Saturday, June 5, 2010

shopping list 6/6-12


Assumed Items
Olive Oil
Cayenne Pepper
Black Pepper

Aisle One
Red Roasted Peppers
Light mayonnaise
Raspberry Viniagrette dressing (for marinading)
Dijon Mustard

1 Dozen Eggs
Non-fat plain yogurt
Low fat cottage cheese
Cheddar Cheese

Chick Peas
Bread Crumbs
Elbow Macaroni
Parmesan Cheese
Canellini Beans
2 cans tuna

Veggie Tray (carrots/celery/broccoli/cauliflower – whatever fresh vegs you like)
Sweet Potatoes
Bag Salad
2 large CRISP apples
2 ribs celery
Romaine Hearts (not chopped)
Fresh Garlic
Green Onion
Red Pepper
Red Onion

Pork Tenderloin (NOT flavored)

Frozen Spinach

Tortillas or Baked Pita Wedges

What's up for June 6-12?

this weekend is speeding by again.  I think that's the norm.
Dinner this week will be fun and refreshing.  With some juggling of nights, no doubt, but here's what we've planned for you:

Sunday:  Red Roasted Pepper Hummus with Veggie Tray & Tortillas (or baked Pita Wedges)
Monday:  Horseradish encrusted Salmon with Cinnamon Sweet Potato Fries
Tuesday:  Waldorf Salad
Wednesday:  Raspberry Vinagrette Pork with Roasted Broccoli and Garlic
Thursday:  Mac & Cheese w/ spinach
Friday:  Tuna & White Bean Salad
Saturday:  Deviled Eggs.

Of course recipes and shopping list to follow.

Saturday's Greek Pinwheels - $6.21

Greek because of the Feta Cheese and black olives - these pinwheels are an absolute delight! They are healthy, they are pretty, and you an serve them as a luncheon salad accompanyment, an appetizer, or a meal! I've eaten these so many times over the past few years - they do not get old to me!

Greek Pinwheels
1/2 cup reduced fat cream cheese, softened .50
1/2 tsp dried oregano .05
1/2 cup feta cheese .99
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped finely .99
1/4 cup finely chopped black olives (drained well!).30
4 whole wheat tortillas (the healthy, high fiber, expensive ones are preferred - the cheap flour ones will sub) .40
8 ounces sliced turkey breast .99
2 cups fresh spinach leaves $1.99

In a mixing bowl, flex your muscles in your arms as you combine the cream cheese, spices, feta and black olives.
Evenly spread 1/4 of the mixture over each of the four tortillas
top each tortilla with 1/4 of the meat, then finally the spinach.
Roll up tightly, then cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate, and wait (patiently) for them to become firm enough to slice (if desired, you don't have to wait if you're only doin' this for yourself and you don't want to wait - just half and eat!)
Upon firming up in refrigerator (15 to 30 minutes), slice into six or so pieces, plate beautifully, and endulge.

Cream of Pea Soup- take two-Walgreens version

So I know I allready made a version of this soup a few months back(Jan or Feb) and it involved many "soup base" items like potatoes, carrots, celery, which obviously when cooking from Walgreens that isnt happening, so the challenge at times is to be able to create something that tastes good without the obvious items.
, so

I wasnt planning on a 85 degree June day to make soup, but while waiting for a perscription and my son and neice were debating which rubberband braclettes to purchase with their $2.00(in change I might add), I perused the staple food aisle at Wags. Staring me in the face was the canned peas, and I thought instantly of Pasta Carbonara with Peas, but I want to save that for a night when Michael is home, and tonight he had a baseball playoff game. I spotted the chicken broth next, and it hit me how much my brother likes cream of pea soup, and I didnt look any further.

I grabbed 2 cans of peas, a can of chicken broth. I had at home all the spices I could need and if I decided to make the soup non vegan, I had bacon left over from my bacon wrapped dates.

Upon examing my spiced, I decided to use dried onion, garlic salt, pepper, and the bacon was a go go.

