Archive for April, 2011

>We all fall down…a running first

Posted: April 30, 2011 in cardio

>

80’s Babies at the Muddy Buddy

Call me Forrest Gump because I have been RUNNNIINNNG a long time.

I was the shuttle run champ in 1st grade.  I tore up the Hershey Invitational and was a caucasian sprinting sensation at age 9.

Circa 1996.  The hotness.

I ran track from middle school until my junior year of high school.  I ran indoor track and outdoor track.  I high jumped, triple jumped, pole valuted, hurdled, and ran the 4×100.  I was pretty good.  I lettered 6 times, I had 4 district medals, and I competed in several bigger meets including one at William & Mary.

The side ponytail was SO in.

*side note- in Virginia “indoor track” is just a clever name.  No high schools have indoor tracks there!  It was soooo cold outside in the winter and here we were running!  We had to scrape ice off the mats so we could jump!  The only time you were indoors was to go to the bathroom!*


I started running again in 2005.  I ran a 5k, then a 10k, then a 12k, then several  half marathons, and even a full 26.2 miles of sweat and orange slices!

Mile 19 was a real BEAR!
Clearwater 1/2 Marathon with Darcy.
ESPN 5K 2011 with Kyle.

But today something happened to me that has NEVER happened before.

I fell.

I ate some serious pavement.  I mean, I had some sweet falls and cuts from running hurdles, but today I was just jogging sans obstacles.

I was about 4 minutes into my warm up….and then I was in a plank position on the ground. Luckily my cat like reflexes took over and I avoided slamming my knees or face into the sidewalk.  I slammed my hands into the ground pretty good but I’m fine. (I know you were concerned).  Just to be safe I slowed my run and did 3 easy miles with Lil Wayne on the ole Pandora.

Sweaty Face and semi-scratched hand

It was an interesting way to start my Saturday.  I hydrated from my run with some coconut water and now I’m going to have my usual morning bowl of berries, Kashi Go Lean, and almond milk.

Have you ever taken a tumble while running?

Love and Neosporin,
Carissa and Kyle

Advertisements

>A Wee Bit Drafty

Posted: April 29, 2011 in recipes, sports

>

Welcome to Dallas Tyron Smith!

It’s no secret in this house that we LOVE football.  Naturally the NFL draft is a big, exciting, “I can’t wait to see who we’re going to get” DEAL! 

Studying up for the draft



Kyle has followed the draft along with his cousin and Uncle Mike practically his entire life.  With a very low error margin he can tell you what college most NFL players went to, which I think it pretty impressive.

King of the Draft!



The NFL draft is the kind of event that makes you want wings, chips, pizza, burgers, and all the yummy things we equate with game day. But we live in a Fit2Flex kinda household so I needed to design a Draft night menu that felt like a game day favorite with a much lower caloric cost.  


Kyle said he wanted chips and salsa.  I didn’t want to go up a pant size so I created a 4 layer turkey taco dip and served it with baked chips.  We had raw bell pepper on the side and our usual water with lemon to drink.


The dip was fantastic and healthy!  I consciously didn’t add any cheese or sour cream and it honestly wasn’t missed.  Kyle said you could really taste the flavors of the other ingredients.  Why thank you!


I had the BRILLIANT idea to try to add in some healthy physical fitness during the draft.  I thought I should do push-ups and sit-ups corresponding to each draft pick.  So 1 for Cam, 2 for Von….and so on.  Can you guess how long that lasted?  Uh to about pick 3!  haha!  The best laid plans of mice and men….


Here’s the down-low on the easy layered taco dip.  Try it for a party or any weeknight dinner.  

I only had one avocado so technically it’s a 3 1/2 layer dip.

Cuatro Layer Turkey Taco Dip


Layer 1- Fat-Free Refried Black Beans
Layer 2- Jennie-O Extra Lean turkey breast and low sodium taco seasoning
Layer 3- Herdez salsa
Layer 4- Homemade guacamole*


Serve with baked Tostitos scoops and enjoy!


*To make guacamole simply mix 1 ripe avocado with 1t lemon juice, 1t hot sauce, 1T salsa, and a dash of salt.


Today’s lunch included leftover dip and chips with some steamed green beans.


We are anxiously awaiting the second round of the draft.  


