Tag Archives: Cooking

Corn Dog minus the Corn Dog

I didn’t know what else to calls these little nuggets but it’s a spin off of a corn dog, pig in a blanket and sausage & peppers. They look pretty ridiculous and are a little messy, but a change of pace and pretty stinkin’ yummy! Not to mention, they are EASY!

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The recipe is super simple. Cut the tops off of Wax or Poblano Peppers ( any long and skinny pepper will work ) and remove all seeds. Drizzle Olive Oil on peppers and Sausage ( italian or chicken sausage is fine ). Slice some Onions and throw everything on the grill with medium heat. Stuff the pepper with sausage and onion, maybe top with some Spicy Mustard and enjoy!

DSC_0036I love this meal because it’s quick, it’s loaded with protein and veggies and the cleanup is minimal since it’s all done on the grill. It doesn’t even require Sunday Meal Prep!! BONUS!

Happy Hump Day Friends!

Any recipes you want to see? Any tips or tricks you want me to share? Have an ingredient but you just don’t know what to do with it, or you’re getting bored of the “same old”? Leave me a comment.

Blueberry Oat Protein Muffins

Blueberry Oat Protein Muffins
recipe adapted from www.peanutbutterandfitness.com

dsc_0029gold cupcake paper / red white & blue

Ingredients:

2 scoops Whey Protein ( protein I use )
1/4 cup agave
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk ( vanilla is good too )
1 1/2 tbsp almond butter ( or peanut butter )
1 cup applesauce
2 egg whites
1 tsp almond extract
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
sliced almonds
1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees / whisk protein powder, agave and almond milk together until smooth / add almond butter and whisk until smooth / add remaining wet ingredients and mix.

Add oats, baking powder, cinnamon and mix well / fold in blueberries / pour mixture into cupcake paper / top with almond slices or nuts / bake 25-30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean

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Grocery Haul and Meal Prep

We have had ( and are having ) some busy weekends as summer comes to and end and life picks back up again – why does summer always seem like vacation even though we have the same routine? Kevin’s summer hours ended, I head back to work full-time, school is back in session which means morning commutes are more stressful and time to stock up the pantry for the cold weather. OK – maybe it’s not going to get THAT cold THAT soon, but I’m preparing.

Without realizing it, I tend to stock up the freezer for the cold months and by the time the first peak of warm weather shows, it’s time to eat fresh food! This week I did a huge grocery haul and planned meals for the next two weeks due to holidays and wedding travel. Here’s a look at what $99 of groceries looks like. I also did some meal prepping as usual.

I talked about stocking up on sale items for future use ( Dinner for $10 ) – this will save you time and money. Time, because you already have the food on hand ( maybe even keep a running inventory of your freezer or pantry ) and Money because you spend half the price or more on something you would normally buy anyway!

image1dsc_0003Trying to get everything shoved into one frame was tricky, sorry for the bad quality.

Sale items I stocked up on:
Shrimp ( originally $19.99/2lb = sale $11 each ) 45% savings
Grass Fed Hot Dogs ( originally $7.99 = sale and coupons $5.99 ) 25% savings
Morning Star ( originally $4.99+ = sale 3/$10 plus free french fries ) 45%+ savings
Ground Turkey ( originally $5.99 = sale and coupons $2.99 ) 50% savings
Naan ( originally $2.99 = sale $1.99 ) 30% savings
Chicken Breast ( originally $2.99/lb = sale $1.79/lb ) 40% savings

I have a method to my madness (usually) which, in this case, means I DO NOT buy certain items unless they heavily on sale and/or I have a coupon. Shrimp is one of these items. Shrimp is SO expensive and I feel like it’s all I want to eat sometimes. I will only buy shrimp if it is $6/lb or less ( preferably $5 – $5.50/lb ) and second is mayonnaise. Yes, it’s an unhealthy condiment but one I CANNOT live without. I only purchase mayo when it is on sale AND I have a coupon. Naan is a pantry staple in our house. When I saw them on sale this week I had to grab 2 more packages – they can easily be frozen, but we eat it at least once a week so I know they won’t go to waste.

After all my shopping is done, it’s time to prep some items for the week. Some weeks contain more prep than others and this was one of those weeks. To be honest, I am so OK with that because it makes week nights smooth as butter!

dsc_0005 dsc_0004I make my menu, prepare a shopping list being as specific as possible ( list number of zucchini or bananas you need so it’s not a guessing game when you’re in the store ) and then plan what I will prep ahead of time. Some easy items to prep are yogurt, hummus & veggies and overnight oats.

image2This week, prep took a little longer – I shredded the zucchini and carrots for muffins ( adapted from here ) using my food processor, then cooked/pureed the eggplant in the food processor and baked the “meat”balls as well. We mixed and baked the zucchini muffins, peeled/mashed/mixed bananas and cooked pancakes, cooked a batch of eggs, chopped celery and onion & made tuna fish, and steamed five heads of broccoli.

