What Kind of Food is Healthy and Why??

My  husband and I had a chat the other day about how different we eat now than when we first got married. When we first got married I didn’t do much thinking about what kind of food we were putting into our bodies. I bought pre-packaged easy to make quick meals. I worked full time and so did my husband. When a recipe had more than 3 ingredients it felt really overwhelming.

Fast forward to having my son… he is allergic to … well.. A LOT. I had to learn to make everything from scratch. I had to learn to read EVERY label. I had to figure out thing like…

Autolyzed Yeast = MSG
Whey Protein = Dairy
Red #40 and Blue Lake dye is NO GOOD
Hydroxytoluene (BHT) = a product also used in jet fuel and embalming fluid
Yellow #5 = derived from coal tar and may contain up tp 10ppm of lead and arsenic
Propylene glycol alginate (E405) = derived from alginic acid esterified and combined with propylene glycol.
Polysorbate 60 = Made of made of corn, palm oil and petroleum, this gooey mix can’t spoil, so it often replaces dairy products in baked goods and other liquid products.
Textured soy protein concentrate, carrageenan, maltodextrin, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, modified cornstarch = All of these are basically different names to hide ingredients that either contain Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) or form MSG during processing

A little scary huh? All of these things are hidden in ALL KINDS of food! Cereal, salad dressing, protein bars… things we THINK are healthy… and these are IN them! And how easy is it to make our own dressing?? EASY! SOO EASY!

The list could go on and on and on. I read labels of everything I purchase. The less I recognize the ingredients, the more I will put it back on the shelf and figure out how to make it on my own. The cool thing is that I have learned that cooking isn’t overwhelming… it’s FUN! I can make my own BBQ sauce, Teriyaki sauce, bread, chicken nuggets, cookies, cakes, pies, ice cream, smoothies… I can do copycat recipes too! Basically what I see in the store and I don’t like the ingredients used to “preserve” or “keep freshness” (like BHT!!) I go home and try to make it on my own. There have been quite a few FAILS… hahaha, but a lot of WINS!

I have learned alot having a son who has food allergies. What’s in your food? What do you have for breakfast? How are you feeding your body? Did you know that if you work out 2 hours a day EVERY DAY and still eat junk all day long… you are NOT healthy?

Once again, I’m going to mention Dietitian Cassie: http://www.dietitiancassie.com/

I have learned a lot just reading her blog! She talks a lot about REAL food!

From http://www.realfoodchallenge.org/about/realfood

Real Food is food which truly nourishes producers, consumers, communities and the earth.  It is a food system–from seed to plate–that fundamentally respects human dignity and health, animal welfare, social justice and environmental sustainability.

Some people call it “local,” “green,” “slow,” or “fair.”  We use “Real Food” as a holistic term to bring together many of these diverse ideas people have about a values-based food economy (see our Real Food Wheel).

This is about more than supermarket labels. The Real Food Challenge has developed an innovative Real Food Calculator, which provides in-depth definitions of “real food” and a tracking system for institutional purchasing.  With this tool, “real food” is broken down into four core categories: local/community-based, fair, ecologically sound, and humane. Click here to learn more about the Real Food Calculator

Also this blog: http://www.foodrenegade.com/the-basics/real-food/

Back in the 1920s, a dentist named Weston A. Price grew dismayed by the rapidly declining health of his patients. Suspecting that the introduction and acceptance of newfangled industrial dietary changes were at the root of this turn for the worse, he traveled the world in search of healthy populations.

He found them.

These people didn’t eat refined sugar or white flour, didn’t cook with vegetable oils, and didn’t eat food canned with modern methods. They also didn’t have heart disease, diabetes, or cancer.

They did eat foods high in vitamins and minerals, animal fats (including butter), and organ meats. And, roughly 60-80% of their diet was enzyme-rich — either fermented or raw. Plus, they prepared their foods according to centuries old traditions.

They ate real food.

We need to be re-educated. We need to think about what’s in our food and what we are putting into our body. They came out with Splenda to get all of us to stop using aspartame… did you know that Splenda is made with chlorine?! I am becoming more and more of the firm believe that the closer my food is to it’s natural form the better. I personally do not want to do the RAW food diet… I like cooked foods… fancier, etc. But I’m not afraid of butter and oil. I’ve stopped counting calories and focused more on REAL and healthy foods.

