Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Beef Stroganoff

  • 2 pounds of lean beef tips (stew meat) ($2.99 on sale)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced (cut into very small pieces, or you can just buy jarred minced garlic) ($.39)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. of pepper
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped ($2.88)
  • 1 tsp. of dried thyme
  • 2 1/2 cups of cremini mushrooms ($2.24)
  • 1 package of white button mushrooms ($1.98)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped ($.87)
  • 1/4 cup of sherry cooking wine
  • 1 cup of fat free half & half ($1.50)
  • 1 cup of low-sodium beef broth ($.86)
  • 1 tbsp. of dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup of Greek style non-fat yogurt ($1.00)
  • 1 package of whole wheat egg noodles ($1.08)

Place the minced garlic, pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp. of pepper, 1 tbsp of olive oil, rosemary, and thyme into a small bowl and stir together until a paste consistency. Place the cubed beef into a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add the garlic/herb mixture and saute until meat is cooked through. Once cooked through, remove the beef mixture into a bowl and set aside. Cook the egg noodles in boiling water according to directions on the package, drain and add back into the pot.

Using the same pan, over medium-high heat, add remaining 1 tbsp. of olive oil, mushrooms, and onions. Saute until lightly browned and season with remaining 1/2 tsp. of pepper and garlic powder. Briefly remove the pan from the heat and add sherry white wine to deglaze the pan. Return the pan to the heat and add fat-free half & half and low-sodium beef broth. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced by about a 1/4-1/2 (about 5-8 min.). Turn off the heat and stir in the dijon mustard and Greek yogurt. Add the beef back into the mushroom sauce and stir until combined. Either in the pasta pot or in another large bowl, combine the pasta and the mushroom/beef mixture and stir until well incorporated. If needed, season with salt & pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Total Price:


(Items that are not priced were items that we already had at home)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Peanut & Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 sticks of unsalted light butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup of reduced fat crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup of almond butter
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of Splenda
  • 1 cup of light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 3/4 cup of milk chocolate chips
Beat butter, peanut butter, almond butter, granulated sugar, Splenda, and brown sugar until creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time until well incorporated. On slow speed, mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon cookie dough onto greased baking sheet and flatten each ball with a fork, making a criss-cross pattern. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes until lightly brown on top. ENJOY!!

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

**I had all of these ingredients at home, but all of the ingredients are fairly cheap and this is a great treat to bring to a party or you can freeze the dough and have it on hand for a quick treat when you are having people over**

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tomato Basil Tilapia

  • 2 tilapia fillets ($2.12)
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil + an extra drizzle
  • 2 Tbsp of chopped fresh basil ($2.99)
  • 1/2 tsp of dried oregano
  • 4-5 thin slices of roma tomato ($.50)
  • 1 Tbsp of lemon juice ($.50)
  • 2 Tbsp of fat free feta cheese ($2.50)
Place the 2 tilapia fillets on a greased cookie sheet. Season the tilapia with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Drizzle the 2 Tbsp of olive oil over the top of the fillets and then sprinkle them with the fresh basil and oregano. Place the thin slices of tomato on top and then drizzle with olive oil and finish them off with lemon juice and fat free feta. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

Served with a side of couscous and roasted asparagus.

This recipe is one of Paula Deen's recipes with a few changes made to it!



Friday, March 4, 2011

Pasta Primavera with Ground Turkey

  • 1 box of whole wheat penne or rotini pasta ($1.00)
  • 1 bunch of baby asparagus (chopped into 1-2 in. pieces with the ends discarded) ($1.99)
  • 2 small green peppers (sliced into thin strips) ($2.48)
  • 1 package of white mushrooms ($1.98)
  • 1 container of cherry tomatoes (sliced in halves or quarters) ($2.98)
  • 1 medium sweet yellow onion (sliced into thin strips) ($0.98)
  • 2 Tbsp of minced garlic
  • 4 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 package of Extra Lean Ground Turkey ($4.58)
  • 1 can of Hunt's Heart Healthy Stewed Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic, and Oregano ($0.86)  
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • Ground pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese ($1.99)
  • Shredded 2% mozzarella cheese for garnish ($2.36)

Place 2 cookie sheets side by side and add the chopped asparagus to one cookie sheet with 1 Tbsp of olive oil and add the sliced cherry tomatoes to the other with 1 Tbsp of oilve oil. Sprinkle both asparagus and tomatoes with salt and pepper and stir around with your hands. Place in a 350 degree oven and roast for 30-45 min until soft, browned, and carmelized. While the tomatoes and asparagus are roasting, saute the garlic, mushrooms, sliced onion and peppers until soft and carmelized. In another pan, cook the ground turkey until no longer pink. Add the ground turkey to the pepper and onion mixture. Cook the pasta in a large spaghetti pot until al dente (firm but not hard), drain and place back into the large pot. Add the pepper, onion, and turkey mixture into the pasta. Once the tomatoes and asparagus are done roasting add them to the pasta as well. Once all of the vegetables and pasta are mixed together, sprinkle with ground pepper, garlic powder, italian seasoning, and parmesan cheese and stir. Serve on a small dinner plate and garnish with mozzarella cheese.  Enjoy!

