Thursday, March 21, 2013


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Spicy Orange Stir-Fried Shrimp

Okay, I think THIS is my new favorite recipe.  I have been searching the ends of the internet for a spicy orange shrimp (or chicken) recipe that didn't pack a ton of calories and bad fats.  I HAVE FOUND IT, PEOPLE.

Feast, and enjoy.  I served with brown rice and roasted green beans.  The serving size (3/4 c.) of shrimp doesn't seem like much, but it is plenty!

Spicy Orange Stir-Fried Shrimp

(adapted from Cooking Light)

  • 1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp (this is 2 lbs before peeling)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice plus zest of 1/2 the orange
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1.5 - 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions

  1. Place shrimp in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with cornstarch; toss well to coat. Set aside. 
  2. Combine juice, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, and chile paste, stirring with a whisk; set aside.
  3.  Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add minced ginger and garlic to pan; stir-fry for 15 seconds or until fragrant. Add shrimp mixture; stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add juice mixture and onions; cook 2 minutes or until sauce thickens and shrimp are done, stirring frequently. Serve immediately.

I didn't make a lot of changes to the original recipe, except to add orange zest and increase the amount of orange juice.  Honestly, I just used the juice of one orange and didn't measure it. 

meal plan: week of 3-24-2013

Another meal plan, coming right up!  Starting with this weekend...

Friday night:  Papa Murphy's Chicken Mediterranean deLITE!

Saturday Lunch:  just stuff from the freezer
Saturday Dinner:  Cooking Light BLT salad (it looks like it's going to be cold on Saturday with freezing rain, so I wouldn't be surprised if this was paired with some tomato soup!)

Sunday Lunch:  BHG Broiled Lobster Tails with chili/garlic sauce, baked red potatoes, some kind of veggie or a salad.  (The great thing about this is that the potatoes can cook while we're at church and the lobster supposedly takes only 15-20 minutes!  PERFECT!)
Sunday Dinner:  Tartines (open faced sandwich on whole wheat french baguette with deli meat, honey mustard, cheese, thin apple slices) and served with Annie's mac and cheese or baby carrots.

Monday:  Skinnytaste's crockpot Kalua pork, jasmine rice, stir-fried spicy broccoli florets

Tuesday:  Cooking Light's Quick Meatloaf with sauteed cabbage.

Wednesday:  Cooking Light's Crockpot Potato Soup (served with a side of Kalua pork and greens or sandwiches).

Thursday:  Uz is going to cook Men's Health Chicken Margarita with sauteed fajita veggies.

This week I tried to plan meals that used up what we had in the freezer and the pantry to reduce grocery costs this week.  We'll see how well I planned after the shopping trip! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Maple-Soy Glazed Chicken Thighs

Oh, how we LOVED this meal!  Maple-Soy Glazed Chicken Thighs with stir-fried asparagus.  A side of rice would have completely rounded out the plate, but since we're having rice later on in the week I left it off.  The thighs were a good size and I didn't leave the table feeling hungry, that's for sure.  The sauce is just TOO DIE FOR.  No, really.

I say that a lot, I think.  But it's always true.

So here's the recipe.  Pretty simple, nothing special at all... but the end product is just glorious.  This marinade would also be "especially delicious" (points if you get the reference!) over a white-fleshed fish fillet, shrimp, or any other cut of chicken.  Mmmm!!

Maple-Soy Glazed Chicken Thighs

 (slightly adapted from Cooking Light)
Approx. 301 cals for 5 oz cooked thigh


  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice (I would also add in some zest for an extra ZING!)
  • 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions


1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place maple mixture in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken thighs to bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 375°.

3. Remove chicken from bag, reserving marinade. Place marinade in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Cook until marinade reduces to 1/4 cup (about 5-10 minutes).

4.  Arrange chicken in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Baste with 2 tablespoons maple mixture; sprinkle evenly with salt. Bake chicken at 375° for 20 minutes. Turn chicken over; baste with remaining 2 tablespoons maple mixture. Bake 15 minutes or until chicken is done; sprinkle with onions.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

daylight savings: not my thing


School + working full time + teaching + ministry duties + exercising + taking care of the house is really kicking my patootie.  I feel like I can't keep up with everything, so obviously the blog was the first to go.  HOWEVER!  Last weekend while grocery shopping I thought I lost my list (which contains the meal plan and actual grocery list) and there was lots of panic and drama.  I thought it might be a good idea to document the list and meal plan somewhere else, JIC.

