Saturday, May 15, 2010

Menu for May 16 to 22 $43.91

Sunday I am running/ran a half marathon in Green Bay Wi. Love running there - touching the tundra (OK, it's May, so it's actually just grass, but as a Packer Fan I'll always think of it as the hallowed grounds of Lambeau field!). Now it's time to move on to my next goal.

I'm doing so well at eating healthy while eating thrifty. Now I have to eat less and take care of a couple extra pounds before bikini season rolls any closer.... of course Barbara comes to my house with many many favorites, though, so she's just gonna challenge me with portion size issues to start off! So long as I burn more calories than I take in, I'm free to eat a bit of most anything...

Try some of these on for size:

Sunday: Turkey and Cheese Panini with a side of pasta salad(Walgreens)
Monday: Roasted Whole Chicken, Brocolli, and Broiled Potatoes
Tuesday: Salad Nicoise
Wednesday: Shrimp Fajitas
Thursday: Chicken Enchiladas
Friday: Goat Cheese (or Feta) Pizza with Carmalized onions and Cilantro
Saturday: Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Pancakes with Sausage (Walgreens Meal).

Cinnamon Steusel Coffee Cake $2.92

My Aunt Mary, who is an excellent baker, made this coffee cake for a party at my parents a few months ago. It was awesome... AND, you can get everything to make this fairly healthy, as coffee cakes go, for less than you can buy a whole ready made coffee cake at pretty much any store. and the kids will feel great that they helped make it. or the in-laws will be impressed with your ability to bake something cool like this! It's Grandmotherly too.

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake
Combine in large bowl
2 c. flour .39
1 1/2 cup Sugar .45
1 tsp baking powder .05
1/2 tsp salt .02
1/2 tsp cinnamon.05

Combine is separate bowl:
2 eggs beaten (1/2 cup egg substitute) .16
1 c reduced fat sour cream .45
1/2 c vanilla yogurt .45
1/2 c butter, melted .30
1 tsp vanilla .10

Stir dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just moistened

Spoon one half the batter into a sprayed 9X13 pan. Sprinkle with one half the streusel, top with remainig batter then rest of streusel.

Streusel Topping
1/2 c packed brown sugar .15
1/3 c flour .10
2 T butter, melter .20
1 t cinnamon .05

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Horseradish Encrusted Tilapia $3.16

Nutritional Value:
FISH: 209 calories, 10 carbs, 6 fat, 32 grams protein
ASPARGUS: 75 calories, 7 carbs, 5 fat, 3 protein


I Love Horseradish! Ive loved it since I discovered sushi back in college. Because I love anything with a strong flavor that is generally hot and can open up my tastebuds as well as my nostrils(hey, sorry to be so grafic but a bite of horseradish, even a small bite, can get my nose a runnin.) It feels good though, and consequently, it was thought of in the olden days and maybe even now by some homeopathic believers to be a medicinal(big word huh?)cure to exude toxins from the body when eaten. A teaspoon of horsradish can open up the sinus cavity quicker then any pill form and it is certainly all natural coming from the radish family. Infact as far as nutrients, horseradish contains more vitamin C then any other vegetable, including brocolli. Horseradih is also rich in calcium and sulfer and has been known to treat diabetes.
Our crust for the fish was very basic, but there are lots of ways to alter this recipe to enhance or accent the horseradish flavor. Clearly the horseradish is a strong flavor and will over power the others, but it could be made more subtle with the addition of other ingredients. Kim and I cooked and dined together today and she couldnt be a better partner in the dinner challenge, because she is just like me. We dont freak if we dont have an ingredient, we are great at improvising and we have gotten good at figuiring out what ingredients would go together. Oh, and we know how to keep fat and colories down, do it quick and ofcourse cheaply. Heres our version of Horseradish Encrusted Fish(any fish will do- Tilapia, Orange Roughy, Whitefish, even Salmon)
4 Tilapia Filets $2.64
1 tsp horseradish .10
1/2 tsp dried parsley .05
1/4 cup bread crumbs .10
1/8 tsp garlic salt .02
1/8 paprika .02
1 egg white .08
1/4 tsp butter .10
1/4 lime or lemon.05

set oven to 350
combine all ingredients other then fish,butter and lemon or lime. mix well
spread top of each fish evenly with mixture
place on baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until flakey
remove from oven, pour melted butter evenly on each fish, squeeze with lemon or lime and place under boiler for 1 minute
take out and serve

I loved the fish, and am definitely making it again. I will change the recipe oh so slightly and omit egg next time and include dijon mustard, or maybe lowfat mayo, or possibly a combo of both. Cant wait for next go at it!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sweet Potato Chips $1.55

I set out tonight to make sweet potato fries for Joe and myself... Kids aren't so fond of them - they got green beans and pretzels. Then I realized I needed to have dinner on the table in 20 minutes - scratch that, no time for those delicious dices of potatoes to appropriately cook (I could have microwaved the pieces (on baked potato setting), then broiled them as normal, but even that seemed to take too long).

