Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Healthy Dinner Plan 1/28-2/3

Well I am still cooking from the pantry except for sunday because it is the super bowl!  Time to celebrate...even though the Bronco's aren't in it bummer!

January 28

Spaghetti Squash, Grilled Chicken and Mixed Vegetables

January 29

Quinoa, Black Beans and Green Beans

January 30

Lettuce Wraps

January 31

Quinoa Crusted Tilapia

February 1

Mango Salsa Quinoa Salad

February 2

Spaghetti using spaghetti squash

February 3rd

Skinny Taco Dip- Going to make my own healthier version based on this one
Skinny Enchilada Lasagna

Shopping List

Plain Greek Yogurt
Shredded Cheese

Spaghetti squash

Mixed Vegetables

Chicken breasts or shredded chicken
Ground Turkey, Chicken or Ground Beef
Grilled Chicken (I but the Tyson's Grilled and Ready, only 100 calories for the whole thing and it is tasty!)
Turkey lunch meat (Can use ham or roast beef for the wraps too)

Quinoa-3 meals
Black Beans
Ranch, Hummus or Mayonnaise for the wraps
lemon juice
Spaghetti sauce
fat free cream of chicken soup
corn tortillas

Simple week and cheap meal!

Someone Remind me that I am 29..not 21

This weekend was fun....and I am still feeling it on Tuesday!  Some friends and I went downtown and bar hopped.  We played skee ball and beer pong and danced our asses off.  It was a blast....

But then we woke up the next day and I had to have a couple of these....
Yep guess what? 8 years makes a lot of difference.  At 21 I could drink all night, wake up the next day and fully function.  It is still Tuesday and I'm still hungover lol  Guess I will stick with my glass of wine at home!

The rest of the weekend I had my precious niece
For only being a year old she is so damn smart!  She figured out connect four in about two minutes.
She also loves to wear my socks...and bras haha She is silly!

I have been so busy lately I haven't even had time to cook but I have five days off coming up and promise there will be some yummy recipes coming!  I should probably get on my meal plan too...ugh someone make me younger with more energy!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Homemade Pho

You have never had Pho you say?? But you have heard of it right? It is a delicious Vietnamese soup that is supposed to be healing.  I know many people that go eat it when they are sick and it helps them feel better.  I have only had it at a restaurant once and have craved it ever since!  I checked out pinterest for some homemade ideas and combined a few of them.  It came out tasty and a tiny bit spicy...ok a lot spicy for me because I'm a big old wimp.  I still slurped it up because the flavor was fantastic.  Alright enough talk:

Homemade Pho

3-Whole Anise Stars-You can find these in the spice section
3 inch chunk of Ginger-smashed
2-Garlic Cloves whole-Only use one if you don't want it too spicy
1-Cinnamon Stick
1 tsp Sesame Oil
1/4 jalapeno-leave out if you don't like the spice

Heat the sesame oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the anise, ginger,garlic, cinnamon and jalapeno. Let them cook for just a minute or two until you can smell the ingredients. Take them off the heat.

2 Quarts of Chicken Broth-8 Cups
Green Onions-about a cup chopped
1 Tbsp Sugar-Brown or white

Add the broth, sugar, spices and onions to a soup pot. Let this come to a boil for a quick dinner or let it simmer for awhile for better flavor. When it is done strain out the anise, garlic, cinnamon, ginger and jalapeno. Add a Tbsp of soy sauce and a Tbsp of rice vinegar (optional). Let it come to a boil again and add an ounce of Udon Noodles or asian noodles of your choice. When they are done add a cup of kale or vegetable of your choice.  Feel free to add chicken to this, I add some already cooked shredded chicken. Cut up a lime into wedges, squeeze it into your bowl. Serve up the pho and enjoy!!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Quinoa Crusted Tilapia

Fish...Ugh!  I cannot stand fish normally.  I know you are thinking she doesn't like veggies or fish?  What does she like??  Oh you know pizza, pasta, ice cream, wine, chips, and anything that is bad for me.  Yep I am a fatty (not literally).  I bought Tilapia and told myself I was going to find some recipes that would make me eat it.  I saw a recipe for Quinoa Crusted Chicken and decided to google one for Tilapia. I found this and it was so good I ate a whole piece without gagging lol  I did change it up a little to give it some flavor.

