Saturday, January 30, 2010

Monday Night Spaghetti Carbonara(bacon and egg dinner ) $3.04

This is a classic Italian dish that I can remember eating since I was a little girl. The beauty of this meal is the speed at which it can be prepared. The recipe calls for 4 whole eggs, however, I usually cut the yolks in half by using 2 whole eggs and 4 egg whites. The meal packs a ton of protein, calcium and fiber.

1 package spaghetti .99
1 cup frozen peas .50
3 slices turkey bacon .40
1 small onion chopped .25
2 whole eggs, 4 egg whites .50
1/2 cup parm cheese .40
salt and pepper to taste

Total: $$ 3.04

Cook pasta according to the directions. Three minutes before pasta is supposed to be done, add the green peas to the pot.

Meanwhile cook bacon in a large saucepan on medium- high until crispy. remove bacon from pan and discard all except 2 teaspoons of drippings. Add onion to the pan and saute for 3 minutes in the leftover drippings.

Beat eggs, drain pasta and peas, and toss beaten eggs and pasta in sautee pan with onion.

Saute for 3 minutes.

Toss with crumbled bacon pieces and cheese.

s &p to taste

My family loves spice, so we all always add red pepper flakes.

Sunday Night Chopped Salad with Balsamic Dressing $6.93

I consider myself a Salad expert. I tend to order salads anytime I eat out, and so I have become pretty good at creating interesting salad combos even at home, and in doing so, it is making me pretty nutty when eating out. I was at Panera the other day meeting a friend for lunch, and I couldnt help but total up in my head what the Greek Salad I ordered would more then likely cost me, and I came up with a probably inflated cost of $1.30, because it was even kinda of a small salad. What a great profit margin resturaunts make on salads! Hey, I understand resturaunt costs ie rent, utilities, insurance, food cost/waste, employees yada yada yada, so I undertand high costs, but that doesnt mean I have to eat out to support the cause. My "cause" is at home, paying my families expenses, which doesnt just include living expenses, but extras like travel baseball for my son, and camp for him in the summer, so I can work....If I can save money eating at home, and eating healthy as a bonus, I am so happy to be in on that!
I do love salads, but lets face it, the bulk of the meal is lettuce, and even purchasing lettuce at a chain grocery store, not on sale,(even the field greens prepackaged, cut etc...) cant cost more then $1.25 a serving! Now, I would Never, ever buy salad that wasnt on sale, and chances are with all the combinations and different ways to purchase luttuce, there is usually one type or other on sale. This week at my local grocerystore(Dominicks, Safeway) the varities of mixed greens are on sale 2 for $5.00. Not a bad price, however, Aldis everyday low price is always 1.99 per bag mixed greens, so that is a weekly purchase for me. Not everyone goes to a Aldi, lives near a Aldi, so my suggestion is to watch for specials, I will lay odds they are likely to be found.
I do usually prefer field greens, but I also like iceberg and romaine, especially served chopped. Infact, in certain salads, I like everything chopped, whether it be lettuce, vegetables, chicken, eggs, turkey, etc....the ingredients are chopped or diced up.
Sunday night will be Pizza (frozen) and chopped salad. Remember Salad fixings are a personal choice, I happen to love this combo, but all ingredients in this salad are optional.

Romaine lettuce (chopped) $ 2.49
1 medium onion(diced) .20
avocado(diced) .79
2 ounces walnut(optional) .60
1 cup cranberries $1.50
1 cup blue cheese $1.60

Balsamic dressing (my family's favorite)
1 cup olive oil .75
1/2 balsamic vinegar .40
1/4 cup honey .40
1 tblsp garlic .20
salt and pepper

Total $ 7.33

mix all ingredients in blender, food processor, or with a wisk or fork, until a smooth consistency

Toss all ingredients together in a big salad bowl and mix with dressing

Grand Total $ 44.41 week of January 24-30

BBQ chicken salad $ 3.78
Chicken Dumpling Soup $ 3.31
Swordfish $ 8.17
Chipotle Beef $ 9.66
Buffalo Chicken $ 6.89
Artichoke Spinach $ 7.61
Qusadillas $ 4.49

Fun and healthy eating week!

