Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sausage Gravy

Sausage and biscuits is always a breakfast favorite with everyone in our house.  And breakfast for dinner is an even bigger hit!  I don't know why, but having a nice filling breakfast before bed just makes everyone happy :)

Sausage Gravy only requires 4 ingredients so it's great for the budget without sacrificing flavor.  It's incredibly filling and takes no time to make.  Not to mention it's comfort on a plate!

All the creamy, yummy goodness!


Biscuits smothered in gravy :)


Sausage Gravy
1 lb crumbled breakfast sausage (like the roll)
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Brown the sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat
  • Stir in flour until dissolved and cook for about 1 minute
  • Slowly stir in milk and cook until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes
  • Season with pepper
You can serve these over biscuits or if your weird like me (according to my husband) you can serve them over sliced hard boiled eggs.  Refrigerate leftovers if you have any and enjoy!

Below is the nutritional value per serving of gravy only.  This recipe yields approximately 8 servings.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 122 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories
237
Calories from Fat
156
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
17.3g
27%
Saturated Fat
6.0g
30%
Trans Fat
0.1g
Cholesterol
53mg
18%
Sodium
450mg
19%
Total Carbohydrates
5.9g
2%
Sugars
3.1g
Protein
13.4g
Vitamin A 3%Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 8%Iron 6%
Nutrition Grade C
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Bad points

Baked Chicken Fajitas

Another one of my redo's...I hope you guys aren't mad at me for doing this, but man some of those pictures were horrible.  What's funny is I will probably look back on these in a year and feel the same way.  Oh gosh I sure hope not.  Otherwise I am now in a vicious cycle!  

Either way this is a great recipe that deserves revisiting.  It is quick, easy, and delicious.  I love fajitas and having an easy recipe like this one just makes me love them more :)



Baked Chicken Fajitas
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into thin strips
2 cans diced tomatoes w/ green chilies, drained (ie. Rotel)
1 large sweet onion, sliced thin (I really like onions!)
1 large bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin
2 TBS vegetable oil
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a glass 13x9 baking dish
  • Toss everything in a large bowl or ziploc bag and toss to coat everything well
  • Place in the prepared baking dish
  • Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until chicken is done and veggies are tender
  • Serve in warmed tortillas with cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, guacamole, or whatever other toppings your family likes.
Super easy and delicious, but Fajitas are one of my favorites.  I just love all the flavors with minimal ingredients.  Give this one a try soon! 

Below is the nutritional value per serving (without toppings or tortilla). This recipe yields approximately 8 servings.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 158 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 
217
Calories from Fat 
90
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 
10.0g
15%
Saturated Fat 
2.5g
12%
Trans Fat 
0.0g
Cholesterol 
76mg
25%
Sodium 
187mg
8%
Total Carbohydrates 
5.1g
2%
Dietary Fiber 
1.4g
5%
Sugars 
2.6g
Protein 
25.5g
Vitamin A 20%Vitamin C 49%
Calcium 3%Iron 10%
Nutrition Grade B+
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points
Bad points

Friday, September 28, 2012

Hot Beef Sandwiches

It's Friday...it's Friday...IT'S FRIDAY...YIPPEE!!!  Yes I am happy that it's Friday...can you tell?!?  I don't have too much going on this weekend.  Just spending some good quality time with the kiddo's.  Unfortunately next week is the start of much busier times so I want to enjoy a nice weekend with my monsters.  For dinner we had Hot Beef Sandwiches with mashed potatoes and corn.  Then later we will have homemade hot cocoa, popcorn, maybe some twizzlers, and watch movies.  Sounds like a good idea to me!

Hot beef sandwiches are so easy to make and is something everyone loves.  It is so comforting and homey.  I love dishes like that and it seems they are best enjoyed on a cool crisp fall evening, doesn't it???

So let's get this party started!  On with the yummy deliciousness!



