Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Week 340 Menu: Thanksgiving Week

Happy Thanksgiving week everyone!  

I think I'm ready for Thanksgiving.  I went grocery shopping today and I think (fingers crossed) I got everything I need.  Now I just need to get our house company-ready, because my sister and her family are coming!  I'm super excited to have them come visit and to whip up a feast with my sis.

My cute daughter found my grocery shopping list and added a little to it.  {Smile!}  Too bad I dropped it on the way to the garage and had to write a new list in the Winco parking lot.  Shopping wasn't too bad.  I really love Winco!  

Here's the menu plan for the week:

Easy night (seriously...I think grocery shopping for Thanksgiving is harder than actually making the feast.  The stores are crazy and then you get to lug the groceries in from the car and them put them away.  I ran out of time today, so we had leftovers and/or french toast for dinner.)


Taco soup in the crockpot (so it can simmer while we get the turkey brining, make pies, etc.)

Thanksgiving Feast:



What's on YOUR menu this week?  Do you go out for Thanksgiving dinner or make a giant feast by yourself or do you only have to bring one or two dishes to dinner?  Anyway you celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful day!

P.S.  Did you notice that my blog has a new web address...no more blogspot.com to remember!  It's simply www.whatisonyourmenu.com!  

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Cloud Light Crescent Rolls

I posted this recipe in 2009, and it's one of my tried and true recipes that I've made over and over.  I gave the recipe a much needed update, so now you know exactly how I make them.  

If I had to pick one kind of bread to make, I would have to choose these cloud light cresent rolls.  They are light and fluffy and perfect!  And super easy to make.  I've been making these for years and they are still my favorite!

My favorite thing about these rolls is that you mix them up, shape them, and then can forget about them until they're done rising.  They don't require any weird rising times before shaping.  This comes in handy when you're whipping up a fabulous Thanksgiving feast and want to get the rolls taken care of.

These rolls appear on our table on special days, like Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving, but we also have them on regular days too.

I sometimes make these rolls the night before we need them and leave them in the fridge.  Then I pull the rolls out of the fridge and let them rise on the counter for an hour or two until they're puffy and ready to go into the oven.  They're really not fussy rolls and the rising time doesn't matter too much, just as long as they rise a little.

Printable recipe

Cloud Light Crescent Rolls

Makes a full cookie sheet full, about 32 rolls
  • 4 1/2 tsp. (2 packages) yeast
  • 1 1/4 c. water
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 4 1/2 c. flour
  • 2 T. melted butter, optional
  1. Heat water in microwave until warm (not hot or it will kill the yeast).  Add water to mixer bowl (I use my kitchenaid).  Add sugar, yeast and oil to water and stir to combine.  Cover bowl (I use a dinner plate) and sit for 10 minutes or so until the yeast mixture is bubbly.
  2. When the yeast mixture is bubbly, add beaten eggs and salt.  Gradually add flour. (I mix this in my kitchenaid with my white flat beater -- the one I use for cookie dough.) Dough will be a little sticky, but add enough flour that it's not super sticky.  
  3. Prepare a well-floured surface to roll out dough.  Divide dough into two sections.  Roll each dough section into a circle.  (I usually sprinkle a little flour onto the top of the dough before rolling out and rub some on my rolling pin too). 
  4. Brush each dough circle with melted butter if desired. Cut with a pizza cutter into 16 triangles (like you're cutting a pizza). Roll up each triangle starting at fat end and ending at the point. Place on cookie sheet.
  5. Cover rolls with a clean towel. (At this point you can pop them into the fridge to bake later in the day or even the next day.  Just let them rise an hour or so on the counter before you bake them.)  
  6. Let rise until doubled in size. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Recipe from my sister-in-law, Meagan, but rewritten how I actually make them.  

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 339 Menu

Hi everyone!  How was your weekend?  Ours was good.  I got to run in a 5K with my friend's daughter, do some yard work and watch my 4th grader play basketball on Saturday.  Yesterday was busy, busy with church stuff, but it was a good day.

I'm assuming that I'm not the only one that kind of had a rollercoaster week.  I've been stunned wth news of good friends struggling with terminal cancer, divorce, faith, and then the Paris attacks.  I couldn't wait to get to go to the temple last week because I knew I'd come home with a renewed sense of peace and faith.  It worked!  I posted on instagram something that has helped me.

I'm sensing a pattern with myself.  I've found that after I go to the doctor and discuss my cholesterol levels, then I am really motivated to eat much, much better, but then I draw a GIANT blank when it's time to menu plan.  And sometimes I end up eating things that I shouldn't because I can't think of what I should eat.

