Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2013

Jerk Shrimp Taco with Pina Colada Crema

Tacos are such an easy meal and even though we like the typical ground beef taco we are always up for a new twist.  I found this idea on pinterest and changed it up to fit what we had on hand. 
The original recipe said to 'drizzle' the crema, but mine was too thick to drizzle so I piped it on.   Also, I subbed canned pineapple instead of fresh pineapple.  The taste was still delicious though.

The original recipe called for a homemade jerk marinade.  We could've done it, but I already had dry jerk seasoning in the pantry so hubby combined it with some OJ and soy sauce to make a marinade.  It worked out very well.  We subbed green cabbage instead of red and used a Pineapple Habanero Sauce that we had in the fridge instead of a homemade pineapple salsa.  And even though I know that the fresh grilled pineapple salsa would've been absolutely delicious, the sauce sub was also very, extremely tasty.   And for hubby, this taco beat out our favorite Salmon Taco!  So yeah, de…

Raspberry Picking with Alexander

Two weeks ago we took Alexander raspberry picking.  He dressed up in long sleeves and pants to protect his legs from the raspberry vines and his rainy day boots in hopes of a puddle to splash in.

Vegetable Delivery

A couple of weeks ago we decided to stain the front deck and surprisingly both kids were eager to help out. They did an awesome job!  It was great to be outside and to be productive.

Later in the day my cousin dropped by with a selection of fresh picked vegetables from their garden. It is fair to say that I have no excuses for not eating salads as I have a great supply of mixed leaf lettuce.

We decided to sautée the Swiss chard with balsamic vinegar, sliced garlic, and sunflower seeds to add some crunch.  We had decided to try cooking the stems as well, but they were pretty strong.  Maybe next to we'll stick to the leaf only, like we usually do.

My Pinterest Inspired Asian Meal

This is a meal that we had last week that was entirely planned using Pinterest.  Thoe of you who know me well are well aware of my addiction to Pinterest.  Yes, addiction.  It has even been said that I need a Pin-tervention.  :)   I cannot help it though, I not only enjoy looking for recipe this way, but I have found it very helpful in meal planning.  I now even have weekly menu boards created on Pinterest to organize my weekly meal plans.  It has become a great tool.  So I guess you could say that this meal, in a small way, does prove that I actually do make recipes that I find on there. :)   Anyway, I was in the mood for a different kind of bbq meal so I choose to make Asian Grilled Drumsticks, Asian Cabbage Mango Slaw, Tricolor Thai Salad with Zucchini & Yellow Squash, and plain white rice.   Early in the day I put the salads together and because there were so many vegetables it involved a bit of prep work.  Plus l thought it would be a good idea to get the vegetables maridnad…

Asian Grilled Drumsticks

Chicken drumsticks are always a hit at our kitchen table.  During grilling season we usually turn to bbq sauce, but this time I was on the hunt for an Asian dish.  I wish I had read thru the entire recipe early in the day and noticed that it was recommended to marinade the chicken for at least 8 hours.  Despite the fact that it only had 2.5 hours in the marinade mix, these drumsticks came out really tasty.  We will try this recipe as directed to see how it turns out.

Asian Grilled Drumsticks 1/4 cup soy sauce 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup honey 1/4 cup sesame oil 2 tbsp garlic, minced 2 tbsp ginger, minced 2 tsp dried chili pepper flakes black pepper 2 green onions, chopped 10 chicken drumsticks 1/4 cup peanut oil seasoning salt Whisk together soy sauce, lemon juice, honey, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and pepper. Add the green onions. Put drumsticks in a large zip lock bag.  I find it helpful to fold the the edges of the bag down to keep the seal clean.  Then pour in …

Asian Cabbage Mango Slaw

I saw this recipe and knew that we had to try it!  Actually, this recipe was my inspiration behind having an Asian-inspired BBQ meal.  The idea of mango in my slaw felt very summery to me and it was a great way to have a BBQ side without the calories of our typical mayo-based salads.

It was a pretty simple dish to make.  Below, you'll see everything tossed in the bowl.  FYI, I shredded the cabbage with a knife and the carrot with a box shredder. 

