Posts Tagged 'easy'

easy lunch at work

i just made this kid-friendly tuna salad brought to you by Whole Foods Market at work today.

i brought the following ingredients:

  • 1 can of tuna
  • 2 tbsp of sunflower seeds
  • a box of raisins
  • a grated carrot
  • 2 chopped celery stalks
  • 8 oz container of low-fat cottage cheese
  • 2 tsp of sriracha.

i mixed all of these items in a big Tupperware container.

it is the perfect flavorful tuna salad, full of healthy ingredients. this will certainly last me a couple days too. i love putting the tuna salad on top of a piece of wheat toast!

all together, this lunch costs approximately $4.20 / at least two days worth = $2.10!

<3 kt

delay in menu: comfort food for the sick

first of all, here are the results of Monday night’s dinner:

vinaigrette salad with shaved midnight moon goat gouda

sun-dried tomato chicken sausage with vodka penne

tonight, i was supposed to make tortilla crusted tilapia and a southwestern salad. but, pk was sick!  so i made my sunday night meal early: chicken noodle soup.  i wasn’t as prepared as i would have been on sunday, but it all came together!

as soon as i got home from work, i filled a pot up with water and added my defrosted chicken breast (just two of them).  next, i diced up my veggies: carrots, celery, italian squash, mushrooms, and onions.  i added a bunch of spices including cayenne pepper (i like things spicey!), cumin, garlic, paprika, pepper, and salt.  i let this simmer and boil for about 40 minutes.  then i added whatever pasta i could find: fusilli and macroni.  i let the pasta cook and simmer in the pasta for another 15 minutes.

while the soup was simmering, i made grilled cheese with tomato:

a hodge podge chicken noodle soup

hopefully this cured my sick boyfriend!  also, i have tons of leftover soup!  i put half of it in a huge container and put it in the freezer.  i made 3 portions for the fridge (two hefty ones for the sicky).

i picked up some wellness formula, orange juice, cold medicine, kleenex, and anti-bacterial hand sanitizer.  hopefully i don’t get sick. :)

<3 kt

new idea: chili cheese burritos!

originally, i had set out to use my leftover chili and make chili mac. but instead, i came up with the chili cheese burrito!


i had to stop eating this glorious thing to take a picture!

here’s how i made this:

first, i sauteed some diced onions in some olive oil.  when they were nice and yellow, i added diced red peppers and jalapenos.  after a few minutes of cooking, i then seasoned them with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and cumin.  next, i added the leftover chili.  while the chili was heating, i warmed a tortilla.  next i diced up some cabbage and fresh cheddar cheese.  then i built the burrito, first layering the cabbage for some cruchiness, then the chili mix, then topping with sour cream and cheddar cheese.  i next wrapped it up, heated up a skillet with a bit of olive oil, and seared the sides of the burrito.  because of all the liquid inside, you’ll have to eat this monster with a fork and knife!


<3 kt

what to do with leftover taco/burrito makings

whenever i make tacos or burritos for my boyfriend and me, i always have leftovers. i’ve developed a great way to utilize them without having to have tacos/burritos again the next day! i scramble up some eggs, throw in all of the essential burrito fixings, and TA-DA! instant breakfast burritos!
i wrap these in parchment paper, then in tin foil. next, i put them in a freezer ziplock bag. i keep them in the freezer for that morning on the go. they are handy, delicious, and easy to prepare in advance. it’s a great way to utilize the leftovers by making it something new.

<3 kt

make your own instant oatmeal packets

i am always looking for new ideas/ways to make my own instead of buying from the store. i just love this easy DIY instant oatmeal.

Emily, instant oatmeal is pretty straightforward. We looked through a ton of recipes online for instant oatmeal; it’s usually made from a mixture of whole rolled oats, powdered oats, and some salt, sugar, and powdered milk. Try mixing 1/4 cup rolled oats, 2 tablespoons powdered oats (crushed to a powder in a food processor or blender), a teaspoon of milk powder, 1/8 teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of sugar. Add a little brown sugar and cinnamon for flavor as well. Mix with 3/4 cup boiling water to make oatmeal.