Saturday Quesadillas $4.49

OK, its "lazy" cook day Saturday!! I love this day, because I clean my fridge, and its kinda a free forall with food, but everyone gets a bit of freedom to decide what they want to eat. I am taking out my panini maker and tortilla, cheese, chicken, tomatos, mushrooms, spinach, and the kids can go to town. My guess is they will all go for cheese and chicken, but i will include spinach, mushrooms and tomatos in mine.
approx cost
Tortillas $ 1.29
cheese .75
chicken $ 1.25
tomatos .50
mushrooms .40
spinach .30
Total: $4.49

Here's Kim's Quesadilla pic...the other tortilla went on right after the picture

A bit different here...we finished off a little more of the Chipotle beef, which was fabulous in this quesadilla, along with some sauted peppers and onions topped with cheddar cheese ... so, if you poured all the cost into the beef, then the only cost here is the tortilla and cheese, peppers and onions.  Tortillas were $.89 in Joe's super shop, cheese we'll go with $.75 too, and peppers/onions - maybe a dollar - so $2.65 ... add a buck if you didn't expense all the meat when you first cooked it on Tuesday --- still, super super super reasonable, and you really can't buy this kind of quesidilla anywhere for that cash ... and there will still be stuff sitting in your frig when you get home from the restaurant. 

Groceries - week 5 January 31-February 6 $69.05

Shopping List for January 31-February 6

1st Aisle condiments, baking goods, etc.

Walnuts $4.99
Dried Cranberries (Optional!) $1.39
Balsamic Vinegar $2,99
Olive oil $3.99
Minced garlic $1.19
Black olives $1.19
Capers (optional)
Soy sauce $ 1.19

Bleu cheese $1.98
Milk $1.99
Eggs $1.49

1 jar Marinara sauce .99
1 can tonato sauce .39
Spaghetti pasta (for 2 meals) $1.98
Rice (white or brown, your choice) $1.39
Parmesan Cheese $2.49

Ground beef (93% lean) $2.29
Turkey bacon $1.99

Romaine lettuce (2 salads) $4.98
Onion (at least 4).99
Avocado .69
Whole mushrooms $1.39
Variety pack peppers $2.39
Potatoes (of your choosing for mashed potatoes) $2.49
Sweet Potatoes $2.49
Whole carrots $1.09

Individually Quick Frozen Chicken Breasts $6.29
White Fish (your choice – tilapia, orange roughy, white fish) $3.99
Green beans $1.19
Shrimp (can sub. Chicken if desired)$3.49
Broccoli $1.19
Peas $1.09
Total: $ 69.05

There is ALOT of this shopping list already in your pantry if you've been with us for any portion of the last five weeks - especially from last week. Please be sure to check your supplies before you head out!

We'll get you the price of everything after we've done it...for now, we'll say LESS than $70!!! :-)
Happy Shopping!

January 31 - February 6 $36.41

Week 5!  And we're not on a rotation, we're on a roll!  We're so in love with this project, we're trying so many different foods! 

Sunday – Chopped Salad (and if your family says ... Frozen Pizza) $7.33

Monday – Spaghetti Carbonara $ 3.04
Tuesday – Whitefish Merluzzo, green beans, & sweet potatoes $9.36
Wednesday – Pasta Bolognese – salad $5,68
Thursday – Shrimp (or chicken) stir fry $5.09
Friday – Chicken Kabobs, mashed potatoes $5.00
Saturday – omelet cleanup day! .91
Total: $36.41

This week we bring you some special Italian recipes in honor and tribute to a wonderful Dad that taught us the importance of family gathering together around the table and sharing family moments.  Barbara's family certainly epitomizes this togetherness virtue and celebrates his birthday for the first year with  him celebrating from above instead of the head of the table.  We all miss you Roberto!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Yes indeed, Walnuts are a super Nut!

