Make Dinner Tonight With Campbell’s Skillet Sauces #EasyPrepMeals

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I absolutely love to cook, but it isn’t always my favorite thing to do after a long day at the office.   Most weeknights The Hubs and I get home from work late time and we look forward to spending some quality time talking, playing and reading with our kidlets before their bedtime. Once we have them safely nestled into their beds it’s usually well after 8 pm.  While we’re both ravenous by that time, neither one of us is in the mood to start thinking about dinner ideas and making a meal that has a long prep or cook time.

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That’s why I love #EasyPrepMeals — fast and easy dinners that I can make on nights when I don’t have the time or energy to cook a meal from scratch. I always try to keep my pantry and fridge stocked with some food basics so I can always create a delicious meal on a moment’s notice.

This past weeknight I made an awesome and romantic dinner for The Hubs and I in under 30 minutes with the help of Campbell’s Skillet Sauces. This is a new line of Campbell’s sauces where all you have to do is pick your protein and/or vegetable, add a Skillet Sauce and you can have a tasty and healthy dinner for four (we had enough for leftovers the next night!) on the table in no time at all!

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All Good April

Since The Hubs and I started living the pescatarian lifestyle earlier this year, we’ve been experimenting with of new foods. I’ve learned all about vegetarian meat AKA mock meats — foods make to look like various meats, but made from soy, gluten, eggs, veggies or a combo of those ingredients — and that kale is the new spinach! Most recently I learned about the many health benefits of coconut oil and flax seeds to a persons daily diet, courtesy of a care package from Carrington Farms for #AllGoodApril month.

THM_CarringtonFarms_AllGoodApril_1My Carrington Farms “All Good April” care package included Liquid Coconut Cooking Oil, Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil tub & Organic Milled Flax Seeds

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Meatless Meals – Veggie Quiche

Most weeknights The Hubs and I don’t get home until after 6:30 pm from work.   Once we do get home we try to spend as much time as possible hanging out with the kidlets before they go to bed.  That means we play board games, build LEGOs, play with Super Heroes/Disney Princesses, read books or if it’s Wednesday night, give the kidlets baths!  By the time 8 pm rolls around the kidlets are safely snuggled into bed and The Hubs and I are starving!  But who wants to start cooking a meal at 8 pm to eat at 9 pm and then go to bed not too long after?  Not this gal – so lately I’ve been making extra meals/dishes on Sundays that we can just re-heat during the week.

THM_MeatlessMeals_VeggieQuiche3My Veggie Quiche – made quick & easy!

One of my current favorites is making quiche.  This might be a little rudimentary, but I have had people ask me what it is — a quiche is an open-faced pastry crust with a savory filling thickened with eggs. I like quiches because they are so versatile. You can fill them with just about anything you have in the fridge — cheese, meat, seafood or vegetables — and you can serve it either hot or cold.   They are the perfect meal to make in advance, store in either the fridge or freezer and pop out when needed.

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Getting Ready For the Big Game – Super Bowl Appetizer Recipes

This year the Super Bowl is a big deal in our house.  See, The Hubs is originally from Colorado and grew up a Denver Broncos fan, which means he’s been united in orange his entire life and not just some guy jumping on the Peyton Manning bandwagon.

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The Hubs was a long-suffering Broncos fan until John Elway stepped onto the field in Mile High Stadium as a rookie in 1983 and eventually led them to 5 AFC championships and two Super Bowl wins. Continue reading ⇒

Meatless Meals – Easy Manhattan Clam Chowder

This year The Hubs and I jointly made a resolution and that was to take better care of ourselves.  For us that meant making a big lifestyle decision.  On Jan 1 we adopted a pescatarian diet.  That means that we abstain from eating all meat – beef, chicken and pork.  We are not vegetarians since we eat fish, eggs and dairy as well as fruits, vegetables, plants, legumes, nuts and grains. I guess it’s comparable to a what some people call a Mediterranean Diet.