Quinoa Crusted Tilapia

2 Tilapia Filets
2/3 Cup Cooked Quinoa
1/8 Cup Flour-I used whole wheat-You can substitute ground up almonds or oatmeal
1 egg beaten
cajun seasoning
lemon juice
Canola Oil

Put the Quinoa, Egg and Flour in three different bowls or plates large enough for the filet's to fit flat.  I added a good amount of salt, pepper and cajun seasoning to the flour and a Tbsp of lemon juice to the beaten egg.  Heat the canola oil in a pan.  When it is ready you can splash some water at it and it will sizzle.  Take the tilapia and cover it in flour, then egg then quinoa.  Place it in the pan and cook about 3 minutes each side.  It gives it such a nice crust!  I might decide to like fish after all;)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Black Bean "Tostadas" and Cilantro Lime Quinoa

Yesterday I got home from work and decided to work out. I burned about 500 calories and I was starrrrving! I couldn't make this dinner fast enough! I have been craving tostadas but have been staying away from fried food so I just put them on warmed up corn tortillas instead. It hit the spot!!  

Black Bean "Tostadas"

 Black Beans-1 Cup
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Pepper
 Corn Tortillas-This made about four, you could probably even squeeze out 6
sour cream or greek yogurt-optional

Warm the beans with the spices then smash, you can skip this if you like and use the whole beans. You might need to add a little water to keep the beans from burning. Warm the tortillas, 10 seconds for each tortilla. Spread the beans on them and add lettuce, tomato, cheese and sour cream/yogurt.

 I needed a side for these and had quinoa already made in the fridge. If you don't know how to cook it, you do it just like rice. Two cups of water to every cup of quinoa.  

Cilantro Lime Quinoa

1 Cup Cooked Quinoa
1 Tbsp Lime juice
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro, you can use dry if no fresh available
1/8 cup of chicken broth

Add all the ingredients into a pan and cook until the broth is soaked up by the quinoa. This took about 5 minutes.
This meal is simple, filling and healthy!!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Healthy Dinner Plan 1/13-1/27

Well I know I said I was going to do one week at a time but this one is two weeks.  I know I know I am a woman and I change my mind often;)  I am trying to only spend 50 dollars on groceries this month so I can pay off some bills so the only thing I am buying this month is produce and dairy.  These are all meals from the pantry, my fridge and freezer, no extras! It will be nice to empty my fridge and freezers.

Meatballs, Quinoa, Vegetables

 Beef Stroganoff over Egg Noodles

 Crock Pot Veggie Stew

 Sausage, Red Beans and Rice Ghoulash

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

 Ham and Kale Quiche

 Lazy Enchilada Casserole

 Sweet and Sour Chicken over Brown Rice

 Pesto Pasta With Grilled Chicken

 Parmesan and Walnut Spaghetti Squash-Recipe to come

Tilapia with Avocado Sauce

 I am not going to make snacks or breakfasts so I can clear them out and start over!

 Here is the grocery list for these meals:
*Keep In Mind I have all of this stuff already in the pantry or made ahead.


 Cottage Cheese
Shredded Cheese-2 meals
 Buttermilk-Can also mix regular milk with a Tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice
 Cream Cheese or Sour Cream (for the stroganoff)
eggs-2 meals


 Lime-can also use the bottled kind
 Cilantro-Can use the dry
 Avocado-1 medium
 jalapeno-1 small
 Mushrooms-If you want them for the stroganoff, it is good without
 Spaghetti Squash
 Garlic-2 meals
 Red bell pepper-1
 Sweet Potatoes-2 medium red potatoes-or any kind-4 medium
 celery-2 stalks
 baby carrots-1/2 bag
 onion-2 meals
 green bell pepper-1
 Kale-1 meal


 Diced Beef
 Ham-I just use lunch meat
Chicken-2 meals
 Meatballs-bought or made


Vegetables-mixed, green beans, peas, whatever you like


 Dijon Mustard-I used regular
 Chicken broth
 Beef Broth
 Golden mushroom soup-2 cans
 Worcestershire sauce
 Apple Cider Vinegar tomato sauce-3 meals
 Spaghetti sauce
 Pineapple-1 can
egg noodles
 rice-brown or white
Pasta of your choice-one meal
 elbow noodles-macaroni
enchilada sauce- bought or made
diced tomatoes red beans
 black beans
 corn tortillas

Crock Pot Veggie Stew

In my effort to eat more vegetables (GAG) I made an all veggie stew and made myself choke it down.  OK so it was actually really good and surprisingly filling.  I filled a bowl, ate half and it kept me full for the whole night.  That is almost impossible.  That whole don't eat after 7 thing?  Doesn't happen for me or I starve ALL night long.  I have a crazy metabolism! 