I thought all and all the soup came out good.

ingredients and recipe:

2 cans canned peas $3.98

1 can chicken broth .99

1 tsp dried onion

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp black pepper

2 strips of bacon

1 tsp olive oil

cook bacon in skillet, discard 3/4 bacon grease
in soup pot add all ingredients, including bacon and grease
heat on medium for 15-20 minutes, stirring so nothing sticks to bottom of pan
remove from heat, let cool 10 minutes
pour entire content of soup pot in food proccessor or blender
blend until smooth and creamy
pour back in soup pot and heat another 10 minutes


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bruscetta with Mushrooms and Peas $2.39

When one thinks of bruscetta, they usually think of bread with tomato, basil, garlic and olive oil, well truth is, Bruscetta is actually toasted bread(usually Italian) with garlic and olive oil. The topping doesnt necessarily have to be tomato, it can be spinach, mushroom, beef, liver etc.....I always try to make my toppings healthy because basically bread isnt "healthy" esp white bread, it is just a carb, so what I top the bread with, provides all the nutrition. I could probably come up with a bruscetta a week, but that would mean me eating lots of bread a week, because anyone that knows me, knows I cant resist bruscetta of any kind.
A friend recently served this at a party, and I liked them so much, I wanted to make them myself

ingredients for bread:
8 thinly sliced Italian bread .40
1 tblspoon olive oil .15
1 small garlic clove minced .10
in small bowl combine olive oil and garlic
with a brush, brush on olive oil to bread
bake at 300 until bread is crisp

In meantime
1 cup frozen peas .40
1 cup button mushrooms sliced..99
1 tablespoon olive oil .15
1 small garlic clove .10
salt and pepper .10
heat olive oil in skillet on low add garlic, saute for 5 minutes
add mushrooms and peas, saute 10 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste

top toasted bread with mushroom pea combo and enjoy!!

Field Green Salad with Apple, Almonds and Gorgonzola $4.78

The trouble with this blog is Kim and I made a few promises, and one of them was to stay under $70 a week to feed a family of 4 dinner(healthy, delicious dinners-that is) and the other was to create 365 unique different meals. Well, the $70 budget has proven to be a peiece of cake. Our meals for 7 days have been hovering around costing between $30-$45 a week, thats around $5-7 a day to feed 4 people(and lots of times wth leftovers) Wow, even we think that is amazing. The "unique" meals is also not an issue, except sometimes both of us like something so much, we want it more then once in a year. I dont think either of us would ever tire of mixed field greens crumbled bluecheese. Since we have allready done this salad with pears, cranberries and walnuts, we changed the lineup to apples and almonds, but kept in the field greens and bluecheese. Field greens could easily be substituted for spinach leafs, as could the cheese be replaced with feta or even parmegiano, but for me tonight I am sticking with the field greens and blue cheese. I love the combo with the fruit and the nuts.

1 lb bag mixed field greens $1.99
1/2c bluecheese crumbled .99
2 apples, sliced thinly, skin on .50
1/2 c sliced almonds .80
1 small red onion sliced thinly .20
1 cup raspberry vinegrette .30
salt to taste

toss ingredients in a big salad bowl, toss in dressing add salt to taste and serve

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pizza Stuffed Burgers $3.49

My niece, who is 14 now, and my nephew, who is 16 now, have been making these for themselves for several years now. They are really that simple! I remember having pizza burgers in school as a kid - I didn't like them back then - there was ALWAYs this orangish red grease that came darting out of the burgers whenever I bit into them. It was so gross. I don't think that will be a problem any longer as we're using WAY better ingredients than they did in the Loganville Elementary School 20 plus (and that's a BIG PLUS) years ago.

you'll want to be sure to have fresh ground beef (or turkey) for this masterpiece - previously frozen hamburger WILL NOT work as the tallows don't thaw right, and will not hold together right - a VITAL part of making such a thin burger patty. In this instance you can use the lean or even extra lean ground beef - sometimes it too doesn't stick together, but these super thin patties will require a lot of "working", so the meat will come together and hold it's shape, so feel free to treat yourself to 93% lean ground sirloin!

