Thursday, November 29, 2012

Keep it Cool

Now that the winter months have rolled in, remember that frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh vegetables. Choose plain veggies over those that are in cream or butter sauces and spice them up yourself! Best part is that frozen veggies are usually less expensive in the winter too! Just don't be tempted to pick up the frozen entrees in the supermarket coolers beside those frozen veggies ;-)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Quick Dinner, SUPER Tasty

Need something really quick for dinner?  Keep it super tasty with Bruschetta...

A perfect combination of rich, ripe tomatoes, tangy balsamic glaze, calcium-rich mozzarella, and crispy baguette bread- this recipe is waiting for you!

1  baguette, whole wheat italian loaf, or your favorite bread
2-3 vine ripe tomatoes
1/2 package fresh mozzarella (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic glaze
Ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. 
2. Slice loaf of bread into as thin or thick slices as you like.  With a serrated knife, slice tomatoes and fresh mozzarella into 1/4" thick slices.
3. On a aluminum foil-lined baking sheet, crisp bread in the oven for 2-3 minutes.
4. Once bread is toasted, remove from the oven and carefully place tomatoes on top of bread.  Layer with mozzarella slices.
5. Re-toast bruschetta slices in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until cheese begins to melt.
6. Remove toast from oven.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic glaze.  Top with salt and pepper to taste.

Need some help in the kitchen?  Let older kids help by drizzling the balsamic glaze or grinding the pepper over the bruschetta.  They'd love to help you and will be more cooperative with dinner!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Pack It Up, Pack It In

The Blue Placemat Table Talk:

10 extra minutes tonight...

Could save you up to 20 minutes tomorrow morning.

If you just finished dinner and you have leftovers, why not pack some of them up in a larger container and separate a bit for your lunch tomorrow?  This could save you huge steps in the morning, when you may be especially slow-moving and groggy.

While you're at it, wash a piece of fruit and a vegetable to add to your meal.  Gather your lunch together and put it aside in the refrigerator or bag it the night before and refrigerate so you can just grab and go.

  • You may be tired now, but this could save you time and money tomorrow.

"How much money?" you ask...

  • By packing your lunch just 3 times each week, you could save about $18 weekly.  Doesn't seem like such a bargain?  Well, this adds up to save you $72 each month and $936 all year.  
  • If you're really motivated, try to bring your lunch (almost) every day.  By bringing your lunch to work or school 5 days/week, you'll save on average $30/week (usually more), $120/month, and $1,560/year!!!  

PLUS, you'll get to eat EXACTLY what YOU want, and you know that your lunch was made safely and in a clean way.

*Don't be afraid to mix it up.  Bring leftovers from appetizers, salads, hot meal dinners, etc. to mix it up from the same ole' sandwich.  If you're on a sandwich kick and afraid your sandwich will get soggy overnight, pack it so that you can assemble it at work or school, or save your sandwich by adding condiments in the morning to your ready-built sandwich.  This will keep your bread fresh and stomach growling for lunch!