Crock Pot Veggie Stew

2-Medium Sweet Potatoes-Peeled and cubed
4-Medium Red Potatoes-Cubed with peel (That is where those nutrients are)
2-Celery Stalks-Cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 bag Baby Carrots
2 Tbsp Onion-Diced or in chunks
1 garlic clove-diced
8 oz tomato sauce-or 2 actual tomatoes if you have them
1 Cup Chicken Broth
Italian Seasoning
Pepper-I didn't measure these, just kind of threw them in and adjusted for flavor!

Just throw them in a crock pot on low for 4-6 hours.  The sweet potatoes will fall to pieces but it makes the stew tastier (in my opinion).

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pesto Spaghetti Squash

I found this on pinterest, didn't even look at the recipe because I know how to make pesto right?  Well I forgot an ingredient oops but it was an easy fix!  Pesto is so tasty and can be added to almost anything, veggies, meat, and pasta.  I have been trying to eat more vegetables and this is a great way to give it some flavor.

First I roasted the spaghetti squash.  You cut it in half, take out the seeds and put it in a 375 degree oven for 60-90 minutes.  Stick a fork in it and if it is soft it is ready.  Then just take a fork and scrape out the middle.  It looks a little like spaghetti (that's why it is called spaghetti squash duh).


1 Cup Kale
1 Cup Spinach
1/2 Cup Pine Nuts(You can also use walnuts, or pecans)
1 clove garlic (add more if you like spice)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 Cup Parmesan (I forgot this one...oops)
3-5 TB Olive oil

I used my handy ninja to do this.  Just put all ingredients in the ninja/food processor except the olive oil, add a TB at a time until it is the consistency you want.

Look how bright that is, it just invites you to eat it:)

You can substitute the kale and spinach with basil if you want.  You can also freeze this in ice cube trays, or small plastic bags for later use.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Eating Healthy On A Budget-Part 4

I know some people are going to look at this list and think I am nuts.  I do have a lot of time on my hands but I will let you know I maybe spend two hours a week preparing food for my freezer.  Some days I dread it but I am always relieved when I wake up in the morning and breakfast only takes a minute to warm up.  Or when I forget to get something out for dinner and all I have to do is defrost or warm something up.  This keeps me from wasting money on fast food, it is such a relief.  I pick only a couple things a week to work on.  After a month or two you will have a stock of food in the freezer and won't have to worry. 

Spaghetti Sauce

Pizza Sauce

Pizza Dough

Soup-You could freeze any soup you choose

Enchilada Sauce

French Bread

Sandwich Bread-Use half Wheat

Dinner Rolls

Hamburger Buns

*If you don't have a bread machine just knead it, let it rise and bake just like the recipe says.





Pie Crust for this Quiche

Breakfast Cookies


Meatballs-These are the best meatballs I have ever tasted


Corn Dog Muffins-Use all beef hot dogs


Zucchini Bites

Mac and Cheese Cups

Ham and Cheese Pockets

Frozen Fruit Cups


Chicken Nuggets

Healthy Cookie Dough Bites

Frozen Bananas and Peanut Butter

Healthy Brownie and Peanut Butter Balls

Smudgies-Peanut Butter Banana Sandwiches on Graham Crackers

No I do not always make these.  I usually go through the recipes I always have, check out new ones and then pick one snack, and one breakfast a week to make.  Then I make two lunches a month for the freezer.  I always check to make sure I have enough spaghetti sauce, pizza dough, etc...

Trust me when I say those two hours a week are worth it!  Sometimes it is even less time if I can cook everything at once!  Good luck!  I will be doing another couple posts with meals from the pantry and things to do with food that is going bad.  Stay tuned!

Eating Healthy On A Budget-Part 3

This whole being off work for 5 days is kinda nice.  I have so much time to get things done!  I never thought I would say that.  Usually I'm off for 5 days and bored out of my mind.  I have been catching up on Season 2 of Shameless.  Never heard of it?  Well you should, especially if you like inappropriate language, sex and dysfunctional families.  You thought your family was dysfunctional??  Not even close to the Gallagher family!  Check it out!

