Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pizza style zucchini

I wanted to make stuffed zucchini today but had nothing -- neither meat nor vegetarian substitute -- worthy of stuffing into it. So then I researched zucchini fries, but they were all seriously breaded and coated with butter, cheese and egg. That wasn't what I had in mind.

So, I peeled that big old zucchini and sliced it into pickle spear style pieces. I preheated my oven to 500. I then found some Wegmans Italian breadcrumbs. (I never buy breadcrumbs so my mother-in-law must have left them here.)

I lightly oiled my cookie sheets with my cold pressed extra virgin olive oil imported from Beirut.

Now, I learned long ago that some vegetables, like zucchini and eggplant, have enough moisture that they can hold some breadcrumbs with the normal egg coating. It won't get that thick coating, but a thin one. Like this:

I cooked them about 15 minutes, turning in the middle.

I layered them on a plate and put sauce on them. I sprinkled shredded Parmesan liberally on them and returned the plates to the still warm oven to melt the cheese.

I added a vegetarian breakfast patty to add more protein.

The whole family loved it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Watermelon green salad

I went on a limb with today's salad: spinach, watermelon, sunflower kernels, dried cranberries, golden raisins, cucumbers, and candied pecans.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tropical vanilla smoothie

I made a smoothie so incredible today I forgot to take a picture, I just drank it all.

In the blender:
- about 1/3 of a cantaloupe
- about 4 ounces very vanilla soy milk
- about 1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt
- 1 small very ripe banana
- 1 packet carnation breakfast essentials classic vanilla

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Target reload

I've been doing really well with my attempts at cleaner eating. But we ran out of fresh fruits and veggies. And we were dangerously low on laundry soap.

So time for a Target run.

The final bill was $119.91.

First off, the household supplies:
- up and up disenfectant spray (generic Lysol), $3.74
- up and up bleach, $2.84 (the gallon jug bottle)
- up and up laundry detergent, on sale with a cartwheel and a coupon, dropped from $11.99 to $9.30
- shampoo and conditioner, 2 bottles conditioner, one shampoo, $1.89 each minus $1 coupon

And the food:
- blue corn organic tortilla chips, on sale 2/$5 plus cartwheel = 2 bags at $2.37 each
- cashews, unsalted roasted, 30 ounces, regularly $13.39, on sale and then cartwheel = $11.44
- market pantry Black Forest ham lunch meat, coupon and cartwheel brought price from $3.79 to $3.12
- fresh express garden salad with romaine, $2.49
- fresh express garden salad with iceberg, $1.49
- green giant fresh sugar snap peas, 2 @ $2.84
- green giant shredded carrots, $1.79
- four pound jar of peanut butter, $7.69
- two market pantry honey bears, $3.45 each after cartwheel
- crispy onion topping, 2 bags at $1.41 each after cartwheel
- planters sunflower kernels, $1.89
- 3 small cans tomato sauce at 27 cents each; 3 regular cans at 61cents each
- house of tsang sesame oil, $5.09
- white rice, 77 cents after cartwheel
- brown rice, 2.03 after cartwheel
- 2 count (small) take and bake baguette $ 3.59 after cartwheel
- traditional medicinal daily detox tea, $4.89
- two boxes of tazo tea, $3 each
- celestial seasonings tea, $2.49
- tuna, large can in water, 3 at $1.93 each after cartwheel
- canola oil, $2.74 after cartwheel
- yellow raisins, $2.99
- 2 cantaloupes, $2.17 each after cartwheel
- family pack of chicken breast, regularly 9.99, on sale, with coupon, after cartwheel =$8.06
- stew beef on clearance, $2.99
- Morningstar family pack, 12 count of their breakfast patties, $5.99
- Morningstar Mediterranean chickpea burgers, $3.69
- Morningstar spicy black bean burgers, $3.69
- pasta, four boxes at a total of $4.48, minus 18 cents for cartwheel and a buy three get one free deal we didn't notice

And a target coupon for $2 off up and up products...

Subtotal: $139.56
Minus team member discount: - $14.27
Minus RedCard discount: - $6.31
Plus tax: 93 cents 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday odds and ends

We ate a lot of holiday leftovers and fresh cantaloupe this weekend. Today I made dinner in the morning, since I work 1-close. I packed my family's portion into the fridge and ate mine for lunch.

Chicken with parsley, garlic pepper and lemon butter sauce, white rice and steamed asparagus.

My daughter and I had cantaloupe for pre-breakfast and went for a one mile walk. Upon our return, we had home canned apple butter, made from local apples last autumn, and cottage cheese.

I made her my version of her school's nacho fun lunch for her meal because she's claiming she's not hungry and her grandparents are on their way.

I think she's holding out for her share of the chicken.

Restaurant style tortilla chips, salsa verde and Parmesan. She loved it.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Red almond smoothie

I've been making smoothies for a long time. My husband used to make them as a cold summertime treat but after I fell and broke my teeth four years ago, my blender and I became more intimate.

Now I use my smoothie skills to combat two phenomena: when I'm too lazy to eat  (drinking is easier) and when I can't motivate myself to eat fruit. 

Today's smoothie is based on the success of yesterday, but cooler and more tart.

For one big smoothie:
- about 3/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1 packet vanilla carnation breakfast essentials
- about 1 cup frozen strawberries and cherries
- about 3/4 cup unsweetened organic cranberry juice
- about two tablespoons black chia seeds 
- about 1/2 cup ground raw almonds

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Target shopping for salad

My husband came to pick me up at Target today so I asked him what he might want for dinner. He suggested salads which is exactly what I was craving.

Now I think I should mention that I had an unexpected doctor's visit one week ago (nothing serious) that revealed weight is now one pound more than it was on the day I brought my daughter home from the hospital ten years ago. 

I have lost and gained-- never on purpose always from bizarre circumstances-- twenty one pounds. This bothers me because of some recent problems with my legs and back, because my mother has gained weight and subsequently now has high blood pressure, and because I had gestational diabetes which puts me at risk for type 2 diabetes.

Confession time: this winter I have eaten a ridiculous amount of unhealthy foods. 

This past week, I have monitored my eating habits and without really dieting I feel like I have cut my calorie intake in half. That's how badly I've been overeating.

So anyway, here's the salad fixings we bought:
- garden salad mix, 1.49
- fresh express Italian salad mix, 2.50
- fresh Green Giant snap peas, 2.99
- shredded carrots, $1.79
- cucumber, 79 cents
- Annie's goddess dressing, 4 @ $2.50 each
- Archer Farms salad toppers crispy onion straws, $1.33 (low sodium, low fat, even low carb)
- Archer Farms salad toppers cranberries & pecans, $2.06
- planters roasted sunflower kernels, $1.89
- Alouette Brie, $3
- small watermelon, $3.31
- small curd cottage cheese, $2.87
- Parmesan cheese, shredded, 2 packages (6 ounce) @ 2.55 each

No tax.
Total: $39.12
Team member discount: -$3.93
Team member appreciation: - 80 cents
Red card: - $1.72

New total: $32.67

Kitchen sink breakfast smoothie

We had a lot of random odds and ends in the house so I made a breakfast smoothie out of all of them.

Last night I ground some soaked raw almonds in the food processor and a topping for my yogurt. When you see ground almonds as an ingredient that is what I used,

This was tasty and milder than I expected.

In the blender:
- one very ripe banana
- 1/2 cup unsweetened homemade applesauce
- 6 fresh strawberries
- 3/4 cup ground almonds 
- 1/4 cup black chia seeds 
- 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
- 3/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup organic unsweetened cranberry juice
- 1 packet vanilla carnation instant breakfast powder

Serves 2