Monday, December 31, 2012

Day 97 - Shrimp, Veggies, and Fruit

Shrimp, broccoli, apple slices, grapes, and poppy seed dressing.

Last lunch of 2012!  Let's make it a healthy one!

Today I'm benefitting from leftover shrimp, sauteed with olive oil, worcestershire, lemon juice, and a little salt.  It's delicious this way hot or cold, so last night I had it hot with some broccoli and a baked potato, today I'm having it with cold veggies and fruit!  I threw in raw broccoli, apples, and grapes with a little poppyseed dressing on the side - one of the few dips that I think tastes good on everything. 

This year has been a busy one for me, and next year promises to be a whirlwind.  I am grateful that my life is moving in a steadily positive and upward direction, and I hope the same for you.

And be careful tonight - people are crazy!  Don't mess with the crazies, or worse, be one of them yourself!  :)  Just pack yourself a healthy lunch, think happy thoughts, and hold on tight! Pin It Now!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Day 96 - Chicken with Lemon Caper Sauce

Lemon Caper Chicken, Ditalini pasta, broccoli, clementine

Ok, friends, you're going to want to use this recipe.  Leftovers from last night are ridiculously good - we've got pan fried chicken with a lemon caper sauce, ditalini pasta, broccoli, and a clementine.

Yes, the only produce I have in my fridge right now are clementines and broccoli.  I'm ok with it.

Anyway, I'm giving you the recipe for the lemon caper sauce.  It's beyond good...I could just eat it over bread.  But I won't, because I hear that's bad for you.

Chicken Lemon Caper Sauce.

Cooked chicken drippings
2/3 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup white wine
3 T capers
2 T butter
2 teaspoons flour
juice of 1/2 lemon

Cook chicken in pan however you desire (I lightly breaded and pan fried it in olive oil).  Remove chicken and keep warm.  Pour in stock, wine, butter, lemon juice, and flour to pan.  Heat on high, scraping up brown bits form the pan as you cook.  Bring to a boil for 1 minute and reduce heat to low.  Stir in capers and blend until smooth and heated through.  Drizzle over chicken and pasta of choice.

Pin It Now!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Day 95 - Leftover Pasta

Leftover pasta, clementine, and broccoli

Too tired to cook last night, so we went out for pasta!  As always I received way more than I could actually eat, so I had the leftovers for lunch today.  Saffron fettuccine, crab meat, and tomatoes in a white wine broth.  I added a clementine and some broccoli to round out the lunch, and there you have it!

Can you tell that the closer we get to the end of the year, the less motivated I am to cook?  Hopefully I'll get a second wind, but for right now, tired blogger is tired.

Yep, that's me.
Pin It Now!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Day 94 - Christmas Dinner with Asparagus Casserole

Just a picture of the family's Christmas Dinner, about to be served from my grandparents' stove!  Turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, asparagus casserole, and rolls.  Gravy and dressing on the table.

Today I'm going to share with you my favorite family holiday recipe:  Asparagus Casserole.  Now, this casserole incorporates two horrible things:

1.) Canned asparagus
2.) Green vegetables on a holiday.

I know, I know, unforgiveable sins.  But I promise, you cover the asparagus with cheese and crackers and you can barely tell it's a vegetable!  We discovered this dish years ago, and we've made it ever since.  Super simple, and deceptively delicious.

This makes enough for about 6 people - I highly recommend making more if you have more people - this stuff goes fast!

 Asparagus Casserole

Asparagus Casserole

1 can asparagus
1  sleeve Ritz Crackers, crushed
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
1 cup whole milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 T butter
1 T flour
S&P to taste

First, make a Mornay Sauce:  In a non-stick  pot or double boiler, melt 1 T butter.  Whisk in flour until just blended; do not let this mixture burn or brown.  Slowly pour in milk and heat over low heat until thickened.  Now, slowly stir in the cheddar cheese until cheese is melted and well incorporated into the sauce. Add salt and pepper as desired and keep over low heat.