As long as I live, I will never feel guilty about eating nuts. There isnt a nut out there, that isnt loaded with nutrition, whether it be tons of vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and more.
Walnuts are no different, infact, they top the chart in nutrition. Aside from every bite of nut packing in loads of Vitamin A, B(thiamine)fiber, protein(which is instrumental in muscle building,) there are so many more benefits to the little dynamo Nut.
The one nutrient that stands out the most is Omega 3 Fatty Acids. They have many health benefits, including aiding cardiovascular protection, assisting in better mental function, and aiding against inflamitory arthritis. Walnuts also aids in prevention against diseases like eczema, and psoriasis.
Walnuts also contain an antioxident compound that helps support the immune system and contains several anticancer properties. Anyone, like myself, that has seen the pain and horrific suffering that cancer can cause, would encourage everyone to induldge in this tiny powerful treat.
So to respond to Kims post in agreement, the walnut pesto may appear rich and or heavy, but truly a little of it goes a long way, it coats the patsa very well, and with the olive oil and spinach, also both containing omega 3's, among many other nutrients, the whole meal is gift for our bodies. I am looking oh so forward to my walnut pesto pasta meal.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Whooha!! Kim you are Amazing!!!

today, I met with my partner in crime AKA, my dinner planning partner, fellow blogger, Kim, and mentioned I would love if this blog could not only catagorize our recipes by date, but also by theme, ie chicken, fish, soup, etc... Kim, who is absolutely the techy of the two of us, said she would work on figuiring out how to do it, but it could take a while. Considering she has three young active children, a husband, and many, many activities including making dinner everynight. I figuired it would take her a few days, if not weeks, if it was difficult. Well, imagine my pleasure, when I came to the blog tonight to discover that Kim had "figuired" it out. Sure enough, if I click on chicken, or pasta out comes all the recipes we have created this month, complete with cost and pictures, and eventually nutritional.
Kim, you rock!! You always get the job done. I am allready excited to look baok at what we have made this month alone, imagine in 6 months.
Thanks Kim, you are the best.

Flexible! Nutrition on the Walnut & Artichoke Pesto

So, each week when I post the menu I encourage you to be flexible with yourself in meal preparation - switch the days as needed to ensure that this really easy, and stress reducing method of shopping works for you.  Well, swordfish and the works was not gonna work for me - I had to be to brownies by no later than 5:30... BUT, the pasta from Friday did work for us tonight... and it was so dang good I failed to take a picture of it.  SO yummy.  I'll get you some nutritional...

If you made this as I instructed, you enjoyed about 425 calories tonight, about 28 grams of fat, 35 carbs, and 13 g. of protien.  Of course, the mystery in this pesto is how much olive oil.  I did not measure, I followed the "slowly stream olive oil in until desired paste consistency" type of direction.  IF by chance I cut the olive oil by half, which is quite feasible, then the nutrional drops to under 350 calories, the carbs and protein stay the same, but that fat drops to 19 grams.  The entire difference being, of course, fat from the olive oil.

Olive Oil IS SO good for your diet ... in moderation.  This is a fabulous meal... there are ways to really lighten it up.  Everything in this meal could be tweaked a bit to make it heathier!  I could have used less parmesan cheese - less olive oil, and really, quite honestly, there is ALOT of pesto on the pasta at my house!  I made the amount of pesto directed, and only served two people, and i KNOW I have at least 1/2 of the pesto left - Joe and I loved it, but if nutrition were our number one concern, we'd have cut back on the pesto by half again...and still enjoyed a wonderful flavor.

Now, I have not mentioned at all that there is fat in the walnuts, which there certainly is, nor have I suggested cutting back on them... don't... they are really good for you, and provide some nutrients that you just don't get in good amounts everyday!  Barbara, who loves to research this type of stuff, can blog on the benefits of walnuts, I'll just tell you that in your 1/4 of a 1/3 of a cup you only got 64 calories of course almost entirely fat calories, but the benes most likely outweigh the costs!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

$.49 lettuce salad in a bag - 12 ounces no less!

