you can make or buy), spinach leaves, guacamole, and pinch of cheese on mine..  Serve with homemade black beans (dry beans)


Shredded chicken seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt, pepper (You could even cook in a crockpot with taco seasoning)
Mix with Pico or Rotel (Drained)
Add some cheese
Roll up in eggroll wrapper
Brown on each side in a tiny bit of oil

I make homemade salsa & chips to go with this:
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 can rotel
Add cumin seeds, garlic salt, garlic powder, lime juice, and cilantro (all to your liking), I even add a little cajun seasoning, blend up to the consistancy you want in a blender

Homemade chips are just the wraps cut into 8 trianangle and baked at 350 for about 10 minutes

Baked Chicken Parmesan:

1 ½ lbs raw ground chicken breast (if you have trouble finding ground chicken that is breast meat only, do what I do and throw the same weight of boneless, skinless chicken breasts into the food processor and run until ground)
1 large egg
1 egg whites
6 T dried breadcrumbs
¾ t dried basil
¾ t dried thyme
¾ t oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ a small onion, chopped small or grated
¾ t salt
1/3 t black pepper
¾ cup Parmesan cheese
¾ cup pasta sauce
¾ cup 2% reduced fat shredded Mozzarella cheese
Optional: dried parsley, oregano or basil for garnish

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350. Lightly mist a muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, egg, egg whites, breadcrumbs, basil, thyme, oregano, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese and lightly mix together. Do not over handle.
3. Form the meat mixture evenly into the 12 cups of your prepared muffin tin. Spread the pasta sauce evenly over the tops of each muffin. Bake for 20 minutes and remove from the oven. Top each muffin with about a tablespoon of shredded cheese and then return to the oven for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted. Garnish if desired.

Yields 12 muffins. WW P+: 4 per muffin or 7 P+ for 2 muffins (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)
Nutrition Information per muffin from myfitnesspal.com: 147 calories, 6 g carbs, 5 g fat, 18 g protein, 0 g fiber

Pesto Chicken Quesadillas:

  • 3 cups cooked turkey, chopped
  • 3/4 cup broccoli, coarsely chopped  (I can tell you I won't be putting this in mine!)
  • 1/2 cup basil, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1 + 1/2 cup low fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 large whole wheat tortillas
    1. In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients until combined.
    2. Preheat large non-stick skillet on medium heat. Lay tortilla in a skillet and spread 3/4 cup of mixture on a half of it. Fold the other half covering the mixture, creating a half moon. Press evenly with spatula to help ingredients stick together. Fry for 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crispy.
    3. Transfer to a cutting board and cut with a knife or pizza cutter into 3 wedges. Repeat the same steps until all mixture and tortillas are used. Serve warm.
    Amount Per Serving = 1 wedge:Calories: 90.2
    Total Fat: 2.5 g
    Cholesterol: 9.4 mg
    Sodium: 184.8 mg
    Total Carbs: 10.2 g
    Dietary Fiber: 0.7 g
    Protein: 6.6 g
    WW Points+: 2
    Chicken & Veggie Casserole (I love this!)
    Cube chicken and season however you prefer, cook on stove in a pan (I don't even use oil)
    While the chicken is cooking make some brown rice (I use the minute rice for convenience)
    Put the rice & chicken in a bowl & mix with 2 cans fat free cream of chicken soup, 1 can of rotel, and frozen mixed veggies.
    Put in a glass dish, top with fat free shredded cheese... Bake 25-30 on  350 until hot throughout..
     I don't serve with anything just because it already has meat, carb, and veggies
    Peanut Butter Cups
    I got this recipe from a friend & it is sooooo good!!!  I actually double or even triple the recipe and I make them weekly...
    1/2 cup oats processed to half the size of the normal oat
    Add 2 tbsp of peanut butter or PB2 (I used PB2 for calories)
    1 Tbsp of honey
    1-2 Tbsp coconut oil (melted)
    Line a muffin pan with cupcake tins.. Scoop mixture into 6 portions and smooth it out
    In a seperate bowl (Or you can wash the 1 you already used) combine 2 tbsp of coconut oil melted, 1 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 tbsp of honey.. Mix & spoon over each cup.
    Put in freezer for hour to set... I keep them in the freezer until they are gone.. I keep them in an air tight container so all I have to do is grab it & go :-)
    Hope you enjoy these recipes!!!!

