Sunday, March 30, 2014

March 23-29, 2014

Sunday:  Beef & Broccoli Fried Rice

Beef & Broccoli Fried Rice
·          We had leftover steak from the night before, so Chad whipped up this delicious dish with the leftovers.  He stayed home with Callen from small group that evening, so he had dinner all ready when we arrived back home.  Yay!  He made basmati rice and combined it with a scrambled egg and broccoli that he had sautéed in a little peanut oil.  Then he cut up the leftover steak and tossed it in there with everything else.  I’m sure he added a few seasonings, but essentially he took meat from the night before and made it into a totally new dish for us that we all thoroughly enjoyed!

Monday:  Pad Thai Take Out

·          Chad wasn’t feeling well and really wanted spicy Pad Thai to help clear out his sinuses.  I was happy to oblige and picked us – and my mom! - up some dinner from our favorite Thai restaurant.  The kids aren’t really Thai eaters (yet!), so they had some chicken, tator tots, and fruit.  J

Tuesday:  Ommy Noms Chicken Spaghetti with Roasted Carrots and Green Beans

·          A friend on Facebook posted this recipe a few weeks ago and said her family really enjoyed it.  I love chicken spaghetti!  My favorite recipe is from my mom, and it’s an easy one to put together.  But, I was interested in this one since it has no cream soups or Velveeta in it (which I do love on occasion!).  I’ve been eating gluten free for the month of March, so I knew this one could be easily adapted for me. 

The cheese sauce is really, really delicious.  I actually might just make it again and pour it over noodles for a yummy mac-n-cheese!  I used gluten free flour and gluten free rice noodles.  I also used chicken from a CostCo rotisserie chicken. 

We had a busy day with preschool, a playdate, and t-ball practice, so I actually prepared this around 2:30 and then put it in my crock pot on the lowest setting.  When we ate a little after 6:00, it was hot and yummy!  The gluten free rice noodles actually ended up breaking apart a bit, so ours was essentially chicken and rice, but it was still so, so good!  I’ll definitely add this recipe to the “make again” pile!

Roasted Carrots & Green Beans
·          I buy the huge bag of organic, frozen green beans from CostCo.  This is really nice to have on hand for any night when you need a fast, easy veggie to go along with dinner.  I just lay them frozen on a foil-lined baking sheet and spray with a bit of olive oil.  Then I sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper or seasoned salt.  They usually take 15-20 minutes to roast at 400 degrees.  The temperature can vary between 375-425 degrees, just alter your time as well. 

Carrots are also easy.  I just peel and then slice thin whole carrots.  I roast them at the same time as the green beans.  If you leave the sticks a little big, they will take longer than a green bean or other thin veggie.  I slice ours pretty thin because they roast more quickly, and the kids like eating them like French fries.  J  With any roasted veggie, toss it around after about 15 minutes of roasting, then finish cooking until they are cooked how you like them!

Wednesday:  Taco Pockets, Spinach Salad, Beans, & Rice

·          Another Pinterest find that I thought would be tasty and easy…it was!!  This is from the Plain Chicken blog, and it should satisfy the pickiest of eaters.  It’s basically a taco biscuit, so what’s not to like?  ;-)  The boys ate theirs just like a cheeseburger.  I served a small spinach salad and beans and rice for sides.  I actually used some of the meat, rice, beans, and cheese and made a spinach taco salad for myself.  I topped it with a little salsa, avocado, and sour cream.  It was delish!

Thursday:  Leftover Night  J

Friday:  Grilled Chicken and Veggies with Bread

·          I put Chad to work on the grill this night!  I marinated chicken earlier in the day that he grilled for us.  He also just bought a new grill basket, so we threw our diced veggies in there (tossed around with a little olive oil, season salt, and pepper), which made my job even easier.  Yay!

Saturday:  Dinner with Friends

Sunday, March 23, 2014

March 16-22, 2014

Sunday:  Grilled Chicken, Veggie, and Rice Bowls

·          The night before, Chad made a delicious dinner of grilled chicken (on the bone) and roasted veggies (zucchini, sweet potatoes, onion, & mushrooms).  We had enough leftovers to make lunch out of the next day.  He stayed home from church with Ranger who has been having some asthma flare ups, so Chad prepared lunch while I was at church with Callen and Payton.  J  He warmed up the chicken and veggies in a sauce pan on the stove and made some rice.  Then he just threw it all together in one big pot!  Yum!  The flavors from the chicken and veggies were so good, that nothing else was needed!