MY Chargers have 2 second round picks and the Cowboys have one picking 7th.  


If Jerry Jones is among my blog followers, (I mean I have 7 legit followers so the odds are pretty high) we would like to further express our opinion that the Cowboys have an urgent need to strengthen their secondary.  Thanks Mr. Jones.  I can’t take another season of Mike Jenkins 45+ yards in interference penalties each game!


Love and Super Bowl Dreams, 
Carissa & Kyle

>Wine Down Wednesday

Posted: April 29, 2011 in dining out

>Last night we enjoyed a rare mid-week trip out for some wine, flatbreads, and friends!  There was nothing really healthy about any part of this evening….but I did eat a lot of salad!

Our first stop was Urban Flats in Winter Garden.  It’s $17 for all you can drink wine, flatbreads, salad, and chocolate fondue.  The “red blend” wine was smooth and delicious!  Mmmm red, red wine!  Kyle did have to stalk the servers so he could get flat bread as soon as it was put out!  You gotta move fast!  As usual the fig & prosciutto flatbread was our favorite.  Salty and sweet!

After Urban Flats we made a quick stop at Hagan O’Reillys Irish Pub.  The place was packed!  Does everyone go out on Wednesday nights?  They had a nice outdoor patio area and you could play  CORN HOLE!  How fun is that?

Kyle and his cousin Shawn

Our final stop of the evening was to visit our friends Carlos and Carissa’s house to hear about their trip from Coachella and partake in some (more) red wine.  They have some beautiful art in their home that I wanted to share.  My favorite is the pic by Luis Sottil. He paints in a style he called “naturalismo”.  If you’re shocked at my random art knowledge don’t forget that I did spend 4 months working at the Wyland Art Gallery at Disney!

Luis Sottil

It was great to get out and see friends!  I go back to school full time on Monday (taking chemistry nonetheless) so it was my last hurrah of sorts.

We’re going to spend the evening watching the first round of the draft.  Look for a draft post tomorrow!

Love and merlot,

Carissa & Kyle

>Peaches and Cream

Posted: April 28, 2011 in recipes

>When I think of “Peaches and Cream” I cannot help but think of 112 and their rather “colorful” song. Is anybody with me?  I debated thinking of another name of today’s blog BUT since today’s blog is really about peaches that are then blended with cream (or almond milk) I decided it would be okay.  FYI- I am currently listening to 112 right now. And IMHO “Dance with Me” is a way better jam than “Peaches and Cream”.

This week is apparently International Smoothie Week.  I don’t know if the celebration has gone global yet, but I’ve been on a crazy smoothie kick. My lunch today was small (Wasa crackers, ham, laughing cow cheese, and green beans) so I wanted to get some serious protein in my afternoon snack.

Lunch

Here’s today’s smoothie offering.  It tastes the most like ice cream of all the smoothies I’ve made this week.  After my initial blending I decided to add more peaches.  Peaches are like cowbell and you just can’t have enough.

Peaches and Cream Smoothie Success

1 cup almond milk (or whatever milk type product you prefer)
1 scoop Dessert Cinnamon Roll Protein
1 handful ice
1 cup+ frozen peaches
1T cinnamon
1t vanilla extract
1T flax seed

Blend and enjoy!

Love and hip hop jams,
Carissa & Kyle

>Water for Elephants

Posted: April 27, 2011 in books and movies

>”Water for Elephants” is one of my favorite books that I have read in the past few years.  I was a little late of the WFE bandwagon and only read it after I discovered there was a movie coming, but it was an EXCELLENT read.  I loved Sara Gruen’s narrative style and descriptions of depression era American life.  Maybe since I used to be an entertainer, I identified a lot with the circus folk and their train-living lifestyle.  I raced through the book and was equally excited about the film.

I got a chance to see it last night with my great friend Darcy.  We have a tradition of reading books and then watching the films together.  We have seen/read Atonement, The Time Traveler’s Wife, My Sister’s Keeper, The Lovely Bones, and many more I am not remembering right now.  But it is a tradition I look forward to.

I enjoyed the movie, but it was no where near as memorable to me as the novel.  I have a lot of reasons why, but since this is “primarily” a blog about clean eating and working out…I’ll refrain! 🙂

I do want to share some highlights of the night:


1. Spending time with my best friend.
2. Silently playing words with friends for about 15 minutes.  It’s all about being scholarly.

