Monday, July 28, 2014

Menu Plan Monday 2104 ~ Week of July 28th

Last week, I didn't pay much mind to my menu plan or my diet and a 1.4 lb weight gain was the result.  I really need to work on following a plan this week.  Not just for the sake of my diet, but for our budget as well.  The meals I planned this week are all Simply Filling friendly if I allow myself to use a few indulgence points here and there.  If you're following the Weight Watchers Simply Filling program all of that will make sense.  If not, no worries.  You will still enjoy the meals I planned for this week!  


One Pan Mexican Quinoa
I have recently jumped on the quinoa band wagon and I am so glad I did!
I'm really enjoying it!  So far, I've made and Enchilada Casserole with Black Beans and Quinoa that I really loved!  I've also added it to some grilled veggies on a wrap for a light, but filling, lunch!
I can't wait to try this recipe since the quinoa cooks right in the same pot as the rest of the meal!  


Hot Dogs and baked potatoes
Reduced Fat hot dogs make it possible to enjoy this simple summer dinner
without causing damage to my diet!
Normally, I'd serve baked beans with the grilled hot dogs,
but all of that brown sugar and syrup would be a diet killer for sure
since I know that I couldn't be trusted to eat just one serving!  


Chicken Taco Salads
Tacos are the best thing for me to eat when I'm on a diet.
I love junk food and making taco meat using lean ground beef or diced chicken
is a great way to trick myself into thinking I am eating something bad!
I love keeping a big container of this Chicken Taco Filling in the fridge,
so I can eat from it all week.
Sometimes I splurge and allow myself a taco shell or two,
or I use a Simply Filling allowed wrap,
but most often, I just add a scoop of the taco meat to a bed of lettuce
with some fat free refried beans and fat free salsa!


Simply Filling Tuna Vegetable Pasta Salad
Corn on the cob
Grilled Veggies


Southwest Scramble 
I love breakfast for dinner!
Especially when it's this hearty and flavorful!  


Tilapia, baked potatoes, corn on the cob



Now that you know what we're eating this week, let us know in the comments what's for dinner at your house this week! Or, if you need more menu planning inspiration? Follow me over to Menu Plan Monday hosted by I'm an Organizing Junkie! Or, if you like what you see here, you can check out my past menu plans.

You can also find this week's menu plan linked to On the Menu Monday hosted by Yvonne at Stone Gable. If you haven't checked out Yvonne's blog before, I suggest you drop everything and head on over to check out her delicious recipes, inviting tablescapes and stunning photographs!

What Makes Me Smile #4

I tend to be a Negative Nelly about my life.  I'm great about putting a positive spin on things when friends vent to me about their bad days, but when it comes to my life, I only see the bad things.  In an attempt to change this aspect of my personality, I want to journal some things that make me smile each week.  Hoping that when I look back, I'll see just how many things I have to be grateful for and smile about in my life.  

Here's what made me smile last week:  

  • My Princess.  Last week was a good week for Grace.  We signed her up for Princess Camp at a local dance school.  Mainly, this was a practice run for her going to school.  Though, now I'm not sure which one of us needed the trial run to work on separation anxiety.  Me or Grace.  Her past dance classes were only 45 minutes long, so I waited in what she calls the "blue room" for her to finish her class.  Princess Camp was a longer class, so no way I was waiting that entire time.  When we were discussing her camp, she was asking if I was going to wait.  I explained that I wasn't going to wait this time, but we'd be back to pick her up as soon as it was over.  We were really hoping it wasn't going to be an issue.  First night went well...the second night was even better.  By the end of the week, she was pushing me out the door.  She even broke through some "issues" she has with things.  That especially made me smile.  

  • Weekends with Friends.  We had a chance to get away this weekend.  It's been too long since we've had an overnight away.  How long?  This was Grace's first night not sleeping in her own bed.  She's FIVE.  That's a long time to not take a trip!  We spent an overnight up the mountains and enjoyed a busy day exploring nature, splashing in the creek and having fun at an amusement park!  That's a lot of fun crammed into one day!  We were tired afterwards, but it was worth it!  

  • Weight Loss Support.  For the past couple of months, I've been really wanting to lose some weight. Keeping on track hasn't been easy.  I've had some good weeks and bad weeks, but the support I've been receiving from friends via conversations, emails, and facebook support groups is constant and wonderful!  

