Sunday, February 27, 2011

just curious...

How much money do you normally spend on food? Groceries vs. eating out, etc. Anyone mind telling me? I'm trying to figure out a realistic food budget... Is $300 a month too little, or too much? Maybe $450? I (really) have no idea! Which is scary. I just don't know.  Do you? Any grocery tips you'd like to share? Because I'd love some help in keeping our tummies AND wallets full ;)

Just FYI, I do not do coupons. I mean, I save a few for foods I would normally buy, and I especially save coupons for restaurants, just in case we eat out. But, I think clipping coupons for useless junk is a waste of time and money. Thoughts?  Pretty please?

Thanks in advance. *B

this week's plan: 2/28 - 3/6

This week is going to be a good one, I can feel it!  I think we're finally over our sicknesses, and it's time to get healthy again.  And that feels good :)

Mexican Monday: Awesome Meatless Chili
Oriental Tuesday: Tofu Lo Mein
Twisted Wednesday: baked potatos with broccoli & cheese sauce
Authentic Thursday: pasta surprise
TGIFriday: Pigs in a Blanket w/ Immune Boosting Smoothies
Super Saturday: DATE NIGHT
Special Sunday: Pot Roast OR Beef Stew

Sunday, February 13, 2011

this week's plan: 2/14 - 2/20

Mexican(less) Monday: VDay = Italian Nachos with Cesare Salad, and chocolate-dipped strawberries :)
Oriental Tuesday:  Tofu & Veggie stir fry w/ yogurt peanut sauce & rice noodles
Twisted Wednesday:  Black Bean Salsa Quesadillas w/ carrot sticks & apple slices
Authentic Thursday: Ravioli Bisque w/ crostinis
TGIFriday: Noodle Cheese & weenies
Super Saturday:  DATE NIGHT
Special Sunday:  Tortilla Crusted Tilapia with Roasted Broccoli & Mushrooms, and wild rice.

Super Simple Sneaky Noodles

Don't ask me why, but my kids have always called mac & cheese "Noodle Cheese."  Silly kids.  And being me, I like to sneak a little healthy into their cheese o' noodles.  They don't know any better, but I know it IS better!  As it should be ;)

  • 1 box Mac & Cheese - Make sure to read the ingredients!  Buy brands that have real ingredients and NO food dye
  • 3.5 oz. sweet potato OR butternut squash OR pumpkin puree - Baby food makes it fast/easy.  But feel free to use your own purees, about 1/4 cup
  • 1-2 T. butter
  • 4 T. (rice) milk
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • dash of nutmeg (opt)
  1. Bring pot of water to rapid boil.  Add noodles and cook for 7 minutes.  Remove from heat.
  2. Drain noodles, then return to pot.  Add butter and puree.  Stir in cheese powder until well combined.
  3. Add milk and mix well.  Add in spices and serve warm.  Top with a little Parmesan, if desired.
That's it!  This is usually our go-to meal when money/time is tight, so I rarely (as in hardly) make mac & cheese from scratch...  It's just not worth it, unless it's for some fancy dinner party for grown ups.  But if my kids are begging for some "Noodle Cheese" then I quickly throw this together and call it good.  They stop whining and start eating, which makes for a happy dinner (and mom)!  *B

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

somebody pinch me

Yup, it's true :)  Check it out!  *B

Sunday, February 06, 2011

this week's plan: 2/7 - 2/13

Mexican Monday: Southwest salad with shredded beef
Oriental Tuesday: Gado-Gado
Twisted Wednesday: waffles with creamy strawberry sauce and scrambled eggs
Authentic Thursday: Vegetarian Lasagna
TGIFriday: Completos (Chilean-Style Hot Dogs) with carrot sticks and apple slices
Super Saturday: DATE NIGHT
Special Sunday: Coq au Vin with roasted asparagus

Tofu Coconut Curry

When me and the hub were dating, we would regularly cook dinner together.  One of the many things we have in common is our love for food ;)  When we wanted to spice things up (in the food department), we'd make curry.  We would add it to just about anything!  Nowadays, we don't eat curry as frequently as we used to.  But when we do, I'm always reminded of the good ol' dating days...

Made with coconut milk and curry, this dish is filling and full of flavor.  Definitely a great addition to your rotation of ethnic/meatless meals.   I will have you know that my littlest, pickiest and daintiest of eaters scarfed this down!  And my older munchkin stopped complaining once he took a bite...  Both parents were pleased, in taste and triumph :) 

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. carrots, diced in strips
  • 1/4 c. zucchini, diced in strips
  • 1/4 c. onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4 c. red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/4 c. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 block of prepared tofu OR 2 handfuls of chicken, cooked and shredded
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 T. yellow curry
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 t. chicken bouillon
  • cayenne, to taste (opt)
  • 1/4 t. minced garlic
  1. Heat oil in a pot over medium heat.  Add veggies and cook.
  2. Add salt, pepper, curry, and stir.  Cook for one minute.  Add tofu or shredded chicken and mix well.
  3. Add coconut milk and bouillon, stir.  Bring to boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes or until sauce thickens.  Add cayenne for some extra heat.
  4. Serve over prepared rice (Jasmine is best).
Go ahead.  Allow your taste-buds to be wooed, too!  *B