We eat a lot of chicken. I can't deny that. There have been weeks when we've eaten chicken 5 or 6 days in a row because it was on sale that week at the grocery store. What can I say? I love chicken and I'm a sucker for a good sale. My family starts to get suspicious after the third consecutive chicken day though. 😂
If you ask my kids, they will tell you that we eat chicken "All The Time". The truth is, we normally eat it no more than once or twice a week. (Unless it's on sale of course.) I have a meal schedule that I follow to plan our meals every week. I've published this before but for those of you who might be new to the blog - here it is again.
Monday - Fish
Tuesday - Chicken
Wednesday - Soup, Salad or Sandwiches
Thursday - Beef or Pork (Vegetables for me)
Friday - Pasta
Saturday and Sunday - anything goes
To a lot of people it might seem a little rigid to plan meals like this but if you know me at all - you know that I thrive on (over)planning EVERYTHING. 😂I've been menu planning like this for years and it works great for me. And those unplanned weekend meals - even though the uncertainty gives me anxiety sometimes - they often turn out to be the best.
There are times when I make things on the weekend that we've been craving and sometimes I just pull together a meal based on the leftover ingredients that are already in my refrigerator. Last week, I had a package of chicken in my refrigerator, more than a dozen leftover hard boiled Easter Eggs, a few slices of turkey bacon and a garden that was absolutely overflowing with home grown lettuce. Throw in a ripe avocado, a few tomatoes and I had everything that I needed for a delicious Grilled Cobb Salad.
Grilled Cobb Salad
1/4 cup blue cheese
1/4 cup + 2 T. olive oil
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 romaine lettuce hearts, cut in half
2 avocados, halved
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
4 hard (or soft) boiled eggs, halved
6 slices turkey bacon, diced
Top with bacon and drizzle with dressing.
What do you have growing in your garden this month? I've got lettuce, parsley, basil, rosemary, strawberries and 1 raspberry plant. I started some pumpkin seeds in pots on the porch last month and they're already starting to sprout. I have plans to move them to the garden as soon. I can hardly wait to see how many pumpkins I end up with this Fall. 🎃
Are there foods that you like in one form but not another? Do you like the flavor of almonds but dislike almond extract and or prefer almond extract to whole nuts? I raised 2 children who adore ketchup and salsa but have an extreme dislike of fresh tomatoes. 🤷🏻♀️ It defies logic but sometimes there's no rational explanation for why we like the foods that we like.
As for me, I love the flavor of bananas but I don't like to eat them plain. 🍌I crave banana bread, banana muffins, banana ice cream, frozen bananas, banana pancakes, banana smoothies, banana oatmeal and banana cookies but I don't ever eat plain bananas. There's no good reason why the brilliant yellow fruit doesn't appeal to me. (pun intended) It's a potassium rich food that's naturally protected from germs and it doesn't crunch - it should be my favorite fruit! 😂
I will never stop buying fresh bananas even though I don't like to eat them plain. I actually enjoy watching them ripen to perfection in the fruit basket on the counter. They're the perfect natural sweetener for my baked treats and they give everything a nice soft consistency.
These Cinnamon Banana Oatmeal Cookies are one of my new favorite ways to use those perfectly ripe bananas. The combination of bananas and cinnamon chips is absolutely amazing. I could go on and on but I'd rather have you just try them for yourself.
Cinnamon Banana Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup mashed banana
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 cups quick oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups cinnamon chips
I would like to tell you how long these cookies stay nice and fresh but they didn't last past day two in our house. They really are delicious and a great way to use up that extra banana that's sitting in your fruit basket getting dark spots. Remember, the darker the banana - the sweeter it is.
Have you noticed that more people than ever are snapping pictures of the food that is served to them at restaurants before they dig in? People are also posting the meals that they make at home and tagging their photos with #homemade and #healthyeating on instagram. Even if you haven't yet crossed over into the world of food posting, I'd be willing to bet that at one point or another, you've created or been served something so exquisitely beautiful that you've considered getting out your phone and taking a picture of it with the intent of sharing it on your social media account.
I've got to say, it makes me actually feel better about the ridiculous number of photos that I take of my food when I see other people photographing their food. When I started this whole food blogging gig 9 years ago, I felt completely awkward about pulling out my camera in a restaurant. Now I almost feel like I'm insulting the chef if I neglect to post a picture of a meal that was so artfully and beautifully crafted.
I've also heard from many of you that don't really appreciate all of my food pictures - especially when scrolling through their instagram account late at night. I get it. It's hard to look at all those incredible chocolate dessert recipes when I'm trying to avoid sugar or eating after midnight.
