Saturday, June 5, 2010

Out of the Box Meal Plan: June 7-12

I have a stash of "All You" magazines next to my coupon stash. I typically just use the "All You" magazines just for the coupons, but a couple of weeks ago I thought I would tear out some of the recipes and start testing them out. The food editor for "All You", Beth Lipton, (pictured above) comes up with an awesome variety of delicious, nutritious recipes, that are almost always very economical, and I am so happy to share a few of these with you this week.

Monday: Chicken, Snow Pea, and "Cashew" Fried Rice
Tuesday: Roasted Shrimp with Tomatoes
Wednesday: Thin-Crust Turkey Pepperoni Pizzas
Thursday: Spaghetti with Ricotta, Lemon and Spinach
Friday: Chicken Pot Pie
Bonus Saturday: Strawberry Choco Smoothie (not from the All You magazine)

Click here to see Beth Lipton be her adorable self.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Night Lentil Soup

Great things about this soup: 

1. It is so simple that my four year old could do it. He doesn't do it though because he is busy catapulting off of the couch. Need proof? Here he is. And, this was before the lentils.

2. It is nourishing and healthy and whole.
3. It is very inexpensive, makes a lot, and is the perfect leftover food for a busy Saturday.
4. You can do just about anything you like to modify the recipe below to fit what you have and what you like.
5. It is full of Lentils, which makes me happy. Lentils are so cute. They are like the little puppies of pulse category. I just think they are adorable.

What you "may" need:

2 cups of green lentils
2 cups of water (more for soupy soup~ 2 cups gives you a stew like consistency)
16-24 oz canned tomatoes
2-3 cups of greens
salt, pepper, and any other herbs/spices you would like to use

*I also added a sweet little portion of my favorite whole grain~ millet.

What you do:

First, wash those darling little lentils.  Admit it, they are cute! Place an estimated 2 cups of them into your soup pot. 

Second, add your canned tomatoes. There is no reason to process them unless you have a picky husband like mine who won't eat them unless they resemble baby food. If you do have a vegetable terrified  husband like mine then I feel your pain and go ahead and puree the tomatoes. I used two jars, equally 24 0unces.

Now, cut up some onion and two or three cups of greens. This is the last of my CSA box greens from this week. I used a mixture of mustard kale and collard greens here. I think you could do just about anything.

If you have some millet toss it in. If not, no problemo. (But, get to know millet. Aw, it is wonderful stuff!)
Now~ you have lentils, onions, greens, tomatoes, millet, and you need....a little salt and pepper.
Let them simmer on the stove about 20-25 minutes. Stir here and there.

Serve piping hot with some good whole grain bread and a dollop of sour cream.

Tomorrow (Saturday) we get up and go hunt for garage sales. I already know when we get back we will be famished. Lunch is ready to go~ we will just heat up a bowl of this soup and boom~ energy filled for a great weekend!

Ok, I showed my eldest wild child so now I need to show my youngest. Here he is eating his fresh pureed peas yesterday. Let's just say he was not a fan.

Dining Out Deals!

Got a Friendly's near you? Then head there on June 5 (THIS SATURDAY ONLY!!!) from 12-5pm to get some FREE ice cream.

In celebration of National Donut Day, tomorrow, June 4th, (TODAY ONLY) you
can snag FREE donuts at the following locations…

*Krispy Kreme: Krispy Kreme is offering customers
one FREE doughnut of any variety at participating U.S. store locations;
No purchase is necessary to receive a free doughnut. Check out the press release
found here for more information or check
out the Krispy Kreme Facebook page.

*Dunkin’ Donuts: Enjoy a FREE donut with any
beverage purchase at participating Dunkin’ Donuts from 12AM-11:30PM. Check out
all the details here.

*Lamar’s Donuts: Get a FREE Ray’s Original Glazed
Donut. Check out all the details here.

(Thanks, Penny Pinchin’ Mom, Mojo
, and The Freebie Blogger!)

“Like” California Pizza Kitchen Restaurant on Facebook and you’ll be able to print a coupon valid for a FREE Small Craving item (up to $7 value) with every $20 purchase! Just click on the “Free Offers” tab after “Liking” them.
(Thanks Hip 2 Save!)

Champps released a new coupon! Head on over here to print a buy one burger get one FREE coupon! This coupon is valid thru 6/15. (Thanks, Clever Couponing!)
Also, don’t forget to Join the Champps Fan Club to score a FREE Cheeseburger or Appetizer of your choice, no purchase necessary! Just go here and fill out the form to join. You should receive a welcome message with the coupon in your email shortly.
**Check Champps locations here.

