A Bad Connection

I had a wonderful week of meals planned, but the internet had other plans.  I stayed up late last night so I could have most of the writing done before the kids woke up this morning.  I promise it was genius, probably the best writing I have done so far.  I lost all of it!  Every word!  A bad internet connection caused nothing to get saved.  My genius is gone!  With a potty training toddler I will not be able to sit in my mother-in-laws extremely clean house and rewrite everything, and I am sure what I remember to write wont be as wonderful as the genius that was lost.  I will hopefully be able to work on this again tonight after the kids go to bed.   But that is just life on the prairie.

In a world that so technologically advanced, being the technology underdog is a concept most people don’t understand.  A bad internet and phone connection happens more than one could imagine. I can remember when my rancher first moved to Texas.  The house he bought had a phone line.  He had a level of excitement that I didn’t understand at the time.  I understand now.  Trying to communicate with people on the world wide web or by email is never an easy way for people in no mans land.  Yet for those that live here, it is just one more obstacle we will overcome!



Week 11 Shopping List



  • onion(3)
  • garlic
  • cabbage
  • bag lettuce
  • lime
  • lettuce leaves
  • shredded lettuce
  • cilantro
  • zucchini (6)
  • broccoli slaw
  • red onion
  • grape tomatoes
  • mini bell peppers
  • coleslaw mix
  • green onion


  • ground beef
  • sausage
  • bottom round roast

Refrigerated Foods

  • pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • parmesan cheese
  • mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • Mexican cheese, shredded

Baking/ Spices

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • thyme
  • paprika
  • salt
  • pepper
  • bay leaves
  • cumin
  • oregano
  • ground cloves
  • garlic powder

Canned Goods

  • no salt added petit diced tomatoes
  • no salt added tomato sauce (2)
  •  28 oz can whole tomatoes
  • tomato paste

Soup and Rice

  • brown rice*
  • no salt added beef broth

Mexican Food

  • chipotle peppers in adobe sauce
  • green chilies
  • refried beans


  • jalepeno slices

Dressing/ Vinegar

  • jalepeno ranch dressing
  • apple cider vinegar


  • tortillas

*This item is only if you do not use cauliflower rice.

Week 11 Meals


Today is April 29, and I as I am sitting here working on this, I am watching the snow fall.  I always grew up thinking how wild Texas weather could be, however as I have lived in Colorado I have decided, the weather is crazy and inconsistent everywhere!  Just like our life!(I will be honest I do not miss springtime in Texas!)  A simple deconstructed cabbage casserole, a crockpot “barbacoa” tacos with revamped leftovers, and Perini Zucchini will make meals to simplify life, but not flavor.

Monday:  Deconstructed Cabbage Casserole and Salad20160419_191036

This is yet another recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen.  What can I say.  Her recipes have turned out great.  However, I used some leftover cauliflower rice in my casserole instead of brown rice to sneak some extra vegetables in for a healthier meal.  My oldest son was scarfing this down by the spoonful, and when that happens, I consider the recipe a most definite win!

Deconstructed Cabbage Casserole

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil
  • onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • head of cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 1 can no salt added petit diced tomatoes
  • 1 can no salt added tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups cooked cauliflower rice
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a skillet heat 1-2 tsp of olive oil.  Add onions and cook until clear.  Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook the meat until done(160 degrees).  Drain any excess fat off the meat.  Add the meat back to the skillet and add the thyme, paprika, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and water.  Mix together and let simmer for about 15 minutes.

While the meat is simmering, heat about 2 tsp of olive oil in a large skillet.  Add the chopped cabbage and cook until the cabbage is wilted and about half cooked, stirring occasionally.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

When the meat has simmered for about 15 minutes, add cauliflower rice to the meat mixture and stir gently.

Spray a large glass or crockery casserole dish with non-stick spray and the layer half the cabbage, half the meat mixture, other half of cabbage, and other half of meat mixture.  Cover tightly with foil and bake 30 minutes, or until bubbly.

