Leftover Fits of Rage

Let’s talk about food, bay-bee. (I hope you knew to read that Salt-n-Peppa style.) I am all about leftovers. I have just about lost all shame when it comes to saving time and money in meal planning. The new rule in the house is: “Don’t tell me the expiration date! If I can’t tell by looking or sniffing it’s fair game.” To which my hypochondriac husband responds by secretly throwing away all the PERFECTLY GOOD left overs around which I had planned the entire week’s menu. That’s when I start throwing things. graciously accept the opportunity to love like Jesus and have a heart-warming moment with my sweet husband, chuckling at our differences. (That last part is a dirty, dirty lie. Maybe one day?)

All of that to say, this week it’s all about left overs. This is why I need your help! Anyone can look up a recipe on a blog, but then what do you do with all those random ingredients you only used half of? Menu planning is so much more involved than a single recipe. That’s why I loathe it so. And why I need you!

Thank you so so much to everyone to has liked, followed, subscribed, and shared my two measly little blog entries thus far! It has been so fun to watch and definitely surpassed my expectations! (Expectation: 2. Hi Sister and Best Friend!) Now I need you to go one step further with me and post those menus! It’s easy! Just tell me what you’re eating right now. What are you going to eat tonight? If you don’t have the recipe or a picture, don’t worry about it! I can find it (or make it up)! Just do it. Pleeeeease, for the sake of my poor abused husband.

And on to the menu! Here’s a glimpse at the beauty of a green smoothie (you can find the recipe on the last blog here.)


YUM. I used to have to force myself to drink these because it tasted like drinking a salad, but then I discovered the magic of pineapple! Now it’s just a tropical vacay right there on my tongue. You’ll notice this is the exact same breakfast as last week. Ahem, leftovers.

For lunch this weekend, we had a knock-off of an old Subway sandwich they don’t have anymore, a Chicken Pizziola Sandwich.


(Don’t worry about that sandwich with a bite taken out of it. Sometimes I forget I’m supposed to take pictures of these things and have to snatch it off Daniel’s plate mid-bite:)

It’s so easy. Slice a whole wheat sub roll in half, top with some Italian seasoned chicken as well as your *leftover* homemade pizza sauce, turkey pepperoni, and Italian cheese from last week. Stick it in the oven at 400 for 8 minutes, then broil for 2-3 till the cheese is all bubbly and the bread is crispy. Done!

Originally I was going to attempt a cauliflower pizza crust and just throw everything on that, but then I went to the store with no list and a hungry (read: cranky) husband, so I had to stick with what I know. And if you get a bag of almost-too-old sub rolls it’s only $1.00 for 10 of them! If that’s not a reason to eat gluten I don’t know what is.

For dinner, we had tortellini (see the no-list cranky hubs grocery trip above). I added grilled chicken so I wouldn’t just be a blob of bloat and regret.

For lunch this week, we’re using more leftovers of course. Put that mango salsa from last week’s flank steak to good use on a Jamaican Jerk chicken taco!


These flavors were made for each other. This recipe is inspired by Torchy’s Taco’s Crossroads Taco. Also ridiculously easy. It’s just a whole wheat tortilla (made warm and a little crispy by broiling for about a minute), JamJerk seasoned chicken, mango salsa, and grilled jalapeños. You can also add cilantro and sour cream if you want- that’s how Torchy’s does it and they know their tacos.

The real-live food blogs tell you to create a happy little dinner scene for your food pictures with a place setting and matching dishware. You will find no such glam here, only children’s plates and Batman cups. That’s what we’re working with at the Branham house.

To recap without all the mindless chatter:

Breakfast: peanut butter toast & Green Smoothie

Lunch: Chicken Pizziola Sandwich, Jamaican Jerk Chicken Tacos

Dinner: Tortellini with grilled chicken

What do you do with leftovers? Live in denial of their age and then fight your husband? What are you eating this week?

Last Week’s Menu

Hey all!

