Our Meal Plan April 12th – 18th

meal plan main collage (1)

I’ve been doing pretty good with my healthy eating. I lost another 1.6 pounds for a total of 18 POUNDS! 

What a difference in a taste between non-GMO and organic food and the “food” I used to buy. I know I keep saying my eyes are open, but they truly are. It is horrible and sickening that in order to save money you are forced to buy overly processed foods for your family. I remember being so happy that I could feel my family a dinner on less then $2.00, but everything I bought was overly processed and full of sugar. I rather spend the time cooking natural grains, beans, and rice and mixing them with organic veggies and protein.

LOVE the bulk section at Whole foods…just buying the grains, rice, dried fruits I need for the week (minus the packaging and brand names) is a wonderful idea and saves money. Giving Dino real fruit and vegetable snacks instead of imitation ones makes me feel better. I have noticed that I feel better by eating real food. I love that I am getting healthier with weight watchers, but they encourage low-fat and fat-free products to lose weight. All those products are full of chemicals…if I eat NON-GMO products they are full of points…I am thinking about ditching Weight Watchers and just doing it on my own. 

Sat Dinner roasted whole chicken, fingerling potatoes, and broccoli
Sun Dinner friend’s birthday party – dinner out
Mon Dinner leftover chicken, broccoli, and potatoes with barley, mushrooms and chicken broth
Tues Dinner  porkballs with quinoa, pasta, mushrooms, tomatoes
Wed Dinner Tilapia, fries, california veggie mix
Wed Dinner rice, beans, black eyed peas, mediterranean veggie mix 
Fri Dinner  leftovers

Sat Dinner:  I don’t think I ever roasted a whole chicken, but thanks to my mom’s help it came out great. With the fresh herbs and apple I placed inside it was beyond delicious. I LOVE the fingerling potatoes and so did Dino..they were the only potatoes he seems to really like. 

roasted chicken collage

Sun Dinner:    we had a great time at my friend’s 30th birthday party. It was a 1920’s murder mystery…we went as Al Capone and a suffragette. It was a blast and my “cheat day”.  Yes I went as a suffragette, if you know me then you know I HAD to make a statement about women’s rights! What better way then to go as a suffragette?  Yes, a women’s right to vote was added as the 19th amendment to the constitution in August 1920.

It was wonderful to get out and just be Tony and Karen, enjoy ourselves and not have to worry about feeding a little dinosaur. 

kit party

Tuesday– I boiled organic barley that I got from Whole Foods Bulk section (which I LOVE). I saved some to mix with veggies and breakfast chicken sausage-get tired of eggs and veggies sometimes. Now I have FIVE wholesome breakfasts all set to go.

Anyway, I sauteed sliced portobello mushrooms and added chicken broth I made and froze. Then I tossed in the barley and stirred it all up. I added the the leftover chicken once the soup was already in individual bowls. What a HEALTHY big hit. I love learning about new grains and how they can benefit from them. I don’t think hubby was too fond of this, he still prefers the old way I cooked with all the processed foods. Dino ate almost all his soup, at least he loved the dinner. 

barley and mushroom soup Collage

Wednesday – 

I made my new favorite porkballs (prefer pork over ground beef because it’s less greasy)…only this time I used cooked quinoa and. I LOVE how they came out, Dino and Hubby weren’t thrilled. I think by not adding veggies they were a little dryer. When I reheat them I am going to chop and mix them with sauteed tomatoes. Annie’s cheesy noodles were a big hit though. 

cheesy noodles and porkballs Collage

Thursday – What a great meal, boneless tilapia paired with the remaining mac and cheese, and California mix of veggies. IT was a BIG hit and so healthy.

fish and veggie collage

Friday –  From the bulk section at Whole Foods that I love so much, I bought dry black eyed peas and made rice and beans form scratch and used a Mediterranean veggie mix. Sure it took extra time to soak..but it was so worth it. I used a combo of spices to make my own seasoning. Hubby didn’t like it, said it was tasty enough. Sadly he’s still enjoying the pre-seasoned foods that I refuse to buy. Dino LOVED it. rice and bean collage

Saturday –  We went out to eat. Hubby suggested it since I’ve been cooking all week. We went to Prime Burger in town and it was awesome. Basically it’s a healthier version of 5 Guys and Fries. Dino ate five of the six chicken fingers…he loved it that much. 