Remove foil, cover with cheese and cook for another 15 minutes or until cheese is nice and melted.

*If you don’t want to use cauliflower rice just substitute the same amount of cooked brown rice.


Since this casserole was already loaded with vegetables, I just used the lettuce straight out of the bag and added dressing.  Nothing fancy!  Just an effort to get extra vegetables in.

Tuesday:  Barbacoa Lettuce Tacos 20160420_181033

I know this is not a true barbacoa, lets face it it is done in a crock pot and uses a roast instead of the Mexicans really use.  This recipe from Gimme Some Oven is a nice variation of this Mexican classic.  The use of flavors in this recipe is amazing, so amazing I cut back the amount because the first time I made this during the summer I don’t know if the kids would have been able to eat it!  But even cutting back the spices,  this meat had a nice kick that everyone at my table loved!


  • bottom round roast
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobe sauce
  • 1 can diced green chilies
  • onion, diced
  • juice of half a lime
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp. oregeno
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup unsalted beef broth

Sprinkle the roast with salt and pepper, to taste.  Add the meat and all remaining ingredients to the crock pot.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours, or until the meat will easily shred with a fork.

Using 2 forks shred the meat in a bowl and remove any excess fat.  Return the meat back to the juices in the crock pot and let cook in the crock pot for another 20-30 minutes.

To serve:

I used a lettuce leaf for myself and just tortillas for my rancher and kids.  For myself I placed about 1 1/2 oz of meat per lettuce leaf and served with a sprinkle of pepper jack cheese and fresh cilantro.  For the regular tortillas, I sprinkled with lettuce, and cheese.  I wrapped the kids up like a burrito so it was easier for them to eat.

Wednesday:  Zucchini Perini with Broccoli Pasta and Salad20160422_182309

In Texas, I don’t know if there is a rancher, cattle person, or food lover in general that isn’t a fan of Tom Perini and his cowboy cooking.  People flock to his restaurant from miles away to get a taste of Perini’s famous cowboy cooking.  Luckily, he has a cookbook, Texas Cowboy Cooking, so I can get a little of his famous cooking in my own home.  This Zucchini Perini is on page 150 of Texas Cowboy Cooking as a side, but with the sausage and ground meat in the recipe is filling as a main dish.

Zucchini Perini

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground sausage
  • 1 onion, diced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 28 oz can whole tomatoes, mashed and drained
  • small can tomato paste
  • can tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp of oregano
  • dash of garlic powder
  • 2 pounds of zucchini, sliced 1/4 in think
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 12 slices of freshly sliced mozzarella cheese

In a skillet, brown the ground beef, sausage, and onion.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Drain the excess fat off the meat, trying to leave a little in the pan.  Add the zucchini to the pan and cook for 5-10 minutes or until slightly tender.  Add the meat back to the pan along with the tomato paste and tomato sauce.  Mix together.  Add the oregano and garlic powder, mix well, and simmer for 5 minutes.  Place in an oven safe baking dish and top with mozzarella slices and parmesan cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

To Serve:

I served mine over steamed broccoli slaw and made some whole wheat pasta for my rancher and kids.  I served with a salad topped with red onion and grape tomatoes.

*For a weekend quick meal, I had some whole wheat English muffins.  I toasted them, topped them with a spoonful of Zucchini Perini, and a little extra cheese.  Put in the oven at 350 degrees until the cheese was melted.  And the kids really enjoyed these little pizzas!

Thursday:  Dance night!!

Friday:  Bell Pepper “Nachos” with Cilantro Cole Slaw20160423_185152

Nachos are one of my favorite food groups.  I could eat all kinds of nachos.  Since I am doing my best not to eat chips, I have been missing out on one of my favorite treats. Using mini bell peppers and the barbacoa from Tuesday night, this version of “nachos” will fit in my low carb lifestyle and delicious as well.  Now I just need fall to get here so I can enjoy these while I cheer on my Fighting Texas Aggies during football season.

