Sunday, 26 May 2013

Meal plan May 27-31

Meatless Monday - Lemon poppyseed pancakes and Cinnamon roll cake that I had for the first time a few weeks ago from a friend and I almost died it was so good. I am going to get so fat and I know who to blame....

Tuesday - Crockpot chicken fajitas I'm getting graded at karate this night, so I hope the fajitas will sit well in my stomach.

Wednesday - BBQ ribs that I didn't get to make last week

Thursday - nothing cause my little man and I will be out about. It will be the last time I see him for 2 weeks while he travels abroad to Sweden with his dad.

Friday - homemade hamburgers. I might be able to convince my man to write down a recipe cause these really are deadly burgers.

Linguini with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

Linguini with sun-dried tomato pesto

So, this is the only recipe I will be blogging about this week. I didn't get to make my ribs on my meal plan and I already posted about the Italian drunken noodles (which my parents loved when I made it for them).

This was a very quick and easy recipe and I will be making it again. It was also baby approved. My 15 month old could not get enough. I have to mention that you have to love garlic in order to like this recipe....there is a lot of garlic and I was afraid to speak to anyone after I ate it.

I pretty much followed the recipe, other then adding onion to the pesto. Here it is,

1 lb Linguini
1- 7.5 oz jar marinated sun dried tomatoes
2 Tbsp oil from sun dried tomatoes
6 cloves garlic
a small handful of parsley, stems removed
1 big handful of fresh basil, extra to garnish with
2 1/2- 3 cups veggie broth
Half of an onion**I added this**
Grated Parmesan **I added for garnish**

Get the pasta cooking in a big pot of boiling water, to al dente, according to the box instructions. Once done, drain.

While the pasta is cooking you can go ahead and make the sun dried tomato pesto sauce. In a food processor add the sun dried tomatoes, **I added onion**, oil, garlic, parsley, basil, salt and pepper. Pulse until very finely chopped. 

Add the mixture to a large saute pan and allow to cook for about 5-8 minutes on medium low. Stir in the broth and simmer for 10 minutes.

Toss the drained pasta in with the sauce then garnish with more fresh basil and Parmesan

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Meal Plan May 20-24

Since it is a long weekend, I get to enjoy a Mike's Hard Lime while I meal plan :)

Monday - I will be at my parents because my brother is home from out West. We will be having another meatless meal this week instead.

Wednesday - Mediterranean Salad with Greek House Dressing and Key West Chicken 

Thursday - Barbecue Ribs in crockpot with pasta salad

Pizza Quesidillas

Pizza Quesadillas

These were a big hit with my son for his lunch. I also made some for myself and I really liked them. They were quick and easy to make and though it would have tasted better when they were fresh, rather then heating them up in the micorwave, it is still better then eating fast food on my lunch.

PS: When I make them again, I will add some sauteed onions and peppers.

  • flour tortillas
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • sliced pepperoni
  • pizza sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp oil for pan
  1. Brush each tortilla with a thin layer of pizza sauce. You want the layer so thin that if you turned it over, none would drip.
  2. Sprinkle cheese on top of the sauce on the bottom tortilla. Top with pepperoni and other toppings, if desired. Sprinkle with another layer of cheese and place the other tortilla on top (sauce side in).
  3. Preheat a medium cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add some oil for the pan.
  4. Gently place quesadilla in the pan and cook for 5 minutes or so on each side, until cheese is melted and tortillas are crispy.
  5. Slice into quarters and serve with a little bowl of warm pizza sauce for dipping.

3 Cheese Spaghetti Nests

Three Cheese Spaghetti Nests

This recipe was for our Meatless Monday and I have to say that I was happy with how it turned out. My son was very excited to try these because of the nests. I think the nests would be a good way to motivate kids to help make supper or to help a fussy eater try something new.

This was a light pasta and my man said that it reminded him a bit of mac and cheese. The pasta would have gone nicely with a salad or garlic bread if I had thought of it at the time.

PS: The only downfall is that the tumeric in the recipe stained my muffin tin pans. I don't mind, but I know some people might. I am not sure how to avoid this in the future.