It was a lot of cutting, chopping, cleaning, washing and cooling – I got a little run down and luckily Kevin finished things up. Come Monday, all we have to do is boil water for pasta and heat sauce and dinner is ready! Crockpot chicken on Tuesday takes no time at all and just like that, two days worth of meals are almost completely done for you!

Meal Prepping & Back to Work

It’s my first week “back to work” since Brandon was born and I was both happy and sad. Happy for a more selfish reason which is being able to do errands on Fridays and not ruin my weekend with grocery shopping! Sad because it’s one less day I get to spend with my little guy – but I KNOW he’d much rather be with his friends at Daycare than with ol’ Mom!

The added day means more organization, more planning and more prep! Here was the shopping trip and menu.

Sweet & Purple Potatoes with Veggies and Sausage topped with a Fried Egg
dsc_0032Crockpot Pork Enchiladas

dsc_0035Buffalo Chicken Croissants

dsc_0034Turkey, Avocado and Goat Cheese Paninidsc_0033

Crockpot BBQ Chicken and Pineapple

IMG_9021Crockpot BBQ Chicken with Pineapples

Prep – 10 minutes / Cook – 6-8 hours ( low )

Ingredients:
6 Chicken Breasts or Boneless Skinless Thighs
1/2 cup BBQ Sauce
1 can Pineapple Slices ( drained )

  1. Place chicken in the bottom of the crockpot

IMG_90142. Drizzle ( aka douse ) BBQ sauce to cover chicken

IMG_90153. Layer pineapple slices on top of chicken

IMG_90164. Cook on low for 6-8 hours

IMG_9022I like to to serve rice on the side, but you can do roasted potatoes or double the veggies.

*sorry for the photo quality, I was in a RUSH so snapped these up with my phone before heading out the door for work.

Zucchini Fritters

I mentioned before about the veggies we receive every week from a local farm. We love supporting anything local but besides that, the farm fresh flavor is above anything you’ve ever had. However, it ALSO means we get loads of corn, zucchini, yellow squash and carrots every week and sometimes it’s hard to eat everything up before it goes bad! I just showed you zucchini noodles, now here are some zucchini fritters we make on Sunday and enjoy for lunch all week by themselves, on a bun or on top of a salad.

Zucchini Fritters

DSC_0030Prep – 10 minutes / Cook – 12-15 minutes

Ingredients:

2 large Zucchini or Yellow Squash
1/2c Breadcrumbs or 1/8c Rice Flour/Oat Flour1 egg ( if necessary )
Garlic
Parsley / Salt / Pepper / Paprika

*Shred or grate zucchini ( I like the food processor attachment ). Allow zucchini to drain or squeeze liquid out with a towel. Add breadcrumbs, egg and spices and mix. Heat oil on medium high. Form patties with the zucchini mixture and place on pan. Wait until just about golden and flip.

DSC_0031Double Griddle

Fritters can be stored up to a week in the refrigerator. We like to top ours with fancy sauce          ( sriracha and mayo) or a lime/cayenne/mayo sauce. These are so delicious and another great way to get vegetables into our diet. Make this into dinner by adding ground chicken or turkey to the patties.

Marg, Margar, Margarit, Margaritas

After our week long Cinco de Mayo celebration, I was pretty sure margaritas would be put on the back burner for a while…and they were. However, last weekend was gorgeous and what made sitting by the pool a LITTLE better? That delicious Jalapeno Margarita! We aren’t fussy when it comes to tequila, mainly because when you mix it with limeade the real taste isn’t important so there’s no reason to splurge on something costly. I tried Sauza Tequila this time, mainly because they had a $5 rebate through iBotta App ( other money saving apps ). If you follow me in Instagram ( @livinglarochelife ) you already saw this little gem. Makes me drool every time.

IMG_9006Ingredients:
Tequila
Jalapenos – sliced
Frozen Limeade
Limes – sliced in a wedge
Ice

First, I like to infuse my tequila with the jalapenos ( you can choose to add the jalapeno directly to the drinks, but you don’t get the same spicy bite as when it has been infusing for a while ). We don’t have tequila any other way, so a bottle of spicy tequila never goes to waste. Slice 1/2 – 1 whole jalapeno and add it to the tequila. Allow to infuse at least 30 minutes. Prepare the limeade as directed on package.

DSC_0003Fill a shaker with ice, add 1 1/2 oz jalapeno infused tequila, 8 oz of prepared limeade, juice from a slice of lime and shake. Pour into a solo cup and jump in the pool!

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Eggplant Meatballs and Zoodles

Oodles and Oodles of Zucchini Noodles! We get so many fresh veggies in our weekly CSA share that sometimes we need to be extra creative. That’s when I turn to Pinterest and do some searching until something peaks my interest…I look at the recipe…see if I have all the ingredients…see if there is anything I need to substitute and then make it my own. Last week we got about 7 skinny mini eggplant and another five yellow squash and zucchini. I originally thought chicken parm with eggplant…I know, boooorrrring. Instead, I pulled the trigger and ordered a Spiralizer to hop on the zoodle bandwagon! It was a pleasant surprise to see it was on sale AND had an additional discount!!

