Saturday, March 24, 2012

New Menu this week!!!

This week I'm going to share my lowfat dinner menus.

Meal #1:  Flank Steak, Steamed broccoli, Tomato salad
Meal #2:  Quinoa Tabbouleh with roasted turkey and Tomatoes, soup, Canteloupe
Meal #3:  Spicy Seafood Chowder, steamed carrots, 2 plums, sorbet
Meal #4:  Sizzling Ginger Pork, brown rice, steamed broccoli
Meal #5:  Grilled Cod, Asparagus, Barley, and Sorbet
Meal #6:  Pork Tenderloin,  steamed carrots, Apple
Meal #7:  Roasted Turkey breast, zucchini, brown rice, Cucumber & Tomato Salad, & Canteloupe

I have several big challenges ahead for me.  One day I will not be home all day so, I will need to prep everything before hand and have it ready.  I also, have all my breakfasts, snacks and lunch planned so, all well balanced.   My 2nd challenge is that I still need to feed my family.   They won't eat everything on the list plus, some of the stuff is just too lowfat for my athlete to eat (she is exercising 19 hours a week).  So, I really need to use crockpot meals for them and big casseroles like lagasna, enchildas, etc... that roll over into leftovers for them the next night.  This is a challenge because I tend to nibble.  Usually, my issue isn't knowing what to eat it is controlling quantities and being ready to eat.  Sometimes the evenings get really hectic and it easier to make my old standbys which aren't the lowest in fat or when all else fails go to Chipotle. 


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Menu Planning for the week of January 15th

Opps.... forgot to post last week's menu.  Plus, last week we had tons of leftovers so, I did not make the Pork chops with applesauce and pasta and zucchini.  Nor did I make the Vietnamese Shaking beef with Rice.   Now, I'm going to make a promotion for Tupperware Fridge Smart Containers.  If you don't own these run out and buy them now.  I love these containers.  Basically, they keep your vegetables and fruits fresh.  At first when I got them I was pretty skeptical but now I'm a firm believer.  For example, in the summer I usually buy the strawberries from the road side stand.  But if you are like us it is almost impossible to eat them all before they go bad and you always end up with moldy strawberries.  Well, not with Fridge Smart Containers, your strawberries will stay fresh for weeks.  I'm serious.  I use it a lot for lettuce and spinach.  These items tend to go bad really fast.  So, last week when I didn't make the Pork chops with Applesauce and the pasta and zucchini, I was happy my zucchini was in my containers and I was able to eat it the next week.  Love the no waste....  So, here's the menu:

Meal #1:  Prime Rib, gravy, mashed potatoes and green beans (over the Christmas Holiday I ordered a prime rib for Christmas dinner but the meat guy told me to order 7 ribs for 10 people.  Well, when I got it was huge.  So, I cut off 3 ribs and froze it.   Plus, I froze the extra gravy from that day as well.  The meat was good but not as good as eating it fresh.  Just a little off... the gravy was great).  (Cook Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen Recipes)

Meal #2:  Prime Rib Panini sandwiches, carrots with hummus (leftovers)

Meal #3:  Pork chops with applesauce, pasta and zuchhini (Skinnytaste recipe)

Meal #4:  Turkey meat spaghetti with pasta, asparagus and garlic bread (Cooking Light Recipe)

Meal #5:  Baked Salmon, rice and steamed carrots (My Costco Staples)

Meal #6:  Chicken Enchildas (Rachel Ray Recipe)

Meal #7:  Take-out ---- Pizza

I did minimal shopping last week and really tried to use up those frozen leftovers.

Ready for next week's challenge!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Menu Planning for the week of January 8th

Last week I did pretty well.  I made everything on the list except the Crockpot Applesauce & Turkey and Black Bean Chili (I had too many leftovers to make separate food for lunch).  My husband took many of the leftovers to work for lunch so, we had very little food waste.