    Menu #3

    Hello fellow bloggers!! I am sorry I didn't get this posted yesterday. We have a big surprise at the Miller house that I was working on during lunch so I didn't get to post.. I apologize!!

    Well here is the menu for next week.. Hope you enjoy!! 

    Wraps & Carrot Fries (these carrot fries are YUMMY and so simple)

    Fish Tacos, pico, black beans


    Backed Chicken Parmesan

    Veggie Chicken & Rice casserole 

    Pesto Chicken quesadillas

    And my favorite snack has been Peanut Butter Oat cups... Actually I should only be eating 1, 2 at the most a day... Well 1 secret I have been keeping is yesterday I ate 4 ate 1 time! Yes you heard me 4.. I don't recommend doing this as I my stomach hurt for a while after!

    I will get the recipes for you every soon for these recipes :-)

    I would love to hear some feedback on this blog. Is this helping anyone with meal planning, etc? Anyone have any ideas they want to share? Anyone have any health recipes they would like to share?

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

    Grocery List for menu #2

    Below you will find the grocery list for menu #2 that was posted earlier.

    After taking a photo I realized I left off the rice vinegar from my list. (Egg roll recipe)

    The items marked through were items I knew for sure I had in my pantry. I will do a final mark through when I get home.. I have found this is where I tend to save the most money.

    I don't have the neatest handwriting so if you can't read something just let me know. Or if you have any questions I will be happy to answer :-)

    Sorry not sure why it keeps loading upside down!
    For those of you who don't think you can do menu planning, etc.. because it takes too much time.. During my lunch today I typed out the menu (Which I did have pre made), did the recipes for each of them, and made out a grocery list all in my 1 hour!!! YOU CAN DO THIS if you really want to :-)

    Recipes for Menu #2

    *Chicken Italiano (Crock pot meal, can we say easy?!)
    This isn't the most clean but it is still healthy :-)

    • Chicken Breast
    • 2 cans of 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup
    • 1 can rotel
    • 1 envelope of dry italian dressing mix
    • 1 box fat free cream cheese
    • splash of cooking wine (optional)
    • Spices of your choice: I use garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper
    Put 3-4 chicken breast in your crockpot (I use the frozen chicken breast for ease)

    Soften the cream cheese in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients to the cream cheese & put on top of the chicken. I cook on low 5-6 hours (you can use high for a shorter cook time)

    Serve over whole wheat pasta noodles.

    *Taco Soup (you can also use your crockpot)  SUPER EASY recipe!

    • Lean Ground Turkey (I like to use deer when I have it or you can use hamburger)
    • 1 can corn
    • Black Beans (I cook dry beans you can use canned); I use about 2-3 cups
    • 1 Can light kidney beans
    • 1 can dark kidney beans
    • can of chili beans
    • 1 can of rotel
    • 1 envelope of dry ranch dressing mix
    • 1 envelope of taco seasoning
    • 1 diced onion
    • Spices of your choice: Again I use garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt & pepper
    Cook meat & onion together. Throw all other ingredients in pan & allow to simmer until hot throughout.

    *Blackended Chicken Pizza

    • Chicken breast (2-3)
    • 1 Jar of Pesto (you can make your own but I never have time)
    • Spinach Leaves
    • Roma Tomatoes (2-3)
    • Feta Cheese
    • Whole wheat pizza crust (You can even make your own)
    Season chicken with seasonings of your choice: I use blackening seasoning, garlic powder, paprika. Grill chicken on grill or George Foreman, then cut into chunks.

    Put your jar of pesto on the pizza crust (You don't have to use the whole jar use however much you personally like just make sure the crust is covered), cover with spinach leaves, and sliced roma tomatoes, top with chicken & feta cheese.. Bake per crust instructions

    We love this so much I typically make 2 at a time :-)

    *Egg Rolls:

    Nutriential Breakdown

    12Egg Rolls
    115 Calories Each
    1 gFat
    17 gCarbohydrate
    2 gFiber
    1 gSugar
    9.5 gProtein


    12 oz (or 1 1/2 cup)Chicken breasts, cooked & shredded or finely diced
    1 (16 oz) bagColeslaw mix
    1 mediumRed bell pepper, finely chopped
    2Green onions, thinly sliced
    1 cupCarrots, shredded
    2 cupsBean sprouts
    1/4 cupLow sodium soy sauce
    2 tbsRice vinegar
    1 tspGarlic, minced or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    12Egg roll wrappers (may need more if using extra veggie option)
    1Egg white, beaten
    Optional:1-2 Stevia (or 1 tsp sweetner of choice)
    Optional Additions:
    1 cupMushrooms, sliced (or veggie of choice)


