Monday, July 30, 2012

Our Dinner Menu Plan

Blue Crab
This past weekend we took a trip down to the beach to visit my parents.  They actually live on the sound or river side where my boys love to go fishing.  

My oldest and his dad decided they wanted to set grandpa's crab pots out loaded with chicken bones and see if they could catch a crab.  Not only did they catch one crab they caught thirteen of them.

We transported the blue crabs to our house and my husband boiled and shelled all of them.  After that long and tedious process he then made homemade jalapeno crab cakes.  Don't I have a great husband!

Jalapeno Crab Cakes

What a great weekend, now it is time to get back to reality.  Have a wonderful week!

Our Dinner Menu Plan

Monday - Eating Out (I have a gift certificate that I must use by Tuesday)

Tuesday - Mushroom Quinoa Burgers, Red Pepper Sticks, and Baked French Fries

WednesdaySmoked Turkey Sausage Noodle Skillet and Salad

Thursday - Broccoli and Cheese Soup in Bread Bowls (special request from my oldest son)

Friday - Pork Tenderloins with Rice and Country Gravy (recipe coming),  Cooked Carrots and Green Beans

Saturday - Leftovers

Sunday - Chicken Tacos, Roasted Asparagus and Corn on the Cob

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Our Dinner Menu Plan

Sorry I am running behind posting our dinner menu plan for the week.  I honestly did have a plan on Monday and had to tweak it a bit.  Therefore I was waiting to post the weekly plan once I finalized it all.  Well, here it is....have a great week!

Our Dinner Menu Plan

Monday - Eat at church during women's movie night and the boys will eat leftovers from the fridge

Tuesday - Apple Cheddar Soup with Salad and Fresh Bread

Wednesday - Rotini with Eggplant and Sausage and Leftover Bread from Tuesday Night

Saturday - Breakfast for Dinner (Either sweet potato pancakes or eggs and whole wheat toast)

Sunday - Shrimp Kabobs, Rice and Asparagus

* The Apple Cheddar Soup was just okay, so I am not going to post the recipe on the blog.  If you are interested I can post it, just let me know by posting a comment below.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Cucumber Dip

Cucumber Dip
When I was working I would always look forward to the potluck lunches we would have to celebrate almost any occasion.  People in the south love to find a reason to come together around food.

One year someone brought this delightful cucumber dip served with crackers.  I decided to make it and substitute the mayo with plain greek yogurt for our falafel balls this week.

My husband said this dip was so good he could eat it right out of the bowl.  I personally prefer the dip on the falafel balls myself.

Cucumber Dip


1 English Cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced very small
8 oz Neufchatel cheese or low fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 Cup plain greek yogurt
1/4 Cup onion, very finely chopped
1/2 Tsp garlic salt

Peel and dice the cucumbers.

Mix together the neufchatel cheese, yogurt and garlic salt.  Fold the cucumbers and onions into the mix well.

Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

This dip is great with crackers, pita, on sandwiches, and with falafel balls.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Quinoa with Spinach and Feta - Great Side Dish

Quinoa with Spinach and Feta
My entire family gave this dish a thumbs up.  

Quinoa with Spinach and Feta 


1/2 Cup quinoa
1 Cup water
2 Tsp olive oil 
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Cup fresh spinach, chopped
1 -2 oz Feta cheese
Salt and pepper

Heat oil in a medium size pot.  Add garlic and cook for 30-60 seconds.  

Turn heat to medium-high and add quinoa and water.  Once it starts to boil, lower the temperature to a simmer and cover.

Cook about 10 mins. or until water is absorbed.  Add spinach 2 minutes before completed cooking time.

Remove from stove and stir in feta cheese.  You may want to add some salt and pepper to taste.  Serve!

Okra Black-Eye Pea Saute

This is the first year that we have planted okra in our garden.  It has taken much longer than the other vegetables, but we finally have some okra.

Both my kids (and myself) prefer okra, battered and fried.  I wanted to find a recipe that I could use that was not fried and I found this incredible recipe for Okra Black-Eye Pea Saute on Food Network.  

I did make some minor changes to the original recipe to suit my family, like deleting the chili peppers and adding fresh chopped tomato at the end instead of oven roasted tomatoes.  Both my kids prefer uncooked fresh tomatoes instead of cooked.

This was a great recipe that we would definitely make again.

Parmesan Kale Chips

Kale Chips
Kale Chips are one of our family favorites.  I usually serve these with just a touch of sea salt, but this time I thought I would add parmesan cheese.  These Parmesan Kale Chips are just amazing.  What a inexpensive healthy way to get kids to eat their vegetables.

Parmesan Kale Chips


1 lb or more of Kale, cut away from the stem in pieces (try to get them about the same size so they cook evenly)
Olive oil, I spray several sprays with the olive oil pump
Dash of sea salt (optional)
1/4 Cup parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350°.

Combine kale, olive oil, and a very small amount of salt (optional).  Kale seems to absorb the salt so be careful not to over salt.