Monday:  Honey Barbeque Meatloaf, Spinach and Apple Salad, and Yeast Rolls

·          If you’ve read this little food blog for any length of time, you’ve seen this recipe.  It’s our favorite meatloaf, and it’s a perfect quick, healthy dinner that we all really enjoy.  It only takes 5-10 minutes to put together and can be prepared ahead of time so that it’s ready to pop in the oven whenever you need it to be.  Yum!  I always substitute ground turkey for the ground beef and oatmeal for the bread crumbs.  I also add an egg.  Here’s the recipe as I make it (adapted from Can You Stay For Dinner.)

Honey Barbecue Meatloaf

1 lb lean ground turkey
2/3 cup oatmeal (old fashioned or instant is fine)
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1/2 cup smoky barbecue sauce, divided
2 tablespoons honey, divided
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, use your hands to mix together the ground turkey, oatmeal, 1 tablespoon of the Worcestershire sauce, the spicy brown mustard, 1/4 cup of the barbecue sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, egg, salt, and black pepper.
Shape the mixture into a long, thick log and place in an oiled baking dish. Be careful not to pack the meat too tightly or you’ll end up with a very dense, tough loaf.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup barbecue sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, and 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce. Spread half of this mixture evenly all over the meatloaf. Reserve the other half for serving.
Bake for 45 minutes. Slice and drizzle with reserved honey barbecue sauce.

Tuesday:   Leftover Honey BBQ Meatloaf

·          I had a ladies night out with our church, and Chad took Ranger and Callen to tball practice while Mom watched Payton (we LOVE having a third set of hands close by!).  So, leftovers for dinner was a MUST!  That’s one of the reasons I made the honey barbeque turkey meatloaf last night…it’s an excellent leftover.  J

Wednesday:  Breakfast – Cinnamon Raisin French Toast, Bacon, Eggs, & Strawberries

·          Per the usual, Chad wasn’t home on Wednesday night, so breakfast for dinner to the rescue!! 

Thursday:  Mooyah

·          Chad’s parents were with us all day, and they even offered to buy dinner!!  I had been taking care of sick kids for a week, so I happily said yes!

Friday:  Crock Pot BBQ Pork Sliders with Chips and Fruit Salad

·          I went to an essential oils class, so I wanted to have a dinner that would be easy for Chad to have with the kids that would still be good when I arrived back home later in the evening.  This is the simplest recipe ever. 

Buy a pork roast (a pork tenderloin would be fine too, but since it’s smaller, decrease your liquids and cooking time) and throw it in your crock pot.  Pour over a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce and a Coke and cook on low 8-10 hours.  The lower and slower the better for a pork roast!  When you are ready to eat it, shred it with 2 forks.  If it is a little tough, it needs to cook longer.  We served ours on whole wheat mini buns with chips and a fruit salad.  There was also plenty leftover for lunches for a few days.  Think pork BBQ nachos, quesadillas, burritos, sandwiches…whatever!  We actually think it tastes better the next day or two anyway.  J

Saturday:  Steak, Slow-Cooked Baked Potatoes, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, & Bread

·          Our friend, Scott, was over for dinner, so Chad wanted to grill.  I’ve been wanting a delicious steak for a while, so this was perfect!  Chad took care of the meat, while I made the sides in the house.  I washed potatoes, poked holes in them with a fork, wrapped them in foil, and placed them in my crockpot for 8 hours on low, and they turned out perfectly!  I also roasted Brussels sprouts and sautéed mushrooms on the stove with olive oil, butter, and a little red wine.  Add in some warm, buttered bread and we were all STUFFED!!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

March 9-15, 2014

Sunday:  Babe’s Chicken

Monday:  Mooyah

·          This wasn’t planned, but we had some car stuff to deal with this afternoon that came up very last minute.  So, on our way home we had some very hungry kids that needed dinner ASAP!  J

Tuesday:  Pioneer Woman’s Butter Chicken with Rice and Roasted Asparagus

·          This was our original plan for Monday night’s dinner, and I’m so glad I made it happen on Tuesday.  It is ridiculously good!  The chicken had been marinating since noon the day before, so the flavors had plenty of time to sink in.  The sauce on this is so yummy!  I actually didn’t put in as much chicken as the original recipe called for, so I had quite a bit of the sauce leftover.  I froze what was leftover so that I could put it on pasta or another dish later.  I will absolutely make this again!

I roasted some asparagus at 400 degrees for 15 minutes as a side dish.  Right after it was done, I poured on Aunt Suzanne’s sauce made with 2 tablespoons melted butter, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar.  So, so good!

Wednesday:  Breakfast at Mom’s

·          Chad was gone this evening, so we went to Mom’s for dinner.  Bacon, eggs, biscuits, & fruit made everyone happy.  J

Thursday:  Beef, Tomato, Mushroom & Rotini Pasta with Caesar Salad
·          This is one of our longtime favorite meals that can be thrown together very quickly.  The kids and I had gone to the park, so it was nice to have an easy and tasty meal on the table in under 20 minutes.  J

Fresh Tomato, Beef, Mushroom & Rotini Pasta

(You can easily decrease or increase this recipe.  It makes great leftovers!)