    The estimated total time to make this recipe is 15-20 minutes.
    Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking pan with a wire rack, and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
    Heat a large skillet & spray with cooking spray. Add all the vegetables and 1 cup water to the skillet, stirring constantly.
    Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and seasoning just as the cabbage starts to wilt. Cook veggies until just cooked, and liquid in the pan is evaporated.
    Place cooked veggies in large bowl and mix in chicken. Let mixture cool slightly before rolling.
    Lay out a wrapper, brush egg mixture on two adjacent edges, spoon about 1/3-1/2 cup of the mixture onto the center of a wrapper.
    Fold ends of egg roll wrappers in.
    Tuck and roll egg roll wrappers over the filling.
    Continue to roll until almost to the corner edge.
    To seal them shut, place your finger in the egg white, (water also works), and trace two of the corners with the egg white (or water).
    Place egg rolls on prepared baking rack.
    Spray each egg roll with non-stick cooking spray. Place egg rolls on baking pan, bake 15-20 minutes. (If not using cooling rack, turn egg rolls half way through baking. This ensures that both sides a golden brown color.) Remove from oven, and cool. Enjoy with soy or teriyaki sauce for dipping if desired!

    *Skinny Enchiladas (This is a crockpot meal)



    Week #2 Menu

    Well it is Wednesday which means it is time to get my Menu for next week completed... Well lucky for me 1 day at lunch I was bored & was able to get it done for a month :-) So here is the menu for week #2.. I will get recipes posted & the grocery shopping list as well. I will try to get it today if possible but I only have well 52 minutes left on lunch :-)

    • Chicken Italiano with whole wheat spaghetti noodles
    • Shake & Bake Chicken (no recipe needed) with veggies
    • Taco Soup
    • Blacked Chicken pizza (my favorite on the menu this week!)
    • Omlets (no recipe needed) I will pack mine full of mushrooms, peppers, etc...
    • Skinny Enchiladas & Black beans (Dry)
    • Egg Rolls
    Keep an eye out for the recipes if any of this sounds yummy to you!!!  Please remember we are doing a clean healthy diet :-)

    Sunday, January 12, 2014

    Cleaning the never ending cycle....

    If your house is anything like mine sometimes you wonder if you are living with human babies or pigs!   Cleaning is where my OCD tends to rear its ugly head.. I tend to be a little bit of a neat freak!  I want my house to look presentable at all times after all you never know when someone might drop by (not that this ever happens but you never know)... I refuse to spend my entire weekend cleaning.. Who wants to do this after working all day? Not me I want to spend time with my kiddos.  I found something on Pinterest that I tailored to our family.. It really does make all the difference in the world... I am 1 of those moms who a lot of moms will talk about and that is fine because I do make my kids do chores... Figure it teaches them a little about responsibility. No I don't give them allowance I figure I pay somewhere around oh I don't know a few hundred dollars a month on them anyway.  So our schedule looks like this:

    Daily Mornings:
    • Everyone makes their own beds (not that this always happens, I am gone when they wake up)
    • Put laundry in washer/dryer (Mommy or Daddy)
    • Wipe down the bathroom counter & sink out after you use it
    Daily Night:
    • 15 minute clean up: Bedrooms & Living room gets cleaned
    • Playroom gets cleaned up
    • Quick sweep on the kitchen & living room
    • Fold laundry (Each child puts up their own I don't fold theirs at all)
    • Kitchen cleanup after dinner & trash outside if needed
    Monday: Kid's clean their bathroom & I clean ours
    Tuesday: Dust the entire house
    Wednesday: Vacuum bedrooms
    Thursday: Mop
    Friday: Free day
    Saturday: clean out fridge; grocery store
    Sunday: swing day (in between church)

    Swing days are sheets, microwave, fans, baseboards .. What ever is needed.. I alternate choirs only doing 1 of 2 swing choirs. Today I cleaned out our closet, the hallway closet (I finally parted with the 20 bottles of shampoo that only had a little left), and under our sink (again got rid of makeup products, etc.. that I tend to hang on to because you never know if you are going to need it)

    My philosophy is I would rather spend 20-30 minutes daily rather than all day on the weekend.. Our weekends are reserved for movie watching, zoo, playtime outside, etc... Would love to hear if anyone has any ideas that work for their family that I am not thinking about!!

