Sunday, May 22, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - May 23



Getting back to the real world after a vacation is always hard. Cooking is not nearly as much fun in my own kitchen.  This week, my beautiful sister-in-law and family are in town from Idaho. They are staying with my in-laws, but we are planning on hosting a day. My husband also returns to work this week, so breakfast and lunches don't have to be very involved. Since we're returning from vacation, even though I did well with maintaining my weight and not gaining (I'm utterly surprised), I'll be paying extra special attention to getting in my veggies, lean protein and whole grains.

Breakfasts (all include fresh fruit, juice and milk)
scrambled eggs and toast
fruity baked oatmeal
waffles
blueberry lemon breakfast pizza
green monster smoothies


Lunches (all include fresh veggies, fruit and milk)
sandwiches (turkey or tuna salad)
pita pizzas
green monsters

Monday: On the road home from Florida, eating out

Tuesday: Baked Ziti; salad; garlic knots

Wednesday: Grilled Pork Chops; mashed sweet potatoes; broccoli

Thursday: Homemade Veggie Pizza; salad

Friday: Individual Chicken Pot Pies; salad

I hope you all have a wonderful week. Make sure to check out OrgJunkie for more delicious weekly menu plans!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Vacation Eating on a Budget

My family and I are in Florida right now. White sandy beaches, blue skies, warm breezes...everything Florida is known for. Aside from getting lost during my run this morning, it has been a nice time thus far.

Even though we've saved for this trip for a few months, we don't want to pour our entire vacation budget into restaurants. Here are some of the tips that I found most useful to maintain some semblance of a budget while on vacation.

1) Cook. I know it seems counterproductive to the idea of relaxation, but it saves an extraordinary amount of money. We opted for a condo with a full kitchen and then bought groceries when we arrived. I spent a bit more on food than I would have at home, but a lot of that is condiments and stuff that I don't normally have to buy. Food doesn't have to be fancy or take a long time, but making it yourself and using local ingredients is one of my favorite ways to save money.

2) Use Local Ingredients. During the summer, farm stands are everywhere. Peaches at Publix were $3.99/lb...locally grown, picked that morning peaches at the farm stand were $2 for a 3 pound bag. My family almost always finds local farm stands or farmers markets and then we decide our meals based on what looks tempting.

3) Use Savings Websites. A few months before we left, I subscribed to the local Groupon site and kept watch for restaurants or other fun things that we could enjoy as a family. I always checked restaurant reviews on Yelp.com before buying so we didn't end up with a dud. We enjoyed one of our Groupon coupons last night at a local pizza place (really yummy!) and walked out for $20 including tax and tip. The extra pizza will make a great snack for the family as well.

4) Check With the Front Desk or Visitors Bureau: If you're at a hotel or condo, most will have coupons or special deals available only to patrons. I asked the woman who checked us in and she handed me a stack of coupons good for everything from free appetizers, free kids meals or a percentage off the final bill. The locally owned restaurants want you to walk in their door and providing something for free is a really great way to make that happen.


We are eating out a few meals during the trip, but for the most part, will be eating in. Breakfasts will include egg and veggie scrambles, toast, smoothies and fresh fruit and we bought premium sandwich ingredients for subs and paninis for lunches. Spending $30 on really awesome sandwich ingredients that will last the week is far cheaper than hitting the local deli 5 times during the week.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have a margarita that needs to be sipped and feet that need to be put up oceanside.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - May 16


We leave today for Perdido Key, Florida for a week. We rented a condo that has a full kitchen so we won't have to eat out every day -- yay! I love having a break from cooking, but eating out for 7 days is a bit much for both my wallet and waistline. I've thrown together a few easy peasy meals that can be made in advance or quickly after a long day on the beach.

Monday: Pizza out

Tuesday: Tuscan Tuna and White Bean Salad in Pita Pockets; grilled sweet potatoes

Wednesday: Grilled Salmon, tossed salad

Thursday: Pulled Chicken Sandwiches, coleslaw, fruit salad

Friday: Out

Saturday: Going to the Pensacola Farmer's Market - will decide dinner based on what looks good

Sunday: Out

I hope everyone has a wonderful week. Make sure to check out OrgJunkie for more delicious menu plans!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - May 9






This week is all about eating up our perishables before we leave for Florida next Monday. Bone-in chicken breasts are on sale this week, so a few meals will include those. We're grilling a few nights and having pasta a few nights (something we almost never do anymore). I continued through my pile of "to-make" recipes and let my sons help choose some that looked good to them.