In an 8x8 casserole dish (mine, pictured, is rectangular but contains the same amount),  sprinkle a handful of crackers; this will keep the casserole from sticking.  Next, layer on half of the asparagus.  Top the asparagus with one egg (sliced) and about 1/3 of the Mornay sauce.  Layer on half of the remaining crackers, the other half of the asparagus, the other egg, and the rest of the sauce.  Arrange remaining crackers on top of casserole.  Cover and cook at 350F for about 15 minutes, or until heated through.

Layer 1

Layer 2

Layer 3

Layer 4

Completed Casserole

Pin It Now!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Day 93 - Christmas Eve Chili

Alright, friends.  Today and tomorrow are both going to be "cheating" days here in blogland.  I'm back at my parents' house for the holidays, so I'll be sharing some Christmas favorites!   Christmas Eve in my family tends to be Fiesta day in terms of cuisine...we don't have any set tradition for food today, but we very often have Mexican or South American food.  Just something to contrast with the turkey and dressing on Christmas day.

So, today I share with you my family's favorite chili recipe.  I made it this afternoon and let it simmer all afternoon.  Since there weren't any small children at home this Christmas, we just kicked back with some warm chili and maybe a cold beer.  Or two.  Maybe...

Anyway, this chili is a semi-traditional beef and three bean.  Not too spicy, so if you like some heat I'd add some hot peppers!  You can also add an additional pound of beef if you've got a big crowd or just serious meat eaters.

Beef and Three Bean Chili

2 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1  lb ground sirloin
3 T chili powder
1 T sugar
1 T fresh parsley
2 t cumin
1 t paprika
1 t minced garlic
1 t salt
dash cayenne pepper
3 cans tomato sauce
1 c. beer, any kind (or water or broth)
1 can kidney beans, undrained
1 can red beans, undrained
1 can black beans, undrained

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onion and bell pepper, stirring until softened, about 5 - 10 minutes.   Add in ground beef and brown thoroughly; drain grease.  Sprinkle beef mixture with all spices and continue to cook for a few minutes.  Slowly add in tomato sauce, beer, and beans; stir well.  Let simmer on the stove on low heat for about an hour, stirring occasionally.  Serve hot with tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, or any other delicious toppings!
Pin It Now!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Day 92 - Leftover Subway

Leftover Subway sandwich, sunchips, and a pear.

Today's lunch is brought to you by...more coupons!  Had a coupon for buy one 6 inch sub at Subway, get another 6 inch sub for free!  So, I had Subway last night and today!  I added today some of my leftover sunchips and a pear.   A tiny pear, whose name I can't remember, but it was tiny and cute so I bought it.  Yummmm leftovers! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Day 91 - Quesadillas!

Quesadilla with sour cream and lettuce.

We're continuing our clean out the pantry and eat cheap before Christmas lunches!  Last night was taco night at home, so today became quesadilla lunch!  In college, we always had chicken tender Tuesday and quesadilla Thursdays, so cheap and quick cheese quesadillas are always a nostalgic comfort food for me.

I always have tortillas on hand, and usually some kind of cheese, so quesadillas are often a go-to quick meal for me.  Today, I had some leftover refried beans and some mexican blend cheese.  I spread those out between two tortillas like a big sandwich and grilled them with a little smart balance in my cast iron skillet.  I added leftover sour cream and shredded lettuce on the side.  I microwaved the quesadilla just a little for lunch, but it would be pretty good cold, as well.

I ended up snacking on office Christmas cookies in the afternoon, so you might want to pack some healthy snacks if you're going to bring this one to work! Pin It Now!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Days 89 & 90 - Two Ingredients, Two Ways

Bagged Salad and Frozen Chicken Tenders, two ways.

'Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the kitchen
Not a lunch meal was left!  Not even a smidgeon!
The stockings were hung by the chimney with charm,
Which had cost our dear blogger a leg and an arm.
"One week 'til Christmas!" she cried and lamented.
"What's in my fridge that isn't fermented?
I must make a list for groceries and buy it
But be sure that I don't decimate my own diet!"
When what would her wondering eyes drop on
But some frozen chicken and a salad coupon!

Ok, enough of that.  In short, I've got to make myself some lunches this week, but my budget is busted and I want to clear out my fridge before leaving town anyway.  So, what do I do?  Go spelunking in the freezer and get creative!

I had some frozen chicken fingers in the back of the freezer, and a coupon for a bagged salad.  I picked up a "Fiesta" themed salad, with "zesty ranch" (read: re-branded thousand island), tortilla strips, cheese, and romaine. I divided the salad between the containers and cooked up four chicken tenders.  I let the chicken cool completely so the skins stayed crispy.  I put two whole chicken tenders next to one salad, and cut up the remaining two and topped the other salad. 

Now, are these two lunches all that different?  No, they're basically the same.  But they're different enough to make me think I'm getting variety, and the total cost out of pocket this week was $1 per lunch.  That's my kinda price.

For the record, we had oranges in the office and I grabbed a couple of slices of tomato from the salad bar at work to round out the healthy factor.  Pin It Now!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Day 88 - Slow Cooker Chicken with Tarragon and Leeks

Chicken Thighs with Tarragon and Leeks

I had a day off today, so for lunch I tried a new slow cooker recipe: Chicken Thighs with Tarragon and Leeks.  It was easy, hearty, and not terribly unhealthy.  It also involved just a little heavy cream, which I think makes everything taste better!  The only thing I changed was that I used peeled Yukon gold potatoes instead of whole potatoes. 

I wanted a little more flavor than this recipe provided, so you might want to experiment with some garlic or spices.  It's from Real Simple, so you know it's at worst a good basic.  I'd recommend it, but I'd also recommend amping up the flavor a little. Pin It Now!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Day 87 - Green Salad with Pimento Cheese

Green salad with dressing, pimento cheese spread, pretzel crisps.

More pimento cheese today!  I had it as a dip or spread today with pretzel crisps and a nice green salad.  Salad had romaine, celery, radishes, tomatoes, ramen noodles, and  an apple cider vinaigrette.  

Nothing particularly interesting to report.  Just a salad and leftovers.  But nothing wrong with that. :)

Pin It Now!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Day 86 - Pimento Cheese Sandwiches

Pimento Cheese sandwiches, pretzel crisps, grapes, celery.
Ok, so I got a little more cooking motivation last night...but not much.  So I made some delicious pimento cheese, just like God and grandmamma intended...except, I'm pretty sure my grandmother would balk at my pimento cheese ingredients.

Pimento cheese is a staple in traditional southern cooking, but I like to kick mine up a notch with some cream cheese and chilies.  It's good, trust me.  So for lunch today I had some pimento cheese spread on thin white toast, pretzel crisps, grapes, and celery sticks. And then tonight, I'll probably have some on crackers...because this stuff does NOT last long at my house!

Pimento Cheese Spread

8oz. sharp cheddar, freshly grated
2oz. goat cheese
7oz. jar pimento, drained
4oz. canned green chili, drained
heaping tablespoon cream cheese
heaping tablespoon mayo
pinch black pepper
pinch garlic salt

Be sure to use freshly grated cheese for this recipe; pre-shredded just won't have the right flavor or texture.  Cream all ingredients together in a small bowl with a fork.  If too "chunky," add more cream cheese or mayo.  Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Pin It Now!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Day 85 - Borrowing from Whole Foods

Whole Foods roasted chicken, sesame noodles, edamame, and clementine wedges.

Who didn't have energy to cook last night?  This girl!  So, I just went and got this from Whole Foods.  I don't  usually shop there, but their hot bar and salad bar are to die for...and if you go before 5:30, it's a dollar off!