Place on a baking sheet spreading evenly not layering if possible.  Top with parmesan cheese.

Bake for about 15 mins.  You want them to be crispy and dark green, but not brown.  If the ends become brown take them out right away.

Almond Crusted Tilapia Filets

Almond Crusted Tilapia and Okra Black-Eye Pea Salad
One of my New Year's resolutions this year was to eat more fish.  Before my husband and I had kids we would eat fish two or three times a week.  After awhile we really just do not want to even see fish much less eat it.  I guess you can get really sick of eating the same thing.  Maybe not pizza and chocolate, but definitely fish ;-)

Now that fish is appealing to us again we thought we would try this great recipe for Almond Crusted Tilapia.  This fish was to die for.  My kids asked for seconds and that almost never happens with fish.

Almond Crusted Tilapia

4 Tilapia Filets
3/4 Cup ground almonds
3/4 Cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs or 1/4 Cup egg substitute
1/4 Tsp garlic powder
1/4 Tsp pepper
1/4 Tsp salt
4 Tbsp whole wheat flour

Ground the almonds and the parmesan cheese in a food processor and place in a shallow bowl or plate, set aside.

Whisk together egg, garlic powder, pepper and salt.

Heat butter in skillet on medium until melted.

Press the filets into the flour, then the egg mixture and finally the almond mixture.

Add filets to the skillet and cook about 3-4 minutes on each side.  Reduce heat and cook an additional minute or two until fish begins to flake.

I served the fish with Okra Black-eye Pea Salad and Parmesan Kale Chips.  I will try and post the recipe for these sides as well today.  The entire meal was a huge success!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Grilled Vegetable Medley Foil Packets

Vegetable Medley
Summertime is a bounty full of fresh and mouth-watering vegetables.  My husband and I created these grilled vegetable medley packets for dinner on Sunday night.  We thought the kids would enjoy it because it was like opening a present.  They had no idea what was inside.

The vegetables we chose for the packets were not our kids favorites, but they did decide to give them a second try because of how they were presented.

Grilled Vegetable Medley Foil Packets


3-4 Ears of corn, cut into 3 inch chunks
1-2 Zucchini, cut into chunks
1-2 Yellow squash, cut into chunkc
1 Purple onion, diced or sliced
1 Green, red, yellow, or orange pepper, diced or chunks
Any other vegetables you would like to add, eggplant, tomatoes, mushrooms...
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp pepper
2-3 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1-2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 sprig of rosemary, pulled away from sprig
2 Tbsp butter

Combine all the ingredients except for the butter in a large bowl.  

Spray each individual piece of foil with cooking spray.  Add vegetable to foil and place a small amount of butter on top of each mound of vegetables.  

Fold the foil around the vegetables and seal tight.  If you are not using heavy duty aluminum foil you can double the foil and then wrap the vegetables.

Place on grill about 20 mins.  You may want to turn it once so the vegetables do not burn to the bottom.

Please use caution when opening these packets to allow the steam to escape.
Vegetable Medley Packet

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Our Dinner Menu Plan

Boy is it hot out there.  I am going to try and cook on the grill or the crock pot most of the week to save on electricity.

Speaking of electricity, ours was out for about 15 hours yesterday due to a really horrible storm.  It was a humbling experience and I am super thankful that we have electricity today.  Praying for those in other parts of the country who are experiencing power outages due to the heat.

Here is our dinner menu plan for the week.  Enjoy!

Dinner Menu Plan

Monday - Grilled Jamaican Jerk Black Bean Burgers with Summer Succotash and Fruit Salad

Tuesday - Crock Pot Lasagna and Salad

Wednesday - Almond Crusted Tilapia, Okra Black-Eye Pea Salad and Parmesan Kale Chips

Thursday - Falafel Balls in Pita Bread with Cucumbers and Tomatoes, Quinoa with Spinach and Feta Cheese and Banana Ice Cream

Friday - Takeout

Saturday - Grilled BBQ Ribs, Baked Beans and Grilled Asparagus

Sunday - Apple Braised Chicken with Rice, Green Beans and Bread

Friday, July 6, 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

If you saw the post before this one you know I have an enormous amount of zucchini.  Since my kids are not to fond of the texture of zucchini I went in search of a great recipe to hide it.

I came across this awesome recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Muffins and had to give it a try.  WOW!  These zucchini muffins, or you could call them cupcakes, were so spectacular.  

Here is the original recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Muffins.  The only changes I made were to use whole wheat flour instead of pastry flour and buttermilk in place of non-dairy milk.

Let me know what you think.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Super Size Zucchini
Super Size Zucchini
Check out this huge zucchini we found in our garden yesterday.  I can not get over how large it is and that even after looking over our garden everyday we missed it.

Last night I grilled and fried some zucchini and only used about a quarter of it. Besides zucchini bread I now need to find some additional recipes to incorporate zucchini.  My kids do not like zucchini or squash so it becomes difficult trying to find ways to cook it that they may not notice.

If you have any great zucchini recipes you can share please feel free to do so in the comments section.