Tag Archives: Food

Tomato and Corn Casserole

We are part of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and in turn we receive a share every week of fruits, vegetables and greens in season. Summer is our favorite time to take part in this because of all the products we receive. I love finding new recipes to incorporated items that I don’t typically buy at the store. This was the first week for corn on the cob and I was SO happy. If we don’t plan on eating it within the first day or two, I shuck the corn and cut the kernels off the cob and put them in the freezer to use in dishes throughout the rest of the season!

DSC_0056Tomato and Corn Casserole
Prep – 10 minutes / Cook – 30 minutes

6-8 Tomatoes / sliced
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups Corn Kernels
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 Breadcrumbs
1 1/2 – 2 cups Swiss Cheese / grated (or similar cheese)
Salt + Pepper (optional)

DSC_0061**Spray a baking dish with oil and arrange half of the tomatoes in a single layer / spread half of the mayo on the tomatoes / layer half of the corn, breadcrumbs, parmesan and swiss on top of tomatoes / repeat layering process, starting with tomatoes and ending with swiss cheese / bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until cheese is slightly browned and bubbly / let sit for 5 minutes to allow juices to absorb

recipe from target.com

Stuffed Cabbage

DSC_0032When I think of cabbage, I think of two things: cole slaw and stuffed cabbage. Stuffed cabbage is so incredibly easy to make, it’s good and good for you and you can make it up as you go. I have made these tons of times and never the same way twice. I love meals that don’t have to be so precise. If you have carrots and onions on hand, use them…if you have rice and tomatoes, go for it! Keep it fresh!

cabbage can be cooked in an oven or crockpot
10-12 large cabbage leaves
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cup rice, cooked
1 egg
1lb ground beef (I used meatloaf mix – pork, turkey or chicken will work great too)
15oz can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
1/3 can tomato paste
2T white vinegar
1T sugar
salt, pepper, basil, parsley, celery salt

DSC_0030 DSC_0029**Bring large pot of water to a boil and blanch cabbage leaves (a couple at a time) for 3-4 minutes // remove and let dry // heat onions (garlic, carrots, etc), add tomato paste and stir for 5 minutes // add tomato sauce, vinegar, sugar and spices and let simmer about 20-30 minutes // add rice, egg, 1/2 cup tomato sauce and spices to meat, mix and set aside until sauce is done // when cabbage is cool enough to handle, gently slice the bottom portion of the stem off of the leaf as it can be tough // place a palm size amount of meat in the middle of the cabbage leaf (depending how large your leaves are) and roll gently // spread bottom of the pan or crockpot with sauce and arrange stuffed cabbage along the bottom // top with remaining sauce // cook at 350 covered for 30 minutes or in a crockpot on low for 6-8 hours.

DSC_0031 DSC_0035



DSC_0024In the early years when Kevin and I first started dating, I was at his house in Rhode Island and his Mom made Crepes for breakfast. I thought I was fairly well rounded for a 20/21 year old in the food department but when I saw this in front of me I was completely lost at what to do. Crepes have become one of my favorite breakfast foods and even though they are so simple to make, having them once in a while feels like a treat!

2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 T butter, melted
Toppings: Strawberries, Blueberries, Syrup, Molasses, Butter, Confectioner’s Sugar, Sour Cream, Whipped Cream (all optional)
Triple Sec or pinch of sugar to add sweetness
**Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse for 10 seconds. Place batter in refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight.
Heat a nonstick pan and coat with more butter. Use a 1/4c measuring cup to pour batter into heated pan and swirl pan until batter coats completely. Cook until just lightly browned and flip. Place on warm plate and cover in oven (180 degrees) until all crepes are made.
*Crepes will keep in the freezer up to two 2 weeks – separate each one with a piece of wax paper.

DSC_0016DSC_0020There are so many ways to enjoy a Crepe. Kevin likes to drizzle some molasses in the middle, fold in half once, then in half the other direction (like a triangle) and eat with his hands. I get a little more involved but spreading butter onto the crepe first, then a small scoop of warm berries, roll the crepe, top with sour cream, confectioner’s sugar and agave syrup. Whatever way you choose to eat it will be phenomenal.


Cooking with a Houseful

Brandon’s Daycare is closed for these next two weeks which means we have family coming and going..and therefore, meal prep is even more important! Here are some quick meals to feed a crowd!

