Balsamic Roasted Asparagus
from Cooking Light, January 2006

1 pound asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon bottled minced garlic
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 425°.

Snap off tough ends of asparagus. Place in a jelly-roll pan. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar; sprinkle with salt, garlic, and pepper, tossing to coat. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes, turning once.

{Seriously, that's it! Total and complete yum!}

Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Information:
CALORIES 67(48% from fat); FAT 3.6g (sat 0.5g,mono 2.7g,poly 0.3g); PROTEIN 2.5g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 26mg; SODIUM 236mg; FIBER 2.5g; IRON 0.5mg; CARBOHYDRATE 5.7g

Joy Zacharia , Cooking Light, JANUARY 2006

This week is going to be easy recipes, very. I am also starting to look closer and closer at what I am making as Miss Emi is eating anything we put on the table. If we are eating it, we sure as HECK better be sharing it with her! {smile}

To find more Menu Plan, head on over to Organizing Junkie's place.

  • Sunday: Frozen pizza and a salad (I know, I know … it was just that kind of day)
  • Wednesday: Chicken Bake (Kraft Food & Family, Winter 2008, page 38 - Stove Top Advertisement)
  • Thursday: Leftovers/Free Nite

We tend to go out one night a week, or need a night of not making dinner for various

reasons. I am factoring this in my menu plan each week, but it won’t necessarily always
(or often) be on a Saturday.

*Moving this, see notes for Saturday.

  • Friday: Attending a Chinese New Years Party, dinner there but taking a dish to pass: Funky Chicken with Sesame Noodles (In all honesty, this will depend on how I am feeling on Friday. I am going to make the noodles Thursday, but might blow off the chicken part. The noodles rock as a stand alone or side dish to many things.)
  • Saturday: Miss Emi’s FIRST Birthday! I am not sure what we are going to do yet but it will be pretty low-key (just the three of us). Maybe dinner at our fav Chinese restaurant and a little Emi cake (cupcakes?) at home?

Original Post: Menu Plan
*Kiy Note: This makes GREAT leftovers! Jeff loves to take this as an easy work lunch.

Shortcut Lasagna
From Cooking Light
This dish has all the flavor of lasagna, but takes a fraction of the time to prepare and serves up like a casserole.

8 ounces uncooked medium egg noodles
cups fat-free ricotta cheese
cups (6 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese, divided
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 pound ground round (I also like to use ground turkey in this recipe)
2 cups tomato sauce
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375°.

Cook noodles in boiling water 5 minutes, omitting salt and fat.

While noodles are cooking, combine ricotta, 1 cup provolone cheese, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper in a small bowl; set aside. Cook beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in tomato sauce; remove from heat.

Drain noodles. Combine noodles and meat mixture in large bowl. Place 3 cups noodle mixture in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread ricotta mixture over noodle mixture. Top with remaining noodle mixture; sprinkle with 1/2 cup provolone cheese. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts.

Yield: 6 servings.

CALORIES 416(30% from fat); FAT 14g (sat 6.8g,mono 4.5g,poly 0.9g); PROTEIN 37g; CHOLESTEROL 107mg; CALCIUM 333mg; SODIUM 912mg; FIBER 2.3g; IRON 4.1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 37.2g

Cooking Light, JUNE 2000

In the better late than never category ... here is my plan (very loose plan!) for the rest of the week. I am already working on next week's menu, but I doubt it's going to be too ambitious. But, at least it will be a plan! (Yes, there are three days of Jeff fending for himself. Let's hope he doesn't have to do too much more of that, poor guy!)

Menu Plan for Week of: January 20-26, 2008

  • Sunday: Leftovers/Scrounge

  • Monday: Leftovers/Scrounge

  • Tuesday: Leftovers/Scrounge

  • Friday: Going out to dinner (yay!)

  • Saturday: Leftovers from Thursday, maybe adding a pot of rice if needed and another vegetable, maybe a salad (all depends on how much is left)
I am too late to sign up at Organizing Junkie's for this week, but still head on over. Lot's of folks have listed their menu's and the inspiration abounds!

Original Post: Menu Plan (late!)
This is one of THE easiest meals I make. I always have frozen chicken breasts on hand, and the ingredients are just naturally part of my pantry. Also, so easy to add portions for company or extra lunches later in the week. Everyone who has tried it, loves it!

Orange Mandarin Chicken
From Cooking Light

Serve with Asian noodles - such as soba, somen, or udon - and steamed snow peas.

2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
4 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges in light syrup, un-drained
½ cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper (needless to say, I don't do this)
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
½ cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned.

