Weekly Healthy-ISH Meal Plan 4/28/13

The weather is FINALLY turning around in Northwest Ohio and we couldn’t be happier. Let’s hope that it sticks around for a while. I love when the temperature starts to rise, but I hate trying to figure out meal plans for warmer weather. Heavy meals are too much, but we don’t want to eat salads every day.

I really have no idea what we ate last year when it started to warm up so I headed over to Pinterest and started my research. That damn Pinterest. It just sucks me in and I end up looking at all of the pretty home improvement pins and the yummy desserts which is NOT good for my healthy eating. I did find a few new recipes for all of you!

The Random Blogette  Weekly Healthy-ish Meal Plans

Monday – Cheesy Pizza Pasta Bake w/ Salad and Garlic Bread

We are doing a slight variation on this. Since the kids are not fans of pretty much anything, we are going to only add the mushrooms, onions and peppers to one side of the casserole. Crossing my fingers that it works. I swear if my kids even see me preparing anything with mushrooms they freak out.

Tuesday – Chicken Fingers & French Fries

Tuesdays are my dance class night and I prefer to drink a Visalus Shake instead of eating any real food. It helps me get through my classes without a stomach ache from heavy food.

Wednesday – Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken w/ Diced Potatoes and Green Beans

This is a new recipe that I found and it looks awesome. We would usually eat this with canned green beans but after reading this article I don’t think that I can eat them anymore.

Thursday – Brats & Hot Dogs w /Salad

Simple easy grilling meal. Not exactly the healthiest but a little indulgence won’t kill ya!

Friday – Chicken Salad

This is an easy and quick meal. We use frozen chicken strips, (breaded or grilled, your choice)  lettuce, bacon bits, shredded cheese, hard boiled eggs, or really anything that you want. Make it your own.

What do you like to eat once the weather warms up? Or if you live where it is warm all of the time, what if your favorite warm weather meal?

Weekly Healthy-ISH Meal Plan 4/21/13

I have NEW recipes this week! I am so excited. It seems like we have been eating the same things over and over again. I keep getting stuck in the same old rut so I went Pinterest hunting and found some new recipes. I cannot wait to try them out.

The Random Blogette  Weekly Healthy-ish Meal Plans

Monday – Lasagna Roll Ups (Instead of regular lasagna noodles we swapped them with whole wheat.)

Tuesday – Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

Wednesday – Pizzas

Thursday – Homemade BBQ Pulled Pork ( I have a recipe for this somewhere, but I cannot find it for the life of me. If I find it I will update it.)

Friday – Sirloin Steak w/ Dijon Port Sauce

What are you eating this week?

Weekly Healthy-ish Meal Plan 4/14/13

Another week, another meal plan. I am having the hardest time right now getting my family to agree on meals, so I kind of gave up this week. We are revisiting one of our new favorite slow cooker recipes this week. This recipe can feed you for 2 or more days!

The Random Blogette  Weekly Healthy-ish Meal Plans

Monday – Meatball Subs (If you’re looking for a lower calorie meatball sub recipe check out this recipe on LaaLoosh.)

A great tip for lessening the calorie impact of any sub sandwich is to scoop out some of the bread from your sandwich to save calories. I do this all of the time when I am eating a sub sandwich. Yes, it is a waste of bread but it’s saving my waistline so yeah…

Tuesday – Breakfast for Dinner

You can do this any way you want. Some of our favorites are eggs, bacon, shredded hashbrowns and sausage gravy. I know, I know, gluttonous, but oh so good. Tuesdays are dance nights for me anyways, so it all evens out.

Wednesday – Tacos

This is just plain old tacos. Make them however you like them.

Thursday – Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

This is one of our new favorites and it makes a ton! It is about 3 lbs of chicken,or you can cut the recipe in half. I like to make the whole recipe because you can make buffalo chicken wraps or buffalo chicken tacos or nachos for another meal.

