Menu Plan Monday
Ok . .. so last week I did OK .. not great but I want to share a couple of recipes with you that turned out fantastic!

The Crockpot Philly Cheesesteaks were super good, of course I didn’t follow the original recipe . .. but I never seem to be able to follow a recipe!
Here is what I did:
3lb London Broil cut into large chunks
1 large sliced onion
2 bell peppers sliced
3 tbl Worcestershire
3 tbl Steak Sauce
1/3 cup red wine
Grill Seasoning
6 Whole Grain Sub Sandwich Rolls
Lowfat Shredded Italian Cheese

Put meat in slow cooker, toss with grill seasoning, Worcestershire, steak sauce, and wine. Top with onions and peppers and cook on low 6 hours or high for 4 hours. Remove meat from cooker and chop or shred, and put back in cooker and toss with cooking liquid. Cook on low for 30 minutes. While meat is rewarming and getting all juicy, open your whole wheat rolls, remove extra bread. Spray with butter spray (I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter) and smear with either minced jarred or frozen garlic (garlic powder would work too!). Toast in oven under broiler. Top with meat, peppers and cheese, broil until all melty. Top with marinated peppers or condiments of your choice. Yummy!

Citrus Jalapeno Marinade
I used this marinade for chicken breasts for soft tacos which I didn’t actually cook until tonight! But they were spectacular! While the chicken rested I grilled some corn tortillas (La Tortilla Factory Chipotle flavored) and we topped with veggies, homemade guacamole and pico de gallo from the San Ramon Farmer’s Market. You could definitely freeze your chicken in this marinade, I did the inverse. I had frozen chicken breast and put them in the marinade to thaw in my fridge overnight . . . either way this is the best trick I know!

Juice and zest of 2 large oranges
2 jalapenos seeds and membranes removed
7 cloves of garlic (don’t be afraid!!)
1 tbl peppercorns
1tbl salt
1 tbl honey
1 tbl cumin
large handful of cilantro

Add all of it to your food processor or blender and blend until everything is pureed together. Marinade overnight! I had fears this would be too spicy, but it was perfect!

Dessert for this week
Anyone who knows me, knows I love to bake and have dessert! This recipe comes out of the latest Weight Watchers grocery store cookbook (5 Ingredients in 15 Minutes) and is great on a summer evening (especially after you have eaten lots of hot salsa!)

Lemon Berry Tarts
2 cups Cool Whip lite or free
1/4 cup Lemon Curd
Mini store bought graham cracker crusts
Berries of your choice

Melt the curd in the microwave for 15 seconds. Lighten with 1/2 cup of cool whip. Then fold in remaining cool whip and fill each of the 6 mini crusts. Chill for 30 – 60 minutes and top with berries.
4 WW points

Here is my modified menu for this week:

Week 2 – July 6 – July 12

Monday – Chicken Tacos
Tuesday – Pizza Lasagna Rolls, Salad
Wednesday – Chicken Fried Rice (double for freezer meal), Szchewan Green Beans
Thursday – Sloppy Joes (double for freezer meal), Chipotle Baked Beans and Corn
Friday – Leftovers
Saturday – Chicken Ravioli (got these fresh ravioli at Nob Hill last week after coupons $.69 per package!), Salad
Sunday – Meatloaf Muffins, Garlic Smashed Potatoes and Broccoli (double muffins for freezer)

Look for more recipes next week, including and experiment with biscuit breakfast pizzas!

For more menu ideas visit: orgjunkie.com

Menu Plan Monday
With couponing, work and trying to cook healthy and track what I am eating on a regular basis, I just don’t have enough time lately. And what has been suffering with a busy time at work is cooking and tracking what I eat. I definitely did better this week, but I still didn’t get everything done. So I sat down Saturday afternoon and made a menu plan for the whole month. I think this will simplify my shopping, allow me to do a few freezer meals by doubling up a couple of recipes and hopefully keep me on track! You will notice there are plenty of simple nights of tacos, burgers and pizza .. . this will keep me sane and tacos and pizza can use up leftover meats! I will also do my best to share the recipes with you along the way. Each week I will post side dishes, etc and I am sure I will do some adjusting. But I already have picked up some extra meat that was on sale and it feels great to have a plan for it!