AH HA! Time to once again crave the only kitchen tool I really don't have... the mandolin - NO, NOT the stringed instrument - goodness knows I have enough noise around the house! NOT another "instrument" instead I've longed for a GOOD mandolin - an adjustable slicing "tool". This is what you really need to make homemade chips. It's not really a "typical" kitchen tool, but i really want one... well, not "one", but a "good one!". I want a good, sharp, washable, sturdy mandolin, and I can't afford one right now, and thus I don't have one, and I probably won't have one anytime soon.

So, I peeled my sweet potato (about 2 inches in diameter and 7 inches long - that's enough for two people), then tried my darnedest to slice it into as thin but uniform thickness slices as I could achieve, tossed those thin slices with 2 tsp of olive oil and a couple grinds of sea salt and threw them in the oven (on the DARK cooking sheet) for about 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes. Crunchy, NO, done, yes. Yummy, YES, I thought so. As they sit around waiting for Joe to get back home they are actually getting crunchier.

Give 'em a try, and tell me how you did. I'm looking forward to trying again and again until I perfect the crunch

what you need-

4 medium size sweet potatoes $1.25

tablespoon olive oil, or canola oil .20

salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika(or spice you may like to try, so many different flavors work with sweet potatoes) .10

Boca Burgers $5.38

Boca Burgers - not really a veggie burger, these are soy protein patties that are actually quite tasty.

OK, so Barbara and I have put together a very balanced dinner menu for you when you access each week on a whole. If you are intelligent about your portion size ... and don't eat twice your normal portion, you've likely had good luck with most of the foods we offer up. Barbara and I are both very consciencous of what we put in our bodies ... we do eat entirely differently - Barbara eats no poultry, beef or pork meat - I eat as much protein from poultry as my palate can handle! I eat as much fish and seafood as the menu dictates (or less), and Barbara supplements the chicken with additional fish from time to time... regardless, on our dinner blog we're both super aware of the nutrional value of what we throw into the menu mix. We're not crazy about organics, and we totally love frozen foods ... of course we LOVE farm fresh or "local" produce, and will recommend you get to the farmers market or farm evey week this summer ... but dinner is only one meal of the day. What are you putting in your body the other three or four meals of the day. You better tell me you're eating them. Not eating meals is the surest way to sabotage any successes you've had with weight loss!

This "burger" is a start to eating healthier throughout the day. This is such an easy burger to throw on the grill or on the panini press or George Foreman and then enjoy re-heated the next day for lunch at the office. Here's what we did...

Boca Burgers - grilled per package - about 8 minutes total.
Thomas's "Everything" Bagel Thins (110 calories, 24 grams carbs, 5 grams fiber, 6 grams protein... really yummy taste!)
Thin spread of yellow mustard (or red pepper hummus).

make into a burger, eat...

4 boca burgers $3.49
4 buns .89
tomato .40
lettuce .10
condiment of choice .40

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wednesday's Rib Eye Steak, Veg of choice, and Garlic Bread $12.55

tis time for steak again! We haven't had steak in weeks, maybe months. Of course we're dealing with that whole where to buy it thing again - but remember, we can't keep every meal below $10...if you have to spend $20 on steaks for the four people, it's really not the end of the world for a great piece of meat. Besides, if you ate our menu so far this week, you've spent about $15 total on the pizzas, farfalle-beans & spinach, and last night's salad!

Rib Eye Steak
keep it simple -
4 5-7 ounce steaks Rib Eye, Delmonico, Filet Mignon, any piece of meat that meats your eye. $8.00 per lb, $12.00
Steak Seasoning of choice - we like Mrs. Dash Salt Free Grilling Blend for Steak .15
2 ounces blue cheese .30
splash of balsamic optional .10

Steaks cook best when thoroughly thawed and even brought to room temperature for 1/2 hour before being grilled or broiled. We'll be broiling unless the weather improves. The time under the broiler depends, of course, on your taste and the thickness of the steak. Assuming your steak is about 1 inch thick, it will take about 4 to 7 minutes per side - medium rare to well. I don't recommend anyone eat their steaks Rare anymore unless you personally know the beef grower and more importantly the beef butcher/butchering facility. When the steak has about 1 minute left, pull it out of the broiler top each steak with 1/2 ounce blue cheese, and return to broiler for about 1 minute.

LET YOUR STEAKS SIT, under an inverted bowl, for a minimum of 1 minute up to 5 minutes before you rip into it (you know, the servers in the restaurant let your plates sit under a warming light for anywhere from 30 seconds about to 3 minutes before they even start to deliver it to your table...sometimes more... this wait time has ALOT to do with how juicy and yummy your steak is in a restaurant - you have to let it sit so the juices distribute!)

Veg of choice...
We're having some fantastic looking asparagus that my Mother-in-law picked and brought to our house for First Communion last week... it just didn't fit in the menu, unfortunately for her - yeah for me, more fresh asparagus to eat this week!

