Weekly Meal Plan 3/28-4/3/14

Shaved Steak with Peppers and Onions

Friday – Date night
Saturday – Shaved Steak with Mixed Peppers and Onions, Provolone Cheese on a Roll
Sunday Brunch – French Toast with Sausage
Sunday DinnerHoney Cashew Chicken with Brown Rice plus Pea Pods and Carrots
Monday Deep Dish Breakfast Pizza 
TuesdayPicadillo with steamed green beans plus rice for Carlos and cauliflower steaks for me
Wednesday – Mustard Pork Loin, Vinegar and Oil Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Asparagus with Green Onions
Thursday – Steak, Asparagus, Brussels Sprouts, Alexia Waffle Fries, Eggs

Here are some deals I'm taking advantage of:

Market Basket Sales
Almond Breeze Almond Milk (Unsweetened)
Sundown Vitamin D (plus coupon)
Shaved Steak
Pork Tenderloin
Chicken Breast
Green Beans
Sliced Mushrooms
Russet Potatoes

Whole Foods Sales
Asparagus
Spring Onions
Red Field Peppers
Organic Valley Half n Half Coupon
CLIF Bar coupon
Luna Bars coupon
Alexia Waffle Fries Sale plus Coupon
Plantain Chips

What are you cooking this week?


There will be no meal plan for the following week. Carlos and I are traveling to California where we'll be enjoying the weather, eating at In-N-Out Burger and having fun at the TCM Film Festival. Catch ya later!

Vinegar and Oil Mashed Potatoes


Vinegar and Oil Mashed Potatoes

It doesn’t look like much but this is my favorite way to eat potatoes.


The Portuguese love their potatoes and my family is no exception. I’m half Portuguese on my father’s side and I grew up eating one of my dad’s favorite dishes to make: salt cod, grelos/broccoli rabe and boiled potatoes with red wine vinegar and olive oil. A common sight on a traditional Portuguese table is an oil and vinegar tray and both condiments are poured on potatoes, fish, cooked vegetables and salads. I was craving some boiled potatoes with vinegar and oil but decided to make it as chunky mashed potatoes instead. What a discovery! This is the best way to eat potatoes in my opinion. I love the tang from vinegar and the flavor of the oil. I can never get traditional mashed potatoes quite right. That balance of cream, butter, salt and pepper is difficult to attain and I always tend to prefer chunks versus a silky smooth mixture.

It took a few tries but I figured out that the best formula for this recipe is a 1:1:1 ratio. 1 boiled russet potato, 1 tablespoon of red white vinegar and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. You can modify this if you like. Less vinegar if you don’t like how tart it is, more olive oil if you want it to be less dry. I like the 1:1:1 formula the best and that’s what I’m using!

Vinegar and Oil Mashed Potatoes
5 Russet Potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
5 tablespoons of Red Wine Vinegar
5 tablespoons of Olive Oil (I use Extra Light)
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Put the peeled and diced potatoes in a pot of cold water. Enough water so that the potatoes are covered. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Uncover and cook 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are done.

Add potatoes to a strainer. Add the vinegar and oil to the bottom of the pot. Return the strained potatoes to the pot. Add salt and pepper and the stir carefully to incorporate all the ingredients. Serve hot and enjoy!

Vinegar & Oil Mashed Potatoes, Chorizo, Roasted Tomatoes and Asparagus


Weekly Meal Plan 3/21-3/27/14

Soba Noodle Bowl
Sunday is my husband Carlos' birthday! So I have his favorite brunch, his favorite dinner and his favorite dessert planned for that day.

I'm also going to try my hand at making my own Taco Salad. I'm adding rice for my husband but no rice for me. I saw Smitten Kitchen's taco recipe and was inspired to make something similar but as a salad instead. I love cooking with ground chicken thighs which I get at Whole Foods at a good price. I prefer that over ground turkey or ground white meat chicken now! Plantain chips are on sale at Whole Foods and I thought it would be neat to add them on the top of the salad like croutons.

Friday – No cooking tonight!
SaturdaySoba Noodle Bowl

Carlos' Birthday!
Sunday BrunchChallah French Toast and Jones' All Natural Sausage
Sunday DinnerPastel de Choclo
Sunday Dessert - Hello Dolly Bars 

Monday – Ground Chicken Taco Salad (Ground chicken thighs, black beans, corn, chopped tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, mixed peppers over brown rice and topped with crushed plantain chips) Inspired by Smitten Kitchen 
Tuesday – Chicken Vegetable Stirfry with Teriyaki Sauce
Wednesday – Oven Roasted Pork Chops, Salad (Olivia’s Organics Spinach, Cucumbers, Tomatoes and Mushrooms), Roasted Potatoes
Thursday – Alexia Onion Rings, Steamed Green Beans and Lloyd’s Smokehouse Ribs

Here are some deals I'm taking advantage of:

Market Basket Deals
Ghirardelli Squares
Center Cut Pork Chops
Lloyd's Ribs Coupon
Olivia's Organics
Baby Portobello Mushrooms
Cucumbers
Celery

Whole Foods Deals
Avocados
Steaz Iced Tea
Tribe Hummus
Plantain Chips
Alexia Onion Rings Sale plus Coupon
CLIF bar coupon
Luna Bars coupon

What are you cooking this week?

My Favorite Breakfast


I've been working with a nutritionist for several months now and she suggested that I incorporate more protein into my diet. I ditched my morning Rice Chex, which proved to be empty carbs that made me crash later, and switched to a yogurt parfait bowl. I love the different textures and flavors: the creaminess of the yogurt, the tartness of the fruit sauces and the sweet crunch from the granola. The protein from the yogurt keeps me full longer than cereal did. I wanted to switch from cereal to oatmeal but I just can't bring myself to eat that daily. My yogurt parfait bowl proved to be the best bet for me and I look forward to eating it every morning. I use Green Valley Organics Lactose Free Yogurt (Plain) but you can use whatever yogurt you like. I do suggest using a plain yogurt or plain Greek yogurt to avoid making this breakfast too high in sugar. The fruit sauce and granola add plenty of sweetness.

I sometimes use fresh fruit instead of sauce in this parfait. Mango, blackberries, fresh strawberries and kiwi have all worked beautifully. I've also used Whole Foods Coconut Almond Granola too and that works great with the more tropical fruits.

Raquel's Yogurt Parfait Bowl
6 oz of Green Valley Organics Lactose Free Yogurt (Plain)
2 spoonfuls of homemade strawberry sauce
2 spoonfuls of homemade peach sauce
1/4 cup of Whole Foods Vanilla-Almond Granola

Makes 1 serving, about 240 calories with 12 grams of Protein.

Homemade Strawberry or Peach Sauce
1 bag of frozen strawberries or peaches
3 tablespoons of water
1-2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla (optional)

Add the frozen fruit, water and sugar to a pot. Add the vanilla if you are using it. I tend to not use vanilla because I like to taste the true flavor of the fruit.

Cover pot and turn up heat to medium. Stir occasionally. Bring sauce to a boil. Remove lid and bring heat down to low. Continue cooking for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally. You can make the sauce as thick as you want. The longer you cook it, the more liquid will evaporate.

You can opt to make this without any sugar at all. I've gone from 3 tablespoons of sugar down to 1 and I find that my palate has grown accustomed to the natural tartness of the fruit.

The sauces will store in the fridge for up to two weeks. I make two batches of sauce every two weeks and provides me with 12-14 servings.
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