Bell Pepper “Nachos”

I only ate about 3 halves.  I think my rancher ate some(and liked them) and my youngest daughter ate a couple halves.  Make as many of these as you think you will enjoy.  ( I did make some with regular chips because I knew there was no way my boys would eat the bell peppers.)

  • mini bell peppers
  • can of refried beans
  • barbacoa
  • shredded Mexican cheese
  • pickled jalepeno slices
  • fresh cilantro

Line a cookie sheet with foil.  Cut the mini bell peppers in half, cut off the top, and scoop out the seeds.  Layer on the bell pepper a small spoonful of refried beans, barbacoa, and shredded cheese.  If desired top with a jalepeno slice.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and warm throughout.  Top with a sprinkle of cilantro.

Cilantro Cole Slaw

I didn’t make very much of this because I knew I would be the only one to enjoy it.  And I did enjoy it.

  • bagged coleslaw mix
  • jalepeno ranch dressing, to taste
  • green onion, sliced
  • handful of chopped cilantro

Mix all ingredients together and chill for about 20 minutes.  Serve cold.

With life being as crazy as the weather, I hope this meal plan will simplify a little part of your life storm.  All of those battling the storms, stay safe!!  And if you aren’t in the tornado shelter, gather the kids, pull up a chair, and ring the dinner bell.  It’s time for dinner!






Week 10 Shopping List



  • cauliflower
  • green bell pepper
  • zucchini (3)
  • onion (2)
  • carrots (6)
  • broccoli florets
  • asparagus
  • bag salad
  • tomatoes
  • garlic


  • ground beef
  • bottom round roast


  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • egg


  • salt
  • pepper
  • bay leaves
  • oregano
  • cumin
  • garlic powder
  • red pepper flakes
  • flour
  • extra virgin olive oil

Canned Goods

  • no salt added tomato sauce

Asian Food

  • reduced sodium soy sauce


  • capers
  • green olives, pitted

Condiments/ Dressings/ Vinegar

  • Dijon mustard
  • spicy ketchup
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • balsamic vinegar


  • honey

Week 10 Meals


My rancher is out of town for the week.  So what does that mean for this rancher’s wife?  A lot of cowboy playing, a lot of cow hauling, a lot of bad guy chasing, and a lot of answering “when will daddy be back home?”.  With these high energy boys, this weeks meals are all easy, quick, and low maintenance because my focus is to keep the boys from destroying as much of the house as possible.   An easy crockpot roast with revamped leftovers on Wednesday, a ground beef and broccoli on Tuesday browning more hamburger meat than needed for an adventurous new recipe on Friday will allow me to keep my time on my little cowboys instead of the kitchen.

Monday:  Balsamic Roast with Roasted Asparagus and Honey Carrots20160412_182505

I love this roast from Add A Pinch because it mixes sweet and tangy with a little spicy.  It is flavorful, moist, and cooks in the crock pot.  I also love asparagus especially this time of year because asparagus is “in season”,  and you can taste the difference;  the asparagus is tender, smaller, and just fresher tasting.  Asparagus is also very low in calories and extremely healthy.  Add some carrots for a little more color on the plate and we have a meal that is just as delicious as healthy.

Balsamic Roast

  • 2 pound bottom round roast
  • onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 cup unsalted beef broth
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place the onion in the bottom of the crock to a crock pot.  Sprinkle the roast with salt and pepper.  Place the meat on top of the onions.  In a small bowl, mix together the balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, honey, beef broth, red pepper flakes, and garlic.  Pour on top of the roast.  Cover with lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours.

When the roast is done, remove and shred with 2 forks.  Place the meat back into the crock while the vegetables cook.  This will absorb more of the cooking liquid and make the meat even more juicy and flavorful.

Roasted Asparagus

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, washed and ends removed
  • 1-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  On a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, place the asparagus.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Add salt and pepper.  Toss together so all the asparagus is evenly coated.  Cook for 10-15 minutes.