What has 6 letters and starts with TH?

3. The fact that we BOTH snuck our own healthy snacks into the theatre. I brought sliced apples dusted with cinnamon and Darcy brought green bean chips.
4.  Me falling UP the stairs of the theatre on the way back from the bathroom.
5.  These guys below.

Seriously?

So why am I sharing all this?

I happen to think that intellectual health is closely tied to overall health and well-being.  I think challenging your mind through reading, thoughtful discussion, or a scrabble game on your phone is key to longevity. Seriously….Words with Friends…good stuff!  (Although I still discount the validity of certain words like HAJ, DI, ZA, MIS, ect..)

Your brain needs a workout too and there is a plethora of research that supports that. So lift a weight or lift a book…both are good for you!

What’s the last great book that you read?

Love and paper cuts,

Carissa & Kyle

>Lunch Time Loser

Posted: April 26, 2011 in recipes

>We all have our own healthy eating achilles heel.  That one time where we are more apt to chew the wrong thing.  What’s yours?  Night time snacking, happy hour, the afternoon candy rush?  I am the breakfast champ and I rule the dinner table….but lunch…oh lunch…you sneaky mid-day nosh.  I am a lunch time loser! What can I say?  If lunch time was on facebook, I wouldn’t be a “fan”.  I don’t like deli meat, I don’t like reheated leftover chicken, and I only tolerate tuna.  


My usual lunch time plan of attack is to eat my healthy leftovers from the night before.  Most of the time that does the trick.  Although as I said above I LOATHE re-microwaved chicken so I usually eat it cold.  Nobody said clean eating was fun all the time! Yesterday I was over it.  I had to go workout so I know I needed a good blend of protein and carbs…and cold chicken and brown rice..I wanted no part.  


I decided to visit Planet Smoothie…my own homemade Planet Smoothie!  If made the right way, a smoothie can be a great, nutritional choice and they are a classic pre-workout food.  



PB Banana Choco-Cinna Smoothie


1 cup almond milk* (or whatever milk you use)
1 scoop Dessert Cinnamon Roll Protein powder* (or whatever flavor you have on hand)
1 handful ice
 3/4 banana
1/4 cup oatmeal
1T flax seed
2T cinnamon
1/2T peanut butter


After I blended all this up I still wanted my smoothie to have a little more *sparkle*, so I thought WWMD.  What would Marjorie do?  Marjorie is my wonderful Grandmother-in-law and she is a certified, card-carrying CHOCO-HOLIC!  So I added a squirt of sugar free chocolate syrup for Grandma’s sake! 🙂  All for you Grandma!


The smoothie was filling and delicious and I made enough to have 1/2 for my post workout shake as well.  I may still be a lunch time loser but I’m working on it.


I’ve also noticed that some healthy folk add spinach to their smoothies. I think it doesn’t add too much flavor.  Spinach is the LeBron James of the superfood world so I think it may try that my next go around.  It worked for Popeye!




What’s your toughest healthy eating time?


Love and smoothie goodness, 
Carissa & Kyle

>Peach pizza? Say what?

Posted: April 25, 2011 in recipes

>What?  Carissa and Kyle ate pizza??? YES!  And we loved it!  It was amazing!

We always try to stick to “clean” eating.  That is lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and veggies with everything minimally processed.  That also means avoiding refined sugars and flours.  But sometimes we want to have fun and let loose and..get totally crazy and eat some white carbs!  Like WHOA!  When we do eat ingredients that are more processed, I try to add as many nutrient dense foods as possible and make from scratch what I can to cut out excess sugar and fat.

Prepping the crust
Vinaigrette Making


I had seen a recipe for Peach Gorgonzola Chicken Pizza in Cooking Light magazine that I wanted to try so we made a date for Friday night pizza.  We decided to make a traditional tomato basil pizza as well.  Just to balance the flavors! 🙂


We made a few adaptations to the Cooking Light recipe seen below by using goat cheese instead of gorgonzola.  We also used a Pillsbury pizza dough from the refrigerated section.  (I had a coupon!)  This was the most processed part of the meal, but it was easy to make and delicious if you ask me.  If you make this peach pizza do not skip the arugula salad.  It makes the dish!