So, this week:

Meal #1:  Lime Marinated Chicken BBQ with Rice and Stir-fried Asparagus (Weight Watcher recipe)
Meal #2:  Turkey Sausage Meatloaf with Mash Potatoes & Green Beans (Weight Watcher Recipe)
Meal #3:  Korean Beef Tacos with Rice and beans on the side (A Year of Slow Cooking Blog)
Meal #4:  Pork Chops with Applesauce, Pasta and zucchini (Skinny Taste Blog)
Meal #5: Chicken Taco Chili (Skinny Taste Blog)
Meal #6: Homemade Mac and Cheese  (Fine Cooking Magazine Feb/Mar 2012)
Meal #7: Vietnamese Shaking beef with Rice

Snack #1:  Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (The Frugal Girl Blog)
Snack #2: Whole-Grain Toffee Scones (Weight Watcher Recipe)
Snack #3: Crock Pot Applesauce (Skinny Taste Recipe)

Breakfasts will be yogurt, steel cut oats and egg and ham cheese sandwiches plus I have Fiber One Honey Squares.  (I bought them at Costco and then, remembered when I got home I really don't like it as it has a weird after taste).

I have the ingredients for most of the items above so, my shopping shouldn't take too long.

We already had Meal #1 on Sunday night and I made the muffins which 3 have already been devoured by the family.  The meal planning  helped me drop some serious pounds this week.  So, I hope to continue the trend.   I will not be eating Meal #6 but I want to make one high calorie kid friendly meal at least once a week. 

Happy Meal Planning!!!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Disneyland Dining (Day 2 Part II) -- Lunch with the princeses

We've been to countless meals with princesses that I wasn't really looking forward to another one.  However, with the limited sitdown dining at California Adventure Park we decided to enjoy another princess meal at Ariel's Grotto.  I did discover my girls are still into characters meals.  The restaurant is located on the water front over looking the Big Mickey wheel.  When I originally, made our reservations I was told that we'd be sitting outside, turns out that we had a nice table inside as it was very chilly outside.  Anyways, the restuarant is two stories.  You check-in upstairs and then when your name is called you walk down to stand in line to take a picture with Ariel.   You can purchase the photo of Ariel for a fee but I decided not to even though my picture didn't come out great.

Once at our table they immediately took our drink orders and brought out the first course.  The first course was three trays of what they called their antipasti tower.

Sorry for the bad photo but the sun was shining very brightly where we were sitting. 

The top tray had "jewels of the Sea" fruit Gelatin.  My girls thought this was weird as we really don't eat jello in my family.  There were also some watermelon trianagles.

The middle level had salami (the girls wanted more though); marinated mozzerella, string cheese, cherry tomatoes, gherkins (which prompted my husband to ask why we never have these at home), olives, red pepper bracelets and carrots, celery.  They had dipping sauces for the chilled veggies.

The dipping tray had pesto and ranch dips with butter in the middle for the cute flower shaped bread.

The bottom plate was mixed green salad served with Ariel's Grotto house vinaigrette.   This was a little bland to us so I mixed in some pesto and added the cherry tomatoes to my salad.

There were 3 princesses that came around to our table:  Aurora, Snow White and Cinderella.  We discovered our oldest still enjoys getting autographs and her picture with the princesses. 

For the main course, my husband and I ordered the Santa Maria Style Tri-tip served with cheddar cheese mashed potatoes and vegetables.

I LOVE IT when I get a big plate of vegetables with my meal.  It was very good.  I was surprised on how good the tri-tip was.   The tri-tip was served with a salsa that was VERY good.   The potatoes were equally delicious.  I almost couldn't finish my meal.

The girls both ordered the Mafalde Pasta with Italian Sausage-- Curly ribbons of pasta tossed in a Piemonte-style ragu with spicy Italian sausage, sauteed bell peppers and sweet onions. 

They seemed to enjoy this but told me later it wasn't as good as the pasta in Epcot. 

For dessert they brought out a small tray of items to share.

The tray had meringue cookies, a white chocolate conch shell, fresh fruit, smore bites (which were delicious), lava cake and chocolate chip cookie strips.   It was perfect for a great ending as it wasn't too  much food.

Would we go here again?  You bet!!!  It was a great place for a nice meal.

Coming up next:  The worst meal of the trip....  Was it worth it???

