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In the Kitchen

Posted by: Kristina Evans | Comments (0)

I can’t believe Christmas is just days away!  I imagine many people, will be traveling for the holidays, but just in case you’re sticking close to home here are a couple of recipes I thought you might enjoy.

Vegetable Lentil Soup
Roasted Chicken with Mushrooms and Gorgonzola

Have a very Merry Christmas!  Drink a glass of egg nog for me!


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In The Kitchen

Posted by: Kristina Evans | Comments (0)

Well I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks and this week I’m taking it easy.  I’m not using any of my own recipes.  You know sometimes you just don’t feel very creative and that’s OK.  When I’m feeling less than creative I go to my bookshelf, where I admittedly have far too many cookbooks.  Really, I sometimes think I became a personal chef just to support my cookbook habit.  So this week I’ve pulled out a tried-and-true favorite, Joy of Cooking. Read More→

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Weekly Menu 11/23-11/27

Posted by: Kristina Evans | Comments (0)

So the title isn’t exactly correct for this post.  I’m not going to give you a weeks worth of recipes, but I am going to give you some of my all time favorite Thanksgiving recipes. This week I’ve included two of my favorite side dishes, a link to my favorite, and full-proof, roast turkey recipe along with a bonus dinner recipe that just seems to encompass all the flavors of autumn.  Hope you enjoy.

Sauteed Green Beans with Carrots and Garlic:  There has never been a more beautiful dish than this one.  The colors are so vibrant and flavors are wonderful.

Roasted Garlic & Rosemary Mashed Potatoes:  One word…YUM!  Once you’ve had these mashed potatoes you’ll never want any other kind.  This is probably the most requested recipe from my family.  These potatoes are great for the holidays and even pair nicely with a steak.  (I’ll have to post that recipe another time…)

Roast Turkey:  Now this recipe comes straight from Alton Brown at Food TV.  I have been using this recipe, specifically this technique for, good grief, 6-8 years.  Although I sometimes will vary the brine or the seasonings I never, let me repeat, never change the technique.  I always get a beautiful moist turkey that everyone enjoys.  So make sure to read the recipe and watch the videos as Alton describes how to make this.  Trust me you will never make roast turkey another way!

And finally, the bonus recipe, Braised Chicken with Apples and Cranberries.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, from my kitchen to yours!

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Weekly Menu 11/16-11/20

Posted by: Kristina Evans | Comments (0)

Knowing that Thanksgiving is next week and that one big meal can really put a drain on my grocery budget, I’ve chosen to use some some super easy, frugal, and yummy meals this week.

Monday: Miso Soup with Steamed Broccoli and Rice If you enjoy miso soup and have never made it at home you really should give it a try.  It’s easy and tastes so good!  If it seems like too much trouble, you can swing by one of your local Sushi restaurants and get it to go.

Tuesday-Thursday:  One Chicken, 3 Meals My family really love that I don’t make them eat “leftovers” but try to recreate leftover ingredients into completely different meals.  So we’ll have the slow-cooked whole chicken and vegetables then I’ll use the remaining chicken meat in other recipes.  One whole chicken easily feeds my family of 4, however, if you have more mouths to feed or even teenagers (Yipes!) you will probably only get 2 meals unless you can fit 2 whole chickens in your crock pot… or you have 2 crock pots.  :^)

Friday:  Potato Cheese Soup This is so good and frugal!  I lighten the recipe by using 1% milk.  It’s slightly less creamy but no one seems to mind and I certainly don’t mind the fewer calories and fat grams!

Next week I’ll post some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes.  Happy cooking!

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Weekly Meals 11/9-11/13

Posted by: Kristina Evans | Comments (1)

So this week I’ve given myself a challenge.  I’m not going grocery shopping, but I’m going to make our family meals right out of the pantry with some of the vegetables we are still getting out of the garden.  (Don’t be mad!  It’s just one of the perks of living in So. Cal!)  I try to do this every once in a while for a few of different reasons. One, I like being frugal with our grocery budget.  Two, I like the creative challenge this gives me.  (Between you and me, my husband seems most impressed with my cooking when I randomly make something out of nothing.  It makes him smile, which makes me smile.  Nice.)  Three, I don’t like food getting lost in the back of the pantry so by cooking this way I am forced to really look at what’s in my pantry and use it.  Some time in the future I will create a list of the pantry items I regularly keep so if you are new to cooking or just an overwhelmed cook you will have something to go by.