Friday – Chicken & Dumplings (NOT HEALTHY)

This is a secret family recipe, but I will share it with you. You take 2 cans of cream of chicken soup and 1.5 lbs of chicken and cook it in your slow cooker until the chicken is ready to be shredded. Make sure to shred the chicken. or chunk it up, whatever your preference may be. About 40 minutes or so before you are ready to sit down for dinner, make the dumplings. Just follow the recipe on a box of Bisquick for dumplings. BOOM! Chicken and dumplings.

This is very rich and very NOT HEALTHY, but it is Paige’s favorite and she has been asking for it for a while so I had to give in. She bats those eyelashes and puts out that pouty little lip and we’re done.

What is on your meal plan for this week?

 

 

Weekly Healthy-ish Meal Plan 4/7/13

Well, I have been eating like crap the last couple of weeks, hence the absence of the meal plans. I am back on track now. I need to get my health under control again. The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of crazy so I need some normal in my life. Whatever that is…

I am also going to try something a little different and mess with format a bit. I want to make this more interactive and have people actually read it. Is anyone really reading this? Is this thing on?

Monday – Grilled Chicken with diced red skin potatoes.

The hubby was boycotting veggies so I gave in. I have to remind him constantly that potatoes are not considered a veggie. They are a starch. With these chicken breasts we marinated them overnight with Kroger’s 30 Minute Marinade in Tequila Lime. Oh man is that a great marinade!

Tuesday – Skinny Meatloaf Muffins with BBQ Sauce, garlic mashed potatoes and corn.

meatloaf muffins

Skinny Meatloaf Muffins VIA Pinterest

Wednesday – Chicken Fingers & Fries

Thursday – Cobb Salads

Friday – Cheeseburgers & Bush’s Grillin’ Beans

I make my burgers slightly healthier by either omitting the bun or using only half of the bun.

Saturday – Spaghetti & Garlic Bread with salad

I know that this is a little more indulgent, but I have been craving spaghetti!

What are you eating this week? I am always looking for new recipes!

The Random Blogette  Weekly Healthy-ish Meal Plans

Ice Ice Baby Good Food, Good Food

If you are a child of the 90s whenever you hear “ice” you think of Ice Ice Baby….right? Or is it just me? The entire time I was at the amazing ICE Restaurant and Bar that song was running through my head.

 icePhoto courtesy of ICE’s facebook page. 

Surprisingly, I had never heard of ICE Restaurant and Bar until recently. I did a little research, as I always do whenever I am trying out a new restaurant, and their menu looked great. The prices were reasonable and there was a nice, but not overwhelming variety of food. I love restaurants with a nice variety of food but when their menus are 4 -5 pages long it gets a little overwhelming for me. Then I can’t figure out what I want and then whomever I am with gets annoyed because I can’t make a decision. I have issues.

I met up with 3 other lovely ladies to try out the delicious food and meet about an upcoming project. I am lucky to have these ladies as friends: Stacia, Kathy and Kelly. Kelly works with ICE and was excited for us to try it out.

ladiesPhoto courtesy of Stacia.

I made sure to explain to our server, Kate, that we would most likely be there for a while since we were having a meeting. She was great about it. We decided to settle in with a few drinks to start our meeting off right. I, of course, forgot to take a photo of my yummy Raspberry Mojito, but I did get a photo of the martinis that Kathy and Kelly had.

ice martiniSeriously, how beautiful is that martini?! Yes, those are Tony Packos pickles in that martini as well. I am not a big fan of martinis but the glass alone almost makes me want to get one next time. Almost.

Now on to the food. Each entree is served with your choice of salad or soup and one side. We had heard that the French Onion Soup was really good. We were not disappointed. Stacia and I opted for the soup. I have to say that it was the best French Onion Soup that I have ever had. I could’ve just had a vat of that and I would’ve been set.

Lucky for me, the soup wasn’t the only thing that I ate. I ordered the Chicken Marsala. For $14.99 it was a great price point. Not only did mashed potato mountain show up on my plate but there were also 2 nice size chicken breasts covered in a white wine sauce with mushrooms and prosciutto. Oh yes, the prosciutto was a fabulous touch.

chicken marsala

The other ladies enjoyed the following fabulous dishes…

Chicken Cheesesteak

chicken philly

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

bbq chicken pizza

Salmon

salmonThe food was amazing. Every single one of us was extremely happy with the flavors of our entrees. Not a single one of us was able to finish our entrees because they give you such a huge portions. I love when I can buy dinner some place and then bring half of it home for lunch the next day. Dave also enjoys it when he is not with me because then he gets a little bit too…well….sometimes.

