Tag Archives: Prep

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

Ingredients:
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

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

Ingredients:

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
Ketchup
**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.

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Chicken and Sweet Potatoes on the Grill

Prep – 10 minutes / Cook – 20 minutes

DSC_0032Ingredients:

Chicken Breasts
Sweet Potatoes – peeled
Sriracha
**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.
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Stuffed Zucchini

Prep – 10 minutes / Cook – 20-25 minutes

IMG_8672Ingredients:

3-4 Zucchini – sliced lengthwise and ‘gutted’ (save guts)
1lb Ground Turkey – cooked
1/2c Onions – copped
1 Clove Garlic – chopped
Cheese
**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. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Guacamole

Prep – 10 minutes

DSC_0025Ingredients:

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

DSC_0020Ingredients

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
S+P
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.
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Veggie Frittata

Prep – 10 minutes / Cook 25-30 minutes

Ingredients:

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.
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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.
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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!

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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)
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Breakfast Pizza

Prep – 5 minutes / Cook – 45-60 minutes

Ingredients:

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.
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Zucchini and Orzo Quiche

Prep – 15 minutes / Cook – 30 minutes

Ingredients:

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

**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
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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.
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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.

Couponing Experience

IMG_8178I am not going to be one of those crazy couponers that post 24/7 about how they got a ton of items for next to nothing. What I WILL do is just share a little glimpse of how I got all of these items (over $90 value) for only $20.

Diapers – these are always one of the easiest items to get at a great discounted price, usually at a drugstore. I have never purchased diapers at full price because there’s absolutely no need to. They are usually $12.99 full price – every couple of weeks they go on sale for $8.99, for some people that’s good enough. This week I purchased them for $8.99 each ($26.97 for 3), I had three manufacturer coupons for $5.00 ($21.97), PLUS, between two apps I mentioned here, I saved an additional $4.50! I got away with three packages of diapers for $17.47 (about 14 cents per diaper depending on the size). This is a great time to stock up on the next size of diapers or prepare for another baby for the future (or buy them for a friend)!

Tissues – when did these stupid pieces of cotton get to be SO expensive? I find it difficult to find a good sale on these babes. They were on sale 2/$3 – I then used $0.25 coupon, each box was $1.40.

Toilet Paper – Another item, along with Paper Towels, that I just hate handing money over for! TP and PT were on sale for $5.99 each, $0.20 manufacturers coupon for a total of $5.29 (88 cents per roll).

Desitin – Can you ever have enough? Especially when Daycare somehow seems to go through a tube every other week! These were Buy One, get One 50% off – $8.49 each – $12.74 for 2, $1.50 manufacturers coupon off 2, $10.73 for 2.

Shampoo + Conditioner – You can get S+C for rock bottom prices if you shop the sales, and use every coupon you can find! L’oreal was $4.99 each, with $4 Manufacturers coupon, $5.98/2 plus $4 ExtraCare Bucks for buying 2 which made these $0.99 each.

Colgate – Toothpaste is another little guy you can usually get for free and sometimes MAKE money off of. This was $3.49, $2 manufacturers coupon and $2.50 coupon from the kiosk put $1.01 back in my pocket AND I got $2.50 ExtraCare Bucks for next time.

Razor – This was neither needed or wanted; however, Gillette sent me a coupon to try the razor or FREE (a 12.99 value).

Visine – I needed this; although I did have $1.00 manufacturers coupon.

Aside from the above, I had a store coupon for 10% off the entire order ($2.70 was applied), $5 off $15 coupon which was sent to my email. I also went shopping last week for some deals and had $28 in Extracare Bucks from that order, bringing my grand total before tax to $22.29.