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.