Monday, May 31, 2010

Weekly menu for the week of June 1

Hey everyone! Welcome to my weekly menu!

Happy Memorial Day!!! I hope you are all enjoying your holiday weekend! We are heading to the Pirate Game today and hoping for a win. Really, really hoping for a win!

You can now follow the menu on Facebook and Twitter!!! Go to Kristen Kill Reisinger’s Menus That Save on Facebook and click like!!! You will receive updates and pics throughout the week. Also follow the menu on Twitter - @menusthatsave.

This week, let’s fire up the crock-pot to kick things off. I think we forget how convenient the crock-pot is during the hot summer months. What could be simpler and cooler? Prep in the morning, hit the pool or park with the kids, and when you walk in the door prepping for dinner will be a piece of cake. AND you will not be standing over a hot stove or heating up your kitchen! The Beef and Bean Burritos are a HUGE hit with my fans. We are using the Boneless Top Round that was part of the BOGO Free special at GE last week. And once again we will reinvent our leftovers later in the week with a Friday night Happy Hour!

Next to my Caesar Chicken, Italian Marinated Chicken is my favorite. This week Giant Eagle has a special on Wishbone Italian dressing. There was a coupon a few weeks ago if you have saved them. But don’t worry – if you log into you can sign up for their newsletter and get a coupon for $.50 off! Double savings at GE!!!

This week we are picking up our first share from our CSA!!! I am so excited. It is like Christmas each week when we pick up our share – we never know what we are getting but are excited to see all of the fresh fruit and veggies. I have heard from many of you that you have opted to purchase a share in a CSA. If you haven’t, don’t forget to check out all of the amazing Farmer’s Markets around town. Remember – buy local, buy fresh!!!

Follow the plan so you can save time, money, and a few calories! Remember – cooking our own food is healthier than ordering in and eating out any day!!! Your family, wallet and waistline will thank you!

I hope you all enjoy your week, the recipes and the savings!


Happy Memorial Day!!!


Beef-and-Bean Burritos
Spanish Rice
Tossed Salad

Beef and Bean Burritos (adapted from Cooking Light)

1 (2-pound) Boneless Top Round
1 package taco seasoning mix
Cooking spray
1 medium onion, chopped
1 T white vinegar
1 small can chopped green chiles
1 can refried beans, any style
12 flour tortillas
Shredded Cheddar or Cheddar/Jack cheese
Chopped tomato
Sour cream

Trim fat from meat; rub seasoning mix over both sides of meat. Place meat in an electric slow cooker coated with cooking spray; add onion, vinegar, and green chilies. Cover with lid; cook on low-heat setting for 9 hours. Remove meat from slow cooker, reserving cooking liquid; shred meat with two forks. Combine meat and reserved cooking liquid; stir well.
Warm beans and tortillas according to package directions. Spread beans down the center of each tortilla and then spoon meat mixture on top of beans. Top each with cheese, tomato, and sour cream; roll up.


Italian Grilled Chicken
Chopped Pasta Salad
Tossed Salad

Italian Grilled Chicken

4 – 6 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup of Italian Salad Dressing

Combine chicken and dressing in a large zip-lock bag and marinate for several hours. Place the chicken on a hot grill. Grill about 5 minutes each side or until the juices run clear.

Chopped Pasta Salad (adapted from Cooking Light and hubby’s favorite!)

8 oz. uncooked ditalini pasta or mini shells
1 (14 oz.) can of petite diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
1/3 cup of capers, drained and rinsed
1 shallot, diced
¼ cup of sliced, pickled banana pepper rings, chopped
1 T. of dried parsley
2 T. cider vinegar
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
½ t. of oregano
Pinch of salt
2 oz. of Monterey Jack cheese, cut into ¼ in. cubes
1 oz. of pepperoni, chopped
½ t. of minced garlic

Cook pasta according to directions. Rinse under cold water to cool and set aside.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add the cooled pasta tossing well to combine.

This can be prepared ahead of time – we eat it the next day or even 2 days later and the flavors are amazing. Prepare whenever you have time!


Veggie Stir Fry
Steamed rice – white or brown

Veggie Stir Fry

2 T. of Canola Oil, divided
1 t. of fresh ginger
2 t. minced garlic
¼ t. of crushed red pepper – more if you like it HOT
2 cups of fresh broccoli florets
1 cup of sliced carrots
8 oz. of sliced mushrooms
1 small can of sliced water chestnuts
1 can of mini corn
1 small can of bamboo shoots
2 t. of water
½ cup of chicken broth
2 T. of rice wine vinegar
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. Hoisin sauce
1 t. of cornstarch

Heat oil in a large skillet or Wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Add veggies and ginger to pan and sauté for a few minutes. Add the water, cover and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove veggies and set aside.

Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining ingredients and add to the pan, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Return the veggies to the pan and toss so that everything is evenly coated.


