A sweet and sour dessert: Broiled Grapefruit

Do you ever crave something light and refreshingly sweet after a large meal? Broiled grapefruit is the dessert for you. Not only is it healthy but it also tastes amazing. It is warm and gooey and juicy all at the same time!

It is so simple. All you do is halve the grapefruit and section it off with a knife. Then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and broil until it is browned on top. That’s it. Simple dessert in minutes!

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Protein Bars

I just whipped up a batch of these PB Chocolate Protein Bars in about 20 minutes. They are full of protein and taste similar to a brownie! I found this recipe on fitoverfat.com. If you have all of these ingredients on hand it is definitely cheaper to make these bars instead of purchasing some from the grocery store.

Ingredients

  • Cooking oil spray
  • ½ cup plain oatmeal
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • ¼ cup egg whites (2 whites)
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder (1/3 cup)
  • ½ cup Stevia granulated or sugar (or 12 packets Truvia)
  • ¼ cup milled flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons natural peanut butter

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8×8″ pan with cooking oil spray.
2. In a microwave safe bowl, combine oats and milk; cook for 60 seconds. Stir and allow to cool; mix in egg whites and vanilla.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the whey protein, Splenda, flaxseed, flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
4. Add oatmeal mixture to dry ingredients; mix just until everything is moist. Spread batter in pan.
4. Place peanut butter in microwave safe bowl and heat for 45 seconds or until melted. Spoon peanut butter over batter in pan and swirl with knife tip.
6. Bake for 10 minutes; allow to cool completely before cutting into 12 bars. Wrap each individually in plastic wrap and store in the freezer or refrigerator. Unwrap and microwave 30 seconds to warm.

Vegetable Tian

Looking for a taste of summer in these winter months? This Vegetable Tian is the perfect recipe to bring back the taste of summer. With caramelized onions, zucchini, and Roma tomatoes slow roasted with Parmesan cheese, this is an unbeatable dish.

This is Ina Garten’s recipe from foodnetwork.com

Ingredients

  • Good olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut in half and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium sized zucchinis
  • 4-5 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus extra sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Brush a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking dish with olive oil. In a medium saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the onions over medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Spread the onion mixture on the bottom of the baking dish.

Slice the zucchini, and tomatoes in 1/4-inch thick slices. Layer them alternately in the dish on top of the onions, fitting them tightly, making only 1 layer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme leaves, and thyme sprigs and drizzle with 1 more tablespoon of olive oil. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the dish, remove the thyme sprigs, sprinkle the cheese on top, and bake for another 30 minutes until browned. Serve warm.

Lemon Rosemary Chicken

This Crockpot chicken recipe is so delicious and simple to make. The subtle lemon flavor is infused into the chicken along with rosemary. It is a simple way to cook chicken that can be used in so many different ways.

Ingredients:

  • 2 frozen bone-in chicken breast halves
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 lemon thinly sliced
  • 1 T. dried rosemary
  • 1 T. Herbs de Provence
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Place all ingredients in the Crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours. Remove skin bones from meat and shred with two forks.

One Month Down

Although Feb 1st does not start till Tuesday I am wrapping up the first month of the project. Last week I was home on break and definitely splurged a lot. With my parents paying for food and going out to delicious dinners with family, I did not think once about my budget or eating healthily. Excluding the meals I had supplemented by my parents (thanks!) I spent a total of $63 on groceries last month! I went out to eat a couple of times and spent $21 on the two meals combined. Just looking at the fact that two meals were one third of my money spent on groceries (and one forth total) is ridiculous. Honestly, going out to eat is fun but I think it is just as fun (if not more) to cook with friends instead. With all of my food totaled up I spent $84 on food for the month! I am very pleased with myself and the realization that saving money is not too much of a hardship.

This was the delicious lunch I shared with my Mom last week from California Pizza Kitchen. It was a salad on top of a pizza crust. I need to learn how to make this myself.

With a bit of a set back last week, I have decided that I want to make February the best month yet. I am going to try to update this blog with more recipes and money saving tips.

Grocery shopping today, I focused on buying mainly fresh fruits and veggies. I of course added some greek yogurt, garlic hummus, and chocolate chips (get ready for a new pb chocolate chip granola bar recipe!) My most expensive item was the peanut butter but I think it’s worth it. Total today was $27.20.

I had chicken to use in the freezer that I placed in the crock pot to have for the week. It is Mediterranean Lemon Chicken. t is cooking in the Crockpot as I type this and I can not wait to try it. I am planning on using it for salads and sandwiches.

Living The Beautiful Sweet Life On A Budget: 8 Things I Have Learned

1. Plan Ahead: When meals and shopping lists are planned ahead, it is much easier to stay on track. Researching local grocery stores online can provide information about sale items, as well as online coupons. Using what items are on sale, prepare a meal plan for the week and stick to it.

2. Cook Big: Whenever I cook I make at least four servings. This allows me to have food leftover for days when I am too busy to cook. Plus, nothing feels better after a long day than a delicious meal waiting in the fridge.

3. Buy on-sale and get creative: Sure, planning is important but I also find that it is important to buy items that are on sale. For example, I bought 12 servings of bone-in chicken breast last week for only $4.o0. I was not planning on buying it, nor have I ever cooked chicken that way but it was such an amazing deal not to pass up. Plus, I found that cooking bone-in chicken was super easy and delicious.

4. Google is the Best Resource: The best way to save money is to cook with ingredients that are already in your pantry. Google can really help to find recipes by just searching for the ingredients you already have on-hand.

5. Buy Frozen! Brrrr frozen veggies may not appeal  as much as fresh but they sure do save a lot of money. They are just as healthy as fresh veggies and I find them so much more convenient because they are already washed and chopped. They are also nice because they cook well in the microwave.

6. Freeze Leftovers: If for some reason the food you prepared a couple of days ago does not get eaten, freeze it! I like to portion out meals and freeze them in reusable containers to make my own frozen dinners. This way there are no preservatives and a ton less sodium than store bought frozen dinners such as Healthy Choice or Lean Cuisine.

7. Take it one meal at a time: Thinking about cooking your own meals and eating healthy for the rest of your life can be a bit overwhelming. I find that I do best when I think about what I eat one meal at a time. It also helps to remember that if you slip up on one meal, you can get right back on track with the next

8. Indulge: Life is short… be social and live for today. Just because you’re on a budget or trying to eat healthier does not mean that you can not indulge once in a while. It is those nights where I go out for ice cream or have a big bowl of pasta that get me through. Life is not all or nothing, moderation is the key to happiness and success.

Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Chicken

I made this for dinner last week and never posted about it. My mom asked me to throw something in the crock pot before I left today. It is delicious, quick, and oh so versatile! It’s very good with tortillas but I like it best making it into a taco salad.

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Place all ingredients in the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. That’s it!

I ate mine with left over salad from lunch and added corn, soy beans and red onions. My mom made homemade corn tortillas and they were phenomenal.