Yum yum

Every morning, I scroll through my RSS feed of cooking blogs looking for new recipes. It’s been a daily ritual the past year, which means I’m constantly cooking new dishes and expecting perfection from the recipe writer. I rarely can afford to fail, because I max out my grocery budget every week. If I do, Joel just eats at church and I drink my backup protein shakes. Anyways… here are few that didn’t fail for me recently:

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Pesto Grilled Cheese with a side Avocado & Bean salad

I mentioned to a family member I was making this sandwich on rye bread. They were shocked, but it actually was a perfect complement to the flavor. To make it a little healthier, I used organic 365 rye bread (Whole Foods, $2.99), Trader Joe’s Pesto ($2.99 – a MUST! Best pesto in a jar), tomatoes on the vine, and Trader Joe’s skim mozzarella.

The bean salad is so simple and cheap – an avocado, can of kidney beans, and grilled corn (which I did on the skillet) with two limes. DELISH!


Kale and White Bean soup w/ Spicy Chicken Sausage

To those of you that subscribe to the Pioneer Woman, you saw her Kale and White Bean soup post this week. This isn’t her recipe, it’s a healthier version of it and VERY delicious! This recipe calls for yellow beets. I don’t typically like beats, but it’s perfect in this recipe. Also, kale freaks me out. I don’t know why – I think it’s that curl, rough look and texture. To trick my brain, I bought flat leaf Kale which is available at Whole Foods. It was delicious and the texture was much better for this type of soup. I also used spicy chicken sausage from Whole Foods. I think this recipe could handle 3/4lb of chicken sausage and another yellow beat.

To compliment the soup, I bought freshly baked focaccia bread from Trader Joes ($2.99 on promo) — yum yum!



Root Vegetable “Candy”

This is a good standard fall vegetable dish by the Pioneer Woman. I altered the recipe and added some apple cider vinegar and a touch of honey with the oil before drizzling. My favorite way to eat roots.


Spinach Mushroom Lasagna

Pretty decent recipe. I used low-fat on all the cheeses. I also made my own pasta sauce, which is my personal, secret recipe (hehe). It did turn out VERY soupy at first, because the water/juice from the spinach needed to be pressed out. I should have thought of that! But, it reheated very well and the extra liquid kept the reheated portions from drying out.


Chili-Stuffed Peppers

Vegan Chili-Stuffed Peppers

Nothing to add! You can had cheese if you aren’t going vegan :)


 Apple-Cranberry Strudel Pie

Fat-Free Apple-Cranberry Strussle Pie

This is sooooooo good. I found Phyllo dough in the freezer aisle at Whole Foods. If you’ve never worked with Phyllo dough, you MUST study the directions. It dries out very quickly which can ruin your recipe! Also, Honeycrisp was my choice of apple. I also added fat-free whip cream, but it doesn’t need it.


Best Salsa Ever

This is the Pioneer Woman’s fresh salsa recipe. I have made it for three different groups, and so far have yet to not walk away with very satisfied friends. Don’t change a thing in the recipe!


banana nut oat bran muffins

Banana-Nut Oat Bran Muffins

This recipe is not for those who like sugary cereals for breakfast. I really like this muffin, but it doesn’t turn out all pretty and fluffy. It is also for those who enjoy eating bran – not things that claim the health benefits of bran. I did learn during my visit to Whole Foods that you want Oat Bran which is different from Wheat Bran or Oat Flour. Oat Bran is found on the breakfast aisle, and is a soluble fiber (meaning it will help you feel full versus just passing through your system like insoluble fiber). I added a dash of vanilla and cinnamon to the recipe.

On another note, here is a recipe that failed… miserably.

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Pumpkin Scones

This recipe was a disaster. The scones didn’t rise and tasted instead like pumpkin sugar cookies. The icing needed to be thinned down with more milk. So if you prefer a dessert instead of breakfast, bake this recipe.


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3 responses to “Yum yum

  1. mojomomma

    Donelle, who are you? When did you have time to make all these recipes? Who’s pictures did you use? I am impressed. You go girl!!

    • theharders

      I’m your daughter! I’ve made this over the past three weeks. It’s good stress relief. ha. I used the pictures from the websites where I got the recipes. The name of the recipe is hyperlinked.

  2. mojomomma

    so proud of my girl!

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