Here it is:
Week 1 – June 29 – July 4th
Monday – Marinated Grilled Chicken Tacos
Tuesday – Pizza Lasagna Rolls (double for freezer meal), Salad
Wednesday – Chicken Cobb Salad (leftover from Grilled Chicken Tacos)
Thursday – Pizza
Friday – Crockpot Philly Cheese Steaks, Garlic Sweet Potato Baked Fries
July 4th – Guacamole Burgers, Chipotle Baked Beans and Grilled Corn
Sunday – Meatloaf Muffins, Garlic Smashed Potatoes and Broccoli (double muffins for freezer)

Week 2 – July 6 – July 12

Monday – Pork Chops
Tuesday – Tacos
Wednesday – Chicken Fried Rice (double for freezer meal)
Thursday – Pizza
Friday – Sloppy Joes (double for freezer meal)

Week 3 – July 13 – 19
Monday – Grilled Beef Kabobs (picked up sale london broil this week and I have meals worth sealed in a marinade in my freezer already!)
Tuesday – Oven Fried Chicken
Wednesday – Pizza Lasagna Rolls
Thursday – BBQ Meatballs
Friday – Sunday – Off to Santa Cruz/Monterey!!

Week 4 – July 20 – July 26
Monday – Lettuce Wraps
Tuesday – Tacos
Wednesday – Pork Chops
Thursday – Pizza
Friday – Chicken Fried Rice
Saturday – Out
Sunday – Steak and Artichokes

Week 5 – July 27 – July 31
Monday – Crockpot BBQ Pork Sandwiches
Tuesday – Quesadillas (probably using leftover pork)
Wednesday – Bacon & Sundried Tomato Penne
Thursday – Burgers
Friday – Out

Phew! There it is 5 weeks of meals . . . I now don’t have to think about what’s for dinner until August! This makes me soooo happy! :0) The other great thing is I have 95% of the meat in my freezer and most of the other items in my pantry, so other than deals that pop up and weekly fresh food items, I really don’t need to buy much. I can’t tell you what a relief this is!!

Have a great week!

For menu ideas visit: orgjunkie.com

Oh menu, I have forsaken you . .. if you only make 2 of the 5 meals on your menu are you still menu planning? I don’t think so! I was not very organized last week, no excuses . . . I just wasn’t! This week I am back on track and ready to go!

I also did some baking this morning which turned out really well and was super simple. I made these Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies . . . but instead of following the recipe for the brownie part I used a box of low fat brownie mix from my stockpile. I followed the rest of the directions for the cream cheese and raspberry jam part. They are fantastic and a great way to use some of your mixes! My Recipes/Cooking Light also has a peanut butter swirl recipe that calls for cake mix that I might try later in the month!

I stocked up on raspberries this weekend at Costco and also made these Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffins to use up the rest of the cream cheese from the brownies. These are delicious as well and I can’t wait to share them with my co-workers today!

For the rest of my menu I am trying to keep it simple to ease back into following the menu .. .. but it should be a very tasty week!

Monday: Marinated Flank Steak, Tabbouleh Salad, Grilled Corn
Tuesday: Steak and Mushroom Quesadillas (leftover flank steak!), Spicy Corn Salad (leftover corn)
Wednesday: Pesto Burgers and Caprese Salad (didn’t make this last week!)
Thursday: Thai Chicken Coconut Curry, Rice, Asian Slaw
Friday: Pizza (homemade or takeout depending on my mood!)

Hope you have a successful week!
For more menus visit: orgjunkie.com

Well our virus, which we have named Fred, is finally making its retreat. I still have a little cough, but I am over the worst of it and finally have my energy back. I have a few days off, which is also helpful for putting my house back together and getting caught up on life. I have definitely been off track weight loss wise and I am anxious to get back on track. It is way to easy to back slide and harder to keep going. So I am plunging my way back into tracking and menu planning to get me back in the game!

This is also a clean out the freezer week. I have some meat and other things that need to get eaten, plus I would like to have some room in my freezer again!

