Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad: Build A Menu

Cilantro Chicken Salad













Doesn’t this Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad look spring fresh and amazing? It is a colorful and deliciously healthy way to welcome in the new season.

Just in case you haven’t noticed … we are big fans of the Build A Menu program! If you are a Molly Green Magazine member, you can download their Dine on a Dime menu and shopping list right from your member page.  You also have a discount code – exclusive for Molly Members to join and start using this fantastic program today!

From Build A Menu

Who says eating on a budget has to be boring? One of our goals here at Build A Menu is to give our members plenty of mouth-watering choices that are surprisingly low cost to make.

Take this recipe for example: Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad on Avocado Serves 4-6 people and costs under $6 at most grocery stores (that’s for the entire recipe, not per person!).

Not only does this recipe look fabulous and taste scrumptious, it costs less than $1 per serving to make! Want more low-cost recipes to feed your crew? Check out what’s on our menu this week.

How does Build a Menu work? Just choose your grocery store, select the recipes you want for the week, print your customized shopping list and you’re done. You’ll always know how much your groceries will cost before you ever get to the store.

This is an “S” meal if you follow the THM plan. We make grocery shopping fast, easy and budget friendly!

Bon Appetit!

~ The Team At Build A Menu

Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad

Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad on Avocado

Recipe type: Main       Cuisine: Chicken        Serves: 6

  • 3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 3 Tbsp mayo
  • 1 Tbsp brown mustard
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 5 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 3 avocados
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Half avocados and remove seeds.
  2. Mix all ingredients together (except avocados) in a small mixing bowl.
  3. Spoon into each avocado half and serve. Enjoy!


PRINT A Copy For Yourself HERE

linking with Works for me Wed 

Mexican Casserole: to feed a crowd

Feed a Crowd - Mexican Casserole













Mexican Casserole

“Here’s a great budget friendly recipe that’s easy to make and feeds a crowd. I fixed it for company this past weekend and it fed plenty of us with leftovers for lunch the next day! Serve it up with a salad and some fresh bakery bread and you’ve got an easy meal your guests will love and won’t bust your budget. In fact, you can get all the ingredients for the casserole for around $10 at most grocery stores. Not bad, huh? Give it a try, I think you’re going to love it.”  ~ Karee/ Build A Menu 

Mexican Casserole to feed a crowd

Prep time:  

Cook time:  
Total time:  
Serves: 10

Mexican Casserole

A great budget friendly, crowd pleasing recipe!

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. In a large skillet, brown meat and drain off fat.
  3. Stir in beans, tomatoes, onion, taco seasoning, soup and water.
  4. Simmer over medium-low heat until everything is well combined and heated through.
  5. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish.
  6. Put down a layer of crushed tortilla chips, followed by a layer of the meat/bean mixture, then half of the cheddar cheese.
  7. Repeat layers.
  8. Cover with foil and bake for 20-30 min, or until bubbly. Let sit for 5-10 min before serving.

Print your own copy to try out this delicious feast of a casserole today – HERE

Frugal healthy lunch ideas: works for me Wednesday

frugal healthy lunch

Frugal healthy lunch ideas from Midge

Hi all! It’s Molly’s cousin Midge here. Molly knows I’ve been working hard to find new ways to be frugal and for this new year – I’ve set some personal goals for my health as well.

Fortunately for me, my Molly Green magazine membership will allow me to have exclusive access to the Dine on a Dime menu planner from Build a Menu (coming soon) AND I get a big discount on a full membership to BAM which includes the fabulous Trim Healthy Mama recipes to help me even more.

Now, I know you may be thinking “lucky Midge – being related to Molly and all”  but, this is not just a family deal - YOU get the same benefits with a Molly Membership – see,  you can join the Molly Family too!

So now, about those frugal healthy lunches . . .

I’ve been making my very own kind of “Lean Cuisine” meals for the week.  When I do my batch cooking  or prepare evening meals – I set aside food to build the lunches with the tips as follows:

