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BLT (or BLTA) Sandwiches

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10 strips of Bacon, about 1lb (2 per person)
10 slices of bread per person (2 per person)
1 head of Lettuce (I like Romaine)
2 Tomatoes, sliced
1 Avocado (optional)
Mayo, mustard and anything else you like on your sandwich

 

My favorite way to cook bacon is to bake it in the oven.  So much easier, turns out perfect and easy to clean up. (from http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/breakfastcookery/ht/bacon.htm)

 

1-Line a baking sheet with foil. This will make cleanup easier later.
2-Arrange the bacon slices on the foil and place the baking sheet on the center rack of a cold oven. (Try not to stretch the slices out. Just gently drape the bacon across the pan.) Close the oven door. Turn the oven on to 400°F. Walk away.
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3- Come back 17 to 20 minutes later. As soon as the bacon is golden brown, but not excessively crisp, it’s done. The exact time will depend on the thickness of the bacon slices, and also on how quickly your oven reaches the target temperature.
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4- Remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the bacon to another sheet pan lined with paper towels to absorb any excess fat.
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Have everyone build their sandwich however they like it.  I serve this with salad.
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Beef Stroganoff (in the crock pot or stove top)

Ingredients:
1 lb of beef stew meat, cubed, frozen or not (you may want a more tender cut if you’re doing the stove top version)
1 can of cream of mushroom soup (10.75 oz)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 small can of sliced mushrooms (optional)
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 oz. (1/2 a bar) of cream cheese or ½ cup sour cream
Egg noodles, or any kind of pasta noodles or rice

Crock Pot Directions:
1-Put everything BUT the cream cheese or sour cream  and egg noodles into the Crock Pot.  You do not even have to brown the stew meat!
2-Mix together.
3-Cook on High for 5 hours or on Low for 8 hours.
4-When you are close to serving dinner, prepare about a half bag of noodles according to the package directions.  Mix in the cream cheese or sour cream about 20 minutes before serving.
5-Top the noodles with the Beef Stroganoff and enjoy.  We love this with peas or broccoli on the side.

Stove Top Directions:
1-Follow the directions on your pasta package to boil the noodles.
2-While the pasta is cooking, cut up the meat in small squares, then cut them in half to make them thinner.
3-Put a frying pan on the stove and turn the burner to medium. After it has heated up, put the meat in the pan and brown in on each side until it is no longer pink in the middle.
4-While the meat is browning, peal, wash and dice the onion and add it to the meat to cook for the last few minutes of cooking.
5-In a sauce pan add the cream of mushroom soup, water and Worcestershire sauce (and mushrooms if using them) and stir all together while you heat the mixture on medium. When everything is combined and warmed, turn the burner to low and add the sour cream (or cream cheese) and melt into the sauce.
6-Add the cooked onions and browned meat to the sauce.
7-Drain the noodles and serve the sauce over the noodles and enjoy.

*I have this crock pot and highly recommend it!
Adapted from: http://www.thefrugalfoodiemama.com/2013/01/slow-cooker-beer-stroganoff.html#.U4ZI9PldUSF
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Barbecue Chicken and Potatoes

This one is so easy and basic it doesn’t really require a recipe but I’ve been requested to put it on the blog so readers can keep track of the groceries needed for this meal for their monthly meal plan.
1.5 lbs or 5 chicken thighs, boneless skinless (can be frozen or not, can use any chicken) I like these
½ to 1 cup Bottled BBQ sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray’s)
5 potatoes
1-Wash the potatoes, poke them with a fork and set them on the middle rack in the oven.  Turn the oven to 350 degrees.
2-Place the chicken in a 9×13” pan and pour the BBQ sauce over the top.  Place the pan next to the potatoes in the oven.
3-Bake for 30 minutes if chicken is not frozen and potatoes are smaller, or up to 60 minutes if chicken is frozen and potatoes are larger. (If you’re doing larger potatoes with non frozen chicken you can microwave the potatoes for 3-6 minutes and then put them in the oven to finish baking.)
*You can also make the chicken in the crock pot by putting in the chicken, pouring on the sauce and cooking on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 5.
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BBQ chicken thigh (boneless, skinless) with baked potato, steamed broccoli & baked sweet potato plantomakeitsimple.com
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Sweet and Sour Apricot Chicken-SO easy!

1 cup Apricot or Apricot-Pineapple Jam (Peach works too)
1 cup Catalina Salad Dressing (or Russian or  French)
1 envelope dry onion soup mix (like Lipton)
3-5 lbs chicken (breasts, bone-in/boneless, thighs, tenders etc. frozen or not)
*The amount of chicken you use is very flexible.  If you use less, you’ll just have lots of sauce, and if you use more- you’ll have less sauce to spoon over rice, but there’s plenty to cook that much chicken.
1-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
2-Place the chicken in a 9×13”  pan.
3-Put the jam, Catalina dressing, cider vinegar and the onion soup packet in a bowl and stir to combine and pour over the chicken.
4-Bake for 45 minutes (if not frozen and 60 minutes if frozen.) Eat over rice.
This is a great, super easy, yummy recipe. I’m working on a “real food”/unprocessed version that I’ll be posting on the website soon.
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Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

Makes about 2 quarts (about 8 servings)
  • 2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1 cup finely diced onions
  • 1 tsp dried oregano or 1 T fresh oregano
  • 1 T dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ½ bay leaf
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cups milk or cream, warmed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
1.  Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to a large slow cooker.
2.  Cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.
3.  About 30 minutes before serving prepare a roux. Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth. Add all back into the slow cooker. Stir and add the Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half, salt and pepper.  Add additional basil and oregano if needed (the slow cooker does a number on spices and they get bland over time, so don’t be afraid to always season to taste at the end).
4.  Cover and cook on LOW for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.