What happens when I eat too many veggies? If I fill up on a large bowl of fresh vegetables? I am full. I am full of real food and I don’t have guilt.

Now, I am not opposed to grains… and I am going to try and see how I can replace my pastas… cuz those are my favorites! But I am working on using more real foods. I’m going to try to also use the non-refined and white/bleached flours and THINK about what I put into my body. My body is God’s temple, I am going to take care of it the best I can!

Healthy Replacements for White Flour Snacks

It has fortunately become quite easy to replace enriched flour with healthy alternatives, especially with whole wheat flour. But don’t forget that there are other options that can add variety to your meals such as rye, quinoa, millet, and brown rice flour and sprouted grain products.

I like to snack on alkalizing fruits, whether dried or fresh, and sometimes add a few nuts such as almonds or walnuts and some sesame seeds that are naturally high in calcium. Dried fruits mixed with nuts are easy to carry around so you can have a bone-healthy snack anytime of the day.

Check out those blogs! Let me know what you think!

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Pork Loin Chops in a Crock Pot

I love crock pot meals when I am really busy. The other day I had a ton going on, and I knew I was not going to be home to cook dinner, but wanted my sweet hubby and my brother who was helping with the kids, to have dinner. The nice thing about crock pot meals is that when you do have time, in the morning, you can toss everything in and not think about it for the rest of the day! It was so great just knowing it was there and not having to rush before I had to leave.

So… CROCK POT meals! You can use it in the summer or the winter… cold or hot outside… there’s always a good reason to use a crock pot.

Pork Loin Chops in a crock pot:

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Servings: 2… so double for more…

Ingredients:

1 butterflied pork loin chop – 1.5 lbs
1 TB flavored vinegar (I used a pear/cranberry vinegar that I got from an oilery)
2 TB olive oil
Cooking spray to grease the inside of the crock pot
1 onion sliced thin
1 clove garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste
5 carrots cut into large pieces
8 yukon gold potatoes quartered (I washed and did NOT peel)
1/4 cup white wine
2 TB unsalted butter
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 tsp dried sage
1 cup chicken broth

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Directions:

Cut up the carrots, onions and potatoes and set aside. Take the pork loin butterflied pork chop (or 2 separate thick-cut pork chops) and salt and pepper both sides evenly. Heat a skillet on medium and put 1 TB olive oil in the skillet. Sear both sides of the pork chop for 2-3 minutes per side and place into the bottom of the crock pot. Put all of the veggies and starches on top. Sprinkle all the seasoning and then add the liquids. Then take the butter and cut into small pieces and placed intermittently on top of the meat and veggies. Let cook for 6-8 hours on LOW or 4-5 hours on HIGH.

It is a wonderful blend of sweet and salty… it’s got a great savory taste with just a hint of sweet. My husband and brother RAVED over this, and the pork just FELL APART when it was ready. WINNER!!!

Try this one for sure!!

And now… a bit of a giggle for the quote of the day:

This blackboard was in a pub/restaurant in Devon, UK and I have kept the photo ever since to remind myself that I should not be afraid to try something new and that no matter how old I get, there are still new people to meet, experiences to have and things to learn every day!

Creamy Tomato and Shrimp Pasta

Last night we eat dinner late. So bad. I read a few different blogs about healthy eating, especially my FAVORITE : http://www.dietitiancassie.com/ . Do I follow all of her rules? No. Should I? Maybe yes… maybe no? Everyone’s body is different. But she is very smart and has a lot of good information on how to naturally keep our bodies healthy, and how to think about food and what we put into our bodies completely differently than what we’ve been taught… and stay healthy! Check out her page!!!

Anyways… back to eating late. I know I shouldn’t have dinner that late… but I was making a blanket for my daughter, Madilyn and I was almost done crocheting it and I looked up and it was almost 8:00 and I hadn’t started dinner! Woops! Luckily it only took me 20 minutes to make from start to finish… so… pretty darn good!