I am one of those people that cannot sit around all day long and watch TV.  I usually have shows on in the background while I am freezer cooking, doing laundry, cleaning, etc... This week I am going to work on organizing my cabinets and defrosting my freezers.  I have to go buy a new refrigerator soon because it keeps leaking water everywhere, from where? I have no idea.  I thought I was going to get away with selling my house without having to buy anything dangit! Ok so I have gotten off track a little lol

In my freezer(s) I always have pretty much the same things.  I know boring...but if you find things you like eat them regularly!

Chicken-ground, diced, breasts, shredded, patties.  I'm a big fan of chicken, in all different ways.  I actually buy whole chickens for about 5 dollars and put them in the crock pot.  At the end of the day I cool it, shred it and freeze it.  So fast and easy! Just pull it out in the morning and use it for dinner.  I try to stock up on chicken breasts when they are on sale.  Make sure you divide up the packages before you throw them in the freezer.  I chop some up and put them in individual bags for stir fry's and fried rice.  You can add marinade to the breasts before you freeze them and then you just have to grill or bake them! I buy the ground chicken patties because they are cheaper than turkey and you can either use them for burgers or as a substitute for ground beef.

Beef-Ground, diced, steak, chopped, roast.  I know steak is expensive but if you check the markdown meat they always have some good prices.  My store marks down their meat Tuesday morning, so I usually stop by and see what they have.  Sometimes I get steak about 4 dollars for a medium sized package, roasts for 5 and diced for 2.

Pork-chops, diced, loin, roast.  I love pork.  I know some of you don't and that is ok but I always seem to cook pork the best.  I haven't perfected my chicken or beef yet but pork I've got in the bag!  I just watch for sales on pork.  The loin is usually most expensive so that is a very rare treat for us.

Bacon- I am lucky enough that King Soopers sends me coupons for free bacon, yes I said FREE bacon!  I have no idea why?  Maybe because I use a ridiculous amount of coupons and they want to reward me, who knows and who cares?!  FREE BACON!  For the rest of you that aren't that lucky, bacon can be expensive. Turkey bacon is cheaper....for some reason.

*You could go to Sam's club and buy big packages of meat and split them up.  The problem I have sometimes with this is the money.  It is worth it but if you are on a budget stick with what you can.

*Always, Always watch your ads.  You get to a point where you know what a good price is for meat.

Bread-I have a fantastic bread machine that I can make bread with or I just buy the store brand wheat bread for .99 cents.  I make two loaves at a time and freeze one.  This is so simple because you can put all the ingredients in the bread machine and let the machine do the work.  You can also just buy a couple loves from the store and freeze some.  Sometimes I make rolls, or hamburger buns and freeze them.  This makes life easy.

Rice-I like to cook rice and then divide it into quart bags.  This makes it easy to just get it out, thaw and use it for dinner.  If you couldn't tell I enjoy making my life easier:)

Beans-I buy them dry, put them in the crock pot, let them cook then divide them up and freeze them.  Again, easy to thaw and eat!

Waffles-I just recently got a waffle maker!  I make them and freeze them, no need to ever buy eggos again!

Pancakes- I usually plan a night where we have them for dinner, I make extra and freeze them.

Vegetables-When these are on sale for .99 cents I stock up, pair them with coupons and sometimes they are free. Frozen vegetables are so easy to add to any meal and literally take minutes to warm up.

Nuts-When you buy nuts-almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, pecans freeze them.  It keeps them good for a long time.

Fruit-When you find a sale on strawberries (for example) stock up and freeze them.  If you couldn't tell by now I freeze a lot of stuff.

Flour-You can keep this is your pantry or you can freeze it.  Freezing it keeps those yucky little bugs away.

I know that some of you don't have two freezers and that is ok.  You just have to figure out a system that works for you.

Here are some other things I make ahead and put in my freezer:

Spaghetti sauce

Pie Crusts

Pureed Pumpkin

Pureed Zucchini


Part 4 will be all the recipes and instructions to everything I make ahead and freeze. Stay tunes and if you missed Part 1 go here, and Part 2 here.