Breakfasts: (all include fruit, milk and juice)
breakfast cookies
yogurt and granola
eggs and toast
overnight soaked oats
oatmeal

Lunches: (all include fruit and veggies)
turkey sandwiches on homemade wheat bread
leftovers
taco soup
chard wraps stuffed with tuna and egg salad

Monday: Beer can chicken, slow cooker baked beans, salad

Tuesday: Vegetarian Tortilla Pie

Wednesday: Tropical Island Chicken, broccoli salad, chia bread

Thursday: Sriracha Barbecued Chicken, roasted asparagus, salad

Friday: Meatball Lasagna (makes a TON!), salad

Saturday: Penne and Peppers with Chunky Meat Sauce, garlic twists, salad

Sunday: leftover buffet


I hope everyone has a great week! Make sure to check out OrgJunkie for more delicious weekly menu plans.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all my beautiful Mommies out there. I hope your day doesn't end up like this...

My sons and husband made me a cake...and promptly dropped it on the floor. I think Connor's face broke the fall. We all had a good laugh -- except for the perp.

Planning to spend my day with my family, doing a little shopping and eating an insanely decadent meal.

Have a fabulous day, moms!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Chicken Korma



I have a relatively unhealthy obsession with Asian food. Not unhealthy like I eat mounds and mounds of it (not that I couldn't), but unhealthy that I would be completely fine with having it every single day for quite some time. Pretty sure I would be a prime candidate for a 12-step program.

The good thing about Asian food is that it is relatively easy to prepare at home. Several dishes have a lengthy list of ingredients, but they all come together pretty effortlessly.

Korma is a Northern Indian curry. It includes yogurt and nut or seed pastes/meals. They can be made vegetarian or not and the protein included can be changed to suit any tastes. Chicken was cheap this week, so I went that route.

Chicken Korma
serves 4

1 T. canola oil
1 red onion, sliced into rings
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 sweet potato, diced
2 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 large chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 1/4 c. chicken stock
1/4 c. plain yogurt
1/2 c. almond meal (make it yourself by whirring some raw almonds in the food processor until it resembles course flour)
1 head broccoli, florets removed and stems discarded
1 c. snow peas

cooked brown rice, to serve

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a wok or deep sided skillet. Cook the onions, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.

Add chicken and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes, until browned. Stir in garam masala, cumin and cayenne pepper. Cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.

Add stock, yogurt and almond meal. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 8-10 minutes until sauce is creamy and the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Add broccoli and pea pods and cook for another 3-4 minutes. The vegetables should be tender-crisp.





Sunday, May 1, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - May 2



Wow, May already! I can't believe how fast 2011 is flying by! The Husband is in his last week of finals, then we have a week off before we leave for vacation in Florida. I can't freakin' wait for vacation! An entire week of white, sandy beaches, no house cleaning, big fruity drinks...oh my.

I'm finally starting to tackle my gigantic pile of recipes that I have put in the "to be made" category. Sifting through them, I couldn't believe I hadn't made some of these sooner. They sound so good!

Breakfasts: (all will include fresh fruit, milk, and juice)
Vanilla Cherry Breakfast Risotto
French Toast Sticks
oatmeal
overnight oats
Honey Yogurt Waffles

Lunches: (all include fresh fruit and veggies)
Chana Masala 
turkey sandwiches
oven baked cheese and avocado sandwiches
taco soup
tuna wraps

Monday: Mini meatloaves and mashed potatoes (I'm going to doctor the meatloaf recipe a bit and use ground turkey); salad

Tuesday: Tomato Basil Hamburgers; roasted red potatoes; salad

Wednesday: Garlic Shrimp with Basil, Tomatoes and Red Pepper Flakes; whole wheat orzo; salad

Thursday: Lemon Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki and Feta; homemade whole wheat pita; Minty Watermelon Salad

Friday: Out for Pizza to celebrate finals being over!

Saturday: Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Pesto Goat Cheese Spread; cucumber tomato salad

Sunday: Late Mother's Day Lunch at Texas De Brazil

I hope everyone has a fantastic week! Make sure to check out the other weekly menu plans at Org Junkie!

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