Hot Beef Sandwiches
3 lbs beef chuck roast
1-2 TBS oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
3.5 cups fat free beef stock
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
bread slices and mashed potatoes

  • Season the roast with salt, pepper, and garlic
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat
  • Brown roast on all sides then place in the crock pot
  • Pour 2 cups of beef stock over the roast, cover, and cook on low for 6-8 hours
  • Remove roast and shred or slice (however you prefer)
  • Pour the stock from the crock pot and remaining 1.5 cups in a medium saucepan and heat over medium high heat until hot
  • In a small bowl mix together cornstarch and water
  • Add to broth mixture and reduce heat to medium
  • Stir constantly and bring to a boil
  • Boil for 1-2 minutes or until gravy has thickened
  • Place bread slices on a plate, top with mashed potatoes, beef, and smoother with gravy!  
Completely drool worthy!  How can you go wrong with all that goodness on one plate?!?  Oh and no nutritional info on this one guys.  Obviously it is loaded with carbs so lots of calories there, but honestly it will be so different for each person depending on what kind of bread and how they make there potatoes.  Plus it is Friday and I am not counting today...remember popcorn, twizzlers, hot cocoa....yeah I am over on calories today BIG time, but that is alright.  We need to enjoy ourselves and I still love family moments with good old comfort food! :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

I am using up what I have in my freezer so that means no shopping this week!  YAY!  It's always nice to skip the grocery store for the week isn't it?!?  I will still include all the ingredients needed for the recipes.  This week my meal plan is a little different.  Instead of including all my breakfast, lunch, and snacks I will just share my dinner plans this week.  The snacks will consist of fruit, nuts, dried fruits, cheese, crackers, etc.  Breakfast will be eggs, bagels, cereal, toast, and fruit.  Then lunches will be leftovers or sandwiches.

Lots of these recipes I am making to use up some of the processed foods in my cupboard and freezer so they won't be as healthy.  But they will still be tasty :)  I haven't made many if any recipes with canned soups in a long time and I have 2 this week.  I am not a huge convenience food fan anymore, but I have some in my cupboard that need to be used up.

It works out well for this week anyway since we will be super busy with different activities.  When you are running around all day sometimes it is nice to have a simple meal to make.  I'm sure you guys understand that feeling, right???

Sunday - Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans (I make my meatloaf with 8 oz tomato sauce instead of water and my topping is a mixture of 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup ketchup)

Monday - Biscuits and sausage gravy with side of fruit (I will post my recipe Monday night)

Tuesday - Tuna Noodle Casserole (A family favorite!  I will post my recipe Tuesday night)

Wednesday - Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup with a side of broccoli

Thursday - Pork Chop and Stuffing Bake with a side of corn

Friday - Garlic Chicken with baked potatoes and green beans (I will post my recipe Friday night)

Saturday - Sweet and Sour Meatballs served over brown rice (I will post my recipe on Saturday night)

There is the meal plan for the week.  Lots of old favorites and all of them are quick, easy, and convenient meals.  Best part is I have everything on hand.  But if you want a list here it is.

2 lbs Ground Beef
1 Box Stuffing Mix (chicken flavor)
8 oz can of tomato sauce
2 eggs
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 lb potatoes
Milk
Butter
Buttermilk Biscuits
1 lb pork breakfast sausage
1/4 cup flour
2 small cans of tuna
8 oz wide egg noodles
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup frozen green peas
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded cheese
Bread
Cheese slices
Tomato Soup
Frozen Broccoli
6 - Pork Chops
Stuffing Mix (chicken flavor)
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Onion
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1 stick butter
4 Chicken Thighs
Minced Garlic
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 small bag frozen meatballs
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup brown sugar
2 TBS soy sauce
2 TBS cornstarch
1 can corn
1 can green beans
1 melon
1 bunch bananas
1 small bag brown rice

Those are all the ingredients needed except for seasonings.  You will need the basics salt, pepper, garlic powder, minced onion, parsley, and thyme.  Best part is most ingredients you will have in your cupboard or fridge.  That's always a plus :)  I can't wait to share some of our family's favorite recipes with you guys.