  1. Measure 1 cup of extra brown rice to add to broth. Freeze in baggies for quick access.
  2. Place portions of rice in freezer containers and add chopped veggies for a frugal, healthy homemade lean cuisine.
  3. Use broccoli stems to chop small pieces to add to rice for lunch stir-fry or to salads.
  4. Use the tops of tomatoes and bottom portion and chop for a fresh pico de gallo - to add to beans, salad, or chicken,  a Mexican rice dish or fish – for an instant burst of flavor that will light up your taste buds!  pico de gallo
  5.  Use tops and bottoms of white onions and peppers you might normally toss out for the same purpose. Chop ‘em small and throw them into sauce or soup too.
  6. Freeze washed berries and grapes individually on a tray and then divide them into portion sizes for your smoothies and health drinks.
  7. Chop bite size pieces of leftover meats – chicken, fish, steak – and freeze in portion sizes to go into your rice or healthy pasta for a protein boost at lunch.
  8. Once cooled, freeze lunch size portions of your homemade chick broth  in Mason jars or other freezer containers – add leftover rice, chicken, and veggies for a hearty hot lunch.
  9. Use frozen broth to make a homemade Egg Drop Soupfrugal healthy lunch: egg drop soup
  10. Freeze stuffed bell peppers  for a flavorful lunch – use leftover ingredients of rice and lean ground beef, turkey, or venison to fill them with.

Frugal healthy lunches can be yours with just a little bit of prep and planning ahead of time.

Don’t wait to get your Molly Membership so you can take advantage of the big discount for Build a Menu and have the Trim Healthy Mama recipes at your finger tips – or just use the Molly Membership to enjoy the ever frugal Dine on a Dime menu planner!

Go here to get your first month for only $1 and only $7.95 ever after. 

linking with Works for Me Wed

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Easy Allergy-Friendly Lunches~ Works For Me

Last month I shared my trick for fast-fix salads at home. Today I thought I’d share about how I prep quick-grab lunches for my husband. This time of year he’s working harvest, which means 13 hour days. And since he’s gluten-free, he can’t just grab a sandwich and go. Therefore, I’ve been spending Sunday afternoons prepping a week’s worth of lunches that he can grab. That way I don’t have to worry about it again and he has a healthy lunch ready to go.

Last week was just a partial week of harvest and I fixed him some salads with two kinds of beans, marinated grilled chicken and cheese. I actually had two boxes of Ziploc bowls that I’d gotten free on a promo and never used. The salads worked perfectly in them. I prepped the salads, boiled up a bunch of hard boiled eggs and filled sandwich bags with some mini carrots, string cheese and almonds. I also made up some brown rice with lentils and peas and put them in bowls as well (not pictured.) I put some dressing in tiny cups and put some yogurt nearby. Now hubby has all his lunch items on one shelf and can easily grab what he wants.

This week I made a TON of potato salad. I filled six bowls with it for hubs and kept a tub for us to eat as well. I made my version of Southwest chicken salad. I used a package of the cubed chicken I’d prepped from my Zaycon foods purchase, mixed it with black beans and corn and dumped in some taco seasoning. Then I topped them with cheese.

I then cooked up a bunch of rice and added the rest of the chicken/corn/bean mixture to that to make a “rice bowl” type dish. I had some extra taco sauce packets from Taco Bell in my odds & ends drawer so I stuck a couple right on top of each bowl.

Another week down! Here’s a pic of things “in process”.

Here’s a shot of the rice bowl. You can put pretty much any kind of meat & veggies in these and have them come out well.

I took another shot of the fridge this week to show how I label dishes with my pink hair tape labels. I like these because they’re cheap, easy to write on, and peel right off. I decided I’d better label them after hubs took two of the same dish for lunch last week. I thought they were see-through enough (or that one could lift the lid and look?!), but I guess not. ;-)

Oh! And if you look at the cost of a pre-made salad bowl you’ll find that they’re right at $3!! And rice bowls are about the same, I believe. CRAZY! it’s definitely worth the time to make your own. Same with potato salad. It’s very inexpensive to make, but costs a fortune to buy pre-made.

What about you? Do you have any easy lunch tricks or tricks for dealing with allergies or intolerances?

Linking up to Tackle it Tuesday and Works for Me Wednesday.

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Guest Post~ Promoting Healthier Meals for the Family

 Guest post by Liz Nelson

 Have you ever wondered why organic foods at the grocery store are so much more expensive although less money was spent in the insecticides and growth additives? You’d think that organic means of eating would be cheaper. Well, they can be. Growing your own edibles can go a long way to eating healthier while spending less money. However, what are some ways that you can entice children to eat these healthier vegetables and fruits if they aren’t accustomed to the idea?

1. Spinach - Many children are less likely to eat boiled or canned spinach based purely on the texture of this plant. Although experts say that boiled spinach may be better for you than it is raw, it’s far easier to coax a child into eating a salad prepared partially with spinach leaves and lettuce. In fact, don’t even mention what is in the salad for the thought of eating spinach may be more than the child can bear.

