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Recipe: Chicken Strips

11 Jul

Here’s a yummy marinade from my  mom. I did it with chicken breasts cut into strips, but you can also use beef.

Marinade:

  • 4 Tbsp. oil
  • 4 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice (my mom said she’s used vinegar before if she doesn’t have any lemons on hand)
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic minced (or just use garlic powder)
  • 1 tsp. basil (I didn’t have any basil, so I used oregano)

They’re especially good if you marinate them for a day or two. You can cook them on the grill or in a pan on the stove top.

 

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Groceries/Menu for Next 2 Weeks

5 Jul

HEB groceries $97.67

Here’s my groceries for the first 2 weeks of July. I went to HEB, Sam’s Club and Albertsons.

How I saved at HEB:

  • Saved $11.41 by buying generic brand
  • Saved $1.36 by buying on sale items
  • Saved $3.75 by using coupons (in store Tabasco coupon,  in store, buy one get one half off make-up brushes, in store, buy Tostitos chips get HEB chips free, and a printed out Newman’s Own coupon)

My total at HEB was $97.67.

My Albertson’s trip I spent $38.20 and saved $31.38!!!! It was all done by buying on sale items. The 2 roasts were buy one get one free (perfect since Cameron requested a roast as his b-day meal). The chicken breasts, whole chicken, grapes, apples and corn were all on sale too.

It seems like HEB’s everyday prices are generally cheaper, but Albertsons has some great sales, especially in meat. So I’m trying to mostly shop at HEB and stop in at Albertsons for any great sales.

Sam's Club and Albertsons Groceries. Saved $31.38 at Albertsons!

And I spent $43.44 at Sam’s club.

My total in food groceries is: $143.50, leaving me with $106.50 for the rest of the month, which I think is do able, especially since I have 1 roast and 1 whole chicken in the freezer that I’m not even planning on using yet, so I can use them later in the month.

My total in non-food items is: $35.81, leaving me $4.19. I bought toilet paper, toothpaste, aluminum foil, laundry detergent and make-up brushes, I don’t think I’ll have to buy much more in this category this month.

Here’s what’s on the menu plan for the next 2 weeks:

Breakfasts: Granola, oatmeal, peanut butter power pucks, toast, smoothies, eggs

Lunches: Leftovers, sandwiches, burritos

Suppers:

  • Roast with carrots, potatoes, gravy and rolls (my mother-in-law brought the rolls). And whole wheat honey carrot cake for dessert. This was Cameron’s birthday meal.
  • Stew or pot pie made from leftover roast and rolls
  • Black bean quesadillas, fresh salsa and chips, grapes
  • Salad with hard boiled or deviled eggs, some sort of fruit
  • Chicken and brown rice made with homemade chicken broth and steamed broccoli
  • Stuffed peppers made with leftover brown rice and black beans, apples and cream cheese dip from Tammy’s Recipes
  • Chicken strips, corn on the cob, millet
  • Ramen noodle stir fry (if there’s any leftover millet, I’ll throw that in too)
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches (with slices of tomato in them if there’s any left), veggies and dip, mangoes
  • Chicken burger sandwiches, homemade oven fries, salad
  • Chicken quesadillas (with any leftover chicken), fresh salsa and chips, apples and dip
  • Leftovers

I’m realizing that planning my meals for 2 weeks, I don’t have to come up with 14 different main meals, between leftovers and eating out I don’t usually end up making every meal I plan.

Whole Wheat Honey Carrot Cake

2 Jul

Today is my amazing husband’s birthday! And every year he asks for the same kind of cake, honey carrot cake. It only uses honey as the sweetener, no sugar, and has some whole wheat flour in it, plus it’s got carrots, so it’s a healthier birthday cake. When he was a boy his mom always made it for him. So I thought I’d share the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • Nuts and raisins optional

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour one 13 by 9 in. pan or two 8 or 9 in. pans. (I did two small pans, and instead of stacking them later, just left them separate).

Beat honey, oil and eggs.

Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, vanilla and salt.

Then add carrots, raisins and nuts. I just LOVE the bright orange color of the carrots! Pour into pan or pans and bake 30-40 minutes. Once cooled, ice it. Here’s what I used for my honey icing (sorry I didn’t measure the ingredeints):

  • Cream cheese (softened)
  • Honey
  • Butter (softened)
  • Milk

And in case you’re wondering, no Cameron did not turn 7. I didn’t have 28 candles, so I just made them into a “C” shape. Not quite as exciting as Gracia’s butterfly cake.