This one is simple, full of flavor, quick and very filling. Yes, it does have pasta. I, of course, am steering you to Dietitian Cassie’s website and she’s pretty much grain free… and here I am writing a blog post with pasta in it. But… still read her blog. And.. decide for yourself what to eat…. ? 🙂 But… for me? I eat carbs/grains 1 time per day MAX, if not less often. I try my best to fill up on veggies and protein during the day… which really works for me! I’m not starving and HANGRY come dinner. I also have go to healthy fat, high protein snacks that I grab while I’m cooking that really help. I love celery with 1 TB sunflower seed butter. Also, when I am having a sugar craving, I grab 1 or 2 of these Butter Mints: http://empoweredsustenance.com/stop-sugar-cravings/ . Lots of good ideas!! 🙂

Here’s the delicious… pasta filled, quick and easy dinner recipe with some amazing and tasty shrimp:

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for 3-4 servings

Ingredients
  • 1/2 lb shrimp (I used Trader Joes Argentinian Red Shrimp) (cooked and deveined)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne powder
  • 2 TB parmesan cheese
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (I used this on a garnish on my husband’s bowl since it’s too spicy for me… but he loved it)
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 can diced petite tomatoes (with the juice in the can as well)
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup white wine (I used a Riesling… just use your favorite)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • spaghetti noodles
  • fresh parmesan for garnish
  • fresh parsley for garnish

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Instructions
  1. On a baking sheet, place the shrimp (I do mine from frozen) on a foil lined sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, splash of white wine, a bit of lemon juice and salt and pepper. Place in a 375 degree preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes (depending on size of shrimp).
  2. While the shrimp is cooking, in a skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil, and saute the onions and garlic until soft.
  3. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, cayenne powder, can of diced tomatoes, white wine and salt & pepper.
  4. Cook until the liquid is reduced to half.
  5. While the tomato mixture is simmering, boil the spaghetti noodles according to the package directions.
  6. Once the tomato mixture is done simmering, add the shrimp back into the sauce, stir and remove from heat.
  7. Stir in the heavy cream and the 1/2 of the parmesan cheese.
  8. Toss the tomato and shrimp sauce with spaghetti noodles.
  9. Garnish with fresh parmesan, red pepper flakes and fresh parsley
  10. Serve Immediately
  11. ENJOY!

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And now, for the quote of the day:

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Lemon Thyme Chicken Thighs and Potatoes

I have seen a lemon thyme recipe on pinterest for the last few months and I’ve been craving it this whole time. I kept putting it off for other recipes for reasons unknown. So… the other night I decided that I was going to finally make this dish… with my own twist of course.

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Ingredients

6 boneless, skin-on chicken thighs
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 potatoes diced
2 TB parsley chopped for garnish

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Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Season chicken thighs with chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper, to taste.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side; drain excess fat and set aside.
Melt remaining tablespoon butter in the skillet. Add garlic and diced potatoes (I used Yukon gold), and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, lemon juice and thyme.Bring to a boil. Return chicken to the skillet.
Place into oven and roast until completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 175 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes.
Remove from oven and stir in the heavy cream and Parmesan and stir until well blended. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
Serve immediately.

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This had a TON OF flavor! It was absolutely delicious! I loved every bite, as well as the leftovers today!  You definitely want to try this one! Taste as you go so you don’t put touch salt in it! And use low sodium chicken broth to make sure that, along with parmesan cheese, it doesn’t get too salty. 🙂

And now, for the quote of the day:

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Chicken and Veggie Parmesan Skillet

I can’t believe I forgot to post this last night! This one was so fresh… and the veggies added a nice crunch! We did eat a bit later last night though.
This one took me about 20 minutes. It’s quick, easy, low carb (unless you have bread as a side like I did… haha) fresh and summery! Perfect quick dish on a weeknight!
My mom had my daughter last night, so I had just my son when I was making dinner. Isn’t it strange how when you go from 2 kids (or however many you have) to 1 less… the world suddenly seems so easy? Everything is simple all of a sudden . Butterflies are everywhere, birds are chirping, you can smell the roses… lol. But seriously. I sat and talked with him and had time to give him my full attention… and he LOVED IT! I’ve gotta do that more. Have focused one on one time with each of them. They just BLOOM (only term that seemed to properly describe it) in that time. I learn new stuff about them, they talk and just snuggle into me. I cherished it. 🙂
Ok, back to food.