Pizza Stuffed Burgers:
1 lb to 1 1/2 lbs Extra Lean Fresh Ground Beef (or turkey - I used turkey)$2.29
3/4 cup pizza sauce .40
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella.50
4 -8 slices of pepperoni (optional!).30
buns if desired, I prefer mine open-faced

divide meat into four portions. Divide each portion into two equal portions. now you're dealing with 1/8th of a pound - 2 ounces - of meat. Not alot, so work it well - mash it, pat it, squish it, toss it, do what you need to get it to stay in a ball form - then on a piece of waxed paper, flatten (do NOT punch holes in it) into a patty that is about 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick. Repeat with other 2 ounce portion of meat - set it on the waxed paper next to it's partner. Now you have one burger prepped. Repeat three (or six depending on how you look at it) more times to make 8 super thin burger patties.
On one half of the perfectly matched pair put 1 tbsp pizza sauce and 1 tbsp mozzarella sauce (and if you want, one or two slices of pepperoni). Top with the "cover" and seal the edges by pinching them together and smoothing around the edges. Repeat to make four burger patties.

Place on hot grill, cook four minutes on each side (these are THIN, watch them close) - or pan fry in a hot frying pan sprayed with cookign spray for six minutes per side over medium heat UNTIL DONE. (don't use a George Foreman or Panini Press type grill - these burgers don't need that multi-directional pressure!)

Top each burger patty with another 1 to 2 tbsp sauce and 1 tbsp mozzarella. you can also add any other pizza toppings you want right here - like black olives, put them under the cheese, like pepperoni, throw more on, like peppers, onions, etc... you can see where this is going. Basically, I want you to make a small pizza on top of the pizza burgers - return to pan to melt the cheese, but not much more.

If desired, put on a bun, else Plate and Eat! with a side of steamed veggie of choice - vegetable normandy would be perfect with this!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Spinach Lasagna $8.31

Heres a classic that I Never make. I grew up in a household where box noodles were unheard of, and I have lots of memories, great memories, of lasagna made with homemade noodles. I am not a paitient cook, or a cook with lots of time, so the idea of mixing the flour and egg to the right consistency, and then ofcourse rolling it out with the pasta maker, and hoping that the dough wouldn't stick....which it usually does, when you aren't a seasoned noodle maker, never appealled to me. So I just enjoyed eating my grandmothers, my moms, my aunts, my sister-in-laws homemade lasagna, and never ventured into the lasagna making arena. That changed today. I did my usual shopping at Aldi, but bought my noodles at the local big chain store because my Mom says Barilla is the best substitute for hers. Aldi does carry lasagna noodles as well, but I thought Mom might like it better if I used Barilla.

Ingredients - Lasagna for 8:

1 1/2 - 26 oz jars Good Quality Meatless pasta sauce (4 1/2 cups)(I love Aldi Marinara) $1.19

12 lasagna noodles (cook 14 in case they break)$1.99

1 lb cottage cheese $1.19
5 egg whites .40
1 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning.15
1 1/2 tsp Fresh Basil leaves, chopped .30
1 1/2 tsp parsley .15
10 to 16 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained (even squeezed dry)$1.19
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese .30
2 tsp garlic powder .10
a few sprinkles of bread crumbs.05

1 cup mozzarella cheese$1.30

pour 1 1/2 cups Marinara sauce in bottom of sprayed 9 by 13 baking dish
Layer as follows:

  • 4 noodles
  • 1/3 of the cheese/spinach mix (then a dusting of bread crumbs)
  • 1/3 of the remaining sauce
  • 4 noodles
  • 1/2 of the remaining cheese/spinach mix (then a dusting of bread crumbs)
  • 1/2 of the remaining sauce
  • 4 noodles
  • remaining cheese/spinach mix (then a dusting of bread crumbs)
  • remaining marinara
Cover with aluminum foil and place in oven for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove foil and spread one cup of mozzarella cheese on top of dish. Return to oven for 10 to 15 minutes to make cheese very melted.
LET COOL at LEAST 10 to 15 minutes (up to 25 minutes) to allow it to cool, thicken, and "set".

Serve with another family or plan for leftovers - this dish serves about eight people...and goes well with a salad.