Cheesy Quesadillas
Beef Nachos
Salad – make it a taco one if you like!

Cheesy Quesadillas

Shredded Monterey/Cheddar cheese
Flour tortillas

To assemble, layer cheese on top of a tortilla and place another tortilla on top. You can either place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350˚ OR you can cook in a hot skillet or griddle until cheese is melted and tortilla is crisp. Don’t forget to dip your quesadillas in sour cream and salsa!

Beef Nachos

Tortilla chips
Leftover beef and cheddar cheese.
Toppings: salsa, olives, jalapenos, sour cream, green onions

Spread tortilla chips onto a cookie sheet. Reheat beef in the microwave. Layer the beef on top of the chips. Load it up with cheddar cheese. Place the cookie sheet in a 400˚ oven until heated through and cheese has melted. To serve, plate up the nachos and have everyone add their own toppings!

And now for the shopping list. As always, double check your pantry, fridge and freezer to see if you already have any of the items listed below. This will reduce your spending and create less waste!


Medium onion – GE special
Mushrooms – GE special

Pepperoni – Coupon @

Cooking spray
White vinegar
Italian Salad Dressing – GE special on Wishbone – also coupons for Newmann’s @
Cider vinegar
Olive oil
Canola oil
Crushed red pepper flakes
Chicken broth

Canned Goods/Ethnic Foods/Dry Goods
Taco seasoning packet – coupon for Taco Bell products at
Small can of chopped green chilies
Refried beans – any style
Spanish rice
White or brown rice – coupon @ for Uncle Ben’s
Dittalini pasta – GE special on GE pasta
Petite diced tomatoes with green chilies
Pickled banana pepper rings – mild or hot
Water chestnuts
Mini corn
Bamboo shoots
Rice wine vinegar
Soy sauce
Hoisin sauce
Salsa- GE special on GE brand

Seafood/Meat Case/Butcher
2 lb. boneless top round – special from last week GE BOGO
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – GE special on 3 lb. package

Frozen Foods

2 packages of flour tortillas – taco size
Shredded cheddar cheese or Monterey/Cheddar blend – GE special on Sargento (old coupon)
Sour cream – GE special on BL
Block of Monterey Jack Cheese – GE special on Heluva Good Cheese


Tortilla chips

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Please Vote for Best in the 'Burgh!

Hey everyone - go to and vote Menus That Save as Best Blog in the 'Burgh! Hurry only a few days left to vote!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Weekly Menu for the week of May 24

Hey everyone! Welcome to my weekly menu!

I almost sent out an “Elastic Pants Warning” the night we ate the Sausage and Tomato Pasta … There is a reason we have that only a FEW times a year. I couldn’t stop eating – it is soooo good!!!

Remember I told you last week that we would be using up the rest of the shrimp? This week we are having Shrimp Tacos with a Tropical Salsa – the tacos are fantastic with or without the salsa. So if your family isn’t into fruity dinners go ahead and skip it. My hubby loves them without the salsa!

The big special this week at Giant Eagle is Buy One Get One Free Boneless Top Round London Broil. We are going to serve one this week and use the other one in a week or two. We are also taking advantage of the seasonal produce by having lots of spinach, salad and asparagus!

Summer is almost here and there are TONS of savings at GE and lots of coupons to help with your Memorial Day parties. Stock up, save and plan accordingly. I purposely did not include a lot of traditional grilling fare this week because of the holiday weekend. However, I have included a “bonus recipe” that you may want to have over the weekend. These are simply the best baked beans I have ever had!!!! This makes a bunch of beans BUT you can freeze them into servings for your family to have all summer long as a quick easy side dish.

ALSO – due to the Holiday, next week’s menu will be posted on Monday! Be safe near those big, bad grills!

Follow the plan so you can save time, money, and a few calories! Remember – cooking our own food is healthier than ordering in and eating out any day!!! Your family, wallet and waistline will thank you!

I hope you all enjoy your week, the recipes and the savings!


Shrimp Tacos with Tropical Salsa
Tossed Salad

Shrimp Tacos with Tropical Salsa - adapted from Cooking Light

1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon canned chopped green chilies
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained
1 (8-ounce) can pineapple tidbits in juice, drained

Cooking spray
1 cup yellow bell pepper strips
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 t. of minced garlic
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tomato, chopped and seeded
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
8 (6-inch – soft taco size) flour tortillas
1 1/4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

To prepare the salsa, combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill.
To prepare tacos, place a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until hot. Add bell pepper, onion, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add shrimp, tomato, cumin, and chili powder; sauté 3 minutes or until shrimp are done. Stir in cilantro. Spoon 1/2 cup shrimp mixture over one half of each tortilla, and top with about 3 tablespoons cheese and 2 tablespoons salsa; fold tortillas in half.


