May 3, 2016

Weekly Meals: 5/2-5/6

Each week I know two things.  A)  I need to make a trip to the food store either on Saturday or Sunday for our weekly meals. And B) I want to cook something that will make great leftovers and that can be freezable and then I think, I want to get creative and inspired and cook something different.  Sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn't. 


I just know something else:  cooking at home is healthier, saves money, and we enjoy it.  We also love eating together at the dinner table as a family.  We began doing this since Claire  was around 6 months old.  Again, some days are different than others and that doesn't always occur, but we try.

Most nights out of the week, whatever we eat, Claire has a little bit as well.  So I know it's healthy and tasty. With a fruit and veggie on the side for good measure. As my husband has quite the picky palate, meaning that I rarely make meals that have asparagus in them, or butternut squash, carrots or mushrooms ( I love all of those veggies)! I do appreciate his simple and classic tastes like chicken parmesan, roasted or grilled chicken, potatoes, Spaghetti and meatballs, grilled steak (he's the griller of the family) and of course mac and cheese casseroles and ground turkey( or any kid of) taco night. I'm thankful that he at least loves all peppers, cucumbers and some spicy food along with most of my desserts!  I did mention I prefer cooking to baking, right?

Here is this weeks meal plan:

( cute whiteboard/magnetic daily planner from target; $1 bin)!
Monday: We had Leftover Santa Fe Chicken casserole that I made Saturday night.  Recipe here


Tuesday:  Monday night I prepared Crockpot Turkey Lasagna before bed.  The hubs is working from home so he'll turn it on at Noon to cook on low for 6 hours. ( with left instructions of course). ha!  This recipe is a bit healthier too with ground turkey, low-sugar pasta sauce and cottage cheese in place of ricotta.  We've eaten this before and it is GOOD!  it also makes  a lot so plenty of leftovers and freezable!
Wednesday: I'm taking my mom out for dinner for Mother's Day since I won't see her on actual Mother's Day. !  So the hubs can eat whatever he wants ( hopefully leftover lasagna though).
Thursday: Leftovers or take out.  We'll see what hubs ate on Wednesday and go from there.  ha.
Friday:  Grilled salmon with a side salad. 

*Saturday and Sunday are always bound to change* 
Sometimes after I write out the weekly menu, it doesn't always match up. We may have pizza on a night I was going to make a casserole. It depends on the day and how we feel but I think it's helpful to plan it out and have a guide to use.
Do you plan your meals for the week?
What do you think about leftovers?
How often do you do take out and what do you choose?


April 28, 2016

Love your Leftovers: Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork

I swear I enjoy meatless dinners too sometimes.  This recipe is just another one of those meals that's a staple.  It's perfect for a crowd during a BBQ or simply dinner for two.  It's a win-win because your house will smell amazing and it's insanely tasty!  I have to also add that this recipe is probably one of the best recipes for pulled pork I have ever tried.

And of course, what to do with leftover shredded pork...oh the possibilities!

Recipe: Crockpot BBQ pulled pork
-1 3-4 lb pork butt or shoulder OR two 2 lb pork tenderloins; which I’ve been using.
-1 tbsp. black pepper
-1 tbsp. kosher salt
-1 tbsp. paprika
-1 tbsp. garlic powder
-1/2 tbsp. cayenne pepper
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1 jar of your favorite BBQ sauce  (I love Stubb's Original)
-1 medium red or yellow onion, sliced
To make the pork:
1.      Slice the onion and scatter in the bottom of your slow cooker.
2.      Rinse the tenderloin with cool water and pat dry with a paper towel.
3.      Combine all the spices together in a small bowl and rub well over the pork.
4.      Place the pork in the crock pot/ on top of the onions.
5.       In a medium bowl, mix together the brown sugar and BBQ sauce; pour over the pork and onions.
6.      Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours.  * 8 hours was plenty enough time for the meat to shred easily and become super tender.  Also, your entire house will smell incredible!

Serve on your favorite bun with a pickle or tomato or cheese or coleslaw...really, the toppings are endless!  We love these with some melted cheddar cheese!

Leftover meal ideas:

Meal: Pulled Pork sandwiches.
Leftover meal #1:  Pulled pork enchiladas

Leftover meal #2 : Pulled pork cheesy nacho bake

Tip:  Break these meals up on a different week.  Freeze any meat you know you won’t use for more than a week.  Thaw in the fridge the night before you know you’ll use it.

April 27, 2016

Love your Leftovers: Crockpot Roasted Chicken

This is certainly not the best photo of a roasted chicken. I mean, let's call a spade a spade here; it's hideous.  But there are so many other wonderful things about this chicken that its attractiveness really just isn't priority.  This chicken has so many things going for it:

1) It's a delicious and healthy meal for at least two days during the week.
2) It's been prepared in the crock pot, rubbed with margarine and minced garlic and other tasty spices.
3) It's been surrounded by sliced onions and chopped baby red potatoes.
4) It's got tremendous flavor from what I think is from the juice of one lemon ( and the butter of course).
5) It cooks in the crock pot, on high, for 6 hours and BAM.  You have dinner.

It's that easy, and flavorful and comforting and did I mention delicious?

Other meal ideas with chicken leftovers:

Leftover meal #1: Chicken salad. (I personally have made this for lunch mixed with half an avocado.  It’s so delicious)!  Or for a dinner, make a large salad with your favorite toppings and dressing.

Leftover meal #2:  Chicken tacos/ enchiladas served with a side salad or rice or Spicy Chicken lettuce wraps- just add salsa.

Leftover meal #3: Shred the chicken and add to your favorite soup.

Don't forget to freeze chicken if you're not going to use it for two or three days.

I hope you enjoy!

Recipe: Lemon-Garlic Chicken with baby red potatoes

Adapted from the Crock pot recipe book that my Crock pot came with


-One, 4-5 lb whole chicken oven roaster (I typically buy Perdue)

-3 cloves of garlic

-2 medium sweet/yellow onions (about a cup total)

-Juice of 1 lemon

-1-2 tbsp. spreadable butter ( I use Land O Lakes olive oil spread.  It’s super easy to spread around)

Seasoning rub:

1 tsp. Kosher salt

1 tsp. Black Pepper

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. paprika

1 tbsp. fresh or dried parsley

-1 small bag of baby potatoes, skin on

(add carrots or any other veggie you like)

To make the chicken:

1.Wet and clean off the chicken with cold water, trim any excess fat.  Pat dry with a paper towel.  * Be sure to remove the innards.  I love the Perdue brand because they seal all of that stuff in a bag that you can easily remove.

2. Place the chicken down in the crock pot and massage with butter.  Cur one onion in half, or quarter it depending on the size and place in the cavity along with 2 whole garlic cloves.

3. Slice up the other onion and mince the other garlic clove.  Scatter the onions all around the chicken and rub the minced garlic all over the chicken.

4. Rub all the spices into the chicken.

5. Chop the potatoes in half and scatter all around the chicken and any other veggie you like.  Top with lemon juice, squeeze generously all over the chicken.

6.  You can either cook on LOW for 10 hours or I prefer on HIGH for 6 hours. I like to serve this on top of egg noodles.  You can also serve with mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes or more veggies.  Overall it’s an easy, delicious and healthy meal!