My 2 Cents

Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

20110820-070613.jpgThis is yet another Whole Foods recipe.  We had it for dinner earlier this week.  It was quick and easy, and really good with a side salad.  Hope you enjoy!

Serves 4 to 6

Kids love this dish and thankfully it’s easy to customize to their tastes. Start with the basic recipe then add cooked sausage, pepperoni or black olives, if you like. Little hands can spread the cheese or sauce, sprinkle the fillings or roll up the pasta.


1/2 pound (8 to 10) uncooked lasagna noodles
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce
1 1/2 cups packed baby spinach
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella


Preheat oven to 400°F. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add noodles and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well and gently transfer to a clean work surface.

Grease a small roasting pan or casserole dish with cooking spray; set aside. Working with one noodle at a time, spread with about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta and 2 tablespoons of the marinara then top with spinach. Starting at one end, roll up noodle snugly then arrange in pan either seam-side down or with the rolls close enough together to hold each other closed. Pour remaining marinara over assembled rolls then sprinkle with mozzarella and bake until golden and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes.


Per serving (about 7oz/189g-wt.): 350 calories (100 from fat), 11g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 35mg cholesterol, 670mg sodium, 47g total carbohydrate (4g dietary fiber, 9g sugar), 16g protein



This is definitely not one of my healthiest recipes, but it is SOOOOO good!  It’s for meat eaters or veggies, so everyone can enjoy it.  It’s also good made stove top, or in a slow cooker. It tastes good left over or after reheated from frozen too.  Hope you enjoy!

Serves 4-6


1 package Morningstar Griller’s Crumbles (or 1lb. ground beef or turkey)

1 can chili beans (15.5 ounces)

1 can diced tomatoes (15.5 ounces)

1 can diced green chilies (4 ounces)

1 can yellow corn (8.75 ounces)

1 package chili seasoning (McCormick or other brand, I use the hot style)

1 package Fritos chips

sour cream

shredded cheddar


Brown crumbles or meat in a 4-6 quart pot on meduim-high heat.  Add chili seasoning, tomatoes, beans, green chilies, and corn.  Stir to mix evenly.  Turn heat to low and let simmer for 20-25 minutes. (Or put browned crumbles/meat in slow cooker, and mix with other ingredients.  Then let chili cook on low for up to 4 hours.)  Serve over Fritos in a bowl, and top with cheddar cheese and sour cream.

Grilled Teriyaki Tofu



This is yet another recipe from my Whole Foods app.  I’m not typically a huge tofu fan, when it’s by itself, but this was super good!  I followed the recipe pretty much exactly, and served it over snow peas and rice.  I didn’t grill it though, I used the broiling option because it took a bit less time.  I would definitely recommend it, it was yummy and easy!

Serves 4

Use in sandwiches or wraps, or serve on a bed of sautéed veggies like spinach, carrots, bok choy or bell peppers.


1/4 cup low-sodium tamari
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
Olive oil cooking spray
1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained and patted dry, cut crosswise into 8 slices


In a wide, shallow dish, whisk together tamari, sesame oil, honey, rice vinegar, ginger and garlic. Add tofu, turn to coat all over, cover and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Pat tofu dry, then oil lightly with cooking spray. Grill over medium-high heat or broil on a foil-lined baking sheet until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes on each side.


Per serving (about 4oz/106g-wt.): 80 calories (30 from fat), 3.5g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 210mg sodium, 4g total carbohydrate (0g dietary fiber, 2g sugar), 7g protein



Tonight’s recipe is a new one for us. We haven’t tried it, but it looks DELICIOUS! I found the recipe on $5 Dinners, which happens to be an awesome site. You should check it out. I’ve got the recipe below, and I will let you know how it rates, and add a picture, after we chow down tonight.

Red Quinoa with Avocado, Black Beans & Corn



1 cup red quinoa (I have white quinoa left over from the other night, so I won’t be using the  red.)
1 cup frozen diced green pepper (I used fresh)
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups cooked black beans
1/4 cup lime juice
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 avocado, diced


In a large skillet, saute the green pepper, corn and black beans. Once softened, add the lime juice and cilantro. In saucepan, cook the red quinoa as directed on the package. Once cooked, mix the quinoa in with the sauteeing veggies. Dice up and avocado. Serve the avocado on top of the quinoa and veggies.

How was it?

This recipe was yummy.  I don’t think I’ve mastered how to cook the quinoa yet, because it was a little mushy, and kind of fell apart.  I think I could have taken it off the stove a few minutes earlier.  Otherwise, the flavors were really good.  We would totally eat it again.


Let me just say I think there is a distinct difference between cooking and making dinner.  I used to say “I don’t cook, I just make dinner.”  Cooking to me is following some sort of recipe, or fixing things from scratch.  The Other Half is the one who usually does the cooking in our house!  I’m the one who, until this summer, just made dinner.  Meaning, I heated up something boxed, or frozen (i.e. hamburger helper, frozen pizza, mac & cheese, pasta with a jar of tomato sauce, etc.) – you know, the really healthy stuff!

My Other Half is the creative one in the kitchen, he can whip up a little culinary delight in no time.  He doesn’t need a recipe, and everything always tastes good.  I have always been a little challenged in that area.  If I cook, I need a recipe, and I have to follow it to the “T.”

Summer time rolled around this year, and for some reason, I (yes, ME!) started COOKING!  Not all of the meals have been culinary masterpieces, and I’m sure Gordon Ramsey would have called me a “Stupid Donkey!” at least once or twice, but I’m really starting to enjoy it.  On top of that, I am learning to be a little more flexible and creative with my recipes too.

This week I have been stuck in a sort of “making dinner” rut again, but tonight I vow to start cooking again!

What are your thoughts?  How does your family “do” dinner?

Look for tonight’s recipe to be posted later today, and enjoy!



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