Get ready folks. This amazing dish, made with 1% cottage cheese blended, spinach, only 12 lasagna noodles, and egg whites, not yolks - and no meat - packs the following:

1/8th of the 9x13 pan is...
336 calories, 48 carbs, 25 protein, and only 5 grams of fat - and five grams of fiber as well!. THAT'S FANTASTIC for a traditional food like this!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Bacon Wrapped Prunes $2.00

What to make for an appetizer for a BBQ on a rainy Memorial Day ? I started to thumb through one of my food magazines and found this recipe, and thought it would be easy, and unique. I keep finding recipes that involve Bacon and something sweet, kindof the sweet and savory concept. There are a ton of chocolate companies combining chocolate and bacon, so I think prunes would be a nice combo. Kim didnt think so, but they were a big hit at our memorial day BBQ. Not only that, I gave Michael the assignment to make them, and he did, and when you see how "complicated" the recipe was, you will oh so impressed!

20 prunes .20(handsdown, best deal in town from walgreens)
20 strips of bacon $1.80
20 toothpicks

take slice of uncooked bacon, place prune on one end, and roll up bacon, wrapping the prune with bacon, secure close with the toothpick.
bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until bacon is crisp

Michael was very proud of his appetizers.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Summer fav - Cold Veggie Pizza

So when I think of pizza, I don't think of cream cheese/sour cream sauce, and I DO think of cheese - so this "pizza" brings you the first, and none of the second! It's kind of a barbeque favorite for those who are trying to pack as many veggies in as possible. OF COURSE, the cream cheese/sour cream ON A CRUST OF CRESCENT ROLLS means the veggies are kinda "lost" nutritionally, but what the heck, this is the first of three big American Holidays, and that means we gotta endulge a bit, right?
I did alot of looking for this recipe - well, I looked at a lot of recipes that were all the same - mayo, cream cheese, and a package of Hidden Valley Ranch Ranch dressing mix. OK, I'm NOT going that route. I remember garlic and onion - mostly I remember the creamy goop holding the veggies on - who doesn't want to hang on to crescent rolls for dear life? I hope we like my new version!

Cold Veggie Pizza
2 8 oz packages Reduced Fat Crescent Rolls

8 ounces low fat cream cheese .49
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream .45

1 tsp onion powder.05
1 tsp garlic powder .05
1 tsp Italian Seasoning .05

1/2 to 1 cup EACH tiny broccoli flowerettes, tiny cauliflower flowerettes, diced carrots, diced red (or yellow) peppers, sliced green onions, (halved?) grape tomatoes, sliced black olives (OPTIONAL)

open crescent rolls, but DO NOT seperate into individual rolls, rather, lay two big "sheets" directly from can side by side on a 11 by 13 size baking sheet - press all the seams together to make into one gigantic sheet (covering most of the pan).
Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes until fully cooked (it's not going back in the oven, so it should be done cooking!)
While baking, mix the cream cheese, sour cream, onion pwdr, garlic pw.dr & Italian seasoning together.
When crust is fully cooled (as in an hour later) spread the THICK cream cheese mixture on the crust, then decorate with veggies! You can use whatever veg appeals to you - I've listed the most common above.
Return to refrigerator, and slice into 24 pieces just before serving.

This makes 24 servings, and each is just under 100 calories. Well worth it - if you can stop at one square.

Grilled Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms $6.41

I love grilling giant portabella mushrooms. Add a touch of balsamic vinegar and oil before you begin and they are seriously out of this world. Another night we'll have them this way, but for tonight we're gonna spice
'em up a bit for the big holiday weekend:

Grilled Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms
1 large portabella mushroom $2.99
1 cup diced fresh tomatoes (canned can sub).50
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (1 tbsp dried if fresh isn't available) $1.00
4 cloves garlic (a GOOD tablespoon if jarred minced) ,30
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese .40
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary .10
1 tsp olive oil .10
1 tsp balsamic vinegar .10
1 tsp lemon juice .02

Fire up the grill (or the broiler)
combine the tomatoes, basil, garlic, and mozz. cover and refrigerate.
combine the olive oil, balsamic vin, and lemon juice
with a spoon, scoop the "fins" out of the mushroom cap, remove/discard stem
baste the olive oil etc. mix on the mushroom caps and place, scooped out side down on the grill
after five minutes, flip, and after 3 or four minutes divide the tomato mixture into four and place in "caps", and close grill. allow another 3 or so minutes under cover, then open, remove, and serve.

some may like this with a crusty (grilled?) bread, good olive oil, and shredded parmesano'. As I'm trying to do it as a "light' dinner with very few carbs, I'll pass and eat it with a knife and fork, iced water, and good company!

shopping List May 30-June 5


     tortillas, cream cheese, dried oregano, feta cheese (sub mozz if not available), black olives, turkey deli meat (or canned Salmon can work too), and fresh spinach leaves (?).