2. Desserts - A great deal of families will often have a desert after dinner. Instead of preparing a sugar-loaded treat, why not prepare something along the lines of pineapple or strawberries? Many fruits can easily be substituted for deserts simply because they are naturally sweetened. Not only can fruits be used to sooth the sweet-tooth in your family, but they are very healthy most of which containing anti-oxidants, vitamin C, and a great deal of other physical benefits.

3. Soda Pop - Soft drinks should be viewed more as an uncommon treat for the family instead of a staple. If your family simply has a hard time of letting go of flavored drinks with meal time, why not try offering flavored waters? Brands like Mio can add a variety of flavors to water without adding saturated fats or calories to the drink. In fact, a slice of orange or lemon in the water can make the drink look fancy while flavoring the beverage.

4. Barbeque - One of the best ways to prepare meats is by throwing it on the barbeque. When you’re cooking on the grill, you don’t use methods in which to prevent the meat from sticking to the pan such as butter or sprays. Fats and greases drip off of the meats decreasing the amount of these that your family will consume. This is aside from the fact that barbequed meats have a flavor to them that simply can’t be duplicated.

5. Cereals - One of the reasons why most households has a box or bag of cereal in the cupboard is because of convenience. It is quicker to allow your family to quickly fill up a bowl than it is to prepare a nutritious breakfast. Try to make time to prepare eggs, wheat toast, and orange juice for breakfast. The proteins themselves will help the family feel better throughout the day.

Having healthier habits doesn’t have to mean that more money is spent on items you need in order to promote this lifestyle. In fact, a great amount of eating healthier shouldn’t cost you much, if anything at all. Growing your own fruits and vegetables can be accomplished year round if you set up your own indoor kitchen garden. By reusing the seeds from most of them, you can create a continuous flow of edibles within the home that are as natural as you can possibly get them. Enjoy the “fruits” of your labor.

This is a guest post by Liz Nelson from She is a freelance writer and blogger from Houston. Questions and comments can be sent to: liznelson17 @

Apples, Apples and more Apples!

Midge copyGuest blog by: Midge

“Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness.” — Jane Austen

This excerpt was taken from the SEPTEMBER 2012 ISSUE OF MOLLY MAGAZINE which helps you to organize your pantry, save money and more!  ALSO, be sure not to miss out on all of the fun links to recipes and learning activities I have shared at the end of the blog! 

Lately, I have been eating, sleeping, and dreaming about . . . APPLES!

apples graphicFall is my favorite time of year. The weather cools down and chilly breezes can be felt as I walk to the mailbox each morning. In the afternoon, our local park is abuzz with soccer coaches’ whistles and the quiet hum of laughter filled children playing and running. An occasional fall rain shower brings the smell of the wet street and dying grass to your senses. It is also the season of Thanksgiving and apples!

My mother and father-in-law came for a visit recently. They brought three buckets full of small apples from their apple trees at the ranch. I have never had that many apples in my home before and had no idea what to do with them!

One look at those apples and I knew that I was not going to let any of them go to waste. I opened a cookbook and picked out a recipe that called for the largest amount of apples with the least amount of other ingredients and got set to go to work. I used an apple peeler/corer we received as one of our wedding gifts (and yes, this was the first time I used it!). I peeled, cut, sliced, and then repeated the process until I was tired of turning the crank on my new kitchen gadget. Finally, I piled all of them in the slow cooker with a few other sparse ingredients; and then let it cook for about 8-10 hours.

The reason you don’t see the recipe included in this letter is because it did not quite turn out the way I intended! It was supposed to make apple butter but instead it was more like apple sauce. The good news was our little one year old Sarah ate it like a champ (unlike the CARROT BABY FOOD DISASTER)! And my husband, a big fan of apple butter, had four helpings at one setting. Compared to my one small spoonful, I started to feel like I was wimping out on enjoying those apples!

After all was said and done I still had 2 ½ buckets full of apples left over and had met at least three little worms in the buckets in addition to the worm which managed to get stuck in my dishwasher (don’t even ask). I remember drawing book worms as a kid on my reading reports. I guess I never thought that this idea had to originate from somewhere!!! It came from my apple buckets!



Help! I want to make or create something special with all of these apples. Fall is the time for apples and apple pies but if I have to eat them all in the next month or two, I fear I will never want to look at another apple again!  How do you store your apples? What are a few of your favorite apple recipes? My husband keeps saying that he has a hankering for an apple crisp dessert. Do you have a great recipe to make this?