American Chopped Suey (also known as Cheeseburger Pasta)

DSC_0035Prep – 5 minutes / Cook – 15 minutes


1lb Ground Beef or Turkey
1/2 Onion – chopped
1 cup Elbow Pasta – cooked
1 Tomato – diced
2 Pickles – chopped
1/2 cup Shredded Cheese
**Cook onions until soft and translucent, add beef and cook until no longer pink. Strain pasta and add to beef and onion mixture. Serve with sides of tomatoes, pickles, cheese and ketchup.

Bonus: opt for a different kind of salad. We like to slice veggies and make a homemade thousand island dressing (ketchup & mayonnaise), or serve some sliced tomato and cucumbers on a piece of romaine lettuce.

Chicken and Sweet Potatoes on the Grill

Prep – 10 minutes / Cook – 20 minutes


Chicken Breasts
Sweet Potatoes – peeled
**Slice chicken and sweet potato into bite size cubes. Grease/oil a foil pan and add the chicken and potato. Top with Sriracha or any other hot sauce you prefer. Grill (top down) on medium until heated through.
Stuffed Zucchini

Prep – 10 minutes / Cook – 20-25 minutes


3-4 Zucchini – sliced lengthwise and ‘gutted’ (save guts)
1lb Ground Turkey – cooked
1/2c Onions – copped
1 Clove Garlic – chopped
**Cook turkey, guts, onions and garlic in some olive oil until almost done. Strain any liquid that remains after cooking. Spoon meat mixture into zucchini boats and top with cheese of your choice. Can also add tomato sauce! Place on baking sheet and cook 20-25 minutes at 350 until zucchini is tender or place in foil pan and place on grill for 20-25 minutes on medium. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Prep – 10 minutes


2 Ripe Avocados
2T Red Onion – finely chopped
2T Corn – roasted
2T Tomatoes – chopped
2T Sour Cream
1 Lime – juiced
Chili Powder
**Mash avocados until smooth. Mix remaining ingredients and spices to taste. Serve with tortilla chips.

Homemade Dijon Vinaigrette


Good Seasons Bottle (or any glass bottle with tight fitting lid or mason jar)
1/4c Vegetable Oil
1/8c Water
1/4c Red Wine or Cider Vinegar
1T Shallot
1 clove Garlic
1.5T (heaping) Dijon Mustard
1T Lemon Juice
1tsp Agave Syrup
Basil / Parsley
**(If you have the Good Seasons Bottle, follow the measurements for O, W and V). Add all ingredients into the bottle and shake vigorously until well blended. Store in fridge. When ready to use, let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to allow oil to blend back in easily. (seasonings and measurements are at your own level of taste)

Cooking with Conagra

Cooking can be a chore to many but in our household, it is something that is enjoyable! Going out to eat is expensive and grabbing something on the go means unhealthy choices more often than not. I am always on the search for quick recipes that taste great and include healthy options. ConAgra reached out to me with some of my favorite pantry staples so I wanted to share some recipes that are OUR favorites! ConAgra Foods was sponsoring the #GreatAmericanCookIn which I participated in back in May (find my four weeks of recipes: one, two, three, four). I had SO much fun creating new meals and sharing them with you all.

DSC_0007Rotel and Diced Tomatoes are such versatile ingredients they can be used for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner which is one of the reasons I love this option so much.
Veggie Frittata

Prep – 10 minutes / Cook 25-30 minutes


Onions – chopped
Zucchini – shredded
Orzo – cooked
Pam Coconut Spray
Rotel Chunky – drained
Egg Beaters
Cheese**Cook vegetables until soft and translucent. Mix with orzo and let cool slightly. Add vegetables and orzo to Egg Beaters, and Rotel. Spray pie pan or baking dish liberally with coconut oil and pour in egg mixture. Top with cheese of your choice. Bake 25-30 minutes until egg sets and cheese is melted.
Peanut Butter Popcorn

Prep – 5 minutes / Cook – 20 minutes

**Pop two bags of Orville Redenbacher, Jiffy Pop or Act II Popcorn. Microwave 1 stick of Parkay, 3/4 cup of Peter Pan Peanut Butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar and handful of marshmallows – stirring every minute until incorporated and smooth. Spread popcorn on cookie sheet and pour Peanut Butter mixture over the top. Finish with decorative sprinkles if you like. Bake 225 for 20 minutes. Eat right away or enjoy later. Recipe adapted from here.

This is just a sample of the foods ConAgra offers – everything from Chef Boyardee and Hunt’s Ketchup to Egg Beaters and Act II Popcorn.