The finished product

Peach Gorgonzola Pizza

Ingredients
  • 1 (10-ounce) prebaked thin pizza crust (such as Boboli)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken breast* (I slow poached the chicken earlier in the day and shredded it)
  • 1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese* (we used goat cheese)
  • 1 medium unpeeled peach, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar* (we used Blaze Balsamic Glaze bought at SuperTarget)
  • Arugula Salad* (see recipe below)

Preparation

  • 1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  • 2. Place pizza crust on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Brush 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil evenly over crust. Top evenly with 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, chicken, Gorgonzola cheese, and peach slices. Top with remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella. Bake at 400° for 11 minutes or until crust browns.
  • 3. Place vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until reduced to 2 tablespoons (about 5 minutes). Drizzle balsamic reduction evenly over pizza. Cut pizza into 8 wedges.
  • Serve with Arugula Salad: Combine 1 teaspoon minced shallots, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon honey in a large bowl; gradually whisk in 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Add 4 cups loosely packed arugula and 1/3 cup vertically sliced red onion to bowl; toss gently to coat.

We’d love to hear about your next pizza party!  And don’t forget to invite it!
Love and pepperoni,
Carissa & Kyle

>We all know that old saying, “if you fall off the horse, get back on”. Right? I personally have never fallen off a horse, therefore I cannot say whether or not I would get back on, but I think the same approach can be used for dieting and healthy eating.  


I used to be the queen of that “I’ll start on Monday/tomorrow/2014” dieting mentality.  Are you familiar with it?  After a holiday or weekend of bad eating I’d pledge to do better on Monday and then use that excuse to eat even MORE up until Monday.  Yes- do you feel a pang of self realization?  We’ve all been there and it’s an unsuccessful cycle.  


So here’s what I pledge….when you fall off the proverbial diet “horse”…GET RIGHT BACK ON!  Make your next meal as healthy as possible and continue that trend for as long as you can.  We will all have cheat meals and special treats and it’s important to have those things.  Hello Carissa and the Reese’s egg yesterday…mmmmmm!  Special, special memories of that chocolaty egg! 


 Anyway…We had indulged for Easter so last night we had a very clean dinner as we planned our clean meals for our week ahead. The thing about it is that as you eat a healthy, clean meal you feel better.  Mentally and physically.  


So here’s the plan…next time you eat something “less than healthy” don’t beat yourself up.  Enjoy it and then go right back to your clean eating plan!  Get up on that healthy horse and “Giddy Up” into the sunset! 

For our rebound healthy dinner we had a very simple grilled chicken.  We topped it with a little goat cheese and some spicy arugula.  I dressed the arugula in a homemade vinaigrette of lemon juice, EVOO, fresh basil (from my garden), and honey.


Easter to me always comes with green bean casserole.  Love it!  So i bought all the ingredients to make it on Sunday night, however after my treats I decided that plain old steamed beanies were best.  BUT…I decided to top them with some almond slivers and a few french fried onions (I mean they were already in the house). And they were FAB!  It really did capture the feel of green bean casserole with way less calories and cooking.  Kyle even said they were good and he is NOT on team vegetable!

Green Beans Galore

I hope we’ve inspired you to clean up your next meal and keep getting healthy!
Love and green beans- 


Carissa & Kyle

>Egg-celent Easter

Posted: April 24, 2011 in cardio, family, holidays

>

Happy Easter from the Fit2Flex team!  We are currently parked on the couch watching “Year of the Quarterback” which feels decidedly un-Eastery…but hey – in this house football season can’t come soon enough!
Saturday night we went to the 645 service at Discovery Church with the family and then decorated some easter eggs.  Our family is very competitive so we had to compete to see who had the best egg.  I was sure I had a winner with my cat egg, however the winner was Jerry with his green “alabaster” egg.  Here’s a hint- for great egg color drop the egg in the dye then leave the room and 20 minutes later when you come back you’ll have a great egg! 🙂
Which egg do you like best?

I also got my easter basket on Saturday night which was GREAT!  Apparently Under Armour has some great new stuff out at I’m the proud owner of a new lime green outfit coming to a gym near you tomorrow am!  Ironically, I got an Under Armour shirt for Kyle too and some Cadburry eggs.  Kyle’s family gave us some delicious candy and money to spend for new bikes.