Garlic Bread ...
you can buy this fresh or frozen, you can use fresh bread and melt butter and garlic together, or you can get some other type of breadstick or fresh loaf... it's your choice, but we're recommending bread as tonight's carb. We don't do it very often, but we don't dine on steak very often either... and a big baked potato is just too much for these fit, fast, and fabulous foodies!

Southwestern Salad with Chicken, Avocado and Cilantro $5.24

Kim and I are bringing back a salad we both love and couldnt imagine not having for 10 more months! So we altered it, maybe even healthed it up a bit more, and truthfully it is such a versatile salad, I am sure it might be back one more time, with new additions to it. In this creation of ours we have added chicken and avocado, which will up the protien in each serving because of the chicken and the super food - avocado will add plenty of omega 3 to the mix. We also changed the flavor slightly by adding a hit of cilantro to the dressing.

What you will need:
1 lb rommaine lettuce .65
1 cup black beans .30
1 cup red pepper(or orange if that is all you got, as what was the case for me)$1.25
1 cup frozen or canned corn .25
2 cups shredded chicken $1.40
1 ripe avocado diced .99
1/2 cup tortilla chips chopped up in small pieces.15
1 cup southwestern dressing(1 cup ranch dressing, 1 tablespoon taco seasoning and 1 tablespoon cilantro finely chopped) .35

season chicken with salt and pepper and place on baking sheet, bake for 15 minutes on 350, or until fully cooked
In meantime wash and chop rommaine lettuce into bitesize pieces
toss in large bowl with peppers, corn, beans
when chicken is cooked, remove from oven and sred in bitesize pieces
add to salad
add chips(optional)
toss with dressing
add avocado at the end

I opted for no chips in my salad, just to save on a bit of calories and fat, I also used orange peppers instead of red. There really are no rules in cooking. In my house, the rule is try to make it as healthy as possible and try to make it taste good. I never freakout if I am missing an ingredient, 9 times out of 10, the recipe will be fine without. I happen to have orange peppers left over from a catering job Kim and I did, and since I DONT waste anymore or do unecessary spending, I decided to use up my orange peppers and forgo buying red for this week.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pasta with Chickpeas and Spinach $6.19

Back by popular demand - Kim cannot get enough of Chickpeas!(aka garbanzo beans) This was Kims idea, and it sounded super good and unique and then by chance I looked online and there were a ton of recipes for this connoction. So once again, I am going to simplify ingredients and the cooking time. Here goes it:

2 cans chickpeas $$2.98
1 lb pasta(farfalle, penne, shells-im thinking something small would work great)$1.19
1 bag fresh spinach 10 ounces $1.89
2 garlic cloves .10
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.25
1 cup chicken broth .28
salt and pepper

Boil noodles according to instruction
in food processor place 1 cup garbanzo beans, 2 garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 cup chicken broth and salt and pepper
pulse until reletively smooth

In skillet place bean mixture over low flame, add fresh spinach and toss until spinach wilts, slowly adding the remaining chicken broth
spinach should be wilted in about 10 minutes
toss in remaining garbanzo beans
when pasta is cooked, add to the skillet and bean mixture
serve immediately

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Shopping List 5/9-5/15

Assumed Items

Olive Oil

Aisle One
Ranch Dressing
Blue Chips
Baking Powder
Brown Sugar

1 c. reduced Fat Sour Cream
½ c vanilla yogurt
½ c + 2 Tbsp. butter

2 cans Chick Peas (Garbanzo Beans)
Taco Seasoning
Rice Mix (like Rice & Broccoli)

1 bag Spinach
Romaine Hearts
Red Pepper
Sweet Potatoes

Rib Eye Steak (or cut or Beef of choice)

Chicken Tenderloins
Veg of choice
“Boca” or meatless burger patty of choice

Chicken Broth
“Hamburger” buns
Hamburger accompaniments

May 9 to May 15 $39.99

Happy First Communion to my beautiful daughter yesterday. We had such a wonderful and spiritual day! We were so touched that so many very important people to our lives shared the day with us! Thank you Thank you Thank you for coming (and for helping me!).

So, that's the why of why this blog of the menu and subsequent shopping list is coming out so very late!

Today being Mothers Day brings about another thing all together - so far it's all left overs! We'd intended for a nice breakfast, but instead feasted on leftover donuts, muffins, cinnamon rolls, cranberry bread and a slice of ham for each of us. Not gonna say much on the nutritional aspects of the day ... and not too sure it's gonna get much better. But, I am enjoying my Mother's Day, and I hope Barbara is too!

Here's what the rest of the week has in store:
Sunday: Frozen Pizza (it's leftovers for the Herons - Moms don't cook on Mother's Day!)
Monday: Chick Peas and Spinach on Farfalle
Tuesday: Southwestern Salad with Chicken, Avocado & Cilantro
Wednesday: Rib Eye Steak, Veg of Choice, Garlic Bread
Thursday: Boca Burgers on Buns, Sweet Potato Fries
Friday: Horseradish Encrusted Tilapia with Broccoli
Saturday: Coffee Cake, Eggs & Salsa (Walgreens Day)