Budget Friendly Finds

yogurt 3As I told you all in my last post, I was in San Diego for the weekend with my hubby. While there, we stopped at the nearby Grocery Outlet Bargain Market that my mom turned me on to. She’s a big San Diego fan and seems to know where everything’s at down there. So last time I was there, she took me to this place and I really liked it. Good prices and some really good items. They have a section against the back wall that seems to be for all the healthy stuff. And the prices are much better than what I’m typically used to spending.

wineLast time I was there, I picked up some wine that my mom recommended. 3.99 a bottle! And it’s good. Really! So of course I had to pick up a couple bottles this time around. Indigo Eyes Chardonnay. I have never seen this wine anywhere else so be on the lookout for this stuff.

yogurtyogurt 2I also grabbed some Tillamook Farmstyle Greek Yogurt. I don’t even really like yogurt. Basically, the texture makes me gag. And Greek yogurt is usually too tangy for me. But I know it’s good for you and so for a super quick breakfast, I take a cup of yogurt into the car with me and put it in my cup holder. And eat it as I take the kids to school. People who see me eating yogurt while driving must think it’s weird, but it’s not messy at all and saves me time! Multitasking at it’s best. Anyhow, my favorite yogurt so far has been Fage Fruyo. It’s not tangy like other Greek yogurts. But it’s really expensive. So I only buy that when it’s on sale. But when I saw the Tillamook at Grocery Outlet, I had to get it. It was only $.50 per cup. Less than half the price of my favorite Fruyo. And guess what? It’s delicious! Thick, creamy, and not too tangy. I highly recommend it. Pretty sure they carry this yogurt at most stores, although I haven’t seen it at my local Wal-Mart yet.

So those are my two budget friendly finds. And if you’re ever wandering around downtown San Diego, check out Grocery Outlet and pick up a bottle of wine and maybe some yogurt too.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

sb smoothieSnack. It’s a word I pretty much loathe. I’ve heard that word for so many years now. Ever notice how you can feed your kids lunch and they eat everything, yet 20 minutes later, they ask for that dreaded word? How is that possible?!?! I don’t understand it at all.

So when they come home from school, they want a snack. I know kids need snacks. But it’s just something I have against that word. Anyways, when it’s hot out, I like to make them smoothies as their after school snack. It’s a nice refreshing “treat” that is actually good for them. And a great alternative to the typical snacks they usually have. I realize I used the word “snack” way too many times in this post. But besides that, this would make a great and quick breakfast as well.

Strawberry Banana Smoothiesb smoothie 2

  • 1 heaping cup frozen whole strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp. each chia seeds, and milled flax
  • 1/2 c. orange juice (or apple juice)
  • 3/4 c. vanilla yogurt
  • 3/4 c. milk (or almond milk for a healthier option)
  • 1 tbsp. honey, optional (my kids find it sweet enough without honey)

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth and combined.

This recipes makes enough for about 4 smaller smoothies with just enough left over for Mom to tilt back that pitcher and get out the last few drops.

 

Gosh Darn Good Granola!

granolaI must share this granola with all of you! I’m not even a huge granola fan but I bought this a couple of weeks ago and it is literally the best granola I’ve ever eaten. Reason I bought it? Strictly the box. Yes, I was completely swayed by their marketing. The box looks like a milk carton! And it was on sale! I didn’t even look at the box to see how many ounces it was, I just really wanted that granola. Happy to say that once I actually did look at the box, I saw it’s 15 ounces. Same amount as most cereal boxes. So it was in fact a good buy. Why is this granola “the best granola I’ve ever eaten”? Here’s some reasons why…

  1. Product of the USA. Do I really need to say more about that?
  2. Non GMO project verified.
  3. Made with organic oats and organic sugar.
  4. The ingredient list isn’t a mile long, and it actually has things in it that I’ve heard of and can pronounce.
  5. 26 grams or more of whole grain per serving!
  6. The milk style container is recyclable.
  7. And it tastes AMAZING!

This granola is delicious to eat straight out of the carton. Or out of your hand. After I opened the box, I sat on the couch with my oldest daughter and just kept pouring it into our hands. I think I ate at least a cup of granola in one sitting. It was a little excessive, I admit. But I don’t regret it.

granola 2It would also be great in a parfait, or just simply sprinkled over yogurt. No need to get fancy.

granola 3Probably amazing in homemade granola bars. Haven’t tried it yet, because I’m still stuck in the eating it out of my hand phase. But it’s on my to do list.

I picked up this Willamette Valley Granola Company Gourmet Granola, Blueberry Flax, at my local Sprouts Farmers Market. If you have one nearby, go grab yourself a carton. I got mine on sale for $2.99 which was $2 off their regular price. Hope they keep it in stock. In case they don’t, I went back the other day and picked up another box. 🙂

 

Ch, ch, ch, CHIA!

chiaThese tiny crunchy little seeds pack a healthy punch! If you’ve never tried them, give it a shot. According to research, they were a diet staple of the Aztecs and Mayans and are supposed to provide sustained energy. Not to mention, only 1 tablespoon has 150% of your daily recommended value of Omega-3! The suggested serving size per day is only 1 tablespoon and it’s so easy to find ways to sneak them into your food.

