Week #1 Pantry Challenge recipes

Loaded Veggie & Black Bean Quesadillas

*Makes 2 large quesadillas
15 oz. can black beans
Corn, about 1/2 cup (I used frozen and thawed it)
2 cloves garlic
2-3 green onions
Cooked brown rice
Shredded cheese
4 large tortillas

Rinse and drain black beans. Chop tomatoes and green onion. Mince garlic.
Place a tortilla on a skillet. (I leave the stove turned off until assembly is complete.)
Add a layer of cheese, followed by the beans, veggies, and rice.
Add another layer of cheese to "glue" both sides together.
Sprinkle on a bit of cumin and then place the other tortilla on top.
Heat over medium for a few minutes on each side or until heated through.

Credit for this recipe to: 
 These pictures are from our dinner. I added shredded summer squash, asparagus and refried beans to our choices. 

Beef Stew

  • 2 lb chuck roast, cubed (Alternately use ground beef, browned and drained or another cut of beef- whatever is most affordable. 
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups of green beans (you can use canned & add juice)
  • 1 cup baby lima beans
  • 1 cup corn 
  • 32 ounce can of tomato juice
  • 1 Tbl. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt 
  • 2 Tbl. chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp. parsley
  • 1 tsp. black pepper 
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup of Quinoa
Combine all ingredients except Quinoa in a greased slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. Add Quinoa and cook for 20 minutes.

You can use any mixture of vegetables you like in the stew. 

Ground Turkey & Cabbage BBQ Sands

This recipe I have to give credit to Coco Lucas (my daughter)
  • 2 lbs of ground turkey ( you could use chicken if you want)
  • 1 small head of cabbage, chopped
  • 1 or 2 jars of BBQ sauce of your choice and as much as you need for your liking. 
Brown the turkey in pan with a little bit of oil if needed, drain then put in the crock-pot. 
Chop up the cabbage add into the crock-pot on top of the turkey.
Then add in the BBQ sauce.
Let cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. When done serve on hamburger buns. 

Beef & Bean Enchiladas
  • 1 can of refried beans (regular or fat free)
  • Or 2 cups homemade refried beans
  • 1 lb ground beef browned, rinsed and drained
  • 1 jar 16 oz.salsa (or 1 can tomatoes with chilies)
  • 1/2 cup chopped black olives 
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar, Colby, or Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 10 flour tortillas
  1. Place 2 scant tablespoons of beans, 1 scant tablespoon of olives, and a tablespoon of cheese on the end of each tortilla. roll up and place in a greased slow cooker.
  2. Mix salsa or tomatoes with ground beef and pour over the top. Sprinkle with leftover cheese.
  3. Cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 6 hours. 
Spinach Chicken Alfredo
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 8 ounces frozen chopped spinach ( I will be using fresh) 
  • 1   4 oz  can of mushrooms, drained
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoon. corn starch
  • 1  8 oz brick low-fat cream cheese
  • 12 oz whole wheat pasta, cooked according to package directions (store in fridge)
  1. Place chicken, mushrooms and spinach in a greased slow cooker.
  2. Mix Chicken broth, Parmesan cheese, and spices. pour over chicken mixture
  3. Cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 6 hours.
  4. Stir in cream cheese, until smooth.
  5. Add pasta, and cook for 10 minutes or until heated through
You can substitute: 
Chopped turkey bacon, Turkey Kielbasa  peeled shrimp, Diced ham, chopped broccoli, onions, or peppers (towards the end)
Week # 2 

Apple & Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
  • 1 apple, variety is your choice, thinly sliced
  • 1 -2 slices cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice)
  • 2 slices bread
  • Spicy mustard or honey
  • Butter

  1. Preheat your skillet or grill to a medium heat (grill 250*)
  2. Butter on side of a slice of bread. Place bread butter-side-down onto skillet bottom and add apple slices and 1 (or 2 ) slice of cheese, enough to cover surface area of bread.
  3. Butter a second slice of bread on one side and place butter-side-up on top of sandwich.
  4. Grill until lightly browned and flip over, continue grilling until cheese is melted and second side is golden brown. Slice in half and serve immediately.
  5. If you like dip in the spicy mustard or honey.
This recipe is from MOMables web site.