Last week I ate pretty much the same thing all week for lunch and dinner.  My husband was out of town for travel for some of the week and my kiddos were happy when I made them what they requested for dinner just as long as it was easy.  I had leftover spaghetti squash with spaghetti sauce for lunch and then corn tortillas topped with roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, avocado and fresh tomatoes (that I picked green from my garden that have been ripening in my basement).  It was all yummy, but I struggle with the monatony of eating the same thing every day and finding something that I know is super healthy and is pretty much vegan.  I need to find some vegan/low-cholesterol recipe blogs to follow, I guess.  Any suggestions?

I've found that I eat much, much better when I'm prepared.  Today I pulled out some of my dried apple slices so I have something to munch on when I'm tempted to grab a fudgy brownie bite that my daughter made yesterday.  My lunches are much better when I already have roasted sweet potatoes and cooked quinoa in the fridge.  Then I usually just eat that with some avocado and tomato or peppers, sometimes in a corn tortilla or sometimes not.

I'm going to try planning lunch ideas into my weekly menu plan.  I probably only need one or two ideas so I can eat it all week.  

Enough blah blah blahing, it's menu planning time....

leftover honey lime quinoa and black bean enchiladas
black bean and sweet potato soup

mini turkey meatloaves, twice baked potatoes, roasted butternut squash

honey lime chicken salad with homemade ranch dressing and baked tortilla strips

Slow Cooker Korean Fire Meat, steamed rice or quinoa, stirfried veggies

leftovers or breakfast for dinner

grill burgers and a portabello mushroom for me, homemade corn tortilla chips and salsa

easy night

Sunday:  crockpot ranch pork chops, mashed potatoes, spinach salad, biscuits

All righty...What's on your menu this week?  I'd love to hear what you're making.  Have a great week!

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Friday, November 13, 2015

Healthy Living Update: The Results are In...(Cholesterol Levels)

Well, I went to the doctor for another checkup to see how my cholesterol levels have changed since my last visit in July.  (I've been trying to eat much more heart healthy since then which I posted about here and here.)
Image result for cholesterol doctor
And the lab results said....

That my cholesterol levels went down!  Good news!

But the bad news is that they are still high!  Ugh.  What this means for me is that I am recommitting to eat even better.  My doctor said that some of my levels could be lowered by exercise and I laughed.  I asked her if I was supposed to run 10 miles a day instead of getting my average 19,000 steps.  I don't think being inactive is my problem. (I really don't get 19,000 steps every single day, but that's my fitbit average.)

Anyway...she doesn't want me to put me on statins just yet, which I agree with.  I'd like to see how things are after another 6 months.  

I was listening to a talk by Quentin L. Cook  the other day and this thought stood out to me:

 “Self-control is like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it gets. 
Avoiding something tempting once will help you develop the ability
 to resist other temptations in the future.”

My new goal is to work on my self control and NOT eat chips or desserts everyday.  Just eat them occasionally instead.  The more I exercise self control, the stronger I'll get!  

Another thought that I've had is in order to stop an old habit, it needs to be replaced with a new habit.  Maybe I need to find some fabulous flavored water or something else.  Or exercise more during the day...that makes me feel less like eating.

I need to remember these two main things:  
  1. I don't want to have a heart attack or any of the other problems that might happen.
  2. If I can help it, I don't want to take medication for the rest of my life.  (If it's necessary, I'll take it though!)

Anyway...Hopefully me being so open about all of this might be helpful for some of you!  Hyperlipidemia is very common (over 3 million cases each year).  Blogging about it helps keep me more accountable.  You can find all my cholesterol related posts here.  

Thanks friends!
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Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 338 Menu

Hi there!  Happy Monday!  I started out my day with my much anticipated visit with my doctor to check on my cholesterol.  More about that tomorrow.

After the doctor, I got to go to Costco kid-free, since my friend was watching my little guy.  I have a love/hate relationship with Costco.  I've decided that I LOVE their produce.  I love getting big bags of produce!  And then I hate that everything else I buy costs so much.  Oh well!  Anyway...I picked up some DELICIOUS jona-gold apples.  Seriously, so good!  And I'm very excited about having 10 pounds of sweet potatoes in my pantry.  They are my new favorite food (and I shared my favorite ways to prepare them last Friday).

I'd better stop chatting and just post my menu for the week.  I'll blog more later this week.