Have a great day:)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Eating Healthy On a Budget-Part 2

Well here we are in part 2...the pantry or cupboards if you don't have one.

I always try to keep a fully stocked pantry. Not just because I live in the middle of nowhere but it makes mealtime easier. Sometimes I just pick a couple things from my pantry, throw them together and there is dinner. I have come up with some interesting things let me tell you. It is nice to find a new recipe I want to try out and know I already have everything I need for it. No extra shopping trips needed!

 Here are the things I keep in my cupboards:

 Diced Tomatoes- Yes I buy them in cans, or even can my own in the summer. I can't tell you how many meals I use these in. When there is a sale I buy LOTS.

Tomato Sauce-I buy tons of these too. They are usually .37 cents a can at King Soopers and I buy ten at a time. I use these for everything. My favorite is my fideo! You can make your own pizza sauce and or spaghetti sauce too.

Spaghetti Sauce-I sometimes buy this but usually just make a whole bunch of it and freeze it.

 Canned green chilies or jalapenos-Great way to add spice to your meals. In the summer I actually buy a ton, cut them up and freeze them. This summer I got 10 jalapenos for a dollar, not too shabby.

Pasta-Ok we all know the whole wheat kind is the best and sometimes you can get some great deals on them and normally they are only about .20 cents more than the regular kind. Pasta can last up to a year unopened so if you see a sale stock up!

Canned Fruit-I know the real stuff is best but if you drain the can of all the who knows what it is not so bad. I love to add canned fruit to my cottage cheese:) I also can fruit in the summer, especially when I get peaches for free!

 Fideo Cortado-This is a staple at our house. It is not the healthiest thing in the world but it is something I grew up on and I always add some veggies to feel better about it lol You can find this at the grocery store in the Mexican aisle. It is usually around .40 cents a bag. The recipe I use is above!

 Condiments-Always look for deals at the grocery and stock up. I always have tons of BBQ sauce, salad dressings, soy sauce, peanut butter, ketchup, buffalo sauce, etc... The kind you buy is your preference. Sometimes I get these for free:)

 Canned soups- These are terrible for you and it is much better to make them yourself. But let's be honest sometimes it is easier. I always have some just in case!

Baking Supplies- I LOVE to bake. It is just one of those things that helps me with stress. I think it is ok as long as I don't eat it all. I always eat at least a piece of whatever I make and give the rest away. Crazy I know but you should never deprive yourself. Ok sorry on to supplies....

 -Flours- I buy 25 lbs of white flour from Sam's club it is 7 dollars...yep. I also buy Wheat Flour from the grocery store, 4 lbs for around 3 dollars. I always make everything half white, half wheat. Sometimes making things pure wheat can taste strange and kill your stomach.

 -Sugar-Some people think buying in bulk is cheaper but it is NOT. It is more expensive. I just stock up when it is on sale, usually around holiday time at the good old grocery store. Brown sugar is on sale all the time so I stock up on that too.

 -Chocolate Chips- I buy these at Sam's. I can't remember the price but you get a 72 oz bag and it lasts a long while.

 Cereal-I don't buy healthy cereal all the time but I also don't eat it (Marcus does). I can sometimes get cereal for $1 and a lot of times it is cheerios or life cereal. It isn't Kashi but better than froot loops!

 Snacks-We usually try to buy snacks at the dollar tree. They have nuts, and dried fruit, popcorn, pretzels, applesauce, graham crackers, animal crackers and fruit snacks. We are snackers around here, plus I make Marcus a lunch 2-3 times a week.

 I know I missed a lot of things in here but you once again get my point right?

 There are many things you can do to save money and eat healthy. If you take an hour or two a week and cook some beans, make some tortillas, portion out snacks (I also buy sandwich bags, gallon and quart bags from the dollar tree),cook some rice and freeze it, make oatmeal and freeze it,etc... It doesn't take too much time to plan and prepare for the weeks ahead. Make yourself a list and go to it. One thing I want to point out is that every household is different. I am just giving you examples of what I have in my house. If you still have full fat cream of something soup or white rice, or white pasta don't throw it out. Use it until it is gone and then get brown or whole wheat. Just add some extra veggies;)

Sprouts Shopping Trip

As kind of a follow up to my post Eating Healthy on a Budget-Part 1 I went shopping at Sprouts for my fruits and veggies.