1 lb ground beef
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 c chopped tomatoes (I use the sweet cherry tomatoes)
salt & pepper
1 1/2 c uncooked pasta
fresh basil
Parmesan cheese
sliced mushrooms (optional if you like them!)

- Brown beef, garlic & mushrooms, pour off drippings
- Stir in tomatoes, salt & pepper.  Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.  Toss beef mixture and basil with pasta.  Sprinkle with cheese.

Friday:  Swedish Meatballs with Roasted Broccoli and Carrots

Swedish Meatballs
This is one of Ranger’s top 5 meals, hands down.  He LOVES meatballs!  Especially when I keep them simple and don’t make them with pasta and tomato sauce.  Chad had his fantasy baseball draft, so this meal was just for the kids and me…we all managed to clean our plates.

I’ve had this recipe for a while…I was a subscriber to E-Meals several years ago and this was one of our favorites.  It’s so easy, can be prepared ahead of time, and everyone enjoys it!  The gravy really puts this one over the top.

1 lb extra lean ground beef or ground turkey
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1/2 c bread crumbs or quick oats
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t allspice
1 pkg onion soup mix
1 c water
1 T flour
1 c milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all meatball ingredients together.  Form into 1″ balls.  Place in 9x13 pan and bake for 30 mins.  In large skillet, mix together the onion soup mix, water, flour, and milk.  Heat until thickened.  Add cooked meatballs to skillet.  Simmer for 20 mins, stirring occasionally.  Serve over egg noodles, if you choose to. 

Saturday:  Grilled Chicken and Roasted Vegetables 

·          Chad has overhauled our grill and was ready to give it a try for the first time.  I gladly agreed to let him pretty much do everything.  J

Monday, March 10, 2014

March 2-8, 2014

Sunday:  Beans & Cornbread

Pinto Beans and Cornbread

·          I love an easy crock pot meal!!  Normally, I make these on the stove, but since it was Sunday, I made them in the crock pot so they would cook while we were at church.  I just started them on high for 2 hours, then backed it down to low for the rest of the time - about 4 hours.  I made cornbread muffins before church, so everything was ready to go when we walked in the door!  There were plenty of leftovers to add to our meals or make lunches out of the rest of the week.

Beans and cornbread is such a delicious, economical, & filling meal that hits the spot on a cool day!  We like The Pioneer Woman’s Beans, and I must say, they are wonderful (as most of her recipes are)!  I ended up adding 2 teaspoons of salt at the end (she recommends 1) because my bacon wasn’t all that salty.  I also added onion powder and garlic powder.  The greatness of her recipe is that you can cook the beans over the stovetop for 2 hours, without soaking them first.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve wanted to make beans, but have forgotten to soak them overnight.  With this recipe, there is no need!!  Yay  J 

Monday:  Crispy Parmesan Tilapia with Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash and Roasted Green Beans

·          We really like tilapia this way.  It’s very easy to do (although it can be messy!) and the crunch on it is just right!  I actually didn’t even use the cornflake crumbs because we didn’t have any, and we didn’t miss them at all.  (

·          Our favorite way to eat spaghetti squash…yum!!  It just as delicious as a leftover, so feel free to make a big squash.  J  (

Tuesday:  Creamy Chicken Quinoa Broccoli Casserole with Garlic Toast

·          I’ll just say it…I was disappointed with this recipe.  It lacked a little flavor, in my opinion.  We actually all ate it, and Chad and I spiced ours up with some Frank’s Red Hot.  Still, I was expecting to really like this.  If I try it again, or something similar, I plan to change up the flavors and seasonings to suit our tastes a bit better.  It is incredibly healthy…broccoli, chicken, quinoa, and you make your own cream soup rather than using store bought.  But be careful!  I let my milk boil over a bit, which could have changed the flavor and consistency some.  Judge it for yourself!  (

Wednesday:  Dinner with Mom!  J

Thursday:  Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas

·          This is a recipe from the 100 Days of No Processed Food on Stacy Makes Cents.  I actually made these a couple of months ago and had a decent amount leftover that we weren’t able to eat.  So I froze it!  Ranger’s t-ball practice was on Thursday this week because of weather, so I took the frozen – like a brick! – fajitas and put them back in my crock pot and warmed them on low all afternoon.  When we came home from practice that evening, dinner was ready to go!  These fajitas were still delicious, even after being frozen.  Yay!