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Meal Planning for the Week of 01/01/12

Every year I start the year off trying to diet and eat healthier and this year is no exception.   One of my biggest struggles is finding foods that EVERYONE in my family will enjoy.   I usually do a lot of recipes from my weight watcher cookbooks but sometimes these recipes have a very adult taste.  But recently I discovered this blog site and she has tons of low fat weight watcher friendly recipes.  She even provides the point count.   If you want to check her out, look here:

Anyways, this year is the year of no excuses.  I bought some of my girls favorite back up meals like frozen chicken alfredo so, if I make something they don't like they have a backup meal.   And,  I won't feel guilty.  For the most part, they like every thing I make but occasionally they don't especially when I serve fish.  My oldest doesn't like it at all.

So, here's my menu for this week.  I already went shopping too.

BREAKFASTS -   Egg white sandwiches with ham and low fat cheese or my famous crock pot Steel Cut oats.  I love eggs even egg whites...

LUNCHES -- I will make one recipe for the week:  Turkey and Black Bean Chili to eat (recipe from Weight Watchers).  I'll send some with John to work as well.   Otherwise, I'll eat leftovers or turkey sandwiches.

DINNERS are as follows:
  • Chicken Rollatini with Spinach Alla Parmigiona, pasta and Broccoli from
  • Garlic Lime Marinated Pork Chops with roasted zucchini and plain rice from
  • Carne Guisada (Latin Beef Stew) served over rice with steam carrots from
  • Balsamic & Fig Glazed Pork Roast with Roasted Sweet potoates and Green Beans from
  • Poblano Chicken Tortilla Bake (not sure of the sides yet) from Weight Watchers
  • Homemade Pizza with side salad
  • Chicken Sausage & Spinach Alfredo (see previous post for shared recipe from Weight Watchers)
SNACKS:  Now, I need to have something sweet once a week plus, my girls like snack type foods in their lunches.  I try to make some homemade things they can eat without the extra calories.

  • Pineapple Bliss Cupcakes (from  I'll make the cupcakes but I will only frost a few and then, I'll put the rest in the freezer for another day
  • Yogurt and fruit
  • Homemade granola bars (from weight watchers)
And, I'm also making crockpot applesauce to have on hand for next week's pork chops with applesauce and apple bread
    I'm trying out 5 new recipes but we need to change up our eating style.   Our new MOTTO will be NO MORE TAKE-OUT.

    Sunday, December 11, 2011

    Disneyland Dining (Day 2 Part 1)

    Since we had a late night last night and it was our arrival day yesterday, we decided to sleep in this morning and hit California Adventure Park in the morning.  The park doesn't open until 10 am but it is best to start lining up around 9:15 am if you decide to enter from the front or the best secret out there is to enter through the Grand Californian Hotel.  They have their own entrance.   Anyways, for breakfast we decided to go the counter service at the Disneyland hotel called Tangaroa Terrace.  They had self-service ordering kiosks where you use a screen to place your order.  Then, you can grab things from the cold cases before going to the cashier to pay.  They give you a number for your table and your order is brought to you so, it is cooked to order.   They have the typical breakfast items like french toast, breakfast platter, breakfast wrap, an egg white and tofu bake.  They also had all kinds of drinks in the cold case plus assorted pasteries and cold cereal.  The place is very small and has limited indoor seating.  It was a bit chilly to eat outside.  We took the last indoor table.   The food was a bit pricey as expected.   We felt that the buffets for a few dollars more offered a better value.   Anyways, I thought the counter service was missing the Tonga Toast from the Polynesian at Walt Disney World.  It would have fit in perfectly with the theme.  Also, a dole whip stand would be great too.

    Here are some pictures:

    The counter service overlooks the pool area.  The pool slides were pretty cool.  There were 3 slides for 3 different abilities from a kiddy type slide to the big slide.


    For breakfast my youngest & I ordered the french toast with banana slices that came with bacon (of course, I had to share the bacon with the oldest).  It was good.  My darling husband ordered the breakfast platter and my oldest order the cinnamon roll.  My husband did not love the platter.  He said that the potatoes were not very good.  My oldest claimed the cinnamon roll was just average.

    Here's the french toast:

    Here's the breakfast platter (and again the bacon was shared as well).

    Here's the cinnamon roll:


    Next, door was a bar that was basically attached to the counter service.  We never got a chance to eat and have a drink there but it looked yummy.   Maybe next time..