Salmon Patties

29 Jun

Salmon Patty Sandwich

Fish is a healthy protein, but it can be pretty pricey too. This recipe uses canned salmon, which is very affordable. It’s a great source of Omega-3 and it’s low in mercury (for more info on mercury in fish go here). A lot of cans of salmon have a salmon patty recipe on them, I use the can’s recipe and tweak it a little. Here’s my tweaked version:

  • 1 (14.75 oz.) can of salmon
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2/3 cup bread crumbs
  • lemon pepper (or any seasoning you like)
  • oil for frying

Mix all the ingredients except the oil. Form into patties (I usually get 3 large patties out of one can). Heat up a small amount of oil in a pan then cook the patties in it. Once the patties are golden brown on the bottom, flip and cook on the other side.

You can eat these just as is, on top of a salad or as a sandwich (that’s our favorite way).

Problem Solved – A Story About Crumbs

27 Jun

We have a problem at our house, we eat a lot of corn tortilla chips. But the problem isn’t the ones we eat, its the ones we DON’T eat. It always seems like  a quarter of the chips get left behind in the bottom of the bag as crumbs. I like to use the crumbs as a topping on chili or chicken tortilla soup. The only problem is with all this over 100 degree weather, we haven’t been eating chili or soup. So I had this container of chip crumbs:

And I finally did something about them! First I ground them up in my food processor:

Then I used 3/4 cup in making meatloaf. I usually use bread crumbs made from leftover stale bread and crackers, but the tortilla chip crumbs worked just fine too! I put the rest of the crumbs in a bag in the freezer for the next time I need them. Sometime I want to try using them to bread chicken fingers with. Here’s an article I found with 10 ways to use up tortilla chip crumbs.

Linked at Kitchen Tip Tuesday’s at Tammy’s Recipes. Check out her site for more great kitchen tips. And check out her recipes too! I’ve tried several of them, so far I think my favorite has been her White Chili. Too bad it’s kinda hot weather for it. =(

Do you have any creative ways of using up chip crumbs?

You CAN Afford to Eat Healthy!

23 Jun

Exercise is a part of being healthy, but so is eating right. I’ve heard so many people say that they can’t afford healthy food. I won’t deny that some healthy foods are expensive, but there’s actually a lot of very affordable healthy foods out there. You may even find that you eat cheaper when you eat healthy.

Here’s a list of a few cheap and healthy foods (this is by no means all of them):

  • Oatmeal – Has iron and fiber. Costs $2.24  for a big thing of it that makes 30 servings! Or if you don’t like eating hot oatmeal you can make granola out of it.
  • Potatoes – Keep the skins on, that’s where most of the nutrients are and nothings wasted.
  • Beans – High in fiber and protein. And they’re not only way cheaper than meat, but also a lot lower in fat!
  • Lentils – These are not only cheap, but easy to cook. Unlike beans they don’t need to be soaked overnight.
  • Raisins – I love dried fruits, but most are expensive and some have added sugar. But raisins don’t have extra sugar and they are the cheapest dried fruit I can find.
  • Fruit and veggies – Buy in season, locally grown and on sale to get the most for your money. I find that things like carrots, bananas and apples seem to pretty much always be cheap.
  • Whole wheat bread – It usually doesn’t cost much, if any more, than white bread, or you can make your own.
  • Brown rice – it only costs a little more than white rice, but it goes a long way.
  • Whole Wheat Pasta – I’ve only cooked with this a few times, but you can get it pretty affordably.

Here’s some other tips:

  • A lot of regular grocery stores are carrying health food items, and it’s probably cheaper there than at a health food store, but compare prices to make sure.
  • You may be able to get some healthy foods cheaper at warehouse stores. The cheapest unit price I’ve found on honey is at Sam’s Club.
  • Eat the right sizes, if you eat too much it not only isn’t healthy, it also makes your grocery bill higher.
  • Skip the unnecessary and completely empty calories like soda and candy. There’s nothing healthy in it and the cost really adds up. Save that money to buy healthy food instead.
  • Cook from scratch. You have more control over what goes in, and don’t have to worry about all the preservatives that are in prepared foods. Plus it’s usually cheaper.

Homemade Granola

20 Jun

Cereal is a perfect breakfast because it’s so easy and fast in the mornings. But if you look at the ingredients usually sugar is one of the first 2 ingredients. So here’s an alternative. This granola recipe only uses honey, instead of sugar, and it’s chock full of fiber. Just make up a batch every now and then and you have granola ready to go for many breakfasts to come! You can also use in it making peanut butter power pucks, or a yummy parfait.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of old fashioned oats
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 3/4 cup of honey
  • vanilla, maple flavoring, almond extract, cinnamon, or any flavoring you would like
  • Add-ins: raisins, craisins, chopped dates, sunflower seeds, coconut, chopped nuts or whatever else sounds good to you.

Melt the butter. Then mix all the ingredients, except the add-ins. Bake in a glass 9 by 13 pan at 350 degrees F, stirring occasionally. Bake until granola is light brown. Let cool then add dried fruit and nuts. Keep in an airtight container.