Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pineapple Peanut Butter Smoothie

As I have mentioned before I really enjoying drinking smoothies for a meal or two most days of the week. I am still a newbie as far as smoothies go but want to share what I learn as I go. I know that green smoothies don't look very appetizing (just ask S he won't go near them) but they really are amazingly good and good for you!
When I make a green smoothie I try to mix up the ingredients so that I can getting a variety of good for you stuff. Though bananas and spinach are pretty much in every smoothie I make. The smoothie I made tonight for dinner included cabbage which I have never put into a smoothie. It was great though.
I have found that I don't really taste the greens in my smoothies. The fruit provides enough flavor to mask any other flavors it seems. As I was preparing tonight's smoothie I took pictures to share with you but since my computer or memory card doesn't like me I don't have those pictures. :( But I will gladly the share the recipe with you!

Pineapple Peanut Butter Smoothie
1/2-1 cup water
2 cups spinach
1 cup cabbage
1/2 cup pineapple (frozen to give that smoothie consistency)
1/2 Banana (frozen to give that smoothie consistency)
1/2 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
*if your fruit isn't frozen I suggest adding ice and reducing the water*
According to my BodyBugg the nutritional information is as follows:
Calories: 175
Protein: 5.5 grams
Fat: 5 grams
Carbs: 32 grams

Monday, August 29, 2011

Make Your Own Warm Delights like treat at home

I found this recipe on Pinterest a while back and it has become a regular dessert and snack in our house. I have tweaked the recipe a bit so I will share my version and share the link to the original too.
Brownie in a Mug
-2 T. Flour
-1 3/4 T. Sugar
- 2 t. cocoa powder
-1/4 t. baking powder
- Dash of salt
- 2 T. milk
-1 t. oil
-1/8 t. vanilla
-1-2t. Powdered Sugar (RESERVE for topping after cooking)
Spray a coffee mug with non-stick cooking spray. Mix all of the dry ingredients (except powdered sugar) well in the mug and then add the wet ingredients. Mix ingredients until smooth. Microwave for 35 seconds. Don't overcook. Top with powdered sugar and enjoy!

The original recipe is only 110 calories! I haven't plugged my recipe in yet but I imagine it isn't much more.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Beef Jerky

S loves beef jerky but I always shudder at the price of it and the long list of ingredients on the packaging. When we made our trip back home, to Illinois, this summer I purchased a dehydrator hoping to use it not only for jerky but also for fruits. I haven't done much as far as the fruit goes but have made jerky several times.
It is so easy to make and its tasty too, S loves it so that helps too. ;) This was the first time I made it with the beef that I got from Grass Roots Meat. It turned out great and made quite a bit too. Jerky making is easy and quick. I also love that I can control what I put into my jerky seasonings.
I think that our dehydrator was one of the best investments I have made in a while. Not only can I make great jerky but as I mentioned I can do some great things with fruit too. I hope to make some yummy dried fruit soon too.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Basket 8/27/2011

Today was our weekly Bountiful Basket pickup. As I mentioned in a previous post we purchase an organic basket every week for $26.50 (conventional baskets are available too for $16.50).

As you can see we got quite a bit of produce this week including: Green Grapes, Bananas, Watermelon, Cantelope, Avocado, Tomatoes, Onion, Celery, Green Beans, Broccolt, and Cabbage.

I have never eaten or cooked with an Avocado and don't usually eat cabbage (though S loves to eat a cabbage, potato, and vinegar salad). I am looking forward to finding things ways to use all of our produce this week.
*Sorry about the quality of the picture, I forgot to take a picture until this evening so I had to gather everything back up and was kind of hurrying*

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mil-Spouse Fill-In

1. The first thing I think of when I get up in the morning is why must my child wake up so early!

2. Lately, I have been craving Ice Cream because it is way to hot here in Las Vegas. I am a midwestern girl I am not cut out for the desert.

3. Whenever anyone says the word Quick Stop, it reminds me of my childhood because there was a little ice cream/snack shop in my hometown called Quick Stop. As a kid we would walk down for great food and ice cream.