Cajun Chicken Cakes
Horseradish-Garlic Sauce
Broiled Asparagus

Cajun Chicken Cakes – Adapted from Cooking Light – similar to crab cakes

3 T. Plain breadcrumbs
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – about a pound
¼ cup of chopped fresh chives
3 T. mayonnaise
1 ½ t. of Cajun seasoning
¼ t. salt
1 large egg
1 T. of Canola Oil
4 Hamburger buns (optional – only if preparing as a sandwich)

Cut the chicken into large pieces and then place in a food processor and pulse until the chicken is ground. Combine the breadcrumbs and the next 4 ingredients in a bowl. Add the ground chicken and divide into 8 portions so that each patty is about ½” thick.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the patties and cook about 7 minutes on each side or until the chicken patties are cooked all the way through. Serve the patties with or without a bun. Top with the Horseradish-Garlic sauce. If making as sandwiches add some crisp lettuce leaves.

Horseradish-Garlic Sauce

4 T. of mayo
4 t. of horseradish
2 t. of minced garlic
Pinch of salt

Combine all of the ingredients while the chicken is cooking or it can be prepared in advance and chilled. Serve the sauce on top of the chicken cakes.

*** the kids LOVED this sauce and told me that it tasted like the Ranch dressing at Houlihan’s

Broiled Asparagus

1 bunch of asparagus
1 T. of olive oil
Salt and pepper

Trim off the bottom inch of the asparagus. Spread out on a jelly-roll pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt (I prefer Kosher) and pepper. Toss so that the asparagus is evenly coated. Lay flat and place under the broiled for about 5 minutes until the asparagus has crisped a little.


London Broil
Sautéed Spinach
Baked Potato

London Broil (adapted from Weber’s Big Book of Grilling) – Double Duty!

½ cup of olive oil
½ cup of red wine vinegar
2 T. of Balsamic vinegar
2 t. of chopped rosemary
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 t. of kosher salt
1 t. fresh ground pepper
1 Top Round– 3-4lbs. – cut thick for London Broil

Combine all of the ingredients in a large zip-lock bag and marinate for at least 8 hours – preferably overnight.

Remove the beef from the bag and discard the marinade. Place beef on a hot grill and grill about 10 minutes each side or until desired doneness. Remove the beef from the grill and let rest for at least 5 minutes. Cut the beef in thin slices against the grain and serve warm.

*** We will use leftovers later in the week – plan accordingly – if you need to double it go for it!


Bow-Tie Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms
Tossed Salad

Bow-Tie Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms – adapted from Cooking Light

8 ounces uncooked bow-tie pasta
2 T. olive oil, divided
1 large red pepper sliced
2 cups of sliced mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 T. balsamic vinegar (original recipe calls for 3 T. – too sweet for me)
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 t. salt
1 pkg. of baby spinach
1/2 C. grated parmesan cheese
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper, mushrooms, and garlic, and sauté for 10 minutes. Combine 1 tablespoon oil, vinegar, mustard, and salt in a large bowl.
Drain pasta. Add pasta, spinach, and mushroom mixture to bowl; toss well. Serve with cheese and black pepper, if desired.

***Kid Tip*** Kids may not be interested in this dish. Cook the entire box of pasta and toss with a little butter and parmesan.


Steak Hoagies
Garlic Fries
Berries with Whipped Cream

Steak Hoagies

Leftover slices of London Broil
1 large onion, sliced
2 T. of olive oil
1 small pkg. of mushrooms, sliced
Slices of provolone cheese or shredded mozzarella
Hoagie rolls

Preheat oven to 400˚

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion slices and sauté until they begin to caramelize. Remove the onions from the skillet and add the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms are done put the onions back in the skillet and heat through.

Meanwhile, warm the sliced beef in the microwave. Open the hoagie rolls and place cheese on both sides. Top with slices of beef and onions and mushrooms. Place the sandwiches on a cookie sheet and put in the oven until the cheese has melted and the roll is toasted.

Remove the hoagies and top with mayo, lettuce, sliced tomatoes, or whatever your family likes!

Garlic Fries (adapted from Cooking Light)

3 pounds peeled baking potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
4 teaspoons Canola oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons butter
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. parsley
2 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine first 3 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag, tossing to coat.
Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 50 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning after 20 minutes.
Place butter and garlic in a large nonstick skillet; cook over low heat 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add potatoes, parsley, and cheese to pan; toss to coat. Serve immediately.

***Bonus Recipe***

Kristen’s Baked Beans

This recipe makes 2 - 9x13 trays or 2 - 2 qt. casserole dishes. It freezes great or you can halve it pretty easy if you don't want to make that much.