    Saturday, January 11, 2014

    Healthy Baked Chips & Carrot Chips

    We have tried both of these this week & they are soooooo delish & easy...

    healthy baked chips (can be eaten with salsa, guacamole, whatever you want!)

    Cut up whole wheat flour tortillas (I use the 60 calorie Let's Skip the sandwich brand) into triangles. I usually get 8 large chips out of this.. Put on a cookie sheet & bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until crispy like a chip.  Just think 8 chips only 60 calories & healthy!!! I think I will...

    Carrot Chips.. We just tried these and wow they are so yummy wasn't expecting that!

    1 Bag of shredded carrots
    Put on a cookie sheet, drizzle with small amount of olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste..

    Bake on 375 20 minutes or until crispy.. Entire bag is only 120 calories!!

    Black Bean Burgers & Roasted Sweet Potatoes

    Thank you Amanda Rice for this recipe!!!

    • 2-3 cans of black beans (rather than black beans I am using left over black beans that I boiled for a separate recipe)
    • 2 Garlic Cloves (I have a huge can of minced garlic already so I will use that
    • 1-2 minced onion
    • cilantro (optional)
    • salt & pepper to taste
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 cup oats
    Take all but 1/2 cup of black beans and puree them. Add all the other ingredients and mix together like a burger. Add the remaining 1/2 cup whole black beans & mix again. The form into little patties just like a burger. Heat your griddle or pan with a tad olive oil then brown each side for approx. 7 minutes each. Top with your favorite veggies & condiments.

    Now for the sweet potatoes..

    Wash them good. Cube leaving the skin as this is where the nutrients are found. Put in a bowl & drizzle with tsp of olive oil so they are wet. then add salt, pepper, garlic powder or onion powder.  Bake on 375 for 20 minutes or until crispy looking.

    Clean Chili & Veggie Meatloaf

    Clean Chili Recipe


    Rachael Ray Veggie Meatloaf:

     I don't always do the muffin tin but it doesn't help on portion control.. Sometimes rather than BBQ sauce I just make the meatloaf & top with salsa & ketchup.


    • 1 2/3 to 1 3/4 pounds ground sirloin
    • 1 medium onion, cut into chunks
    • 2 ribs celery from the heart of the stalk, cut into 2-inch pieces
    • 1 green bell pepper
    • Diced carrots
    • 1 large egg plus a splash of milk, beaten
    • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
    • 2 tablespoons grill seasoning (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick)
    • 1 cup smoky barbecue sauce
    • 1/2 cup tomato salsa
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    • Vegetable oil or extra-virgin olive oil


    Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

    Put ground beef into a big bowl. Put onion and celery into a food processor. Cut the bell pepper in half, rip out the seeds and throw them into your garbage bowl. Cut the pepper into a few pieces and add to the food processor. Pulse the processor blades to finely chop the vegetables into very small pieces then add them to the meat bowl. Add egg, beaten with milk, bread crumbs and grill seasoning to the bowl. Next, mix together the smoky barbecue sauce, the salsa and the Worcestershire sauce. Pour half the sauce mixture into the bowl with the meatloaf mix. Mix the meatloaf together with your hands. Wash up. Brush a 12-muffin tin (1/2-cup each) with vegetable oil or extra-virgin olive oil. Use an ice cream scoop to help you fill meat into a each tin. Top each meat loaf with a spoonful of extra sauce. Bake about 20 minutes. Cut open 1 muffin to test that the middle is cooked through

    Turkey Spinach Meatballs with homemade sauce


    Above link is to the turkey spinach meatballs

    I make my own pasta sauce (I figure healthier for you, less sugar, etc..) If you do buy canned sauce try to find something low sugar if possible.

    I cut up mushrooms & dice an onion (Both fresh but you could do canned/frozen) and sautee over medium heat. You can also add diced carrots, zucchini, celery, whatever veggies you make like!I add diced tomato (Again I do fresh but you can do canned),  a can of tomato sauce, and a small can of tomato paste.. You can season however you like. I typically use garlic powder, pinch of salt & pepper, onion powder, and basil...

    Allow to simmer on low heat until warm throughout and veggies aren't hard.

    I serve with whole wheat angel hair pasta or veggie pasta.. You can also use spaghetti squash for a low carb option.