Monday: Tacos, zucchini and corn
Tuesday: Dinner out (maybe) – We are suppossed to go to Waterworld and celebrate a friends birthday
Wednesday: Grilled Chicken, garlic noodles, roasted vegetable salad
Thursday: BBQ Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches, Sweet Potato Fries, Grilled Corn on the Cob
Friday: Pesto Burgers, Caprese salad

For more menu ideas: orgjunkie.com

So after being sick early in the week last week and my boy out most of last week . . . Saturday I decided to develop the bronchial part of the virus! I managed to tough it out and thought I would be ok to go to Wicked on Sunday. I woke up on Sunday feeling worse . . . but was not about to miss it after waiting 4 months and wasting my very expensive, very wonderful birthday with my sis! So I drugged up and went. I ended up ok, except about half way through our fabulous brunch I started sweating and sweating. The sweat just kept pouring out of me. I didn’t feel feverish or anything, just sweaty! We walked around until the show started, it was an absolutely beautiful day in SF and the breeze felt good.

The sweat continued to pour off of me until about the time we got seated in the theater. Then it seemed to stop and by intermission I was feeling much better and dryer. It was the weirdest thing!!! The show was absolutely fabulous and worth the wait, the cost and sitting through it while sick! My cough got much worse last night, so I am home today with no voice trying to recover. I don’t think I will get around to a menu post today . .. my freezer is stocked with the Smart Ones that were on sale at Target this week and I have a pretty full pantry . .. so I am just going to wing it!

I hope you are having a successful week, menu and are in good health!

mexicantortizza

This is adapted from Hungry Girls new cookbook 200 under 200. Her recipe calls for soy crumbles and less stuff in general to get it to 200 calories. But I adapted it to fit our tastes and to make it a heartier dinner. I plan on using the same concept to make other “tortizzas” in the near future. This is extremely good!!! And my teenager ate 2 of them! I served it with a very simple Jicama Slaw, which is just jicama julienned, shredded carrots, green onion, lime juice, salt and freshly ground pepper . . a nice crunchy side!

8 oz Lean Ground Turkey
8 oz can El Pato (to make less spicy us plain tomato sauce)
1 pkg Taco Seasoning
1 small can diced mild green chilies
4 1-point Burrito Size Tortillas (I love La Tortilla Factory High Fiber Olive Oil)
1 Cup Low-Fat Shredded Cheese
4 tbsp Taco Sauce
1 cup red onion chopped
1 cup tomatoes chopped
1/3 cup fat-free sour cream

Brown taco meat in non-stick skillet. Add in dice green chilies, taco seasoning and El Pato, simmer on medium until the liquid is absorbed.

Brown both sides of the tortilla in a non-stick skillet. Place tortilla on cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. Smear 1 tbsp taco sauce on tortilla, top with 2 oz taco meat, sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Top with 1/4 of each tomatoes and onions. Bake at 375 for 12 minutes.

4 Servings 7 WW Pts per serving (for 1 whole pizza . . this makes me so happy!)

I had a fairly good week in terms of Weight Watchers losses and I am back on a downward trend! Next week barring a major issue I should earn my official 25lb sticker (I am only.4lbs away) which is exactly where I was a few weeks ago when I got off track. I feel good getting back on track. I am also busy writing posts from last weeks cooking, there were some very good things. Look for those to go online throughout the week.

BBQChickenSandwich
One of the amazing things I cooked this week was 4 chicken breasts that I had previously frozen in a marinade a few weeks ago. I have made no less than 4 meals out of those stinking chicken breasts, and that is a very important point when it comes to cooking healthfully and frugally. You can lose weight and not break the bank and eat delicious food! It is not super easy, you have to use coupons, watch sales and plan for those essential healthy items like higher priced bread, tortillas, etc.

However, a good example is what I bought this week. If you got Sunday’s paper you got coupons for Nature’s Pride bread (a good choice) for $1.98 with Safeway coupon. Also, I pay close attention to sale produce. I tend to spend about $20 per week in produce . . . I eat my 5 – 6 servings of fruits and veggies! This week you can get 2 cantaloupe for $4, giant artichokes for $1, BOGO raspberries and blueberries, and zucchini for $1 per pound. All of these items are in my fridge waiting to be used in my menu. By shopping this way I save the most money and eat what is in season and freshest. And that chicken I used to make 4 meals this week, I got for $.99/lb . . . that’s $.50 per meal for 2 people!