2 pounds hamburger
1 diced white onion
1 chopped green pepper
4 (21 ounce each) cans of baked beans
1 44 ounce bottle ketchup
2 T mustard
1 cup brown sugar
1 t garlic powder
2 T Worcestershire
1 bottle Hot and Spicy Barbecue Sauce – I prefer KC Masterpiece for this recipe

Brown meat, onion and pepper, and drain. Mix baked beans, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, garlic powder, Worcestershire and barbecue sauce. Add beef mixture. Place in the casserole dishes, cover, and bake at 300 for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

And now for the shopping list. As always, double check your pantry, fridge and freezer to see if you already have any of the items listed below. This will reduce your spending and create less waste!


Green Onions
Yellow bell pepper
Red bell pepper
Onion – GE special on Vidalia
Red onion
Garlic – LOTS check out the Garlic Fries recipe
Tomato - GE special on Stem Tomatoes
Rosemary – or you could use dried
Asparagus – GE special
Fresh spinach – 2 or 3 bags – GE special on bagged Spinach
Potatoes – GE special 2 for $4/5lb. bags – do NOT need to buy both to get the special
Salad – GE special on bagged salad
Mushrooms – 2 or 3 small packages
Berries – GE special – buy your favorites
BONUS ITEMS – Green pepper, onion

Parmesan cheese – GE special on DiGiorno

Chili powder
Cajun seasoning
Mayonnaise – Coupon from Tuesday’s section
Canola oil
Olive oil
Cooking spray
Red wine vinegar
Balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt
Dijon Mustard
BONUS ITEMS – Ketchup, BBQ Sauce – Hot and Spicy (coupon), Worcestershire (coupon), Mustard, brown sugar and garlic powder – GE specials on Ketchup, BBQ, Mustard

Canned Goods/Ethnic Foods/Dry Goods
Green chilies
11 oz. can of mandarin oranges
8 oz. can of pineapple tidbits
Farfalle or Bow-tie pasta
BONUS ITEM – 4 (21 oz. cans) baked beans – GE special

Seafood/Meat Case/Butcher
1 lb. of large shrimp – check your freezer from last week
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – about 1 pound – check freezer
Boneless Top Round – GE special BOGO free!!!
BONUS ITEM – 2 lbs of hamburger

Frozen Foods

Flour tortillas – taco size – Sunday coupon for ChiChi’s brand – may find with salsas
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Provolone Slices – GE special on Sargento PLUS coupon in the Sunday paper!!!
Whipped cream

Plain breadcrumbs
Hamburger buns


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Weekly menu for the week of May 17

Hey everyone! Welcome to my weekly menu!

We are preparing quick and easy recipes this week to save you time and money in the kitchen. The pasta is a family and fan favorite!!! We are also grilling up a Double Duty Meal this week. Grill once and reinvent the leftovers for a super quick and easy dinner. Don’t be afraid to use up the leftover pork the same way we are using the chicken. Either recipe will work great for fajitas.

The shrimp that is on special this week is for a 2 lb. bag. We will use one pound this week and the rest next week. Some of you may remember Shrimp Tacos with a pineapple orange salsa??? Just wait until next week – YUM!!!

Wanted to remind everyone of a money-saving shopping tip – the Divide and Conquer Plan. If you would like to shop in bulk to realize the savings but do not have the space to store all of the goods, shop with a friend or family member. Hit Costco or Sam’s Club and take advantage of everyday specials but don’t worry about waste or lack of storage. Grab a coffee with your friend and peruse the store together, then head home and divide up the goods. Shopping is always more fun when you can share it with a good friend.

Here is this week’s menu – ENJOY!!!


Sausage Tomato Pasta
Tossed Salad
Garlic Bread

Sausage and Tomato Pasta (one of our favorites!!!)

½ lb. of sweet Italian sausage – bulk or casings removed
½ lb. of hot Italian sausage – bulk or casings removed
2 cans of petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 T. of dried parsley
½ cup of heavy cream or ½ and ½
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb. of curly pasta – rotini or cavatappi
1 cup of parmesean cheese

Brown sausage in a large skillet with a little olive oil. Once browned, add tomatoes and parsley. Cook for about 10 minutes. Stir in cream and simmer until it thickens a little. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta. Add sauce to pasta and toss. Serve with cheese.

*** Could use all hot or all sweet sausage … depends on everyone’s taste buds.


Tequila Grilled Chicken – Double Duty!!!
Mexican Rice
Steamed Green Beans

Tequila Grilled Chicken (adapted from Weber’s Big Book of Grilling Cookbook)

Juice of 4 limes
½ cup of olive oil
4 T. of Tequila
2 t. of kosher salt
1/4 t. of cayenne pepper
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Place chicken in a large zip-lock bag. Mix together the remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Marinate for about 1 hour, turning once so that the chicken is evenly coated. Place chicken on a hot grill and cook for about 5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of each breast.

This is a Double Duty dinner which means we are using the leftover chicken later in the week!

