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Day 13 Eating at home…Penne w/ Roasted Asparagus & Balsamic Butter

There is no meat in the recipe. It does have butter and cheese in it so I don’t think it qualifies as Vegan but I am sure you could make some adjustments to fix that.

Here is what you need

  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 1/4 lb butter
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese and some additional for when serving

Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the tough parts of the asparagus then cut into one inch pieces.

Toss these in the olive oil and 1/4 tsp each of pepper and salt. Put on a lined baking sheet and cook for 10-15 min or until tender.

While those are roasting put the vinegar in a small sauce pan and simmer until about 3 tbsp remain. You can also start boiling your water for the penne and cook those.

Once the vinegar has reduced stir in the brown sugar and 1/4 tsp of pepper and remove from heat.

The vinegar should be thicker and slightly syrupy.

Cut you butter up into slices.

The in a big bowl add the penne, butter, vinegar, asparagus, parmesan, and 1 3/4 tsp salt.

Toss this until the butter and cheese are melted and everything is well coated.

Serve in a bowl with a little extra parmesan sprinkled on top. 🙂


This is one of my husband’s favorites. I have also added chicken or shrimp to this in the past.



Day 8 of Eating at Home…. Chicken Cashew Lettuce Wraps.

Day 8 was absolutely SCRUMDIDDLYUMPTIOUS! (Yes I had to look that spelling up) 🙂 We had one of the family favorites. Chicken Cashew Lettuce Wraps. This recipe is slightly more time-consuming that the other recipes I have been posting only because you have to cut all the chicken up into small bite size pieces. I don’t even think I cut mine as small as you are supposed to but it still works. On days where we are not busy with baseball I like to make something other than crock pot meals. So here we go…. Oh wait….. My recipe is for double the meat and triple the sauce. The first time I made this there was not nearly enough chicken or sauce. You can follow my recipe as is for a bigger batch with leftovers for lunch or half everything.  Also this recipe calls for 2 cups onions and I leave that out and just add a tbsp of onion powder. Okay.. NOW we can start.

Here is what you need.

For the sauce:

  • 6 tbsp soy Sauce
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 tsp sesame oil

For the chicken:

  • 4 chicken breasts (diced or cut into bite size pieces)
  • green leaf lettuce (1-2 head depending on how many eating. I usually have one for dinner and one for leftovers)
  • 6 tbsp canola oil (or oil of your choice)
  • tbsp onion powder (omit of you choose to add the 2 cups onions)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 two tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup cashews (I always add more since we leave out the onions)
  • salt and pepper to taste (I never add either of these just extra cayenne)


First mix all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside for later. Make sure all of the brown sugar dissolves.

Now heat up the canola oil in a pan over medium – medium high heat. Once it is hot add in the chicken and cook till browned. Take the chicken out of the oil and set aside. 

While the chicken is browning coarsely chop up you cashews.

Add the soy sauce to the pan with the minced garlic (and onions if you use them) and cook till nice and fragrant. Only about 30 seconds if you don’t use the onions. If you do you use the onions you want to cook till the are brown and tender.

Add the sauce you mixed earlier, the browned chicken, and cashews. Saute this for a few min and remove from heat. You may have a lot of liquid since the sauce is tripled. It can take some time to thicken up. What I like to do is take about a tbsp of cornstarch and mix it with a little cold water until it is smooth. Add this slowly, little by little, to the mixture until it thickens to a consistency you like. Make sure you do it slowly and stir in-between so it doesn’t get too thick. You want it a little runny but not soupy.

You are all done. Put chicken in a bowl and serve with a plate of green leaf lettuce and everyone can make their own wraps.

Sorry the pic turned out blurry  :/

You can make this as spicy as you want by adding or decreasing the amount of cayenne. We all like spicy around here so I always add more. You can also have some Sriracha or chili paste on hand for anyone that wants it extra spicy but I think it ruins the flavor.

Let me know if you try this and what you think. It really is yummy and is even great cold the next day!

Thanks for reading!


Day 3- Eating at home- Crockpot meatballs and gravy.

HI everyone! Day 3 was delicious and beyond easy to make. Last night we had Meatballs and gravy over egg noodles. I got the original recipe here but changed it up a little bit. So here is what I did.

You will need….

  • a bag of frozen meatballs (you can make these your self if you want)
  • 2 packets of dry turkey gravy mix
  • 2 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp basil leaves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • about 1/2-1 tbsp onion powder (I am infamous for not measuring)
  • and a sprinkle of garlic salt (again with the not measuring)

Oh an egg noodles…. I forgot to put them in the group picture. They were sad and felt left out so I gave them their own picture.  🙂

Now the original recipe called for Thyme and after searching my herbs and spices cabinet, thyme was no where to be found. So I pulled up this handy little herb substitution chart and found out that basil, marjoram, oregano, or savory (??) can be substituted for thyme. I decided to go with a little basil AND oregano. You will also notice that I doubled the amount of ingredients for the sauce and the bag of meatballs is slightly less then 2 lbs. I am glad I did all this because it was just enough sauce and there were only two meatballs left after we ate. The kids loved this and had a couple servings!!

OK back to the recipe.

Put the meatball in the crock pot… yes frozen!

In a separate bowl put all the ingredients except the bay leaves.

Then with a whisk mix it all up till it’s all combined. Then add the bay leaves on top so they don’t get broken up while mixing and are easier to find an not eat when it’s all done cooking.

You can now pour everything right on top of the meatball and give it a little stir to make sure they are all covered in the sauce.

Now cover and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours… I did 4 hours. Make sure it is LOW, you don’t want this to burn.


After a couple hours I gave it a stir every 30-40 min. I don’t know that you have to do this but I did. When it is done it will look like this…  YUMM!About 20 min till it is done cook your egg noodles, you could even have this over mashed potatoes or rice. Serve right on top of the noodles and enjoy! (I sprinkled some pepper on mine)So this is a really easy meal to make and a crowd pleaser. You could even double or triple for a potluck. Let me know if you try it and what you think. 🙂