ALDI ... it's the staple store - 90% of what you need, and you can't build your life around going there often in search of these "sales", but I had to go get the fish and peppers like I discussed last time.  I did it after another trip out this morning ... on the same side of "town" for me... I grabbed the Mahi-Mahi steaks (four - four oz. steaks for $4.99), and the multi-colored peppers $2.89.  Jenna wanted Bacon, and we needed milk and a few other "treats" like whipped cream and whipped cream cheese and bananas and chicken nuggets.  Anyway, while by the bacon I noticed that lettuce was $.49 per package for a 12 ounce package.  Per the bag that's enough salad for 5 people.  In my world, where I love a TON of lettuce in my salads, it'll be enough for Joe and me and the kids for dinner tonight.  I do already have lettuce in the frig, from a prior week, but as it is romaine hearts, still in the unopened package, they will keep.  Besides, I'm home for lunch each day, and in need of a few mid-day salads (I need friends to join me for mid-day salads ... ahhm). 

Anyway, I rounded out my "shopping for the week"... Joe spent $6.45, and now I spent $7.88.  So, I missed the $13 mark, and hit $14.33.  Against my goal of spending $95 or less, I think we're at $37.85.  Nice!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Grand total for week of January 17-23 $38.34

Another great week! I dont know if every week is going to come in under $ 40.00, but i can say I cant go to lunch with 3 friends and have the bill be less then $40 in one sitting. Until this "project" I would never have realized if done right, and organized how much money I could save.
the breakdown of the meals went like this:
taco bar $ 6.10
salmon $ 8.45
ham and cheese fritata $ 1.75
panzanella salad $ 4.00
lemon chicken $ 7.26
panini $ 5.80
pasta primavera $ 4.98
Its funny, when Kim and I started discussing this challenge, we were not looking for $ 5.00 meals, because we wanted to make more of a variety of foods for our family and use more exciting unique ingredients, but even in doing so we seem to be averaging between $ 5.00 and $ 6.00 meals. Its all about shopping organized, and smart and going to the bargain stores or looking for bargains. I am excited to have our first month completed and heading into our second.

Money Spent

Hey friends,
So, Barbara's blog says that we're dangerously close to the $70 limit ($62)...  I'm sorry... as I planned out them menu with the three chicken nights - one pizza, one soup, one salad, and a meatless night, and our standard fish night, and one beef night, and then the "clean up the frig" meal, I figured we'd be well under.  The chicken is $.79 per pound at Aldi, so since you're boiling it anyway, make a bigger one and have more meat, that's what I did as I actually made my soup with about a 5.5 lb bird. 

Also, you will have left overs... assuming you bought a 3 lb. roast, the average adult is suppose to eat about 4 ounces of meat ... after shrink/fat reduction in cooking, etc., your 3 lb roast will easily feed six people.

As I've blogged about before, I have a large stockpile of food that this project is helping me work my way thru.  Also, for some pretty important reasons to be revealed in the coming weeks, I'm really working hard to keep my entire grocery budget below $95.00 per week.  I'm on track so far!  Anyway, my grocery list, after weeding out what I didn't need was seven items (four of which I really doubted Aldi had anyway).  I needed the fish, the tortillas, the colored peppers, and the pitas, the chipotles, the red onion, and the ginger root (the last four which I doubted Aldi had).  So my husband, armed with his Catalina's he's earned from smart shopping at Jewel the past few weeks (blog to come about his couponing!), headed off to Jewel.  The tortillas were $.89, the pitas were expensive at $2.39, the chipotles were $1.79, and the onion and ginger were $1.10 and $.28.  I will be going to Aldi later in the week to pick up the peppers, and fish - we'll need milk again by then - every third day we need another gallon of milk!.  So, his portion of the shopping is $6.45, and I expect mine to be about the same.  That means I spent about $13.  Now, I realize that not everyone has the meats on hand... that's why Barbara let you know about the Jewel deal.    See, there is always gonna be some ebb and flow to the shopping list.  There's no way we can know what's in your pantry, and more than anything we want you to check your pantry before you shop... it's the only way to prevent the waste and overshopping that can break the budget.  Don't leave home without the following:

     1)  My shopping list I've made for you
     2)  Your "green bags", or whatever you call your reusable bags
     3)  A full stomach...