I got some roasted chicken, sesame noodles, edamame, and clementine wedges. All for about $6, and super quick.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is all I even asked out of lunch for today! Pin It Now!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Day 84 - Slow Cooker Beef Tips

Beef tips over egg noodles, green peas, clementine.

 Remember how healthy I was yesterday?  Well, I made up for it today.

These slow cooker beef tips will melt in your mouth, and they couldn't be easier.  Serve them over pasta or rice, with something green and light on the side.  Today's leftovers for lunch were over wheat egg noodles with green peas and a clementine.

Yes, I love canned peas with an unholy passion.  Just go with it.

Slow Cooker Beef Tips

2 lb chopped beef (stew meat quality)
1 can Campbell's Golden Mushroom Soup

Place beef in a 2 quart crock pot.  Top with soup and stir gently.  Cook on low for 10-12 hours.  Serve hot, and enjoy! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Day 83 - Lunchtime Crudite

Snow Peas, Red Bell Pepper, Laughing Cow Cheese, Triscuits, Peach Halves

Crudites are a French appetizer that mostly consists of chopped raw vegetables - like carrots, bell pepper, etc. - with some sort of vinaigrette or cream dipping sauce.  Calling this lunch a crudite plate is a stretch, but we're going to go with it.  I just needed some good veggies in my system, so I had some raw snow peas and red bell pepper with some light Laughing Cow cheese, some triscuits, and some canned peach halves.  I was very hungry by dinner, but had lots of good energy during the day. Pin It Now!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Day 82 - Pretzel Crisps

Frozen Pizza, Clementine, Pretzel Crisps

Alright, regular leftover lunch today.  Leftover California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizza, a clementine, and pretzel crisps.  I'd totally send this to school with a third grader...and I enjoyed the heck out of it myself.

If you've never tried Pretzel Crisps, you need to go get a bag.  Now.  Unless of course you have a Publix close to you, in which case you should wait until the crisps go half off as they do so regularly.  Anyway, pretzel crisps will totally change your hummus and pimento cheese experiences.  Just trust me.  You're mouth will thank me later. Pin It Now!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 81 - Peanut Stir Fry

Peanut Stir Fry with Jasmine Rice.

Had dinner with the boyfriend last night, and he made peanut stir fry.  Even better, he made enough so that I had leftovers for lunch!  Doesn't make a pretty picture, but it's so good.  It included chicken, red bell pepper, snow peas, and broccoli with a spicy peanut sauce over jasmine rice.  He used Bangkok Panang Peanut Sauce, which is one of my favorites.

In short, I recommend the sauce.  Almost as much as I recommend having someone  else cook for you! Pin It Now!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Day 80 - Granola Pumpkin Pancakes

Mini granola pumpkin pancakes, maple syrup, honey greek yogurt, strawberries

These were soooo good.  Mini granola pumpkin pancakes.  Just started mixing things together Saturday morning and I was super, of course, I brought them for lunch!  The pumpkin gives these a really moist texture, and the granola adds just a tiny bit of crunch!

Added some strawberries, honey greek yogurt, and syrup for lunch today.

Mini Granola Pumpkin Pancakes

2 cups Bisquick (or other baking mix)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
3/4 cup canned, unsweetened pumpkin
1/2 cup granola
1 T brown sugar
1 T white sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t allspice

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl with a whisk until smooth.  Allow to set for at least 10 minutes.  Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat.  Drop about 1-2 tablespoons of batter onto the pan, cooking until they just bubble on the edges.  Flip and cook on the other side, around 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown.  Serve hot, with powdered sugar and/or syrup.

Makes about thirty 3-inch pancakes.

