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Pinning and Planning – March 2 {Dinner Menu}

Mardi Gras is in the air!  That means our dinner menu will be full of tasty Mardi Gras meals.  Since hubby is traveling out of town again this week, I plan to keep the Mardi Gras festivities and foods easy and simple.

 Pinning and Planning – March 2 {Dinner Menu}

Allan will make a huge pot of gumbo that will last us all week. I may even need to freeze some of it.  Instead of the usual maple syrup cornbread that we serve with the gumbo, I’m serving a King Cake for a different sweet for the heat. It’s something special we do once a year for the kids and they love finding the little plastic baby inside the cake.  I found all these fun, simple King Cake recipes on Pinterest, but Betty Crocker’s Quick King Cake sounds like a winner to me.

Tuesday Day is Fat Tuesday also known as Pancake Day in our house.   Can you guess what will be on the menu morning and night on Tuesday?

 Pinning and Planning – March 2 {Dinner Menu}

In addition to all the fun NOLA foods on the menu this week, we’ll also make something with mushrooms because my oldest daughter, Allana has been craving them lately.  A mushroom craving typically means a lack of potassium, iron, selenium or Vitamin D. Since Allana eats a lot of yogurt and drinks plenty of milk, I’m sure it’s not a lack of Vitamin D, however, she doesn’t like bananas. She hates them. Hopefully, a bit of mushroom stroganoff on the menu for Meatless Monday will fix that vitamin deficiency and craving real fast.

Here’s our dinner menu for the week:

S – Chicken AndouilleSausage Gumbo and King Cake for dessert

Meatless Monday – Mushroom Stroganoff

Fat Tuesday/Pancake Day – Iron Chef Allan’s Perfect Pancakes

W – Perfect Shrimp Po’ Boys

Th – Pasta with Asparagus

F – Pizza

What’s on your dinner menu this week?   Are you serving up anything special for Mardi Gras? What recipes are you pinning and planning?

PinningPlanning RunDMT Pinning and Planning – March 2 {Dinner Menu}

 

Food Bloggers Against Hunger – Penne and Asparagus {Friday Food Fight}

FBAH Logo Food Bloggers Against Hunger   Penne and Asparagus {Friday Food Fight}On Monday, I will join over 200 food bloggers to bring attention to the 50 million Americans who go hungry every day.  This call to action was prompted by by The Giving Table and the documentary A Place at the Table, playing in theaters now and also available for download from iTunes and Amazon.

One in six Americans face food insecurity and “it is the highest recorded percentage of food insecure people since the USDA began tracking in 1995”. – Mazon

As part of my Food Blogger Against Hunger call to action, I went on a shopping trip to see what meals I could feed my family if we lived on government subsidies.  In my investigation, I learned that some healthy items are WIC, such as dried beans, tomatoes and brown rice.  I also realized the importance of really shopping around for the best deals on food, couponing and price matching.  Given that, here are some meals that could be prepared for under $4.

Black Beans and Rice

Mojo Marinade – Use frozen chicken breast shared in vlog.  Thaw chicken and pound out to ½inch thickness before marinating.

Lentils and Pasta

Linguini with Roasted Tomatoes and Arugula

Roasted Vegetables

In addition to this call to action, I’m sharing a new recipe for under $4 for this week’s Friday Food Fight.  In my investigative shopping adventure, I spotted deals to make this healthy meal affordable.  This penne and asparagus recipe consists of five main ingredients, including garlic not pictured.

IMAG1141 Food Bloggers Against Hunger   Penne and Asparagus {Friday Food Fight}IMAG1140 Food Bloggers Against Hunger   Penne and Asparagus {Friday Food Fight}

Regular Barilla pasta was a Buy One, Get One Free deal at Publix this week.  Therefore, you could get two boxes of regular semolina pasta for $1.27 instead of box whole wheat for $1.19, if you wanted to stretch your dollar.

IMAG1142 Food Bloggers Against Hunger   Penne and Asparagus {Friday Food Fight}

The eggs are a WIC item but if not purchased on WIC, you could buy the half dozen for $1.