Maple Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

It's been another busy day.  Tonight is my daughters first choir concert of the year so we needed a quick, easy, and filling meal.  I found this wonderful recipe for Maple Roasted Chicken and Vegetables over at Good Housekeeping and I am very happy that I did.  Everyone loved it and it is incredibly simple. There are very few ingredients so it is budget friendly too!


Maple Roasted Chicken and Vegetables recipe source Good Housekeeping
4 chicken thighs (I used bone-in with skin)
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 large onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
6 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (I used a little more for basting the chicken)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

  • Combine vegetables, salt, pepper, and maple syrup in a large bowl and stir to combine
  • Place vegetables in a jelly roll pan lined with foil
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper and place on top of vegetables
  • Baste with some maple syrup and place in a preheat 450 degree oven for 25 minutes
  • Turn the chicken and baste with some more maple syrup and place back in the oven for 25 minutes
Now how can you complain with that one!?!  Everything is baked in the same dish and clean up is a breeze.  Not to mention it is made with maple syrup so the kids loved it!  Definitely an easy dish to make any day of the week :)

Below is the nutritional value per serving.  This recipe yields approximately 4 servings.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 396 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 
554
Calories from Fat 
234
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 
26.0g
40%
Saturated Fat 
7.6g
38%
Trans Fat 
0.0g
Cholesterol 
143mg
48%
Sodium 
783mg
33%
Total Carbohydrates 
46.6g
16%
Dietary Fiber 
6.4g
25%
Sugars 
18.0g
Protein 
32.5g
Vitamin A 314%Vitamin C 41%
Calcium 10%Iron 15%
Nutrition Grade B-
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points

Marinated Pork Chops

Oh my goodness!  What a busy week this has been!  I can't believe it is already Wednesday.  This is the perfect quick weeknight meal for busy days like today.  We just made some ranch roasted potatoes and green beans to round out the meal.  Perfect, easy, and yummy!



Marinated Pork Chops
4 Pork Chops
1/4 cup honey
2 TBS reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp lime juice
1 pinch red pepper flakes

  • Place all ingredients in a ziploc bag except for pork chops and shake vigorously to mix well
  • Add pork chops and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, but no more than 4 hours
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
  • Line a cookie sheet with foil and place pork chops on pan (or do what I do and set a cooling rack inside the cookie sheet and place pork chops on the cooling rack)
  • Bake for 10 minutes 
  • While pork chops are baking bring remaining marinade to a boil in a small saucepan
  • Baste meat with marinade, flip, and bake for an additional 10 minutes
A simple and delicious way to enjoy pork chops.  We love this recipe and it is a nice change from pan fried or breaded and baked pork chops.  It seems those just get old after a while don't they?!?  So give these a try and I'm sure you will love them!

The nutritional value is per serving.  This recipe yields approximately 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 146 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories
303
Calories from Fat
105
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
11.6g
18%
Saturated Fat
3.8g
19%
Trans Fat
0.1g
Cholesterol
83mg
28%
Sodium
351mg
15%
Total Carbohydrates
18.4g
6%
Sugars
17.6g
Protein
30.7g
Vitamin A 1%Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 1%Iron 6%
Nutrition Grade B-
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points
Bad points



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Skillet Pork Chops Florentine

Pork chops have been on sale so I picked up a bunch and began my quest to find some good pork chop recipes.  I only have about 3 of them.  I am not a huge pork fan by any means.  But sometimes you have to suck it up and work with what you got, right?!?

I found this recipe for Skillet Pork Chops Florentine over at AllRecipes.com and decided to give it a try.  It looks simple enough.  Basically done in 30 minutes so that is plus.  And it has all my family's favorites...pasta sauce, spinach, and cheese.  How could we pass that up?!?