Hope you enjoyed the soup ... no complaints, and lots of compliments here in the Heron Home.

Grocery Shopping Finally Done For The Week!!

Moving into our 4th week of shopping and cooking everynight, I have to admit I have been a bit spoiled with the ease of it all, and quite pleased with the savings. Well, this week proved to be a bit more driving around then the past weeks, and definitely a bit more costly. When I realized that my grocery cart at Aldi was quickly approaching the $70.00 budget, I decided I would utilize the info that Kim gave me, and head to Jewel to get the Beef which was on sale for $2.99 a lb, and included a bag of onions, potatoes and carrots(assuming to encourage stew making), while there I picked up the chipotle pepper, gingeroot, walnuits and pita pockets.
While Aldi truly does have 90% of what I always need, admitedly by them, there may always be something they dont carry or are out of. One of the reasons thier prices are so low, is thier stores arent large like a grocery store and can only accomodate so much product. The no frills store, allows them to pass on 20-50% savings on all items. Anyway, the reason I like this "project" is because I am not having to go to multiple stores to get the shopping done, and more importantly not on multiple days as well, I have gone to one store, and life has been so much easier.
So this week, had a snafu due to budget and a few ingredients that were missing at Aldi. All in all, it took another 30 minutes out of my day, and my fridge and cuppords are stocked with cooking fixings for a whole week.

Heres the breakdown:
Aldi $ 49.65
Jewel $ 14.67
I am certain the weekly budget after meals are made will come in well under the $ 64.32 spent, simply b/c of all the excess of ingredients not being used. Not to worry, we will use them in the next couple weeks. No more waste!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Artichoke and Walnut Pesto Pasta (Friday - meatless!)

Tis Friday - let's stay home!!! 

Tonight we welcome another long-time cooking friend ;-) into our blog. 

Hello guru of fast meals, Rachel Ray!

Here's her Artichoke and Walnut Pesto Pasta direct from 365: No Repeats.

1 pound penne pasta .99

4 oz. Walnut pieces, toasted $1 25
15 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained $2.29
1 large garlic clove .25
zest of 1 lemon .05
parsley .05
1/2 cup parmesan cheese .30
coarse ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg .o5
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil .30

3 cups spinach (1/2 bag)$1.99
Total: $ 7.61
this delicious and healthy entres could easily feed 6 people. I only served 4 people and am looking forward to leftoevers today. I am just going to saute it up in a frying pan, so some of the noodles even come out crispy, and it is going to be awesome!!
cost at 6 servings is: $ 1.27 per person

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Salt the water and add the pasta - cook al dente.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the nuts, artichoke hearts, garlic, lemon zest, parsley, cheese, a couple twists of ground pepper, and nutmeg.  Pulse the ingredients until chopped.  Turn the processor on, and stream in the olive oil slowly until the pesto forms.  It should be thick and pastelike in consistency.

Place the pesto in the bottom of a large serving bowl.  Drain the pasta and add the HOT pasta to the bowl.  Add the spinach and toss to wilt the greens and evenly coat the pasta with the pesto.  Add salt/pepper to taste and serve to three of your favorite people and yourself! 

Wine of your choosing will pair nicely - as will good conversation!

Thursday's Buffalo Chicken Salad $6.89

Mmmmm, time for more heat in our tummies!

This time Buffalo style!