If you have an IHOP nearby, than you’ll definitely want to head on over here and sign up for the IHOP Pancake Revolution! By joining, you’ll receive various special offers including a FREE meal just for signing up, on your birthday, and on your 1 year anniversary of joining the Pancake Revolution! Sounds good to me!

(Thanks, Mojo Savings!) is offering up a sweet new promotion! Just head on over to their Facebook page, “Like” them, and click on the “Promotions” tab. Then you’ll just need to invite 3 friends to enter the Free Food Giveaway on Facebook and you’ll score yourself a FREE $25 certificate! Easy enough, right?!
**Allow 6-10 business days for your gift certificate to arrive via email.

Jack in the Box released a yummy new coupon! Just
go here and click on “Get Coupon” to print a coupon valid for $1/1 Grilled Breakfast Sandwich! This is valid thru 6/27/10.
**This coupon is NOT valid in Austin, TX, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

If you have a RaceTrac gas station nearby, then you may be interested in this awesome summer promotion they’re offering up! Just by a refill cup priced at $6.99 and you’ll get FREE drink refills at ANY RaceTrac location ALL summer long! You can check out all the details on this promo
Addicted to Saving!)

Sign up for Wendymail and you’ll get a $1 coupon via email within the next few days. This may not seem like a lot, but you’ll easily be able to snag an inexpensive or possibly FREE treat for your kiddos or yourself! Think small frosty or french fries… yum!
Also, you’ll get periodic emails with additional coupons to save even more!
These are exclusive Brick coupons and contain the subscribers email address in the link, so I cannot post them… BUT you will start receiving them if you sign up for

(Thanks, My Sweet Savings)!

Head on over here to “Like” Juice It Up on Facebook and click on the “Coupons” tab to print a buy one get one FREE smoothie coupon!
Coupon pro!)

Chipolte-FREE Burrito with Gift Card Purchase
Buy a $25 gift card at Chipoltle and get a $10 gift card. Offer good thru 6/30/2010 on gift cards purchased in Chipoltle restauants.

Waffle House FREE Coca Cola Coupon thru 6/15/10
Drop in at the Waffle House and enjoy a FREE Coca Cola with this coupon. An icy cold coke would taste great with a waffle and some eggs! Coupon valid thru 6/15/10. No purchase is required.

Red Lobster Coupons thru 6/17/10
Save $4 off 2 adult dinner entrees and $3 off 2 adult lunch entrees at Red Lobster with this coupon.Coupon valid thru 6/17/10

Here's one hot coupon if you like Buca Di Beppo -- get $10 off any $20 purchase through 12/31/10! This is a PDF coupon, so you can print it for each occasion that you eat there through the expiration date.
(Thanks, Cha-Ching On A Shoestring!)

Kids 12 and under eat free at El Torito on Wednesdays! Enjoy one free kids meal with the purchase of each adult entree. Little amigos can choose an entree and one side : Fresh fruit, Mexican rice or French fries. All Lil' Amigo Meals include an ice cream sundae for dessert!

Jamaican Veggie Patties

Dear Katie, 

I know you are tired after an eventful day. That meal you worked on, that one that was super delicious, in which you took many instructional pictures highlighting the beauty of veggies and dough~ yes the Jamaican Veggie Patties~ sure was a hit, huh? I know you would like nothing more (other than an hour to yourself at a bookstore with a cup of coffee) than for me to just work tonight. It is, after all, past ten o'clock and I have forced you to miss The Office re-runs with your hubby. Alas, I am writing to say that I will not be working (again).. I will not upload. I will not share my pictures with you tonight. Hey, there is a really cute shot of the dogs cuddling by the couch. Just look at them! A brief moment of calm that would be perfect to capture in a picture. You can take it, sure, but don't expect me to upload it onto your computer. No ma'am. Not tonight. 

Your Memory Card 

And that is that.

A new favorite blog~ 101 Cookbooks (amazing!!!!!) has this delicious recipe posted. Today, I made it. I took pictures step by step. I even worked to make it look pretty against a backdrop other than my finger paint smudged kitchen counter. 

I can not share the pictures, but I will share the recipe and ask that you go right on over to 101 Cookbooks to view it for yourself. This is worth every bit of the work that goes into it. And, in the perfect little pouch it is a toddler and kid friendly delight.

Click here to see 101 Cookbooks Recipe for Jamaican Veggie Patties! 

The below picture has nothing to do with anything other than it completely captures a day in the life of my family. This, and writing fake letters from my stupid memory card, is how I spend my days. The crazy one flying through the air loved the Jamaican veggie pies and the little one, who is just glad no one has landed on top him in the past couple of minutes enjoyed fresh pureed peas.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Beef and Bulgar Pilaf with Mint

This little dish is a fun way to use mint. Our mint came the CSA box and our dill came from the garden outback. Once tomatoes and zucchini are in season this dish could be incredibly inexpensive to make, especially if you do as we did and omit the meat. I know pine nuts are pricey, but they are so good! 


