Easy, Tasty Tabouli Recipe!

I love tabouli (tabouleh)- It’s easy to make, and it keeps in the fridge for up to a week (if it lasts that long). It’s a delicious, easy summer salad.

This is my spin on traditional tabouli- I use Right Rice in place of bulgar wheat, but you can use whatever grain you like. Couscous, quinoa, or Israeli couscous are all great choices. My kids don’t like bulgar wheat.

This week in our Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box we received: Tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, lemon, and parsley.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups grains of your choice, cooked as directed ( I use garlic herb or original Right Rice)
  • 1-pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 cups cucumbers, diced (I used larger English cucumbers, but you can use the small Persian cukes and slice them into “coins”)
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint, diced
  • 1.5 cups parsley, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped finely (I like yellow or red)
  • 1/4 cup your favorite oil (olive or avocado are my favs)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • cracked pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook your grains per the package direction, and set them aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the oil, lemon juice, and salt. Whisk and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all veggies and toss with oil and lemon juice mixture.
  4. Fold in the cooled grains.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours minimum before serving.
  6. Season with additional kosher salt, and black pepper to taste as needed.

This salad goes great with hummus, pita, and grilled protein. I’ll have an awesome hummus recipe up in a few days!

This recipe is naturally vegan. If you use Quinoa or Right Rice, it is gluten-free as well.

 

8/1/2021 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgWOO- 17 more days until school starts! Not that I’m counting, but the big kid yesterday was lamenting that it was *still* summer vacation and that we wanted to go back to school.

For the most part, summer lunch distribution is over, and we’re using up coupons and other freebies to stretch our end-of-summer frivolity.

There are a few events that we are going to this week, including this one.

I went to the grocery store on Friday and stocked up on snacks, and we also did a big Costco Trip to stock up on some staples that we were running low on (and a rotisserie chicken, because, YUM).

And I’ve been getting a lot of really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.

We are skipping our CSA box this week, we’ve still got a lot left from last week.

Veggies and fruit are delivered by Yasukochi Family Farms CSA. For $25, it’s a great deal. I don’t have to pick anything, go to the store, or carry it upstairs. I can’t go to the store and get the same amount we get weekly for $25. Seriously. It’s a deal. I spend about an hour on Monday afternoon cleaning and prepping veggies for the rest of the week.

I meal prepped over the weekend and got lots of veggies roasted, rice for lunches, and the rotisserie chicken broken down. I may be making some soup this week too.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I have made my own and you can find them for sale here on my Etsy Store.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids.  The kids are nuts about pancakes. The Big Kid has been on a protein shake kick in the AM.

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. The kids are digging leftovers from dinner, or quesadillas.

Dinner: Usually, I do a crockpot meal on Mondays, but now that we are home all the time, we’ve been having an odd combination of fully home-cooked, scratch meals, and frozen entrees and veggies. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

  • Sunday: Chef Salad (lettuce, spinach, bacon, hardboiled eggs, carrots, corn, leftover roasted veggies)
  • Monday: Chicken Arabiatta, chopped salad, garlic bread
  • Tuesday:  Breakfast for dinner (Pancakes, eggs, fruit)
  • Wednesday:  Nugget night: Nuggets, crackers, cheese, fruit
  • Thursday: Impossible Burger taco salad
  • Friday:  Takeout Night
  • Saturday: Leftovers, fruit

Please stay safe you guys!

Talk Back: What are you cooking for dinner this week?

5/23/2021 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpg

The fridge was fixed on Tuesday and I filed claims for the lost groceries through the warranty, however, the check hasn’t yet arrived yet.

I have yet to shop for groceries this week, but at least I know what’s in our CSA box that arrives tomorrow.

The CSA emails us in advance to give us a heads up as to what may be in our boxes each week, and that really gives me an upper hand when it comes to meal planning for the week.

Veggies and fruit are delivered each Monday by Yasukochi Family Farms CSA. For $25, it’s a great deal. I don’t have to pick anything, go to the store, or carry it upstairs. I can’t go to the store and get the same amount we get weekly for $25. Seriously. It’s a deal. I spend about an hour on Monday afternoon cleaning and prepping veggies for the rest of the week.

I’ll be hitting up the grocery store this afternoon. Today I’m making a big batch of bolognese sauce today- I’ll be using it a few times this week, and freezing the rest for future use.  Tomorrow once the CSA box arrives I’ll prep the veggies and fruit for the rest of the week.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids.  The kids are nuts about pancakes. The Big Kid has been on a protein shake kick in the AM.

Lunch: Kids take lunch to school. I eat leftovers. Everyone rejoices.