IMAG1143 Food Bloggers Against Hunger   Penne and Asparagus {Friday Food Fight}IMAG1145 Food Bloggers Against Hunger   Penne and Asparagus {Friday Food Fight}

Those ingredient would produce a similar healthy Penne and Asparagus dish for about $4.

 Food Bloggers Against Hunger   Penne and Asparagus {Friday Food Fight}

Food Bloggers Against Hunger and Friday Food Fight
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Recipe type: Italian, Vegetarian
Cuisine: Pasta
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Adapted from Skinnytaste, penne and asparagus smothered in a creamy cheesy pasta sauce.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb thin asparagus
  • 1 lb Barilla Whole Grain Penne
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup pasta water
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Rinse asparagus. Trim ends of asparagus and then cut into 2” pieces. Bring 4 cups salted water to boil. Add asparagus and cook 3 minutes, until tender crisp. Drain asparagus.
  2. Cook penne as directed on box for al dente only a minute less. Reserve one cup of pasta water.
  3. As pasta boils, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and cook until golden. Add asparagus, salt and pepper and sauté about 1-2 minutes, tossing with oil and garlic.
  4. In a small bowl, combine egg yolk, parmesan cheese, 1 cup reserved pasta water, salt and pepper. Whisk well.
  5. Drain penne and return to pot. Lower heat to a low heat and pour egg-cheese egg mixture over penne. Stir continuously to thicken sauce, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add asparagus and toss through penne. Add crushed red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve with additional grated parmesan.

Thank you for joining our Food Bloggers Against Hunger campaign and for linking up for this week’s Friday Food Fight.

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Vegetable Baked Penne

HorrorFFF 1 Vegetable Baked PenneLast week, I felt as though my weekly menus were losing flare.  My Meatless Mondays were becoming a bit monotonous.  As much as I love planning a no meat dinner menu item every week, I was bored with the dinners.

So, I turned to my Run DMT Facebook fans and asked for some tasty vegetarian ideas.  Within the hour, people suggested recipes, pins and sites with great vegetarian recipes.  And just like that, my menu wasn’t so monotonous anymore.

This week, I added a Vegetable Baked Penne to our weekly Meatless Monday rotation.  This Vegetable Baked Penne is an adapted dish from Oh My Veggies.  Kiersten offers lots of simple vegetarian recipes and even offers some time-saving steps by using already prepared items to throw in to a dish.  Check out the Oh My Veggie recipe index here.

For this Vegetable Baked Penne, I added my own simple tomato sauce, but made two batches of it. One batch was added to the recipe and the other batch was reserved for toppings when serving the dish, because I love extra sauce on my baked ziti.

I also added broccoli.  Why not?  Plus, I sneaked in whole pasta because I thought all the cheesy yummy gooeyness would mask the whole wheat texture from my kids, which it totally did.  This dish was different a winner!

Keep in mind, this Baked Vegetable Penne is enough to feed a small army and great for a big crowd.  If you’re trying to watch portion sizes, consider using two smaller pans and freezing one half or freeze the leftovers.

 Vegetable Baked Penne

*Recipe adapted from Oh My Veggies*

Vegetable Baked Penne
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Recipe type: Vegetarian
Cuisine: Italian, Casserole
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8-10
A basic baked ziti with a mix of healthy vegetables.
Ingredients
  • Run DMT’s Simple Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ large onion ( 1 cup), thinly sliced Asian-style
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 pint pre-sliced pint baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 head of broccoli, chopped
  • 1 lb. whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1-15 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup part-skim mozzarella, plus a ¼ cup for topping
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, plus 2 Tbsp for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare penne according to direction on box, but cut cooking time in half (about 5 minutes). Drain and return to pot. Add a small amount of olive oil to prevent sticking.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until softened and transculent. Add garlic and sauté until aromatic.
  4. Add zucchini and mushrooms. Cook until softened and little liquid in the pan. Add chopped broccoli and cook until softened. Remove from heat.
  5. In pasta pot, combine vegetables, tomato sauce, mozzarella, ricotta and parmesan cheese. Stir until well combined. Pour into a 9×13 baking dish pan. Top with additional mozzarella and parmesan.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Thanks for joining our Friday Food Fight!  Can’t wait to see what everyone is flinging this week!


