Post Turkey Day Detox

My 4 little turkeys on Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving has come and gone yet again. And though it certainly looked different this year, some things never change…

I ate my body weight in cheesy, carb-loaded goodness, slept late and relaxed around the house every day, and am now ready to take on a new week (aside from my 5:30 alarm clock 👎 ). For some reason I feel a sense of renewal on this Sunday evening, a new found purpose and motivation, almost like it’s New Year’s Day.

Soccer season is finally over for my boys, and we have a brief hiatus from the hustle and bustle of multiple practices and games per week. I am also out of my first trimester (18ish weeks), and my energy and good vibes have returned.

I haven’t made a home-cooked, nutritious meal for myself in what feels like a decade, so I have decided that this is the week to try. I have selected my recipes, picked up my groceries, and cleaned out all of the unhealthy food from the fridge. I am avoiding cheese this week because I feel like my arteries need a respite from all of the saturated fat I have consumed as of late.

Thanks to Pinterest, I have several new recipes to try out this week. Cooking is complicated for my family, as I’m sure it is for many of yours. Everyone has different tastes and preferences. My kids almost never eat a meal I cook based off of my liking, though I certainly eat cold, leftover mac and cheese off of their plates like a champ.

Just like my own mother always told me while cooking me special, individualized meals, “I feel like a short-order cook.”

Recipes for Week of 11/29

Sunday- Veggie Fajitas with Tempeh (kids bean and cheese tacos)

Monday- Vegan Lentil Tortilla Soup (kids chicken quesadillas with hubby’s leftover fajita meat from Sunday)

Tuesday- Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers (kids sub sandwiches)

Wednesday- Amy’s Frozen Vegan Margherita Pizza (kids English muffin pizza)

Thursday- Tofu & Potato Breakfast Tacos (kids potato, egg, and cheese breakfast tacos)

I am certainly not touting this menu as super healthy by any stretch of the imagination, but for me it is definitely an improvement and perhaps a step in the right direction?

Here’s hoping I don’t throw in the towel and hit up Taco Bell by Tuesday.

Wish me luck, and feel free to link any healthy recipes you love in the comments. Have a great week!


Off the Wagon

I have a confession to make… I’m tired of cooking.

I’m tired of peeling. I’m tired of chopping. And I am so damn tired of doing the dishes.

Remember all of those healthy recipes I posted last week? I made two of them. That’s right. Two. And then I fell off of the healthy wagon and landed smack-dab in the middle of a large cheese pizza.

I had every intention of preparing dinner each night last week. I even managed to conquer the grocery store with Baby J, checking each and every ingredient off of my list as I optimistically tossed them into my cart. But as the week wore on, my motivation waned. Who wants to waste time washing dishes when they could be hanging with their sweet baby boy? Certainly not me. Maybe if I wasn’t working full-time it would be a different story, but probably not. What’s a girl to do?

Cue Mimi (Jack’s grandma).

Yesterday, my mom stopped by the house to drop off “some things,” which turned out to be a homemade meal and some of my favorite oatmeal muffins. Living in the same city as your parents definitely has its perks.

Instead of chips & salsa, a bagel, or whatever else we could scrounge up around the house, we were treated to one of my all time favorite dinners, King Ranch Casserole. This is the meal I would beg my mom to cook on special occasions. Every birthday. Every holiday. Every guy I have ever brought home to meet my parents. It’s always King Ranch Casserole. I can’t imagine a more perfect meal for a cold, wintry night.

It’s not a healthy meal per se (at all), but it’s delicious none the less. My mom always makes me a special vegetarian version using tempeh instead of chicken, but I am posting the recipe as written for all of my carnivorous friends. Make it tonight. Eat it in your pjs. You can thank me later.

I will be polishing off our leftovers today, as I am home from school again due to the icy road conditions. If you read my previous post regarding the “Snowpacolypse 2014,” you know what this means for me… A whole lot of eating and a whole lot of online shopping.