Dinner: Usually, I do a crockpot meal on Mondays, but now that we are home all the time, we’ve been having an odd combination of fully home-cooked, scratch meals, and frozen entrees and veggies. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

  • Sunday:  Bolognese Sauce, pasta, roasted cauliflower
  • Monday:   BBQ chicken, salad, texas toast
  • Tuesday:   Soup Night: Soup, biscuits, fruit salad
  • Wednesday:  Nugget night (nuggets, fruit, crackers, milk)
  • Thursday:   Baked Ziti (with bolognese sauce, cheese, and veggies: zucchini, carrots, onions, celery)
  • Friday:  Pizza/Takeout Night
  • Saturday: Meal o’ Snacks and /or leftovers

Please stay safe you guys!

Talk Back: What are you cooking for dinner this week?

Recipe: Easy Spanish Tortilla

I know y’all want the recipe first and more info and tips afterward, so here ya go:

Spanish Tortilla (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large potato, peeled and sliced very thinly
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, color of your choice (I used green)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 T butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 c half and half
  • 1/2 c shredded cheese, your choice
  • 1/2 c Cooked bacon crumbles
  • Salt, pepper
  • Chopped green onion for garnish

Directions:

  1. Using half of the butter, sauté onion and pepper until softened and onions are clear, about five minutes on medium.
  2. Add remaining butter, allow to melt, coat pan, and add potatoes so they are separated and evenly dispersed throughout the pan.
  3. Cook on low until potatoes are translucent, about five to 10 minutes on medium.
  4. While potatoes are cooking, in a mixing bowl crack eggs, add half-and-half. Add salt and pepper, beat vigorously until well blended.
  5. Remove pan from heat, pour egg mixture over top of vegetables make sure egg mixture is evenly distributed throughout the pan, covering veggies.
  6. Top with bacon crumbles and shredded cheese.
  7. Bake at 350 for between 12 and 18 minutes, until eggs are set and cooked through.
  8. Allow to cool to room temp, slice, and top with chopped green onion for garnish.
  9. Serve with avocado and corn salsa, recipe be found here. This makes a great dinner or breakfast or whenever. It’s relatively inexpensive, it’s very tasty, and it is a good use of veggies.

Other good veggies to include are zucchini (saute in butter with onions), or tomatoes (place thin slices on the very top after all of the ingredients are in the pan). Regarding the potatoes, I used a knife and thinly sliced the potatoes into circles, but you can use a mandoline if you have one.

You need to use a pan that is oven-safe. If you don’t have one, you can cook your tortilla on the stove. Instead of turning off the stove in step 5, turn down the heat to low, add egg mixture. Once the eggs have set around the edges, using a spatula, loosen the edges, and wiggle your spatula under the tortilla, and gently flip it over. Cook until both sides of the tortilla are set and cooked throughout.

Spanish Tortillas are not bread-based, in fact, there is zero bread involved. Spanish Tortillas are more like frittatas or a crustless quiche- the only constant ingredients are eggs and potatoes. The rest of the ingredients are up to you. It’s a great way to use veggies and cheese hanging around your fridge.

They are great for any meal. Add a side of fruit for breakfast, or a bright salad with a tangy vinaigrette for lunch or dinner.

If you are a vegetarian, omit the bacon.

A lovely patio in Spain. Makes you want tapas, right?

Rubio’s Celebrates National Shrimp Day with $6 Shrimp Entrées

YUM! IF you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know that I love Rubio’s. They started here in San Diego, and they have such a wide array of tasty food!

Celebrate National Shrimp Day at Rubio’s on Monday, May 10, when all Rubio’s shrimp entrées are just $6 with the purchase of any drink. Simply enter the coupon code MKTG1124 with your order through the Rubio’s app, or online at Rubios.com. Or, show the coupon when you order at any Rubio’s.

Guests can order any shrimp entrée on the menu, including the seasonal favorite, the Smoky Oaxacan Shrimp Bowl. Rubio’s shrimp is responsibly sourced and marinated in a blend of ancho chiles, garlic, cilantro, olive oil and lime. Next, it is pan-seared on an authentic Mexican comal.

Rubio’s locations across California, Arizona, and Nevada are open. Guests may order online, or through the app, for contact-free curbside or express pickup, or delivery for just $1.99. For more information and to view the menu, visit Rubio’sFacebook and Instagram.

Family Recipe: Fruit Salad

The other day I was chatting online with a group of friends and I mentioned making fruit salad. One of my younger friends asked, “Can you send me the recipe for that?”

I’ve never really thought about writing a recipe for fruit salad, since I’ve been making it since I was a kid. It was always a staple at family dinners with my maternal grandparents. My Grandma was known to make a literal punchbowl of fruit salad for parties.

This recipe does not make a punchbowl full.  The nice thing about fruit salad is that you can put any kind of fruit into it, and if you don’t eat it all in one meal, it keeps in the fridge for a few days.

