Aldi

So I’ve never been in an ALDI and they opened one near my house. So, my husband and I wandered in to check it out. I wasn’t sure what to expect.

It definitely threw us off when we had to put a quarter in the cart to use it. Lol. And I wasn’t sure what to think about them not having bags(had to pay $ .07 for each bag).

I didn’t love the feel of the store. I think I’m spoiled by my trips to Publix and Trader Joe’s. It didn’t seem like they had much we’d be interested in, but we left spending $72 and got a whole bunch of stuff we needed.

That included all of the above…

Some of the items that impressed me were:

Frozen blueberries- $2.49!

Almond butter- $4.99!

Eggs- $1.37!

3 Pounds of ground turkey- $6.99!

Pistachios- $4.49!

Frozen strawberries- $3.99!

I think I’d wander in again…

Happy Shopping🙂

 

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Strawberries and Cream

As a kid I was a very picky eater. I didn’t really like much and tortured my poor parents. Breakfast was a challenge. My sisters always laugh that my mom would go in the fridge and ask me for an hour, “Do you want this, how about this?” Well, in the morning if I didn’t want anything else she would cut up strawberries and bananas and cover them in a bowl with half and half. And it was delicious.

So years go by and I never thought about strawberries and cream, until one day I went to my friend Mita’s house for a quick visit. When I walked in she handed me a bowl of strawberries and cream. I took a double take because that was such a different thing to serve, especially since my mom used to make it for me as a kid. But it was so comforting and yummy. If you guys have picky eaters out there, chop up some fruit and cover it with cream. My mom did it a little different than Mita, and I use almond milk and add granola, but all ways it would be great!

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Strawberries and Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 carton of chopped strawberries
  • 3 bananas, sliced
  • almond milk, half and half, or any milk you prefer
  • your favorite granola(I prefer peanut butter granola)
  • Sugar to taste(optional)

Directions

  1. Place chopped fruit in each small bowl.
  2. Sprinkle with a little sugar(optional).
  3. Top with granola.
  4. Add your favorite milk and enjoy!

Steak Salad

I used to make this salad years ago. I’m back on an arugula kick and love it! It has a spice to it that I love and can stand up to grilled steak or chicken on top. If steak is involved my boys come running. Summer is here and we have the grill going a couple of times a week. This is one of the simplest dinners you can pull together and everyone will enjoy it.  

 

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Steak Salad

Ingredients

  • Trader Joe’s BBQ Rub & Seasoning with Coffee and Garlic
  • Any thin steak of your choice(I like skirt steak or thin sliced sirloin) OR chicken breasts if you prefer.
  • 1 package of arugula
  • 1 large lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup of Grated pecorino romano cheese

Directions

  1. Generously coat your steak(or chicken) with the Trader Joe’s seasoning. Let sit for an hour or so in the fridge.
  2. Preheat your grill and cook to your liking.
  3. Tent with aluminum and set aside while you prepare the salad.
  4. In a large bowl add the arugula, olive oil and grated cheese.
  5. Squeeze the juice from your lemon over the arugula and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Toss lightly and lay in a large, flat serving dish.
  7. Slice the steak thin and lay the pieces over the top of the salad.   

Enjoy!

If you liked this recipe, you will also like these…

Grilled Skirt Steak

Summer Boil

Uncle Joe’s Simple Salad

Smashed Potatoes

Old Fashioned Ice Cream Soda 🥤

Fill em Up!

Believe it or not, when I make salmon everyone eats it! I never have any left over. It seems like when I make it, nobody gets filled. So I usually make this orzo side dish along with it to fill them up and it is amazing! I love pasta and I love vegetables, so for me this is perfect. I eat it leftover for lunch and it could be cold right out of the container…

You can use any vegetables you have in the house, not just the ones I used! 

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Orzo Side Dish

Ingredients

  • 1 box of orzo pasta
  • EVOO
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 of an onion chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 package of mushrooms chopped
  • A bunch of tomatoes chopped
  • handful of Italian parsley
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. In a medium sauce pan, boil salted water and cook the orzo per directions on the package.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, add olive oil to a pan over low to medium heat.
  3. Add onion.  After a couple of minutes add the garlic.
  4. Toss in the bell pepper and mushrooms and saute until they are tender.
  5. Add the tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes.  Take off the heat.  Toss in the parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Put the drained orzo in the pan with all the veggies and mix together.  Top with a little grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

Enjoy!

