Browsing Category: Recipes

Meal Planning

breakfast list
Meal planning is as simple as making a list for the store

Believe me, when I started writing this blog and much less, this post, meal planning was due to come up sometime but I dreaded it. I dislike planning meals but if you want to lose weight, meal planning is essential. Cooking your own meal means you control the portions, you control what goes into the meal and you also control the leftovers if there are any. In the long run, it’s more budget friendly because you get more bang for your buck. So do you need to prep for months in advance and buy a deep freezer to stock up your bulk chicken and meat for months on end? No. Do you need to plan to vacuum seal crock pot recipes for three months from now? You can but you don’t have to.

For me, meal planning is a simple as taking stock of what’s in my pantry, what I have in my fridge and planning for the week, or two weeks. It all depends on how much I want to go to the store. For you and for me, the process should be enjoyable and effective, and for me a list and a lot of cookbooks is what helps me. Plus, knowing you enjoy cooking and trying new things is always fun. So here’s my tips for meal planning that you could try to see if that works for you. I was looking at theKitchn.com and their 15 tips for Better Weekly Meal Planning and I love some of the ideas.

A list at the store is essential. I try to always go to the store with a list. The list helps me stay on track and if I don’t go with a list, I end up buying egg roll wrappers but nothing to go into the egg roll wrappers. Having the list helps you know your ingredients, what you need to have and it keeps you out of just randomly shopping. It’s saved me when I’ve shopped hungry too.

Recipes are so good. I pin a lot of recipes and I’ll admit, they are not good recipes. Sometimes you need a recipe for deep-fried cheesecake egg rolls. You can find some good stuff too. I like to mix something new with my standards. If you’re not into cooking, you can still do this. Try to remember the standard stuff you ate as a child and learn how to cook those. That will give you a good base and then add new things.

Another thing I liked from this list was try the Farmer’s Market. I love our farmer’s market and I plan on blogging from there soon because you can get the freshest stuff there. You can also try new things, learn about new fruits, vegetables and more. Ask the vendor if you can try something if you’ve never tasted it. Ask people for their recipes and how to cook whatever new thing you are trying.

Meal planning doesn’t have to be hard. You can make it simple and easy to work with your life.

Healthy 4th of July!

Salsa10

Holidays are always a tough time when you’re trying to get healthy. It’s very easy to overeat simply because most of us have some sort of party to go to or family event we’re attending that surrounds us with food and drink. It’s easy to just simply forget how much food you’ve put in your face. At least it is for me to forget I may or may not have eaten and drank more than my daily allowance of food.

Luckily for us, Fourth of July tends to be a bit healthier than other celebrations. You can easily make your holiday much healthier by choosing things like fruit and vegetables for dips and salads rather than more unhealthy picks.

Patriotic it may not be, one of my favorite recipes is salsa. It’s an easy thing to make, it makes for a healthy snack and it can also add a ton of flavor to other things you are cooking. I like this on baked or grilled fish. It also mixes well with rice, couscous or quinoa. You can also change the salsa to fruit rather than tomatoes and make a great fruity dip for sweet chips or to be topped with some light cool whip.

To make my pico de gallo salsa, you need a big bowl, a cutting board, a sharp knife and a spoon.

Salsa1Incidentally, that bowl has been in my family since I was little. It’s one of my favorite bowls. So once you assemble your team, you need your ingredients. I like Roma tomatoes or plum tomatoes. They look like this.

Salsa2 As you can see, I use about 8 tomatoes but you can use more or less. I cut these babies in half and scoop out the insides. For me, the use of the seeds and inside of the tomato makes the salsa too soupy. You can keep it if you like. Then you need a nice sized green pepper, a lime and some green onions.

PicMonkey CollageDice these up into small tiny squares. If you need help learning how to dice, check out Sean Symon’s video on dicing a tomato. Remember to throw out your seeds in your green pepper! You can change the green pepper to Jalapeno if you like but I’m a wimp and I like green pepper. Cut up your onion, your pepper and place it all in the bowl with the tomatoes. Then cut your lime in half and squeeze the juice into the salsa.

Salsa6Next you need garlic! Yes, Garlic. It gives your salsa a very nice flavor and trust me, it most people won’t notice the flavor. I use the pre-minced garlic that you can find in your grocery store’s produce section.

Salsa9I use maybe an 1/8 of a teaspoon. A little dab will do you. Place all your chopped up veg in a bowl and add your garlic, give it a stir. Now you’re ready for Salt!

Salsa7I use Kosher Salt. You can find this usually in your baking section of your local supermarket but if not, you can always find it in your Kosher section. Kosher Salt is bigger than table salt and I like it because it gives you a better feel for how much salt you are putting into your food. I go by taste. Start with a spoonful and add salt to taste. Let the Salsa sit for a bit. The salt will draw out the natural juices of the tomatoes, peppers and onions. Give it a mix and eat till happy!

Salsa10Have any other ideas for healthy recipes and ideas to try for a great 4th? Let us know in the comments!