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INGREDIENTS:

1/2 tsp garlic, minced
2 TB olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon (about 1 TB)
6 chicken tenderloins (or 3 chicken breasts)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Dash cayenne pepper powder
1/4 cup white wine (or chicken broth)
2 TB butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 sweet mini peppers chopped
1/2 cup frozen broccoli florets
1 cup frozen veggies: carrots, green beans, etc. Your choice
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

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DIRECTIONS:

1. Cook garlic, carrots and onions in a large skillet over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add chicken, salt and pepper, oregano, cayenne powder and lemon juice and the black pepper; cook 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until chicken is done (165º F.).

2. Add in the vegetables and white wine (or chicken broth) and butter; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

3. Sprinkle generously with the Parmesan cheese.

Serve! This makes 3 – 4 servings depending on the size of serving you take. I served it with a couple of slices of bread. You can do quinoa, pasta, or some fruit! Totally up to you! This one was amazing!

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And now, for the quote of the day:

 

!

“7 Layer Salad” … or Taco Salad…

My daughter asked for tacos again. Ha. She’s obviously her father’s daughter. She ate GREAT tonight. Me, I wanted to make something that was using the same ingredients, but using less carbs. So… I saw this salad, or “7 layer dip”.. although I can’t see using this as a dip honestly. I also should have put this into a clear bowl so that all the layers could have been seen from the outside when I took pictures. It was quite pretty to be honest! And, as I was about to take a picture it fell… and I was so sad!

But… this is a DELICIOUS salad, or … dip… but it’s a bit messy. That’s ok though. It makes up for the messiness and lack of being a “pretty” dish with flavor. That’s all that’s really important anyway!

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 lb. grass fed ground beef (85/15)
  • 1/2 cup PLAIN Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup shredded mexican cheese
  • 1 tomato sliced and diced
  • taco seasoning
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of black olives, sliced
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of salsa

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Directions

Start by cooking the ground beef through until there is no longer any pink. Drain the fat. Then, add the taco seasoning and the amount of water said on the back of the taco seasoning packet. (If you use homemade taco seasoning, it’s about 1/2 to 2/3 cup of water). Stir until well incorporated. Add 1/2 of the black beans to the hamburger meat.

Next chop the lettuce, black olives, tomatoes and the avocado. Place the avocado in a small bowl and add the lemon juice, salt and pepper and the garlic powder. Stir and set aside.

Starting with the lettuce on the bottom of a bowl, add each layer on top of the next, ending with sprinkling the cheese on top. I then drizzled salsa over top.

You can eat this as a salad, like I did… crunch a few chips over top to still get a few chips and crunch in without eating as many chips as you would have if you ate the whole thing with chips… or… go for it and just eat it with scoops chips! Delicious either way right?!

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See, a delicious, messy and just a #getinmybelly moment!!! 🙂 ENJOY!!!

And now, for the quote of the day:

Hang on

Creamy Lemon and Shrimp Orzo Pasta

Yesterday was my daughter’s birthday. On birthdays in our household, the birthday person gets to choose the food that is eaten the WHOLE day! Yes… our family does, at times, revolve around food and meal time. We enjoy eating! So… needless to say, I think we ate out all 3 meals yesterday and cooking was not happening! HA! My little girl LOVES to eat out. We eat out maybe 3 or 4 times a month, so I guess it’s exciting still?? At least she does say she likes my cooking, so still a win.

So I figured I’d make a yummy lunch so that I could post today. This one is delicious too. I’m gonna be full for a few hours on this! No needing a snack this afternoon like usual!

You can make this for a lunch, or have bigger portions for a summery refreshing dinner out on your back porch on a summer evening. Doesn’t that sound delightful? For some reason when I think of lemon and shrimp I think: outdoors, sunshine, summer, hanging out on the porch on my Outdoor Furniture. I eat those two ingredients all times of the year… but this dish just made me think summer. YUM!

