Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Great way to make meat stretch...

SO, I love making meat stretch 
and I have come across a great way to make your 
BBQ Chicken and Pork meat stretch that is SO yummy and pretty much doubles your meat!    

I LOVE when I can make things healthier, 
while making my dollar stretch as well!  

BBQ Chicken OR Pork 
(cook 4 boneless Pork Chops, OR, 2 large chicken breasts in crock pot until tender)
After tender, shred meat and drain off juices

In a large pot on the stove saute together until VERY tender:
1 Tbsp. butter
1 large onion thinly sliced
1 large bell pepper thinly sliced

After veggies are tender add in:
1 sliced tomato
cooked Pork, OR, Chicken
1/2 cup (or more) of your favorite BBQ sauce
Bring to boil and simmer 10-15 minutes

Serve on homemade buns and 
enjoy a delicious, frugal meal 
with more veggies and less meat! 
 (HERE for Homemade Onion and Cheese buns)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hooked on Quinoa!

Yes it's true....
we are totally HOOKED and loving Quinoa!!  
I think we are going to be using this 
instead of rice and pasta, it is just SO good!  
The health benefits of this super grain are amazing! (here)

It's fairly economical as well...
 I've been purchasing 2 pound bags at Sam's Club for $4.48 and it gives you a little over 5 cups worth of Quinoa 
 (you use 1 cup for each batch of whatever you make up)  

My family could seriously have this Casserole  
every night and not get sick of it. 
It's full of yummy veggies and it can be made with, OR, without chicken.  
(although I bottled up a bunch of chicken this spring that I purchased from Zaycon foods and this is a great use for that). 

(found the original recipe here, but I tweaked it quite a bit as we LOVE onions and I wanted to use more veggies than just broccoli AND I cut down some of the mayo, added more quinoa, etc...)  

It's great because you can do 
much of the preparation in advance...
cook up the quinoa and put it in the fridge,
grate the cheese,
cut up the veggies....
THEN when it's time to make dinner,  
you just lightly steam the veggies,
WHILE you're sauteing the onion
AND while your making the white sauce.
You then just mix all together, top with Parmesan Cheese,
bake for 40 minutes and you have delicious, nutritious dinner for your family!
We enjoy ours with a green smoothie!
Quinoa Casserole  
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 finely diced onion (sautéed until tender)
(cook carrots, celery and cauliflower until slightly tender...5-10 minutes)
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups (either broccoli, OR, cauliflower)
1 can cooked chicken (OR, one cooked chicken breast)
White Sauce (recipe below)
2 Tbsp. Mayonnaise (this is optional, it just adds a little more fat)
2 Tbsp. milk
1-1/4 cup grated cheese
¼ tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
(1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese to top casserole with before putting oven)

Cooked Quinoa
1 cup Quinoa
2 cups water
¼ tsp. salt 
Rinse Quinoa well.
Bring water/salt to a boil and add in rinsed quinoa and cook 20-25minutes until fluffy and white ring/tail is visible.
(White sauce)
1/8 cup dry milk powder
1 cup water
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. chicken bouillon
Dash of pepper
Bring ingredients to boil until thickened.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl combine white sauce, mayonnaise, milk, pepper and nutmeg.
Stir in cooked quinoa, sautéed onion, chicken, lightly steamed veggies and grated cheese until well coated
Spoon into 9x13 pan and top with grated Parmesan Cheese and 
bake for 40-45 minutes, until bubbly. 
 If you have any leftovers 
they make a great lunch the next day!

Enjoy making something 
healthy and delicious for your family today!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Random thoughts and a recipe...

 Lots of fun and exciting things going on in my life…however, I’ve been overwhelmed with social media and how to find balance in dealing with it on a daily basis.

Since the first part of the year, I joined facebook and I have found out real quick, it is much easier to do a quick “status update” to let people know what is going on in your life, or to quickly upload a photo to share than it is to do an actual blog post.  AND facebook is awesome that you can just click on “Like” if you don’t have time to comment and the person knows that you read and saw what they posted.  

(I really wish everything in life had a “Like” button!!!!) 

However, I just LOVE blogging, but I think my real dilemma has been my recent acquiring of my iPhone.  With having an iPhone, it means I’m not connected at the hip to my PC to be able to access the internet and the things that I enjoy like blogging, facebook, photo a day challenge, etc…HOWEVER, it puts me in a quandary as I have been taking many photos with my iPhone (since I always have it with me and I don’t always have my camera) and then it makes it hard to decide what to blog about, how to incorporate my cell phone AND camera photos and so rather than try to figure things out, I have been a real slacker in my blogging.  (facebook is just plain EASIER to keep up and I love seeing what is going on in everyone’s lives and it just takes a few moments a day for that).

I do have to say that I LOVE my iPhone 
for being able to keep in contact with 
the love of my life all throughout the day!!  
I have been giving things a lot of thought and decided that I’m going to do a series of posts these next few days that are mostly photos (our yard, kids school events, family outings, etc…), so I have them for my journal and also share the photos I have been uploading to a group of 365 Day Photo challenge, where you take a meaningful photo each day to share  
AND then brace yourselves… 
Next week I am going to be starting our 2012  
“Three Months of no major shopping" 
"Kimmie in Real Life" 
I thought it was funny that Jade brought this up to me on the last day of school if we were going to be doing this again this year as he commented that he LOVED when we do this each summer.
Since I’m not working this summer I thought, this would be a great thing to do again and since we have had to tighten our belts to make it without my income, instead of taking our food money to pay off debt, we will actually either save it away or use it to go on one or two FUN 4 day weekend trips each month of summer vacation! 

We’ll see if I can actually keep up this summer! 
Here’s a yummy cookie recipe to enjoy
until my next post!
 (we've been living on these this week!) 

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick)
2 cups flour (I used 1 cup wheat and 1 cup unbleached flour)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Beat together first 4 ingredients
Add in milk and eggs and beat well
Mix in rest of ingredients until mixed together well.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookied sheet
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes until lightly browned.
Cool on wire racks. Makes 3 dozen cookies 

(Very hearty and fairly healthy cookie that is really great energy as well!  
They actually make a great breakfast with a boiled egg!)