Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category

Simple Granola

June 5, 2007

I made a very simple granola last night that was super-cheap. 

 3 cups oatmeal

1 cup Grape Nuts (purchased on sale of course)

Any kind of nuts (I didn’t use any nuts)

1/4 c water

3/4 c brown sugar

dash vanilla

dash salt

1 tsp cinnamon

In a large bowl combine the two cereals.  Mix water and brown sugar in a small microwavable save bowl.  Microwave on high 2-3 minutes until sugar is completely dissolved.  Stir in vanilla, salt and cinnamon.  Pour over the cereal mixture and stir to coat.  Spread on a foil-lined baking pan.  Cook at 275 for 40 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.  Serving size is 1/2 cup.

Optionally add dried fruits after mixture has cooled. 

DH ate it this morning mixed with yogurt.  I had mine with milk and half a banana.  YUM!


My favorite salad

June 4, 2007

Yes I am still alive – I just have been too busy at work to blog 🙂

Grape tomatoes are on sale at my local store this week so I picked up a container to make my favorite salad.

No real recipe here – I just throw everything in a bowl and mix.

Base ingredients I always add:
Grape tomatoes (halved if you prefer)
Cucumber – sliced and cut in fourths
Canned garbanzo beans – drained and rinsed
Feta cheese – I love the peppercorn flavored feta
Black olives – sliced or left whole
Bottled Greek vinaigrette dressing (or Italian – whatever I have on hand)

Other ingredients I occasionally add
Whole wheat pasta
red/green bell peppers
Mix all together and let sit for at least an hour.  YUM!

I really love Mediterranean flavors – fresh tomatoes, olives, feta.  I think I could be really successful doing the Mediterranean Diet if I liked to eat seafood. 

Magic Milkshakes… YUM!

May 11, 2007

I think I am in love with the Hillbilly Housewife.   I made her Magic Milkshakes last night for the first time.  All 4 of us were slurping with our straws to get the last bit out of our glasses.   Milk shakes for about a quarter a serving – it doesn’t get much better than that.  I think we could have milkshakes every night of the week for what it would cost us for one trip to the Dairy Queen for small ice cream cones.  My mind was spinning last night about all the different flavors to try.  Chocolate-Banana, Strawberry-Banana, Banana, Blueberry,  Chocolate-Marshmallow, Chocolate-peanutbutter, Chocolate-Mint, Chocolate-Mocha.  I can’t wait to try them all!

My hubby asked how healthy they were.  I haven’t taken the time to figure out the calorie content, but i assume they are not real good, but probably better than real milk shakes made with full-fat ice cream.  I may try playing around with the recipe the next few times by using 1/2 the oil to see if we are still as exicited about the results. 

Get the recipe here!


Frugal Challenge: Meals under $10

May 7, 2007

Kelly at Thrifty Mommy threw out a challenge to make a meal for your entire family for under $10. 

Here is a meal we had often when I was growing up.  I recently fixed it for the first time for my DH and he is hooked – we have had this twice in the last week.  It is great for any meal during the day – breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Denver Sandwiches
Crack open 2 eggs per person and whip with a splash of milk.  Salt and pepper to taste.
Saute peppers, onions or any other leftover veggies you have on hand.
In a small skillet (we have one that is the size of a slice of bread), spray with non-stick spray and pour the egg mixture for 1 sandwich.  If you scrambled all your eggs at once, use about 1/2 cup of eggs.  Sprinkle with your sauteed veggies.  Cook on med-high heat until cooked on one side and then flip.  Place egg on whole wheat toast with a slice of cheese and deli ham.  Served with sliced strawberries and bananas and milk for drink. 

Cost breakdown for a family of 4 (most items were purchased on sale and rounded to my best guess):

Eggs (8 total):                     .50
Veggies:                              1.00
Deli Ham (1/2 lb):             2.00
Cheese:                               1.00
Whole Wheat Toast:            .50
Fresh Strawberries (1 lb): 1.00
Bananas (2):                          .50
Milk:                                       .75
Total:                               $7.25

In reality I would say nearly all my meals are under $10.   My ultimate goal is a total of $10 per day or a total of $70 per week.   I don’t always hit this goal, but I think my average is going down each month. 

Couscous salad

April 5, 2007

I made a great lunch salad this week. 

I cooked a cup of couscous in chicken broth for a little extra flavor.  When the couscous was finished I stirred in some sauteed onions, green peppers, mushrooms and black olives. 

Divided into four portions.  I warmed up my salad in the micro at work (I think it would have been good cold also) and then stirred in some feta cheese.  YUM!  Healthy and very filling. 

Does anyone else have ideas on what to mix with couscous?

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

March 22, 2007

I had a proud mom moment this morning.  I was making breakfast for myself (oatmeal as usual) and used the last of the oatmeal in the container.  I threw the canister in the garbage and my 3 year old stated that we need to buy some more for cookies.   That’s right Megan, cookies are made with oatmeal.  

Here is the oatmeal raisin cookie recipe I use.  Granted it still has a lot of sugar and butter, but I like to think I at least made it a little healthier.  If you make the cookies small, they are under 100 calories (not that I have ever been able to eat just one cookie…).   

Quaker’s Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (modified)

1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup raisins

Heat oven to 350 F. In large bowl, beat butter, applesauce and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add both kinds of flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Makes about 4 dozen.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Nutrition InfoOatmeal Raisin cookies

Black Bean Soup

March 15, 2007

I am going to post a recipe a week that is both healthy and economical.  This one is also very quick. 

I got this recipe from the back of a Bush’s Black Beans  can. 

Black Bean Soup

2 cans Bush’s Black Beans in seasoned sauce
1 can (16 oz) Chicken Broth (or the equivalent of water and chicken bullion or homemade).
1/2 cup salsa
1 tablespoon chili powder

Mash one can of beans with food processor or potato masher (I just used a fork).  Pour both cans of beans and remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil. 

Additional toppings (optional):
Shredded Cheese
Sour Cream
Chopped Onion
Crushed up corn chips
Black Bean Soup Nutrition
To be honest, I didn’t expect to like this.  A soup made only of beans doesn’t really appeal to me.  However, with my first bite, I was in love!  It had great flavor.  The soup also froze very well – I put the leftovers in individual lunch portions in the freezer. 

Of course, the recipe could be made even more economical by using dried black beans and probably a little extra seasoning. 

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins

March 12, 2007

I have had a can of pumpkin sitting in my pantry since before Thanksgiving.  I generally don’t make things with pumpkin (if I am going to bake, I want chocolate) so I decided to make myself use it.  I found a recipe at that I thought I would try out. 

I made a few adjustments to the original recipe to make it a little healthier.  I subbed half of the flour with whole wheat flour and applesauce for the oil.  I also used less sugar and made them a little smaller for more servings. 

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins 
24 Muffins

1 1/4 cups whole Wheat flour
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apple
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 24 muffin cups or use paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, pumpkin and oil. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stirring just to moisten. Fold in apples. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
3. In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons flour, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle topping evenly over muffin batter.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
Muffin Nutrition Info
I definately will make them again – I may even go without the struesel topping to shave a few more calories.  I wish the fiber content was a little larger, but maybe I can increase the amount of whole wheat flour I used. They also froze very well – I would just grab a few out of the freezer and zap it in the microwave for a few seconds.  They were very kid friendly – My 18 month old would eat two of them each day I brought them out of the freezer.