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Entertaining for Breakfast

Breakfast was never my favorite meal but over the years I have bonded with eggs at an almost unhealthy level! When our friends made plans to stop in on their long drive back to Ohio I got excited at the idea of entertaining for Breakfast! I found myself getting a little carried away so had to come back down to Earth and be realistic – 8:30am is early to get too crazy.

Snack / Apps – it’s not necessary to have an actual appetizer for Breakfast but I wanted a couple finger-foods to pick at before the main course was served. I decided on Donut Kabobs for easy snacking and they also looked cute. Along side of those were a dish of fresh strawberries. Easy.

DSC_0052Drinks – my instinct said Bloody Mary’s and Mimosa’s but I thought if people are planning on traveling I don’t want to serve alcohol. Iced Coffee was the next best thing. I made a big batch in my French Press the night before and froze some cubes as well so everything was ready for the morning.

Main Course – i went back and forth trying to decided what combination of eggs and bacon I wanted to serve. I mean, how many different ways can you make eggs!? Quiche was my first choice because we had some fresh Zucchini from our CSA. The second dish was a tie between a Breakfast Pizza and Breakfast Burritos. I went with the Pizza – and was more impressed than I expected to be.

As always, I fried up some potatoes because breakfast isn’t breakfast without them! We also got a nice batch of tomatoes and basil in our weekly share so I mixed that with the smallest amount of oil and balsamic to round out the meal.

The best part is that most of the prep can be done the day before so the morning is relaxing and enjoyable!

Iced Coffee

Prep – 15 minutes / Cook – Overnight

**I use 1 large scoop (~2T) to about 10-12oz hot water, let steep in French Press for 5 minutes, filter. Leave in fridge overnight and pour into serving pitcher in the morning. Any loose grounds will settle overnight. Serve cream and sweetener for guests.

meal prep: brew coffee (whatever is on sale, expensive coffee is not necessary)
Breakfast Pizza

Prep – 5 minutes / Cook – 45-60 minutes


1/2 bag Frozen Hashbrowns – thawed
4 Eggs – scrambled
4-5 Slices of Bacon – cooked and crumbled
2 Slices Deli Ham – chopped
Shredded Cheese
** Arrange hashbrowns on a pizza stone or baking sheet into circle and press firmly. Bake 375 for 20-25 minutes until potatoes start to dry out and get crispy. Cook longer if it still seems too soft. Once hardened (pizza crust like), sprinkle with scrambled eggs, crumbed bacon, sliced ham and top with shredded cheese. Bake until everything is heated through and cheese has melted.

meal prep: bake crust (leave in oven overnight), scramble eggs, bake/crumble bacon.
Zucchini and Orzo Quiche

Prep – 15 minutes / Cook – 30 minutes


1 Zucchini – cubed
1/2 Onion – chopped
1/2c Orzo – cooked
6 eggs
1/2 pint Egg Whites
1/4 Milk – optional

**Cook zucchini and onion until soft and translucent. Meanwhile, beat eggs, egg whites and milk together. Once veggies and orzo are cool, add to eggs along with salt and pepper. Whisk and pour into a heavily greased (coconut cooking oil) pan, top with feta. Bake 375 for 25-30 minutes until egg sets.

meal prep: cook veggies and orzo
Fresh Tomato and Basil

Prep – 5 minutes

** Slice tomato into rounds and layer on a long dish. Sprinkle with torn basil (cutting basil will bruise it and take away the freshness), pinch of salt and pepper and a drizzle of oil and balsamic vinegar.

Breakfast is quick and easy so keep entertaining that way too. My prep too about 2 hours the night before – I cooked all of the veggies and meat and placed them in containers in the fridge. When morning came all I had to do was beat the eggs and add everything from the containers and cook. The pizza was a little fussy with having to bake the crust, then bake the bacon, then assemble, but it came out better than I anticipated so it was worth it.

I slacked a little on the pictures because I was busy enjoying our friends visit and didn’t think to snap some stills.

Recipes to Finish off the Month

Day1 (lunch)Stuffed Pepper Sandwiches

Prep – 10 minutes / Cook – 0 minutes


Bell Pepper (halved and seeded)
**Roll 2-3 slices of deli meat inside pepper, top with condiment of choice and lettuce. Place top back on pepper and enjoy.

sunday meal prep: slice/seed peppers
Day 1 (dinner) – Crockpot Pork Sandwiches with Cole Slaw

Prep – 10 minutes / Cook – 8 hours on low

DSC_0580Ingredients (for pork)

Pork Loin (shoulder or butt will also work)
Season of Choice:We used Salt, Pepper, Ginger and Coconut Aminos
Ciabatta Roll

