Author Archives: heidigreb

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

I have not updated in a long time.  The reason for this is that I have been insanely busy, looking for a house, and now in the middle of purchasing our very first home!  I will be updating more after we are settled.  I am especially looking forward to posting the decoration process of this new home.  I will post pictures as we progress.

Sweet Potato Protein Shake

Sweet Potato Protein Shake

So I have trying to do protein shakes as meal replacements for my current daily diet plan.  I am not doing fad diets because I think they are silly.  Since these are replacement breakfast every morning and lunch on occasion as well, I want to make sure I have the nutrients I need.  So for this shake, it may sound odd but it is truly the tastiest shake I have made so far.

* 1-2 bananas

* Handful of fresh spinach

* 1 medium sweet potato

* 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder

* 1-1 1/2 cups vanilla almond milk (or however much you think you need)

Peel the sweet potato and put it in the microwave for about 3 minutes or until soft.  Cube and add to the blender.  Add the remaining ingredients and blend!  It is super simple and incredibly tasty.  I categorized this as breakfast but this was actually my lunch today.  For breakfast I used a frozen fruit medley instead of a sweet potato.  I liked the sweet potato for lunch because it made me feel like I was eating something meatier.

Gouda Bacon Pork Chops

Gouda Bacon Pork Chops

Ok, I know its been a while.  I, however, am back with an awesome recipe of my own creation.  I had intended to make this stuffed pork chop recipe and then realized (after buying ingredients) that it was for a grill.  We don’t have a grill just yet.  So this is what I did:

*  In a bowl, combine about a tbsp of garlic salt with some black pepper (I didn’t really measure).

* Took 4 boneless pork chops, sprinkling the mixture on both sides, and placed them in the oven on broil for about 6-7 minutes per side.

*  While the pork chops were cooking, I cooked 5 pieces of bacon in the microwave on a paper towel placed on a plate for 4 minutes and 30 seconds.  I find that I can get crisp bacon this way without the risk of it burning (I usually burn it if I try to get the bacon crisp in a pan).

*  When the pork chops were done I broke each bacon piece in half and placed on top of the pork chops (one piece of bacon each, reserving the 5th to crumble on top when done).

*  Place a slice of smoked gouda cheese on top of each chop.

*  Place the chops back under the broiler just long enough to melt the cheese (about 1 minute and 30 seconds).

I served with garlic mashed potatoes.  This meal was the best I have produced so far.  My husband, who hates pork chops and loves cake, informed me that the the pork chops were BETTER THAN CAKE.  Yes, I am very proud.  My only regret is that I didn’t make more chops.

Pesto Pizza and Fruit Salad

Pesto Pizza and Fruit Salad

I made two Pesto Pizzas paired with a Fruit Salad for dinner a couple nights ago.  Both were  a huge hit!  I made one pizza following the recipe and a second pizza with pepperoni for my husband.  I think that a ham would taste great on this as well.  I had to change the fruit salad a little.  I left out the strawberries.  This wasn’t for taste or allergies though.  I think that it would have been wonderful with the strawberries.  I simply forgot to buy enough strawberries to make this fruit salad when I bought the strawberries for the trifle.  The fruit salad was still absolutely wonderful.

Smoked Turkey Wrap

Smoked Turkey Wrap

I chose the smoked turkey wrap since it looked healthy and simple.  There was no real cooking involved at all.  Our family loves avocados, so any meal we can add them to we will.  The only thing I did differently was the heating of the wraps.  I put them in the microwave and flipped them every 30 seconds until they were warmed.

I paired it with a BLT Salad.  I used regular white bread instead of french bread.  I think that the french bread would have added more of a crunch.  If you use a regular white bread, baking it would probably make it crunchier than pan frying.  Overall, the whole family loved this dinner.  I enjoyed the leftover salad for lunch the next day!

Summer Fruit Trifle

Summer Fruit Trifle

I chose to make the Summer Fruit Trifle with our tofu meal since the whole meal had a very “summery” vibe.  I think dessert was everyones favorite part!  The only real reason the dessert was time consuming was because I had to bake an angel food cake first.  Since it can be chilled, the dessert could be made first thing in the morning.  This way the you don’t have to worry about making a cake while trying to cook dinner.  I will definitely be making this dessert to take so summer bbq’s!

