Skinnytaste Dinner Plan (Week 18)

Skinnytaste Dinner Plan (Week 18)

Happy Sunday! February’s been a crazy month finishing up the manuscript for my new cookbook, Skinnytaste Fast and Slow! I’m excited to start sharing new recipes here on Skinnytaste, I have tons of ideas so stay tuned! This is week 18 of sharing my weekly dinner plans. I use The Skinnytaste Meal Planner pictured below to plan my dinners for the week (you can of course use any meal planner). 

Skinnytaste Dinner Plan (Week 18)

A 52-week meal planner, food tracker and exercise tracker in one. I’ve included the Smart Points next to the recipes since I am currently on Weight Watchers. Also, if you have The Skinnytaste Cookbook, and currently on Weight Watchers, I have all the Smart Points listed here for your convenience.

Meal planning is a great way to get organized before heading to the supermarket to get ready for the week! My breakfast is usually something quick like eggs with fruit, a smoothie or avocado toast. We’re a family of four, so if a recipe serves more, it’s either packed up for everyone’s lunch or eaten the next day as leftovers. If you would like to see some of the previous week’s dinner plans, click here.

Skinnytaste Dinner Plan (Week 17)

Monday: Cream of Asparagus Soup  (2SP)
                 with homemade garlic bread and salad
                 with Roasted Parmesan Green Beans (1 SP) and salad
Wednesday: LEFTOVERS
             with House Salad from Skinnytaste Cookbook (3SP)
Saturday: Flying to Charleston, SC

Click Here To See The Full Recipe…


Cream of Asparagus Soup

Cream of Asparagus Soup – 5 ingredients, 20 minutes to make! Smart Points: 2 Calories: 81

I LOVE cream of asparagus soup, it’s pure comfort in a bowl! This really simple recipe is made with just 5 ingredients, not counting salt and pepper and takes less than 25 minutes to make!

This is from the archives, I was cleaning out my fridge and was happy to have enough asparagus to make this soup. There’s no cream actually added to the soup, it’s simply pureed this with a little low fat sour cream, which you can omit if you want to keep it dairy free. I watered a little sour cream down and drizzled a little more on top. Perfect for a light lunch, or to serve with a sandwich or a salad.

Cream of Asparagus Soup – 5 ingredients, 20 minutes to make! Smart Points: 2 Calories: 81

Click Here To See The Full Recipe…

The Importance of Taking Time by Ree

Many of you remember that back in 2012, Marlboro Man and I lost our marbles and bought an old, dilapidated building on Main Street in our small town.

You can read my very first post about it here: The Building, 2012.


7082086547_9b0100954f_zI love looking at the photos of the building right when we bought it.



8475169095_14c43ca1cf_zRemember the ceiling tiles? Well, there are millions of ’em.



8476257650_64aa4db8c2_zThey all came down and were stripped to the bare bones…



12941951674_a678516ffa_zThen powder coated in a natural metal finish so they’ll literally last forever.



6936013380_84ae2d35cd_zIt’s nice to look at the photos and remember how far we’ve come. Especially in part of the upstairs…



14804272404_f73413215f_zWhich we converted into our family/ranch office back in 2014.



6936014986_f69135fa47_zAnd the other half of the upstairs space (oh my)…



christmas1Where we’ve had everything from a cowboy Christmas party…



chamber1To a banquet for our local Chamber of Commerce.



img_79031To a graduation party for Alex and her best friend Meg. This upstairs space isn’t totally finished, but we fixed the floor, stripped down to the original brick wall, and restored all the windows.



mercantile2This was the building back in the day. It was the Osage Mercantile and was a bustling point of commerce in our small town.



7133111701_150f83d536_zThis was the building when we bought it.



11636923375_6e1cf50fe6_zWe eventually removed the awning, which had been added sometime in the fifties (we think!)



11783439483_3c842c087d_zAnd we uncovered the ages-old, original granite column…



cornerupdate21…Which had been concealed under brick for years.



