family meals: week 96

mushroom burger mushroom burger Mushroom Burgers with Carrot Garlic Parmesan Fries. My attempt at recreating a healthy version of the Red Robin (a chain restaurant) mushroom burger didn’t end up so great. My version was delicious, but it didn’t taste anything close to that 961 calorie burger I used to eat all the time back in college (slathered with honey mustard sauce of course). I made a lean ground turkey patty infused with garlic and parmesan, and then topped it off with low-fat swiss cheese. I used shiitake mushrooms, which were so flavorful, and while we all enjoyed it, it still didn’t satisfy my Red Robin craving. For the fries, I just cut the carrots real thin and tossed loads of fresh herbs, garlic, and grated parmesan on top. The burger and the fries made a good pairing.

Week of 2/2 – 2/6
Monday: Chicken Noodle Soup
Tuesday: Won Ton Soup
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Lavash Pizza
Friday: Ceviche

I made some fresh won tons and soup last week and most of us loved it. I want to make another batch, but this time leave out the ginger in some because I think that’s the part True didn’t like, so hopefully that will win her over. I find myself looking forward to cooking dinner, especially something new. Sure, I get tired of cooking, but I do experimenting and trying out new recipes. I never thought I would enjoy cooking as much as I do these days. I cook 3-4 days out of the week, and the other days we eat leftovers.



family meals: week 95

herb stuffed meatballs herb stuffed meatballs Whole Wheat Spaghetti & Herb Stuffed Meatballs. This is always a winner in our house. My friend, Reese, even jokingly refers to it as the “Bratcher Meatballs.” HA! We usually use the Trader Joe’s marinara sauce, but since it doesn’t use organic tomatoes, I think we are going to try something else. Anyone have an easy marinara recipe you can share?

Week of 1/19 – 1/23
Monday: Garlic Cheese Balls
Tuesday: Steamed Tilapia with Garlic and Ginger
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday:  Mushroom Burgers
Friday: Ceviche

I’ve been craving a Red Robin mushroom burger, and it’s been years since I had one. I just looked up the calories, since I used to eat that burger all the time back in high school and college, and my oh my, it’s a whoppin’ 961 calories! That doesn’t even include the fries and honey mustard I use to guzzle down with it. I’m definitely going to attempt to make my own (much healthier) version of it.




family meals: week 94

family meals family meals Oven Baked Taquitos and Guacamole. It looks plain and boring, but it’s so good. I don’t even remember what deep fried taquitos taste like, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out.

Week of 1/12 – 1/16
Monday: Chicken Noodle Soup
Tuesday: Leftovers
Wednesday: Bean Soup
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Ceviche

I haven’t shared our family meals in awhile, but since the time change, it’s hard to get a good picture at dinnertime. We haven’t had much leftovers either, so no luck taking a picture at lunch. What have you been cooking lately?



family meals: week 93

family meals family meals Pork Carnitas Tacos with Roasted Carrot-Habanero Salsa. I used a lean pork and this recipe, but threw it all in the crock pot, and for 10 minutes before serving, I put it in the oven. I knew we would need some sort of salsa, so I experimented roasting some carrots and habanero, then pureeing it together with a little bit of tomato juice. It turned out delicious and super hot, so this is definitely a salsa recipe we will be recreating again.

Week of 11/24 – 11/28
Monday: Vietnamese Chicken Pho
Tuesday: Spaghetti with Stuffed Garlic and Herb Meatballs
Wednesday: Thanksgiving (just the six of us)
Thursday: Thanksgiving feasting
Friday: Leftovers

I’m excited for turkey and stuffing, and for making turkey sandwiches with the leftovers! Of course, there will be lots of pie too. Pecan and pumpkin pie are both on my baking list this week. I probably love pecan slightly more than pumpkin, but I don’t really discriminate when it comes to dessert.



family meals: week 92

chimichurri sandwich chimichurri sandwich Chimichurri Pork Sandwiches with Roasted Chipotle Sauce. I sort of used this recipe for the chimichurri sauce (didn’t follow it exactly); I used about half of the sauce to cook the lean pork in the crockpot on low for 6 hours, then cooked in the oven for about 5 minutes. I made my own version of this sandwich, but made my own bread from this recipe, and made my own roasted bell pepper and chipotle sauce too. Ben and Brave loved it, but the others didn’t like the chimichurri sauce. Since half the family liked it (I liked it better the next day as leftovers), I’ll probably make this again or at least play around with another version of it.

Week of 11/17 – 11/21
Monday: Lavash Bread Pizza
Tuesday: Chimichurri Shrimp with Lime Rice (we still have sauce left over, so this is perfect!)
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Korean Pulled Pork Rice Bowl (using this recipe as a base)
Friday: Ceviche

With the time change, came the lack of natural, so there aren’t too many pictures to share of this past week’s meals. Besides the sandwiches, I did make some spicy tacos and everyone loved that. I can’t decide if I want to try and make the the rice bowl mentioned above, or this spicy back bean soup. I guess we will see what I’m feeling later this week.



yummy snow monster

33 birthday birthday things birthday things birthday things birthday things birthday things birthday things Though I’m married to a dietitian, who is excellent at practicing what he preaches, he so sweet to indulge my sweet tooth desires. It’s all about moderation, right?! Well, one of my birthday requests was to try the dessert place Snow Monster in Orange County, so we made the trek out to Westminster (there is also one in Huntington Beach). My friend had shared a picture on instagram of this place a few weeks back, and it looked so good! I immediately texted Ben the picture and added it to my birthday request.

We ordered the taro and green tea shaved ice in a large (with strawberries and mochi as sides), and a pistachio macaron ice cream sandwich with Thai tea ice cream. Oh goodness, they were all so yummy. The girls loved the taro shaved ice, but they weren’t quite as fond of the green tea and said it looked like boogers. HA! True couldn’t have the macaron because she’s allergic, but the other girls loved that too. Heck, even Ben liked the shaved ice, and he rarely gets wowed by desserts. My favorite was the macaron ice cream sandwich; that was bomb diggity bomb. One of the coolest things to them were the plastic spoons that changed color when dipped in the cold desserts. The girls were all, “Oooooh! Magic!!!”

I’d like to go back and try some other flavors, so maybe we will just have to plan more trips to Orange County soon. If you find yourself in the area, I highly recommend a stop to try it!




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