The Easter haul
Sunday morning we were up and I was dragging Kyle to go run.  I wanted to burn off those Easter brunch calories I knew were coming.  Kyle hates running longer than 10 minutes so I had to bully him into going longer.  We ran a 10 minute warm up, then 6 sets of 15-30 second sprints, then 8 more minutes jogging for a total of 25 minutes and 2.5 miles.  Recent research has confirmed that short sets of sprints burn more fat than longer slow distance running.  Which is great news for Kyle!
Sunday brunch with the family was wonderful!  I had an egg white omelet with ham and veggies and lots of pineapple.  Kyle had about 10 total plates of food.  Two omelets, biscuits, gravy, sausage, fruit…and a LOT of grapefruit juice to “cut the fat”.  I also enjoyed some Whopper Stopper cake stolen from Grandma’s plate!
Once home we laid out by the pool for a bit and here we sit learning about Tom Brady’s perilous journey to success and Justin Bieber hair.
For dinner we will definitly opt for something clean.  I’m thinking grilled chicken and green beans.  
We hope you all had the best Easter!  Tomorrow is Monday….and time to get clean and lean again!
Love and chocolate eggs, 
Carissa & Kyle

>Can you eat great for less?

Posted: April 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

>This article was posted on the ACE forum and I thought I’d share.  It talks about eating clean on a budget.  They are some great ideas to start.

I try to buy my meat (chicken) and yogurt when on sale as much as possible.  I also recommending planning your weekly meals about in season vegetables that are on sale and using frozen veggies when in a pinch.

What are your budget, clean eating ideas?

One of the most commonly cited reasons people give for not eating healthy is that healthy food “costs too much.” With the average consumer spending only about $7 per day on food according to the 2008 US Department of Labor Statistics, it may seem near impossible to get the recommended five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day on such a tight budget. But that’s not necessarily the case. With a little bit of planning, a family of four can get by on about $28 per day ($7 each) including a wholesome breakfast, lunch and dinner and even a few snacks along the way.
Let us show you how. The recipes are setup so that you can save money and optimize nutritional value by substituting vegetables and meats based on what is in-season or on sale and are based on a family of four. Cost estimates are based on purchase of the generic brands, when available, at non-sale prices at a large supermarket chain. Also check out the sidebar for some other cost-cutting tips that are sure to help boost your family’s health without bankrupting your budget.

Breakfast

5 Tips to Boost Your Family’s Health on a Budget

Put every food dollar to excellent use by adopting some of the following
cost-cutting tips whenever possible. 
  • Eat at home more often. Not only does it cost less, but you also have better control over portion sizes and can freeze any leftovers for another day when you don’t have time to cook.
  • Don’t go to the grocery store on a whim. Rather, check what you already have in your refrigerator and pantry and have your shopping list in hand. This will help you avoid overbuying. First Lady Obama’s Let’s Move Initiative offers an easy-to-use grocery list template that will help boost the nutritional value of your purchases. It’s available online.
  • It seems obvious, but only buy food that you’re actually going to eat. And then actually eat it. If time gets away from you and you’ve got some rotting fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator, think of creative ways to use it – how about tomatoes to make a marinara sauce or ripe fruit for a smoothie?
  • At the store check packages and perishable items for expiration dates and try to pick the latest one possible (these are usually kept in the back of the shelf as the grocer is trying to offload the stuff that will go bad first by displaying it more prominently).
  • Teach your children the value of a food budget. Take them shopping with you and teach them to use price, actual need, nutritional value and portion size to determine buying decisions.