DSC_0061Eggplant Meatballs with Zoodles

Prep – 30 minutes / Cook – 20 minutes

Ingredients:
7 small or 1 large Eggplant – cubed
1 small Onion – chopped
Garlic – chopped
Chickpeas – rinsed & drained
1/4 – 1/2c Breadcrumbs
2-3 small Zucchini – spiralized
Tomato Sauce
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper

DSC_0041DSC_0042Heat olive oil in pan on medium high heat and cook eggplant, onions and garlic about 10 minutes until just about tender / remove from heat and let cool slightly / in a food processor, add the eggplant mixture and 1/4c breadcrumbs pulse until everything is incorporated ( like a ground meat texture )

DSC_0053Adjust liquid or breadcrumbs so the mixture is easy to form into balls / roll into about 1-1 1/2″ “meatballs” and saute in pan of oil until brown on all sides / meanwhile, make zoodles ( or thin slices on a mandolin ) and allow to drain

DSC_0065 DSC_0062Spiralizer (other options here, here and here)

After eggplant balls are brown on all sides, remove from heat and add the zoodles to an oiled pan and cook 2-3 minutes until slightly tender

DSC_0067Add sauce to zoodles until warm / top zucchini noodles with eggplant balls and serve, topped with cheese if desired

DSC_0070We were so happy with how this meal turned out! It is a little more work and prep than I would prefer, but really not bad at all. I cooked the eggplant, pureed it and formed balls the night before. After work the next night, all Kevin had to do was make the zoodles and heat everything through. This was so delicious and a great way to get veggies into us and our kids! Adding the beans to the eggplant balls gives a little more texture and protein. Definitely something we will be making more often!

If there are any recipes you want to see or an item you want to see me incorporate in a meal, let me know!

Dinner for $10

I may be the oddball here, but I actually enjoy Grocery Shopping. I like to shop the sales and see how cheap I can make my shopping trip every week. However, that does not mean I skimp on quality or taste. Here is a full meal for two adults and a toddler for $10, not per person – total! The items you should have in the pantry are not included in the cost.

DSC_0011Chicken Cordon Bleu with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Balsamic Glazed Wax Beans

Chicken Cordon Bleu
5 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs – $6.23
1/4lb Low Sodium Deli Ham – $1.30
1/4lb Swiss Cheese – $1.89
Breadcrumbs
Egg

Roasted Sweet Potato
1 Large Sweet Potato – < $0.79
Spices

Balsamic Glazed Wax Beans
1lb Wax Beans – from our CSA – ( ~$1.99 typically)
Balsamic Vinegar
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Butterfly chicken. Place one piece of ham and one piece of cheese on top, roll the chicken / dip in egg / dip in breadcrumbs / use a toothpick to secure if necessary / lay seam side down on a greased baking sheet / sprinkle with Mrs. Dash no salt seasoning / peel and cube sweet potato / drizzle with olive oil and spread on same pan with chicken / bake 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Boil wax beans just until tender / drain and add back the pan with a drizzle of vinegar / let simmer for 5-10 minutes and serve immediately.
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The above was enough food for three of us, plus two lunches for the following day. Cooking healthy does not have to break the bank. If you pay attention and shop the sales it can be extremely affordable – or buying just what you need! The chicken was on sale this week “buy 1 get 1 free” so technically the above package cost me just over $3 and I have another package for later. Cold cuts tend to go to waste in our house so I chose to buy only what we needed for this meal which was just enough! Shopping a little differently can save you time and money in the end.

DSC_0013I always try to have potatoes (regular and sweet) in the pantry along with vinegar and sauces, spices, eggs and breadcrumbs because they can be so versatile to make a basic dish much more tasty!

BBQ Chicken Naan Pizza

Pizza has never been food that got me excited. I probably fall within a small fraction of people that could take it or leave it (mostly leave it). However, we discovered Naan Pizza a few years ago and is easily something we make multiple times a week. I had to laugh thinking Brandon will go to a friends house one day, they’ll have pizza and he won’t know what it is because Naan will be “pizza” to him. #poorkid

We make lots of different varieties of pizza but this has got to be one of the staples (besides buffalo chicken!)

DSC_0048BBQ Chicken Naan Pizza
Prep – 5 minutes / Cook – 15 minutes

DSC_0036Ingredients
Naan
Chicken / cooked and diced or shredded
Black Beans / drained
BBQ Sauce (recipe below)
Shredded Cheese

DSC_0038Top Naan with cooked chicken, black beans, bbq sauce and cheese / bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes // or grill for 15-20 minutes until bread is crispy and cheese has melted.

DSC_0041 DSC_0043 DSC_0049**tip / short on time? use frozen (and cooked) chicken tenders or rotisserie chicken. What else you can do with Stonefire Naan and Flatbreads, get inspired!