  • Mommy time.  While Grace had her Princess Camp last week, I got a taste of what it's going to be like when she starts school and I get some time to myself.  Having that hour and half break while she was at camp, really helped me feel more relaxed and I found myself being less grumpy about things.  

  • A girl and her dog.  Grace and Remmy have been bonding more and more lately.  While Remmy has always ADORED Grace, our little girl really never cared one way or another about Remmy.  In the past year, Grace has been more playful with Remmy and just this week, I can see there is a huge bond forming between the two!  I just know one day soon, I am going to walk into Grace's room and find her playing dress up with the dog and Remmy will be loving every moment!   

I hope this week brings you all lots of smiles!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Simply Filling Tuna Vegetable Pasta Salad

Lately, I've really been craving picnic foods.  Potato salad, pasta salad, burgers, dogs!  I love 'em all!  Since we aren't having or attending a picnic anytime soon, I figured I'd make myself a quick pasta salad for lunch.

I had a different idea in mind, but came up with this once I started throwing stuff into the bowl.  Very easy, very delicious!

Simply Filling Tuna Vegetable Pasta Salad 
      serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side dish

  • 4 oz. whole grain pasta, dry
  • 1 mini cucumber, sliced 
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced 
  • 1/4 cup chopped broccoli florets
  • 2 Tbs. fat free mayo
  • 1-2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning, to taste
  • 2 oz. albacore tuna packed in water, drained 
  • 1 hard boiled egg, chopped
  • Cook pasta according to package directions, drain.
  • Pour drained pasta into a medium-large mixing bowl and allow to cool.  
  • Add in the remaining ingredients and stirring until well combined.  
  • Cover and chill in fridge for an hour or more. 

  • I wanted a power food pasta salad that I could eat as a main dish on busy night.  The added protein from the egg and tuna help keep me full if I'm eating this on it's own.  Serve a smaller portion if you are using this as a side dish recipe.  
  • I used 2 tsp. of the Old Bay Seasoning since I wanted a really flavorful pasta salad.  Use more or less to your taste preference.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Grilled Veggie Quinoa Wraps

A week or so ago, I decided to switch over to the PointsPlus program on Weight Watchers.  I found myself using my points on lots of indulgences rather than loading up on healthier options like vegetables, smoothies, yogurt, etc.  So, I'm back to Simply Filling and loving the better choices I am making at mealtime.  

On Monday, I made this for myself for lunch but left off the quinoa since i didn't have any premade.  I was hungry almost immediately after due to the lack of protein.  So, today, I decided to make this again for lunch.  This time I was sure to include the quinoa.  Not only did I enjoy the heartier wrap, but the protein from the quinoa really helped keep me fuller longer.  Black beans would have been great too, but I didn't feel like opening a new can at that moment, so I left them off this time around!  

Grilled Veggie Quinoa Wraps 


  • red pepper slices
  • red onion slices
  • broccolini or broccoli florets
  • reduced calorie, whole grain wrap.   
  • 1/2 wedge light Laughing Cow Cheese, flavor of your choice.  
  • 2-3 romaine leaves 
  • 1/4 cup prepared quinoa, heated
  • Place peppers, onions and broccoli onto a stove top grill pan and cook over high heat.  Turning once during cooking time.  Cook to desired tenderness.  I grilled just long enough to get some grill marks on my vegetables since I tend to prefer my veggies with some crunch left to them.  
  • While the vegetables are cooking, spread the 1/2 wedge of light Laughing Cow Cheese over the entire wrap.  
  • Place lettuce leaves down the center of the wrap.  
  • Top lettuce with the grilled vegetables and the quinoa.  
  • Roll up and enjoy!  

  • All of the components of this recipe are Weight Watchers Power Foods, except for the Laughing Cow.  One wedge is 1 point, but I can get away with using just half the wedge for zero points!  I like using the LC spread since it helps work as a glue to hold some of the veggie in!  Also, when spreading all the way to the edge, it helps seal the wrap as you fold it over! 
  • If you prefer all power foods, omit the Laughing Cow.  Use some fat free salsa for some flavor, or spread a thin layer of fat free sour cream.   If you're missing the cheese, sprinkle with some shredded fat free cheese.  
  • Black beans would be a wonderful addition to this wrap!  

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