MONDAY: I’m off this week, so just going to post Dino’s snack and lunch…. Snack: chocolate chip pancakes with a carrot. Lunch: ham and cheese sandwich, raisins, strawberries, and tomatoes. 

lunch mond

Dino’s Lunch: leftover chicken salad (made with mustard, spices, and tomatoes), grapes, cucumbers, and oranges.
Dino’s Snacks: chocolate chip pancake, raisins, applesauce, annie’s graham bunnies, fruit chew, and juice,

lunch tues

WEDNESDAY: forgot the pic again…Dino wanted pizza for lunch and I added strawberries and grapes. For snacks he has a chocolate chip pancake, a big carrot, popcorn, and breakfast bar. 

THURSDAY: Lunch: Swiss cheese, turkey and ham slices, tortilla chips, avocado, and tomatoes. Snack: hard boiled egg, mandarin orange slices, pretzels. 

lunch thurs

FRIDAY: Totally forgot to take a pic and forgot what I made him…ooops…this Easter weekend was just too busy. I am sure it was healthy though, LOL


Tuesday Tastings



Products that participate in and are NON-GMO can be found here




Table for 7Table for 7

Tuesday Tastings


Our Meal Plan April 6-11

meal plan main collage

I’ve been doing pretty good with my healthy eating. I lost another 3.2 pounds for a total of 16.4  POUNDS!

After much debating I decided to stop using Peapod. They have been giving me fruit that was not always fresh and I think all their food wasn’t always the best or had the best selections. The fruit and veggies I bought would go bad in a few days each and every time.I will still use stop and shop for seltzer and bottled water, but not on a weekly basis. I decided to use Whole Foods Market (since they were pretty close) and was impressed. I like knowing the foods I choose are not only non-GMOs but also organic fruits, veggies, and meats. It’s amazing to watch the fruits and veggies actually stay fresh and taste better. 

Yes, they are a bit more expensive, but it is sad that the healthier and cleaner foods are the most expensive. My eyes have been opened and I can’t believe how sugar and chemicals are in food. It seems the food companies want us sick and overweight. It is beyond scary. Anyway, after lots of research, I found a bunch of ways I can save money with Whole Foods. By creating a set shopping list for each week.

  • shop the bulk section and pick out the amount of grains, rice, granola, and fresh ground peanut butter I need for the week (what a great idea to only buy the amount you need)
  • pick the produce (2-3 veggie meals), poultry, meat, and fish (3-4 meat meals) that is on sale and plan meals around that. 
  • stock up on snacks, meats, and cereals that are on sale 
  • use the coupons that I can either print on line or get at the store
  • buy their brand “365” when possible. 

I think I might even be able to take Dino with me next time I go. I’ll feed him in their restaurant area and then let him walk around with me while he’s still snacking. I heard that also offer healthy snacks at customer service for kids. It will be a great teaching opportunity on how to choose foods that are real as opposed to fake foods AND how to stay within a budget but still eat healthy.

***I still have some foods that were not super healthy as I am slowly making the change. I used them for the meals this week. When I post next week, I’ll have even bigger and healthier changes.***

Sun  pork meatballs, roasted tomatoes, and cheese on Italian bread
Mon Dinner rice and beans with veggies

Tues Dinner gluten free pasta, tomato chunks, spinach, and cheese
Wed Dinner  chicken thighs, mushrooms, broccoli, and couscous
Thurs Dinner leftovers
Fri Dinner  chicken taco pizza http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/chicken-taco-pizza


Sunday – LOVE the fresh herbs I got at Whole Foods. Mixed bread crumbs, cilantro, dill, and onions into the breadcrumbs, one egg, and the locally grown ground pork. Then I quickly cooked some peas, carrots, and broccoli in a small cast iron skillet and purred it in the blender and added that to the meatball mix. OH BOY DID IT TASTE BEYOND YUMMY

Then I cut some fresh tomatoes with lots of seasoning and cooked for a bit. I placed cut porkballs, tomatoes and cheese on Italian bread slices and ate. Dino was too tired to eat them, but hoping to use them as leftovers tomorrow. 

pork ball Collage

Monday – Dino and I had leftover pork and veggie balls. I seasoned and roasted fresh tomatoes and mixed it all with gluten free pasta. What a tasty meal. meatballs and pasta Collage

Tuesday–  Dino has “sports skills” at the Little Gym on Tuesdays, so either I have to cook on Monday nights for Tuesday or just continue to order pizza for us. We had our usual favorites. He chose a plain personal pizza and I chose my jazz personal pizza. We ate half and saved half for lunch the next day. Sorry no pics

Wednesday – I love using my cast iron skillet. I seasoned and cooked the chicken in the skillet and had a small bag of chicken broth left over. I swear nothing better then using fresh/frozen herbs in our meals. I seasoned and cooked portobello mushrooms and broccoli then added it to the couscous. Sorry no pic of Dino eating…he was in a picky mood that night. 

chicken thigh Collage

Thursday – Slow Cooker Steak, rice, and veggies I TOTALLY FORGOT to set up the slow cooker with the steak. I realized this as I drove into the parking lot at work. I could have asked hubby, but it’s just easier to do it for the next day. So we had leftover gnochi and pork casserole and Italian bread pizza. 