Make Your Own Oatmeal ($0.80)
Basic Oatmeal Recipe
2 cups uncooked oats
3 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Bring water and salt to boil over medium heat. Add oats and stir. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until most of liquid is absorbed.
“Banana bread” Oatmeal: ($1.60)
2 ripe bananas ($.70)
2 tablespoons brown sugar ($.10)
-Cook basic oatmeal as instructed above. Add 2 tablespoon of brown sugar to basic oatmeal recipe. Peel 2 ripe bananas into a bowl and mash with a fork.  Finally, add bananas to oatmeal and cook for another 5 minutes.  
Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal: ($3.40)
1 cup of frozen strawberries ($2.00)
2 tablespoons of brown sugar ($.10)
1 cup of nonfat milk ($0.50)
-Cook basic oatmeal as instructed above. Add 1cup of nonfat milk to oatmeal and stir. Add 1 cup of frozen strawberries to oatmeal and cook for another 10 minutes.
Peaches and Cream Oatmeal: ($3.40)
1 cup of frozen peaches ($2.00)
2 tablespoons of brown sugar ($.10)
1 cup of nonfat milk ($0.50)
– Cook basic oatmeal as instructed above. Add 1cup of nonfat milk to oatmeal and stir. Add 1 cup of frozen peaches to oatmeal and cook for another 10 minutes.
Yogurt Parfaits ($4.50)
2 cups of plain nonfat yogurt ($1.80)
1 cup of frozen fruit ($2.00)
¼ cup of sugar ($.20)
½ cup of water
1 cup of raisin bran cereal ($.50)
Bring frozen fruit, honey and water to boil over medium heat in a pot. Cook for 15 minutes, until fruit is like jam.  Put fruit into a bowl to cool.
To prepare parfaits: In a glass, place ¼ cup of yogurt at the bottom.  Place 1 tablespoon of fruit mixture.  Place another ¼ cup of yogurt on top, followed by 1 more tablespoon of fruit mixture. Sprinkle ¼ cup of fiber cereal on top.  Repeat with another 3 glasses.
Breakfast Spinach and Egg Sandwiches ($3.85)
4 whole wheat English muffins ($1.30)
4 eggs ($1.00)
2 cups of baby spinach ($0.80)
½ cup of shredded cheddar ($0.75)
Place pan over medium heat.  Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to pan.  Place 2 cups of baby spinach into pan and stir for 1 minute.  Break open eggs into a bowl and beat gently.  Pour eggs into pan with spinach and cook for approximately 4-5 minutes, until eggs are cooked.  Sprinkle cheese over eggs/spinach and turn off the heat.  Divide egg mixture into 4 servings.  Place 1 serving of egg mixture in English muffin.

Lunch


Grilled Chicken Pita Wraps with Creamy Bean Spread ($8.00)
2 whole wheat pitas, separated into 4 pieces ($1.00)
2 chicken breasts  ($5.00)
2 cups of baby spinach, washed and dried ($.80)
2 medium carrots, shredded  ($.20)
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans ($1.00)
To prepare bean spread: Place 1 can of cannellini beans (including water in can) in a blender.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
To prepare chicken: Cut each chicken breast in half widthwise (so each chicken breast is thinner). Heat pan on stove at medium heat. Sprinkle each side of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in pan. Put two pieces of chicken in pan and cook for 6-7 minutes. Flip chicken and cook for another 6-7 minutes, until well cooked. Repeat with remaining two pieces of chicken. When chicken is finished cooking, lay flat on cutting board and cut into ½ inch strips.
To prepare wraps: Spread 2 tablespoons of bean dip over pita bread.  Next, place ½ cup of spinach over the pita bread. Place carrots and cucumber in the middle of the pita bread. Place chicken strips next to pile of carrots/cucumber. From one side of the pita bread, roll the pita bread.  Cut wrap in half and serve.  
Spinach and Portabello Mushroom Whole Wheat Pita Pizzas ($8.00)
4 Whole Wheat Pita Bread ($2.00)
1 cup of tomato sauce ($.50)
1 cup of shredded mozzarella ($1.50)
1 bag (28 ounces) frozen spinach, defrosted ($2.00)
1 large portabello mushroom, sliced thin ($2.00)
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place ¼ cup of tomato sauce on  each pita bread and spread evenly.  Top pita bread with vegetables. Sprinkle ¼ cup of cheese on top of vegetables. Place on baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted.
Broccoli and Black Bean Pita Quesadillas ($8.00)
4 Whole Wheat Pita Bread ($2.00)
2 cups of shredded cheddar ($3.00)
1 large broccoli crown, cut into small pieces ($.50)
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained ($1.00)
Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil on pan over medium heat. Place broccoli in pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, until tender.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Open pita bread in half. Sprinkle one layer with cheese. Place layer of broccoli and ¼ cup of black beans on top of cheese, then sprinkle another layer of cheese on top. Put 2nd half of pita bread on top.  Place all quesadillas on a baking tray and place into oven for 10 minutes.