The only thing I forgot for my meal plan was red bell peppers and greek yogurt...oops.  Good thing I have a grocery store nearby! Although I got a few extra veggies to play around with and maybe make some good sides.  Honestly I am not a veggie person, I literally have to force feed myself but I am trying really hard.  I WANT to love them.

A bunch of Spinach-.88 cents-This will last about a week and then if I see it start to go bad I will blanche it, freeze it and add it to smoothies.

Butternut Squash-1.47 for almost two pounds.  I am not quite sure what to do with this one.  Anyone have some great recipes?  I know from experience though when squash isn't cut up it lasts a very long time.

Celery-.88 cents-This will last probably a month or so.

Cilantro-A bunch for .49 cents.  There are so many things I can add this to.

Cucumbers-3 for a $1.  These will last two weeks.

Fuji Apples-over two pounds for 1.90-not the best deal but we eat them constantly. These will last 2-4 weeks.

Grape Tomatoes-1.50-we add these to salads or my son just eats them by themselves. These will last 2-3 weeks in the fridge.

Kale-A bunch for .99 cents. This will last two weeks or so.

Green Leaf Lettuce-a bunch for .88 cents.  This can last 3-4 weeks when stored right.  Hopefully you eat it long before then.

Avocados-2 for 1.76.  If you don't use these on time just cut them in half, take out the pit and freeze.

Red Yams-a pound for 1.24.  Not sure what to do with these yet, maybe fries? These usually don't stay good for too long so it is best to use them as soon as you can.

Roma Tomatoes-1.16 lb for 1.02.  These are my favorite!  They can last up to two weeks.

Spaghetti Squash-2.12 lbs for 1.04.  Spaghetti here we come.

Yellow Onion-.40 cents.  I just bought one.  I normally cut this up and freeze in small portions.  I HATE cutting onions so the thought of having to cut it up everytime I need it is pure torture! Plus it makes life and dinner easier:)

Total: 15.45

After this shopping trip I will go back in two weeks but only to buy what is on sale or what we have used up.  The most expensive thing I bought was the apples for 1.90 and I got 6 good sized ones.  I know there are only two of us but anything can last if you make it!  ( I also bought quinoa but we will talk about that in Part 2)

30 Day Ab Challenge

Ok So I did a long post on this yesterday and blogger deleted it...what the heck??  So here I go again, let's see if I can remember it all.

I have started eating healthy and working out.  Today I am doing a workout by a Victoria Secret trainer.  It is ten minutes, YES 10 MINUTES!  Who doesn't have that amount of time?  Especially if someday you may look like a VS Supermodel? (A girl can dream) *Update-I did it and my legs are hurting today!

I have also decided to do the 30 Day Ab Challenge.  I weigh about 135 pounds and I know some of you are thinking "What a beotch!"  The average weight for my height is 120 pounds, so I am overweight lol  I don't feel overweight I just want to be toned and strong.  I am going to post before pictures and yes I know it doesn't look like I have much to get rid of but everyone wants a flat tummy right?!

I will post some after photos on February 2nd (Hopefully with some better light).  Anyone want to join me on this?  I could use some partners:)  Hope you all have a great weekend!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Healthy Dinner Plan 1/6-1/12

Ok so eating healthy isn't hard and thanks to pinterest the recipes are easy! I am only going to do one week at a time until I get used to it. The holidays have worn me down so today is all about planning and none of the executing...Mama needs a break!

 Sunday January 6th

 Mexican Lasagna
Monday January 7th
  Savory Fall Stew

 Tuesday January 8th

Wednesday January 9th
 Sweet and Sour Chicken over Brown Rice

 Thursday January 10th
  Black Bean, Avocado, Tomato and Cucumber Salad

 Friday January 11th
 Bacon and Pea Macaroni and Cheese

 Saturday January 12th

 Food from the pantry:
1 can of 98% Fat Free Cream of Chicken Soup

 1 can Rotel quinoa lentils(I have it in the freezer)

 vegetable broth (I have it in the freezer)







 Dijon Mustard

 Apple Cider Vinegar

 Tomato Sauce


 Corn Tortillas

Things I need to buy:

 Chicken Breasts

 Red Bell Pepper



 Greek Yogurt

It is nice to have a stocked pantry:)

Eating Healthy On A Budget-Part 1

 Ok so let’s face it, the healthy stuff is expensive. No wonder so many struggle with obesity. It is much cheaper to buy white tortillas than wheat, 2-3 dollars cheaper. I discovered this when I was trying to buy some the other day. It takes time to develop a healthy pantry. I can see why so many give up on eating healthy. The thing is with a little help from my list; some effort on your part and the want to, it is possible.