Friday – using leftover chicken and broccoli from Wednesday’s dinner, I used it in the quesadilla. 

quesdilla Collage





lunch mon

Mommy-white bread with wo turkey slices, and one colby cheese slice, apples, strawberries and popcorn. bananas and mesa sunrise cereal with almond milk, pretzels.
Dino-ham and cheese on white bread, strawberries, apples, popcorn, and one carrot. (He LOVED eating the big carrot)
Dino Morning Snack-french toast with apples

lunch tue


Mommy-cheese and turkey quesadilla on gluten free tortilla, cooked and seasoned broccoli, cucumbers, strawberries
Dino-ham, cheese, and turkey sandwich, cooked and seasoned broccoli, cucumbers, strawberries
Dino Morning Snack– hard boiled egg, cheese snack, pears


Mommy– leftover pizza, carrot, and strawberries
Dino leftover pizza, carrot, and strawberries
Dino Morning -toaster strudel (once they are gone I am not buying anymore) and apples

lunch thurs

Mommy-turkey slices, colby cheese slices, guacamole, chips
Dino-turkey slices, ham slices, colby cheese slices, guacamole, chips
Dino Morning Snack-french toast and grape tomatoes


lunch thurs

Mommy-turkey, swiss, pickles, mustard on pita, tomatoes, grapes. Granola bar, banana, special k, almond milk, pretzels. 
Dino-Dino really wanted pizza again, makes lunch prep easier, pretzels, grapes, carrots.  
Dino Morning Snack-egg and cheese sandwich and strawberries

 fri lunch collage

Possibly linking up with one or more of these blog hops…

Table for 7Table for 7

Tuesday Tastings


Our Meal Plan March 23rd – 29th

meal plan main collage (3)

I’ve been doing pretty good with my healthy eating. I lost another 2.2 pounds for a total of 13.2 POUNDS! Though I need to eat more protein. I got lots of tips and ideas on Facebook, thanks everyone. 

As you all know I have cut out some processed foods (tomato sauces, low fat, fat free, sugar free) and now cutting out even more. I recently got sick again, in fact just last night, so I am really wary about eating anything that I  did not make myself. Because of my IBS, I will need to still eat white bread but will look for an organic, non processed bread. I will only eat gluten free pasta (because it is made with rice) if I do eat pasta at all, and need to incorporate brown rice into my meals. Going to stick with chicken and fish and try to cut out all red meat, since Dino doesn’t like and it’s another trigger. 

I will cut out coffee and only drink tea, so it’s not a trigger, and try to find organic and non processed snacks, pancake and cake mixes for Dino, and make my own seasonings for using spices in my cabinet. 

Thinking back to my recipes from a year ago when I made the cheapest dinners, I now realize they were the most unhealthiest for us. Sadly in our world cheap and easy means filled with sugar and chemicals. I would love to be able to buy organic, but that is not feasible with meats at this point, unless it’s a great sale. I look forward to the nicer weather and going to farmer’s markets to get locally grown foods there as well.

Yes, it’s tough after working all day then coming home and cooking, but the end results are so worth it. 

Now onto my meal plan…which is from the week befrore, so not all the changes I want to make yet. 

Sun  Monterrey chicken http://www.food.com/recipe/ww-monterey-chicken-353484 with baked potatoes

Mon Dinner mini Italian Bread Pizzas
Tues Dinner leftovers

Wed Dinner  ham, cheese, and broccoli casserole
Thurs Dinner slow cooker steak, rice, and veggies                                          
Fri Dinner slow cooker honey garlic chicken, rice, and cauliflower and carrots  http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Honey-Garlic-Slow-Cooker-Chicken-Thighs/Detail.aspx 
Sat  leftovers