A great filling meal!
The yummy goodness after it came out of the broiler


Skillet Pork Chops Florentine Adapted from All Recipes
4 pork chops, you could definitely add 2-4 more if you need to (seasoned with garlic salt, pepper, and seasoned salt)
24 oz pasta sauce
1 small onion, sliced thin
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 TBS olive oil
4 oz reduced fat shredded mozzarella

  • Heat oil in a large skillet and brown pork chops over medium-high heat then set aside
  • Add onions and saute until tender, about 2-3 minutes
  • Add pasta sauce and spinach and bring to a boil
  • Reduce heat to low and add pork chops
  • Continue cooking for about 10-15 minutes or until pork chops are cooked through
  • Sprinkle with shredded cheese and place under the broiler for about 3-5 minutes or until cheese is fully melted and golden
This is definitely a yummy dish and there weren't any leftovers.  Everyone really loved the spinach.  I had no issues getting anyone to eat everything up.  Super easy and quick to make which is a major bonus!

Below is the nutritional value per serving.  This recipe yields 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 839 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories
859
Calories from Fat
336
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
37.3g
57%
Saturated Fat
7.2g
36%
Trans Fat
0.1g
Cholesterol
98mg
33%
Sodium
3687mg
154%
Total Carbohydrates
77.6g
26%
Dietary Fiber
14.0g
56%
Sugars
55.1g
Protein
52.5g
Vitamin A 227%Vitamin C 84%
Calcium 52%Iron 39%
Nutrition Grade B
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points
Bad points

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Spinach and Cheese Manicotti

Ahhh...noodles, cheese, and sauce...the perfect comfort food :)  This is another redo of mine.  It's the same recipe, but new pictures.  The lighting in the new place is about a million times better than it was in the apartment.  And I figured bringing back some of the tried and true recipes doesn't hurt.  ;)

This dish is definitely a favorite.  It's a meal in itself, but you can toss together a side salad or some green beans or fruit to round out the meal.  If you like cheese and noodles I definitely suggest trying this recipe.  It's relatively easy.  The hardest part is stuffing the shells and that's not too difficult.



Spinach and Cheese Manicotti
1 box manicotti noodles

1 - 15oz container of ricotta cheese
4 oz fat free cream cheese
1/2 Cup shredded parmesan cheese
8 oz shredded mozzarella, plus 8 oz for topping
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp parsley
4 cups of spaghetti sauce or 1.5 Jars
10 oz package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed with moisture squeezed out

**** Here's a neat tip I just learned the other day to defrost and drain spinach.  Heat it in a microwave safe bowl covered with a paper towel for 2-3 minutes or until there are no more cold spots.  I stirred mine after each minute to check.  Then place in the center of a dish towel (I don't recommend using your favorite one) and squeeze the moisture out.  So much easier than paper towels or using the back of a spoon.  ****
  • In a medium bowl mix together ricotta cheese, cream cheese, parmesan cheese, 8 oz mozzarella cheese, eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley until fully combined
I used a hand mixer to fully combine then a spatula to scrape the sides and mix
  • Put 1.5 cups of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish and spread evenly
  • Place the filling mixture in a piping bag or ziploc bag and pipe into the manicotti shells.  Hold the shell in one hand and squeeze bag from top to fill shells.  Put enough filling to over flow both ends and then place in sauce lined pan.  Repeat for the rest of the shells or until you run out of filling.
A little messy, but that's ok...it will still taste good :)
  • Cover the pasta with the remaining sauce, top with cheese, and cover with foil
Ready to go!
  • At this point you can either place it in the fridge until you are ready to bake or bake it in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 minutes.  Remove Foil and continue to bake uncovered for 10 more minutes.
And there you have it!  Dinner is served!  Now I am off to gobble up all the yummy cheesy goodness :)

Below is the nutritional value per serving.  This recipe yields approximately 8 servings.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 256 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories
431
Calories from Fat
186
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
20.7g
32%
Saturated Fat
10.4g
52%
Trans Fat
0.0g
Cholesterol
105mg
35%
Sodium
1052mg
44%
Total Carbohydrates
35.7g
12%
Dietary Fiber
4.4g
17%
Sugars
9.5g
Protein
32.0g
Vitamin A 109%Vitamin C 8%
Calcium 69%Iron 9%
Nutrition Grade C
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points
Bad points