Ingredients for (cole slaw)
shredded cabbage
onion chopped
2T vegetable oil
1/8c cider vinegar
1/4-1/2c mayo
1T Sugar
**For cole slaw, mix everything together and let sit in fridge for one hour or up to a week. Prep crockpot by placing pork in and topping with spices. Cook on low 8 hours. Shred or slice and place on roll, topped with cole slaw and BBQ sauce

sunday meal prep: make cole slaw, prep crockpot
Day2 – Non Veggie, Veggie Burger

DSC_0582Prep – 10 minutes / Cook – 15-20 minutes


Ground Beef (turkey or chicken)
Garlic Powder, Cumin, Paprika, S+P
Onions / Peppers / Mushrooms / Zucchini / Cheese (optional)
Bun/Roll or Rice
**Mix meat with any spices you like and grill patties until desired done-ness. Meanwhile, saute veggies in olive oil or coconut oil until softened. Top burger with cheese until melted. Assemble burgers with veggies, avocado and condiments. Serve with leftover cole slaw, sweet potato fries or rice.

sunday meal prep: make patties, cook veggies
Bonus – Breakfast – Egg in a Pepper

IMG_8193Prep – 5 minutes / Cook – 10 minutes


Bell Peppers
**Cut tops of peppers off and remove seeds. Slice horizontally to form rings, about 3/4″-1″ thick. Spray pan with cooking spray and lay rings on medium/high heat. Crack egg in the center of the pepper and cook 3 minutes, flip, cook another 3 minutes depending on how you prefer the yolk. Top with avocado and hot sauce.

sunday meal prep: cook entire recipe
Bonus – Snack – Banana and PB Wrap

DSC_0586Prep – 5 minutes / Cook – 0 minutes


Wrap/Tortilla of choice
Peanut Butter/Almond Butter/Nutella
**Smear fat of choice along the center of wrap (we use wheat). Lay banana along the sweet goodness and roll. Microwave for 15-20 seconds and enjoy. (use two wraps and you can make a quesadilla).

Some recipes above adapted from Lauren Gleisberg

Pantry Staples

Along with the menu plan, meal prep and recipe post I have shared each week, I have also tried to include some type of tip or trick to help in planning. I shared some ways to plan your meals easier, how to freeze bulk items into easy to grab ice cubes and some apps to deliver savings while you shop. Today I want to share some items which I think you should ALWAYS have in your pantry. Keeping this selection on hand will ensure you will not be scrambling to figure out what to eat last minute because it will be your fail safe.

Proteins: Tuna / Chicken / Ground Turkey / Beans / Eggs / Greek Yogurt

DSC_0573Carbohydrate: Pasta / Rice / Wrap or Tortilla / Naan

DSC_0575Extra: Diced Tomatoes or Rotel / Cheese / Condiment

DSC_0579The amount of dishes you can create from these 10(ish) items is crazy, not to mention whatever else you may have laying around. I will leave the ‘condiment’ open since that depends on your taste. I always have mustard, ketchup, mayo, sriracha and salad dressings on hand which help in adding flavor where it may be lacking (Greek Yogurt mixed with another condiment is another way to add flavor and protein while staying figure friendly).

Five Quick-Fix Meals with 5 Ingredients or Less

  1. Eggs – cook Rotel or Diced Tomatoes, add beans, make a well for egg, cook, top with cheese
  2. Chicken Quesadilla – chicken, tortilla, beans, cheese / condiment
  3. Taco Bowl – Ground turkey, eggs, rice, yogurt + ketchup (healthy Thousand Island)
  4. Pizza – Naan, chicken, beans, diced tomatoes, cheese
  5. Pasta – Pasta, tuna, diced tomatoes, cheese

Disclaimer: all products were already in my house. i was not paid to promote the above products nor am I being reimbursed. i talk to you from the heart and not talking about products just for a kickback. thanks for reading!

Week Four #GreatAmericanCookIn

DSC_0540Happy Weekend everyone! I hope you’re ready for our last week of the #GreatAmericanCookIn If you remember from last week, I made a huge shopping trip to prepare for two weeks worth of meals as we were away over the weekend. Just a little prepping on Sunday and I’m good to go! Make your menu, make your shopping list and get prepping. Checkout this cute weekly planner too. There’s not a ton of space to plan 5 meals a day – but it’ll help get you started if you’re just planning dinner.