Honey Carrots

  • 3-4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 pieces
  • 1 tsp honey

Bring some water to a boil in a saucepan.  Add carrots and cook for 5- 10 minutes, or until reaches desired doneness.  Drain the water off the carrots.  Add honey and toss carrots.

Tuesday:  Asian Style Ground Beef and Broccoli20160413_190037

I found this recipe from  Chef Julie Yoon and altered it.  I loved the Asian flavors this recipe used with ground beef.  To keep with the Asian flavors, I served this with an Asian style salad kit and for the kids some brown rice.  It was a hit with everyone(and I can say everyone because my rancher is out of town!)

Asian style ground beef and broccoli

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • bag of broccoli florets
  • 2 carrots, peeled, halved, and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoon spicy ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted beef broth
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

Heat a little extra virgin olive oil in a skillet.  Add onion and cook until clear and tender.  Add ground beef and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Cook the ground beef, breaking apart with a spoon until it is done.  (160 degrees is the desired temperature for complete doneness.) Drain the fat off the meat.

In a bowl add the spicy ketchup, dijon mustard, soy sauce, honey, and unsalted beef broth.

Put the meat in the pan and add 4 tablespoon of the sauce to the meat and cook for 1 minute.

While the meat is cooking, bring a pot with salted water to a boil.  Add the broccoli and carrots to the water and cook for around 3 minutes. (You want the broccoli to be a bright green color but still crisp.)  Drain.

Add the vegetables back to the pan.  Add remaining sauce and mix together.  Cook for another minute.

*I was going to add water chestnuts to this and  forgot them at the grocery store, but I think water chestnuts would be a nice addition to this recipe.

*Tips from Chef Julie Yoon‘s readers were to double the amount of sauce.  I did not, and thought it was perfect.

*I will be making another recipe on Friday that requires ground beef.  So of course I go ahead and brown enough ground meat for Friday’s recipe.

Wednesday:  Zucchini Fritter “Tostados” and Side Salad20160415_182340

This is one of those recipes I thought the kids would love.  As I was making these zucchini fritters from Damn Delicious, I sampled a little bite and thought that these would be a hit.  I couldn’t be more wrong.  I don’t know why they didn’t like them, but I can promise I will still be making them again!  I loved them, topped with leftover balsamic roast from Monday with a dollop of sour cream on the top.

Zucchini Fritter “Tostados”

  • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini, grated (this was about 3 medium zucchini)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Put zucchini in a colander over the sink and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt.  Let set for 10 minutes.  (This draws out the excess water in the zucchini.)  With a clean dish towel or cheese cloth, squeeze out any remaining water.

In a large bowl, combine zucchini, Parmesan cheese, garlic, egg, and salt and pepper to taste.  (I think it would be good to put in a sprinkle of crushed red pepper, but I like spice.)

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Scoop tablespoons of batter into pan and flatten with spatula.  Cook until underside is a nice golden brown, about 3- 4 minutes.  Flip and cook the other side until golden brown.

After cooking the fritters, I placed them on a platter with paper towel and warmed my roast from Monday night in the same skillet.  I put the fritters on a plate topped with a little dollop of sour cream.  I served with a salad that had carrots and tomatoes drizzled with a little ranch dressing.

Thursday:  Dance Night!!

Friday:  Picadillo Cubano with Cauliflower Rice and Salad20160417_174340

This is my adventurous recipe.  It was different.  I liked it, and the kids picked out the olives and liked it as well.  I snuck in another vegetable with the cauliflower rice, and the kids didn’t know the difference.  I found this recipe on a feed that came across facebook from The Domestic Man.  I had to change it a little since my hamburger meat is already browned, and I think next time I will add some more liquid and use the crockpot to develop more flavor.

Picadillo Cubano

  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 lbs ground beef (mine is already cooked)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregeno
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 14 oz can no salt added tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup green olives
  • 2 tbsp capers+1/2 tbsp. caper juice
  • 1/4 cup unsalted beef broth

In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat oil and add bell pepper.  Let cook until tender about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and let cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Add ground beef, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper, bay leaves, tomato sauce, olives, capers, caper juice, and beef broth.  Reduce to medium low heat and let simmer until sauce is thickened, about 20- 30minutes.  Remove bay leaves, serve with cauliflower rice and top with cilantro.