I take your criticism as a compliment though - my goal of making my food look appetizing and appealing is working. Some foods are easier than others to make look beautiful and some days the lighting is just right for photographs and some days it just stinks. I'm no food stylist but you can be assured that your recipe will turn out looking just like mine if you decide to create it at home.
Greek Meatballs with Sweet Potato "Noodles"
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup bread crumbs
3 Tablespoons fresh mint
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
2 pound lean ground beef
2 (12 ounce) packages refrigerated sweet potato spirals
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Top with meatballs.
Sprinkle with pepper, feta or lemon juice prior to serving.
If you decide to make this delicious meal (or any other of my recipes for that matter) post a picture and be sure and tag me. You can post it in the comment section of my blog or tag me on instagram. (@delicious.monroe) Post it on my facebook page, my twitter account @deliciousllc or share it with me on Pinterest. (Delicious)
I'm kind of obsessed with these acai bowls. (Pronounced ah-sigh-ee.) I had my very first introduction to these amazing little breakfast treats at the Little Fish Coffee Company on the island of Kauai. To be perfectly honest, when we stumbled upon this delightful little food truck inspired trailer, we didn't really know what to order, so we optimistically ordered 2 of the most popular bowls listed on the hand written chalkboard menu.
I don't know what I was expecting but it certainly wasn't the cold, sweet, soft-serve consistency fruit mixture in the bottom of a giant bowl overflowing with fresh fruit.
It probably had something to due with the fact that we were sitting on the cutest little outdoor patio and breathing in the sweet Hawaiian air but I fell in love with acai from the very first bite.
Recreating these delicious acai bowls at home wasn't going to be easy. For starters, there's the undeniable flavor of fresh Hawaiian fruit that I just can't capture in Georgia. Then there was also the matter of trying to dissect the crunchy granola that was used as a barrier between the frozen acai and the fresh fruit.
I thought that the acia was going to be the easy part due to the fact that it's readily available in the freezer section of most grocery stores. The truth is - getting the acai the right consistency proved to be a challenge. I had trouble defrosting it to soft serve consistency without over melting it.
I am still working on perfecting my acai bowls but I've got to say - we've totally enjoyed the process. Finding new ways to top these little treats is has been a real treat.
1 packet frozen acai
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 Tablespoon milk or milk alternative
fresh fruit (berries, bananas, pineapple, kiwi)
This sweet little bird was perched on a branch just across from our table and kept us company while we enjoyed our breakfast bowls. I'm pretty sure he was patiently waiting for us to drop some of our granola on the table but none the less, we enjoyed his undivided attention.
Seven months after we first tasted the delicious acai bowls in Hawaii - my quest to recreate them continues. I honestly don't think that I've even come close the acai in Hawaii but I've enjoyed every single attempt - even the overly defrosted versions. If you've got some acai tips for me - feel free to send them along. I'd love to hear your suggestions.
Are you the kind of person who prefers a cup or two of coffee in place of a morning meal? According to my research, you're not alone. 31 million Americans are skipping breakfast on a regular basis. SKIPPING BREAKFAST! I'm not opposed to coffee but I just can't understand why in the world would anyone want to miss out on the most delicious meal of the day. Crispy multigrain toast, chewy bagels, crunchy granola, yogurt with fresh fruit, Belgian waffles, fluffy pancakes, gooey cinnamon rolls, hearty muffins, avocado toast - do I even need to go on?
Why in the world someone would want to miss out on indulging in some of these amazing confections? I love breakfast food so much that eating it once a day doesn't seem like nearly enough. I eat breakfast for dinner at least once a week.
I'm not a morning person by any means. I love breakfast but I don't want you to get the wrong idea about my morning routine. If you're picturing me in my kitchen at 6:00 AM preparing coffee cake and vegetable egg white omelettes for myself - you couldn't be more wrong. I'm more of a prep breakfast before I go to bed, kind of girl. I climb in bed at night thinking about the scrumptious nourishment that I already prepped for my morning meal. If you need some make ahead breakfast ideas, check out my recipes for overnight oats, yeast waffles, overnight cinnamon rolls or egg casserole.
Clearly, there are some people who crawl into bed at night dreaming about the steaming cup of hot coffee that they will drink in the morning but that has never been the case for me. Whole wheat muffins packed with carrots, pineapple, raisins and coconut - now that's the stuff that MY dreams are made of. As long as there are morning glory muffins around - there's just no excuse NOT to eat breakfast.
Morning Glory Muffins
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used melted coconut oil)
3 large eggs
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
3 large carrots, shredded
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Cool on wire rack. Enjoy.
The best part about this recipe is that they freeze beautifully. I pull one out of the freezer and after one minute in the microwave, they're perfectly defrosted, warmed and ready to enjoy. And since they're loaded with carrots, I feel like I get to count them as a serving of vegetables too. 🤣
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