Week 9: Kathleen: Mashed Cauliflower

I got this recipe from Yummly, which has recently become my go to site for all things delicious! The recipe can be found here. I wanted to try this because I’ve seen so many different recipes and really want to like cauliflower since it’s good for you and very versatile. I used one head of cauliflower and added two cloves of garlic. I don’t have a food processor, so I used a blender, but the texture came out weird. I would recommend using a food processor if you have one available to get it mixed together well. Not sure if it was because of the texture, but I was not a fan of this recipe, Steve liked it though. I will continue to try recipes with cauliflower, so maybe I will like it one day! But this recipe was very easy and cheap since it has so few ingredients, and you just need to pick up a head of cauliflower at the store.


Mashed Cauliflower
  1. Steam the cauliflower pieces until very tender
  2. Puree cauliflower in a food processor, add in olive oil and salt
  3. Reheat in a casserole dish in the oven at 350° for 20 minutes
  4. serve

Week 8: Marie: Sloppy Joes

I’ve made this meal several times and each time it’s great. It’s from Ellie Kreiger, my favorite Food Network chef. I now have all her cookbooks! You can see the recipe here.

Total Time: 30 min
Prep: 15 min Cook: 15 min

8 servings


1 pound extra-lean ground beef
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 red pepper, diced
1 can small red beans or pinto beans, preferably low sodium drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups no-salt-added tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon mustard powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 whole-wheat burger buns


Brown the meat and the onion in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, breaking up the meat into crumbles as it cooks. Pour the drippings out of the pan and discard. Add the garlic, jalapeno, and red pepper and cook 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes more. Place a half-cup scoop of the mixture onto each bun and serve.


Week 7: Kathleen: Stuffed Chicken Breasts

I also made some delicious Stuffed Chicken this week from here, I hadn’t used a recipe from this site, but I will now after trying this one! I didn’t take a picture so I used the one from the blog. I halved the recipe, and it still produced leftovers that were delicious heated up. I also made some gluten free bread crumbs from my bread and nixed the basil since I didn’t have any. This came out very well and will definitely be repeated. Served with a salad.

Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes

Total Time 45 minutes

Yield 4 servings

Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken

Chicken breasts stuffed with mozzarella, spinach, and sun dried tomatoes – baked to absolute crisp-tender cheesy perfection!


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup sun dried tomatoes halves
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, chiffonade


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9×13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Cut each breast horizontally to, but not through, the other side to create a pocket.
  • Lift top flap of chicken pocket, arranging cheese, spinach and tomatoes.
  • Working one at a time, dip chicken into the eggs, then dredge in bread crumbs, pressing to coat.
  • Place chicken onto the prepared baking dish and bake until the chicken is completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with basil, if desired.

Week 7: Kathleen: Vegetable Frittata

So I just got a new phone and my pictures of this were on my previous phone, unfortunately, because it was very pretty will all the different colors! Frittatas are very easy to make and can be a catch all if you’re trying to clean out the fridge. I made up my own recipe for this, but you can use any fillings or any spices you prefer!

1 sweet potato

1/2 red onion

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

5 eggs

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp cayenne

1/2 garlic powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsbp butter

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Peel and chop the sweet potato, season with onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, chili powder, salt, pepper and throw the olive oil in as well to coat the potato. When well coated, put on a baking sheet and pop in the oven for 25 minutes (or until the potato reaches your preferred level of crispiness), stirring halfway through.
  2. Chop the red onion and sauté until tender.
  3. Heat a pan with butter, mix the eggs well in a bowl, when foamy, transfer to the pan and let sit, covered for a few minutes. When you can tell that the eggs are cooking through, throw the red onion and sweet potato in and cover again. After 3-4 minutes, add the parmesan cheese and cover again for 1 minute or until the eggs have set.
  4. Serve with sour cream, salsa and/or toast for a complete and delicious breakfast!

