Four Things you can do with Ham

Ham is a popular holiday and Sunday tradition, but don’t throw out the leftovers. What can we do with this delicious meat besides baking?

#1 – Leftover Hambone Soup

This recipe makes good use of leftover ham and packs a lot of veggie punch with a variety of different vegetables to hit your daily allowance head-on.

Once you cut all the meat off the bone, put the bone in a large stockpot. Add water to cover the lower half of the bone and bring the water to a boil. Once the water has come to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer the bone for about an hour. The scent should be very aromatic and make the house smell yummy! Once the broth has simmered enough, remove the bone from the pot and discard.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in another stockpot if you have it. If you don’t you can drain the ham stock to a holding bowl. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1 diced onion, 2 peeled and diced carrots, and 1 peeled and diced russet potato. Allow the vegetable mixture to cook slowly, stirring occasionally, for two to three minutes until the onion is translucent. Then add your stock, 1 cup of drained and rinsed canned white kidney beans, ¾ cup of frozen corn kernels, ¾ teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves, 2 bay leaves, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. 

Boil then simmer for 10 to 12 minutes until the potatoes are tender; then stir in 1 ½ cups of leftover diced ham and heat through. Dinner’s ready!Leftover ham

#2 – Deli ham sandwiches

You can put whatever you like in this. Hollow out a sub roll, wheat or white, and add ham, cheese, pickles, coleslaw, olive oil and/or leftover macaroni salad, for example. This is best eaten after the flavors are melded. So refrigerate overnight or for several hours.

#3 – Ham and Egg Saucers

Grease a muffin pan; place one to two pieces of ham as needed to fill each cup completely, for the “saucer,” add a pinch of grated cheddar, tip in one raw egg, salt and pepper to taste, and a little more cheddar. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Delicious and easy.

#4 – Cheese and Ham Sandwich

This is so easy and tastes so wonderful! It’s definitely a contender for the world’s best cheese and ham sandwich. Start with toasting 2 slices of Texas Toast with crusts removed in butter; then top with a slice of ham, add a slice of Gruyère cheese (adds an amazing  flavor), and drench in Bechamel sauce. Heaven!

You can substitute ham anywhere you would use bacon. You can always freeze leftover ham for a lovely treat later on and you can also freeze ham bone for stock later also. Love your ham! It’s delicious.

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Three Meals you can Build Around Olives 

Olives are a great food that tend to get a bad rap sometimes. There are many people who do not like them (despite there being hundreds of different types that they haven’t even tried), but let’s face it: the health benefits of olives simply cannot be denied. For one thing, they do an outstanding job of protecting against skin cancer along with colon and breast cancer. See? They’re already starting to look better, aren’t they? They also contain monounsaturated fatty acids, along with oleic acid, both of which have been proven to reduce excessive inflammation. The compounds work side by wage war on free radicals within your cells.

Did you know that olive oil is good for the heart? Containing biophenols, it is capable of suppressing bad cholesterol, also known as LDL, and is also key in reducing blood pressure. Finally, olives are known to reduce chronic pain from diseases like arthritis. Adding a bowl of olives to your daily routine can be very beneficial, and may even go so far as to save your life. They will certainly serve to make your quality of life better, especially if you deal with any of the above issues.

The vegetable that so many see as just a condiment, or perhaps something to be ignored, is one of nature’s greatest gifts to us, and quite frankly, we think that it should be used everywhere. You already know that they can be used on salads, and you probably order them with your pizza, but what you might not now is that they can be used to make a number of different meals. Let’s cover three of them below and you’ll be on your way to becoming a gourmet olive chef.

Meals you can Build Around Olives 

The Olive Chicken Dish

Chicken is without a doubt the harbinger of the most popular meals on the planet, but you can make it even more interesting by creating an olive marinade. All you need is:

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Olive Oil
  • Seasoning (your choice)

After slicing the olives, you can use these ingredients to create a marinade, and then coat your chicken thighs (or breasts if you would rather) before placing them in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. If you want to spice it up a little, feel free to serve with lemon slices.