13760758394_dbd24f0caf_zAll part of the effort to bring the building back to the way it once was!



14428782131_49e6807707_zBack then, Marlboro Man and I had to take a little break from the project to emotionally recover from getting all the windows redone. Ha! There were a lot of them.



14721888682_0bd1508cc5_zWe kept as much as the original wood floor in our office upstairs as we could, replacing only pieces that were rotted through, then refinishing them.

Again…it has been an adventure! A four-year, up-and-down, start-and-stop adventure.

From the beginning of our building project, Marlboro Man and I have had a clear vision for what it would eventually become: A mercantile store in the vein of its original identity, as well as a restaurant/deli and gathering place for both locals and visitors to our area. We never gave an opening date, though, because we knew we had to just proceed and see how things moved along. Completing the office space upstairs was a little more of a low-hanging fruit, and we are so glad we finished it first so that we could be more present for the progress on the rest of the building.

When we were comfortable moving forward, we moved forward. When we felt it was right to wait, we waited.

Now, recently, so many exciting things have fallen into place, it’s as if the building itself is buttoning up it shirt, sitting up straight, and saying, “Okay. I’m ready for the next chapter!” The vision we’ve always had is moving forward at full steam now, and August is the opening date we feel comfortable declaring. Sometimes in life, you just have to barrel through, push through, and make things happen…but in this case, it has been a really clear and instructive lesson on the importance of taking time, not rushing, and letting things happen naturally.

I’m very excited, and I’ll be posting updates here on Confessions (rather than Life & Style or another part of this website) since the building is so very much a part of our lives now.



everyday meatballs

everyday meatballs

If you’d told me as a spaghett-and-meatballs loving kid that in Italy, these two things are never served together, I wouldn’t have believed you. What’s next, no pepperoni pizza, fettucine alfredo or rainbow cookies? No Italian dressing? At least we know those jars of Italian seasoning are the real deal (phew).

what you'll need + eggs

a double-batch of meatballs

Don’t worry, however, I am not here to chasten you, myself or my spaghetti-and-meatballs loving kid for eating food you/we/he exactly the way you like it. Smitten Kitchen is a sanctimony-free zone. I only mentioned this because when, as an adult, I began to consider the meatball as something apart from the flavor-anchors of spaghetti and a busy marinara sauce, I realized I wanted much more out of my meatballs. I wanted them to be good enough to fly solo as a dish, whether or not there was bread, or roasted potatoes, polenta or, yes, even spaghetti on the table. And I couldn’t stop fiddling with them.

i love this design (and also the tomatoes)

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Roasted Spiralized Butternut Squash Noodles

Roasted Spiralized Butternut Squash Noodles – a healthy pasta swap that cooks in less than 10 minutes! Smart Points: 2 • Calories: 153

A healthy pasta alternative or side dish that only takes about 10 minutes to roast in the oven.

I’ve been busy, busy, busy these past two weeks finishing up the last few recipes for my next cookbook (sorry if it seems like I’m MIA). One of those recipes calls for spiralized butternut noodles which are wonderful roasted as a side dish simply drizzled with olive oil as I did here, or topped with a hearty sauce (skinny bolognese would be great!)

My husband doesn’t care for zucchini noodles, but is a huge fan of butternut, and therefor loves these noodles. The best part is they only take about 10 minutes to cook and they don’t get soggy like zucchini, although they do tend to get soft and break if you cook them too long. I prefer to use the thicker noodle blade (if you have the Inspiralizer, it’s blade D) and roast them in a single layer, so for this recipe I used two sheet pans. You can also cut them ahead on the weekend and keep them in ziplock bags in my fridge for the week to roast as needed.

The top straighter part of the butternut is the only part that can be spiralized as the bottoms part with seeds is not solid and therefor it would not work. Save the bottom part for soup or another use. For this recipe you’ll need one large butternut for two people. The top part that gets spiralized should be about 20 ounces once trimmed and peeled.