I am also very proud of my shopping this week! I started keeping a price book, a concept that I have seen on a lot of frugal blogs. I just needed to write out a list of the items I thought were thrifty deals and have a space to match in my coupons and track the rewards. This also helped me budget out what I am spending. This worked really well for me this week. I also pulled all my coupons prior to shopping and stuck in the price book before each stop. This saved me a lot of time, instead of spending over an hour in Walgreens, CVS/Longs, Nob Hill and Safeway. I did the first 3 within 2 hours (including driving) and Safeway in about 30 minutes! And I only spent $70 out of pocket at all 4 stores!

This coming week there are a lot of deals and CVS/Longs is finally using the extra care bucks, so I am going to want to start collecting those. But I already have my price book going for the week and am matching my coupons. Next week, if I have time I will even take a photo of what I get to share with you all. I mean it is amazing how much more I am able to get. Just to give you an idea I got a large pack of paper towels, large pack of TP, 5 boxes of cereal, canned goods, mustard, boxed mac and cheese, toothpaste, tooth brushes, plus all my weekly groceries and produce for that $70!

And now . .. after all my blathering on about sales, my menu!

Menu for 5/31 – 6/6

Sunday: The best chicken sandwich ever (pictured above: toasted bread, fat-free ranch, chicken mixed with bbq sauce, tomato, mixed greens, 1 piece crispy bacon), and to finish up my chicken . . . BBQ Chicken Tortizza and a salad (look for my Tortizza post on Monday!)

Monday: 6 Week Raisin Bran Muffins, OAMC Taco Shells (last of my once a month cooking in April), Mexican Zucchini, Guacamole

Tuesday: Pork Medallions, Rice, Roasted Vegetable Salad

Wednesday: Honey Mustard Chicken Legs, Sweet Potato Fries, Broccoli

Thursday: Homemade Whole Wheat Hot Pockets (using TJ whole wheat pizza dough), Salad

Friday: Dinner Out or Leftovers

Saturday: Out with my friend (belated birthday celebration!)
Sunday: Wicked in SF with my Sis!!!! (another birthday celebration . . . I am having the longest birthday ever!!!)

For more menus visit: Orgjunkie.com

Happy Memorial Day Everyone! And Happy Birthday to me! After the big festival this weekend here in San Ramon, I am a little pooped! But I took today off and my son ended up spending most of the day at a friends house . .. this was a treat! I relaxed, had coffee with a friend, did laundry and went to Safeway! Then in a few minutes we are going to meet my family for sushi and frozen yogurt (my healthy dessert request!)

This week will be a little crazy at work (believe it or not!). Working in Parks & Rec means we are getting geared up for summer, plus with budget issues and pending retirements we are doing a little reorganizing . . . so it should be an interesting week to say the least! I am keeping my menus simple and trying cook from some of my newer cookbooks and magazines. There were some great pork and beef sales this week so I do have some treats for us in store, plus there is a chocolate section of the new WW cookbook that you can buy at the meetings called “Hit the Spot” so I am giving that a whirl with a recipe for Brownie Thins that is only 2 WW pts per serving . .. I will fill you in if it is as good as the picture in the book!

Monday: Sushi and birthday fro yo!
Tuesday: Turkey/Lean Ground Pork Sliders, broccoli slaw and oven onion and zucchini rings and brownie thin (can you say yum!)
Wednesday: Grilled steakwith black bean, corn and tomato and quinoa salad and a skinny margarita (I know it is a Wednesday but I told you it is a crazy week!)
Thursday: Mexican Tortizza and jicama slaw
Friday: Marinated Grilled Chicken with roasted pepper and bulgar salad

For more menus visit: orgjunkie.com

After all of the Kraft Foods online coupons last week (what you didn’t get yours? . . . click here! or register and print here) there are some great sales at all three major grocery stores this weekend! Don’t pay anything for BBQ sauce, salad dressing and lots of crackers for under a buck!