Mexican Rice

Prepare rice according to the package’s directions. BUT add ½ cup of salsa (for every 4 servings) to the water prior to adding the rice.


Spicy Citrus Grilled Pork
Wild rice

Spicy Citrus Grilled Pork (adapted from Weber’s Big book of Grilling)

4 pork chops – bone-in or boneless – about ¾ - ½” thick
½ cup of orange juice or pineapple
1 T. rice vinegar
1 T. olive oil
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. minced shallots
1 t. minced garlic
1 t. Sriracha (hot chili-garlic sauce)
½ t. salt
¼ t. cumin
¼ t. pepper

Put all of the ingredients in a large zip lock bag and marinate at least for 4 hours, all day or overnight if possible. Place chops on a hot grill and grill for a few minutes each side. Discard the marinade.


Chicken Fajitas
Chips and Salsa
Refried Beans

Chicken Fajitas

Leftover chicken, sliced
1 T. of olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 red pepper or green pepper, sliced
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour Cream

Sauté the onion and pepper in a skillet with olive oil. Add the sliced chicken and cook until heated through. Warm tortillas according to the package and assemble the fajitas!


Caesar Salad
Garlic Shrimp
French Baguette

Garlic Shrimp (one of our favorites – sooooo quick and easy)

1/3 cup of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, sliced or minced
1 t. red pepper flakes
1 lb. of large shrimp, shells on or off, definitely deveined (more flavor with shells on vs. less mess with shells off)
2 t. paprika
¼ cup of sherry cooking wine or dry sherry
¼ cup of fresh parsley or 1 T. of dried
Fresh lemon juice to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot. Add the garlic and stir until golden. Add the red pepper flakes and shrimp. Cook for 1 minute, stirring often, until the shrimp are pink and just firm to touch. Sprinkle the shrimp with the paprika, stir and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the sherry and boil the mixture for 30 seconds and sprinkle with parsley. Season with salt and pepper and lemon juice to taste. Remove from pan and place in a serving dish.

Serve at room temperature and pass with the crusty bread so you can “mop” up the sauce! This is really an appetizer BUT we like to eat it as a dinner when the weather is nice. Pair it with a crisp white wine. I prefer Pinot Grigio this time of year!

Caesar Salad Dressing (adapted from the Food Network)

4 t. of Dijon Mustard
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1-2 t. of anchovy paste (optional)
2 t. of Worcestershire sauce
Couple dashes of hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 2 lemons
1 T. of red wine vinegar
½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup of water

1/3 cup of parmesan cheese
Romaine lettuce chopped

In a blender or food processor, combine all of the ingredients except the oil and water. Puree until smooth. With the motor running, add the oil in a slow stream and then blend in the water. The dressing will keep for one week, covered and chilled.

Toss chopped romaine lettuce, croutons and parmesan cheese with the dressing.

Love this recipe because it does not have the traditional ingredient of raw egg!!!

And now for the shopping list. As always, double check your pantry, fridge and freezer to see if you already have any of the items listed below. This will reduce your spending and create less waste!


Salad – GE special on bagged salad - $1 … what a bargain!!!
Green beans – GE special
4 limes
3 Lemons
Asparagus - GE special
Onion – GE special on Vidalia
Green or red pepper

Bread for Garlic Toast

Parmesan cheese
Olive oil
Cayenne pepper
Red pepper flakes
Sherry cooking wine
Dijon mustard
Worcestershire sauce
Hot sauce
Red wine vinegar

Canned Goods/Ethnic Foods/Dry Goods
2 cans of petite diced tomatoes
1 pound of pasta – rotini or cavatappi – GE special on GE brand - $1 per box!!!
Rice – brown or white – GE special on Uncle Ben’s PLUS coupon from Tuesday!!!
Wild rice – GE special on Uncle Ben’s PLUS coupon from Tuesday!!!
Rice vinegar
Soy sauce
Sriracha (hot chile garlic sauce)
Refried beans
Anchovy paste – optional

Seafood/Meat Case/Butcher
Sweet or Hot or both Italian Sausage –GE special
8 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts –GE special
4 pork chops – bone-in or boneless – check freezer! I still have leftovers! - GE special on Bone-in
Shrimp – raw – GE special on 2 lb. frozen bag

Frozen Foods

Heavy cream or ½ and ½
OJ or pineapple – don’t forget about the Tropicana Rewards! – GE special on Minute Maid
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream – GE special on Daisy – look for internet coupon or a coupon from a previous week


Tortilla chips
White wine
Margarita mix – if you wish to have a nice frozen drink to quench your thirst

Follow the plan so you can save time, money, and a few calories! Remember – cooking our own food is healthier than ordering in and eating out any day!!! Your family, wallet and waistline will thank you!

I hope you all enjoy your week, the recipes and the savings!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Weekly Menu for the week of May 10

Happy Mother’s Day!!!!