Sunday – Monterey Chicken: DinoHeroMommy Style I used fresh tomatoes and some baked green beans from my potato sides. After seasoning with a Caribbean lime seasoning, I baked in a cast iron skillet, topped with the tomatoes and greens, and sprinkled with cheese. I seasoned the potatoes and greens with goya and onions and baked in a glass pan. I swear, the more the I cook with the cast iron skillet, the more I hate using anything else. The taste is better and the cleanup is easier.  

monteray chicken Collage


Monday – Italian Bread Pizza: Version 2. Used my new blender to pure tomatoes, garlic, onions, and spinach to use as the “sauce” for pizza. Made three varieties; meatball, spinach, and tomato. 

pizza Collage

Tuesday–  left over enchiladas and raviolis Decided to use my new blender once again. Boiled a half a box of ditalini (love using up every bit of food). Then pureed kidney beans, onion, garlic, and seasoning. Sauteed the sauce in the cast iron skillet, added broccoli and poured over the pasta. Dino ate EVERY bite. What a healthy and satisfying sauce.

kidney bean pasta Collage

Wednesday – Ham, Broccoli, and Cheese casserole what a simple and tasty dinner this was. Two ham steaks cut into cubes, frozen broccoli, and shredded cheese. I really liked this and as usual Dino ate every single bite. 

broccoli collage

Thursday – Slow Cooker Steak, rice, and veggies I TOTALLY FORGOT to set up the slow cooker with the steak. I realized this as I drove into the parking lot at work. I could have asked hubby, but it’s just easier to do it for the next day. So we had leftover gnochi and pork casserole and Italian bread pizza. 

leftover Collage

Friday – Pasta, tomatoes, peas, onions, and parmesean cheese I decided to have the slow cooked steak, rice and veggies instead. Wow…I used my own spices to make one hell of a dinner. 

steak Collage

Saturday –  Hubby suggested we use another gift certificate and go out to eat…it was a nice break to not have to cook, but hard trying to eat healthy real foods.




Between using EasyLunchBoxes  and planning what I eat ahead of time, I am in control at work and I know Dino is eating healthy at school. 

MONDAY: OOOOPs totally forgot to take a pic. 

Mommy-turkey and cheese on a pita with mustard, apples, bananas, grapes, granola bar pretzels,
Dino-ham and cheese sandwich with sliced apples, pickles, apples, pretzels,
Dino Morning Snack-toaster strudel and strawberries 


lunch tue

Mommy-leftover monterey chicken made into chicken salad with mustard in a pita, extra chicken salad mixed with potatoes, cheese stick, tomatoes
Dino-leftover pizza, grapes, and applesauce
Dino Morning Snack– french toast and raisins


WEDNESDAY: OOOOPs forgot the pic again, but took the pic of my lunch at work. 
Mommy– leftover pizza and grapes, granola bar, apples, pretzels
Dino-wanted to order pizza from school so he’ll have pretzels and carrots along with his pizza
Dino Morning – Egg and cheese quesadilla cut into long strips, strawberries,  



lunch thurs

Mommy-pita with turkey, swiss cheese, mustard, and pear slices, raisins, extra pear slices, pretzels, peanut butter bar. 
Dino-ham and cheese sandwich, raisins, applesauce, pretzels, teddy grahams, fruit chew
Dino Morning Snack-hard boiled egg, 1/4 bagel with a little butter

PicMonkey Collage

Mommy-turkey, swiss, pickles, mustard on pita, tomatoes, grapes. Granola bar, banana, special k, almond milk, pretzels. 
Dino-Dino really wanted pizza again, makes lunch prep easier, pretzels, grapes, carrots.  
Dino Morning Snack-egg and cheese sandwich and strawberries


Possibly linking up with one or more of these blog hops…

Table for 7Table for 7

Tuesday Tastings


Lunch, Dinner, Leftovers, or ALL of the above?


PicMonkey Collage

I had a few food related things to post about…so why not just do it all at once? Right?

To start off with I need to start capturing more of our lunches. This will help me record what ideas I have and keep me from overloading my own lunch bag.

One of my lunches: sandwich, veggie sticks, peanut butter and jelly crackers, NutriGrain bar, pretzels, and apples. mommy lunchTwo of Dino’s lunches

sandwich, carrots with ranch dressing, raisins veggie sticks, cheese sticks, fishies, and flavored water. He gets a lunch, morning snack and afternoon snack. They also provide snacks there on occasion and get gets a bottle of water in which they refill as often as needed.

dino lunch1 Another lunch…carrots with ranch dressing, flavored water, apples, pretzels, fishies, and going to add oatmeal in the am.

dino lunchNow you are probably wondering about the sandwiches…well I am glad you asked. Now I try to eat healthier bread, sometimes I do and other times I give in have the white bread that Daddy and Dino love. Instead of mayo though, Dino and I LOVE hummus on our bread. That’s right…HUMMUS instead of mayo. It’s tastier and healthier.

sandwich collageThis post is also about dinner…now while in the middle of the fridge disaster (that will be a future post as soon as it is settled). I made a BIG dinner. I had to get rid of some things and not have to worry about cooking as much for the next day.