Click Here To See The Full Recipe…

I Wuv Wucy by Ree

DSC_3792We missed the dogs so much when we were in Colorado, and weve been getting in lots of loving since we returned Saturday afternoon.

DSC_3800Of all the dogs, Lucy probably needed a little extra reassurance and TLC the most.

DSC_3809Paige is just the girl for that job!

DSC_3803Lucy is the sweetest girl. She looks into your eyes with great love and longing, and she listens intently when any of us speak. As opposed to the other dogs on the homestead. When any of us speaks

Charlie snores louder.

Duke runs over to show us his latest racoon or snake or other creature.

Walter rolls over onto his back and wags his tail.

Presley grabs a blanket and drags it around the house seven times, growling and prancing the whole time.

DSC_3804But not Lucy. She just looks into our eyes and listens. And listens. And listens.

DSC_3806She is the very definition of a loyal, devoted dogher number one interest is tuning into what were doing, where were going, what were saying.

Its so nice to have a sweetie like this around the homestead.

DSC_3807We make sure to give her extra attention whenever we can, because just as Charlie does with vanilla ice cream, she really seems to lap it up.

Skinnytaste Dinner Plan (Week 17)

Skinnytaste Dinner Plan (Week 17)

Happy Saturday! Week 17 of sharing my weekly dinner plans. I use The Skinnytaste Meal Planner pictured below to plan my dinners for the week (you can of course use any meal planner).
Skinnytaste Dinner Plan (Week 17)

A 52-week meal planner, food tracker and exercise tracker in one. I‘ve included the Smart Points next to the recipes since I am currently on Weight Watchers. Also, if you have The Skinnytaste Cookbook, and currently on Weight Watchers, I have all the Smart Points listed here for your convenience.

Meal planning is a great way to get organized before heading to the supermarket to get ready for the week! My breakfast is usually something quick like eggs with fruit, a smoothie or avocado toast. We‘re a family of four, so if a recipe serves more, it’s either packed up for everyone’s lunch or eaten the next day as leftovers. If you would like to see some of the previous week’s dinner plans, click here.

Skinnytaste Dinner Plan (Week 17)

Monday: Easiest Pasta and Broccoli (meatless monday)
8 Smart Points
9 Smart Points
Wednesday: LEFTOVERS
Thursday: Carne Bistec with rice and House salad (cookbook)
4 Smart Points plus 5 SP for 3/4 cup rice
5 Smart Points (I’ll have 2 for 10)
Saturday: Date night out!
Sunday: Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Breast with House salad (cookbook)
5 Smart Points

Click Here To See The Full Recipe…

Jamaican Coconut Shrimp Stew

Jamaican Coconut Shrimp Stew - a quick, light and spicy shrimp dish simmered in coconut milk. Smart Points: 4 Calories: 182

A quick, light and spicy shrimp dish simmered in coconut milk, inspired by my trip to Ochos Rios, Jamaica.

I’ve always been a fan of Jamaican food, so when I went there on vacation, I made it my business to eat as much of they local food as possible. There was a cooking demo one of the days while I was there and they made this really simple dish which I’ve recreated here. Beware, the Scotch Bonnet pepper is VERY hot. This tiny little pepper packs a lot of heat, I used only 1/4 of the pepper with the seeds and membranes removed and it was still spicy, but not too much that I couldn’t eat it. If you like spicy food feel free to add more.

Warning, wear gloves while handling the pepper to avoid burning your fingers, or accidentally touching your moth or eyes.