Buffalo Chicken Salad

1 lb chicken breasts, sliced VERY thin $ 2.30
1 sliced green pepper .20
1 sliced red, orange, or yellow pepper .25
2 cloves minced garlic (2 tsp or to taste).30
thinly sliced onion (approx. 1 large).40
Lousiana or Buffalo style Hot Sauce .20
approx. 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese .50

Salad of choice (we recommend romaine or iceberg lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and maybe olives) $ 2.49
we included a cucumber in ours .25
Total: $6.89
A dressing like ranch was optional, but other than myself, no one opted for dressing.

Saute onoin, garlic and pepper in 1 tbsp olive oil (and 1 tbsp butter if you want the flavor/richness - not essential) until very soft. Remove from pan. Spray pan with cooking spray (if necessary) and saute chicken until cooked. Drain and add hot sauce until lightly coated. Add peppers and onions and more hot sauce to taste. Cook 3-4 minutes to combine flavors then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese (maybe 1/2 cup) and cover until cheese is melted. Serve warm chicken over salad of choice with ranch dressing.

Ginger-Lime Swordfish (Wednesday) $8.17

ooo, more Jillian, this time from her website!  What better way to enjoy super healthy fish than with some vitamin and other nutrient packed sweet potatoes!  Barbara will blog like crazy about how healthy this whole meal is!!!  Meanwhile, I just rave about flavor and how inexpensive it is at the same time!!!

Ellie would declare it's the "Best of Both Worlds"!

Ginger-lime swordfish
2 tsp. grated lime rind (zest).05
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes).40
1/4 c. honey .30
2 Tbsp minced ginger root (peel ginger, then use garlic mincer),20
2 Tbsp mnced onion .15
1 Tbsp soy sauce .10
2 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves).49
4 swordfish steaks or other "thick" fillets of choice (3/4 in thick) $ 4.99
vegetable of choice .99
sweet potatoes(2) large .50
Total: $ 8.17

Preheat broiler
combine first 7 ingredients in small saucepan... heat to combine.
dip each steak into the lime mixture to coat
Place fish on broiling pan coated with cooking spray, sprinkle with fresh pepper, and broil 10 minutes or until the fish flakes when tested with a fork.

While fish cooks, reheat lime juice mixture over medium heat, cooking until reduced by half - about eight minutes.  Serve sauce with fish.

We're also featuring sweet potatoes, which you will scrub thoroughly, then microwave for about 7 - 10 minutes depending on your microwave's power.  You can either peel after cooking or serve with skins on and slice/scoop the flesh out while eating.  Don't eat the skins.  We prefer to microwave, peel, then slice.  I serve with a wonderful table seasoning salt blend from Aldi.

Lastly, we've suggested Vegetable Normandy, or other frozen veggie of choice.  Steam per directions on bag in the microwave while the potatoes are resting right before dinner is served - spritz with spray butter if your family says so.  Microwave steaming your vegetables is the best way to retain all the nutrients you can!  Fresh veggies will take about 4 minutes per pound.

I like my picture too, so I thought you might like to see another shot of how tantalizing this meal is ... Cooking is fun when you follow easy recipes for super nutritious foods!

Tuesday's Chipotle Beef $9.66

Tonight's Biggest Loser night ... let's get ready to see our friend Jillian by spicing things up with this super easy crock pot cooking meal!  Adapted from Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels.

Chipotle Beef
2.5 to 3 lbs beef chuck roast$ 3.99
1 tsp salt (or less).
1-2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 can low sodium beef broth (or 1 boullion cube & 1.5 cups water).69
1-7oz can Chipotle Peppers in Adobe Sauce $ 2.49

lettuce salad of your choosing
grand total: $ 9.66
Salt/Pepper meat, place in hot non-stick skillet and brown meat on all sides.
Put meat, beef flavoring (broth or boullion) and peppers in crockpot.  Put on low for all day or high for four hours.
Remove from spicy sauce, cool slightly, and slice against the grain into thin strips.
"Serve over lettuce for a delicious spicy salad that doesn't need dressing".
     ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
This is a spicy dish - if you are serving someone with spice aversions, like kids, you can use half a can of peppers, or you can serve the salad with either lowfat sour cream or ranch dressing on the meat.  We've enjoyed both!  Hope you do too!