    The menu:


    Finally, I thought the counter service place was okay.  It definitely was quick so, we didn't waste a lot of time eating.  This was the only time we ate here.  I'm not sure we'd go back.   Maybe if I was hanging at the pool or if it was the only option left.

    COMING UP NEXT:  A date with the princesses (and I thought we were done with character meals... oh, boy I'm so wrong)

    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    Disneyland Dining Review (Nov 2011)

    I love doing food reviews and I've done a few on the disboards.  Anyways, I thought I would do one here of our recent trip down to Disneyland.   First, I'd like to say we aren't normally hotel people as we usually stay in a timeshare.  However, I could not secure a timeshare stay for our trip.  So, the 4 of us were stuck in a hotel room.  We ended up staying at the Disneyland Hotel as they were running a special since they were in the middle of remodeling.  There was no guarantee that the pool would be open due to their recent renovations that they were working on.  Our room was cute.  The headboard lit up and played music when you turned it on:

    It was very cute.  The room had 2 queen sized beds, a desk and dresser.  There were only 4 drawers in the entire room for clothes.  We were staying 5 nights so that was a bit tight.  We had to live out of our suitcases for a bit which isn't something I enjoy.  The room also had a small refrigerator that held our bottled water but not much else.  Plus, there was a coffee maker but we don't drink coffee.  The bathroom was nice as the sink was separate from the toilet and shower area.   I guess, you can say we are definitely spoiled with the timeshare part of life where you get a separate bedroom and a full kitchen.  Since, we weren't staying in a timeshare we pretty much ate every meal out.  By the last day we were ready to go home just to eat a home cooked meal. 

    We arrived on Tuesday and left on Sunday.   For our first meal out was dinner at the Rainforest Cafe.   We arrived at the podium there was a 45 minute wait to eat inside so, we decided to eat outside.  They had tons of heating lamps to keep you warm.  However, this is LA and it really isn't that cold.  It was in the low 70s when we ate our dinner.

    Now, Rainforest Cafe isn't always my first choice as I feel the menu is way too big.  However, all the other places at Downtown Disney had long table waits.  To my surprise the menu has been updated to a nice small compact menu.  Much better than before.  But first I rate the view.  Now, we weren't inside so we didn't have to listen to the obnoxious animal sounds so, I really enjoyed our meal here.   We did have a nice view of this tree from our table:

    First up are the drinks.  I ordered the Panama Punch which was pretty good not as good as the drinks at ESPN.  It is made with Bacardi 151, Myers's Original Rum, Peach Schnapps and 99 bananas Liqueur. Accented with Creme de Cassis and orange and pineapple juices
    John had a beer but it was a bigger can than usually.  My drink came with a souvenir cup.  Something I haven't collected in a long time.

     The beer:

    My youngest daughter is at that stage where kid menu items don't always work and adult menu items are too adult like if you know what I mean.  Anyways, she ended up ordering two appetizers as her meal.  She ordered the clam chowder soup and chicken quesdilla made with pita bread.  The soup was great but the quesdillas were a bust.  She didn't like the sauce that was mixed in with the chicken.  She likes a plain quesdillas with just cheese and chicken (no extra flavorings).   I tried the quesdillas and they just didn't work well with the pita bread.  The bread was thick so it was like eating a lot of pita.

    My oldest had nachos.  I'm not sure why she ordered such a safe item.  It doesn't look to appetizing to me.  I did not try them.

    I ordered the Chinese chicken salad.  It was good but not the best I ever had.   It had more of an oily taste rather than a sesame taste.   But still good.  It was a very large portion.

    My husband ordered  Filet of mahi mahi grilled and topped with mango salsa. Paired with Caribbean Coconut Shrimp and cream styled scallops.  He reported back to me that the meal was very good.  The scallops were cooked to perfection (I thought it was just his lucky day as you never know with scallops).

    We were too full for dessert but we did window shop at Downtown Disney and came across these babies:

    My oldest reminded me that they don't taste as good as they look.  Anything I make is way better.  Oh Boy, I sure created a monster.  So, we didn't buy a treat!

    Coming up next:  Day 2