You can see a good step by step and cost analysis of making your own instant oatmeal here:

Making Your Own Homemade Oatmeal Packets: A Visual Guide and Cost Analysis

Now, the one catch is that the sort of oatmeal you like isn’t just oatmeal: Quaker adds other whole grains to their Simple Harvest blend. They include flaxseeds, rolled wheat, barley, and other grains and flavors.

Ingredient list for the Quaker Simple Harvest packets

But recreating this still isn’t very difficult. Add a teaspoon of flaxseeds and a couple tablespoons of bulgur or rolled wheat to your packets. Drizzle in a little maple syrup too; it will dissolve when you add hot water. Add some crunchy pecans or walnuts and dried cranberries to mix it up.

Experiment with other whole grains and seeds, too! You can buy just a tablespoon or two of all these grains from the bulk bins at your local health food store or Whole Foods. So try different things; it will cost just pennies to buy small amounts of these grains.

For something different, try making steel cut oats at night and reheating a bowl each morning; they really hold their texture and flavor. We make up a big pot on Sunday night and eat them three days in a row.

operation: domesticate erin

It’s definitely a tough move from having a bachelor(ette) style fridge to one stocked full of veggies, snacks, and more.

Being a self-discovered workaholic, I’ve found that the easiest meals are the ones either being served to me with an exchange of hard-earned cash or meals that could be cooked/microwaved/baked in under 15 minutes.  Forget the need to be healthy, give me something fast and something I can eat while working on my laptop.

Well it’s about damn time I made a change.  Forget that I work too much, the past year has led me to make the decision that I want to be healthier (and have a smaller waist size).  I took up running and thanks to the sport I do feel a bit better (and can totally rock a size 10 jean).  I’ve given up red meat, changed out soda for water and do attempt to count calories, but it’s not enough.  I’ve gone through many attempts to eat better which has helped but making it a habit when you’re coming home at 7-8pm every night can be daunting.  Especially during times I find myself in a crunch at work… who wants to go home to prepare a meal?  I just want to sleep.

So I turned to the two girls who definitely have a good head on their shoulders when it comes to food and green living.  I think the spark that led to this all was when Katie opened my fridge and about died.  With the girls, I’ll learn great ways to prepare meals (and still keep them easy… sometimes), live a bit “greener,” and eat healthier.

So far, I’ve already taken a lesson from Katie regarding cheaper solutions to chicken.

Instead of buying boneless, skinless chicken breasts, I now purchase split breasts.  It’s more meat at a cheaper price.  I can bake the whole chicken, let it cool, shred it, and use it for the entire week.  Today I’m enjoying a Chicken Apple Raisin wrap that I simply LOVE and it was super easy to make in the morning!  Plus I saved $15 on chicken and way more than you’ll ever know for lunches out.

Also, I decided the bachelor way of the refrigerator needs to go.  This is one habit that’s going to be hard to get used to.

I sat down, wrote out my meals for the week and derived a good list of groceries needed for those meals.  Once I returned home with the groceries and loaded my fridge, it was like looking at Katie’s fridge… but at my place.  It was a really weird experience as I haven’t seen my fridge this full since I was in a relationship.  Even then I think it wasn’t as full as it is now.  I’m definitely excited about this new change and working to have more food in the house and spending less going out.

And bonus! I spent some time last night pre-cutting some veggies and fruits and bagging them for easy access over the week.

Does that count as extra credit?