As we were finishing up our awesome server, Kate, asked us about dessert. We didn’t even have to think about it. If the entrees were this good the desserts had to be great as well. We were not disappointed.

Once again the portions were large and the flavors were wonderful. We enjoyed the rice pudding, tiramisu, apple tarte and the carrot cake. I even was nice and scored a piece of Tiramisu for the hubby. He actually sent me a text the next day thanking me for it and telling me how amazing it was. We love tiramisu and he boldly declared that this was the best one he has ever had.dessert

When we decided to go to ICE I had no intentions of writing a post about them, but after our fabulous experience there I wanted to let everyone know about ICE Restaurant and Bar. If you are in Downtown Toledo and need some martinis and/or food, make sure that you stop by! They would love to have you.

Connect with ICE Restaurant and Bar on Facebook.

**I did not receive any compensation for this post. Sometimes I just like to spread some local love!

Thanksgiving Rocks When Your Relative Is A Chef!

This year Thanksgiving was perfect!

We didn’t have to host anyone at our house.

We didn’t have to wake up early.

We didn’t have to do shit.

I made a salad.

And not a pasta salad or anything that required cooking.

I made a green salad.

Here’s the recipe:

Bag of Spinach

Bag of Field Greens

Craisins

Slivered Almonds (flavored, not flavored, whatever your flavor of the day is)

Croutons (any flavor)

Feta (sun-dried tomato feta is so freaking awesome)

Garlic Expressions Dressing

BOOM!

Fabulous salad.

I like to call it the Lazy Man’s Salad.

You’re welcome.

Oh and my 18 year old cousin made the most amazing turkey ever for Thanksgiving dinner.

I told my aunt that she wins Thanksgiving and can now have it every year.

How’s that for a random post…

I hope everyone had a very stress-free Thanksgiving!

Oh and my kids actually behaved themselves so well that I forgot they were even there.

Or maybe it was the beer I was drinking.

* I have to give credit where credit is due. A former coworker actually made this salad about 3 years ago for a potluck and I have added my own little touches. Thanks Debbie!

 

 

 

#Pinterest Weekly Meal Plan – Week 2

It has been so much fun trying out new recipes for my family. I am pretty sure I am becoming Betty Crocker. It’s crazy! I have never really been the type of person that loves to cook and bake. I cook because I have to and usually Dave will get the urge to bake something. I have always been good with that until Pinterest. Heck, I even told Dave I wanted a sewing machine last night so I could start making my own clothes. It’s nuts. Plus, this past week has been absolutely insane, hence the fact that I am finally posting this on Friday afternoon!

Monday – Chicken Enchilada Pasta

Source: Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy Hour via Pinterest

This was very good! It was like chicken enchiladas but with pasta. It is very rich too, so be prepared. Everyone loved it though. I was so surprised.

Tuesday – Crock Pot Ravioli Lasagna Casserole

Source: Becoming Betty via Pinterest

This was very good. Dave gives it 2 and a half stars but he is not a big fan of red sauce. Gee, I wonder where Paige gets it from?! I loved it, but I also love any kind of pasta meal, especially spaghetti so this was very yummy to me. I would give it 3 and a half stars for sure! I even made some homemade garlic bread using hamburger buns with butter and garlic salt. So yummy! This made so much that I even took some to work and I ate it for 2 days and so did one of my co-workers! She loved it.

Wednesday – Stove Top Stuffing Breakfast Casserole

Source: Food.com via Pinterest

I originally wanted to make this for breakfast on Saturday morning but couldn’t wait to try it. It was so good and I want to make this every morning for breakfast. Although if I did, I would weigh a ton. EVERYONE loved this one and went back for seconds. This one will definitely be part of our regular rotation! I may have to try it with bacon next time just to switch it up.