While chicken cooks, drain oranges in a colander over a bowl, reserving 2 tablespoons liquid. Add oranges, 2 tablespoons liquid, onions, jalapeño, and garlic to pan. Reduce heat; simmer 2 minutes. Combine broth, soy sauce, and cornstarch; add to pan. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute or until slightly thickened.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half and 6 tablespoons sauce)

Robin Vitetta-Miller
Cooking Light, JULY 2002

I am going to try I'm an Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday. I sort of already do menu planning, but not as specific as actually writing down a menu and shopping in advance to have ALL ingredients on hand. I hope that this will simplify my life and help our budget. We shall see. It is my goal to post this every Monday. Some weeks that will happen, some weeks it won't. It will really depend on Emi. She thinks I should be playing, and not sitting in front on that silly computer. I may take a page out of Laura's (OJ) book and post this on Sunday evenings. In fact ... I think I shall tonight! Something I am doing different, I am including weekends. Weekends are when we tend to laze out and be bad. Order out for pizza or just eat junk. With Little Bit in the house, we are trying to eat healthier. For her sake, and ours.

So, here goes! (BTW, I cannot figure out how to add the widget stuff, and I love her banners, bah!) Oh, and there are a few meals from the Kraft Food & Family, Winter 2008 magazine. It just showed up last week and many looked worthy of trying out. So this is the week! (It's free, sign up and get yours too! -No this is not a paid endorsement. Lastly, if you don't have or don't want to actually get the magazine, all this quarter's recipes can be found here.)

Menu Plan for Week of: January 13-19, 2008

  • Sunday: Leftovers from last week, clean out that fridge!
  • Monday: Taco Salad (ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, tortilla chips, corn, pineapple, black olives)
  • Wednesday: Chicken Bake (Kraft Food & Family, Winter 2008, page 38) ~~ This is actually an ad for Stove Top. I will try and find time to type it out and post it.
  • Thursday: Slow-Cooker Orange-BBQ Pulled Pork (Kraft Food & Family, Winter 2008, page 44) Serving this with rice (or rolls, still haven't decided but I have a package of refrigerator rolls just in case), green peas and a salad.
  • Friday: Taco Bake (Kraft Food & Family, Winter 2008, page 37), corn and probably a salad.
  • Saturday: Leftovers/Free Nite

Original Post: Menu Plan
Morning Glory Muffins

Cooking Light, June 1999 ~~ and ~~ My friend Lythrum shared this with me September 2005. I've had both in my recipe binder all this time and have yet to try these. They are on my to-do list for sure!

Apples are too delicate to be grated with a food processor, so we recommend using a stand-up grater. We left the skins on, but the result will be just as good if you peel the apples.

2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded carrot
1 cup shredded Rome or other cooking apple
¾ cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/ cup flaked sweetened coconut
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice, drained
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup apple butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (flour through salt) in a large bowl. Stir in carrot and next 5 ingredients (carrot through pineapple); make a well in center of mixture. Combine oil and next 4 ingredients (oil through egg whites); stir with a whisk. Add oil mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Spoon the batter into 24 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pans immediately; cool on a wire rack.

Note: Muffins can be stored in an airtight container and frozen for up to 1 month. Wrap in foil, and reheat at 300°.

Yield: 2 dozen (serving size: 1 muffin)

Nutritional Information: CALORIES 165(28% from fat); FAT 5.2g (sat 1.1g,mono 1.8g,poly 1.9g); IRON 1.1mg; CHOLESTEROL 18mg; CALCIUM 21mg; CARBOHYDRATE 27.9g; SODIUM 174mg; PROTEIN 2.6g; FIBER 1.2g

Lemon-Blueberry Muffins
Cooking Light, April 2003

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 large egg
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 cup blueberries
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 400°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through nutmeg) in a medium bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Combine buttermilk, egg, and rind; stir well with a whisk. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moist. Gently fold in blueberries.

Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until the muffins spring back when lightly touched. Remove muffins from pans immediately, and place on a wire rack to cool.

Combine lemon juice and powdered sugar in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze evenly over cooled muffins.

Note: You can make these muffins up to 2 days ahead and glaze them the morning of the brunch.

1 dozen (serving size: 1 muffin)
Nutritional Information

CALORIES 187(23% from fat); FAT 4.8g (sat 2.7g,mono 1.4g,poly 0.3g); IRON 1.1mg; CHOLESTEROL 30mg; CALCIUM 59mg; CARBOHYDRATE 32.6g; SODIUM 264mg; PROTEIN 3.7g; FIBER 1g

Jean Kressy , Cooking Light, APRIL 2003