PPS: I think I will add garlic next time

  • 10 ounces dry Whole Wheat Spaghetti (or gluten free option) **I used half of some Quinoa pasta and I loved it**
  • 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water
  • 1/2 cup grated regular or low fat Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 cup fat free or low fat Cottage Cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • pinch Garlic Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Tumeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • shaved Parmesan for garnish
  • dried parsley or basil for garnish
  • Pre heat oven to 425 F with the rack in the center of the oven. Lightly spray Muffin tins. 
  • Cook pasta according to directions, reserve 1/2 cup of cooking liquid. Be sure not to break spaghetti while cooking so you can twirl it into nests.
  • Combine cottage cheese and cheddar cheese in a bowl. 
  • Toss cooked pasta with a splash of olive oil, all spices and seasonings. Add some of the reserved cooking liquid if you need to. **I needed to**
  • Mix with cheese mixture in with the pasta. Reserve a bit of cheese to top each nest.
  • Twirl spaghetti with a fork and add to muffin tins, create nest shapes. Top each nest with a bit of the cottage cheese mixture. 
  • Bake for about 10 minutes. The tops of your nests will be lightly browned and a bit crispy. Let cool for a few minutes. Gently loosen spaghetti nests from muffin tins with a spatula and serve. 
  • Top with parmesan & dried basil or parsley if desired.

Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

I have to say this was an easy and quick recipe. I did the food prep the night before and put it together the morning before I went to work. I came home and it was ready. I love nights like these.

This was a good soup, but I think I added too much water and I didn't find the flavour as strong as I wanted it to be.

PS: As I was writing this post, I realized that the recipe called for 2 cans of diced tomatoes....I only added 1. OOPS. I think that may be why the flavour was toned down for me.

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cans of diced tomatoes (any flavour you want)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained **all I had was a half of can**
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn *I used about 1/2 cup of frozen corn**
1 onion, chopped
2 cans low-sodium chicken broth
1-2 cups of water
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp chile powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp dried cilantro **I couldn't find dried cilantro, so I used the frozen kind**
tortilla chips
sour cream
shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
Put chopped onion, cans of beans, rotel, corn, chicken broth, water, and spices in CrockPot and stir to mix. Put chicken breasts on top of mixture and make sure they’re at least partly submerged in liquid. Cook on high 6-7 hours or low 8-9 hours. Before serving remove the chicken breasts from soup and shred, if needed, (sometimes they’ll just fall apart on their own, but sometimes they need some help). Return chicken to CrockPot, stir to combine. **I was able to shred it in the crockpot**
To serve put a few tortilla chips in the bottom of a bowl, ladle soup over tortilla chips, top with shredded cheddar cheese, and a dollop of sour cream, serve with more chips if you like. **I think I would add some fresh chopped tomato on top next time**

Lighter Fettuccine Alfredo Sauce

Lighter Fettuccine Alfredo Sauce

So, I made some pretty yummy food this past week, but I think this Alfredo sauce would have to be my favourite. One of my girlfriends called me to thank me for posting this recipe. She said it was one of the easiest Alfredo recipes that she has well as the best tasting. I have made MANY Alfredo sauce recipes and my favourite is when my man makes it from the recipe in his head, but since he sucks at remembering things, I always have to rely on a  recipe or I have to wing it.

When I made this, it was a thicker sauce...I did cheat and use SOME whipping cream instead of sticking to the 2% milk like the recipe calls for, so that is probably why mine turned out so thick. It can be easily fixed with some of the reserved pasta water. I only reserves 1/2 cup, but I should have reserved the 1 cup like the recipe called for....that is what happens when I am in a rush.

PS: I added bacon. It was the star of the dish of course!

PPS: This dish was even better the next day for lunch.



1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2-3 clove garlic (minced) **the original recipe only called for one, I added more because I love garlic**
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons flour
1 cup 2% milk **I used 3/4 cup of 1% and 1/4 cup of whipping cream**
3/4 cups grated (parmesan cheese)
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese
12 ounces fettuccine noodles
1/2 pound of bacon **more or less depending on your love of bacon**


1. Cook the bacon, as much as you want. Lay in some paper towel to get rid of the grease, then crumble it. Reserve for later.

2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of cooking water, then drain the pasta and return to the pot.

3. Make the sauce: Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook until the garlic is slightly soft, about 1 minute.

4. Add in the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, 1 minute.

5. Whisk in the milk and 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook, whisking constantly, until just thickened, about 3 minutes.