The Tart Dish

This is a quick dish and a great snack for summer time. You will need:

  • Puff Pastry Tray
  • Caramelized Onions
  • Roasted Red Peppers

You will start by cutting circles from the sheet of puff pastry, as many as you need. Cover it with the ingredients, and top with olives. Add any other ingredients you want, we strongly recommend anchovy fillets, and then cook in the oven for fifteen minutes at 350 degrees.

Olive Stuffed Tomatoes

This can be used as either an appetizer, or simply as a light lunch. You just need to scoop out a few tomatoes and stuff them with cooked rice, minced garlic, chopped tomato, herbs, lemon juice, and of course, green olives. Bake in the oven for five minutes at 350 degrees and serve.

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Making Great Meals on a Tight Budget

Cooking for your family definitely presents a number of unique challenges, and if you are on a tight budget you will most certainly find that choosing the right foods is much more difficult. Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways that you can keep to your budget while providing your family with a great meal, and we’re going to cover them right now.

Making Great Meals on a Tight Budget

Your First Tip: Choose the Right Meat

Most meals involve meat, but if you have children you can’t go all out and purchase steak for every single dinner. Once in a while it might be okay, but for the most part, you need to choose the meats that come at a slightly lower price point. The two most inexpensive meats on the market right now are pork and poultry, with poultry being the lowest. If you want to save even more money, consider purchasing dark meat, such as chicken thighs, rather than going with white meat as this is much cheaper.

You can use meat to create several different meals, and it doesn’t always have to be the most obvious. In the net few paragraphs we are going to discuss methods by which you can create entire meals using some of the most unlikely and inexpensive ingredients.

Your Second Tip: Use Rice

Rice can be a very important building block in any meal, and as you probably know, it’s very cheap. The most amazing thing about it however is that it is capable of taking on virtually any flavor so long as you are able to mix it with broth, condensed soups, grease, etc. The one thing you must be careful of when doing this however, is that you do not mix it with something unhealthy, even though it might be tempting!

Rice can be mixed with all kinds of meats and turned into an amazing dish. Give it a try and see what you can come up with in your kitchen.

Your Third Tip: Pasta is your Friend

Great meals don’t always have to be creative. One of the best things that you can do is create pasta dinners for your family, and you will find that some of the available pasta is actually quite cheap. In addition to that, you can alter the flavor of your pasta sauce in many different ways to change it up. One of our favorites for example is to combine tomato pasta sauce with cream cheese and ground beef, it sounds simple, but it’s actually pretty intricate when you think about it.

Cooking doesn’t have to be expensive; of course you might want to spring for something a bit more costly now and again, but you must always remember that just because you are on a bit of a budget doesn’t mean you have to starve. Consider these tips, create your own, and have a great dinner.

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3 Recipes You Can Store in Tupperware

Do you find yourself eating out at lunch way too often? It’s is easy to get in a rush in the mornings and run out of time to prep a meal to take with you. A great way to save time (and money) is to prep meals in advance and store them in Tupperware. This way, you can simply grab your Tupperware on the way out the door and have a delicious homemade meal when lunchtime rolls around. There are tons of recipes that reheat in Tupperware nicely, but here are three recipes to get you started!

Taco Soup

Soups are easy to divide into single portions and are just as delicious reheated! The best part about taco soup is, it even seems to taste better the next day!

What you will need:

1 lb ground beef/turkey

1 can rotel

8 oz tomato sauce

1 can corn, drained

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 packet taco seasoning

1 packet ranch seasoning

Directions:

Brown your meat in a skillet over medium/high heat. Drain grease. In a large saucepan combine meat and the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil (stirring constantly to prevent the bottom from sticking). Lower heat to simmer and allow soup to cook for 30 minutes. Allow your soup to cool before storing in Tupperware containers. If you want, you can even separately prepare individual portions of shredded cheese and tortilla chips to grab with your soup to complete your meal!

3 Recipes You Can Store in Tupperware

Grilled Chicken Veggie Bowls

Next time you are planning to grill, go ahead and grill several extra chicken breasts to eat on later in the week! As you will see in this recipe, all you will need to add is a little brown rice and some roasted veggies for a delicious and healthy lunch!