DSC_0549As always, the crockpot will be making an appearance to help with Tuesday’s dinner of pulled pork sandwiches topped with coleslaw. I also have a few newbies showing up to the party like the Cali Burger and Pepper Sandwiches. Hummus was on sale so we have plenty of that and few other easy goodies. Stay tuned for Five Quick-Fix Meals with 5 Ingredients or Less coming midweek along with the top 10 items to always have in your pantry.

Lets finish the month out strong and keep these meals prepped, quick and healthy!

Recipes for Week 3

Day1 – Portabello Sandwiches with Spicy Goat Cheese Spread

Prep – 5 minutes / Cook – 10-15 minutes


2 Portabello Mushrooms
1 Yellow Squash or Zucchini (thinly sliced)
1 Red Onion (thinly sliced)
2oz Goat Cheese
Cherry Peppers
Ciabatta Bread
**Arrange all vegetables on a baking sheet or cutting board and drizzle with oil, salt and pepper. Grill, bake or cook in a frying pan until all vegetables are soft and cooked through. Meanwhile, blend goat cheese and peppers in a food processor until most of the peppers are chopped up and well incorporated. Toast bread. Spread goat cheese on bread and top with vegetables. (makes 1 sandwich)

sunday meal prep: slice vegetables, make goat cheese spread
Day2 – Sausage Stuffed Squash

DSC_0566Prep – 5 minutes / Cook – 35 minutes


2 Yellow Squash (or zucchini)
2 Italian Sausage (turkey or chicken)
Diced Tomatoes (or salsa)
Crushed Red Pepper
**Remove casing from sausage and cook through completely (chop up to make small pieces). Drain if sausage looks too greasy. Cut squash and scoop out insides with a spoon. Mix the insides with the sausage and then add the “stuffing” back in the squash boat. Top with sauce and cheese or mix inside also. Bake for 20-25 at 375 minutes until squash is soft..

sunday meal prep: cut/scoop squash, cook/drain sausage
Breakfast – Protein Granola

Prep – 5 minutes / Cook – 0 minutes


Granola (try for low sugar options)
Almond/Coconut Milk
**Mix in a bowl and enjoy

sunday meal prep: wash and chop fruit
Breakfast – Egg Cups

Prep – 15 minutes / Cook – 25-30 minutes


6 Eggs
1c Egg Whites
1/4c Milk / heavy cream / half + half
Bacon/Ham/Sausage  (cooked and chopped)
**Arrange Bacon on a rack over baking sheet lined with foil and bake 375 for 10-15 minutes. Chop vegetables and cook until soft and translucent, allow to cool. While bacon and vegetables are cooking, crack eggs into a dish, add egg white, milk and beat. Once vegetables and meat are cooked and semi-cooled, add everything to the beaten eggs and mix. Spray a muffin pan generously with coconut oil and fill each cup 3/4 of the way with egg mixture (I use 1/2c measuring up so there’s less mess). Top with cheese of choice. Bake 375 for 20-25 minutes until egg is cooked through. Remove egg immediately from pan to help from sticking. Egg cups can be stored for 7-10 days in refrigerator.

sunday meal prep: chop and cook vegetables and bacon, make cups
Lunch – English Muffin Pizza

Prep – 5 minutes / Cook – 10 minutes


1 English Muffin
2 Sauce Cubes (Ice Cube Post)
1 Slice Mozzarella
6-8 Pepperoni (any topping you want)
**Thaw sauce. Top each muffin half with sauce, cheese and pepperoni. Put in toaster oven for 5-8 minutes until cheese melts. (i throw sauce, cheese and toppings all in one bowl for easy transport to work)

sunday meal prep: freeze sauce
Lunch / Dinner – Cajun Shrimp Salad

Prep – 5 minutes – Cook – 5 minutes


Cajun Seasoning (or any spices you like)Salad Makings and Toppings
Homemade Dijon Dressing (see below)
**Peel shrimp, toss in seasonings of choice and cook 2-3 minutes on each side until pink. Make salad and top with shrimp, feta and dressing. (can easily be thrown into a tortilla or wrap).
Homemade Dijon Vinaigrette


Good Seasons Bottle (or any glass bottle with tight fitting lid or mason jar)
1/4c Vegetable Oil
1/8c Water
1/4c Red Wine or Cider Vinegar
1T Shallot
1 clove Garlic
1.5T (heaping) Dijon Mustard
1T Lemon Juice
1tsp Agave Syrup
Basil / Parsley
**(If you have the Good Seasons Bottle, follow the measurements for O, W and V). Add all ingredients into the bottle and shake vigorously until well blended. Store in fridge. When ready to use, let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to allow oil to blend back in easily. (seasonings and measurements are at your own level of taste)