6. Add the cream cheese and parmesan cheese; whisk until melted, about 1 minute.

7. Stir in the chopped parsley and reserved bacon.

8. Add the sauce and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta and gently toss to combine, adding more cooking water as needed to loosen. Season with salt. Divide among bowls and top with parmesan and pepper.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Meal Plan May 13 - 17

Meatless Monday - Three Cheese Spaghetti Nests and my son and I will making Pizza Quesadillas to use up some pizza sauce, pepperoni and tortillas from last weeks meals.

Tuesday - Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup (once a week crock pot meal)

Wednesday - Lighter Fettuccine Alfredo with BACON

Thursday - Nothing since my little man and I will be on the road with piano and karate.

Friday - Nothing since I will be going to Moncton to pick up my baby brother from the airport!!

English Muffin Pizza

Need a meal that is quick, easy and tasty? Then grab some English muffins, pizza or pasta sauce, your favourite toppings, throw them together and voila!

I used:

Whole Wheat English Muffins cut in 2
Pizza sauce in a can
I sauted garlic, onions, peppers and red pepper flakes with some EVOO
grated mozza cheese
fresh basil

Throw it all together (except the basil, I added that after it baked) and bake it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes (or less).

This would also be a great lunch idea for your kids for the next day. My son would probably eat it cold.

Thank you to my cousin who shared this idea with me. I have made about 5 different types of pizza on my blog and I think this one is one of my favourites because of how quick and easy it is.

Cheesy Enchilada Casserole

Go MAKE THIS TONIGHT or tomorrow, or this week or whenever you can.....but JUST MAKE IT SOON.
I really don't know what else to say other then this is VERY VERY good. 
If you don't like all the veggies in this dish, just leave it out or substitute them for something you do like. The first few times I never added black beans, but then I discovered that I LOVE black beans. So, I added them this time around and I am so glad that I did.

Cheesy Enchilada Casserole

  • 1 pound lean ground beef ( lean)
  • 1 large onion, chopped 
  • 1 pepper, chopped (colour of choice) **this is my addition and can substitute the corn or beans**
  • 1 jar (16 oz) salsa
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans or red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup reduced-fat Italian salad dressing
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium taco seasoning
  • 2 tsp of chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • flour or corn tortillas (8 inches)
  • 1 small can of drained corn, or about 1¼ cups of frozen corn (optional)
  • ½ cup sour cream 
  • 3 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend or your favorite cheese
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped (for garnish)
  • ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro (for garnish)
  • sour cream (for garnish)
  • lettuce, chopped (optional for garnish)
  1. In a large skillet, cook beef, peppers, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
  2. Stir in the salsa, beans, corn, dressing, sour cream, taco seasoning, chili powder and cumin.
  3. Grease a baking dish (I used an 8x11). Spoon a generous layer of meat mixture on bottom of 2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
  4. Place a flour or corn tortilla on top of meat mixture. Layer with half of the meat mixture, and cheese. Repeat as many layers as you like.
  5. The last & final layer should be a healthy dose of grated cheese.
  6. Bake uncovered at 400° for 20 to 25 minutes, or until hot & bubbly.
  7. Let stand for 5 minutes before topping with lettuce, tomato and cilantro. Yield: 8 servings.

Caprese Grill Cheese with balsamic basil mayo

Caprese Grill Cheese with balsamic basil mayo

If you are tired of the old (but still good) grilled cheese sandwich and want to try something new, then I suggest this recipe. I really enjoyed it and I will be making it again. I made it on Meatless Monday, but next time I will kick it up a notch with my favourite food..............wait for it..............................BACON!!!!

This is a really quick and easy recipe and I am sure you could substitute the mozza cheese for any other kind of cheese that you have in the fridge.


2 slices whole grain bread
2 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
2-3 tomato slices
1 tbsp butter, soft
1 1/2  tbsp light mayo
1/4 tsp freshly chopped basil
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar


1. Preheat griddle or stove top pan to medium-low to medium heat.
2. In a small bowl, combine mayo, basil and balsamic vinegar.  (Add more or less basil or balsamic vinegar to your taste). 
3. Evenly spread butter on one side of a slice of bread.  Place this side down on the griddle or pan.  Quickly spread the balsamic mayo on the side of the bread facing up, then quickly assemble your sandwich with the mozarella and tomatoes.  Sprinkle with a dash of salt and pepper. 
4. Evenly spread butter on one side of the other slice of bread.  Place on top of the sandwich with the buttered side up. 
5. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Chicken hot and spicy braised peanut chicken

Chicken hot and spicy braised peanut chicken

If you crave Thai food, then this is the recipe for you!