Butternut Squash Gratin
Recipe from What's Cooking America
Recipe Type: Squash, Vegetables, Bread Crumbs
Yields: 2 to 4 servings

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 60 min

1/2 cup coarse dry bread crumbs*
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
Coarse salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons dried thyme, divided
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chicken broth or white wine (your choice)

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Recipe from Clean & Delicious 


·                                 1 medium butternut squash
·                                 1 large yellow onion, chopped
·                                 1 tbsp olive oil
·                                 4 cups of chicken stock
·                                 Salt and pepper to taste


Peel, seed and chop butternut squash into a 1-inch dice.
Toss squash and onions with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Pop into a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until the veggies are tender and golden brown.
Transfer veggies into a large pot and add in chicken stock. Simmer for about 30 minutes and then allow the soup to cool down a bit.
Pour soup into a blender and blend until you have a nice, smooth soup. Return to pot, gently heat and adjust the seasonings.

Week #3

Rojo De Pollo Enchiladas

Ingredients :
2 cups cooked, chopped chicken
1 cup chopped onion
1 can green chilies
1 8 oz. brick of low fat cream cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder (or more)
Herbs or spices you like
12  6" tortillas
2 cups enchilada sauce (canned or recipe below) We like the green so I buy canned.

  1. Combine chicken, onion, chilies, cream cheese, garlic and other herbs or spices .
  2. Place 1/4 cup mixture on the end of each tortilla and roll up. Place in a greased slow cooker.
  3. Top with enchilada sauce and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. Top with cheese and cover just to melt cheese.
Homemade red enchilada sauce:
2 cups tomato sauce
4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon oregano.
Whisk together in a medium sauce pan. Cook and stir until thick and smooth.

Cabbage Casserole
1 head of cabbage (whatever size you want).
1 lb. ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 onion chopped
1  lg. can condensed tomato soup
Salt, pepper, garlic powder or salt to taste (optional)
Cooked rice (optional, this will make the dinner stretch a little further)

Remove the core from the cabbage and coarsely chop the whole head, In the skillet, cook the beef and onion until the beef is browned. Spread half of chopped cabbage into a large casserole dish. Cover with the meat mixture. top with the remaining cabbage (you may have to pack it down- it looks like a lot of cabbage, but it shrinks down a lot while cooking). Pour tomato soup over the top and spread it around. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes (more or less, depending on how soft you like the cabbage to be).Serve over rice.

I am going to add some cheese to this and put my rice in with the cabbage mix. This could also be cooked in a crock pot.

Turkey Tetrazzini

(Prep Time: 25 minutes Baking Time 30 minutes)
(Can be made ahead or made ahead and frozen)
3 Tablespoons butter
½ onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
6 Tablespoons, flour
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1 cup fat free half and half or evaporated milk
3 ounces cubed cream cheese
2 cups cubed, cooked turkey
8 ounces dried spaghetti noodles (double check your quantity, most packages are 16 ounces, so this is 1/2 of of a 16 ounce package)
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste¼ cup Parmesan cheese
Break spaghetti noodles in 2-3" pieces and cook according to package directions. Meanwhile, melt butter in a stock pot; add onion and celery and sauté until tender. Add mushrooms and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in flour. When flour is completely mixed in, add broth and milk and return to medium low heat, stirring until mixture thickens. Add cream cheese and salt and continue to stir until cream cheese is melted (it’s ok if there are a few lumps left). Add turkey and cooked and drained spaghetti noodles. Stir and transfer mixture into a greased 13 x 9 x 2” baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes

Recipes below are from Brandy over at Marathon Mom

Easiest Tacos Ever

 You’ll need:
·                                 can of black beans
·                                 fresh, shredded Jack cheese (use cheddar if you like better)  (and yes, I made that rhyme on purpose because I am the nerdiest of nerds)
·                                 corn tortillas (or whole wheat flour….whatever you’re in the mood for)
·                                 any other fixings you enjoy like lettuce, tomato, onion….
1.                      Heat beans in sauce pan.  Add a dash of cumin, salt and pepper, if you desire.
2.                      Grate the cheese.  (Notice I did not choose the words “cut the cheese”. Because if you live with seven or eight boys, someone WILL!!!)
3.                      Steam your tortillas in the microwave for one minute.  (Place a stack on a plate, then cover with another identical plate.) 
You’re done.  Dinner in five minutes.  No kidding!!
Don’t forget to make your fresh 
Pico de Gallo and Guacamole to add to these babies!  They just won’t be the same without this delicious duo!!!
Now, relax.  Because you’ve just made an inexpensive, healthy and quick meal that your family will devour!!!
Here’s to eating like you’re running a marathon!!

Chicken Spaghetti (Brandy at Marathon Mom)

·                                 1 package chicken thighs or breasts
·                                 1 pound spaghetti noodles (I will use spaghetti squash)
·                                 1/2 a yellow onion, finely chopped
·                                 1 can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
·                                 2 cans cream of chicken soup
·                                 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
·                                 1 pound of shredded cheddar cheese
1.                      Boil chicken till done and remove from water (saving water for noodles).  If you don’t want to boil the chicken, broil it in the oven.
2.                      Boil noodles in broth from chicken.
3.                      While noodles are boiling, pull apart or cut up chicken into bite size pieces.
4.                      Saute onion in a bit of butter or olive oil and salt, til translucent.  Set aside.
5.                      When noodles are done, drain.
6.                      In a large pan (a very deep 9 X 13 works great), mix together:  noodles, soups, onion, half the tomatoes (but all the juice), chicken, salt and pepper.
7.                     Once it’s all mixed, pile the cheese on top.
8.                      Bake at 375 till bubbly and golden around the edges.  (Do yourself a favor and don’t brown the cheese.  My kids don’t prefer hard cheese lumps….and neither do I.)  Bring on the cheesy goodness!!!!
Serve with green beans, broccoli, or salad.

Chicken Pot Pie (Brandy at Marathon Mom)

·                                 4 chicken breasts
·                                 2 cans cream of chicken soup
·                                 1 cup of milk
·                                 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
·                                 1 large potato
·                                 thyme, salt, and pepper
·                                 2 refrigerated pie crusts
1.                      Boil chicken breasts until done.
2.                      Wash, peel and dice large potato and boil.
3.                      Once the potatoes have cooked for about ten minutes, add in the two cups of frozen vegetables.
4.                      While vegetables are cooking, pull apart chicken, or cut into bite size pieces.
5.                      Cook vegetables till tender, then drain.
6.                      In a large mixing bowl, stir together the chicken, soup, milk, vegetables, thyme, salt, and pepper.
7.                     Stretch one pie crust to fit the bottom of 9X13 casserole dish.
8.                      Dump mixture on top and spread around evenly.
9.                      Stretch other pie crust over that.  It’s okay if it’s not perfect.
10.                  Bake at 375 for 40 minutes or until done.

Red Beans and Rice (Brandy at Marathon Mom)

·                                 1 pound red kidney beans
·                                 1/4 cup olive oil
·                                 1 large yellow onion, chopped
·                                 1 bell pepper, chopped
·                                 1 head garlic, finely chopped
·                                 2 or 3 stalks celery, chopped
·                                 2 bay leaves
·                                 1 teaspoon thyme
·                                 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
·                                 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
·                                 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
·                                 about 6 cups water
·                                 up to one pound sliced sausage
·                                 2 cups cooked rice
1.                      Pre-soak beans, drain, and rinse. (To quickly pre-soak, bring beans to a rolling boil for 2 minutes, then let sit for two hours.)
2.                      Return to large pot and cover with water.
3.                      Bring beans to a boil over medium heat.
4.                      In saute pan, place olive oil, onion, pepper, garlic, and celery.  Add in sliced sausage and cook til sausage is browned.
5.                      Place sausage and vegetables into pot with beans.
6.                      Add in spices and stir.
7.                     Simmer beans for two to three hours.  Remove bay leaves when done.
8.                      In separate pot, prepare your favorite rice just before beans are done.
9.                      In a bowl, spoon beans over rice, and serve with your favorite cornbread.