Friday:  Pizza with Cauliflower Pizza Crust, Topped with Chicken, Eggplant, and Tomato

·          I have been trying to lower the gluten in my diet, so by default, at dinner, my family is also.  I saw this recipe on Pinterest from and thought we should give it a try.  First, it is really quite yummy.  Second, ours didn’t stay together quite like a normal pizza crust.  We ended up eating ours with forks.  But, it was delicious, and a great way to eat cauliflower!  The kids each ate every bite on their plates.  J 

To top our crust, I used some pesto sauce, rotisserie chicken, fresh mozzarella, and roasted eggplant and tomato.  (This was based off of The Pioneer Woman’s Favorite Pizza.)  I ate so much of the roasted eggplant and tomato before I even made the pizza…the veggies are THAT good!  On the kids’ portion, they mostly just had chicken and cheese.  I anticipate making this crust again, but working a little harder to squeeze out all the moisture from the cauliflower before making the crust “dough.”  I think that may help the crust stay together.

Saturday:  Dallas Stars Hockey Game with Friends!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

February 23 - March 1, 2014

Sunday:  3 Envelope Beef Sliders with Fries and Fruit

Slow Cooker Three Envelope Pot Roast Sliders
·          This recipe is actually a combination of Six Sisters’ Three Envelope Pot Roast Sliders and You’re Too Crafty’s Best Pot Roast Ever.  I saw the Six Sisters recipe first and liked the idea of having pot roast sliders rather than traditional roast with sides.  But, I didn’t want the flavor of salsa, so I used a Coke instead, as suggested by You’re Too Crafty. 

So, I put my roast in the crock pot.  Then I mixed 1 packet of onion soup mix, 1 packet of Italian dressing mix, & 1 packet of Au Jus gravy mix with 1 cup of water.  I poured that on top of the roast, then poured a Coke on top of that.  I cooked it on high for 2 hours, then on low for 3-4 (my slow cooker cooks pretty hot).  It was SO, SO GOOD!  The house smelled amazing all afternoon!  Seriously, the gravy is so ridiculously delicious that I could have downed it with a straw.  J 

I used King’s Hawaiian Rolls, spicy mustard, & Havarti cheese to make our sliders.  I put the gravy in small bowls so we could dip our sliders into it.  I’m not kidding…these are DELISH!  Make them!  As a bonus, we not only had leftovers for dinner the next night, but I also had it for lunch once or twice.

Monday:  Leftover Sliders  J

Tuesday:  Forgotten Chicken with Roasted Broccoli

·          Ranger has begun his first season of t-ball (so excited!!), and he had his first practice tonight from 5-6.  So, I needed a dinner that was easy to put together that could be eaten pretty quickly after we arrived back home from practice.  I found this recipe from and thought we might like it.  It’s very easy to put together. 

I will say exactly what she says on her blog…it’s not the healthiest meal, and it’s your choice to make it or not make it, or even to alter the ingredients to suit your diet choices.  It calls for the…da, da, DA!!!!...DREADED CREAM SOUPS!!!  Hide your kids!!!  I actually used some organic, gluten free soups from our Sprouts Farmers Market, but as rarely as I make something with a “cream of” soup, I don’t freak out about it either way.  I also made ours with brown rice.  Your kitchen, your family, your choice.  J

We liked it, and I loved that it was ready when we came in from practice.  I actually set my oven to turn off before we even came home so that it didn’t bake too long.  Our chicken breasts were a little thick, so Chad and I both thought they were a tad dry.  Next time, I will slice or pound the chicken to be a little thinner and more tender, or I will use bone-in to retain some moisture.  The rice was scrumptious!  It made enough that I had it for leftovers for lunch for several days. 

Wednesday:  Chad at a Mavericks game…Leftovers for the kids and me!

Thursday:  Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Bake with Chips and Spinach Salad

·          This recipe was recommended to me from a friend, Kelli, a few weeks back.  I’m so glad she told me about it!  It’s absolutely amazing!!  It’s from, and she mentions it has become a staple in their home.  I think it will in ours too.  It really is delicious.  I saved a little time in the evening by dicing up all of the veggies while the kids were napping earlier in the day.  There are a few steps, but they are all simple.  All of us really enjoyed this! 

I prepared a full recipe, but only baked half of it.  The other half I put in the freezer for another time.  I served ours with chips, avocado, and a spinach salad with strawberries, sliced almonds, feta, and a dressing made of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and some fresh-squeezed orange juice.  Yum!!  Since our kids don’t eat that much, there was enough for Chad and I to have it for lunch the next day inside corn tortillas.

Friday:  Dinner with Out-of-Town Friends…Yay!

Saturday:  Pizza Night

·          We had a very impromptu multi-family play date with some friends from out of town, so I scrapped my original dinner plans, and we ordered pizza instead for our rowdy bunch.  J