I hope you all enjoy this special day by relaxing and doing things for yourself!!! We have lots to celebrate here – mother’s day and it is my youngest daughter’s birthday! My son lost one of his top teeth and the oldest will celebrate her birthday on Wednesday – LOTS of cake!!! As a result I am going to try extra hard to keep the meals a bit light this week. Which means you all should enjoy some cake too!!! ;)

Although we had Caesar Chicken about 6 weeks ago, we are going to throw it on the grill again because 1. it is soooo good, 2. it is light and healthy, and 3. there is a coupon AND Giant Eagle is having a special on Ken’s Salad Dressings!!! Double Savings!!!! This chicken is so versatile! Eat it by itself or slice it up for salad or a wrap!

I have heard rave reviews about the salmon – although I look like a blowfish if I eat it. Gotta love allergies! The ravioli and the tuna melts are so easy and delicious AND everything is on special! ENJOY!!!


Grilled Salmon with a Mustard-Molasses Glaze
Wild rice
Broiled Asparagus

Grilled Salmon with a Mustard-Molasses Glaze (adapted from Southern Living)

½ cup of coarse-grain mustard
1/3 cup of molasses
¼ cup of red-wine vinegar
6 (4-5 oz.) salmon fillets
Salt and pepper

Whisk the first three ingredients together. Sprinkle the fillets with salt and pepper. Brush the fillets with half of the mustard mixture.

Grill fillets for 4-5 minutes per side or place under the broiler for about the same time until the fish begins to flake. Remove from the grill or broiler and baste with remaining glaze.

***leftover/lunch idea*** Throw the leftover salmon on top of field greens dressed with vinaigrette and serve sliced strawberries on the side.


Baked Ravioli
Garlic Bread

Baked Ravioli

1 pkg. of frozen ravioli – cheese or meat
1 jar of your favorite sauce or 3 cups of your homemade
2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese

Prepare the ravioli according to its directions. While the ravioli is draining, add the sauce to the pot and heat through. Gently combine the ravioli and sauce, stirring until coated. Place in a 9x13 baking dish and cover with shredded cheese. Bake at 350˚ until the ravioli is heated through and the cheese has melted.


Grilled Caesar Chicken
Sautéed Spinach with Feta
Roasted Red Peppers or sautéed
Steamed Rice

Grilled Caesar Chicken – Double this recipe if you want leftovers for wraps and lunches!

1 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded out
¾ cup of Caesar salad dressing – preferably Ken’s Light Caesar Dressing

Marinate the chicken in the salad dressing at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove chicken and grill about 6-8 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the chicken, over medium heat. Discard marinade. Remove from the grill, cover with foil and let rest while you prepare the spinach.

Sautéed Spinach with Feta

1 -2 pkgs. of fresh baby spinach or 1-2 boxes of frozen (this depends on how many Popeyes you have in your house)
1 T. of olive oil
1 -2 t. of fresh, minced garlic (depends on how much spinach)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 T. of crumbled feta cheese

Heat oil and garlic in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach and toss until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Just prior to serving add the feta cheese and stir just until it begins to melt.

***Time-Saving Tip*** I buy roasted red peppers in the jar that are pre-sliced. I just warm them a little in the microwave or serve at room temperature. They are very good!


Tuna Melts

Tuna Melts

1 or 2 – 6 oz. cans of Tuna Fish, drained
2-4 T. of Mayo
1 stalk of celery, diced
½ red pepper, diced
¼ cup of diced cucumber
Salt and Pepper to taste
English Muffins
Sliced Tomatoes
Cheddar Cheese

Combine Tuna, Mayo, and veggies. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside

Toast English Muffins. Once toasted, place a scoop of Tuna Salad on each muffin half. Top with a slice of tomato and shredded cheddar cheese. Place under the broiler until the cheese melts.


“Wrap It Up” This is how we will use any leftovers and reduce waste and continue to save $$$!!!

Chicken Wraps

Chicken Wraps – These are great for a dinner on the go! Baseball anyone???

Leftover Caesar chicken, sliced into strips
Roasted Red Peppers, sliced – or leftover sautéed peppers
Cucumbers, chopped
Feta Cheese
Caesar Salad Dressing
Large tortillas – burrito size

To assemble, spread hummus on a tortilla, top with chicken strips, slices of roasted red peppers, cucumbers, feta cheese and lettuce or spinach leaves. Drizzle with Caesar dressing and wrap it up and enjoy!!!

And now for the shopping list. As always, double check your pantry, fridge and freezer to see if you already have any of the items listed below. This will reduce your spending and create less waste!