Week 7: Marie: Veggie Quiche

I made my first quiche and it was delicious!! I used this recipe as the guide but made so many changes to it I’m going to provide my own instructions! I basically used this as a clearinghouse for a lot of the veggies in my fridge and it turned out great. I included below the ingredients from the recipe I took it from and the other stuff I added.

  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 5 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 8 ounces shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 gloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup broccoli
  • 1/4 of an onion
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell1/4 cup chopped onion


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil.
  2. Rinse spinach and broccoli and pulse in food processor
  3. Heat butter in saucepan over medium heat
  4. Saute garlic for 30 seconds, until fragrant
  5. Add all veggies and cook until softened
  6. In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and milk until smooth. Whisk in eggs. Layer veggies, cheese, and onion in pie shell, making several layers of each. Pour in egg mixture. Place quiche on prepared cookie sheet. Cover quiche with foil.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove cover, and bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until top is golden brown and filling is set.

To reheat, cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 325.

This picture is from All Recipes “Light and Fluffy Spinach Quiche”



Week 6: Marie: Vegetable Loaded Pasta Bake

This recipe is from Better Homes and Garden. It’s a bit more involved than my typical recipes, but I made it on a Sunday night and it was a good dish for a dinner and two days of lunches. It wasn’t the best reheated, like most pasta, but it was still tasty.

The modifications I made: I used broccoli instead of cauliflower, spinach instead of kale and mozzarella instead of cheddar because that’s what I had in the fridge. I also used tortellini instead of penne. I didn’t take a picture but there’s a one on the BHG website.

Vegetable-Loaded Pasta Bake


  • 8 ounces dried whole wheat penne pasta (2 3/4 cups)
  • 2 1/2 cups cauliflower florets (1/2 medium head)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 12 ounces kale, stems removed, leaves torn (12 cups)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 4 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons finely shredded or grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large Dutch oven cook pasta according to package directions; add cauliflower during the last 4 minutes of cooking. Drain; rinse. Set aside.
  2. In the same Dutch oven cook onion and garlic in hot oil over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add carrots and celery; cook just until carrots are tender. Add kale; cook just until wilted. Stir in pasta mixture, peas, and corn.
  3. For cheese sauce, in a small saucepan melt butter; stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Add milk all at once; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; add cheddar cheese. Cook and stir until melted. Stir sauce into pasta and vegetables. Transfer to a 2 1/2-quart casserole. Bake, covered, for 35 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake 5 minutes more.


Week 5: Marie: Turkey Meatloaf

I think I’m throwing off the week count here?! hmmm.

Despite the fact that the word “Meatloaf” is completely unappetizing, this recipe is delicious and another unappetizing word – hardy. It’s from one of my favorite chefs – Ellie Kreiger – and is in the oven right now!

Here ya go –

Mom’s Turkey Meatloaf

Total Time: 1 hr 30 min   Prep: 15 min Inactive: 15 min Cook: 1 hr

8 (1-inch thick) slices


Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/moms-turkey-meatloaf-recipe.html?oc=linkback


3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup skim milk
1 medium onion, peeled
2 pounds ground turkey breast
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, stir together the oats and milk. Thinly slice 1/4 of the onion and set aside. Finely chop the remaining onion. In a large bowl combine the turkey, oat mixture, chopped onion, bell pepper, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt and a few grinds of pepper. Mix just until well combined.

Transfer the mixture to a 9 by 13-inch baking dish and shape into a loaf about 5 inches wide and 2 1/2 inches high. Pour the tomato sauce over the meatloaf and sprinkle with the sliced onions. Bake for about 1 hour or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees.F.

Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 to15 minutes before slicing.