Dinner


Pork and Vegetable Whole Wheat Chow Mein ($12.00)
1 pack of whole wheat spaghetti, cooked according to package. ($1.75)
2 boneless pork chops ($4.00)
½  medium onion, sliced ($0.50)
2 medium carrots, cut into ¼ inch slices ($0.20)
2 large broccoli crowns, cut into small florets ($1.00)
1 large red pepper, cut into thin strips ($2.50)
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped ($0.25)
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated ($0.50)
1 cup of green onions, chopped ($0.50)
¼ cup of soy sauce ($1.00)
½ cup of water
To prepare the meat: Slice the pork into thin slices, approximately ¼ inch in width.
Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Place onions, ginger, garlic in pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sliced meat to pan and cook for 3-4 minutes or until meat is almost cooked. Add vegetables to pan, then soy sauce and water.  Cook for approximately 2 minutes.  Lastly, add cooked noodles to pan and mix all ingredients well. Cook for another 2-3 minutes and then serve.
Baked Whole Wheat Pasta with Turkey and Spinach ($12.00)
1 pack of whole wheat short pasta (penne, rigatoni, macaroni), cooked ($1.75)
2 cans (15 ounces) of tomato sauce ($2.00)
1 cup of shredded mozzarella ($1.50)
1 pound ground turkey ($5.00)
1 package (28 ounces) frozen spinach, defrosted ($2.00)
Cook pasta as instructed on label. Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Place ground turkey in pan and cook until browned, approximately 7-9 minutes.  Transfer cooked ground turkey into large mixing bowl.  Place defrosted spinach in bowl with turkey and stir.  Add tomato/marinara sauce. Add cooked pasta and stir. Pour contents of bowl into a large baking casserole tray.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place dish into oven and cook for 30 minutes. Remove dish from oven and sprinkle cheese on top. Return dish to oven and cook another 15 minute, until cheese is melted.
Mediterranean Chicken and Garbanzo Bean Soup ($12.00)
1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained ($1.00)
1 large chicken breast ($3.00)
2 medium zucchini ($3.00)
2 medium carrots ($0.20)
1 can of tomatoes ($1.00)
1 sweet potato ($1.50)
1 bunch of kale ($1.00)
1 medium onion, diced ($1.00)
1 tablespoon of cumin ($0.20)
1 tablespoon of cinnamon ($0.20)
3 cups of water
To prepare vegetables: For zucchini and carrots, cut each in half lengthwise, then cut into ¼ inch pieces.  For kale, cut into ¼ inch ribbons.  For sweet potato, cut into half lengthwise, then again in half lengthwise. Then, cut sweet potato into ¼ inch pieces. 
To prepare chicken: Slice chicken breast in half lengthwise, then again in half lengthwise.  Then, cut chicken into ¼ inch slices.
Place a pot over medium heat. Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in pot.  Put onion in pot with cumin and cinnamon. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken to onions and stir.  Next, place zucchini, carrots, sweet potato and stir.  Add canned tomatoes and garbanzo beans to pot, followed by the 3 cups of water. Turn heat to low-medium and let simmer for 30-40 minutes. 
Once vegetables and chicken have cooked for 30-40 minutes, add kale and stir until wilted.

Snacks


Creamy Garlic Bean Spread with Baked Pita Chips ($3.25)
1 can of white beans (also known as cannellini beans) ($1.00)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of water
3 garlic cloves ($0.25)
Place all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Serve with baked pita chips, vegetables or as an alternative to mayo on sandwiches. 
Baked Pita Chips ($2.00)
4 whole wheat pitas ($2.00)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut each whole wheat pita into 8 wedges. Place in bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place pita wedges on a baking tray evenly and put into oven.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until pita chips are crispy.
Strawberry-Banana Yogurt Smoothies ($3.10)
2 ripe bananas ($0.70)
1 cup of plain yogurt ($0.90)
1 orange, peeled ($0.50)
½ cup of frozen strawberries ($1.00)
Place all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Divide into 4 glasses and serve.
Baked Cinnamon Apples ($2.40)
2 apples, cored and cut in half ($2.00)
4 tablespoons of brown sugar ($0.20)
4 teaspoons of cinnamon ($0.20)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut apples into half and remove core.  Place apples on a baking tray.  Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/8 cup of brown sugar over each apple half.  Bake apples for approximately 25 minutes.