See below for other similar dishes…

Simple Side

Italian Pasta Salad

Shoepeg Corn Salad

I got this recipe from my sister Ali.  She got it from one of her friends.  When they make it, they serve it as a dip along with Tostitos or some sort of corn chip.  This is also a great side dish for a summer gathering.   It’s sooo good and refreshing.  It’s hard to stop eating it once you start.  I had no idea what shoepeg corn was or where to find it until I made this!  FYI, it’s just a can of Green Giant corn that’s shaped like a shoepeg!  I found it at Publix…

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Shoepeg Corn salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cans of white shoepeg corn, drained
  • 1 can of reduced sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red bell pepper diced small
  • 1 orange bell pepper diced small
  • 1/2 of a small red onion diced small
  • a bunch of cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 cup of safflower oil(it calls for vegetable oil but I don’t use vegetable oil due to the fact that it is not the healthiest option)
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of sugar(Yep, but it makes it soooo good.  You can use less if you prefer or none.  Still will be delicious!)
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Put the first 6 ingredients in a large serving bowl and stir gently until combined.
  2. Add the oil, vinegar and sugar.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Stir gently until combined.
  5. Serve with your favorite chip or as a side dish.

Enjoy!

I found some great summer essentials for your 1st BBQ of the season.  Of course you have to serve the shoepeg corn salad and maybe some Guac and chips!

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Don’t miss out on some of the best recipes for summer entertaining…
Appetizers:
Main Course:  
Side Dishes:  
Desert and drinks:

Feeding the Fam on a budget

When I was pregnant with my first son I left my teaching job. On his first birthday I found out I was pregnant with my 2nd baby. So we went from my husband and I both working and no kids, to two babies with one income in a very short period of time. That is when I started cooking a lot. I couldn’t get out too often when my boys were small so coming up with dinner for all of us gave me something to think about. Feeding the Fam on a budget was a challenge. I would get recipes from my mom, aunt and grandma because they always had great options. Once the boys got through their toddler years and actually started eating and enjoying the food I couldn’t stop! Now they love to put in their requests and critique my cooking. My boys are now 11 and 13. They are growing rapidly and eating me out of house and home. Cooking on a budget is even more of  a challenge now. I definitely buy chicken broth, canned items, olive oil and pasta when they are buy 1, get 1 free. I shop at BJ’s once a month to stock up on some meats. And I’ve started shopping at some lower priced stores like Aldi which really helps. I put together some of my favorite meals that are budget friendly. I hope this post helps you feed your fam on a budget. There is nothing like knowing you fed your whole family for less than $10 and they have full bellies and smiling faces…

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Pasta:  Need I say more? I love pasta. I love pasta for a lot of reasons.

  • There are so many different options (whole grain, rigatoni, gluten-free, spaghetti)
  • It fills everyone up.
  • It’s inexpensive!
  • Who doesn’t like pasta? Cold, hot, with veggies, as a side dish, etc…)

So here are some of my favorite budget-friendly pasta dishes…

Soup:  A bowl of comfort… So many reasons I love soup as well.

  • It’s a budget-friendly meal.
  • Super healthy
  • You can add ingredients based on your families likes and dislikes (pasta, beans, veggies, etc…)
  • Makes great leftovers.

So, here are some of my favorite budget-friendly soups you should put on your weekly rotation!

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All the other good meals that aren’t pasta or soup:  There are so many budget-friendly dinners. Honestly, when I look at all my recipes most of them are affordable. It’s never my motive to spend a fortune on dinner, holidays and celebrations not included…

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Stuffed Pepper Stir Fry

I love stuffed peppers, but it is a big job. I usually like to roast the peppers a little before I even stuff them so they are soft, otherwise my family only eats what’s in the pepper. So, all that work for them to pick around the actual pepper. Hence, the Stuffed Pepper Stir Fry! It is much easier than the traditional stuffed peppers. It is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.

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Stuffed Pepper Stir Fry

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 pounds of ground Italian sausage
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 cups of chopped peppers (sweet bell peppers, sweet long peppers, cubanelle, etc…)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups of instant white rice
  • 3 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of Italian Parsley, chopped

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a deep saute pan.
  2. Add the sausage and brown. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Drain the sausage and set it aside.
  4. Add the peppers and onions to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender.
  5. Add garlic and cook for one more minute.
  6. Remove from the heat and set aside until needed.
  7. Cook your instant rice per directions on the box (use chicken broth instead of water)
  8. Combine the veggies and the sausage. Stir and reheat.
  9. Add sauce. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  10. Add parsley and remove from the heat.
  11. I like to serve it with the rice in the bottom of the bowl and top it with the Stuffed Pepper Stir Fry.

Enjoy!

If you enjoyed this recipe you will also like…

Stuffed Peppers

Shrimp with Red Beans and Rice 🍤

Sausage and Peppers