Week 4: Kathleen: Homemade Granola Bars

I got this recipe from Bakerella; granola bars are a common snack in my house as Steve and I are pretty active. The only adjustment that I made to this was instead of cherries I used dried blueberries and dried cranberries. The initial cost of everything was slightly expensive but you can make several batches and each batch yields about 12 granola bars, so well worth it. I made these a few days ago, had one for lunch and wasn’t hungry until well past dinner time. I didn’t have the 8×8 pan, so mine came out a little crazy looking.

Cherry Almond Grab and Go Granola Bars

1 1/2 cups Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
3/4 cup slivered almonds
2/3 cup rice cereal
1 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line an 8 X 8 inch baking dish with parchment paper overlapping on opposite sides so you you can easily lift bars from the dish when finished.
  • Toast almonds. Spread them in an even layer on a large baking sheet and place in the oven for 5-10 minutes. Watch closely so they don’t burn. Remove from the oven and reduce temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place oats and toasted almonds in a food processor and give it several pulses to break the shapes up into smaller pieces. This will make the ingredients press together more compactly in the baking dish.
  • Place all the oats, almonds, rice cereal, dried cherries and chocolate chips in a large bowl and mix together until evenly distributed. Reserve about a tablespoon of the chips to sprinkle on top at the end.
  • In a medium bowl, microwave the peanut butter, honey, syrup and vanilla for about 10-20 seconds so you can easily stir it together. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and stir until completely combined and all the dry ingredients are coated.
  • Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish and press down as flat, even, and compact as possible. You can use a smaller baking dish to help or press using your hands coated with vegetable oil. Once the mixture is as flat as you can make it, sprinkle any reserved chocolate chips and gently press them on top.


  • Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove and cool completely for at least 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for another hour. Remove and cut into 12 equal bars using a thin serrated knife while still in the baking dish. Lift the bars from the dish holding the parchment paper.
  • Makes 12 bars. Bars will be good for several days at room temperature or for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.
  • To prepare them for the week ahead: Working with chilled bars, wrap each one in a strip of parchment paper and tie with a string. Place in a plastic treat bag to travel with. You can also dip the bottoms in a little melted chocolate or candy coating and let dry before packaging.



Week 4: Marie: Sweet Potato Chili

A new recipe for me. I tried it today for a get together with neighbors. We all liked it – hooray! The recipe is Smoky Sweet Potato Chili from the blog “Shugary Sweets” which I found via Yummly. The recipe is below. I made a few modifications:

  • I only had one 15 oz can of chili beans so I used what I had: 1 can of chili beans, 1 can of black beans
  • I added a full orange bell pepper, diced
  • I had chicken broth on hand so used that instead
  • I skipped chili powder because I ran out (though I imagine it would be good with it)
  • I skipped liquid smoke. I didn’t have any and didn’t want to buy a whole bottle to use one teaspoon and I read about the evident chemical taste it has (ew).

I didn’t take a picture from my version, so I’m including the one from the blog.

Here’s the recipe:

Yield: serves 6-8

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 6-8 hours

1 can (30.5 oz) mild red chili beans (with sauce)
1 cup vegetable broth
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 small onion, diced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp liquid smoke


In a large crockpot (slow cooker) add all the ingredients. Stir and cover. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours, until sweet potatoes are tender. ENJOY!



Week 3: Marie: Homemade Hamburger Helper

(I’m claiming my absence of week two due to vacation – sorry!)

Homemade Hamburger Helper from “Farmgirl Gourment”.

Mike really wanted a box of this stuff for a fast weeknight meal, but I found this instead which takes a bit more time but has way less sodium, is still pretty quick and was delicious. You can try to substituent the beef with turkey and add some vegetables to it.

Super easy, quick, delicious and you probably have most of the ingredients already. And bonus, a one pot meal!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Makes 4-6 Servings

Easy to make and a real crowd pleaser. Try it from scratch, you’ll be glad you did.



  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray and add the ground beef. Brown until cooked through and no longer pink. Discard any fat. Add the pasta, milk, water and spices and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and turn the heat down to simmer. Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Add the cheese and stir to combine. Serve immediately.