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This makes 3-4 servings

INGREDIENTS

For the shrimp:

  • 1/2 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 TB butter
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • dash cayenne pepper

For the Lemony Orzo pasta:

  • 1/4 cup diced onion (about 1/4 of a small yellow onion)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup Orzo pasta
  • 1 cups Organic Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 TB heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2-3 TB fresh parsley chopped

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INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Season shrimp with salt and pepper, garlic powder and cayenne. Toss with olive oil and place onto a Aluminum Foil
    lined Cookie Sheet (with a lip on each edge, or curve up all edges of the tin foil to catch all of the juice and liquid from the shrimp)
  • Bake shrimp at 375 for 12-15 min, depending on size of shrimp. Make sure white and cooked all the way thru, and pink on the outside. No more transparent parts of the shrimp.
  • While the shrimp is cooking in the oven, heat olive oil in a large Skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion and oregano, and cook, stirring often, until onions have become translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in orzo until lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes. (FYI, IF you do actually have a cast iron skillet, check out this cleaning tool: Cast Iron Cleaner
  • Stir in chicken broth and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and cooked shrimp that you have removed from the oven and set aside. Sprinkle with Parmesan and stir and remove from heat. Add the frozen peas and the cream and stir in.
  • Serve immediately garnished with fresh parsley and a bit of shaved parmesan cheese.

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Oh me oh my. Soooo good!

Give this one a try for SURE!

And now, for the quote of the day:

YOU MAY BE Pretty, AND YOU MAY BE Talented, BUT NOBODY WILL REMEMBER THAT IF You’re mean. -Katie Holmes

Comfort Food: Beef Stroganoff

It was rainy and cold today. I guess I should specify that “cold” was like 57 degrees, but still. So, I felt like eating comfort food. It has been about 4 days since I had pasta (which I think, besides when I did the South Beach Diet before my wedding, it’s the longest I’ve ever gone without having pasta!). So, I saw a recipe for Beef Stroganoff and I was absolutely craving it! It looked so delicious!

Earlier today we had one of my friends and her little baby come over. Don’t you just love the smell of babies? This sweet girl also very obviously loved her mommy. I so desperately wanted to take pictures of her sweet face, and every time she saw her mommy, she smiled REALLY big and put her face in her hands! Precious right? Hard to get a picture though… have a few cute blurs though! 🙂 So while she was over it was rainy and cruddy all morning. Luckily we were ok with being inside. But it definitely put me in the mood for one of my planned meals: Beef Stroganoff. So, here it is!

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Ingredients

3-4 servings

Inspired by: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/beef-stroganoff.html?soc=socialsharingpinterest&oc=linkback
Buttered Egg Noodles:
8 ounces Egg Noodles
1 tablespoons salted butter

Beef Stroganoff:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 TB butter
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 pound top sirloin steak, cut into small cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 carrots, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup red wine (your favorite) **optional
2 1/4 cups beef stock
2 tablespoons Corn Starch
1/4 cup FULL FAT Greek Yogurt PLAIN
Chopped fresh parsley, for serving

wpid-1429230708966.jpgDirections
For the buttered egg noodles: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the egg noodles and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

For the beef stroganoff: Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Add half the meat to the pan and brown it quickly (but don’t quite cook through). Remove the first batch and cook the rest of the meat. Remove and set aside with the first batch.

Add the olive oil to the skillet and cook the carrots, garlic and onions until lightly browned. Turn off the heat and add the wine and 2 cups of the beef stock. Turn the heat back on and reduce the liquid for 2 to 3 minutes. Mix the cornstarch with the remaining 1/4 cup stock, getting out all the lumps. Pour the slurry into the skillet and cook until the sauce thickens.

Turn off the heat. Stir in the sour cream, and beef. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

To finish the noodles, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the cooked egg noodles and toss to heat through and coat with the butter.

Serve the stroganoff with the noodles, and sprinkle with the parsley.

wpid-1429230825084.jpgThis seriously hit the spot. Rainy day? Want a filling and enjoyable meal made with whole and fresh ingredients? THIS IS IT! Delicious, seriously. I would have eaten more if I wasn’t so full. I had to keep myself out of the skillet with the leftovers. I, personally, am allergic to mushrooms… so if you notice that my Beef Stroganoff does not have any mushrooms… it’s because that was intentional. If you look at the original recipe, hers does. FYI. 🙂

And now, for the quote of the day:

One of the most SIMPLE and DOWN-TO-EARTH EXPLANATION of ministry that qualifies all of us.