My personal favorite way to eat them (Monday-Friday this is my go to breakfast) is oatmeal! I’ve tried to cut back on sugar consumption in the morning time (at least during the week), even though I love a sugary breakfast. If you absolutely cannot live without it, you can add sugar to this but it’s totally optional, and the dried cranberries have sugar in them and add just the right amount of sweetness. And I swear this breakfast starts my day off right.

Oatmeal with Chia Seeds (makes one serving)oatmeal ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1-2 tbsp. almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. sliced almonds
  • 1-2 tbsp. dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp. sugar, (brown, white, turbinado) optional

Put oats and water into a microwave safe bowl and stir. Heat in the microwave for one minute. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir.

Another great way to incorporate chia seeds into your diet is in smoothies. This is a recipe that is definitely kid approved.

smoothie ingredientsMango & Chia Smoothie (makes approximately 3 1/2 cups, or two smoothies)

  • 1 c. plain greek yogurtblender
  • 1 c. coconut water
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 banana
  • 1 mango, cut into chunks (no skin)
  • 1 pear, cut into chunks (optional if you want to leave the skin on)

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth.

mango smoothie

Feel the power of Chia course through your body and start your day like a super hero!

Top O the Morning to Ya!

So this post has nothing to do with Irish food. I just wanted to say good morning in a less traditional way. So top O the morning to ya! This should give you a hint that I’m going to talk about breakfast. On Saturdays in my house, my family looks forward to a nice home cooked breakfast. It’s our one day that we are not rushed to go anywhere or do anything (except during softball season).

Look at those "farm" fresh eggs! Beautiful!

Look at those “farm” fresh eggs! Beautiful!

On a recent Friday when I was at the grocery store, I found some great looking chicken apple sausage links on manager’s special. Only about $2 and I figured I could use them to make some kind of yummy Saturday breakfast. We also have an abundance of brown eggs because we do the whole backyard chicken thing. So I get fresh eggs on a daily basis. With this in mind, I thought of hash!

This breakfast turned out to be so good, (and pretty looking too!) so I wanted to share it with you. Feel free to substitute the chicken apple sausage for any other sausage you’d like (or can find on sale). Make it your own, and use what you have!

Not done yet, just you wait!

Chicken Apple “Hash” w/ fried eggs (serves 4-5)

¾ pound chicken apple sausage, removed from casing

½ green bell pepper, chopped

¼ onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

½ c. aged white cheddar, shredded

4 potatoes or 5 small potatoes, baked and cut into cubes

4-5 eggs, fried

Pepper to taste

Sliced green onions

Add sausage to a pan (cast iron works great), along with onion and bell pepper. Break up sausage and cook until no longer pink. Add garlic, cooked potatoes and pepper, stirring until combined. Add shredded cheese on top, put a lid on it and turn heat off. To fry eggs, spray your non stick skillet with cooking spray. I use canola oil cooking spray. Heat on medium heat. When skillet is ready, crack eggs, season with a little salt and pepper, and cook on one side for approximately 2 minutes, flip over, and cook for a couple more minutes. Cook the eggs for as long or as little as you prefer. It just depends on how much you like the yolk cooked. Scoop a generous portion of the hash onto a plate, top with the fried egg and sprinkle with the green onions.

*Use your microwave setting for baking potatoes for this recipe. It takes much less time than actually baking them in the oven, and I always do this for any type of breakfast potatoes.

Now THAT'S pretty!

Now THAT’S pretty!

Flax & Almond Crusted Cheesecake French Toast

cheesecake french toast

Yes, I’m posting another “cheesecake” recipe. That’s because I had some leftover cheesecake filling from the no bake apple cinnamon cheesecake bites and there is no way I was letting that go to waste.

If you don’t have any leftover cheesecake filling like I did, don’t fret! You can make a slightly simpler version to speed things along.

Now, if you like sweet breakfast treats, then try this one out. I have a big sweet tooth, but of course, my kids have even bigger ones. Especially #2 (the one who doesn’t eat but surprisingly loves sweets). Hmmm…. Of course, right? So treat yourself and your kids to this delightful breakfast. P.S. It doesn’t even need syrup!

Flax & Almond Crusted Cheesecake French Toast (makes 4-5 whole “sandwiches”)

015

  • 8-10 slices bread (I used whole wheat)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp. heavy cream (or milk if you want to lighten it up)
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup flax
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, and then roughly chopped
  • Canola spray
  • Sliced strawberries, optional
  • Powdered sugar, optional

Mix together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. In a separate dish, whisk together eggs, cream and cinnamon. And in another separate dish, add flax and almonds and mix together until combined.

Heat a griddle or non stick skillet over medium low heat. You can either spray with canola spray (my preferred method) or melt coconut oil or butter.

Take a piece of bread and add 2 heaping tablespoons of cheesecake mixture and spread around evenly. Place another slice of bread on top. Dip into egg mixture, making sure to flip over and coat both sides. Then add to the flax and almond mixture. Put the “sandwich” on the griddle. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes. This will just depend on your stovetop. You want the exterior of the bread to get a nice toast on it.

cheesecake french toast

So yummy that it’s pictured a second time!

Cut each “sandwich” in half diagonally and place on a plate. Garnish with some powdered sugar and sliced strawberries. Lick the cheesecake filling as it oozes out. Dig in!

*This recipe will leave you with leftover cheesecake mixture. Do with it what you must, whether it be dipping strawberries into it, eating it by the spoonful, etc. If you do not want leftovers, cut that part of the recipe in half.