I change it up based on what comes in our CSA box each week, and based on which fruits are in season.

Grammie’s Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 Apples (any kind but red delicious, those are awful)
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 bananas (not overly ripe or they fall to mush)
  • 3 cups berries, your choice (I recommend 2/1 ratio, sliced strawberries and blueberries)
  • 1 ripe pineapple, cored and skinned. You can also use a can of pineapple tidbits in juice (juice drained off and fed to a kid) if fresh pineapple isn’t available.

Optional, but tasty when in season:

  • 1 cup fresh peaches, skin removed
  • 2 kiwis sliced, skin removed
  • 1 mango, peeled and removed from the pit/core

Note: I don’t like melon in my fruit salad. If you do, add 1-2 cups of your favorite melon (Cantaloupe or Honey Dew hold up well in a fruit salad).

Directions:

  1. Clean, Chop/slice all of your fruit (not needed for blueberries). I try to make each kind of fruit bite-sized, but a different shape. That way it makes for a nice presentation.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the fruit. If you omit the oranges, add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and toss the fruit to coat. This keeps the apples from browning.
  3. Serve fruit salad cold as a side dish for any meal. If you like it spicy, serve it with Tajin on the side.
  4. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days in a covered container.

Talk Back: What are your favorite fruits to include in Fruit Salad? 

Cheesy Bacon Meatloaf Recipe

I’ve been making this for years. It’s easy, tasty, and there are never leftovers!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 pounds ground beef (70/30 is preferred)
  • 1/2 cup cooked bacon pieces (I like the Kirkland brand)
  • 2 egg
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2T dehydrated toasted onions (Penzey’s has the best)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I like cheddar)
  • Pepper as needed (No extra salt is needed as it is in the seasoned breadcrumbs and bacon)

Directions:

  1. pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Spray a loaf pan (or a meatloaf pan) with spray release.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients, except the cheese and mix well. You may need to get in there with your hands. You want all of the ingredients well combined.
  4. Pack half of the mixture into the bottom of the pan.
  5. Sprinkle cheese over the bottom half of the meat mixture.
  6. Top the cheese with the rest of the meat mixture, make sure that all of the cheese is covered.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.
  8. I like to top this meatloaf with Barbeque sauce, but it does have a little heat.

Serve with baked potatoes, salad, and a glass of milk for that wholesome 1960’s dinner. This makes approximately 6-8 servings.

SUBSTITUTIONS: Some people like to use Turkey, chicken, or pork instead of red meat. My mom uses half ground beef and half ground pork. Whatever makes you happy.

Use gluten-free breadcrumbs if you are gluten-free.

Unfortunately, this cannot be made vegetarian or vegan.

10/18/2020 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI’ve started doing weekly meal planning on Sundays. It’s easier to do it while I’m writing up the weekly calendar/schedule and prepping the snack box for the week.

I went to the Vons on Friday and I was able to score 4 Taylor Chopped Salads for $2.96 after Vons Club special and a special coupon ($5/$5+ purchase). This is all we needed to complete our shopping for this coming week.

Thanks to some local deals, offers, and the school lunches the kids bring home, I have been able to keep our grocery budget to $60 per week for the past MONTH! It’s amazing. The extra money is going into our holiday savings account.

If you have kids between 2-18, check with your local school to see if they are offering free lunches and/or breakfasts. You can also check the USDA Website– but it might be a little out of date.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids (they love the Kodiak Cakes Mix).  I also keep sandwich Ziploc bags of other frozen fruit on hand to make the kids smoothies when they request them (a few times per week). Berries, peaches, and mangos are pretty popular. recently the Big Kid has been on a protein shake kick in the AM. I’ll be posting the recipe for his current favorite this coming week.

Lunches will be whatever the kids want for the time being. The big kid has lunch at school, so it’s whatever he chooses from the lunch box in the cupboard, plus some fruit and juice or milk. Since the little girl is in the morning cohort at school, she has lunch at home. Buttered noodles, yogurt, apple slices, and a popsicle are her go-to lunch.

Usually, I do a crockpot meal on Mondays, but now that we are home all the time, we’ve been having an odd combination of fully home-cooked, scratch meals, and frozen entrees and veggies. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

  • Sunday:  Leftovers (we’ve got a lot of salsa chicken leftover- maybe I’ll make them into Quesadillas)
  • Monday:  Entrees & Salad
  • Tuesday: Chicken Tika Masala, rice, veggies (It didn’t happen last week)
  • Wednesday:  DIY salad bar, garlic bread
  • Thursday: Soup and Quesadillas (or grilled cheese sandwiches), fruit
  • Friday:  Pizza Night!
  • Saturday: Breakfast for Dinner

Please stay safe you guys! The sooner we flatten the curve, the sooner life can go back to normal- whatever that means.