Barbecue Tofu Sandwich

Barbecue Tofu Sandwich

My 6 year old son has been asking me to make something with tofu for a few months now.  He does not like most meats so meal time is very stressful.  I bit the bullet and decided to try an easy recipe that I found, the Barbecue Tofu Sandwich.  Since I am new to cooking with tofu I chose to read everyones comments, reviews, and suggestions.  I made sure to follow some of those suggestions so that I did not get it wrong.  I omitted the onions, of course, and added in some chopped mushrooms.  I made sure to drain the tofu between paper towels and plates for 20-30 minutes.  Then I sliced the tofu and placed it in the freezer for an hour.  While cooking the tofu did fall apart and look a little more like scrambled egg whites.  This was not discouraging because bbq sandwiches are usually made with shredded meat anyway, not meat slices.  I put the tofu mixture on a bun with a tomato.  The whole family enjoyed the end result.  I would like to make a small note.  3 tbsp seemed to be too much oil.  I would cut it down to 2 I think.  I ended up dumping some of it out since I almost started a grease fire with 3!

The fresh tomato salad was our side of choice with the tofu sandwiches.  I did change it up a bit.  I left out the onions and bell peppers.  The salad was pretty good but it had an unpleasant bite.  I think that leaving out the garlic and substituting olive oil for the vinegar would have cut the bite out of it.  It all really is a matter of personal taste.  For us, the salad was too overpowering.


Chicken/Bacon

Chicken/Bacon

This meal is is sort of a hodgepodge of recipes I found and then modified to fit my specific needs.  The list of ingredients for the whole meal are as follows:

  • 4 chicken breast
  • 1 lb bacon
  • 1 cup mexican blend finely shredded cheese
  • as much whole grain pasta as you think you need
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2-15 oz cans green beans

I cup the bacon up and then cooked thoroughly.  I set the bacon aside and added half of the drippings to the green beans.  I dumped the rest of the drippings.  Then I added 2 tbsp olive oil and a tbsp butter to the pan.  Then I added the cubed chicken breasts (and half a tsp salt) and cook until almost done.  I added 1 clove garlic (minced) and finished cooking the chicken.  Once the chicken was done, I added the bacon back in and topped everything with the cheese.  I let stand (removed from the heat) until the cheese melted.  Meanwhile, in a large pot of water, I cooked my noodles as per the directions on the box.  In a small sauce pan I melted 2 tbsp butter.  Then I added 3 garlic cloves (minced), 2 tbsp lemon juice, and 1/2 tsp salt.  I heated until the garlic was tender.  I tossed the sauce with the cooked, drained noodles. The green beans and bacon drippings I heated until there was almost no liquid left.  The meal was delicious.

Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup

I have made lasagna soup a couple of times from a couple of different recipes.  I didn’t look one up this time.  I just grabbed whatever I had and put it together how I felt it should go.  I used:

  • Half a box of lasagna noodles, broken up
  • 1 28 oz of tomato sauce
  • 1 28 oz of diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can of corn, drained
  • 1.5 lbs ground beef, browned
  • approximately 1 tbsp of italian seasoning.

I put this all in one pot to cook until the noodles were cooked.  I then topped each bowl with some mozzarella cheese.  The soup turned out great with the exception of there being too many noodles.  I would use half as much next time.

Chicken Quesadilla

Chicken Quesadilla

I decided that since I had the basic ingredients to make it I would throw together a quesadilla for dinner.  I cut up and cooked 4 chicken breasts.  Then I mixed them with some taco seasoning and water.  I let it cook for 5 minutes, until the liquid was mostly gone.  While the chicken was cooking I heated an electric skillet to about 350 F.  I sprayed the skillet with a fat free butter spray.  I placed one whole grain tortilla on the skillet, topped it with a monterey jack cheese, some of the chicken mixture, some refried beans, and more cheese.  The place another shell on top.  I let the quesadilla cook for just a couple of minutes on each side, until the cheese was melted.  This made 4 quesadillas.  Everyone, including the kids, seemed to enjoy the food.  I think, had I not forgotten it, that the food would have been great with some sour cream on top.  I might even consider guacamole as well.