Jamaican Coconut Shrimp Stew - a quick, light and spicy shrimp dish simmered in coconut milk. Smart Points: 4 Calories: 182

Click Here To See The Full Recipe…

white russian

white russians

On New Year’s Eve, we attempted to do the reprehensible and take a 6 year-old who usually goes to bed at 7:30 and a pajama-clad infant who went to bed whenever the thought struck her to a party at a friend’s place in Brooklyn. Like, for grown-ups. (Just let me know where to collect our parenting medals.) By 9:30 p.m., all members of the Perelman clan were predictably rubbing their eyes and we headed home before the meltdowns began, got the wee ones tucked in and then made some White Russians. We haven’t been able to stop making them since.

what you'll need

black russians

While the drink has absolutely nothing to do with being pale-skinned or Russian-born at least in an ethnic sense, thank goodness, my husband’s fondness for them amuses me no less despite this. Wikipedia tells us that the vodka (the “Russian” part) and coffee liqueur (the “black” part) cocktail known as a Black Russian emerged in 1949, and the White Russian, which includes the praise-worthy addition of cream, shortly thereafter, although there are some that date it earlier (1930s, when it contained gin as well) and some later (1961, when the black/white distinctions first appeared in the Diners’ Club Drink Book).

pour the cream off the back of a spoon

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The Perfect (Mexican Style) Lunch Salad

If I could describe the perfect lunch, it would be this salad. Well, I mean actually a lunch with my friends and no kids would be great too. Also Nordstrom’s cafe, a day at the spa followed by a healthy lunch, and maybe a meal on the beach with Fernando or my husband applying sunscreen sounds fabulous as well…

But other than that, this is my idea of the perfect lunch.

The Mom Salad, The Best salad to get you through a busy day!

Being a mom with 3 kids under 5, lunch time is kind of the “Ok, we are halfway through the day” period. We made it through the morning, I’m still awake, the kids are…well, ok the kids are still in their pajamas. BUT, we WILL get dressed after this. Unless I need a nap. Then, we will probably just wear our pajamas and…BE ONE STEP AHEAD OF BED TIME! #momwin

The Mom Salad, The Best Salad to get you through a busy day!

Usually by lunch time I am starving because I ate at 6 a.m. when my kids woke up and I need something that excites me. Obviously a cheesecake would do, but this is a healthy lifestyle blog and I need to portray that I never have cheesecake for lunch.

That’s why I love HUGE LOADED salads with creamy dressing. I love kind of adding everything I am craving at the moment into one dish and eventually into one bite. I’m not obsessed with food or anything. Usually these salads will last me 2-3 lunches, and even be a late night snack when again I decide against cheesecake. Just reserve the avocado and salad dressing until each serving and you are good to go!

The Mom Salad, The Best Salad to get you through a busy day!

I have made homemade dressings before, but ever since my 3rd pregnancy I just love ranch. More than fernando on the beach. I’ve been using these Bolthouse Dressings for a while now and have become somewhat addicted. #notsponsored

Feel free to use the dressing of your choice!

For the roasted chickpeas, I always use THIS recipe!

The Mom Salad, The Best Salad to get you through a busy day!

The Perfect (Mexican Style) Lunch Salad

  • 1 head of curly kale, washed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced olives
  • 1 c. halved baby tomatoes
  • 1 c. roasted corn-recipe below
  • 1 c.roasted chickpeas-recipe above
  • 1-2 avocados
  • 1-2 slices lime, juiced over salad
  • opt: crushed tortilla chips

  1. (Roast the corn)
  2. Turn the oven broiler on low.
  3. Add FROZEN corn to a baking sheet. Drive with 1 1/2 tsp. olive oil Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Place in the oven and cook until the corn has roasted into a crunchy but still soft texture. Toss the corn every so often. (This will take any where between 5-10 minutes.)
  5. Assemble the salad.
  6. Add kale, cilantro, and green onions to a large bowl. Toss to mix.
  7. Next add the rest of the toppings. (Reserve the avocado and lime juice until ready to serve)
  8. Drizzle with salad dressing, avocado, and lime juice when you are ready to eat.
  9. Enjoy!

The Mom Salad, The Best Salad to get you through a busy day!

For the record, if my kids stay in their pajamas all day we change them into new ones before bed.