<3 Erin

individual sloppy joe portions

i thought this was a fantastic idea!  sloppy joes are easy to make, and freezing them for individual usage is even better, especially for families!  brought to you by

Sloppy Joes are fabulous for more than a few reasons (frugality and comfort being at the top of the list), but we’re partial to them because of their ability to freeze and reheat. In our kitchen, we make a full skillet of the mixture and let it cool to room temperature. Next we use a scoop to portion out individual mounds, that get placed in muffin tins (we line ours with foil liners). Cover lightly with plastic wrap and freeze (2 hours usually does the trick).

The individual portions are perfect to toss into a zip top bag for a lunch at work (the foil wrapper can peel right off). If packed in the morning, it’s thawed by lunch a quick 30 seconds in the microwave will have you warmed and ready to eat. We pack a few slices of bread or a stray bun to hold it all together and since the meat is bagged separately, there’s no soggy bread!

They’re prefect for a post-school snack or a full out dinner with additional sides, so give it a try next time you make up a batch for some quick hearty lunches!

<3 kt

day one of menu planning

i did it!  i made what i planned out, which was steak and tofu stir fry.  (i don’t eat pork/beef, but my boyfriend does.)  when i arrived at home after work, i preheated the oven for 400 degrees, lightly basted them in olive oil, and baked the tofu for 30 minutes (flipping them after 15 minutes).  while the tofu was baking, i diced up the steak and marinated it in a soy ginger chili garlic marinade.  i let the steak sit in the marinade while i cooked the brown rice and diced up the veggies.  when there was approximately 10 minutes left of baking the tofu, i started cooking the steak and veggies.


it was easier than i thought it was going to be.  and while i was making dinner, i popped in some edamame into the microwave to snack on.  i get home late and needed a snack while dinner was en route.

overall it was simple.  i liked the fact that i knew what to prepare and had all the ingredients.  we’ll see how the rest of the week pans out!

<3 kt

alternative ways to eat waffles

im always looking for exciting new ways to freshen up breakfast and lunch.  sometimes you are in a hurry and don’t have time to fix an appropriate meal.  frozen waffles are easy, something to grab on the go.  thanks to, here’s some ways to dress them up:

They’re not just for breakfast anymore. Try these delicious ideas for waffle sandwiches.

by Kate Merker

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat. Heat the sandwich, pressing occasionally and flipping once with a spatula, until the waffles turn crisp.

Frozen waffles can be more than just a vehicle for butter and maple syrup. When used to make grilled cheese or panini-style sandwiches, they really are the greatest invention since sliced bread. Using your choice of fillings or any of those below, assemble a sandwich, then follow the directions.

  • Bacon, avocado, and Cheddar
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Red onion, black olives, and Feta
  • Egg, spinach, and Swiss cheese
  • Smoked turkey, watercress, and Brie
  • Butter, banana, brown sugar, and cinnamon
  • Chocolate bars and marshmallows or Marshmallow Fluff

<3 kt

pack veggies & dip together!

i am always looking for easier ways to pack lunches and especially veggies to snack on.  i just love this easy idea of combining the dip and veggies into one convenient packaging!

We all strive to eat more vegetables during our day-to-day adventures, but there’s something slightly lackluster about opening your bag or container to find just six sad little carrot sticks. Dips can be messy and usually require more than one container, but not if you store them together!

It wasn’t until a friend looked at us strangely for our snacking setup that it occurred to us that not everyone does this! So we thought we’d pass along our small tip that’s kept us snacking happily on carrots without packing extra bulk in our bags. Each day we pack a little mason jar filled with veggies and dip (this one happens to be Tofu, Bean and Basil) to carry with us throughout the day. Because there’s no extra packaging for the dip, it makes it easy to carry and easy to eat without the need for utensils. Plus, we trust the mason jar to keep its contents inside! We usually pack sturdy vegetables such as carrots and celery or broccoli and cauliflower — just make sure to cut your pieces into as long of shapes as you can for easy eating! Having the dip on hand makes the traditional vegetable snack a bit more fun and packs a little more punch for our palates. Any extra dip can simply be added to for the next day when you refill your jar!

<3 kt

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