Talk Back: What are you cooking for dinner this week?

6/22/2020 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI’ve started doing weekly meal planning on Sundays. It’s easier to do it while I’m writing up the weekly calendar/schedule and prepping the snack box for the week.

I’ve been buying snacks in bulk and only putting weeks worth out in the snack box. It keeps us out of the stores, and its healthier. I’ve been doing this for about a month, and I’ve gotten really good at hiding the extra snacks.

I went to the store last night and spent a little more than I usually do- We were out of a lot of staples. I try to keep the weekly grocery budget to around $100, last night I spent $150.

I was looking over everything last night and I realized that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself- we are all home all the time, which means that we are all eating (and drinking) at home, and that means an increase in both food budget and cooking.

4 people eating 3 meals a day, 7 days a week is 84 meals per week, plus snacks and drinks. That’s approximately $1.78 per meal, per person. And I cook a lot from scratch- which saves us even more than buying convenience foods or eating out.  As you can see from our meal plan below, I’m not making Haute cuisine- It’s healthy, wholesome food that the kids enjoy.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day: Right now our local school district is serving lunch for a drive-through service for kids 18 and under M-F. It’s great because it helps stretch our budget and it gets the kids out of the house for a few minutes. They also include a cold lunch (usually cereal and milk and a piece of fruit) for the next morning. Often times, the cereal ends up being a snack for late afternoon. I’ll be posting more info about summer lunches this afternoon or tomorrow.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids (they love the Kodiak Cakes Mix).  I also keep sandwich Ziploc bags of other frozen fruit on hand to make the kids smoothies when they request them (a few times per week). Berries, peaches, and mangos are pretty popular. recently the Big Kid has been on a protein shake kick in the AM.

Usually, I do a crockpot meal on Mondays, but now that we are home all the time, we’ve been having an odd combination of fully home-cooked, scratch meals, and frozen entrees and veggies. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

School has wrapped up, but we are starting distance learning summer school. It’s a lot less, but it will still keep the kiddos brains sharp. And we’ve recently started playing Pokemon Go to help get our bodies active. We go out for walks each day to try and get some monsters and steps. I love that the big kid has a pokemon Buddy in the game and as part of taking care of his buddy, he has to “walk” the buddy daily. It encourages him to get exercise and it teaches him empathy- something that can be hard for kids on the spectrum.

  • Sunday:  Customized mini pizzas for Father’s Day (We cooked them on our new Pizza Stone)
  • Monday Chicken Enchiladas, Beans, Rice, and Salad
  • Tuesday: Breakfast night (Pancakes, Eggs, bacon, fruit salad)
  • Wednesday:BBQ chicken and salad
  • Thursday: Pizza Night (pizza and salad or fruit)
  • Friday: Veggie Burgers or chick’n nuggets, salad or fruit
  • Saturday: leftover fiesta

Please stay safe you guys! The sooner we flatten the curve, the sooner life can go back to normal- whatever that means.

Talk Back: What are you cooking for dinner this week?

Recipe: Refreshing Cranberry Kale Salad

kalecutI know, KALE. It’s weird and has that super crunchy stem. It’s really good for you, but it gets a bad rap.

This salad recipe is dead simple and is so good that you will fight over the leftovers (if there are any).

I like making this in the morning and letting it sit in the fridge all day. That gives the ACV in the dressing time to mellow out and all the flavors to mingle.

I like starting with a bag of triple-washed chopped kale, since it’s usually the same price as whole kale, and it saves me time, but you do what works best for your family and budget.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package triple-washed chopped kale, or 6 cups of kale, washed and chopped into bite sized pieces.
  • 1/4 cup Apple Cide Vinegar, with the mother (I like Bragg’s)
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite oil, we prefer avocado oil (like this one)
  • 1 t. honey or agave
  • dash kosher salt
  • a few grinds of black pepper
  • 1 T. fresh, chopped rosemary, or 2 t. dried rosemary (whichever you have)
  • 1/2 c. crumbled herbed feta or goat cheese (your choice)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds (you could substitute sliced almonds or almond slivers if you prefer)

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, mix oil, vinegar, honey, rosemary, salt and pepper. set aside.
  2. In a large salad/mixing bowl, add kale, cheese, almonds, and cranberries. Dizzle over oil/vinegar dressing and toss gently.
  3. Store in Fridge 4-6 hours minimum before serving.
  4. This is great as a side dish, or top with a grilled chicken breast or steak for a great main dish.
kalechips
Yum!  Kale!

Serves 6-8 as a side or 3-4 as a main dish.

If you are vegan, substitute honey for agave and use vegan cheese crumbles of your choice.