Quick Beef And Potatoes (Brandy at Marathon Mom)

For today, though, I have a very simple and very versatile beef and potatoes recipe.  This came about from one of those “It’s-late-and-I-don’t-know-what-to-make” times.  But it’s pretty yummy, the whole family likes it, it’s quick and easy….  What’s not to love?
You can serve it plain if you like — just beef and potatoes.  Or, you can add sliced or diced onions, mushrooms, peppers, or even tomatoes.  I like to add sauteed mushrooms to mine, but I saute them separately since the rest of the family would mutiny if they found a mushroom in their food.  The horror!
I also serve it with garlic green beans which, again, I am the only one who really likes.  My 2-year-old picked up his and put them on my plate and asked for more of the main dish.  Oh well.  You’ll see that recipe coming up soon too. :)
·                       1 lb. ground beef (preferably grass-fed)
·                       4 – 5 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
·                       4 tbsp. butter
·                       1 tsp. onion powder
·                       Sea salt to taste
Combine beef and potatoes in a large skillet over medium-high heat.Cook until the beef is done.  Add spices.
Continue to cook until the potatoes are soft and maybe a little bit crispy.  Sometimes mine crisp, sometimes not.  Add the butter partway through this, because the grease from the meat isn’t enough to finish cooking the potatoes.Serve.  I add cheese to mine.  Or you don’t have to, depends on how you like it.  (I use parmesan or Romano, a hardcheese.)

Mini Pizzas (Brandy at Marathon Mom) 

·                                 whole wheat English muffins
·                                 organic tomato sauce
·                                 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
·                                 dash of salt and pepper
·                                 grated mozzarella
1.                      Place English muffin halves on pizza pan.
2.                      Pour tomato sauce directly onto muffins from can.
3.                      Salt and pepper if desired.
4.                      Spoon a bit of fresh garlic onto each mini pizza and spread.
5.                      Pile on cheese.
6.                      Broil on bottom rack till warm, then broil on top rack till cheese is bubbly, but not browned.

Skinny Lemon Chicken and Rice(recipe from I think Marathon Mom) Not sure sorry! 

1 cup basmati or long grain brown rice
16 oz. chicken broth (low sodium)
1 T. butter
1 T. minced garlic
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (if desired) I will I love spicy.
1 lemon
1/2 lb -1 lb (chicken breast, shrimp or canned chicken)
1 T. chopped fresh cilantro


In a pot add in broth, rice, butter, and garlic; bring to a boil.
Once that starts to boil add in red pepper flakes, cover and reduce heat to low.
Let simmer for 15-25 minutes depending on rice
Take off lid and add in cooked protein choice, squeeze fresh lemon in pot, and add cilantro.
Mix all together and cover for another 3-5 minutes. Serve! 

Pasta and Bean Skillet (Recipe from Menu Planning Central)
1 cup salsa
2/3 cup uncooked elbow macaroni, wagon wheel pasta or small pasta shells (2 ounces)
3/4 cup water
2 tsp. chili powder
1(15 1/2 ounce) can pork & beans, un-drained, or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (2 ounces)

1. Heat all ingredients except cheese to boiling in 10-inch nonstick skillet; reduce heat to low.
2. cover and simmer about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, just until macaroni is tender.
3. Sprinkle on cheese and eat.

German Pancake 


1/4 cup butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1/8 teaspoon salt



1.                                  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Melt butter in a medium baking dish.
2.                                  In a medium bowl, mix flour, milk, eggs and salt. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
3.                                  Bake on center rack in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown.