Sunday, June 22, 2014

June 15-21, 2014

Sunday:  Leftovers from Saturday

·          We had some leftover grilled chicken and veggies from our big family party the night before.  They were a tasty and healthy dinner for all of us!

Monday:  Pizza Night

·          Our church’s VBS was this week, and on Monday we decorated the venue.  So, the kids and I went to Papa Murphy’s and brought home a pizza for a quick dinner we could all enjoy together.  I added fruit to the kids’ plates as well.

Tuesday:  Tortilla Crusted Tilapia, Roasted Broccoli and Carrots, and Fruit

·          This was night 1 of VBS, and we needed to leave our house at 4:30 to pick up a friend.  So, instead of a healthy family dinner, we had a family lunch!  I had some tilapia from Costco, and I roasted broccoli and carrots.  The kids were a little confused by “dinner” for lunch, but when I explained I wanted them to have their veggies so they were strong for VBS, they were all over it!  Then, for dinner they ate turkey, cheese, and fruit in the car on the way to pick up a buddy who was coming to VBS with us!  There was also a snack for the kids at VBS.

Wednesday:  Turkey Meatballs, Roasted Broccoli and Carrots, and Fruit

·          Same story, day 2.  J

Thursday:  Sliders with Roasted Okra and Oven French Fries

·          VBS was over, so we had dinner at our regular time again.  I made sliders on my cast iron skillet and roasted okra and French fries.  Chad and I love roasted okra…the kids not so much.  But, they tried 1 bite, and I didn’t make them eat any more.  I don’t remember liking okra either when I was a child, so I gave them a little leeway.  J

Friday:  Turkey tenderloin in the Crock Pot, Baked “Fried” Okra, Fruit, and Bread

·          I bought a rotisserie seasoned turkey loin at Aldi and thought we should give it a try!  We had a very busy day (and week!), so just opening the package and putting it in the crock pot was perfect.  It was delicious!  I had more okra that I had picked up at the farmer’s market, so I oven “fried” it hoping the kids would like it a little more.  Again, Chad and I thought it was great…the kids ate their 1 bite and moved on.  I’ll take it!

Saturday:  Jack’s Birthday Party!

·          We drove over to Crowley to celebrate our nephew, Jack, turning 2 years old!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

June 8-14, 2014

Sunday:  Crockpot Chicken, Black Beans, & Corn with Spinach Salad and Cornbread Muffins

·          I had this leftover chicken in the freezer from Payton’s birthday party a couple of weeks ago, so I pulled it out and put in in the crock pot on warm before we left for church.  When we arrived home, it was perfectly hot.  I made a spinach salad with apples, slivered almonds, feta, and tossed it with a dressing made of olive oil and raspberry balsamic vinaigrette.  I also had some cornbread muffins ready to go.  I love delicious, healthy meals that are easily thrown together on Sundays!

Monday:  Oven Baked Ravioli with Roasted Broccoli and Whole Wheat Garlic Toast

Oven Baked Ravioli
This is an incredibly easy recipe that can be thrown together in about 5 minutes before baking in the oven for 45 minutes.  It is one of the keepers from when I used Emeals a few years ago.  I added the browned meat to ours to amp up the protein a bit.

-          1 package frozen ravioli, any kind (I used spinach and mozzarella from Costco)
-          1 jar spaghetti sauce
-          ½ pound browned ground beef, turkey, or chicken
-          Cheese of your choice

Spray an oven-safe pan, then pour in the frozen ravioli in a single layer.  Sprinkle on the cooked ground beef, chicken, or turkey.  Then, pour the spaghetti sauce over that and sprinkle with whatever cheese you choose.  Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Uncover, then bake for 5 more minutes to let the cheese melt. 

Tuesday:  Ground Turkey and Veggie Tacos with Fresh Avocado and Bell Pepper Slices

 Meredith’s Ground Chicken and Veggie Tacos
A favorite, often-repeated recipe in our house.  Go to this post to see the recipe and pictures.  This time I actually used ground turkey instead of chicken.  Still delish!  J

Wednesday:  Dinner with Mom

We love having dinner at my mom’s house!  She ran to Sprouts and grabbed a “Baby Chicken” (rotisserie chicken), broccoli, and potatoes.  She roasted the broccoli and potatoes in small bites…just how my kids like it!  Easy and healthy!

Thursday:  Breakfast for Dinner:  Egg and Spinach Scramble, Bacon, Whole Wheat Toast, Apples, and Blueberries

Yes, I added cut up spinach to our eggs, topped it with a little cheese, and the kids devoured it!  We hadn’t been home much that day, so I hadn’t fed my kids any vegetables AT ALL.  This was a perfectly easy way for us to get a few greens in.  J

Friday:  Dinner at the Pool Neighborhood Party

Saturday:  Grilled Chicken, Grilled Veggie and Pineapple Skewers, and Bread

Ranger played his last t-ball game of the season at 5:00 that evening, so after, we had family over for dinner.  It was also a celebration for our niece Addy turning 16 and an early Father’s Day meal!  We grilled chicken (I had marinated it earlier in the day), vegetable and pineapple skewers (onions, zucchini, pineapple, red bell pepper, orange bell pepper), and I made bread inside.  Everyone had plenty to eat, and we topped off our meal with a Red Velvet Bundt Cake!  It was a yummy celebration!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

June 1-7, 2014

Sunday:  Breakfast for Dinner

·          Ranger had been sick most of the weekend L, so we made his favorite dinner…breakfast!  We were happy to feed him anything that he actually wanted to eat. 

Monday:  Alli’s Angel Chicken with Steamed Veggies and Bread

Alli’s Angel Chicken
·          This recipe is from my sweet friend, Alli.  I haven’t made it in a long time, but it’s quite delicious!  I actually forgot that it needed to bake in the oven for 60 minutes, so I actually made mine on the stovetop in about 25 minutes.  I just browned my thin-sliced chicken breasts on both sides, then poured over the sauce.  I put the lid on the pan and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.  It was great!

6 chicken breasts                                                                            
1 can golden mushroom soup
1/4 cup butter                                                                                          
4 oz cream cheese w/ chives
1 (7-oz) package Italian dressing mix                                      
1 lb angel hair pasta
½ C white wine

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In large saucepan, melt butter over low heat.  Stir in package of Italian dressing mix.  Blend in wine & soup.  Mix in cream cheese & stir until smooth.  Heat through but don’t boil.  Arrange chicken breasts in a single layer in a 9x13 dish.  Pour sauce over chicken.  Bake for 60 minutes.  During last 20 minutes of baking, cook angel hair pasta.

Tuesday:  Chicken Tenders, Zucchini Fritters, & Roasted Carrots

·          Ranger and Chad were at t-ball practice from 5:00 – 6:30, and then Chad had to run to a meeting at 7:00.  So, I made a quick and easy-to-eat dinner using Purdue Simply Smart chicken tenders.  I added a yummy recipe for zucchini fritters that I found on Pinterest, plus a kid-fave, roasted carrots.  Yum!

Wednesday:  Dinner Out with Mom  J

Thursday:  Date Night with Chad!!
·          The kids stayed with Chad’s parents for 2 nights, so we had 2 dates!!  Yay!!

Friday:  Date Night #2!

Saturday:  Hamburger, Spinach, and Garlic Pizza

·          I had a Pioneer Woman Pizza Crust in my freezer from making a big batch of dough a couple of months ago.  I thawed it out all day, then topped it with tomato sauce, some browned and seasoned hamburger meat, lots of fresh spinach, and a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella cheeses.  (Chad added fresh jalapeños to his portion).  It was really delicious!!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

May 25-31, 2014

Sunday:  Dinner Out

·          We had just returned the day before from a wonderful week in Florida!  To say we had no groceries in the house would be an understatement.  J

Monday:  Memorial Day Cookout with Family!

Tuesday:  Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli

·          My friend, Michelle, shared this recipe that she found from Our Best Bites, and we love it!  It is so, so easy, and the flavors are amazing.  It’s actually better the next day, so make enough to have leftovers, or just make it the day before.  J

1 2-3 lb beef roast
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
2 1-ounce packages of dry onion soup mix
2 can beef broth
6-8 buns
swiss, provolone, or mozzarella cheese (shredded or sliced)

Heat oil in large pan, rub roast with salt and pepper, sear on all sides.  Place roast in crockpot, sprinkle with onion soup mix.  Pour beef broth over roast.
Cook 8-10 hours on low.  Or 4-5 on high and 3-4 on low.  When meat is ready, shred with a fork.  Place shredded meat in rolls, top with cheese and broil open-faced until cheese is melted and bread is golden.  Ladle juices into small bowls for dipping. 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli
·          Just a refresher for anyone new to reading our menu…we roast….ALOT.  I’m not sure that a vegetable has passed through our kitchen that we haven’t roasted.  So, I often don’t list out the directions on the blog simply because it would feel completely repetitive.

But, it’s been a while, and this combo is a fave in our house.  I dice up sweet potatoes into half-inch cubes and toss them on a foil-lined and sprayed baking sheet.  (Sweet potatoes still have a tendency to stick, even on foil.  So I spray the foil with cooking spray or olive oil too!)  On the other side I toss on chopped broccoli.  Drizzle them both with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper – or any season salt will do.  Roast in a 400-425 degree oven for 15 minutes, then stir everything around.  Usually another 6-10 minutes does the trick, but you’ll know your veggies are done when they start turning a little brown around the edges.  Yum!  More often than not, I squeeze a little fresh lemon juice and sprinkle on freshly grated parmesan over the broccoli right after it comes out of the oven.  J

Wednesday:  Leftovers
·          I told you that the French Dip Sandwiches are actually better the next day…trust me on this.  I just put the meat and gravy back in my crock pot and had it on warm for about 4 hours.  It was perfectly delish!

Thursday:  Grilled “10 Chicken” with Roasted Carrots and Asparagus and Warm Bread

Grilled “10 Chicken”
·          We might be obsessed with this ridiculously easy was to prepare chicken, but I’m not ashamed.  We just love it!  We use bone-in chicken thighs, but please use whatever chicken you are comfortable with.  We like the dark meat, and cooking it on the bone retains so much moisture.  Plus, it’s one of the most inexpensive cuts of chicken you can buy.  Place your chicken in a Ziplock bag and pour in soy sauce, Italian dressing, and garlic powder.  That’s it!  I always let ours marinate as long as possible…this time it was about 8 hours.  Chad grilled it for our family as well as our friend Jeff who came over for dinner.  It was yum, yum, yum!!  And, I took a picture of the veggies, but forgot about the chicken!

Friday:  Sliders, Fries, and Fruit

·          Chad and the boys when backyard camping with some of our friends, so he took the food with him to prepare over there.  I stole just a bit of the ground beef and made dinner for Payton and me.  I just made our patties in a skillet on the stovetop.  Instead of fries, I had an avocado drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. 

Saturday:  Orzo and Quinoa with Sausage, Peppers, and Tomatoes, Spinach Salad, and Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

Orzo with Sausage, Peppers, and Tomatoes
·          This is a Giada de Laurentiis recipe that my friend Jamie shared with me a few years back.  I haven’t made it in a very long time, but I’m so happy I stumbled across it again!  It’s such a tasty dish, and it’s pretty simple to make.  I actually made one small change and did half orzo, half quinoa to add to the health factor a bit.  It’s already a pretty healthy recipe on it’s on, but adding in the quinoa takes it up a notch.  If you just use orzo, it’s still delicious!  You might not use quite as much orzo as the recipe calls for, though.  Here’s the recipe below, without any substitutions.

3 cups chicken broth
1 pound orzo pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 links mild Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 garlic clove, minced
2 jarred roasted red bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch strips
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, or basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1) In a large saucepan, combine 3 cups of water with chicken broth. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, making sure to reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. 

2) While pasta is boiling, get out a large skillet. Heat oil in it over medium-high heat. Add turkey sausage and cook around 4 minutes, breaking it up with the back of a spoon as you go. (It should be cooked through, but not quite browned.) Add garlic. Cook until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Add bell peppers, tomatoes, and red pepper flakes (if using). Sauté 2 or 3 minutes, until everything is heated through. 

3) Combine pasta, sausage mixture, and 1/2 the parsley in a large serving bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. If you need the pasta water to moisten it up, add it now. Mix well. Sprinkle Parmesan and the rest of the parsley on top. Serve.