Monday:  chicken pot pie

Tuesday:  spaghetti

Wednesday: kids choice

Thursday: waikiki meatballs

Friday: homemade pizza

Saturday: easy night

Sunday: crockpot fautisserie chicken, mashed potatoes, buttermilk biscuits, spinach salad

What are you making this week?  I love hearing your ideas!  Have a great week.

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Friday, November 6, 2015

My Go-To "Healthy" and Low-Cholesterol Meals

In an effort to lower my cholesterol, I've been trying new foods the last six months and trying to eat much healthier.  I've found some new favorite meals and foods that I've eaten over (and over and over).  I eat them over and over because they are yummy!  And pretty healthy too.  

I usually have a smoothie made out of a frozen banana, combination of almond milk or soy milk (I can't decide which I like better), this protein powder and either cocoa or Nesquick.  It is one of my favorite breakfast, snack and even dessert.  The frozen banana makes it frosty and thick and is like a dessert shake.  I've been adding protein powder since I've been cutting so much dairy and meat out of my diet.

If I don't have a smoothie, then I usually have oatmeal.  I make it with quick oats, almond milk, water and top it with a few raisins and a little brown sugar.  

I eat a little single serving of hummus (from Costco) with veggies for lunch almost every day.  I love to dip carrots, any color pepper, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes in it.  This summer when we've packed lunches to take to the river, the pool or on vacation, I have brought along my little serving or hummus and bag of veggies.  I love it.  Yum!

My family loves this cranberry delight trail mix.  I have found that nuts are my weakness at snacktime and I need to do better at portion control.

I love popcorn and make this kettlecorn often.

My boys LOVE fruit leather.  I make it pretty often.  I just puree up fruit and let it dry in my dehydrator on these fruit leather trays.  It's amazing and so yummy.  We've pureed canned pears, fresh peaches, apricots, cherries and freshly made applesauce.

I've posted quite a few pictures of my "healthier" dinners on instagram.  Usually I just modify whatever I make for my family for me.  I leave out the cheese, eggs, or cut down on the meat, etc.

One of my favorites is quinoa and black bean honey lime enchiladas.  I make honey lime chicken enchiladas for my family, but pour some of the honey lime mixture over quinoa and black beans and wrap it in corn tortillas and smother it with green chile enchilada sauce along with my family's enchiladas.  

I also LOVE squash.  Any kind of squash.  We had oodles of zucchini and yellow squash this summer.  I thought about buying a spiralizer to make noodles out of them, but I found that my bosch shredding attachment makes really thick squash noodles.  I saute them really quickly and top with spaghetti sauce when my family is eating spaghetti.  (Or I bake a spaghetti squash, but then I end up eating it for days to finish it up.)  P.S.  The above picture shows some zucchini that my friend spiralized and brought over for me to try.

I found the I love sweet potatoes.  Until this summer, I hadn't really liked them.  But then I made this quinoa sweet potato salad (which I ate almost every day for 2 months for lunch this summer) and found that I like them.  I usually slice them into fry shape, toss them with a little cornstarch, smoked paprika, salt and pepper and olive oil and bake on my pampered chef pizza stone at 425 until they're browned and kind of crispy.

Last night I stuck some sweet potatoes in my quick french dip pita (I had very little meat in it and just a little slice of reduced-fat provolone and some roasted green chile).  Oh my goodness, it was so yummy!

Since we're still talking about squash and sweet potatoes, I have to tell you about my favorite breakfast burrito adaptation.  I usually fry up some potatoes for hashbrowns for my family.  I've gotten creative and mixed my hashbrowns with either a shredded zuchhini and/or yellow squash or some shredded sweet potato.  I leave the eggs and cheese off of my breakfast burrito and top it with avocado, a tiny pinch of costco bacon and some fresh salsa.  Yum!!!  I can't even count how many times I've eaten that this in the last six months, but I love it!

I haven't been much of a seafood person, but I'm trying to branch out.  I really like salmon, especially when it's grilled on a cedar plan and glazed with teriyaki sauce.  My family eats it with jasmine rice.  I always have quinoa.  Yum!  All the veggies in the above picture were from my garden.  Mmm...

I love, love ice cream.  I love this Umpqua chocolate frozen yogurt that has less than 5 mg cholesterol per serving.  And also, this Dreyer's 1/2 the fat Fudge Tracks has 5 mg per serving.  We usually buy the lower-fat versions of ice cream anyway, but some have more cholesterol than others.

Thanks for reading!  I could talk about food for hours.  Lol!  What are your healthy favorites that you eat over and over?

To read more about my health journey find all my posts here.

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