4. The happiest word I know is love, but I find it challenging to love myself.

5. My spouse may hate it, but I absolutely love to workout. (He thinks I am crazy!)

Head over to Wife of a Sailor to find more Mil-Spouse Fill-Ins! And thanks to The Misadventures of Mrs. Duh for getting me on board.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Menu 8/29 through 9/4

Every week I work very hard to keep my grocery budget (excluding my Bountiful Baskets purchase and the Grassroots purchase I recently shared) at $50 or less. Mrs. Seamonster got me showed me its possible so every week that is the goal I strive for. I really only have $38 to $40 a week for groceries since I do spend anywhere from $10-$12 on milk. We only drink organic and its pricey. H loves his milk.
This week I am challenging myself a bit further and going to try to spend even less. I have quite a bit stocked up in the pantry and freezer so I am going to try to prepare meals that need minimal ingredients (that I don't I already have on hand). In reality I should be shopping like this on a weekly basis so this will become a weekly challenge.
Breakfast: Oatmeal/Smoothie
Lunch: Black Bean Chili (we skipped it from last weeks menu)
Dinner: Red Beans and Rice Burritos/Smoothie (S said he thought the RB&R would be good in a burrito so we shall see)
Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs with cheese and turkey/Smoothie
Lunch: Tuna Noodle Casserole
Dinner: Turkey Sandwich/Smoothie
Breakfast: Pancakes/Smoothie
Lunch: Pot Roast with carrots and potatoes
Dinner: Peanut Butter and Jelly/Smoothie
Breakfast: Egg in a Hole/Smoothie
Lunch: Tuna Noodle Casserole
Dinner: Turkey Sandwich/Smoothie
Breakfast: Eggs and Bacon/Smoothie
Lunch: Chicken Enchiladas
Dinner: Free Night
Breakfast: French Toast
Lunch: Tuna Sandwich/Smoothie
Dinner: Pot Roast
Breakfast: Baked Donuts
Lunch: BLT/Smoothie
Dinner: Chicken Enchiladas

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Grassroots Meats

Late last week I finally placed an order with Grassroots Meats and I received my order today! I am so excited to have the chance to provide my family with grass-finished beef and free range chicken without the added hormones or antibiotics. I feel like the "cleaner" I can make my family's diet the better.

Located in Pagosa Springs, Colorado,
GrassRoots Meats provides all natural grass-finished beef and lamb, as well as free-range chicken, raised without added hormones or antibiotics. Our animals are on pasture from the day they are born to the day they are taken to the processor, a small family owned USDA plant, where they are processed in a very humane fashion. Our all natural, free range chickens are raised by a producing partner in western Colorado.

I ordered the Mountain Man Special and two whole chickens. Everything came packaged and labeled professionally. I was a little worried placing an order for something that had to stay frozen since it is August in Southern Nevada but the packaging kept all of the meat frozen solid.

Here are some pictures of what we received as well as a list of what is included in the Mountain Man Special.

This picture includes: 2 whole chickens (weighing approx 3lbs each), Rump Roast, Rump Roast, Chuck Roast, Brisket, Kabob Meat, Top Round Steak and Bottom Round Steak. The beef in this picture totals about 14lbs.

The Mountain Man Special also included 20lbs of ground beef. As you can see from the picture the ground beef is packaged in 1lb packages.

I look forward to finding some great recipes for all of this meat. We don't eat beef more than once or twice a week usually so I am hoping that this will last us for several months. If you are looking to provide your family with grass fed beef or free range chicken visit Grassroots or for farmers near you visit Eat Wild.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Plums, Plums, and More Plums

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this weeks Bountiful Baskets offering include a large variety of plums. We received 12lbs of plums for $10.50! Now that I have all of these yummy plums I am trying to find ways to use them besides simply eating them. My plans for my plums include:
-Dehydrating some for dried plums
-Using plums in my daily Green Smoothies
-Plum Crisp
-Plum Tart
-Freeze some as well.
I look forward to trying out all of these new recipes. I also have enjoyed sampling all the different varieties of plums that were included in our basket. As you can see from the picture there are quite a few different types of plums. I will keep you updated on how everything turns out.

Green Smoothies

A few weeks ago on my friend's on a Military Spouse support forum introduced me to Green Smoothies. I have seen them before but thought the list of ingredients always sounded awful. I finally convinced myself to try and now must say I am addicted to them. They are so much fun to make because I never make use the exact same ingredients twice.
I have actually started replacing two meals a day with a Green Smoothie. Thanks to Bountiful Baskets I am able to have a variety of fresh, organic produce available to me at all times. I am by no means an expert on how to make the best green smoothie but some of my favorite ingredients include: spinach, kale, frozen bananas, flaxseed oil, and grapes. I always include spinach and bananas in my smoothies. From there I just toss what sounds good into the blender and go from there. I do not use milk or yogurt in my smoothies. I have found that my smoothies are nice and smoothie like without the extra calories of dairy products. I always include about a cup of water too. If I don't use any frozen ingredients I will toss in some ice too but I don't like things too cold so I skip ice most of the time.
Smoothies are great for a quick meal. I have found that I am fuller longer when I drink a smoothie than when I eat a full meal. As I start to explore the world of green smoothies further I will share with you what works and doesn't work for me. Have you tried green smoothies? What are your favorites?
If you are interested here is a link to get you started on your Green Smoothie adventure. Green Smoothie Recipes

