Chipotle Bean Burritos

I love how easy and quick this recipe is…great for weeknights when we are a little more on the busy side.  This also helps the monthly budget by being a “meatless” entree for our menu rotation.  Oh, and our kids love them…that’s always a bonus as well!!  The recipe was taken from Cooking Light, so I’m a little more generous with the sour cream and shredded cheese. 🙂  Click here for the nutritional information.


1  tablespoon  canola oil

1  garlic clove, minced

1/2  teaspoon  chipotle chile powder

1/4  teaspoon  salt

1/3  cup  water

1  (15-ounce) can organic black beans, drained

1  (15-ounce) can organic kidney beans, drained

3  tablespoons  refrigerated fresh salsa

6  (10-inch) reduced-fat flour tortillas (such as Mission)

1  cup  (4 ounces) preshredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese

1 1/2  cups  chopped plum tomato (about 3)

1 1/2  cups  shredded romaine lettuce

6  tablespoons  thinly sliced green onions

6  tablespoons  light sour cream


1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in chile powder and salt; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/3 cup water and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in salsa. Partially mash bean mixture with a fork.

2. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon about 1/3 cup bean mixture into center of each tortilla. Top each serving with about 2 1/2 tablespoons cheese, 1/4 cup tomato, 1/4 cup lettuce, 1 tablespoon onions, and 1 tablespoon sour cream; roll up.

Container Gardening

While the thought of a real garden, full of greens, squash, tomatoes, various fruits, etc. absolutely thrills me, the reality is I won’t have one in the near future!  Not knowing where we will be in the next five years doesn’t exactly motivate me to put a lot of money and effort into a garden that I will have to leave.  So, this summer I attempted some container gardening.  I had read several articles about various things that grow just as well in a container as in the ground, so I thought I would give it a whirl!  And look, I actually have produce (and herbs)!

Roma Tomatoes
Roma Tomatoes




Basil & Oregano
Basil & Oregano

Cold Pasta Salads

Once the weather warms up, I usually begin adding in a cold pasta salad to our weekly lunch menu.  Its a great change from PB& J and fairly cost-effective.  Plus, I try to choose those that give us some yummy summer veggies as a way to boost our daily nutrition!  Here are two of my favorites:

Smoked Gouda and Penne Pasta Salad (click here for recipe)












Garden-Fresh Pasta Salad (click here for recipe)



food20pyramidThough I strive for us to eat as nutritionally and healthy as possible, I often fail at getting enough veggies in each day.  I could eat fruit all day long, but when it comes to getting my veggies each day, I’m not succeeding!!  In some recent blog catch-up, I ran across this link for Green Smoothies on the Passionate Homemaking website.  I learned that in one of these smoothies, I could get 5-8 servings of fruits and vegetables.  Wow!  By breakfast, I could have almost gotten all that I need for the day…what great news!  So, today I tried one…I altered her recipe a bit, substituting organic vanilla yogurt for the coconut milk and keifer, but it was outstanding!  I gave Molly Kate half, and she also loved it.  I boosted ours with ground flax seed and a touch of honey (hoping to help those allergies!).  The only thing one should be prepared for is the color…our smoothies were a bit greenish brown (mix of the spinach and raspberries/blueberries).  But I can confidently say that I didn’t “taste” the spinach at all…the flavor was just like a vanilla fruit smoothie and we will definitely be making them again this week!

Frugal Eating – Day Three

Just a few more ideas that have helped us out in recent months!  We decided that we didn’t need to eat a meat-entree seven days a week, so I’ve been coming up with dinners that still help serve us nutritionally, but cost a little less to make.  We try to incorporate at least two of these meals into our weekly dinner menus:

Tomato Bisque and Grilled Cheese

Black Beans and Rice (This makes enough to serve twice, so the second time around, we usually eat it on wraps with sour cream!)

Breakfast for supper (scrambled eggs with spinach and garlic, turkey bacon and biscuits)

Black-eyed peas and cornbread (I buy dry peas, soak them and then cook them with bacon)

Annie’s Organic Alfredo Shells and Cheddar (This is our Sunday evening meal after church when we’re not that hungry!)

Spinach Lasagna

If you have other cost-effective dinner meals, please post the idea in a comment and I’ll add them in the next day or so!

Frugal Eating – Day Two

Here’s another rule for keeping the grocery bill small: SIMPLE breakfasts and lunches!  We ususally rotate the following for breakfast:

  • cold cereal (cheerios) and fruit
  • scrambled eggs and toast/biscuits
  • muffins
  • oatmeal or cream of wheat
  • pancakes/waffles (just on Saturdays!)

And lunch is even easier: sandwiches!  To mix it up, we’ll do turkey, ham, BLTs, PB&J (we subsitute almond butter often for peanut butter) and grilled cheese.  We often eat salads for lunch too and I have tons of variations, but not making lunch this “big-to-do” huge meal definitely keeps the buget trimmed.

Frugal Eating

dollar-signThis is one of those posts from the old blog that I thought might be beneficial to others and some might not have seen it before the blog was removed.  In the last couple of weeks, I’ve had several women ask me how to cut down their grocery bill.  I am not a couponer…I know it works amazingly well for some people, but I hate being forced to make my weekly menu based on what’s on sale.  So, I’ve managed to keep our monthly bill between $300-$325 by shopping at two stores: Costco and Wal-Mart.


The following are items that I buy every 2-3 months at Costco (I did the price comparisons and the savings is substantial enough to purchase these items in bulk):

  • Sliced Colby-Jack cheese for sandwiches
  • Shredded cheese
  • Frozen chicken breasts (huge bag, lasts about 2 mos)
  • Frozen chicken nuggets
  • Frozen asparagus (Molly Kate’s favorite green veggie)
  • Frozen broccoli
  • Frozen berries
  • Unsalted butter
  • Goldfish (yep, for MK)
  • Frozen pizzas (3 large for $10)

If I can make it out to Costco more than once a month (the nearest store is about 25 minutes from our house), then I’ll also purchase milk, hummus and fresh produce.  They have a great selection of grapes and berries for much less than a regular grocery store.  Buying the produce in bulk was also helpful when I was making all of my own baby food.

All other groceries come from the good ole’ American store, Wal-Mart.  I think Meijer’s (a regional chain here in Louisville) is probably a close second, but farther from my house and not near as easy to get in and out of as my local Neighboorhood Market Wal-Mart!