 Your first step is to PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. Nobody eats healthy without a plan. Plan your weeks, recipes and shopping trips. I already meal plan and plan out shopping trips, and when I went to check out my pantry I discovered I already have most that I need…I just needed some tweaking.

Go to your pantry and make a list of everything you have and how many of each thing. Then next to each item decide if you can make it a bit healthier, like buying whole wheat pasta instead of white, brown rice instead of white…you get the idea. There are some things that you can make yourself much cheaper than buying them, like tortillas that I mentioned above. Yes this takes time but if you took an hour and made as many as possible, kept some out and froze the rest it would be worth your time. Throw away processed and sugary foods. I know that is going to hurt the pocket book…..BAD! It will be worth it, whether you are trying to lose weight or just trying to feel better. If you have these things in your house there is no doubt you WILL eat them!

 Next go to your fridge and freezer and do the same. Basically you are starting over, if you only have healthy food in your house you have no choice but to eat it right?!

Alright so here is my list of things I keep in my fridge:


 *Greek Yogurt-I LOVE Chobani but any kind will work. It is high in protein, calcium and low in calories. Add some nuts, granola and fruit to it for a great breakfast. I usually buy it for $1 each, sometimes I find coupons and they are free or under $1.

 *Cottage Cheese-low in fat, high in protein, full of vitamins and minerals. I am a cheap ass so I always check the dairy clearance and pick up my cottage cheese for about a dollar. They have sales on it all the time. I love to add peaches or pineapple to the cottage cheese, or add it to a smoothie.

*Eggs-Organic or regular. I had chickens not long ago and will say those eggs were fantastically delicious. The problem is at the store they are expensive and who really knows where they come from??? So now I just buy the store brand. They are fine and I buy 5 dozen at a time (I love to bake). It costs about 3 dollars and lasts me about a month.

 *Tortillas-Whole Wheat Recipe here. Tortillas are so versatile; you can use them in casseroles, burritos, wraps, and quesadillas. Great for fast meals.

 *Cheese-Ok So I am a cheese freak. I put it on everything, I know this isn’t healthy but it just makes everything taste better. My theory is that I don’t drink milk so I have to get my dairy from somewhere lol Justification! I have been trying to cut back a little bit. You can buy the lower fat cheese if you would like. I like to buy things full fat, some of those low fat foods seem sketchy to me. The grocery store has sales on cheese all the time; I usually buy a pound for about 2 dollars but go through 2 or 3 a month. The best thing to do is buy it from Sam’s or Costco. I get a 5 lb bag for 11.87 dollars and it lasts me 3 months. You can split this up in quart bags and freeze to make sure it doesn’t spoil.

 *String Cheese-At a grocery store these are ridiculous, I walk by them and almost have a panic attack. Luckily Sam’s club has 48 pieces for about 8 dollars. At the grocery store you get 12 for 5 or 6…ouch! String cheese is a great choice for a quick snack. It is healthy convenience food.


 -Carrots-Regular and baby-low in fat and cholesterol, high in vitamins and fiber. Great snack foods. I usually buy the organic at Sprouts Farmer’s Market and it is a dollar on sale and lasts me a couple weeks.

-Celery-Ok so celery literally has no nutritional value but they trick you. The crunch and the water in them keep you from snacking on something not so good for you. I find this at Sprouts for .88 cents and it lasts awhile. Store it in foil and it lasts a really long time.

-Kale-This is a super food. Some people do not like it and I can admit it is very grass like. The thing is if you hide it in smoothies or even in salad with romaine or spinach you hardly notice the taste. A bunch at Sprouts is usually 1-2 dollars and lasts me a couple weeks if stored right. Store it in paper towels in a gallon ziplock.

-Lettuce-Green, red…as long as it isn’t iceberg. Iceberg has NO nutritional value. What is the point? The other’s do and are very low calorie. We love to make a salad of lettuce, kale and add things like fruit, tomatoes, almonds, carrots and cucumbers. Store the same way as the kale. Mine sometimes lasts more than a month and costs .99 cents for a bunch at Sprouts…awesome.

 -Cucumbers-These babies are full of vitamins…as long as you eat the peel. That’s where the nutrition is at. I usually cut them up and eat them plain, with a tiny bit of Italian dressing, with tomatoes or in salads. I bag them up and use them for lunches or snacks. I can usually get them for about .50 a piece at Sprouts. I store them on the counter until I cut them up then they go in the fridge. They don’t last too long…a week or so, so eat them fast!

-There are a million vegetables I can name that you can buy. From the above you can see they really aren’t that expensive and some last quite awhile. I know people think it is expensive to buy produce and it definitely can be but buy seasonal and you will be ok. I always buy lettuce, kale and cucumbers because they always stay around the same price. Always check your weekly ads to find out what is on sale and plan your meals around that.

 *Fruit-Some of these go in my fridge and some stay on my counters.

 -Bananas-Vitamins, Potassium and Fiber. Bananas are a great grab and go snack. They are great for stomachaches, or late night food cravings. There are a million and one things you can do with bananas, smoothies, muffins, put it in yogurt, some people grill them (weird I know), freeze them with peanut butter, so many possibilities. I have seen a lot of different ways to store them but mine always seem to go bad pretty fast. I freeze them at that point for future smoothies or banana bread. Anyone have a sure fire way?? I admit bananas aren’t the cheapest. They are about .55 cents a pound and usually cost me about 3 dollars a week…ouch but better than grabbing a candy bar right?!

 -Apples-You know the saying…”An Apple a day keeps the doctor away”. It has lots of fiber and vitamin C. I love apples and this is another one that you can make a million and one things with. Cut them up and snack on them, put them in oatmeal, salads, pies, breads, make your own applesauce, or apple butter. Buy them when they are in season and they can cost as low as .25 cents a pound. Whoa! Fall is the best time of year and if you have an apple orchard nearby this can be a great activity. If you cut up the apples make sure you add lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. Keep these on your counter unless you cut them up. They can last a month or more.

-Oranges-Great source for fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. We prefer cuties around here, they are easy to snack on and they taste delicious. There are so many different types of oranges and many things you can do with them. You can also cut them up and store them in the fridge for a quick snack. Store these on the counter unless they are cut up. Depending on the season you can get oranges as low as .37 cents a pound. I usually stock up! Cuties can be a little more expensive but my son loves them so they are worth it to me! Anytime you can get a kid to eat fruits and veggies…cherish it!

 -Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Blackberries-There is no limit to the things you can do with berries and every one of them is so good for you. Vitamins and Minerals galore! Put them on salads, oatmeal, cereal, I make my own syrup for waffles and pancakes, smoothies, marinades, I could go on and on. I only buy berries when they are on sale because sometimes strawberries are 5 dollars a pint owowow! I just recently got blackberries for a dollar a pint. Not too bad, we ate them on salads and just by themselves.

-Avocados-Another super food! Oh the vitamins and minerals!  So many things to do with avocados, make salad dressing, cream sauce for pasta, guacamole, put it on chicken, put it on bread, put it on a sandwich, seriously do whatever you want with it lol

 I could go on for days and name every fruit and veggie and how they are good for you, how much they cost and how to store them but you get the idea. It does not cost a lot for produce. If you keep a lot of it in the house and make an effort to eat it all before it goes bad then it is worth every penny. I usually only spend about 20 dollars every two to three weeks, sometimes even less if there are some really good sales. I mostly buy produce at Sprouts and on Wednesdays because it is double ad day. They have the sales from the week before and the week ahead together so sometimes I get some rock bottom deals. Sometimes King Soopers (Kroger) has even better deals. I am always watching!

 As for condiments, if you stock up when there is a good sale you won’t have to buy them for a long time. To be even healthier you can make your own, my favorite is gluten free ketchup. It is so much tastier than the bottled crap. I also buy real butter. It can be expensive but if you look at margarine and all the ingredients that look like another language it is worth it. So yes sometimes I spurge, but I try to make up for it in other areas. I have many more posts coming on this and I hope you will join me in making our houses healthier! I am also going to include meal plans and recipes that can come straight from your pantry! Who says you can’t eat fast and healthy??! If you have questions about other fruits and veggies please ask away! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Don't forget to check out Part 2,3 and 4!