Meal Planning

Do you meal plan?

I do every 2 weeks. I like to plan ahead. I don’t plan what meals are going to be for what nights or anything… but I plan and shop for 10 dinners (sometimes 1 or 2 extra recipes that have similar ingredients to others that I’ve shopped for in case I change my mind) and then I shop for lunches and breakfasts etc for those 2 weeks at a time.

That is why a lot of the things I talk about I say “thaw”. I don’t usually buy and then cook meat the next day. I don’t usually buy fresh and cook THAT day. It’s very rare that that happens. I don’t like to run to the grocery store every day. I’ve got kids… kids that are impatient and don’t love the grocery store. I personally don’t like the germs that come with the touching of the shopping carts!  Ew.

So, every 2 weeks I’ve got my pinterest board that I go thru, delete the ones I’ve already made my own, and re-pin ideas for the next couple of weeks.

Here is my weekly planning board: https://www.pinterest.com/rebeccacain23/weekly-meal-plans/

If you don’t like the online route for meal planning, you can go the route of a paper pad: Knock Knock What to Eat Pad

OR a magnetic white board for your fridge! I’ve done this in the past! Magnetic Meal Planner

My husband and I also just started using the app: “Out of Milk”. You can scan the UPC code on some items so that it can be REALLY specific if you husband needs to pick something up for you! You can specify store, items, how many, average price, and whether or not you have a coupon for it. It also gives you an alert for whats on sale in the area! It’s a very helpful app, and I have it open as I shop so that I only buy what I planned to purchase. It helps keep me from purchasing anything impulsively!

Also, have you ever heard of Mvelopes? There are 2 versions. There is the cash version, and the debit card all online version. The online version, at www.mvelopes.com has a free version and it tracks all of your swipes on your debit cards and credit cards! It helps you budget and track your spending. It will even give you a graph that shows you percentages of where you spend your money! Crazy huh? We took a Dave Ramsey course at our church and it was recommended. I’d say check it out if you’re looking for something to help figure out where all that $$ is going! 🙂

Tonight my husband is still not home and it’s 8p. Sometimes he gets home early, and sometimes he gets home late! I did not feel like cooking a big whole dinner just for myself.. and also did not feel like making dinner at 8p. So, tomorrow is the day a recipe will come!

So, how do you meal plan? What are your tools?? Or, do you just wing it at the grocery store?? Let me know!

And now, for the quote of the day:

C.S. Lewis

Taco Tuesday!

So it’s Tuesday and my husband requested… what else… tacos! HA!

So, since THAT isn’t a new recipe, I’m going to post ideas, tips, thoughts and pics of ideas for Taco Tuesdays for you!

Low Carb Taco Tuesday:

http://lusciouslowcarb.blogspot.com/2010/10/its-taco-night.html

She used CHEESE for her taco shells! Check out her blog!

And… have you SEEN these?! We have some. As many tacos as we eat in our house, these are a necessity!

They are: TacoProper Taco Holder

Hysterical huh??

Ok… this one Rasta Imposta Taco I’ve gotta consider getting John for no reason… hahahahahaha!

Or this book… a TACO cookbook!!! Tacolicious: Festive Recipes for Tacos, Snacks, Cocktails, and More

As far as tips go, I’d have to say… why not have a “Taco Tuesday” and a “Macaroni Monday” and a “Wings Wednesday” etc… At least occasionally. It’s easier on the cook, and fun for the people eating! Traditions are a PLUS and also something to look forward to. Maybe the first week of each month, or quarter you can have a “Spirit Week” where it’s a themed dinner meal. How easy to plan for that huh??

So… that’s the post for today! I promise tomorrow will be WAY more recipe like… I’m shopping tomorrow!! WOOHOO!

IF you have any recipe requests, ideas, or want me to makeover or under a recipe… let me know in the comments or send me a quick email!!