The marinade called for rice vinegar (which I didn't have), but I had just learned that I could sub with white wine vinegar. Mixed it all up and threw in some sesame seeds and it was ready.  I put it in the fridge for a few hours, but I could've just given it 15 minutes to let the flavors marinade a little. Asian Cabbage Mango Slaw (6 servings.  Serving Size 1/2 cup) 2 cups shredded cabbage 1/2 cup shredded carrots 1 mango a bunch of green onions, chopped 3 tbsp rice vinegar, I used white wine vinegar 1/2 lime, juiced 1 tbsp soy s…

Tricolor Thai Salad with Zucchini & Yellow Squash

We love zucchini and yellow squash however we've ever only cooked them.  We've cooked them in butter, cooked them with canned tomatoes, and grilled them, but raw?  I was unsure about making a salad with them raw, but was willing to give it a try. So, I cut half a bell pepper, half a zucchini, half a yellow squash into matchstick pieces, 1/2 tablespoon of chopped mint and chopped half a teaspoon of cilantro. If you like cilantro you could probably add more.

The dressing recipe that I had called for rice vinegar, but I didn't check before I went grocery shopping - I had none! A quick google search and I learned to use white wine vinegar as a substitute. Also, I needed chili garlic paste. I only had straight up chili paste so I added some minced garlic to the dressing instead.
Mixed it all together and stuck it in the fridge until supper.
The bright colors made the salad very appealing to the eye and it taste so nice and fresh.  The little hint of mint here and there was yumm…

Spicy Pinto Bean & Chicken Salad

So far this summer, lunch has been one of those meals that are left unplanned and thrown together so last week I found this idea online.  Millard loves pinto beans and they are healthy so I had to give this one a go.

I drained and rinsed canned pinto beans.  Yes, I know dry beans would be a healthier option... perhaps the next time.  I whisked together lemon juice, juice from jarred mild pickled banana pepper rings, olive oil, pepper, and Millard added a mix of seasonings.  Then the mixture was poured over the beans to let it marinade a little.
The original recipe called for canned tuna, but Millard is allergic to tuna so we needed a substitute.   We had canned Kirkland Signature Chicken Breat in the pantry that made the perfect sub. So I shredded the chicken by hand and added it to the salad along with the chopped tomato. 
Then Diced up green onions from our own little garden
We also subbed the peperoncini peppers with mild pickled banana pepper rings for two reason:   (1) I didn&#…

Shrimp Pasta Salad

Summertime calls for light and fresh salads.  I was in the mood for pasta salad last week, but I have to keep two things in mind... (1) the carb count for the diabetic in our family and (2) Christian is anti-mayo.  So, seeming that this would be the only side to our steak I needed to find something that Christian would enjoy and that would also include lot of veggie.  I came across the concept of a shrimp pasta salad on Pinterest so I had Christian work with me to make our own recipe.

I chopped up 24 large cooked shrimp, 1 celery stalk, 3 vine riped tomatoes, 3/4 english cucumber.
I have to admit that usually I just dump however much pasta into the pot without measuring.   This time I cooked only 1 cup of macaroni (which made 4 cups cooked)  The assembly of the salad was super easy.  I simply tossed all the chopped ingredients into the pasta.
 Now, because Christian don't like mayo he chose to use 1 cup of Skotidakis Greek Sour Cream.  It's a really thick and creamy consiste…

Meal Planning in Full Swing

If there is one thing that I've learned over the past couple of years is that if I make a meal plan and stick to it then we do great and if I don't... well, we do terrible with our healthy eating efforts.  I have been so unbelievably slack these past months, but this week I have things back under control and I promise myself and my family that I will continue to do so!!

On Monday morning we went off to get groceries with a detailed list.  Getting everything wasn't as easy as I had hoped.  We ended up going to Costco and three grocery stores.  And came home with a great haul of fruits and veggies.  Missing in the picture are avocado, lettuce, cucumber, and teriyaki sauce.

This, along with what already sits in my pantry, fridge, and freezer will pull together the following meals.  Yeah, there are some holes in the menu, but it is a start.


Thai Salad with Zucchini & Yellow Squash
Asian Cabbage Slaw
Asian Grilled Chicken Drumsticks


Simple Avocado Smoothie

Avocado is one of mine and Christian's favorite foods so this morning both of us started our day with this simple avocado smoothie.  The avocado flavor was very obvious and we both loved it.  The picture does not do the color of the smoothie justice.  It was a nice bright shade of avocado-green and ever so creamy.