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Oven Baked Salmon

Tonight's planned meal was Grilled Salmon with Baked Potato and Corn on the cob but when I told my husband my plan he asked that I make something different. He said the salmon was dry last time I grilled it. He loves salmon so I knew I needed to find a different way to prepare it. I googled recipes but nothing sounded quite right. So this is what I came up with:
1 1/4lbs Salmon
2 T. Butter (melted)
2 t. Lemon Pepper
2 t. Garlic Salt
1/2 c. Chicken Broth
I rubbed the melted butter over the salmon and then sprinkled it with the seasoning. I poured the broth into a baking dish and then laid the salmon in. Bake at 450* for 15 minutes or until flaky. It wasn't anything special but was a quick and yummy way to serve Salmon.
*Excuse the not so pretty picture. I am by no means a good photographer.*

Bountiful Baskets

Over a year ago I discovered a product co-op here in Las Vegas, Bountiful Baskets. I love fresh produce and living in Las Vegas makes it difficult to find affordable produce that is fresh and hasn't traveled thousands of miles. Every Saturday morning I get to go to a local park and pick up a basket of veggies and a basket of fruit (all organic) for only $26! They also over conventional baskets, which aren't organic for only $16.
Each week I find either a vegetable or fruit that I have no experience with and sometimes both. I love that I can get fresh, organic produce for a great price and discover new recipes. I get to experiment each week with something new and get out of my comfort zone just a bit.
This past week one of the offerings was a box of plums with nearly 12 different varieties. I currently have an overabundance of plums but thanks to my dehydrator and Google I am going to find some yummy ways to use all of these great plums.
How it works?
Bountiful Baskets is completely volunteer run and organized. It started in Arizona and now has weekly offerings all over the country. Each week participants log onto the website and purchase their basket. The money from all contributions are pooled together and produce is purchased. From Bountiful Baskets website:
This is a grass roots, all volunteer, no contracts, no catch co-operative. Without volunteers this co-op wouldn’t happen, so you will need to help as you are able. There are many opportunities to help!...As a group, we purchase items at deep discounts. Items are then distributed evenly among participants...We get a variety of high-quality seasonal produce. We balance variety with seasonality in order to get the most appealing and cost-effective basket possible. We choose to use local produce first when available, then regional produce if it is not.
Bountiful Baskets is a great opportunity to add fresh, seasonal produce to your weekly menu at great prices. Check out Bountiful Baskets to see if there are any offerings in your area or to get a local site started.
I will start sharing my weekly basket contents each week so you can see the great produce I get each week!

Menu 8/22 through 8/28

I have been slacking lately on keeping this blog up to date. I will work on staying up to date from now on. My husband works an odd schedule so our main meals are often lunch instead of dinner. I have also started replacing 2 of my meals a day with a homemade Green Smoothie so my menu is a little strange.
Breakfast: Eggs and Bacon (Husband and son) and Green Smoothie (me)
Lunch: Red Beans and Rice (Meatless)
Dinner: Tuna Sandwich (Husband), Homemade Chicken Nuggets (son), and Green Smoothie (me)
Breakfast: Oatmeal (Husband and son) and Green Smoothie (me)
Lunch: Chili Potatoes
Dinner: Peanut butter and Jelly (Husband and son) and Green Smoothie (me)
Breakfast: Pancakes (Husband and son) and Green Smoothie (me)
Lunch: Red Beans and Rice (Meatless)
Dinner: Turkey Sandwich (Husband and son) and Green Smoothie (me)
Breakfast: Eggs and Bacon (Husband and son) and Green Smoothie (me)
Lunch: Spaghetti with Shrimp sauce
Dinner: Tuna Sandwich (Husband), Fruit Salad (son), and Green Smoothie (me)
Breakfast: Oatmeal (Husband and son) and Green Smoothie (me)
Lunch: Turkey Sandwich (Husband and son) and Green Smoothie (me)
Dinner: Free Night
Breakfast: Pancakes (Husband and son) and Green Smoothie (me)
Lunch: Black Bean Chili
Dinner: Spaghetti with Shrimp Sauce
Breakfast: French Toast (Husband and son) and Green Smoothie (me)
Lunch: BLTs
Dinner: Chicken Tacos