    Chicken Soup

    Laurie's Chicken Soup

    2 Tbsp olive oil
    1 med to lg onion diced
    1 bag of baby carrots sliced (minus a few for snacking while cooking) cut 1/4 to 1/2" thick
    2 to 3 ribs celery sliced or diced (my crew likes smaller bits)
    1 leek sliced (white and pale green part)
    2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
    2 boxes chicken stock
    1 yummy chicken (chunked or shredded to your liking).
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Bay leaf (opt)
    Flat leaf parsley (opt)

    Heat oil in large pot.  Add all veggies and thyme (bay leaf here to), cook until veggies are softened.  I like a little color on some of the veggies but they just need to be softened, 6-7 min.  Add broth/stock bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until veggies are cooked through.  We like them soft-ish.  Add the chicken until warmed through.  Add salt and pepper to taste and stir in parsley right before serving.  The parsley will float so you can add a dash to the individual bowls if you would rather.
    I use all the meat I can get off the chicken but you could use just the white meat.  Also you can use less than 2 whole boxes of stock as you see necessary.  If you decide to use noodles, I use the egg noodles (either reg or whole wheat). Some recipes you cook the noodles in the pot with the soup but I find I don't have as much broth as I want after they are cooked since they soak up all that liquid.  So I cook the noodles separate and add them at the very end to the soup.

    Salmon Cakes

    Baked Salmon Patties:
    Makes 15 servings, serving size 1 cake.. 2 points for WW.. 87 calories 3 Fat grams 8 grams carbs 1 gram sugar

    • 1/2 pound salmon filet (fresh or frozen if frozen thaw overnight)
    • Salt to taste
    • Olive oil cooking spray
    • 1 Tbsp olive oil
    • 3/4 cup small diced purple onion
    • 1 1/2 cups small diced celery (approx. 4 stalks)
    • 1/2 cup small diced red bell pepper and yellow bell pepper
    • 1/4 cup parsley
    • 1/4 tsp hot sauce
    • 1 1/2 tsp seasoning
    • 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
    • 3 Tbsp light mayo (I bought the Olive oil mayo)
    • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 lightly beaten egg
    • 3 large egg whites (lightly beaten) I bought the egg whites that were already in a carton
    Directions: Season salmon with salt. Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat; when hot lightly spray with oil and add the salmon. Cook until browned on 1 side about 4 to 5 minutes then turn and cook additional 4-5 minutes or until salmon easily flakes. Set aside on dish to cool.

    Add the olive oil to the pan. Then add the onion, celery, red and yellow bell peppers, parsley, hot sauce, seasoning, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in sauté pan on medium low heat and cook until the veggies are soft. approx. 18-20 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temp.

    Flake the salmon into a large bowl. Add bread crumbs, mayo, mustard, eggs. Add the veggie mixture & mix well. Cover and chill in fridge for 30 minutes, this will make them easier to shape & be less sticky.

    Preheat oven to 400% spray a non stick baking sheet with cooking spray. Shape the batter into 15 (1/4 cup) cakes & place on baking sheet. Bake 10-12 on each side until golden brown

    Next step grocery buying...

    So in my last blog I told you about planning a menu.. Now is the next step in the process, the dreaded grocery store everyone hates!

      I take my menu & write down each ingredient that it takes to make that certain recipe.. I break my list out into categories to help make it easier.. I break mine up to produce department, meat department, cold & frozen, and then other... Below is an example of how I create my list..

    Next I go to my pantry, fridge, freezer, etc & start marking off the items that I already have. This is really important in the money saving aspect.. For those of you that have a Kroger in your area I recommend downloaded the Kroger app. You can download coupons directly to your Kroger card. I don't know about you but this makes my life so much easier! They also have apps for grocery list, etc.. I am weird & actually like marking my items off as I buy them.. Don't know why but that is what I like to do!

    Now it is time to go to the grocery store.. My normal grocery trip will last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on how cooperative my children are.  For those of you trying to go clean & healthy here are my recommendations & what you will find in my grocery cart (minus the fruit loops you will see in the buggy as those are Maycen Kate's.. when you have a 20 pound 2 year old you can't deprive them of everything)... Most of your grocery cart should contain FRESH produce (not frozen) but if you are in a hurry frozen is better than canned... Can veggies don't contain the nutrients found in fresh or even frozen.  If you buy pastas, etc.. go for whole grain.. Look for things not made with enriched flours. This would be things like whole wheat pasta, brown rice, whole wheat bread. You never want your ingredient list to stay enriched on the back.. I check price, calorie, sugars, etc.. Once you do this a few times you will know what you can & can't buy.. Your 1st trip is a learning process & may take a while.