Salad – GE special on bagged salad
Spinach – GE special on bagged spinach
Grapes – GE special
Red pepper – GE special
Tomato – GE special

Bread for garlic toast
Feta cheese

Coarse-grain mustard
Red wine vinegar
Olive oil
Ken’s Light Caesar dressing – GE special AND coupon from Sunday

Canned Goods/Ethnic Foods/Dry Goods
Wild Rice
White rice
Spaghetti sauce – GE special on organic and Del Grosso
Roasted red peppers – could buy fresh and sauté
1 or 2 cans of tuna – GE special on Bumblebee

Seafood/Meat Case/Butcher
4-6 salmon fillets - GE special
1 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts- more if you want extras for leftovers!

Frozen Foods
Ravioli – meat or cheese – GE special on Rosetta

Mozzarella cheese – GE special on Kraft
Large tortillas - also check Deli for other varieties
Cheddar cheese – GE special on Kraft

English muffins

Chips – GE special on Lays

Follow the plan so you can save time, money, and a few calories! Remember – cooking our own food is healthier than ordering in and eating out any day!!! Your family, wallet and waistline will thank you!

I hope you all enjoy your week, the recipes and the savings!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Weekly menu for the week of May 3

Hey everyone! Welcome to this week’s menu!

Sorry for the delay … It was my big girl’s First Communion today! WOW – how time flies!

This is a great menu! Lots of specials and we are using up ALL of the leftovers in new and tasty ways! It is also Cinco de Mayo this week and thus my taste buds are geared up for a siesta!!!! ENJOY!!!

Additional Specials – GE has Johnsonville fresh sausage on sale AND there is a coupon in Sunday’s paper. Coupon for Pepperoni if you do a traditional pizza night.


Roasted Chicken (double duty)
Wild Rice
Balsamic Glazed Carrots

Roasted Chicken

2 whole chickens – roasting or fryers – depending on the size of your family
2 T. olive oil
Poultry seasoning
4 sprigs of fresh sage and thyme (or 2 t. of dried sage and thyme)
2 onions, quartered

Remove and discard giblets from chicken; rinse under cold water and pat dry. Rub chickens with olive oil. Place onion and fresh herbs inside the cavity of each chicken. (If you are using dried herbs, sprinkle on the outside of the chicken.) Sprinkle with poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.

If desired, tie ends of legs together with heavy string. Lift wing tips up and under chicken. Place chickens, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. (Some people like to cook theirs breast side down. Just be sure to turn it breast side up for the last ½ hour of cooking so they can get nice and browned.) Bake according to the package. Usually, a 4-5lb chicken will cook at 375˚ for 1 hour and 50 minutes or until juices run clear or a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 180˚. Please adjust the cooking time to the weight of your chicken. When in doubt – just wait for the built in timer to pop! This can be found in the breast of the chicken.

Serve one roasted chicken and cover and refrigerate the other for later use.

Prepare the carrots while your chicken is resting – be sure to keep your chicken covered with foil while the carrots are in the oven so it stays warm.

Balsamic Glazed Carrots (This is our favorite way to eat carrots)

1 pkg of baby carrots
Olive or Canola oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 450˚. Place carrots on jelly-roll pan. Drizzle with oil and vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. The carrots will be slightly glazed and firm, not mushy.


Grilled Portobello Burgers – Make an extra one for later in the week.
Tossed Salad

Grilled Portobello Burgers (adapted from Cooking Light)

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 T. olive oil
1 T. Dijon Mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1 red bell pepper, cut in half and seeded
4 (4-inch) Portobello mushroom caps
Cooking spray
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 T. of olive oil
4 Kaiser rolls
1/2 cup soft goat cheese or crumbled gorgonzola or feta

Prepare grill to medium-high heat.
Combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mustard and garlic in a large bowl. Add bell peppers and Portobello mushrooms; toss gently to coat - can marinate up to 1 hour or not at all. Remove vegetables from vinegar mixture, and discard vinegar mixture. Place bell peppers and mushrooms on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side. Remove vegetables from grill; cool slightly. Cut bell peppers into thin strips. Combine bell peppers, basil, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl.
Cut rolls in half horizontally and brush cut sides with olive oil; place on grill, cut side down and grill until just toasted. Arrange 1 mushroom cap on bottom half of each roll; top each serving with about 1/3 cup bell pepper mixture, cheese and top half of roll.


Taco Night

Regular Beef or Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos
Black Bean and Corn Salad

Fish Tacos

¼ cup sour cream
2 T. lime juice
Salt and pepper
¼ small cabbage – red or green – thinly shredded (about 2 ½ cups)
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno, sliced in half lengthwise, ½ of pepper minced
2 T. olive oil
1 lb. tilapia fillets
8 flour tortillas – taco size
½ cup of fresh cilantro leaves

In a large bowl combine sour cream and lime. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside half of the sour cream mixture for serving. Toss cabbage, scallions and minced jalapeno with the remaining mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil and remaining jalapeno half, swirling around to coat the bottom of the pan. The idea is to infuse the oil with a little heat from the pepper. Season fish with salt and pepper. Cook fish in skillet until golden brown on all sides, about 5-6 minutes. It is ok if the fish falls apart because you are going to stuff the tacos with it. Discard the jalapeno.