First, let’s talk about how my family eats so you’ll know what kind of menus to expect. You’ve heard of 80/20 families when it comes to clean eating, yes? Where they do it all just right except for cake on birthdays or an occasional treat? Yeah that’s not how the Branhams work. We tried that, and after a week or force-feeding ourselves food we didn’t enjoy found chocolate-covered consolation in a carton of Blue Bell.

I like to think of us as a 50/50 family. Meaning we try to eat clean but more often than not will screw it up. We’re not so good at rules. Ask my husband how many board games I’ve finished without cheating (answer: 0). So we are working on eating fewer preservatives, more foods that your body actually uses as fuel, and fewer franken-foods. The most important thing for you to know is that I didn’t start this blog because I know so many wonderful things and love cooking so much- it’s exact opposite. I know nothing and am a terrible cook, so I started this blog to get all of you to help me! And hopefully the others posting here will help you as well:)

When planning a menu, we first consider health. Second is a tie between cost and convenience. That being said, here’s what we ate last week with links to recipes:


Scrambled egg whites and whole wheat toast OR natural peanut butter toast

Green Smoothie: spinach, kale, POM juice (I like White Peach & Green Tea), assorted frozen fruit (usually strawberries, pineapple, peaches, cantaloupe, etc), 1 tbsp flax seed, 1 tbsp chia seed, 1 scoop Green Superfood powder 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, and/or 4 oz plain Greek yogurt. Sometimes I throw in 1 tbsp quick cooking oats as well, usually only when I’m out of protein powder and/or yogurt.



Southwest Caesar Salad: southwest seasoned chicken, spinach, romaine, red pepper, corn, Anaheim pepper, and these fabulous crunchy jalapeño salad toppers from the produce section at HEB. For dressing, I combine Caesar dressing with a little spicy ranch.

Pizza!: organic whole wheat crust, made pizza sauce from Oh, Sweet Basil, Italian mix cheese, turkey pepperoni  (see what I mean by 50/50?! This was the best I could do to fight the pizza cravings!)


Steak with Mango Salsa: stole the entire recipe from Eat Yourself Skinny. Only thing I changed is that I got the pre-made mango salsa from HEB instead of doing all the chopping required for the peach salsa on the original recipe:)

Peppercorn Chicken and Hot Crash Potatoes: season chicken breasts with Sear-n-Crust Peppercorn and Garlic seasoning from HEB, top with Sweet Chili Lime sauce also from HEB. Hot Crash Potatoes I got from Pioneer Woman. Add frozen green beans, season with a little olive oil & Lawry’s seasoned salt- yum!



Fake Almond Joys: got this recipe from FitSugar. I like to add coconut oil to the melted chocolate, and I toast the coconut that goes on top. Tip: make in large batches, because your husband WILL steal them all!

So that’s that for last week! I’ll post this weeks as soon as I figure it out!

So how does you family eat? Let us know when you post a recipe if it’s clean eating, paleo, full fat and delicious, shamelessly easy- whatever!

Welcome to Barefoot Banquet!

I am so excited to start this blog! Let’s start with the goal: to make menu planning less miserable. Together. As a team. Everything is better when you do it with others, so why have I been stressing over menu planning on my own for so long?! I know I can’t be the only one. I dread the end of each week because I know I’m going to have to plan the next menu, which is very much like a slow torturous death. So the genius (desperate) plan behind this blog (public place of begging) is that if we get a community of people sharing their menu plans for the week, everyone else using this blog will have fewer menus to plan themselves! This means I need you! Let’s be friends and eat together and whine about how it’s impossible to make cauliflower tastes like mashed potatoes- I don’t care what you say, they taste like feet.

Seriously, y’all, I need help! If you could only see the hissy fits my poor husband has to deal with when I have to create a menu for the week on my own! Luckily we’re still in the stage where he finds my inability to act like a functioning adult endearing…

Now let’s do this! Feel free to post your menu plans in the comments, by emailing me, or via our Facebook page. If you have a link you got the recipe from, please include it! If you made it up tell us how to re-create it! If you have a picture of your masterpiece, send it too!