Mar 31, 2010

Reader's Choice Winner!!!

Hello, everyone.  I apologize for my delay in posting the Reader's Choice suggestions.  It has been one of those world wind weeks.  On a positive note, we do have a winner of the $10 Panara Gift Card.  YEAH!  There were many blog suggestions that were submitted.  Thanks to, the winner is Mary from Michigan.  Congratulations Mary!!

The very first Readers Choice suggestion comes from Maegan from North Carolina.  Maegan asks, "I want to know how you spend $80 on two weeksworth of groceries." 

Great question Maegan.  Even though it is just Joel and I, we try to budget our grocery shopping but make sure our meals are filling and healthy.  To help everyone understand what my average trip to Trader Joe's looks like, I have noted my last grocery purchase, below.  Please note, prior to shopping, I already had a big bag of brown rice, eggs, steel cut oats, whole wheat tortillas, and shredded cheese at home.  These are huge staples in our house.  I am the only one eating this week because Joel is fasting.  However, I am still making the portion sizes that I would normally cook if he was eating.  This is helping me have leftovers for other meals.

Trader Joe’s Purchase 3/27/10

 Trader Joe’s Yogurt O’s Strawberry Cereal - $3.49
 Trader Joe’s Chicken Broth (1 carton) – $1.99
 Organic Almond Milk (2 cartons, $1.69 ea.) - $3.38
 Trader Joe’s Vanilla Greek Yogurt (16 oz.) - $2.99
 1 Dozen Brown Free Range Eggs - $1.99
 Trader Joe’s Can Vegetarian Re-fried Beans - $.99
 Trader Joe’s Mirepoix (Chopped carrots, onion, & celery) - $2.99
 Trader Joe’s Apple Cereal Bars - $1.69
 Trader Joe’s Steamed Lentils - $2.99
 1 lb Trader Joe’s Grilled Chicken Strips - $5.29
 Trader Joe’s Garden Veg. Chicken Sausage (4 links)- $4.99
 2 Pears ($.49 ea.) - $.98
 2 Apples ($.59 ea.) - $1.18
 2 Bags Trader Joe’s Bagged Baby Spinach ($1.99 ea.) - $3.98
 Trader Joe’s Organic Pink Lemonade - $2.99
 1 Loaf Ezekiel Bread - $3.99
 Organic Whole Wheat Penne Pasta - $1.29
 1 Carton Organic Mini Pearl Tomatoes - $3.99
 4 oz carton of Trader Joe’s Crumbled Goat Cheese - $2.19
 Trader Joe’s Cream Cheese - $1.49
 1 Onion - $.59
 1 Jar Red Pepper, Eggplant, and Garlic Spread - $1.99
 1 Gal. Trader Joe’s Liquid Laundry Soap - $8.99
 7 Bananas ($.19 ea.) – $1.33
GRAND TOTAL SPENT PLUS TAX - $68.30 ($11.70 still avail if needed)


Breakfast – French Toast
Lunch – Leftover Fried Brown Rice with Peas
Dinner – Enchilada Casserole (B-Day Party)

Breakfast – Yogurt O’s with Almond Milk
Lunch – Chicken Wrap on Whole Wheat Tortilla with Spinach

Dinner – Another Birthday Party (no cooking)
** I made a big pot of Lentil Soup with Chicken Sausage.  Put half of it in the freezer for next week and put other portion in the fridge for lunch/dinner for the week.  I used 3 of the 4 Chicken Sausage links.  I put the extra link in the freezer for another meal.

Breakfast -Yogurt and Granola
Lunch - Lentil Soup and a pear
Dinner - Enchilada Casserole (Leftovers)

Breakfast – Cereal with Almond Milk
Snack – Banana
Lunch – Lentil Soup and Cinn. Raisin English muffin
Dinner – Spinach, Onion, and Cheese Frittata

Breakfast – One Scrambled Egg & Banana
Lunch – Enchilada Casserole (Leftovers)
Dinner – Chicken and Cheese Quesadilla (Salsa & Sour Cream on the side)

Breakfast – Steel Cut Oats with Raisins
Lunch – Grilled Chicken Wrap w/ Spinach and Cheese
Dinner – Penne with Spinach Sauce and Chicken

Friday – Day off of Work
Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs & Toast
Lunch and Dinner – Heading to Frankenmuth, MI with Joel for an afternoon and evening out!

I will post next weeks meals on Saturday to show you how I used the rest of my groceries.  The recipe for the Lentil Soup and Penne with Spinach Sauce will be posted tomorrow.  Feel free to post comments on meals you make during the week that a great leftovers or that quick and healthy.

Mar 18, 2010

Reader's Choice

That's right, I want to know what you would like me to blog about.  Starting today, it's Readers Choice Week.  You, the reader, deserve to know more about me and so I'm open to all questions, within reason of course.  Topics on food, faith, family are always some of my favorites.  Email me your suggestions to my email, cmart1232@hotmail.  Within a day or two, I will start selecting topics and begin posting daily blogs.  I am really looking forward to hearing from my readers and allowing you to get to know more about me.

Oh, and did I mention that there is an incentive for emailing me a suggestion?  We all love freebies, right?  One random reader will be chosen to win a FREE $10 Gift Card to Panera Bread.  The winner will be announced on Friday, March 26th.  So, send your suggestions and good luck to the winner.  

Mar 13, 2010

On the Menu Tonight-Rustic Lemon Chicken

Hello everyone!! I wanted to share with everyone a quick and easy recipe that I found on Food Network.  A while back I caught the last episode of Food Network Star where Melissa d'Arabian won season five.  I loved her because she was an upbeat wife and stay at home mom.  She knew that dinner for a family had to be quick, tasty, and cost efficient.  She had a great recipe for Rustic Lemon Chicken. 

* 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, sliced in half crossways (butterflied, cut all the way through)
* 1 teaspoon dried thyme, plus 1 small bunch fresh thyme chopped
*Salt and freshly ground black pepper
*4 tablespoons olive oil
*1/4 cup all-purpose flour
*1 red onion, thinly sliced
*1/4 cup white wine, optional
*1 cup chicken broth

Season chicken with dried thyme and salt and pepper. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and add the oil. Dredge the chicken in flour, add to the hot oil and saute until cooked through. Set chicken aside to rest on plate tented with foil.

In same saute pan, over low heat, add onions and fresh thyme and cook until aromatic.

In a measuring cup, measure out wine, if using, and broth, and add the lemon juice. Turn the heat up to high, and deglaze the pan with the broth mixture until starting to reduce.

Remove the pan from the heat and finish the sauce by whisking in butter. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.

I will be serving the chicken with a side of garlic mashed potatos.  This will be the first time I'm making this recipe so I will let you know how it turns out.