This recipe makes enough for four meals.

What you will need:

2 cups cooked brown rice

2 cups roasted asparagus

2 cups roasted broccoli

2 cups roasted cauliflower

16 oz prepared grilled chicken breasts, cubed

Directions:

Begin by preparing rice according to package instructions. To make roasted veggies, first toss cut veggies in olive oil until lightly coated. Season with salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a large baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees until tender (time will vary depending on the vegetable). To prepare your Tupperware meals, place ½ cup of brown rice in container followed by 1 ½ cups of roasted veggies (you can mix your veggies or use a different veggie each day) and 4 oz grilled chicken breasts. Store in the refrigerator until you are read to enjoy! *After you reheat your meal, you can add salsa, hot sauce or dressing to add extra flavor!

Grilled Sirloin, Baked Sweet Potato, and Sesame Green Beans

Who needs to eat out when you can enjoy all the delicious flavors of your favorite steakhouse for a portion of the cost?

What you will need:

5 cuts of sirloin, 4-6oz each

5 sweet potatoes, baked

1 lb green beans, washed

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp sesame seeds, roasted

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Grill or bake your sirloin to desired wellness (medium rare works well for reheating!). Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss green beans with sesame oil until evenly coated. Add sesame seeds, salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. To prepare your Tupperware meals, simply pack 1 sirloin cut and 1 sweet potato for each meal and divide green beans evenly.

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A Healthy Way to Meal Plan Your Week

One of the greatest hindrances to healthy eating is a lack of planning! It’s simple math- if you don’t have plenty of healthy food options in your fridge and pantry- you won’t eat it. When there isn’t any food in the house, the tendency is to eat out, not make a run to the store. Having a detailed meal plan will help you save money and calories in the long run. Here are some tips to help you plan ahead and make the most out of your trip to the store!

Do Your Homework

Before you even begin thinking about your meals for the week, sit down with your calendar and figure out what nights you will be home and what nights you will be out. Check the forecast for the week. It might sound silly but it will help you get an idea of what you will be in the mood to eat on certain nights. For example, what sounds better than a warm bowl of hearty soup on a cold rainy day? Also, will you be having company at any point throughout the week? You will want to make sure you pick a meal that will accommodate various tastes and dietary restrictions. Finally, check sales at your local grocery stores. Many stores have weekly ads with a list of specials they are running as well as coupons you can use. Focus on your meats and fresh produce. This will help you save money and know what produce is in season!

Binge on Pinterest

Once you have an idea of what your week will look like, allow yourself some time to look for new recipes to try! Pinterest is a great resource for meal ideas. However, with literally thousands of recipes at your fingertips, it is easy to get overwhelmed by all the options. For this reason, it is also a good idea to find a couple of food blogs that suit your tastes and check them on a regular basis. Try keeping things realistic when selecting new recipes. If something is far out of your comfort zone (both in taste and skill) - you are less likely to follow through with making it.

A Healthy Way to Meal Plan Your Week

Write it Out

Once you have selected your meals for the week- write out a clear schedule and keep it on the fridge for easy reference throughout the week. Work through each meal and determine what ingredients you will need and what you already have. Be sure to check your pantry for supplies. Nothing is more frustrating than being in the middle of meal prep only to find you have run out of a staple item like oil or flour! Create a detailed grocery list broken down into categories (meat/dairy/produce/dry goods) to make your trip a little easier and avoid overlooking an item.

Beyond Planning

Before you go to the store, clean out your fridge. Empty out those leftovers that have been sitting there for a week and get rid of old rotting produce. Not only will it open up space but it will help you know what you have available throughout the week. Next, after you have completed your grocery shopping, take a few minutes to prep certain foods. For example, wash and cut lettuce and other veggies to make salad prep quick and simple. Marinate any meat you may be eating in the next 2-3 days or freeze any foods that might go bad before you can eat them.

Following these simple steps will help you stick to a meal plan and avoid the temptation to eat out on a regular basis. Chances are, anything you are making at home (with fresh meats and produce) will be much healthier and less expensive than anything you grab on the go!

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