4 Tbs Olive Oil
1/4 cup Pine Nuts
8 Ounces Ground Beef
1/4 tsp allspice
1 1/2 cup Bulgar
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 med. zucchini
2 cups cherry tomatoes
2 scallions
1/4 cup mint
1/4 cup dill
1 clove garlic
2 Tbs lemon juice

What to do:
1. Heat 2 tbs olive oil in a pot. Add the pine nuts and all spice. Toast.
2. Next add the ground beef. I encourage you to purchase pastured beef, locally if you can! Break up with a spoon and brown.
3. Now, add the bulgur and toast. This will take about three minutes.
4. Add the chicken broth.
5. Place your diced zucchini on top. You don't have to stir them in, they will steam on the top.
6. Salt and Pepper nicely, cook for about 10-12 minutes until the bulgur is nice and ready.
7. As the pilaf is cooking, cut up your scallions, dill, mint, garlic, tomato and toss them together with lemon juice.
8. In a bowl toss together and serve.


I would like to suggest a similar recipe to this one from the food network. I wanted to make this recipe, but realized last minute that in my mommy-brained mind I was confusing bulgur with barley. 
Instead of using bulgur I used barley. I cooked the barley seperately and then tossed it in with the rest. I did not use beef or broth, desiring this meal to be vegetarian.  I did add extra lemon juice. I think that with the barley a better alternative would be to use chicken. This is a very fresh and zesty (that's a fun word!) pilaf. My family enjoyed stuffed inside pita's. 

****My memory card troubles are continuing. GRRRRrrrrrrr....

Yes, I just growled. See my four year old likes to pretend to be a lion all day long, so I have become accustomed to growling as a form of basic communication. That growl meant, "Ah,why won't my picture upload!!!!" I will get them uploaded and post them as soon as I can, hopefully tonight!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Our Favorite Sandwich

Just wanted to share one of our favorite sandwiches.  Perhaps it can be lunchtime or a quick dinner inspiration for you.

Just take some hearty whole grain bread, smother with raspberry jam, load on the bean sprouts, turkey, and provolone cheese. 

Eat, eat, eat. We love it. It is sweet and refreshing. Its also pretty darn good sans the turkey, but keep those crunchy healthful sprouts on their!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Baby Food

A while back Alisha was posting baby food recipe ideas. I did not contribute much because I was still a couple of months away from thinking baby food.

Now, with Finn being six month old we are embarking on the exciting world of smashed up, spit out, funny face making food.

Here is my youngest darling eating one of his favorites~ avocado. We were at a pizza restaurant and I brought the avocado along, mushed it, and served it to him so that he did not grab at our pizza the entire night.

We have been making all of his baby food here at the house. When we are not at home I usually bring along a banana or avocado as they are easy to smash up and require nothing more be done to them.

At home, though, we have been having a lot of fun with whole grains. 

Using a blender and a tad bit of water we like to blend up~

Kasha (buckwheat)
Brown Rice 

I make these grains for breakfast and then set aside a little for Finn before I add anything to them for the rest of us. It does take some forethought, but its good for all of us. Brown rice does not stay in the fridge for long as bacteria can build up rather quickly. But, you can freeze it.

Thus far, this is the extent of our baby food adventures. As we come across and introduce new foods I will share anything interesting! And, I would love your continued ideas!

Pear Brushetta

This simple treat is a family favorite around here  especially during grilling season.

You will need the following~ but could probably mix it up however you like.
Isn't that the case with most recipes though?

Wheat bread (some good thick bread) 
Raspberry Jam
Butter (and goodness sakes, use butter not margarine. It is gross anyway and your body can not process all that fake stuff like it can a small tasteful bit of butter. OK, I am finished preaching.)

Now. The next time you have your grilled fired up you can make this desert. I am sure you could do it on the stove,but the grill makes it fun and just perfectly smokey.

In a bowl, melt some good butter. You are going to use it to coat your pears and bread. I think I use about a tablespoon. Slice up some pears and plop them into the bowl of melted butter. Stir them around real nice.

Next, add the bread to the bowl. This is the quick way to coat the bread with the butter too. You could also apply it nice and neat, but around here nice and neat does not happen much.

Your grill is already hot from whatever you have been grilling for dinner. On your top rack put the pears and bread. I put foil under my pears, but you don't have too. Grill them until they are warm and the bread is toasted.

Once the bread and pears are ready remove them from the grill. Smother the toast with raspberry jam and place the pears on top. Go ahead and eat your pear brushetta warm.