Tuesday, March 31, 2009

sauteed shrimp with jasmine rice

Again, I did not follow the recipe I linked to in my menu planning post!!  But, I have a very good excuse -- Chef D filled-in for me tonight.

I made the jasmine rice before I headed out to take einstein to his guitar lesson.  Chef D started on the shrimp and decided to use his sauce for sauteed crab claws instead of the lemon pepper shrimp recipe I had planned.  I am so glad he did because it was fantastic!

First, I will share a little tip I found for making this yummy and fluffy rice.  The key is to soak it for a little while (10-20 minutes) to get those elongated pieces of rice.  After straining the water off the rice, I added the 1/2 cup to 1 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and a shake or two of salt.  After it began to boil, stir then cover tightly and cook for 20 minutes on low.  After it is finished, let it sit for 5 minutes then fluff it up...just lovely.

You can find Chef D's crab claw recipe here if you, too, would like to try it with shrimp (we used the fresh frozen bagged kind from the supermarket and found it to work just as well as the one's sold as 'fresh').  Just follow the directions, omitting the crab claws.  After the sauce is finished, add in your shrimps and cook until they turn pink.  Enjoy!

Monday, March 30, 2009

marinated and grilled portobello mushrooms with rice

My schedule was a bit harried after rushing home from baseball practice to fix dinner, so I did not use the recipe I linked yesterday.  Instead, I tossed the sliced portobello mushrooms with this salad dressing that I had handy.  I let it sit for about 15 minutes then threw them on the hot grill for about 5 minutes per side.  I had planned to steam the asparagus I picked up a few days ago, but when I opened the produce bag to prepare them, I found those nasty, slimy heads.  So, instead I pulled out a box of long-grain and wild rice mix from the pantry.  Yes, it had more calories than the asparagus, but it filled in well for a last minute adjustment.

I really enjoyed the mix of flavors with the balsamic vinaigrette-infused portobellos along with the rice.  This was a nice change from the normal meat entree and was pretty easy to prepare.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

menu planning monday 03.30.09

Baseball season has begun and last week was so crazy that I let Chef D handle the menu planning.  Chef D's version of menu planning is cooking up LOTS of meat to have available during the week.  It definitely helped to reduce my stress.  But, it is back to my turn again and we only have 2 practices and no games this week.

Our weight-loss accountability program at church ended today.  Chef D came in 2nd place with an 11.8% loss of total body weight.  I came in 3rd with a 9.86% loss of total body weight.   We will begin another 8-week program starting next Sunday...just to help us stay in gear:)  So, in honor of our wins, I am again including calorie counts where available.

Monday: Marinated and grilled Portobello Mushrooms with steamed asparagus

Tuesday: Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi (403 calories); Strawberry Blueberry Crepes for our bible reading group dessert. {ended up using this recipe for the shrimp instead -- yummy!)

Apprehension-Free Wednesday: Dinner served at church will be Chicken Alfredo, green beans, salad and dessert with chicken fingers for the kiddos.

Thursday: Spicy Asian Noodles with Chicken (381 calories/1.75 cup serving) with sauteed snow peas

Friday: Fish Tacos (290 calories each) with pinto beans

I hope everyone has a great week!  For more ideas, go over to OrgJunkie and check out all the other menu plans:)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

three-cheese chicken pasta bake

I chose this recipe because I needed something within our calorie limitations that could be prepared and cooked in advance and still be easy to serve.  I knew that my daughter would not eat all of the recommended ingredients, so I made a separate smaller dish for her with only the pasta, chicken, soup, and three cheeses.  I made extra of the chicken for Monday night's meal to use with this dish.

She really enjoyed her 'special' serving.  I wish I had made more for her and less for Chef D and myself.  I liked the dish, but I am not sure sure about Chef D as he only ate a small amount.  He really isn't a big 'casserole' eater.

In the end, I would recommend it if you are looking for a cheesy casserole dish with fewer calories.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

menu planning monday 03.16.09

Schedules went all awry last week and I did not get to try the two new recipes I had posted and linked.  I am going to try one of them again this week.  It is Spring Break for my children (for both the two in elementary school as well as my college girl) so our schedules are a little different this week, too.  We have lots of ball practices so I picked out some meals that can either be made in advance or cook while we are gone (crockpot, etc).

Weigh-in this week was good for Chef D (down 3 lbs!), but not so pretty for me (gained 1 lb).  Although I kept up with my exercising, I did not do as well with my water intake and tracking the food I ate.  I will do better this week!

Monday: Spicy Honey Chicken with Spinach Apple Salad [baseball practice 5-7 pm]

Tuesday: Three-Cheese Chicken Pasta Bake [baseball practice 5-7 pm]

Wednesday:  Dinner at church this week will be Chicken Enchiladas.

Thursday: Tilapia in foil packets/Crockpot with whole-grain pilaf and crudites  [baseball 6-8 pm] [edited to add:  this tilapia recipe did NOT work for us at all -- I will not make it again]

For more menu planning ideas, click on over to $5 Dinners (filling in for Laura at OrgJunkie this week) and check it out!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

diet cookies?

Chef D suggested I make these ginger snap cookies to share at our last bible reading group.  I like ginger...a lot.  So, it was not a hard sell.  I ended up testing out, cough, several during the cooking stages -- you know, just to ensure they were of the high standards required by our group members;)  I found them to be quite tasty with a nice, spicy kick.  I particularly enjoy the bits of candied ginger. (NOTE:  Although the recipe says to cook for 12-15 minutes, only cook them for 10 minutes or they will be hard.)

My friend, Barb, tested out a few herself during the refreshment time following our discussions.  We both have been counting calories and trying to lose some weight, so we thought that our next day weigh-ins would probably not be very pretty.

We were wrong!  We both actually dropped weight and Barb jokingly suggested it was due to those ginger snaps.  It was not hard convincing me to give it another test (I love these cookies!), and sure enough I lost another pound!  This led me to do a little googling and I found several places that said ginger was a metabolism booster.  I have no proof that these cookies make you lose weight, but I think I will keep eating them just to see (you know, for the sake of science).

menu planning monday 03.09.09

I missed out on MPM last week, but got myself in gear and put together a plan for this week:)  D2's baseball coach has us running to practice four times a week so I am going to have to be creative and deliberate to have some family mealtimes.  We are still counting our calories and trying to keep them under 500 for our dinner meal.  So far this is working well -- I lost another 2.8 lbs. this past week (perhaps due to these?)!

Monday:  Chef D will be attending this month's Men's Club Dinner.  Soup and quesadillas for me and the boys. (ball practice 4:45-6:30 pm)

Tuesday: Leftover pork barbecue for sandwiches (ball practice 4:45-6:00 pm, guitar lessons 6:00-6:30 pm, bible reading group 7:00-8:00 pm)

Apprehension-Free Wednesday: Dinner at church will be lasagna, salad, bread and dessert.

Thursday:   Three Cheese Chicken Penne Florentine (345 calories/cup) with steamed green beans (44 calories/cup)  (ball practice 4:45-6:30 pm)

Saturday:  Dinner by Chef D TBD (ball practice 8-10 am -- finally a practice that does not interfere with dinner time!)

Hospitality Sunday: TBD.

Don't forget to check out OrgJunkie for more menu planning ideas:)

Monday, March 2, 2009


I had way too many distractions this past weekend and did not get a menu plan together.  Between a trip to check on my daughter away at college, a freak Alabama snowstorm, and then packing up my son for a 3-day camp, menu planning just ended up way down on the priority list.

I will just throw together something on paper to get me through this week.  Hopefully I will be back in gear by next Sunday night.

Have a great week of cooking!