Pin It Now!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Day 79 - Ham and Bean Soup

Ham and bean soup (in a thermos), crostini, celery sticks, red grapes

You know, sometimes it's cold and you need soup.  And sometimes, beans and ham are on sale, and the planets align to have delicious soup in the crock pot, waiting for you when you come home after a long cold day at work.  And then you put some in a thermos with some crostini and healthy stuff and you have lunch! 

This soup is so simple, and so cheap.  I made it just for me (several large servings of soup), but you could easily triple or quadruple it for a larger crowd!

I do soak the beans overnight.  I don't normally like to do so when I'm cooking beans in a slow cooker, but soaking them first for soup renders a prettier broth.  I'm shallow about the appearance of my broth.  

It's good.  It's not terrible for you.  It's a great way to use up leftover veggies and ham.  It would be even better if you can scrounge up a ham bone.  You'll like it.  Enjoy!

Ham and Bean Slow Cooker Soup

1/2 cup 16 bean soup beans, uncooked (Or whatever mix of beans you like.  Or just white beans.  Whatever you like!)
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup ham, cut in cubes or bite sized strips
1 quart broth
1 t salt (or more, as you prefer)
1 t black pepper
1 t rubbed sage

Place beans in a pot or bowl and cover with 1 quart of cold water.  Soak beans overnight, or at least for 8 hours.  Drain.

Place all ingredients in a 2 quart crock pot.  Cook, on low, for 6-8 hours.  Serve hot and with a good, crusty loaf of bread! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 78 - Creamy Chicken Tacos

Creamy chicken tacos, pinto beans, corn.

Lunch today!  Creamy chicken tacos (those are tortillas in the aluminum foil), pinto beans, and corn.  Pretty basic, pretty delicious.

I'm simply going to link you to Rita's Recipes Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili.  I make this recipe as is, although I often add more chicken  and use it as a filler for burritos, tacos, etc.  I find it only freezes so-so, but if you serve it to company you won't have any leftovers.  Promise. :) Pin It Now!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Day 77 - Morningstar Chik'n Nuggets

Grapes, celery, Morningstar Chik'n Nuggets, honey mustard, mini rice cakes.

For lunch today, I had one of my favorite frozen meals.  Morningstar Chik'n Nuggets with homemade honey mustard, celery sticks, red grapes, and rice snacks.

I'm a big fan of the Morningstar Chik'n Nuggets, even though I'm not a vegetarian.  When they're straight out of the oven they taste just like any other chicken nugget, and they're pretty easy and cheap to keep around.

I highly recommend keeping these around the house to eat for dinner.  I'll be real, though, when I ate them cold for lunch they just tasted like rubbery pucks of tofu...which is kinda what they are.  Next time, I'll microwave them! Pin It Now!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Day 76 - Chilled Shrimp Dip

Fruit salad, shrimp dip, triscuits.

I've been eating way too much tasty comfort food.  Anyone else eat more mashed potatoes yesterday than was really necessary?  Because I definitely did.  After big holidays, and really every so often throughout the year, I just need a whole bunch of fruit.   Which is what I ate today...fruit salad made of canned peaches, fresh grapes, and fresh strawberries.

To counter balance the sugar, I included some triscuits and a little bit of leftover shrimp dip.  This dip is originally from the Southern Sideboards cook book, which is out of print much to the mourning of many southern housewives.  I have no idea what the original recipe actually included other than shrimp and cream cheese, because at this point it's gone through so many family alterations that it's almost an all new creation.

Anyway, it's a great cold dip to take to parties.  It calls for canned shrimp which you can find in the tuna section of the grocery store.  It's pretty pricey, so you can only use 4 ounches if you like.

Chilled Shrimp Dip

8 oz cream cheese, softened
8 oz canned tiny shrimp, drained and rinsed
1 T tobasco sauce
1 t fresh chives, chopped
juice of one lemon

In a small bowl, mash ingredients together gently with a fork until well mixed.  Chill for at least one hour, and serve cold with Triscuits and cucumber slices. Pin It Now!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Day 75- Pigs in a Blanket

Pigs in a Blanket, brown mustard, spinach salad.
I made pigs in a blanket last night.  You know, hot dogs rolled in crescent dough.  My favorite guilty pleasure ever.  I had leftovers, so I paired it with a salad and some mustard, and put it in a double serving container that I got ages ago, and called it lunch!

Not so interesting.  But tasty. Pin It Now!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day 74 - Hashbrown Casserole

Hash brown casserole, chicken, green beans.

I know this may be technically cheating.  This is the same components as yesterday's lunch, but on the upside it's in different quantities and you get a different recipe!

Just work with me here.  I'm having a lazy week.  Probably made lazier by the amount of comfort food I'm putting in my system.

So today I have hash brown casserole, oven fried chicken, and green beans.  If you don't have this hash brown casserole recipe, you should.  It's lovely for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  You can add in meat or eat it by itself.  It's perfection for pot lucks and rainy days.

It's terrible for your arteries, though, so be sure to serve it with a salad!

Hash Brown Casserole

1 32 oz package shredded hash browns (thawed, if frozen)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 onion, chopped
8 oz sour cream
1 cup Corn Flakes
2 T butter, melted
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large bowl, stir together soup, onion, sour cream, cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper.  Fold in hash browns until well incorporated.  Spread mixture into a greased 9x13 casserole dish.  Top with corn flakes and drizzled melted butter over top.  Bake at 350F for 1 hour. Pin It Now!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Day 73 - Crispy Oven Chicken with Fresh Takes

Oven Fried Chicken, green beans, hash brown casserole, grapes.
Alright, friends, product review!

So, Kraft has come out with these fancy things called Fresh Takes.  Basically, they're Shake and Bake with cheese.  I was suspicious, but I had a coupon, so I tried them.  Honestly, I was skeptical because I hate pre-made flavor things.  But y'all, these things are good.  They don't taste overly fake, they get crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, and they are super easy. 

I've tried several of the flavors and intend to try more.  Last night I dredged some chicken in the rosemary flavored mix, and had it with some potatoes and green beans.

And so today for lunch, dear reader, I had oven fried chicken, green beans, hash brown casserole, and grapes for lunch.

Hash brown casserole recipe to come tomorrow! Pin It Now!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Day 72 - Cranberry Dijon Pork Tenderloin

Cranberry Dijon Pork Tenderloin, Wild Rice Pilaf, green peas,clementine.

While not the best picture, this pork tenderloin is a definite keeper.  It would be great as a holiday alternative to turkey  or ham, and it creates a gravy that is to die for.  It's got a great spicy and tangy flavor, and it slices up beautifully.  These are the un-pretty slices that I didn't serve to guests, and they're still not too bad.  I highly recommend serving it with rosemary roasted potatoes (the rosemary is a great flavor complement), or mashed potatoes to soak up all that gravy.

I had leftovers, so I brought them along with some leftover Wild Rice Pilaf, green peas, and a clementine.

Cranberry Dijon Pork Tenderloin

1 1.5-2 lb pork tenderloin, rinsed and trimmed
1 can whole cranberry sauce (or equivalent homemade)
3/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 T olive oil

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Sear tenderloin on all sides, until lightly browned.  When browned, place tenderloin in an appropriate sized roasting pan. In a separate bowl, whisk together mustard and cranberry sauce.  Pour sauce over tenderloin and cover with foil.  Bake at 375F for 30-45 minutes.  Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

The sauce will easily stretch to a 3 pound tenderloin.  If you'd like to use a 3 pounder, increase your cooking time to 45minutes to 1 hour.

  Pin It Now!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 71 - Apple and Goat Cheese Pizza

Apple and Goat Cheese Pizza

 Oh dear...I stumbled onto something overly delicious.

I found this recipe on Pinterest, and decided to make it my own.  Apple and goat cheese pizza with bacon and sage.  Seriously.

