Friday, February 4, 2011

Help Needed!

We haven't gone OVER budget, but I doubt we'll make it. Admittedly, I've done horribly sticking to our healthy eating plan too. This week has been a bucket full of stress and exhaustion. I had two major exams and one chapter test this week. I spent most of the week with excruciating migraines from information overload. I need help from you guys....two days a week I am in school for 10 + hours in a town 40 minutes away. Our bus system stopped transporting students back and forth. Therefore, I had to scramble and find a friend to carpool with. The only people I could find could offer me a ride TO school, but left hours before my last class ended. My husband has been having to pick up the kids and then rush down to get me after he gets off. He picks me up around 7 and then we get home around 8. We've been going through fast food drive thrus on these nights so the kids don't have to wait until an ungodly hour for dinner and because there is no way that I am making dinner after being in school so long. Any ideas for us? 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lazy Sunday

Sundays are our unofficial lazy days. I don't think I got a single thing accomplished today. I did, however, get a good stationary bike work out in (an hour and a half). I'm trying really hard to stay motivated to exercise. This has always been my downfall. I will be on my game for a couple weeks and then it all starts falling apart and I run back into old habits, including loading up on sweets and spending way too much time glued to my couch. I ordered a few pieces of home exercise accessories, which I am very excited to receive because then I'll be able to mix up my routine a little bit.

Onto the food log!

This morning I gave into temptation and we ended up at our favorite greasy spoon diner for a big breakfast / lunch. I inhaled a plate of french toast with a side of ham. I left feeling full and guilty. I didn't eat again until dinner tonight. We made black bean burgers for the second time. I also tried my hand at baked potatoes. Believe it or not, I have never attempted to make a baked potato. Isn't that crazy for an Idahoan? Sadly, they did NOT turn out well. I cooked them for over ninety minutes but they still were not even close to soft. Only two potatoes out of five came out. My husband, being the love that he is, allowed me to have one and then we split the other for the two older boys. Do any of you have any baked potato tips?

Last week was my first time making black bean burgers. I was a little hesitant and scared of the recipe, but they came out so good. A lot of my facebook friends asked for the recipe and for tips so they could make them too.

Here is the recipe: (This makes four burgers so we always double everything up)

1 (16 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 green pepper (we substituted 1/2 can corn instead this time around)
1/2 onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic
1 beaten egg
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Salt and pepper at your discretion

We also added a teaspoon worcestershire sauce too.

First you'll need to mash the black beans. Unfortunately, I don't have food processor so I had to use the back of my fork. You want the beans to be thick and pasty. Mix all the other ingredients with the beans. Form into tight patties.

You can either bake or grill these patties. If baking, bake at 375 for 20 minutes - turn halfway through and make sure you oil the baking sheet before placing the patties on it.

We grill these using our griddle. We oil the griddle with olive oil and then grill for 8-10 minutes each side. Towards the end, we top with cheese (we used cheddar last time and smoked gouda this time)

This recipe is great for families. Not only did our whole meal cost under five dollars, but it is healthy and only 198 calories per burger. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

We're Back!!!

I apologize for the long hiatus. I am just now beginning to settle back into a routine that allows me to continue work on this blog. Between studying until my brain threatens to explode, mountains of laundry, piles of dishes, and a toddler who has discovered the art of tantrum throwing...I am one busy and exhausted mama! We haven't been on our best  behavior, but we haven't been on our worst either. We're making more meat-free meals than ever before and I've found a lot of awesome recipes that are delicious AND healthy.

Let's just jump right back in with a food log for the day. I will restart our budget beginning Monday.

Breakfast: Kashi Honey Sunshine Cereal - I swear this cereal has a maple syrup taste to it, but I've become oddly fond of that.

Lunch: Tuna Sandwich on Honey Wheat Sandwich Thin + Cup of Fruit + Jello
I LOVE sandwich thins. I never realized that one slice of bread alone is 100 + calories, whereas one sandwich thin is 100 calories. On a side note, I'm not an advocate of Jello. I would NOT consider it to be healthy. However, I have an uber sweet tooth and buying sugar-free jello (which is only 10 calories) has seemed to satisfy cravings for sweets (at least 80 percent of the time). Also, if I am in a snack-y mood...I know that I can eat one or even two cups of this jello without any guilt.