Love ya,

Midge, the real live book worm

You can find Molly’s response here: SEPTEMBER 2012 ISSUE OF MOLLY MAGAZINE



Caramel Apple Salad from Life with Moore Babies

Tree to Table Applesauce with no added sugar! From Training Happy Hearts

3 apple recipes plus tips for kids in the kitchen from Kids with Food Allergies

Crafts and Fun:

Torn Paper Apple Tree from 3 Dinosaurs

Apple Pie Scented Play Dough from To the Moon and Back

Melted Crayon Leaves and Apples by Life with Moore Babies


Nature Study ~ Apple Trees from Mom’s Heart

FREE apple calendar cards from 3 Dinosaurs

A Week with Apples from Mercy is New



Sneak Peek Monday~ HALF OFF SALE!

What kind of vacation can you look forward to on a frugal budget? You’d be surprised!

Rest, relaxation, and adventure don’t have to cost a bundle! Explore summer fun and vacation ideas plus innovative ways to save, in this edition of . . . Molly’s Money-Saving Magazine -Frugal Family Vacations.

Do your plans for the coming months include some time for rest and relaxation? Even in these days of uncertainty and change, it’s possible for nearly every family to enjoy a vacation, “stay-cation,” or “day-cation.” Discover great vacation ideas –even for those that can’t afford a vacation right now!

This issue is loaded with ideas, tips, recipes, checklists, and more to help you plan for those special family outings –all within your budget! Here’s a little more of what’s inside:

  • Keeping it All together –Budget Your Vacation: There are oodles of economical vacation ideas plus money-saving tips on: transportation, lodging, entertainment, food, and souvenirs. And don’t miss this! Two special forms –Budgeting for Your Vacation and the Vacation Checklist!
  • Feather Your Nest –Frugally –A Painting Makeover Project: An old curb side chair from someone’s trash transforms into a beautiful treasure! The cost? $0.00. Check out the photos!
  • Pull Up a Chair –Reasons to Celebrate in June and July: You’ll have plenty of reasons to pull out the picnic basket and fire up the backyard barbecue grill! Try these favorite wrap ideas and recipes for Caesar, Mexican, Chicken Salad, and Hummus and Veggie fillings. Plus more!
  • Parenting That Pays –Honoring Our Fathers and/or Husbands: Wonderful, heart-felt tributes to some special dads are shared by many, highlighting something learned from their fathers –there’s much you’ll admire and appreciate from every one of these responses!
  • Something Old, Something New –An Old Baking Table Turned Beverage Station: Fixing a cup of coffee or cocoa is a snap in Eleanor’s kitchen now –with her all-in-one station spot for hot beverage preparation and serving. See the photos!
  • Goal-Getter Spotlight: Elizabeth shared a life-long dream of her husband’s, but farmland without a house takes some creativity! You’ll want to read her story.
  • Readers Write In: How did one reader’s family spend their “stay-cation”? What do you pack for a 3,000+ mile trip with kids? You’ll want to pack and take along this travel tote bag! Monica tells you how and shares some terrific must-read tips!

With over 40 pages, there are so many ways to save and a lot to learn. . . a small price to pay compared to the great benefits you’ll receive and the money you’ll be saving once you dig into this magazine! Buy this E-Magazine today for ONLY $2.50!

Molly members already have this magazine in your member page! Simply click the “Molly Members” tab above, log in, and search out June 2009.

If you’re not a Molly member, check out everything you receive and sign up now on our SUBSCRIPTION PAGE!


Midge copyGuest Blog by: Midge

I recently bought a full box of super delicious peaches on a special deal. Usually, my family and extended family will finish off one box in a matter of four to five days. This time I managed to rescue some of our peaches before they all disappeared and decided to try some fun recipes with them. My primary goals were to freeze some, make a cobbler, and finish up with some delightfully peach-infused French toast.


For the peach cobbler, I selected this recipeFARM FRESH PEACH COBBLER and used four fresh, sliced peaches. If you have been following along on my baking adventures you may remember I love to select recipes with easy ingredients and where most, if not all, the ingredients can already be found in my own pantry. This recipe really surprised me! Not only did it have a small list of ingredients BUT it used Bisquick as its main ingredient! Wow, it was delicious, easy to prepare and a very frugal choice.



Next, I wanted to try this recipe: GRILLED PEACH SALAD. But, alas, since my grill is still out of propane I had to hold off on trying to grill peaches. Instead I merely sliced four peaches and laid them on a pizza pan. I used about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of melted butter and lightly drizzled it on the peach slices, making sure to put it between the slices too, then I sprinkled them with cinnamon and sugar.