Cauliflower Rice

  • head of cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Cut the cauliflower into florets.  Using a box grater, the grater on a food processor, grate the rice, or use the chopping blade on a food processor and pulse.

In a skillet heat olive oil, add cauliflower, and saute until done, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

*For the salad use what you have on hand.

And just like that, the week is done!  We all survived and are eagerly awaiting the arrival of my rancher on Saturday.  I hope you enjoy these meals.  Call the kids, ring the dinner bell, pull up a chair, and say a little prayer for surviving the week.  It’s time for dinner!





Week 9 Grocery List



  • lemon
  • broccoli
  • asparagus
  • zucchini (3)
  • onion (2-3)
  • bagged salad
  • red onion*
  • tomatoes (3)
  • cucumber
  • avocado (2)
  • lime (3)
  • jalepeno
  • cilantro
  • bell pepper


  • sirloin (or steak of your choice)
  • pork loin
  • ground beef

Dairy/ Refrigerated

  • mozzarella cheese
  • parmesan cheese
  • eggs
  • butter
  • green chili dip (or sour cream)
  • ricotta cheese

Baking/ Spices

  • salt
  • pepper
  • Montreal seasoning
  • garlic powder
  • Italian seasoning
  • extra virgin olive oil


  • marinara sauce


  • Italian dressing*


  • tortillas*

The starred items are optional.

Please remember that all pictures and text on this blog are property of The Rancher’s Wife Blog.

Week 9 Meals


My rancher and kids went out of town for the weekend for a convention, and I can’t wait to share some of the information I learned while in meetings to provide some healthier meals.  For this week, a grilled sirloin, pork tenderloin with revamped leftovers, and a repeat recipe from an earlier post will make the week healthy and simple to catch up from time away from the daily grind.

Monday:  Grilled Sirloin with Lemon Broccoli

20160402_193721Now that the weather is starting to warm up, the grill will be one of my preferred cooking methods.  Who doesn’t love a steak on the grill, especially one that was found on sale.  There is just something about a outdoor grilled steak that I crave!  No doubt about it, I am a carnivore.   With a nice, not windy day, the kids jumping on the trampoline while the steak is cooking, and giggles by the number, this meal and the memories being made are something my whole family will enjoy and remember.

Grilled Sirloin

The reason I use sirloin is because it was on sale at my grocery store.  It tends to be a little leaner than some of the others steak cuts, and I personally like that.  These particular sirloins are a little thinner than what I would prefer for a steak normally, but since the price was right, they will work perfectly.  I simply sprinkle the meat with my favorite steak seasoning and cook them on the grill.  Here is a link on how to grill the perfect steak.

*Save any leftover steak for revamped leftovers

Lemon Broccoli

This is another simple and easy side to accompany my delicious steak.

  • package of broccoli florets
  • juice of half a lemon
  • water
  • salt

Fill a small pot with about 1/2 inch- and inch of water.  Season with a little salt and bring water to a boil.  Once the water is boiling add the broccoli and cover.  Let broccoli steam for about 5 minutes or until desired tenderness is reached.  When broccoli is done, drain the excess water and add the lemon juice.

Tuesday:  Pork Tenderloin with Steamed Asparagus

asparagus&porkThis pork recipe I found in a magazine a couple of years ago.  This is the first time I have attempted to make the roast, and I have to say, it turned out great.  I modified the original recipe a little to fit the taste buds of my little ones a little better.

Pork Tenderloin

  • 2 tbsp Montreal steak seasoning
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 2 (1 pound) pork loin*
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Mix together the steak seasoning and garlic powder.  Rub the tenderloins with oil and sprinkle with seasoning mixture.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the pork searing all sides.  Transfer pork to the pan and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 150 degrees.  Let meat rest for about 10 minutes.

