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Roasted Vegetables and Getting Back in the Swing of Things

25 Jun

This is one of my first posts in a long time. Like a very long time. Like people might have thought I was dead or became a hippie and gave up technology forever.

But no. Just popped out a baby. And if you have more than one you know what I’m saying when I say two is a lot different than one. Like I thought I was tired with one. Ha. HAHA. Girl you had it so good! That’s what I’d like to say to myself then. You could “nap when the baby naps” and shower and probably even eat then. But when you have two, those things seem like luxuries and might be considered neglect if you do them. Haha.

Anyway things have changed a lot. We are even shorter on time and money and trying to use both as wisely as we can.

Enter Aldi grocery stores. Do you hear the angels signing as well? If you do not have one of these stores near you I’m sorry. It has been wonderful getting to know this store. Everything is cheap!! And it’s good quality too. I don’t know how they do it! Well I’ve read some things but still. It has allowed me to provide a lot of produce for cheap for my family. Hence the title. (I bet you thought I forgot why I was even writing this in the first place didn’t you?).

I have been roasting everything! And it’s all good and good for you and easy! Yup easy is my middle name. Wait that came out wrong…..

Anyway vegetables. I’ve done sweet potatoes, kale, squash, zucchini, new potatoes, yellow potatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, broccoli, cabbage. And they are all done about the same way. Cut up the vegetables, toss them in some olive oil, add salt and pepper and spread in one single layer on a nonstick or sprayed baking sheet. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until browned and cooked through at 350-400 degrees. We have this all the time and everyone raves about it and it seriously couldn’t be easier. And I love that I don’t have to stand at the stove. I can just throw them in and go play with the kiddos.

Enjoy!!

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Sour Cream Enchiladas

8 Aug

This was seriously yummy and while I was making it, I got kinda excited!  It was also a big hit with my friends.  It had enough leftovers for another night, they were okay, but not near as good as the first time.

Sorry the picture is kinda blurry.  I had to hurry and take it and get out of the way before it was devoured.

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Ingredients:

  • 16 oz. sour cream
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro or 1/2-1 tbsp. of dried
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken breasts (I used 3 medium chicken breasts)
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 7-8 tortillas
  • Monterrey Jack and Colby cheese blend
  • 1 can diced green chilies

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, mix sour cream, soup, and cilantro.  Watch and stir closely.  Do not turn up heat more than 2-3 or it might bubble out or burn.
  2. Combine chicken, Rotel, and green chilies in saute pan and heat for a few minutes.
  3. Warm tortillas until flexible.
  4. Spray 8×11 dish with cooking spray.
  5. Fill each tortilla with about 2 tbsp. or so of chicken mixture and top with a little bit of cheese and place seam side down in dish.
  6. Spread sour cream mixture on top.  Sprinkle cheese on top.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Source:  Adapted from-http://skinnymom.com/2012/05/11/skinny-sour-cream-enchiladas/

Tuna Casserole

31 Jul

Now, I know this sounds weird.  I almost hate calling it that because people usually cringe when they hear that name.  Kind of like fruit cake or something.  But there is always a reason why I try new recipes and usually it has to do with a surplus of ingredients in my pantry or fridge.  I like to use what I have and only buy what I need.  Cuts down on waste and your grocery bill.  So as you might have guess, I have a surplus of canned tuna because my awesome mom likes to bring us food spontaneously from Costco.  We call her the chicken fairy.  Anyway I thought I would get creative with the use of the tuna and not just do tuna sandwiches.  So I searched for a long time for a casserole that did not sound like complete vomit, because honestly, a lot of them do.  So here is the one I used.

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Ingredients:

  • box of pasta, cooked
  • 2 cans of tuna, drained
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 lg. container of French’s fried onions

Directions:

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  2. Coat a 9×13 dish with cooking spray.
  3. Combine pasta, tuna, and soup.  Mix well and top with Cheddar cheese.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly.  Sprinkle with fried onions and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.

So the recipe I adapted this from called for 1 can of tuna and my man likes meat so I added 2 cans of tuna.  Good thing I did.  It needed it.  And use good tuna if you have it.  I had some low quality tuna and it could have tasted better.  Also, if I make this again I think I would add two cans of soup.  Might even change it to another kind of soup like golden mushroom or something like that.  I liked it, it was not terrible.  I even got some more, but it was not my favorite.  I think with the changes I mentioned above it might be better.  Also, this is not a good recipe to bring to work and heat up in the microwave.  The onions got mushy my husband said.  It does make plenty to have for left overs another night which is great for the budget, but for sure heat in the oven.

Source: Adapted from-http://allrecipes.com/recipe/easy-tuna-casserole/

Salmon, Sweet Potatoes, and Green Beans

31 Jul

This is one of my favorite meals hand down.  It is good for you, has great color, and it pretty simple.  My husband helps me out on this one.