    I NEVER buy things that aren't on my list! This trip was an exception to that rule because Tony found some sugar free/fat free coffee creamer (he just got his new Keurig) for $.50 and $.75 for the large bottles. I drink my Advocare meal replacement shakes for breakfast or will make a fresh fruit smoothie for breakfast. I buy for my lunch (everyone else gets free lunch so why worry with this?!).. I typically will eat things such as turkey wraps (made with 60 calorie whole grain wrap), tuna made with mustard & pickles, or 1/2 servings of any dinner we may have left from the night before.. I buy for dinner every night.

    So as you can see below I ended up buying 46 items which included a 3# roll of lean turkey for 3 meals that cost $9.99 and my total bill for the ENTIRE week for a family of 5 was $81.82... This receipt was for the menu posted in my blog it is all about the menu planning. 

    Should you have any questions or comments you can either ask below or shoot me an email at Footballwidow84@gmail.com

    Friday, January 10, 2014

    It starts with Menu Planning

    Grocery Shopping has become a "challenge" for me.. I challenge myself each week to spend less for more.. Yes you heard me correctly LESS for MORE!!  I have people ask me all the time how I come out with a Kroger receipt as long as my arm (not really but it feels that way) and part of this is because their receipts have a ridiculous amount of waste but the other part starts with menu planning..

    Each week before I go to the grocery store I plan a menu.. I used to do it daily but I would find that I would get home & not really want the meal on the menu for that day but I would want what was on the menu for Thursday.. Well this became a hastle so I decide to just plan out 7 meals and not "attach" them to a specific day.  I have found planning a menu helps me save a lot of money.. I have a hard rule in the grocery store: If it isn't on the list then we don't need it & I ain't going to buy it so don't even ask!!!

    I use a few resources to plan my meals.. I use my kid's brains, my hubby's brain, Pinterest (Plays a huge part), Facebook friends (SHOUT OUT TO AMANDA & TASHA, etc..), recipe books, and googled websites.

    Below is what our weekly menu looks like (Each week I will post our specific menu for the week but you have been warned we are EATING HEALTHY!!)

    Week #1:  I WILL POST RECIPES AS SOON AS I GET OFF WORK (I am at lunch running out of time)

    Baked Salmon Patties
    Chicken Soup
    Turkey & Spinach meatballs with Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
    Turkey Chili
    Black Bean Burgers with roasted sweet potatoes

    Blog #2 will be how I make out my grocery list for our weekly menu :-) Stay tuned...

    A new beginning

    Am I the only one who seems to feel they need to find what they were put on this Earth for lately? Am I the only one seeking for their purpose in God's kingdom?  These are questions that have been bugging me for a while now.. Yes I know I am here to tell other people about Jesus & that is so important but I also know God has me here for His purpose..

    I have been searching inside myself for some time now.. I want to help others. I want to be a positive example to others.  I don't really have "gifts" like a lot of people. People I know can dance (I can't at all, I mean it is embarrassing), I don't really sing (yes I can open my mouth and noise comes out but it isn't the beautiful sound many of my friends have), I can talk but that isn't really a gift... I want to be able to change people's lives! It has been pointed out by a few people that I have a talent of organization.. Yes organization!! Maybe it isn't a talent but a gift.. I have been around some people that let's say are gifted in this area & I am seeing maybe it is what God gave me to help others.. My husband seems to think I am just OCD (Like when I made him turn a picture frame the other night because it was bugging me OCD) but I am going to look at it as a gift..

    I have had a few people ask me about how I do my menus, what I cook, how I prepare my grocery list, how to keep a house clean when you have 4 kids (oops I mean 3 but everyone knows a husband counts as a kid too right?!), how I schedule, etc... So maybe this is their way of asking ME for help!! Maybe I can be that positive example that I so desperately seek to be.. So I am going to give it a try.. I pray this will help others.. Any feed back you would like to give would be AWESOME!! Any advice you want to give would be EVEN BETTER!! Anything you would like to see would be EVEN EVEN better (I will eventually run out of stuff to talk about if not), and most importantly ENCOURAGING words to help other people would be a BLESSING!

    I hope you all enjoy this adventure with me! Please keep in mind I do work a full time job, have 3 kiddos, a husband, and church activites so I may not be able to blog every single day but I will try my best to blog 2-3 times a week!!