We rounded our breakfast out with a small bowl of cereal with a few banana slices.

Simple Avocado Smoothie

1 Avocado
1 cup Milk
1 tbsp Splenda
4-5 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients together and done!

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

A couple of nights ago we had grilled steaks.  I would've loved a pasta salad, but this option was high in fiber, high in protein, considered good carbs, and low in fat.  It is very similar in idea as one of my favorite salads, Orzo Greek Salad, so it was a must-try.

The salad turned out nice and surprisingly Chrsitian ate almost all of his chick salad.  I say 'surprisingly' because chickpeas is not something we normally eat a lot of.  I feared that he would screw his nose up at it, but he didn't.  Alex, on the other hand is a different story.  He continues to be picky about almost everything. 

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad 1    can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed in water
1/8 cup Parsley, chopped
1/2 cup Red Bell Pepper, diced
1/2 cup Tomato
1/2 cup Black Olives, sliced
1/4 cup Red Onion, diced
1/4 cup Feta, crumbled
      Kraft Greek-Feta Salad Dressing to taste

1.  Combine chickpeas, parsley, red bell pepper, tomato, black olives, red onion and feta.
2.  Add dressing…

Grilled Salmon with Strawberry Salsa

The weather is finally starting to warm up and we just filled the propane tank to start our grilling season.  I am always looking for new salmon recipes and this one really caught my eye.  Grilled salmon and fresh fruit salsa... oh yeah!  I've made many salsas before, but this is my first time using strawberries and kiwi.  I love to try to plan our meals around what we already have.  I had already stock piled on kiwi that we didn't seem to be eating as quickly as usual so this was an ideal way to use them.  And I had everything else on hand except for the fresh strawberries so it was an extremely short grocery list.

This recipe was pretty easy to make, especially seeming that my dear hubby is my grill master!  It took me about 10 minutes to dice up the ingredients for the salsa and whisk up the glaze while my grill master took care of the red onion and salmon.  The grill master and Christian were my salsa taste testers.  We collectively agreed that the lime was a little too o…

Water Colors.

This is what is getting us to drink more water.  This lemonade is a new flavor for us.  I like it!
Alexander asks for it as   'Water Colors' His favorite is Grape, but it always seems to be sold out.  Luckily, I did find it today.

Triscuit Coated Cod Nuggets w/ Homemade Fries

I am trying to catch up on posting some meals we've had over the past couple of weeks and this meal was a definite success.  Triscuit Coated Cod Nuggets, Steamed Broccoli and Homemade Baked Fries.  I found the idea for the triscuit coating somewhere on pinterest and altered it to suit what we had in our pantry.  I was a little concerned about dryness because I've never used triscuit as a coating before, but it came out really nice.  Both kids gobbled them up.  :)     The Homemade Fries Making homemade fries are not as convenient as the frozen bagged ones, but health-wise it is so worth the effort.  I tossed a few potatoes into a sink full of water, scrubbed them, peeled them (you could leave the peel on) and cut them into strips.  TIP:  I had read somewhere to put your potato strips back into a covered bowl of cold water for 1 hour to help make them crispier... so that's what I did!   Then I put the spice mix together in a bowl:
1 tsp Garlic Powder 1 tsp Onion Powder 1/4 …

Snow Shoeing!

About two weeks ago we decided to get out and enjoy the snow.  We went snow shoeing for the first time.  Both kids were over excited all week waiting for Saturday to go.  We rented the snow shoes for the whole family and set out.  Oh, it felt so good to get out and enjoy the outdoors and try something new.  Part of our plan is not just to eat healthier, but to be more active as a family.  We want our kids to live a healthy, active life and we know that their good habits start with us.

At the beginning of the trail It was a cold, crisp day but we were bundled up nice and warm.  Alexander was over-the-moon excited that they had snow shoes to fit him as well.  We had originally planned on pulling him in his sled because we didn't think they had shoes his size, but it was awesome that they did! 

 On The Trail The trail was pretty busy with a mix of people snow shoeing and skiing.  Christian loved snow shoeing but the cross country skiers peeked his curiosity.  We will try skis next t…