And we just had Daylight Savings Time change.  NO!

If I can, I'll try to get back into blogging quick recipes.  And about my dogs, because they are my kids.  And my garden.  Who knows, like I said, I've got a lot going on...  This is all so exciting, hmmm?

Oh!  And the foot surgery was totally worth it.  Immediate recovery (first 2-3 weeks) were absolute torture (and I really mean that, not exaggerating!).  However, I am able to wear shoes and walk without my feet cramping up.  It's fabulous!

Anyway, on to the good stuff!

3-15-13 Friday night:  Going downtown with my Uz to walk around, enjoy the weather (a high of 80 degrees!  YES!), and eat some tasty hot dogs.  I plan to get the "Lindsay" dog.  I named it after myself.  Did you know my name?  Now you do.  Basically, it's a hot dog (or brat!) with chili, fritos, cheese, and onions...  a "Frito Pie Dog".

Saturday Lunch:  scrounge around, eat something in the freezer/pantry.  I am planting my spring veggies so it'll be whatever is fast.
Saturday Dinner:  Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini Boats (LINK)

Sunday Lunch:  baked red potatoes with corn/black bean salsa and pork carnitas (LINK), topped with argulua and fresh salsa.
Sunday Dinner:  Both CookingLight:  Baked Pita Chips (LINK) with a Creamy Garbanzo Dip with Sun-Dried Tomatoes (LINK).  Uz the Hubs will probably get some chicken strips to go with his, the little meat-eater!

Monday:  CookingLight Maple-Soy boneless skinless chicken thighs (LINK), stir-fried green beans (or asparagus), and a baked potato or skillet potatoes for Uz.

Tuesday:  TOSTADA NIGHT!  Baked whole wheat tostadas with crockpot pinto beans (LINK) and topped with leftover pork carnitas, leftover corn/black bean salsa, and arugula.  Also, roasted asparagus (or green beans).

Wednesday:  CookingLight Stir-Fried Shrimp with Spicy Orange sauce (LINK), stir-fried broccoli, brown/red rice mix.

Thursday:  leftovers or PB/fruit wraps (LINK)

One small-ish change that I've made to my/our diets:  we're on a reduced-sugar, reduced-white flour diet.  I can't say no-sugar, no-white flour because it's not true.  The main difference is that we are deliberately choosing when to say yes to sugar/white flour, and even white rice.  Our snacks have gone from Fiber1 Brownies, yogurts full of artificial sweeteners, "healthy" cookies/breads to trail mix (nuts and dried fruit), dried apricots, yogurts with real sugar/no artificial sweeteners (check it out! Wallaby yogurts LINK), fresh fruit and veggies, nut butter, whole wheat veggie/no sugar muffins.  Sadly, this means less yummy desserts like cake, cookies, and brownies.  Friday night is kind of my "cheat meal"...  hence, hot dog night!

So, sit back and enjoy the ride.  I'm warning you:  it might be short.

my current life:  studying.  at least I have two cute little study buddies!

Friday, January 18, 2013

week of 1-20-2013: menu plan!

It's been extremely busy the past week, so here is another weekly menu post-and-run.  Hopefully next week will slow down a little, but I'm not sure... I start two classes next week!  Eventually I'll get back in the groove.

Which reminds me of this...

What, that's just me??

Anyway, MEAL PLAN:

Friday night, 1-18-2013:  out to Saturn Grill!  I plan on getting the half and half, with a half Spicy Turkey sandwich on flatbread (avocado, no mayo please!) and either a cup of soup, a side salad, or fruit cup.  I can't wait!

Saturday lunch, 1-19-2013:  we have a birthday party we're going to, and I am pretty sure some BBQ is on the menu.  And CAKE.
Saturday dinner, 1-19-2013:  going to take it easy and use up some leftover marinara.  I'm thinking either pizza, some kind of pasta, or grilled cheese sandwiches dipped in marinara with veggies.  Also dipped in marinara.  And possibly topped with melted cheese.  CHEESE OVERLOAD, yes please!