Stove-Top Version
  • 3 cups diced tomatoes with juice (you can use canned)
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1 Tbsp fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup finely diced onions
  • 4 Tbsp fresh basil or 1 Tbsp dried
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups milk or cream, warmed
  • 1 tsp salt
1.  Heat oil in 4 quart soup pot.  Add celery, onions and carrots.  Saute 5 minutes.  Add basil, oregano, bay leaf, tomatoes, and chicken broth.  Bring it to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender (15 minutes).
2.  While soup simmers, prepare a roux.  Melt butter over low heat, add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 5-7 minutes.  Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup.  Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth.  Add back into soup pot.
3.  Simmer, stirring constantly, until soup begins to thicken.  Add Parmesan cheese and whisk to blend.  Stir warmed half and half, salt and pepper.  Simmer over low heat 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.


from http://utah.todaysmama.com/2012/03/20/tomato-basil-parmesan-soup-in-the-slow-cooker-or-on-the-stove-top/
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Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or other meat cut into strips
2 Tbsp oil
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 sm can green chilies
1 medium onion, sliced
1 large bell pepper, seeded and sliced (I use half a green and half a red)
12 flour tortillas
Toppings such as cheese, sour cream, and guacamole – if desired
Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken strips in a greased 13×9 baking dish.
2. In a small bowl combine the oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, dried oregano, and salt
3. Drizzle the spice mixture over the chicken and stir to coat.
4. Next add the tomatoes, green chilies, peppers, and onions to the dish and stir to combine.
5. Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Serve on tortillas with desired toppings.
(Recipe adapted from Real Mom Kitchen at http://realmomkitchen.com/9318/oven-baked-chicken-fajitas/)

 

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Pork or Beef Soft Tacos

Ingredients
1 (2.5 lb) pork roast (can use beef roast too)
1 3/4 cups beef broth
Juice of 1 lime
1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 Tbsp cumin
1/2 Tbsp onion powder or dried onions
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

 

Instructions
1. Place roast in a slow cooker along with beef broth.
2. Squeeze lime juice over roast.
3. In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.
4. Sprinkle spices over roast.
5. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
6. In the crock pot use two forks or kitchen shears to shred removing any fat.
7. Return meat to crock pot and cook for 30 minutes more.
8. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove beef from slow cooker and serve in your favorite Mexican dish.
Recipe by Real Mom Kitchen at http://realmomkitchen.com/10379/mexican-shredded-beef/
 
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Angel Chicken Pasta (crock pot or oven)


-2-3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, about 4 breasts or 6 thighs (I use frozen)
-1/4 cup butter
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad                  
dressing mix
1 cup apple juice (water works in a pinch)
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed GOLDEN MUSHROOM soup (not cream of mushroom!)
4 ounces cream cheese
1 pound angel hair pasta or any pasta you like
Crock Pot directions
1-Place the chicken in crock pot.
2-Add butter, Italian salad dressing mix, can of soup, & apple juice (or water) Not the cream cheese yet over the chicken.
3-Cook on low in the crock pot for 4-5 hours.
4- Add the cream cheese and cook it for another 30 minutes to let the cream cheese melt and stir it all together.
4-Eat over cooked angel hair pasta or other noodles or rice.

 

Oven directions
1-Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2-In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in the package of dressing mix. Blend in apple juice and golden mushroom soup. Mix in cream cheese, and stir until smooth. Heat through, but do not boil. 
3-Arrange chicken in a single layer in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Pour sauce over.
4-Bake for 60 minutes in the preheated oven.
5-Twenty minutes before the chicken is done, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil. Cook pasta until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain. Serve chicken and sauce over pasta.

 

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Healthy No Bake Cookies (no sugar/sweetened with honey)

This is one of our favorite recipes and we usually end up making these at least once a week.  Since they are whole grain, don’t have any sugar and have good protein we eat them for snacks, dessert or even for breakfast sometimes!  Since I have blood sugar issues (hypoglycemia, dysautonomia) I need to eat something every few hours that has protein in it so I always have something in my purse and these work great.  (I also always keep a little container of almonds in my purse for the same reason so if you’re ever hungry, come find me and I’ll always have a little snack!)

Both of my girls are allergic to peanuts so I developed this recipe with almond butter (I’ll post the recipe for that soon!) but peanut butter, and really any nut butter, will work. Just be aware that peanut butter has more oil than almond butter so you may need to add a little more coconut or oats to get the right consistency.

No Bake Cookies

Ingredients
3/4 Cup Honey
3 Tbs baking cocoa (unsweetened)
1/3 Cup butter
2 Cups Oats (old fashioned, quick..any oats work)
1/3 Cup Coconut, unsweetened, dried, shredded (you can replace this with more oats if needed)
1/3 Cup Almond Butter (or any nut butter or sun butter)

 1-Put the first 3 ingredients in a sauce pan over medium high heat, stirring often until they are completed melted and mixed well together.

2-Turn off the heat and stir in the oats and then the almond butter.

3-Stir in the coconut until everything is well mixed.
4-Let the mixture cool in the pan for 10 minutes or so (you can move right on to the next step but this makes things easier if you can wait.)
5-Scoop small amounts of the mixture on wax paper or aluminum foil and let the cool.  (I use my measuring  tablespoon to scoop and it works great.)

*You can freeze or refrigerate the cookies in an airtight container and then take them out one at a time as you like.  I think I actually like them best chilled. I put them in layers with a piece of aluminum foil or wax paper in between.