Sunday's BBQ Chicken Pizza $3.78

BBQ Chicken Pita Pizza

This recipe is from one of my absolute favorite healthy eating manuals ... the Body For Life (BFL) Cookbook by Bill Phillips.  I've cooked so many super delicious things from this book, and from time to time I'll reference the BFL book!

In the book the pizza is made on a whole-wheat pita.  Since Aldi doesn't have pitas, and usually they are a touch expensive for our goal, we're subbing in a tortilla ... much thinner crust, probably fewer calories, but you can fold it over and eat it quesadilla style too!

4 individual crust things... Tortillas, pitas, or homemade mini crusts or even English Muffins $1.99
8 Tbsp (1/2 c) BBQ sauce of your choosing... .30 2 tbsp per crust
1 lb cooked chicken breast $ 2.29
4 slices red onion, diced .40
8 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped (or 1 tsp dried) .10
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded .70
Grand tota: $3.78
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Place crust on a baking sheet, spoon 2 Tbsp on each crust.  Top each crust with 4 oz. chicken, 1 slice red onion, and 1/4 of the rosemary and 1/4 cup cheese.
Bake for 10 minutesor until the cheese is melted. 
Slice, serve, and enjoy!  a 15 minute pizza!!!

We splurged at Jewel and bought Whole Wheat Pita Pockets.
We love this pizza!

Monday's Chicken Dumpling Soup (made Sunday!) $3.31

Today is one of those "plan ahead" days.  And here in Chicagoland it's cool, windy and rainy.  Emphasis on rainy and icky!  Perfect day for cooking soup!

Here's one of my friends Grandma's recipes (adapted)

Chicken Dumpling Soup

One Whole Chicken cut up, including any "innards" you got
1 large can low sodium chicken broth .69
1 large carrot .20
1 rib celery .25
1 small onion .20
fresh ground pepper
3 chicken boullion cubes (or pkgs herb-ox)

3 large carrots, cut into med-thin coins .60
3 ribs celery, cut into med-thin slices .75
3/4 medium onion - cut in medium chunks .20

In medium/large soup pot, place chicken & "parts" and broth along with 1 peeled carrot, 1 rib of celery, and small onion, each quartered.  Fill pot to the top with water - add a few twists of fresh ground pepper.  Bring to a boil, stay close and skim foam from the top.  Do not reduce heat until all foam is removed.  Then, reduce heat and add the boullion/herb-ox.  Simmer at least one, perferrably two hours.  Skim foam as needed.  Remove chicken chunks and veggies. 

Discard veggies and cool chicken so you can seperate.  Add the other veggies and simmer for one to two more hours.  Next add as much shredded chicken as you desire, I recommend part of the dark meat and one of the breasts.  Reserve the remaining meat for another meal later in the week.  (If you made too much broth for the amount of soup you desire, save it for another time when we want chicken broth!)

1/2 hour before eating (on Monday night!), combine:
3 eggs, beaten.27
1/2 c. water
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp baking powder.05
1 1/4 cups flour.10

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, water, salt, pepper and baking powder.  Then add flour until dough is very thick.  Bring soup to a boil, Heat small metal teaspoon in soup for 5 seconds, Dip spook in dumplin mix and drop about a teaspoon of dough into soup.  Continue process until all dumplings are in.  Cook about 15 minutes until dumplings are done.

     ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
If you don't like dumplings, or are pressed for time, bring soup to a boil and add Kluski noodles... they're the best in soup like this.  Cook per directions on bag of noodles.
What I really should be showing you here is an empty bowl... that's what we get at the end of one of the soup making nights!  YUMMY!

Total $ 3.31