Sunday lunch, 1-20-2013:  Going over to my parents' house to visit their new puppy!  So I guess we'll eat whatever my mom ends up cooking... that's what I'm talking about!  Puppy pictures to come!
Sunday dinner, 1-20-2013:  Some bean, veggie, and ham soup that I stuck in the freezer with homemade ciabatta bread.

Monday lunch, 1-21-2013:  We both have off work!  So we'll likely eat leftovers, scrounge, or grab some Chick Fil A.
Monday dinner, 1-21-2013:  Asian orange glazed drumsticks, rice, roasted Brussel sprouts.

Tuesday, 1-22-2013:  Cooking Light Spicy Shrimp Tortilla Soup topped with cabbage.

Wednesday, 1-23-2013:  Pan-cooked pork chops, sweet potato wedges, and some type of salad.

Thursday, 1-24-2013:  Crockpot chicken and black bean tacos or tostadas with toppings GALORE!  And some latin rice, and probably a side of fruit.

That's all, folks!  See ya next time!

Friday, January 4, 2013

first meal plan of 2013

And here it is, the first meal plan of 2013!  I know this is probably more exciting than you can handle, but try to hold your applause until the end.

Thank you!

Friday 1-4-2013:  eating out!  <3  no dirty dishes, what fantastic news!

Saturday 1-5-2013 LUNCH:  meh, leftovers or something thrown together.  I'll be grocery shopping and prepping food stuffs and Uz will be rebuilding our fence that blew down in some crazy winds a couple weeks ago.
Saturday 1-5-2013 DINNER:  chicken enchiladas with latin rice (in the freezer), sauteed broccoli.

Sunday 1-6-2013 LUNCH:  spaghetti at my parents' house!  I'm in charge of bringing a salad.  Don't get too excited, y'all.
Sunday 1-6-2013 DINNER:  leftovers or something from the pantry/freezer.

Monday 1-7-2013:  chicken sofrito with rice, roasted sweet potato wedges.

Tuesday 1-8-2013:  chicken soup with cornmeal dumplings and veggies.

Wednesday 1-9-2013:  shrimp jambalaya.

Thursday 1-10-2013:  pan-cooked pork chops, salad, baked apples with topping.

Friday 1-11-2013:  probably out to eat! 

Snacks:  lightened blueberry cheesecake frozen bites, mixed unsalted nuts, yogurts (greek and regular), cheese sticks, fresh fruit, peanut butter (oh yum!), deli meat and cheese.

I also plan on making some shredded chicken and chicken broth in the crockpot next week.  One whole chicken will give approx. 24 oz shredded chicken meat and 10 cups of broth.  Making my own chicken broth (and freezing it) and shredded chicken from a whole bird is just one way that I'm trying to cut back in 2013:  The Year of Rice and Beans.

The past few grocery shops I have stayed under budget (or right at it!).  I hope that this week I can do the same!

Grocery List:

cheese sticks
regular and greek yogurts (coupon, on sale)
1/3 fat cream cheese
shredded cheddar cheese
egg whites
frozen peas
chicken nuggets (coupon)
2 c. 95% Cool Whip
2 bags or 1 big box mixed lettuce
green pepper (on sale)
1 bunch broccoli
1 oz baby spinach
2 green onion bunches
baby carrots (on sale)
berries (on sale)
pineapple (on sale)
3 tomatoes
1 avocado (on sale)
2 c. blueberries (on sale)
fresh salsa from the Sprouts fresh bar
a few onions
whole chicken (on sale)
8 chicken thighs
deli meat
6 boneless center cut pork chops
english muffins
mixed nuts, bulk (on sale)
rice (?)
vitamins (on sale)
Greenworks kitchen compost wipes

So, uh, I think it's safe to say that my grocery cart will be full.  However, the majority of our groceries are produce and typically that doesn't add up the bill like non-produce items.  I guess we'll see!

Here's to The Year of Rice and Beans!  Huzzah!