Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sunday's Chicken Panini Sandwich

Chicken Panini Sandwich

4 chicken breasts thinly sliced
roasted red peppers in jar
fresh spinach
shredded or sliced mozzarella

sliced bread (preferably wheat, wholegrain, or rye) - we're using Aldi's hoaggie rolls.

season chicken breast with salt and pepper then saute or bake until cooked thoroughly.  (if your chicken is cooled because you cooked it earlier or bought ready-to-go chicken you should reheat it - panini's need warm chicken!).

Barbara says to saute spinach in pan with olive oil on low heat. add salt.  Kim prefers to keep the spinach only SLIGHTLY wilted, so she uses fresh spinach and just lets it wilt when the panini is cooking.

Place cooked chicken breast on bread, top with spinach (done your way), roasted red pepper and mozzarella, top with breadslice.  Place on a hot panini maker and cook for 30 seconds, or place in a slightly greased, or sprayed with cooking spray, hot, lidded frypan and heat over low heat, until cheese is melted.

serve with fruit, preferrably fresh (grapes!) and pretzels if you have them in your pantry.

Before I got my Panini maker (Walgreens, $15 range a year or so ago!) I used my stovetop grill pan and it's cover - got the cover hot by setting it on the grill pan then quickly lifting it, inserting the sandwich, then placing the HOT cover onto the sandwich (cooking on top and bottom) ... Since I like the "lines on both sides" of my panini, I would spray the top of the sandwich with cooking spray about 1/2 way thru the cooking and flip it over ... JUST as easy to do it this way, and you don't have to store the panini press - but if you got the toys, you might as well play with them! 
If you have neither a stovetop grill pan nor a panini press, think "grown up grilled cheese" and cook in a frying pan.
You could also use the George Forman grill if you prefer.
Brought to you by the Fit, Fast & Frugal Foodies



Feel like getting all the weekend cooking out of the way at once?  This is a great mix ahead casserole type dish that is good with company - it's like pizza, so what's not to love!  In fact, my Mom says she used to eat this dish at Pizza Hut in Baraboo, WI about 30 years ago.  It's been a family favorite for more than 25 years!


3 c. uncooked pasta - any shape, many shapes if you got 'em
4 oz. sliced pepperoni - quartered (turkey pepperoni if you got it)
1 small can mushrooms - drained
1/2 c. sliced black olives - if you like 'em.50
1 medium onion.20
1 jar (15.5 oz. approx.) "spaghetti" sauce - marinara, cheese flavored, whatere' you got!
1 6oz can tomato paste.39
1 8 oz can tomato sauce.49
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese.50
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese$1.10

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cook pasta per package directions until al dente' - slightly crunchy.  Drain.
Meanwhile, put remaining ingredientes EXCEPT mozzarella cheese in large bowl and mix well.  Add cooked pasta and mix again.  Place mixture in a large baking dish (9X13 works well - as would your favorite round or square!) or four - six individual casserole dishes. 
Bake covered with foil at 350 degrees until bubbly - approx. 50 minutes - depends on size of casserole dish!  Remove from oven, Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.  Return to oven until cheese melts - approx. 10 minutes.

toss together a salad, set the table, enjoy some wine and ring in the new year with company - that's what the Heron family is doing!

This recipe can be made a day or two in advance - longer if you can freeze and thaw prior to baking.  You can also "stretch the recipe" by adding more pasta and, if you have it, more pepperoni

Lazy Day Turkey Chili


1 lb ground turkey
16 - 24 ounces mild (or medium or spicy) salsa
1 medum onion diced
1 16 oz can light kidney beans drained
1 packet chilli mix

brown turkey on medium heat wth a tablespoon or two extra virgin olive oil or canola oil. Place all ingredients in crockpot for 4 hours or on stove medium heat for 20 minutes.

Remember, chili always enhances with time, so the earlier in the day you knock this off your to-do list, the better!
Also, if you want, you can serve with a nice slice of cheddar cheese or a sprinkle of cheese on the chili - my daughter also loves sour cream on her chili!!  and no doubt, my husband will dash it up with some tobassco.  Enjoy - and happy new year!

January 1-9 shopping list, Everything on list purchased at Aldi


Fast, & Frugal By: Fit, Foodies

January 1-9, 2010


Fresh Pork chops – enough for your family
Fit & Active Ground turkey – 18 ounces
Frozen Chicken Tenders 2.5 lb. bag
Frozen Medium sized Shrimp – 1 bag
4 Individually quick frozen Salmon fillets

Fruits & Vegetables
Kidney beans (16 ounce can)
Small can mushrooms
Tomato sauce ($.25 size)
Tomato paste ($.40 size)
Black beans

Fresh Pears (your choice of fruit here!)
Fresh mushrooms (sliced if available)
Onions (red, yellow, your choice on which kind)
Fresh peppers, green or colored if you choose
Baby Spinach leaves
Salad greens – romaine hearts or your choice
Potatoes (1 med. per person)
Sweet Potatoes (1 med/large per person)

Fresh or Frozen Broccoli- your choice
Fresh or Frozen Cauliflower – your choice

Frozen Green beans
Frozen Peas

1 c. shredded cheddar
4 c. shredded mozzarella
1 dozen eggs
Pepperoni – 8 ounce “pillow pack”

Frozen Goods – non meat
Oriental Stir Fry Mix (we choose teriyaki)
Cheese Ravioli – 1 box

16-24 ounce jar salsa (not fresh)
1 envelope chili mix
Hoaggie rolls or other bread for Paninis
1 box pasta – mixed shapes if available
1 reg. Jar marinara or other flavor pasta sauce
Roasted Red Peppers
Bread Crumbs (you’ll need about 1 cup)
1 pkg. wild rice mix … we found Uncle Ben’s!
Marinated artichokes – 1 jar
Approx. 8 inch tortillas – about 5

January 1-9, 2010 menu

Ah, what to eat, what to eat...
And so begins our menu planning for the new year!

January 1 - 4 ingredient chili
January 2 - Cavatini & salad
January 3 - Chicken Panini sandwich, fruit
January 4 - Salmon, roasted potatoes, green beans
January 5 - Parm. encrusted Pork Chops, Broccoli, rice
January 6 - Oriental Stir Fry w/ Shrimp
January 7 - Ravioli al Forno
January 8 - Home breaded Chicken Tenders - fast food substitute
January 9 - Veggie Rollups

I'll attach the shopping list by category via a printable page, I hope!
Brought to you by the Fit, Fast & Frugal Foodies

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

7dinners70dollars is here

Barbara and I have entered a new challenge - we're gonna help you get dinner on the table for $70 per week.  Dinner of course is not the meal you serve in the evening, it's the biggest meal of the day.  Somedays you might be joining us for brunch, lunch, or the traditional "supper" meal ... whatever time of day, we want you to enjoy good, healthy, food, prepared quickly and with minimal ingredients ... but best of all, we will do our best to bring it to you for less than $70 per week.  Thank goodness for Aldi!

Today was our first shopping trip.

Soon I'll post the first week menu, the first week shopping list, and the first week shopping results.  We'll also try to squeeze in the nutritional for nearly every meal.  For now, let's just say we did it ... and it was fun.