Thursday – Leftovers

Friday – Leftovers

Saturday – Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas & Chili’s Chili Queso Knock Off

Source: From Glitter to Gumdrops via Pinterest

This queso was so close to the Chili’s version. Dave loves Chili’s queso and tries to make us get it every time we are there. I am not a big fan of eating a ton of cheesy goodness like this when I am out in public due to my lovely Lactose Intolerance so eating it at home is so much better! On the original recipe it says to only add 16 oz of Velveeta, which would be a small box or half of a big box. I was not a fan of how runny it was with just 16 oz., so I added more until ti was a thicker consistency. I would say about 3/4 of the big box did it for me.  Everyone loved it and we ate it a couple of times that day as well as into next week. It does make a ton so this would be perfect for a party or tailgating!

Source: Plain Chicken via Pinterest

We have made quesadillas like this before but how have we overlooked putting bacon in them??!!! Hello! We love BACON! These, of course, were fantastic. We have an electric flattop grill that we use for pancakes and quesadillas that works fabulously. I also learned a little trick from the hubs. He uses spray butter on the outside of the quesadilla to give it a nice brown color and help make it crispy. I was very impressed.

Sunday – Pumpkin Cookies w/Cream Cheese Frosting

Source: House of Hepworths via Pinterest

First, let me start off by telling you that this recipe makes 5 dozen+ freaking cookies. No joke. I got 5 dozen out of it and my first batch was a little big so I would’ve ended up with more if my first dozen were smaller. These were so good! Since I had a ton of these and refused to keep them all in my house I took 2 dozen to work with me. Everyone raved over them. I was so surprised. I really liked them, but I wasn’t sure how everyone else would like them. I am definitely my harshest critic. Also, since this was the first time I made them I didn’t have anything else to compare.

The next day at work all of the guys kept coming into my office and asking me where the next batch was. I have a feeling these guys (and ladies) are going to get spoiled this fall and winter. I am pretty sure  I am becoming Betty Crocker.

Are there any amazing recipes that you want me to try from Pinterest? Tag me on the pin and I will add it to my list! If you are not on Pinterest (and want to be) let me know and I will send you an invite!

Also don’t forget to stop by and see Julie from Dutch Being Me‘s Pinterest Challenge!

#Pinterest Meal Plan – Week 1

To say that I am slightly obsessed with Pinterest would be a huge understatement. I am very obsessed with it. Even One2One Network took note of that and added a Twitter conversation between myself and Amanda from Its Blogworthy to their blog post about Pinterest. That got me thinking. I need to actually use Pinterest and not just play with it. Playing with it is fun but it needs to serve a purpose for me to continue using it. So I came up with a plan.

Pinterest Meal Plan that is!

I have decided, for at least this week, to make my weekly meal plan with only meals that I have found on Pinterest. I am always looking for new recipes because my family is getting really bored with the some old meals every week. Also, I love making my family be guinea pigs and taste test everything.

Monday:  Curried Wild Rice & Chicken Chowder

via Eat Well…Living Thin

This was a little time consuming. I needed Dave’s help chopping up all of the veggies. He is so much better at it than I am. He chopped everything up and put it in plastic bags the night before so we could just throw it in the slow cooker the next morning without the prep. We also cheated a bit and used canned chicken. I know, it sounds gross, but it isn’t. There is a certain kind that we buy, Keystone Canned Chicken. It is such a time saver since it is already cooked. It is perfect for soups.

It was fantastic! We all loved it. Even my Picky Paige loved it. She doesn’t really eat a lot so to get her to eat some of it was a big achievement. Usually if she has never had it before she will refuse to eat it.

Tuesday: Ranch House Crock Pot Pork Chops (or Chicken) w/ Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

via Real Mom Kitchen

Of course I made a couple of modifications to this because that is what I do and I hate following directions. Instead of pork chops, we used chicken, because I had chicken. Simple as that. I also made instant garlic mashed potatoes because I had that too and that is how I roll.I also used 2 cans of cream of chicken because we like lots of gravy. We like it saucy!

This was so good! There was a small amount of chicken left over with some sauce and I smashed on it for lunch the next day. We are so making this again soon. Not too soon, but soon. I told Paige that it was like chicken and dumplings and she ended up loving it too.