Next, I placed them in the oven baking them at 350 degrees for about ten minutes. After ten minutes, I flipped each peach slice over, added the rest of the melted butter and sprinkled on a little more cinnamon and sugar. I placed them back in the oven for ten minutes but I would recommend only about five more minutes as they started to fall apart after ten. When they had cooled, I put them in a Ziploc storage bag and flattened out the peaches to store in the freezer. I am planning to warm them up later and serve them topped with vanilla ice cream! What a fun treat for fall or winter!

I cut four more peaches into slices and placed them in a plastic bag stored in the refrigerator. I am saving them for this recipe: OVERNIGHT BAKED FRENCH TOAST. After so much time in the kitchen this past Sunday, I put off the French toast recipe for last. So, the peaches are still sitting in my fridge waiting to be put to good use!  :)



Which dishes do you like to make with peaches? How do you store your summer peaches for use during the cold winter months? 

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Memorial Day Activities From Food to Fun

Midge copyGuest Blog by: Midge

Hiya! I have been searching high and low throughout the world wide web in order to compile this pretty cool list of Memorial Day Activities for you and your family! We will travel all the way from food to fun in this roundup of links! So, pour yourself a cup of joe (or a diet beverage of your choice ~ my favorite) and start planning your weekend!!!


Dinner and Dessert Ideas

For the Salad: STRAWBERRY BBQ CHICKEN SPINACH AND QUINOA SALAD WITH BACON, AVOCADO, AND GOAT CHEESE I would probably substitute the goat cheese with a bit of Gouda but ~ man oh man~ if the title of this salad doesn’t just strike me as delectable! 

For Dinner: COFFEE INFUSED BABY BACK RIBS ~ Seriously, WHAT? Wow, this sounds interesting and delicious! Now, you can have your coffee and eat it too.

For a Side Dish: JACK’S POTATO SALAD  Everyone has their own “secret” recipe for potato salad (at least most of the grandmas I know have one!). But, this one is distinctly from “Jack”, I suppose, and it looks OH so yummy . . .

GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE PANCAKE LAYER CAKE One look at this dessert and you may just fall out of your chair . . . and its gluten- free. It is a bit of red, white, and blue with a whole lot of scrumptious. Who’s up for trying something new?

Fun for Kids 

Gardening: PLANT A SURPRISE GARDEN This blog post warmed my heart. Memorial Day weekend is a great weekend for planting a few small container pots with your children.

CraftsPreschool: FUN AND MESSY AMERICAN FLAG! Oh yes, I love it when my little one plays with glue and glitter. Well, okay, not really . . .  glitter is my least favorite crafty item! BUT, this flag looks so fun to make I may just have to let my sweet one glitter away!

For School Aged Kids: FREE E-BOOK WITH TEACHING IDEAS FOR KIDS AND WORKSHEETS! This is a very complete study guide regarding ideas for helping your children learn about Memorial Day and celebrate it with style!

Fun and Crafts for Moms
PATRIOTIC SAND CANDLES Super simple craft with colored sand and candles!

DRIFTWOOD FLAG What’s trending?  Driftwood and painted driftwood . . .  need I say anymore? Click on the link to check it out!

RECYCLED PALLET MADE INTO A PORCH SWING There is something always “hip” about taking a pallet and turning it in to a useful and rustic looking “something else”. This porch swing takes the cake!


What are your plans for Memorial Day? Are you planning a weekend full of activities or a weekend full of napping?  Hope your Memorial Day weekend is wonderful no matter what you decide to do! ;)

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Freebie! Thinking Outside the Lettuce: Inspiring Lettuce-free Salads [Kindle Edition]

MGM_Molly's Pick of the Day_freebie_graphic (1)

How about some new salad inspiration?

Thinking Outside the Lettuce: Inspiring Lettuce-free Salads [Kindle Edition]

Admit it, the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of salad is… yes, lettuce. And, oh, what a shame! Lettuce-less salads have been enjoyed for centuries by people of many different cultures.

This book contains 30 original lettuce-free salad recipes drawing upon a variety of cultural influences. The salads in this book can be enjoyed as a side dish, main dish, or even as desert. If salad has become a blah moment on your otherwise exciting plate, or if you’re just looking for some fresh ideas, let this book help you start thinking outside the lettuce.


*As always, Kindle freebies are free at the time of posting. Be sure to check the price before purchasing.*