I used store bought, uncooked dough and made two pizzas - one that I shaped specifically to a Tupperware container for lunch transport, and then a large one for dinner that night.  My only complaint is that it fell apart rather easily - most pizza is kind of "sticky" because of stringy cheese, and goat cheese just doesn't bind things as well.  I'd recommend making these either bite-sized or in calzone form.

The recipe below is for one whole pizza.  Feel free to divide it into as many smaller pizzas as you like.

Apple and Goat Cheese Pizza

1 batch pizza dough (pre-made or homemade), uncooked
1 lb apples (about two large - I used Braeburn)
3-4 slices bacon, cooked crisp
10 oz goat chevre
2 T fresh sage, julienned

Prepare pizza dough according to directions, tossing to size.  Crumble goat cheese over pizza crust, leaving about a 1-inch margin around the edges.  Thinly slice apples and arrange them on top in whatever pattern you like.  Chop bacon roughly and sprinkle, with sage, over the pizza.  Bake at 400F for about 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden.  Eat hot, and enjoy!

Pin It Now!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day 70 - Wild Rice Pilaf

Wild Rice Pilaf, Green Beans, Clementine.

Lunch today was Wild Rice Pilaf, green beans, and a clementine.

This Wild Rice Pilaf recipe is from Martha Stewart, and it's a great keeper for the upcoming holidays.  It would be great as a low carb alternative with turkey or pork.  Hmmm, pork...I might have to make some pork this week to go with leftovers.  Anyway, it's got cranberries and pecans and all kinds of good stuff, and you should make it!

Follow the link for the recipe.  You'll thank me, you'll thank Martha, and your mouth will thank you.

The leftovers would also make a good stuffing for chicken breasts.  Yeah...that might happen this week, too! Pin It Now!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 69 - Autumn Crunch Salad

Autumn Crunch Salad

'Tis the season for potlucks! I had two potluck dinner this weekend, and one today for work.  For all of them, I brought this delicious Autumn Crunch Salad.  It's based on this salad recipe for Chopped Salad from the blog Espresso and Cream: Recipes for a Balanced Life.  Her dressing recipe is particularly snazzy, and I added some of my own favorites.  It was a hit as far as I could tell...I certainly didn't have any to bring home!

Autumn Crunch Salad

2 heads romaine lettuce (or your personal favorite)
1 large apple
1 cup Sprite
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup unsalted sweet potato chips (look for these in the health food section)
3/4 cup pecans
3 strips bacon, cooked crips
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette
1/2 cup poppyseed dressing.

Combine balsamic vinaigrette and poppyseed dressing  in a small bowl; whisk until combined, and chill until ready to lose.  Chop apple into bite sized pieces; put pieces into another small bowl and cover with Sprite for 5 minutes - the citric acid in the Sprite will keep the apples from browning.  While your apples are soaking, chop the romaine into bite sized pieces, snap the sweet potato chips in half, and roughly chop the pecans and bacon.  Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl.  You can make this up to the night before, just toss in the sweet potatoes and dressing last.   Serve and enjoy!

Pin It Now!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day 68 - French Toast Sticks

French Toast sticks, maple syrup, granola, strawberries, greek honey yogurt.
Breakfast for lunch!  Today was delicious.  Maybe not as healthy as most, but delicious!

For lunch I had Greek yogurt, strawberries, and French toast sticks.  I had French toast for dinner last night, so I just made an extra slice and cut it into four strips.  And I included granola (for the yogurt) and maple syrup (for the French toast) in my new handy, dandy Easy Lunchbox Mini Dippers!  I, of course, added the little tops before closing up the box, and they worked beautifully.

Yeah, I'm obsessed, I know.

Pin It Now!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 67 - Sausage Balls

Sausage balls, Lara bar, corn, edamame. 

You guessed it, more leftovers!  But today was far more delicious, because I used leftover sausage balls!