*I am not sure if my meat was “tenderloin”.  I am not that familiar with pork cuts.  I do know that my meat was heavier than a typical pork tenderloin.  So I simply cut it in half and put the remaining half in the freezer.  I had to increase the cook time to about 30 minutes.

**Save remaining pork for revamped leftovers

Steamed Asparagus

Another simple and easy side!

  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • water
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp. of butter

Rinse and cut the fibrous end off the asparagus.  In a skillet with a lid, add about 1/2 inch of water and add salt.  Bring water to a boil.  Add asparagus and steam for about 5 minutes or until desired tenderness is reached.  Drain the excess water and add the butter.  Let the butter melt.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday: Lasagna Stuffed Zucchini Boats and Salad

As I have stated this is a meal planning website and not a recipe website!  I think it is a huge victory that I have been blogging my meal plans for 9 weeks and just now getting a repeat recipe!  And trust me, this one is worth repeating!

Lasagna Zucchini Boats

  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced into halves through the length
  • 1 cup (8.6 oz) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz ground beef
  • 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • onion, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 3/4 cup marinara sauce


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a spoon, scoop centers from zucchini while leaving a 1/4 inch rim to create boats. Set aside.  In a mixing bowl stir together ricotta cheese, egg, and 1 Tbsp of Italian seasoning. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese and the parmesan cheese. Set aside.

Heat 2 tsp of the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until tender.  Crumble beef into pan, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up beef when stirring, until browned ( if using a fattier beef then just drain excess rendered fat). Stir in marinara sauce.

To assemble boats, brush both sides of  zucchini lightly with remaining 2 tsp olive oil and place in a baking dish (I used and a 8 1/2 by 11 glass dish). Divide cheese mixture among zucchini spooning about 2 1/2 Tbsp into each, then spread cheese mixture into an even layer. Divide sauce among zucchini- adding a few heaping spoonfuls to each. Cover baking dishes with foil and place in oven side by side and bake in preheated oven 30 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle tops with remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella, return to oven and bake until cheese has melted and zucchini is tender, about 5 minutes.

the original recipe from cooking classy

*Save the scooped out zucchini to sneak some extra veggies into future recipes.  Just put the scooped out zucchini in a freezer bag and stick in the freezer.


I am just using a bagged lettuce again and adding some red onion, tomatoes, and some cucumber with a little of my favorite Italian dressing, but use whatever is your favorite salad topping.

Thursday:  Dance Night!!

Friday:  Fajita Stuffed Avocado

stuffed afacadoI took the college kid to lunch last week, and we went to this great Mexican restaurant.  I ordered this stuffed avocado that was battered in panko and fried served over some queso then filled with fajita meat.  It was wonderful! Then the waitress told me she liked to have it without the panko and fried.  And a light bulb went off!  So this is my healthier version of their stuffed avocado using some leftovers from earlier in the week.

Fajita Stuffed Avocado

  • leftover grilled sirloin, cut into strips
  • leftover pork loin, cut into strips
  • onion, sliced
  • green bell pepper, sliced
  • avocado, halved, with seed and peel removed
  • green chili dip (or plain sour cream)
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • lime juice
  • cucumber pico de gallo

Take the avocado halves and add the lime juice to prevent browning.  Scoop out some of the middle of the avocado.

In a skillet melt butter and add bell pepper and onion slices.  Cook the pepper and onions until tender and translucent.  Add sirloin and pork strips and cook until warmed.  Add to the avocado and top with cucumber pico de gallo and a scoop of the green chili dip.

Cucumber Pico De Gallo

  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/2 onion (or red onion)
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded, deveined, and chopped
  • cilantro, chopped, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • fresh lime juice, to taste( I use about 2 limes)

Mix together all ingredients and chill for about 30 minutes.

*My kids do not like avocado so I simply served them a traditional fajita on a tortilla.

So call the kids, ring the dinner bell, and pull up a chair.  It’s time for dinner.