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Ingredients:

  • salmon-cooked on grill on cedar planks, seasoned with pepper and garlic salt
  • fresh green beans-seasoned with olive oil and garlic salt
  • sweet potatoes-topped with a little bit of butter

Directions:

  1. You are going to want to put in your sweet potatoes about an hour before you want the food on the table.  Wash them thoroughly, cutting off any bad parts.  Prick with fork all over and place on foil lined cookie sheet in 400 degree oven.  Cook for 45-60 minutes depending on size.  They are done when you can squeeze gently.  Split length wise with knife and put dollop of butter inside.  Mix.  You can eat the skin on this and it will be delish!
  2. You will saute the green beans on the stove top in large pan.  Put in a little olive oil and toss.  Sprinkle a little garlic salt on top and cook until done.  Usually about 20 minutes or so.
  3. My husband cooks the salmon on a cedar plank (follow directions on cedar plank package).  Lightly season with garlic salt and pepper.  Cook for 20-30 minutes or until flakes.  Don’t over cook or it will be too dry.  Make sure to peel off skin.

Love love love this meal.  You don’t feel awful or guilty after eating, just that you have had a very healthy, well-balanced meal.  Sweet potatoes are extremely high in nutrients and are one of the best foods you can have in your diet.  Try eating them at least once a week.

Source: Just one of my favs.  Texas Roadhouse has a great salmon and you can get a sweet potato as one of your sides.  Their green beans aren’t exactly the same, but you could do whatever other side you wanted.

Almost Lasagna

31 Jul

This is a great recipe that tastes a lot like lasagna, but it is a little simpler.  Feeds a lot of makes left overs and lunches for work.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 box of pasta, cooked (any kind of pasta will work.  I used this one that kind of looked like caterpillars.)
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce (26 oz.)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lb. (16. oz) Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 cups Mozzarella Shredded Cheese
  • Canned mushroom stems and pieces, drained (or any veggie)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Italian Seasoning

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Brown meat (add a little Italian seasoning) and cook pasta.  While cooking, mix eggs, ricotta, and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese.  Add a little salt and pepper.
  2. Mix meat, pasta, sauce, and mushrooms together.  Add ricotta cheese mixture.  Mix well.
  3. Spray a 9×13 pan with olive oil cooking spray and spread half of mixture on bottom.  Top with 1 cup of Mozzarella and a good sprinkle of Parmesan.  Add the remaining mixture and top with 1 cup of Mozzarella and Parmesan again.  Cover with foil
  4. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake another 10-20 minutes until cheese is starting to brown and bubble.  Serve with garlic toast and salad if you want.

This was very good.  Some things I noticed.  I used half of a 44 oz. jar of pasta sauce because I was making this for a friend a few days later and it seemed a little dry.  I would use a whole jar of the regular size.  Also, my friend suggested using half of the ricotta and half cottage cheese to help it be more moist.  Make sure to cook until the cheese turns a little brown on top to give it that crispiness like lasagna.  Very good and I would do again with the modifications I posted.

Source:  Adapted from- http://family.go.com/food/pkg-family-approved-recipes/recipe-786707-almost-lasagna-t/

Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Taquitos

31 Jul

I am all about breakfast for dinner.  Love it.  I usually only get a good breakfast if we get out early enough on the weekend, which is very rare, so having it for breakfast lets me get that yummy food whenever I want.  Plus it is a great dinner idea for those on a budget (which we are!)  This time I decided to do a kind of What-A-Burger taquito copy cat recipe.  If I do say so myself, they tasted VERY similar to them!  Yummy.  My husband really liked it.  My daughter, well, she has given up eating all together it seems like.  She goes through phases.

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Ingredients:

  • Flour tortillas
  • 8 eggs-this was for three of us.  I used a generous amount because it is dinner.
  • Half pound of breakfast sausage
  • Shredded cheese (your favorite is fine, I used Colby-jack)
  • Milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • Hash browns-for side if you wish

Directions:

  1. Cook the sausage until done.
  2. I crack the eggs into bowl first, add a little milk and salt and pepper.  Once mixed, pour over the sausage to cook.  Folding gently while it’s cooking.
  3. When the eggs start to firm a little, I start adding cheese.  I keep adding a little bit at a time until the eggs are finished.  The eggs should not look dried out.  Once they start looking a little less wet and runny, they are done.  I HATE over done scrambled eggs.
  4. Warm tortillas in microwave or however you prefer.  Put mixture in center of tortilla, top with some more cheese, and roll.  Add hash browns as your side if you chose to.

Great, easy, cheap dinner.  Plus it tasted so much like What-A-Burger!!  A+

Source:  I didn’t get this one from anywhere, just something we like to do.

English Muffin Pizzas

24 Jul

This is a great one to do if you have kids and want something fun to do with them that they can actually help with.  Plus, it is super easy, super quick, and yummy!

Now the source of the recipe calls it vegetable pizzas.  Well…..my husband “lika da meat” so that wouldn’t fly with us.  But it is pizza which means do what you want!!!  🙂

Ingredients:

  • English Muffins-slightly toasted
  • Pizza sauce
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Any other toppings you might want.  I used pepperoni this time.

Directions:

  1. Heat oven or toaster over to broil.
  2. Spread pizza sauce over toasted muffins.
  3. Top with cheese and toppings.
  4. Broil until cheese is melted and browning.  (5 minutes or so.)

The kids (my husband and daughter) LOVED being able to make their dinner exactly how they wanted it and that it was done only 5 minutes later!  Such a fun, quick thing to do with the kids.  My daughter was asking for them again days later.  A couple of things, I would add more toppings like mushrooms and black olives to my pepperoni and I would toast them a little longer before I put toppings on them that was they are a little crunchier.  (I loathe soggy pizza.)

Source:  Adapted from-  http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/vegetable-english-muffin-pizzas-50370.aspx

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