*Also submitted at*

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Zucchini Tomato Orzo

HorrorFFF 1 Zucchini Tomato OrzoDo you ever plan a meal or a main course and forget to include a side dish?  It’s the sides that get you every time.

Are you sick of couscous?

Ridiculously tired of rice?

Do you find that quinoa isn’t quick enough for you?

So if you’re sick of the usual sides, give this Zucchini Tomato Orzo dish a try.  Most of the ingredients in this dish are a staple in our house and it can be whipped up in mere minutes.

Like some of the best side dishes, it could be served as a main entrée or as an accompaniment to your favorite main course.  The flavors are full and bright and will compliment most meat dishes without overpowering your main dish.  Skip the meat and serve it on a bed of greens, like baby spinach.  Anyway you serve it is sure to please your palate and the kids too.

Because let’s face it; sides really does matter.

ZucchiniTomatoOrzo 1024x682 Zucchini Tomato Orzo

Zucchini Tomato Orzo
4.0 from 2 reviews

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Recipe type: side dish
Cuisine: pasta, vegetarian
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
Rich, bright grape tomatoes and zucchini sauteed in garlic and olive oil and tossed through orzo pasta.
Ingredients
  • 1cup orzo pasta
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2-3 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Prepare orzo according to directions on box, only a minute or two less as directed. Drain orzo and stir in a teaspoon of olive oil to prevent sticking.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large chefs pan. Add garlic and sauté until aromatic.
  3. Add zucchini, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and sauté with garlic until soft.
  4. Add grape tomatoes and sauté for about 2 minutes.
  5. Toss in orzo and warm through veggies. Stir until combined. Salt and pepper as needed.

 

Thanks for joining our weekly Friday Food Fight! Can’t wait to see what everyone is flinging this week!

*Also submitted at*

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Pinning and Planning – March 10

PinningPlanning RunDMT Pinning and Planning   March 10It’s another crazy busy week for this mom on the run.  I have two nights out this week for blogging related events and a third night I will spend at Chrissy’s sister’s house in Parish for the Sarasota Half Marathon.  That means Iron Chef Allan will have to fend for himself and feed the kids a few nights this week, although I decided to be nice and prepare a baked ziti.  The other nights, I foresee Dad making breakfast for dinner.

Publix has tons of meats on this sale this week with Murphy’s and David’s corned beef brisket being one of them.  As much as Allan loves corned beef, we only eat it once a year.  It’s our little St Patrick’s Day splurge.   After running a half marathon on St. Patrick’s Day, I think I would have earned my St. Patrick’s Day corned beef dinner and green beer a good Irish stout.

Here’s our dinner menu for the week.

S – Mojo Roasted Chicken with Tomato Zucchini Orzo

M – Lentils and Pasta

T – Baked Ziti

W – Pork Chile Verde with Cilantro Rice (Recipe note: Use juice of 3 limes and 1 tsp zest)

Th – Breakfast for dinner

F – Pizza

S – Pasta

S- Corned Beef with Cabbage and Boiled Garlic Butter Red Potatoes

Is corned beef your St. Patrick’s Day splurge too?  What’s on the menu for you this week?  Any new recipes?



Baked Macaroni and “Cheese”

HorrorFFF 1 Baked Macaroni and CheeseWith Iron Chef Allan traveling this week, I decided to get creative and play sneaky chef by using my kids as guinea pigs for one of my kids’ favorite meals.  My youngest daughter considers herself a mac and cheese connoisseur.  She can tell you which restaurants have the best mac and cheese.  Of course, little does she know, many restaurants rarely make the favored kids’ meal from scratch  It’s typical Kraft mac and cheese.