As I write this, I haven’t had meat in 14 days and surprised at how easy the transition has been.  I’ll be honest, I did have a craving about seven days ago at work to eat in a big juicy cheeseburger at lunch but instead opted for a cup of vegetarian soup and a spinach salad tossed with hard-boiled eggs.  Yay for me!  I’m proud of myself for not giving in to my craving.  I haven’t missed meat since.

So with our new pescatarian lifestyle, I’ve been experimenting with a number of fish recipes/dishes.   This week I tried my hand at Manhattan Clam Chowder and I have to say it was a tremendous success!

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What’s In Your Lunch? JIF Most Creative Sandwich Contest – Win A $25K College Fund, Ends 11/8

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Jif. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

One of my biggest daily challenges as a mom – and trust me there are many – is figuring out what to make for my son for lunch each day! Two days a week I’m off the hook since he gets the school lunch, but that still leaves me with three days of wracking my brain trying to come up with something healthy and that my son will actually eat.  His #1 lunch request is a peanut butter sandwich!

Luckily my son’s school allows peanut butter sandwiches, they just have to sit at a separate “nut” table to eat them.  However, sending him with a regular PB&J day after day gets boring pretty quick, so I’m always looking for new peanut butter sandwich ideas to create for him.   Do a quick search of the internet or Pinterest and you can find tons of yummy, amazing and even bizarre peanut butter sandwich ideas out there.

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Using My Noodle – Shirataki Noodles Veggie Stir Fry Recipe

Ever since I got my kitchen back in mid-September, after a nightmarish six-week reno, I’ve cooked dinner pretty much every night.  I love coming home after work and cooking in my new kitchen whether I’m whipping up the simplest of dishes – spaghetti & meatballs – or more challenging ones – seared scallops in herb butter sauce with roasted seasonal veggies.  Since the new kitchen my cooking mojo has kicked back in and I’ve been inspired me to try new foods and to create new recipes.

THM_Noodle3My Shirataki Noodle Veggie Stir Fry Recipe

My latest food obsession is Shirataki noodles!  If you haven’t heard of these noodles, they are a healthy and amazing pasta alternative. Shirataki noodles are low carb, low-fat, low-calorie and wheat, gluten and dairy free pasta alternative.  They’re made from blending Continue reading ⇒

Healthy Summer Salads

This month for my #Shakleeblogger healthy lifestyle update I’m going to share some of my favorite healthy summer salads.   Now, I’ve never been a big salad person, regardless if it’s a main course or as a side dish.  However, I tend to favor them when summer rolls around.  Eating summer salads are my way to beat the heat and a way to get some incredibly tasting produce, such as sweet corn, summer squash, green beans, eggplant and of course, juicy tomatoes into my daily diet.   I even go all out and whisk up my own salad dressing from scratch, using the fresh and vibrant herbs from my garden.

River Vale Farmers Market

My local farmers market in River Vale, NJ

I really love the farm-to-table movement and the summer months are abundant with local farmers markets in NJ.  It’s not unusual for me to visit two or three a week to check out and pick up a variety of fresh vegetables, fruit (strawberries and blueberries are in season in the Northeast now!), eggs and even cheese.   Some farmers markets even sell fresh poultry or beef – but I haven’t done that yet.

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Crock Pot Buddies – Easy Peasy Perfect Pot Roast Recipe

It was like two brains (or more accurately our stomachs!) that were thinking alike last week.  My cooking-partner in crime Cristina over at Central Jersey Working Moms posted on her Facebook fan page some crock post recipes she found on Real Simple magazine that she was itching to try.  On that very same day I was trying out this crock pot recipe for pot roast…..and the two of us decided to bring back our Thursday Crock Pot Buddies Recipe Hop for the winter season!

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The “Grill-More” Girls – Bone In Pork Chops

This week, this “Grill-More” Girl is serving up some grilled tasty grilled pork chops!

Pork is a popular menu item these days.  It’s a lean meat and has a mild flavor that blends perfectly with many flavors and seasonings.  Pork is a great alternative to serving steak or chicken.  In the past I’ve shied away from pork, afraid that its leaness would lead to a unedible leathery piece of meat.  Through some trial and error, I’ve found that grilling pork chops that are moist, tender and delicious isn’t as difficult as I thought.Continue reading ⇒