I made this in the crock pot and I did my food prep the night before, so it came together VERY quickly the day of. All I had to do was cook rice!

The recipe is great the way it is, but I think I will add semi-cooked sweet potato chunks at the end next time. I think it would kick it up a notch for me. I also forgot to add the garnish at the end and I am so disappointed because I think the crushed peanuts and cilantro would have turned this recipe from good, to great.

  • 2medium onions, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 1/2cups  sliced carrot (3 medium)
  • 1small red sweet pepper, cut into bite-size strips
  • 2pounds  skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4cup  chicken broth
  • 3tablespoons  creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2teaspoon  finely shredded lime peel
  • 2tablespoons  lime juice
  • 2tablespoons  soy sauce
  • 2tablespoons  quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1tablespoon  grated fresh ginger
  • 2 - 3teaspoons  red curry paste
  • 4garlic, minced
  • 1/2cup  unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1cup  frozen peas
  • Hot cooked rice
  • Chopped peanuts (optional)
  • Snipped fresh cilantro (optional)

  • directions
1.In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, place onions, carrot, and sweet pepper. Top with chicken. In a medium bowl, whisk together broth, peanut butter, lime peel, lime juice, soy sauce, tapioca, ginger, curry paste, and garlic until smooth. Pour over all in cooker.

2.Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Stir in coconut milk and peas. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

3.Serve chicken mixture over hot cooked rice. If desired, sprinkle each serving with chopped peanuts and cilantro. Makes 6 servings.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Meal Plan May 6 - 10

Meatless Monday - Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich I had these on the meal plan a few weeks ago, but never got to making them

Tuesday - Homemade burgers and salad

Wednesday - My once a week crock pot meal (seems to be my trend, so I will continue) Chicken hot and spicy braised peanut chicken

Thursday - Cheesy Enchilada Casserole This is a staple recipe in our house. It is like a Mexican lasagna. DELICIOUS!

Friday - English Muffin Pizza. This is inspired by my cousin's (the one that dubbed me "foo") meal plan blog post. Thanks Cuz!

Cajun Chicken Pasta

Cajun Chicken Pasta (on the lighter side)

So, my girlfriend that has introduced me to some of my favourite recipes made this for us the other weekend. I went back for 3 helpings, so I could easily say that I LOVED it.

I have to say that I liked hers more and I think it was because she is usually heavy on the spice. I have not cooked with Cajun seasoning a lot, so I didn't know how far to push the spice and I have to say that I pansied out in the spice department. Next time will not be the case.

The original recipe (click on title) called for mushrooms. I do not eat fungus, so I skipped that ingredient.

  • 8 ounces uncooked linguine (I used fresh, but next time I will use whole wheat)
  • 1 pound chicken breast strips (I would use 1 large or 2 chicken breasts)
  • 1-2 tsp Cajun seasoning (I didn't add enough for my liking, so I would 2 tsp and up)
  •  olive oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup fat free low sodium chicken broth (I used epicure)
  • 1/3 cup skim milk (I used 1%)
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp light cream cheese
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • salt to taste


1. Prep all your vegetables. In a small blender make a slurry by combining milk, flour and cream cheese. **I didn't use my blender, I just used a fork and mashed it up** Set aside. Season chicken generously with Cajun seasoning, garlic powder and salt.

2. Prepare pasta in salted water according to package directions.

3. Heat a large heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add 1 tbsp olive oil and add half of the chicken. Sauté 5 to 6 minutes or until done, set aside on a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken. Set aside. **I didn't prepare a lot of chicken, so I threw it all in at once**

4. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the skillet and reduce to medium; add bell peppers, onions, and garlic to skillet, sauté 3-4 minutes

5. Add tomatoes and sauté 3-4 more minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season with 1/4 tsp salt, garlic powder and fresh cracked pepper to taste.

6. Reduce heat to medium-low; add chicken broth and pour in slurry stirring about 2 minutes.

7. Return chicken to skillet; adjust salt and Cajun seasoning to taste, cook another minute or two until hot, then add linguine; toss well to coat. Top with chopped scallions and enjoy!