Monday: Chicken, Pineapple, & Vegetable Stir Fry My kids love stir frys and it’s a great way to get them to eat more vegetables.  For this one I used some precooked and chopped chicken thighs I had marinated with Soyaki (a favorite sauce from Trader Joe’s).  I sauteed sliced onion and carrots then added the chicken and some fresh pineapple.  I had the fresh pineapple on hand but you could certainly use canned.  Then I served everything over brown rice.

Tuesday: Taco Salad Use your imagination and whatever meat you might have frozen in the freezer.  I will use some frozen shredded chicken (leftovers from a previous meal.)  Cooked up with onion and peppers from the garden.  I’ll toss all of that with salsa I have in the fridge.  The chicken and salsa mixture will then go on top a bed of romaine lettuce with fresh tomatoes, cheese, and sprinkling of crumbled tortilla chips.  If you want to take this meal vegetarian, replace the chicken with black or pinto beans.

Wednesday: Crockpot Chili Beans This is made just like the Black Bean & Rice Soup except I’ll use extra seasonings and I’ll leave out the rice.  I’ll serve these beans with homemade corn bread.

Thursday: Spinach and White Bean Pasta with Salame Ok, this a fun one and so simple with ingredients from the pantry.  If you don’t have salame you could certainly use bacon as the topping.  I’ll serve this with a great rustic No-Knead Bread I found.  Note:  The bread recipe requires that you start the dough the night before you plan to eat it.

Friday: Homemade Pizza Night I keep our favorite pizza toppings in zip top bags in the freezer, I use my homemade sauce, and I make the dough.  So this meal is great for saving money and is fun for the whole family!

With happy and frugal blessings from my kitchen to yours!

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Weekly Meals 11/2-11/6

Posted by: Kristina Evans | Comments (0)

I really can’t believe it’s November!!  Time is flying by and I’m really feeling the transition from summer “light” meals to heartier comfort foods.  In season at the farmers market are beautiful apples, squash, and potatoes, a true bounty of harvest.  Here in California we are blessed with a year-round farmers market, but for those you in colder regions you can still get some great produce at great prices in the supermarkets.

We are a little busier this week so I’ve tried to take that into account for my meals, focusing on more quick “go to” types of meals.

Monday: Crockpot Black Bean & Rice Soup This is a great “go to” frugal meal utilizing ingredients  most of us have in the pantry.  Just remember to start soaking the beans on Sunday night so they are ready to cook in the morning.  I’ll serve this with a Caesar Salad.

Tuesday:  Creamy Chicken with Mushrooms and Spinach I’ll serve this over pasta with a side of  Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon.

Wednesday:  Taco Night My kids love taco night!  I brown organic ground beef (my super market has a great line of organic meats that I often find with clearance prices of less than $4 per pound.)  I brown the beef with chopped onions and bell pepper then season it up with chili powder, cumin, and a secret ingredient. Finally, I add drained and rinsed red kidney beans.  These tacos have great nutrition.  If red meat is something you leave out of your diet, then you can certainly make these with ground turkey.  I buy all natural taco shells and let the girls top their tacos with their favorites… lettuce, tomato, cheese, & salsa.

Thursday:  Salmon Salad Sandwiches with Wasabi Mayo These are so simple to make, just like a tuna salad, but with increased heart healthy omega-3’s and monounsaturated fats.  I like to put the salad on our favorite organic whole grain bread with sliced red bell pepper, avocado and arugula.  Serve these with frozen, thawed organic edamame.  ( I found this recipe in the Flat Belly Diet.)

Friday:  Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Drumsticks Super simple and kid friendly.  When I find drumsticks on sale I buy them and separate them into zip-top bags with marinades I know the kids will enjoy.  I like to serve these with brown rice and sauteed vegetables.

Hope you enjoy these meals from my kitchen to yours!

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