December 31, 2011

WHAT'S COOKIN' THIS WEEK? - Week of January 9

Onto week two of January’s menu. I’ve tried to create a mix of meats and veggies throughout the week for variety and to continue to expose the little one to different types of foods. I’m very lucky to have a good eater in my house who is willing to try pretty much anything at least once!

Since it’s January, it seems appropriate to include a recipe from The Biggest Loser. I love watching how this show transforms lives! I don’t have quite the same challenge in front of me, but we all need to work to live healthier


Baked Ziti (Biggest Loser), garlic bread and Caesar salad

Baked Ziti


  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 (14 oz.) box of fiber-enriched ziti or penne
  • 1 (15 oz.) container fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 cups shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Low fat, low sodium marinara sauce
  • 2 tbsp. reduced fat grated parmesan cheese


Preheat the over to 450 degrees and spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray.

Cook pasta according to directions. In a separate mixing bowl, mix ricotta cheese, egg whites, and 3 of the 4 cups of mozzarella. Add in the garlic powder and salt and pepper. Once the pasta is cooked mix it in with the ricotta mixture.

In the baking dish spread 1 cup of pasta on the bottom. Then spread 1/2 of the pasta/ricotta mixture on top of that. Next spread a layer of 1/2 cup of sauce, then layer the remaining pasta/ricotta mixture over that. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of sauce and sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese on top.

Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and continue baking for 10 more minutes. Pull out of oven and let sit for 5 minutes.


Taco night

Tuesdays are hectic in our house so we need something super easy. For taco night, we just cook up some ground turkey and use whatever toppings we have on hand to make tacos or taco salads – whatever each person likes.

Typical Ingredients:

  • Ground turkey
  • Black beans
  • Taco seasoning
  • Taco shells
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Shredded cheese
  • Black olives
  • Tomatoes
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream

Turkey brats, baked beans and fruit cup

You won’t need any recipes for this menu. We get spinach and cheese turkey brats from Sam’s Club and cook up some baked beans with a side of fruit for an easy, quick, healthy dinner for the fam.



Italian white beans and chicken (Betty Crocker Quick Fixes), biscuits

Italian White Beans and Chicken


  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. fresh or 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups cut-up cooked chicken (about 1 lb.)
  • ½ cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • ¼ cup sliced ripe olives
  • 2 cans (15 oz. cans) greater northern beans, drained and rinsed


In a 10-inch skillet, heat olive over medium heat. Cook basil and garlic in oil 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently until hot.

Shopping List: (don’t forget to check what you already have first to save money!)

  • Tomatoes
  • Caesar salad kit
  • Garlic
  • Garlic bread
  • Biscuits
  • Buns
  • Black olives
  • Black beans
  • Baked beans
  • 2 cans northern beans
  • Oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • Fruit (canned)
  • Marinara sauce
  • Wheat ziti or penne
  • Taco seasoning
  • Taco shells
  • Salsa
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried basil
  • Ground turkey
  • Turkey brats
  • Cubed chicken
  • Sour cream
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Eggs
  • Mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • Mexican blend cheese (shredded)

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