Snack: Pudding Cup (I couldn't resist because I gave one to my kids for dessert after lunch) and a small bowl of whole grain popcorn.

Dinner: Turkey Burgers, Au Gratin Potatoes, and Green Beans.
This was my first time ever making turkey burgers. They came out pretty good - there wasn't much difference between actual burgers other than the texture. I left off the bun and I thought it was just as good :)

Here is the recipe:

2 pounds ground turkey
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup diced onion (I used one small onion)
1 egg
1/8 cup chopped parsley
3 cloves garlic (you can reduce the amount if you're not a garlic person)
1 teaspoon soy
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce

#1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together. Form into patties (this recipe made seven medium patties for us)
#2. Cook on a skillet or griddle on medium heat until they reach an internal temp of 180.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I'm taking a short hiatus until next week. (School started this week for two of my kids AND I'm buried under assignments!)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I hate to admit this, especially because it's only Wednesday, BUT we went over our budget. AAAHHHH!!!! We are over by 2.24....I both can and cannot believe that this happened. The problem was that last week we spent more money on eating out than groceries, which meant that we were left with an empty fridge. I am going to deduct what we are over from next week's budget.

We started the day off with French Toast...

I lacked motivation for all things today. My homework is piled up begging for me to complete it, but I couldn't tear myself off the couch. I did manage to get a decent work out in and now I feel really sore. For dinner, I made something that I've never made before. I'm not sure if this recipe would be considered Thai or Indian, but it came out great. 

Here is the recipe for anyone who is curious. The only additional tip that I would share is to cook uncovered if you don't want to wait hours for dinner to get done. 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Week One, Day Two

I should've known better than to send my husband to get groceries ALONE. He's an amazing budget shopper, but not great at sticking to a budget (hope that makes sense). You send him for one thing and he comes back with five because he saw a great deal on this or that. Usually they are things that we need, BUT part of this project is only shopping one week at a time and limiting our purchases based on preplanned recipes. We ran out of baby wipes, which prompted his trip to the store. He spent 49.46 - he did end up buying a lot of things that we could use throughout the week and most of the things that I need for the recipes I have planned. We only have 20.70 left, but we only need approximately three or four more things to get through this week. Anyone know where to look for curry paste? We don't have any special markets here so I'm wondering where normal grocers usually stock it - cold section in produce? Spice aisle?

I was super proud of myself. I ate pretty healthy and worked out quite a bit. I've realized though that I'm not coordinated enough to work out to fitness videos. I was going to take a long ride this evening, but it figures that it would start pouring rain. Fall is hitting early here so that means I will be on the hunt for a stationary bike so I can keep exercising through the winter.

Onto the food log....

The most unhealthy thing was obviously dinner. Sometimes a rainy evening just lends itself to comfort food. I made sure to eat a smaller portion because this was a meal high in fat, but it was delicious. I planned on just making fried potatoes and hot dogs, but decided to add everything together. This Idaho girl can make fine potatoes - I just add two tablespoons butter, four medium sized potatoes, paprika, parsley, seasoning salt, onion flakes, garlic, and pepper together and cook on medium heat until potatoes are golden brown and soft enough to put a fork through. Tonight, I just threw in some hot dogs and cheese and dinner was done!

Week Two Begins!

Mondays are rough for me - I have three classes and don't get home until after 7. I was proud at how well that I ate though!

Breakfast: Yogurt W/ Bagel (1.40)

Lunch: Yogurt W/ Granola, Watermelon + Banana

Afternoon Snack: Grapes and Crackers

I believe the key to a delicious stir-fry is allowing your veggies to cook together separately in a little oil before adding sauce, meat, or noodles. I usually cook my veggies (in this case: pepper, carrots, snap peas, and water chestnuts) for five minutes, add the meat and sauce, let simmer until meat is done, and then add the noodles. 

We went grocery shopping for a few necessities last night as well as ingredients for the stir fry (26.43). I am really disappointed because Jeff refuses to come home for his lunch if I am at school. Therefore, he ends up eating junk and spending money (1.98). We need to get him a small lunch box so I can pack his lunch when I pack mine on the nights before school. I'm planning a simple dinner for tonight and tomorrow, but we'll need to go shopping again to pick up stuff for the rest of the week. 

Our remaining budget is 70.16 - we will have to be REALLY careful this week.