With hubby out of town, I thought I would try to replicate the infamous mac and cheese in the blue box.  I forewarned my girls that I was trying homemade macaroni and cheese and sometimes homemade tastes a little different from the stuff from the box.

With butternut squash and mashed cauliflower as the “cheese”, they had no idea how different it would be!

 Baked Macaroni and Cheese

For this mac and “cheese” bake, I made mashed cauliflower by following my own recipe.  Then, I boiled the butternut squash until it was soft and then pureed it in a processor.  You could skip this step by using frozen squash.

I boiled the elbow macaroni for half the time as directed on the box.  I reserved a cup of pasta water before draining the pasta.  Then, I combined the ingredients in one pot with the pasta water and then dumped it into a casserole dish to bake.

 Baked Macaroni and Cheese

I didn’t add any herbs or any fancy cheese other than Parmesan cheese because the kind of macaroni and cheese that kids typically prefer (like the stuff in the blue or yellow box) doesn’t have a bunch of fancy herbs or cheeses.  Most kids (my kids) like foods plain.  You could also make this gluten free by substituting the elbow macaroni with rice or quinoa pasta.

Looks gorgeous, doesn’t it?

 Baked Macaroni and Cheese

 Baked Macaroni and Cheese

But it still had to pass my little connoisseur’s taste test.  I am happy to report that all my children loved it!  My oldest daughter commented that it was missing something.  (Yeah, like an abundance of cheese.  hee hee), but I told her that when foods taste like they need something, a dash of salt usually fixes that.  As in this case, a little extra salt was all it needed.

Not only did my kids eat it without complaint, they also requested the leftovers in their lunch the next day!  My sneaky chef mac and “cheese” plan was a successful!  I will also add that dish is incredibly filling!  No one could eat more than one helping, not even me.

Since you will have tons leftover like me, the dish freezes and reheats well.  When you reheat it, add about a tablespoon of milk per serving to bring the creaminess back to life.

 Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Baked Mac and “Cheese”

Ingredients
1 medium sized butternut squash, cut into 1” cubes
1 head of cauliflower
1 lb elbow macaroni
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 Tbsp for topping
1 cup pasta water, reserved
1 tsp salt
½ ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare an 8”x8” baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Steam cauliflower and prepare mashed cauliflower.
  3. Boil butternut squash in salted water until soft, about 10 minutes.  Puree in a processor and set aside.
  4. Boil elbow macaroni for half the time as directed on the box (about 4 minutes).  Drain but reserve 1 cup of pasta water.  Return macaroni to pot.
  5. Stir in butternut squash, mashed cauliflower and Parmesan cheese.  As you mix ingredients, add pasta water a little a time until creamy.
  6. Move macaroni and veggies into prepared casserole dish.  Top with additional grated Parmesan cheese.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until Parmesan cheese is melted.

Thanks for joining our weekly Friday Food Fight! Can’t wait to see what everyone is flinging this week!


*Also submitted at*

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Pinning and Planning – Week of Feb 10

PinningPlanning RunDMT Pinning and Planning   Week of Feb 10With Pancake Day and Valentine’s Day in one week, I’ve decided to skip cooking dinner twice this week. Then, I also learned that Publix is hosting a pizza tasting Friday evening, which saves me from cooking another dinner this week.  Sweet.  Hubby is also traveling a few days this week, so I’m keeping things simple and you can’t get an easier than not having to cook or making a few casseroles.

 PublxPizza Pinning and Planning   Week of Feb 10

Skinnytaste’s Quinoa “Fried” Rice didn’t turn out as tasty as I had hoped for our Chinese New Year play date which breaks my Skinnytaste heart.  I love most of her recipes, but this one needs a little more… umph.  So, I will try my hand at it again with some ginger, no fish sauce and a bit more veggies.

Here’s our dinner menu for the week:

S – Chicken Sausage Gumbo

M – Quinoa Vegetable Fried Rice and Mu Shoo Vegetable

T – Pancakes for Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday and also known as Pancake Day

W – Chicken and Mushroom Marsala Casserole

Th – Baked Ziti

F – Pizza tastings at Publix

What things are you cooking up this week?  Any new recipes on your menu?  Any special plans for Fat Tuesday and/or Valentine’s Day?  Link up and share the delicious dishes you are pinning and planning to serve this week.