Leftover sausage balls?!  you say, There's no such thing as leftover sausage balls!    Well, you're right.  They go really fast.  But if you make them and then keep about 10 at home while you take the rest out, then you get "leftovers."

My sausage balls are a little different because I use cream cheese and less bisquick than most people.  This means they taste more like pure sausage when they're hot, and they stay nice and moist when they cool off.  If you're transporting sausage balls, this recipe cools down way better than the traditional, which I think can turn out pretty rubbery.

Anyway, lunch today was sausage balls, Lara bar, edamame, and corn.  Random, indeed.  Even about a week later, these sausage balls were great after being microwaved.  You should tryyyyyyyy these!

Cream Cheese Sausage Balls

1 lb ground sausage (regular or hot; I use Jimmy Dean regular; soysage also works well)
1 cup Bisquick
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8 oz cream cheese, softened

Mix all ingredients together with a fork or your fingers.  If you're looking for a more biscuity sausage ball or you want to stretch the recipe, add up to 1/2 cup extra Bisquick.  Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes.  Makes around 3 dozen sausage balls. Pin It Now!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day 66 - Another Random Cold Lunch Day

Ham Sandwich, hard boiled eggs, grapes, strawberries.

Yeah, still haven't made it to the grocery store this week.  So, more scrounging around in my fridge for something that sort of goes together! 

Today we ended up with half a ham sandwich with dijon, hard boiled eggs, strawberries, and grapes.  The eggs were initially intended to be deviled, but I just ran out of energy.  That's why they're a little choppy looking - normally you wait til an egg cools so that you can get a clean slice, but I find that cutting them hot makes it easier for the yolks to come out for all that deviled goodness.  In other words, I cut them hot then changed my mind, and I'm explaining far too much why my eggs don't look perfect.

Tomorrow, more leftovers!  It's like fridge spelunking this week!

Pin It Now!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 65 - Lunchables for Grownups

Apple, ham, celery, wheat crackers, walnuts, cheese cubes (clockwise from top left)

I went to a wedding and a fall festival this weekend, which was all super fun and super exhausting.  When I got home Sunday night, I had just enough energy to order a pizza and eat too much of it once it arrived.  So, this morning, I had to think of something quick out of my fridge staples.  And (drumroll please) the grownup Lunchable was born.

Y'all remember Lunchables, right?  They were super cool when I was a kid but full of processed nitrates and carcinogens and sin, I'm sure.

 Anyway, this lunch was similar, but made out of  my organic stuff from home.  So we had some ham slices (cut with a biscuit cutter), cheese cubes, celery, crackers, walnuts, and an apple.  Honestly, it was pretty good!  Kinda fun to assemble it all at lunch, and easy to make in the morning.  Don't know that I'll be having these every day, but worth the minimal effort.

For those of you have kids, this might be a great alternative to Lunchables or other processed lunches. Pin It Now!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Day 64 - Slow Cooker Coca-Cola Ham Roast

Ham, noodles, green beans, clementine.

Alright friends, today we have some leftover slices of Coca-cola ham roast, some buttered garlic noodles, green beans, guessed it...a clementine.

Can you tell I just bought a lot of clementines this week?

Coca-cola ham roast is probably the easiest thing in the world to cook, and do so deliciously.  You can use as large or small a roast as you like, but the recipe below is for a small one to feed around 4 hungryish people.  The best part is that since so many ham roasts are pre-cooked, there is no way you can screw this up!  Don't you just love that?!

Slow Cooker Coca-Cola Ham Roast

1.5 pre-cooked ham roast
8 oz Coca-Cola Classic
2 T Dijon Mustard
2 t black pepper

Place ham roast into a 2 quart crock pot.  Spread mustard over top, and sprinkle in pepper.  Slowly pour Coca-Cola over whole mixture.  Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.  If possible, flip ham over halfway through cooking for more even flavor.

Makes around 10 slices. Pin It Now!