Total Price:

$21.20 (This is a HUGE pot of pasta that is HEALTHY & PACKED with vitamins and minerals)
Makes about 10 servings

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

2011 Men's Conference- Covenant

Last weekend, I (Kel) had the opportunity to go to the men's conference that our church has each year.  J.R. Vassar, pastor at Apostles Church in New York City, was the speaker again and the Lord really taught me a lot through J.R.'s teaching as he focused on image versus essence and consumerism versus covenant.  Below are some of the things J.R. hit on:
  • Cultural images try to portray what a "real man" is supposed to look like through things like advertising, movies, etc. and this is approach is an outside-in one, meaning if one changes what he looks like on the outside then he will become a "real man."  Most men are sucked into the form that culture has portrayed instead of what God has called men to be, which is the true essence of manhood.
  • Many of us buy into consumerism with the hope that we can establish an acceptable identity and portray a certain image, whatever that may be (successful businessman, owning a large house, appearing to have it all together, etc.).  We desire to be visible or noticed by those around us and we want to feel valued by those same people (fear of man).  But there are consequences if I buy into the culture's image, one of those being that my wife will be further enslaved to try to fit the image culture pushes on her because I expect her to look a certain way.  As men, we must focus on building His kingdom and not our own because it will ruin us, our wife, our kids, and others around us.  A lifestyle that chases after empty things is like, as J.R. put it, "a sports car without anything under the hood."
  • Men are created to relate to the trinitarian God but sin shattered that perfect relationship with God in the Garden of Eden and consequently alienated us from Him.  However, everything that was ruined with Adam is restored in the person and work of Jesus Christ.   As believers, we don't have to try to architect an identity.  We simply receive the identity that comes from Christ when we are saved by grace and through faith.  Part of that process is abandoning and rejecting the images of culture and embracing what the Bible defines as manhood by looking to Christ as the ultimate example of a man.  Essentially, there must be repentance from trying to find our identity in how the world defines a man and God desires to see the image of Christ restored in me through the power of the Holy Spirit.  This process does require effort and it cannot be done by sitting around.  As Dallas Willard puts it, "The path of spiritual growth in the riches of Christ is not a passive one.  Grace is not opposed to effort.  It is opposed to earning.  Effort is action.  Earning is attitude."  There must be a dying to sin and self on a daily basis and that means cutting out certain things in my life. 
  • I cannot live by cravings much like Esau did, rather I must live by conviction.  I must consider that I am forging a character that will determine my legacy and think about how my actions will affect those around me.  In contrast to Esau, Jesus lived by His convictions when he was tempted in the desert and again He is the primary example of a man that we look to.  He was a man of covenant by the power of the Holy Spirit so He could be obedient to His Father.  If Jesus had to walk in the power of the Spirit and He is God, then how much more do I need to rely on the Holy Spirit in my walk with Christ?  This idea of covenantal living is difficult for many men because we want a minumum commitment with a maximum return.  Many times, when we have given a maximum commitment to something and see little return we want to bail out.  Christ didn't do that with us though.  He gives us the maximum amount of love, grace, etc. knowing that our return will be small, if anything at all.  For men, covenantal living means being a man of the house and not running to things that are meaningless and waste our time.  My focus has to be on the spiritual health and growth of my family and as I embrace this responsibility I become more competent in that area.
  • I must have a vision for what it looks like for me to be totally conformed to Christ's image.  How would different areas of my life (marriage, relationship with co-workers, how I handled my finances, etc.) flourish if I really looked like Christ?  There are different means I can use in pursuing Christ in this way and some of them include relying on the power of the Holy Spirit, spending time in prayer and the Word, authentic community with other believers, fasting, spending time in silence before the Lord, and many others. 
  • John is a great example of a man who found his identity in Christ.  He was labeled, "the one who Jesus loved" or "the disciple who Jesus loved."  This was the essence of his being and the most important thing about him.  In John 13:22, we get a picture of how intimate John was with Jesus, "One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table close to Jesus."  John was always close to Jesus and desired to be near Him.