Pinning and Planning 2-3-13

PinningPlanning RunDMT Pinning and Planning 2 3 13This week at Publix, da butt roast, da brats and the da beer are on sale.  Did Publix hire Mike Dikta to write this week’s supermarket deals specifically with the big game in mind?  Wow.  Clog arteries much?

Thankfully, chicken and ground turkey is on sale.  I may buy a little extra poultry this week and freeze it for future dinners.  Plus, Al Fresco chicken sausage is BOGO.  Yum.

Speaking of delicious deals, IHOP is serving up free pancakes to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network at its annual National Pancake Day.  Although I’ll pass on the pancakes, my kids will definitely flip over pancakes for dinner.

The kids and I will also be attending a Chinese New Year play date.  It’s always a fun potluck event and the food is always fabulous.  You can see some of the past dishes I’ve made, such as Sesame Noodles or Pot Stickers.  This year, I’m testing out Skinnytaste’s Quinoa “Fried” Rice.

Here’s our dinner menu for the week:

S – Ground Turkey Chili

M – Linguini with Roasted Tomatoes and Arugula

T – Pancake Dinner

W – Chicken Sausage and White Bean Stew

Th – Turkey Burgers and Unfried Zucchini Sticks

F – Chinese New Year play date

What things are you cooking up this week?  Any new recipes on your menu?  Link up and share the delicious dishes you are pinning and planning to serve this week.



Pinning and Planning 1-20-13

PinningPlanning RunDMT Pinning and Planning 1 20 13I have to say.  I’m a little disappointed with Publix this week.  After going on and on and about last week’s produce sale, Publix didn’t leave much room for green on the plate this week.  Sadly, the Publix weekly ad is heavy on the meat side this week and light on the fresh veggies.

Oh well.  Sometimes eating healthy helps you in the waist but hits you in the wallet.

Here’s our dinner menu for the week:

S – Celebratory Marathon Mama dinner with friends

M – Stacked Roasted Vegetable Casserole

T – Mojo Roast Chicken with Black Beans and Rice

W – Skinnytaste Chicken Pot Pie Soup with low fat drop biscuits

Th – Spinach Lasagna Rolls with Italian Salad

F – Pizza

What things are you cooking up this week?  Link up and share the delicious dishes you are pinning and planning to serve.



Pinning and Planning – November 11

PinningPlanning RunDMT Pinning and Planning   November 11I had two kids sick this past week.  Little Lion Man had a stomach bug.  Then, my oldest daughter had a sore throat which I think may have been a side effect to her flu shot.  Last week was a relatively quiet week until that point.

Then the weekend came.  I had a Pretty Muddy pre-race course preview meetup, followed by the Pretty Muddy race on Saturday, 12 miles to run on Sunday and a rooftop fitness party sponsored by my peerFit friends later that day.  I am truly amazed that I can still walk after all of that.  Although I have to admit, I’m shattered. Therefore, I’m off to bed in a little bit which is probably a good thing as I need to be up by 3:30 to be all dolled up for a Mom Squad taping at 5:15 at Channel 10.  I’m a little nervous about it.  Hopefully, I won’t sound like a complete fool.

As for this week’s menu, there’s no fooling that we will be eating well this week, thanks to all the delicious deals at Publix.  With tilapia on special as well as lots of vegetables perfect for roasting, we’ll be eating well and a bit more pescatarian this week.

M – Roasted Veggies with Goat Cheese on Pressed Cuban Bread

T – Sautéed Tilapia with Lemon-Peppercorn Pan Sauce with Couscous

W – Dinner out with friends

Th – Linguini with Roasted Campari Tomatoes and Arugula

F – Pizza

What things are you cooking up this week?  Are any of your meals related to supermarket deals?  Link up and share the delicious dishes you are pinning and planning to serve this week.


 Pinning and Planning   November 11

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

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