Here is my must buy list!
Safeway
Ground Turkey 2 for $6 (this beats the costco price!)
$.99/lb bone-in chicken breasts, thighs or drumsticks
$4.67/lb Rib-eye or NY Strip steaks (seems pricey, but this is my price point for steak as it is over half off at this price)
Life Cereal $1.99 (using recent printable $1 off coupon or ones from inside oatmeal box!) = $.99
Ritz/Wheat Thins Crackers or Toasted Chips $1.88 ($1 of coupon see above) = $.88
Duracell battery super coupon for $2 off stack with $.50 from 5/17 SS
Colgate Toothpaste super coupon $1.99 stack with $1 off from 5/10 SS
Mangoes $.77
Oscar Meyer Hot Dogs 2 for $1.98 with Super Coupon use $1.00 off 2 printable
Bar S Franks $.99 use $1 off 2 from 5/10 RP
Best Foods Mayo $1.99 with Super Coupon
Kraft Singles .99 with super coupon in Sunday insert ad, use $1 off 2 printable

Nob Hill
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts $1.77 per pound (a decent price and I am out!)
Nabisco Crackers $1.69 use $1 off from printable coupons = $.69
Cool Whip $.99 use $1 off 2 printable
A1 Sauce $2.99 use $1 off printable = $1.99
Kraft Salad Dressing 3 for $5 buy any 4 kraft products get a FREE Bull’s BBQ Sauce, use $1.50 from 5/10 SS
McCormick Marinade Packet $.79 use $.50 off 5/10 SS
Weber Marinade Mix $.69 use $.50 off 5/10 SS

Lucky’s
Sargento Cheese $1.79 Friday, Sat, Sun only
Sweet Baby Ray BBQ Sauce 2 for $3 use $1 off 2 coupon
Kraft BBQ Super Coupon $.79 limit 2 use $1 off printable = Free plus $.21 overage
Planter’s Peanuts $1.99 use $1 off printable coupon

The great thing about having all the stores with great deals is they shouldn’t run out. Also if you are looking for chips, sodas, etc there are great deals . . . I am just overstocked at the moment and there isn’t anything I can’t pass up! Plus I am trying to avoid the unhealthy . . .although I promised my DS that this weekend we could do some hot dogs, I am hoping some of the turkey dogs are on special! Pretty much by this weekend I won’t need to buy salad dressing or bbq sauce till next summer!

This week started off good, but ended not so good. The good news is I tracked everything, but I had way too much snacking, junk stuff. This week I am going to focus on eating whole foods, fruits, veggies, lean protein and whole grains. Staying within my daily points and using my weekly points very sparingly. After making a big cake this weekend I am kind of sweet food out anyways. I am determined to break that 25lb mark . . . it has become a barrier and I need to charge at it and knock it down and never look back. I am using mostly weight watchers/hungry girl recipes as that will definitely give me a solid plan for staying within my daily points!

Also, with Memorial Day coming up (and my birthday) I am totally in the mood for summer food. It was really hot this weekend so I made grilled chicken and greek orzo salad and grilled corn on Sunday night with a big dish of watermelon. It was like summer on a plate! So I have lots of casual summer food this week on my menu. Plus I just got Hungry Girls new cookbook “200 under 200″ and there was a buffalo chicken recipe in there that sound right up my buffalo lovin’ boys alley!

Our big local festival is this weekend so I will be very busy on Sunday with its kick off and then on Monday I plan on getting up and going to see the hot air balloon launch! And then enjoying the rest of the day! I don’t have any major plans, but I am going to try and keep the festivities in check so I don’t blow my hard work this week and then next week will really watch it to make up for some birthday splurges. There are a couple of new WW desserts from the new cookbook (only available at the meetings) that I might try instead of just getting a crazy dessert at a restaurant! But we shall see . . . I will let you know how it goes!

Monday: Cajun Chicken Stroganoff (didn’t get to it last week), whole wheat egg noodles, salad
Tuesday: Turkey Burgers, Onion and Zucchini Rings
Wednesday: Hungry Girl Boneless Buffalo Chicken, Butternut Squash Fries, Veggies and dip
Thursday: Jambalaya, rice, broccoli
Friday: Pizza!
Saturday:Turkey Dogs, Baked Beans, Light Potato Salad, Tomato Cucumber Salad
Sunday: Art and Wind Festival!
Monday: My Birthday!

Snacks This week: Watermelon (mmm!), WW Haystack Cookies (1/4 cup choc. chips, 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1 cup fiber one), and because the boy requested chocolate chip cookies . . . I thought I would give this recipe a try!

For more great menu ideas visit orgjunkie.com

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