Warm tortillas in the microwave covered with paper towels or in the oven wrapped in foil. Fill each tortilla with slaw, fish and top each with fresh cilantro. If cilantro is not your thing you could substitute fresh parsley. Drizzle with reserved sour cream mixture. Serve immediately!

***Time Saving Tip**** Buy pre-shredded angel hair cabbage. This will be found near the bagged salads.

Black Bean and Corn Salad

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of white corn, drained and rinsed
1 diced avocado
¼ cup of red onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
¼ cup of chopped cilantro
Juice of 2 limes
¼ t. cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. This can be eaten alone or with tortilla chips.

Regular Tacos

Usually, one pound of beef will feed a family of four. Don’t be afraid of leftovers – we will use them again!


Chicken Taco Salad
Tortilla chips
Fresh Fruit

Chicken Taco Salad (Adapted from Cooking Light)

1/3 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
2/3 cup of light sour cream
1 T. of minced chipotle chili, canned in adobo sauce
1 t. of cumin
1 t. of chili powder
Juice of one lime
Salt to taste

4 cups of shredded romaine lettuce
2 cups of shredded cooked chicken – leftover from Monday night
1 cup of grape or cherry tomatoes cut in half
Leftover Black Bean and corn salad

Combine all of the ingredients of the dressing and let chill for about 1 hour.

Combine the remaining ingredients and toss gently with the dressing. Serve immediately.


Pizza Night

Pizza Night – Any way you like it!

This night is all about your favorite pizza! You can either order in or make your own! Our favorite way to make “homemade” pizzas is to use flatbread. We buy our flatbread at Costco. It comes in a double pack – they call it “pocketless pita bread.” We keep it in the freezer and pull out however many we need. They are the perfect size for individual pizzas!

Here are some ways to build your pizza:

Traditional toppings – pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions, peppers, etc. – you get the idea!

Leftover Mushroom Pizza:
- bush the flatbread with olive oil, minced garlic and sprinkle oregano on top. Cover with mozzarella cheese and bake in a 450˚ oven until the crust is crisp and the cheese has melted – about 8-10 minutes.
- top with leftover sautéed mushrooms, sliced caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, sliced, (in the jar is fine) and sprinkle crumbled goat cheese or feta.
- after you have topped your pizza, place it back in the oven and broil until the toppings are warmed and the cheese begins to melt.

Leftover Taco Pizza:
- brush the flatbread with olive oil, minced garlic, and sprinkle chili powder on top. Cover with Monterey Jack/Cheddar blend cheese and bake in a 450˚ oven until the crust is crisp and the cheese has melted – about 8-10 minutes.
- Top with leftover taco meat. Sprinkle additional cheese on top and place under the broiler until the cheese has melted and the toppings are warmed.
Dollop with salsa and sour cream and fresh cilantro if you have some on hand. Add shredded lettuce and sliced olives.

And now for the shopping list. As always, double check your pantry, fridge and freezer to see if you already have any of the items listed below. This will reduce your spending and create less waste!


Baby Carrots – GE special
2 onions
Red bell pepper
Portobello mushroom caps – GE special
Fresh basil
4 limes – GE special
Small red or green cabbage – look for the shredded cabbage in the bag – it may be more efficient
Green onions – GE special
2 Jalapenos
Fresh cilantro
Avocado - GE special
Red onions
Fresh fruit – GE special on strawberries and blackberries
Romaine lettuce
Grape or cherry tomatoes

Kaiser rolls
Goat cheese or gorgonzola cheese
Pizza crust or flatbread

Olive oil
Poultry seasoning
Sage – could use fresh
Thyme – could use fresh
Balsamic vinegar
Dijon mustard
Cayenne pepper
Chili powder

Canned Goods/Ethnic Foods/Dry Goods
Wild Rice
Black beans – GE special on GE brand
White corn
Taco seasoning – if making regular tacos – GE special on Ortega
Chipotle chili in adobo sauce
Taco shells – GE special on Ortega

Seafood/Meat Case/Butcher
2 whole, fryer or roasting chickens
1 lb. of Tilapia or ground beef – depends on which tacos – GE special on Tilapia – leftover ground beef from last week

Frozen Foods

Sour cream – GE special on Breakstone’s
Flour tortillas – taco size – GE special on Mission
Cheddar cheese – GE special on Kraft


Tortilla chips

Follow the plan so you can save time, money, and a few calories! Remember – cooking our own food is healthier than ordering in and eating out any day!!! Your family, wallet and waistline will thank you!

I hope you all enjoy your week, the recipes and the savings!