Assumed Items
Minced Garlic
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar

Aisle One
Dill weed
Garlic salt
Almonds, slivered or sliced
Black olives

Mozzarella Cheese (the big bag! – at least four cups)
2 packages (8) crescent dough in a tube (like Pillsbury – reduced fat if available)
Sour cream (reduced fat)
12 oz light cream cheese (whipped could work)
Ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)
Gorgonzola Cheese (can sub blue cheese)
Feta Cheese crumbles

lasagna noodles
A good marinara sauce
Pizza sauce (can sub marinara)
Crushed pineapple

Big Portabella Mushroom Caps
Fresh Basil
2 carrots (or 15 baby carrots)
Fresh broccoli
Green onion
2 Red pepper (or other colors)
Granny Smith Apple (or a pear)
Salad in a bag
Romaine Lettuce (for a big salad)
2 cups baby spinach leaves
Jalapeno pepper
Fresh White Button Mushrooms
Baby Bella Button Mushrooms

Ground beef, extra lean
Sliced pepperoni (optional!)
Sliced turkey deli meat

Frozen spinach
Frozen veg of choice
Chicken tenderloins or 20 ounces chicken breast
Frozen Broccoli
Frozen Peas

4 (8 inch) Whole Wheat Tortillas
Bruschetta Bread (French Bread for slicing)
White Cooking Wine
1 box chicken broth

Salmon Patties and Pinapple Mandarin Orange Salsa $5.09

Sunday morning has become the highlight of my "shopping week". First thing I do is grab Sunday paper and comb the ads. Walgreens is my first stop because they have so many great buys and now I feel a further challenge to create recipes. I also have a new rule in my town that I dont drive unless I have to. Exhaust from cars is too damaging to the enviroment, and gas is oh so expensive, and not to mention traffic is tremendous where I live, so consequently, when I can walk or bike to destinations, I do. Walgreens is a 10 minute walk or 3 minute bike ride.

First item I spotted of interest was canned salmon, 15 ounces for $1.99, wow!! thats a steal. Limit 3, so I bought 3, even though I only used one tonight. It was 85 degrees today, and we are definitely grilling. Salmon Patties sounded perfect- loaded with vitamins, omega 3's, easy and cheap. I decided to go with a fruit topping vs a condiment, which would have b .1een an easy go to- mayo, mustard, salsa. Pinapple and mandarin sounded tropical, and refreshing. s
OK, so Im not really working with any "fresh"hebs or produce to make this salsa, but any professionally bottled salsa is usually not produced with fresh produce, and not only that, it is boiled to 400 degrees to secure againsted botulism.
For the Salsa
1 cup mandarin oranges(cut in smaller peices) .50
1 cup pinapple(cut into smaller peices) .99
1/4 cup diced tomatos(drain diced tomto can, and only use tomato peices, no sauce).89
1/4 tsp parsley.05
1/4 tsp lemon juice.10
combine all ingredients
For Salmon Patties
1 can Salmon $1.99
1/2 cup bread crumbs(bake two peices ww bread until crisp, and then blend to crumbs).20
1 egg .12
1 tsp parsley .15
1 tsp garlic salt.15
1 tsp paprika.15
combine all inredients and mix in food processor, blender or with a fork
mix until smooth
form into four patties
cook in frying pan-1 tblspoon canola or olive oil
heat skillet on medium, add oil, place patties gently in pan(they are not as sturdy as ground beef or ground turkey)
cook on both sides for 5 minutes or until golden brown
if grilling, place in foil, and grill on both sides for 5-10 minutes
remove and serve with salsa