We had meatballs and pasta I made the night before

meatballsChicken parm tenderloins I made that night

chicken cutletsMommy knows it’s a good meal when everyone is too busy eating to talk or play. Dino had to be like his daddy and sit on the couch and eat. (If you don’t already know we have a super small apt and the other chairs for our table is the couch).


boys eating2 boys eatingNow we have TONS of leftovers for the next day…heck we can even made them into meatball or chicken sandwiches.



Possibly linking up with one or more of these blog hops…

lbgc - all my bloggy friends2

Table for 7Tuesday Tastings

New Products and Store Frustrations

I found this new product, well it’s new to me. I have always liked Skippy peanut butter, but can’t always bring it to daycare since they restrict peanut products. At home I can eat it every day for lunch; adding apples, bananas, mangoes and other fruits to the sandwich to mix it up and add nutritional value.

I’ve used a lot of jelly and preserves over the years, but after finding Mango Butter in Trader Joe’s I am hooked. It doesn’t clump, fall out, and get sticky like jelly, jam, or preserves. I will have to save up and get more.

Since my local health food store doesn’t carry any sunflower butter, I also use Trader Joe’s sunflower butter for daycare. It does get a little greasy, but keeping a paper towel underneath it helps. 

I am disappointed in my local stop and shop store. They have just left a sour taste in my mouth. First their brand of freezer bags opened up too many times at the WORST times. Then they had expired almond milk products out for over a month. Yesterday they a had NO almond milk products at all. NONE. ZERO. ZIP. They are reorganizing the store and forgot to order more almond milk I guess. 
It’s frustrating because they will double coupons up to 99c, but that is just not enough to keep my loyalty. Now I have to find a local store with good savings that accepts coupons. I do a good deal of shopping in Walgreens and Rite Aide because of their deals, coupon rules, and money back in the form of register rewards and up rewards respectively. But they don’t sell meat, almond milk, fresh fruit and veggies.
Trader Joe’s has lower prices than the supermarkets. Instead of buying frozen meatballs I’ll buy the ingredients and make my own. The brand of almond milk and rice milk was cheaper than the local supermarket. They have a pre-made  guacamole and hummus mix which is AWESOME! Dinosaur and I love hummus and guacamole, but I CAN NOT make hummus and suck at making guacamole. 
And I just found http://healthylifedeals.com this site lists the deals and manufacturer coupons each week for Trader Joe’s. How cool is that! 

Where do you shop for fresh foods? How many stores do you use for grocery shopping? Do you use/like Trader Joe’s? 

Pineapple Pancakes and Egg Cupcakes

Yes, pancakes again…but this time with pineapples. YES, pineapples. They were delicious and perfect. I cut the pineapples into tiny slices and added them into the batter. I did my usual mashed banana’s in the syrup. Dinosaur loved them, even my picky dad ate some. 
More leftovers into eggs, only this time I have dinosaur calling them “Egg Cupcakes”. Mom’s are so good at being deceitful.

As you can tell from my previous recipes, I like to add lots of spices such as curry, garlic, onion, parsley and allspice. YUMMY

We used leftover fries, broccoli and fried chicken.

 Look how great that batter is, now time to cook the egg cupcakes.

Dinosaur couldn’t eat them fast enough. Even though he saw green in the cupcakes, he gobbled them up. They were healthy, yummy, and filling.

What breakfast/lunch are you most proud of this week?

SCHOOL LUNCH July 12 2012

I am going to start showing what I make son for breakfast and lunch at daycare. This will help me remember what to make him and share my ideas.

For Breakfast: I made pulled out previously frozen banana mini-muffins. These were easy to make and froze easily. I added scrambled eggs and dole canned manderine oranges.

For Lunch: I gave him cars chicken nuggets and tortilla chips. There is a wholly guacamole packet and a bbq sauce. I know there isn’t much veggies, but he had lots of veggies on his homemade pizza last night.

I love easylunchboxes but their coolers are not great. Two of them broke on me. Hubby buys me better quality lunch coolers that fit the containers.