King Ranch Casserole


*photo courtesy of Southern Living


2 cups cooked chicken, chopped

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 4 oz can chopped green chilis

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp tabasco

3/4c-1c chicken broth

4 cups Fritos or Tortilla chips, crushed

8 oz sharp cheddar cheese


Combine soups, green chilis, spices, Tabasco sauce, and broth. Cover bottom of 2-1/2 or 3 qt casserole with 2 cups of crushed chips. Then add 1/2 of the chicken, 1/2 sauce, and 1/2 cheese. Repeat layers ending with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot. Let rest about 10 minutes before serving.


I really, really love eating this casserole with some buttery french bread (as if the 4 cups of crushed chips aren’t enough carbs).

Week of January 5th Dinner Menu

The weekend is my favorite time to go to the grocery store. I try to avoid weekday shopping, because by the time I get home from work and pick up Baby J from childcare, it is already 5 o’clock. I don’t want to waste any of our precious time together at the store. Every Sunday morning, my husband and I plan our meals for the week. I am a vegetarian and he is not, so we usually try to find recipes that are not only healthy, but flexible, as well. I do the shopping. He cleans out the fridge and unloads the groceries. It works out pretty well for us. This is what I have planned for this week. Maybe you will find some dinner ideas that your family will enjoy, too.

Follow links to recipes unless otherwise indicated.

Contact us if you would like the coordinating grocery list.

SundayBroccoli Cheese & Potato Soup

I will make this recipe exactly as written. 


Monday–  Squash-Rice Casserole

I add garbanzo beans to this recipe for additional fiber & protein. I also use brown rice instead of white rice. I have even made this casserole with quinoa, and it turned out great!


Tuesday Creamy Whole Wheat Mac & Cheese with Vegetables

Unless it is a special occasion, I use half of the cream & butter this recipe calls for. I also saute a mix of veggies with olive oil and throw it in before serving. I usually add broccoli, diced red pepper, mushrooms, edamame, and onions. The possibilities are virtually endless. If you have a picky child on your hands or you are in a hurry, toss all of the veggies in a food processor, process into small pieces, and warm up in skillet before mixing with mac & cheese. 


Wednesday– Easy Tortilla Bake*

See recipe below. 


image courtesy of

Thursday– Chicken Dijon with Wild Rice* (I use tempeh instead of chicken)

See recipe below. 

chicken dijon

image courtesy of


Easy Tortilla Bake

San Antonio Junior Forum Cookbook

This is another recipe that my mom cooked for us all of the time when we were kids. I still enjoy it today!


1 lb ground beef- (I use non-GMO soy crumbles)

2 TBS chili powder

1 12-ounce can tomato sauce

12 corn tortillas, quartered

1 16 oz carton sour cream (I use light)

1 medium onion, diced

2 cups grated cheddar or Monterey jack cheese (I use 2% sharp cheddar)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, brown ground beef and drain grease. Add chili powder and tomato sauce. Simmer 10 minutes. Dip quartered tortillas in sour cream. In a greased 8×12-inch baking dish, place half of tortillas to line bottom of dish. Top with half of meat mixture, half of diced onion, and half of grated cheese. Repeat layers. Bake 30 minutes.

VARIATION: Add a layer of refried beans in between meat and cheese layers.

Chicken Dijon

from Cooking with Joy: The 90/10 Cookbook


Cooking Spray

6 five-ounce chicken breasts, cut into pieces (I will use tempeh)

2 cups broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)

1 can low-fat cream of mushroom soup

1 cup skim milk

2 TBS Dijon mustard

1/2 c low fat sharp cheddar cheese


Coat a large frying pan with cooking spray. Saute the chicken pieces until they are thoroughly cooked and lightly browned on both sides. Microwave, steam, saute, or roast the broccoli. Add to the chicken. In a bowl, mix the mushroom soup, milk, mustard, and cheese until clump-free. Add the soup mixture to the chicken, bring to a boil, and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

*I am serving over wild rice.

My husband and I both take left-overs to work each day instead of buying additional groceries for lunch. You may notice that as the week progresses, the recipes become easier to make… That is by design. Let me know if you try any and/or all of these recipes and how you like them!



P.S.- I buy and recommend organic ingredients for all of the meals I cook. If that is not possible, make it a priority to buy organic ingredients for the items on the dirty dozen list.