Wednesday: Hobo Meatball Stew

via Examiner-Buffalo, NY

I wasn’t quite sure how this would turn out. Meatballs and catsup? Interesting. Once it started cooking it finally hit me. It was like a meatloaf stew! I did have some issues with this recipe. I am pretty sure that my second slow cooker was on crack. I had it on low (1o hours) and by the time I got home for lunch (6 hours) it was way done so I had to put it on low. After work, Dave put some ginger ale in it since it was cooking up way too fast and we still weren’t ready to eat yet.

It did taste great though! It was like a meatloaf stew! We will make this one again too, but I will use my other slow cooker. It is not on crack. Crack is whack!

Thursday: Slow Cooker Chicken Cordon Bleu (Attack of the Cracked Out Slow Cooker Again)

via Six Sisters’ Stuff

I totally failed on this one. It was edible, but I need to be smart about my modifications. I overdid it on this one and I tried using the same slow cooker from the night before thinking yesterday was just a fluke thing. I was wrong. I used 2 cans of cream of chicken, instead of one, because I didn’t think that one would be enough. Note to self: stop screwing with the recipes. One would’ve been enough. I also used frozen chicken breasts which may or may not have been a good decision. I have cooked with frozen before and haven’t had any issues but next time I will use thawed chicken.

It was edible, but overcooked. I need to try this one again but the right way.

Friday: Three Cheese Chicken Penne

via The Girl Who Ate Everything

This was pretty good, and healthy. It lacked some flavor so next time I will make sure to season it more. I a pretty sure that I have made something similar to this at some time. I also cheated on this one and used canned chicken as well. It was Friday after all and I was being lazy. I will try it with cubed chicken next time. Everyone seemed to really like it other than Paige. She is the only child I know that is not a fan of tomato sauce. Sucks to be her.

I did eat some for lunch the next day and, as always, I think that pasta is better when reheated. Am I the only one?

Saturday: Dinner Out at Red Robin…Yum!

Sunday: Chicken Enchilada Soup

via Real Mom Kitchen

I am always on the search for the perfect Chicken Enchilada Soup. I am obsessed with the one at Chili’s. It is so yummy and I have to have it every time I go there. This is as close as I have come to the Chili’s version. It was so yummy! The only change that was made (and this was all Dave, not me) is that Dave added some homemade salsa to it instead of a can of tomatoes. He used my can of tomatoes for his homemade salsa and didn’t realize I needed it for this recipe.

I can’t wait to make this again. EVERYONE loved it. I still can’t believe that Paige ate it. Jake devoured it. There was only a small amount left. Dave suggests that next time we double the recipe so we can eat it all weekend! Well, maybe not double it but figure out how to make so that there is more left over.

Let’s Not Forget About Dessert!!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies

via Pennies On A Platter

These were so GOOD! OMG! They are so yummy! I was worried at first because my pan was bigger than the one that they suggested, but with the parchment paper that they suggest using, it was perfect. USE THE PARCHMENT PAPER. It is your friend. The brownies peel off the parchment paper so well. They are very moist so be forewarned.

My kids are already asking me to make more of these. I had the hardest time finding pumpkin but luckily my Facebook friends and Wal-Mart came to the rescue. And, of course, when I went to Kroger today (my usual grocery store) they had tons of pumpkin. Figures.

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This week I am also going to do a whole week of Pinterest meals again. I am going to be a little more daring this week, but will stick to the recipes so I can see how they are really supposed to turn out. My kids were not too happy that I picked all of the meals this week but they will get over it. They want hamburgers and sloppy joes, which is funny because these are also the same meals that they were complaining that we have been having over and over again.

If you are on Pinterest, make sure to find me and follow my boards, if you don’t already. If you are not on Pinterest and need an invite, just let me know! Just a warning, if you try to sign up yourself they put you on a waiting list. It is a real waiting list too. I think I had to wait for a month!

Follow Me on Pinterest

Also, don’t forget, Julie from Dutch Being Me has a 52 Weeks of Pinterest link-up every week!