Category Archives: food

Meal Prep: DIY Bagged Salad Mix

It can be hard when you are trying to eat healthier especially when the cost of the healthier foods can be so much higher than the junk food! Here is one way that we have found to save a little money and make our salads a bit more nutritious by being able to choose better varieties of green stuff to go in them:

 

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We cut all the lettuces, a mixture of iceberg and romaine, into bite-size pieces. (We also added a bit of baby spinach to the mix.)

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Then we washed everything and spun it dry in the salad spinner. (You want to make sure it is as dry as possible before bagging it.)

We layered a couple of big baggies with a paper towel and carefully placed our lettuce and spinach inside.

Then we squeezed out all the air and sealed them.

They have been in the fridge all week and still look pretty. (You will also want to change out the paper towel frequently.) 

The kids really enjoyed practicing some of the kitchen skills they’ve learned and it seems to make them more interested in trying out new things when they are involved in the process.

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2019 Meal Plans

These are some of our most recent meal plans after converting some of our favorite recipes to be healthier with inspiration from Trim Healthy Mama. I find it easier to plan out my meals so I can make fewer trips to the grocery store. I always hate it when it’s almost dinner time and I have no idea what I should make. A little planning goes a long way to help me keep my sanity… well what’s left of it that is.

I also find it easier to go ahead and plan a day or time to prep some of the items ahead of time instead of waiting until the last minute. I will boil eggs, cook chicken and ground beef, prep veggies and all ahead of time so that when it comes time to make dinner it seems to go so much easier.

When I have time I also try to make a couple of extra batches of our favorites so I can put some in the freezer for emergency or quick meals. I’ll try to include some tips and tricks along with the menu plans to make your life a little easier too.

Meal Plan: May 26 – June 1, 2019

Sensible Scrambled Eggs

I love eggs whether it be fried, boiled, deviled, egg salad, omelets, or even a scrambled egg sandwich. They are so easy to make and so good for you. Here is a quick and healthier version of the scrambled eggs that we eat on a regular basis.

I just made a couple of sandwiches for Mr. Awesome and myself yesterday when we were feeling a bit hangry in between meals and they certainly hit the spot. These would also be really good for a quick breakfast with some sausage or bacon and a side of Super Simple Sauteed Spinach.

Sensible Scrambled Eggs

Ingredients:

Directions:

Whisk together all of the ingredients except the butter.

Melt the butter in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat.

Pour in the eggs and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Give them a little stir and flip to make sure everything is cooking.

Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Serve.

For a sandwich:

You can cook them as directed above or flip instead of stirring so you have a firmer egg.

I like to use a little mayonnaise on my wheat bread and some people like to add a slice of cheese and or tomato.

You could probably get away with some cooked bacon too for a BET instead of a BLT? Lol… anyway you eat them will be fine.

Enjoy!


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Cover Image by Markéta Machová from Pixabay

Protein Power Pancakes (3 variations)

This is a variation from our regular pancake recipe that adds a little extra protein and good stuff to get your day started off on the right foot! You can add other yummies like blueberries, chocolate chips, or even some pureed pumpkin to make these even better. The variations are countless.

Below the first recipe is a recipe for sourdough pancakes and a ‘hybrid recipe’ too that we use on occasion when time is crunched. These can also be used to make waffles as well. We usually make these for breakfast and have enough left over for lunch. Sometimes I will also make a couple batches and freeze them too.

Why don’t you give them a try with our favorite Blueberry Syrup (with healthier options) or Homemade Chocolate Syrup (with healthier options) and a little bit of whipped cream? Just because we are on a journey to healthier eating doesn’t mean we can’t still indulge in some of our favorites. We just need to look at them a little differently and change them a tad to make them work with our new way of eating.

Note: Don’t worry if you can’t find the ‘special’ ingredients as these will taste fine either way. I like to search Amazon for the ingredients or add them to my Walmart Grocery Pickup orders so I’m not spending the whole day looking for them! The links will take you to the products that we are currently using which may change from time to time as we are still on a learning curve here.

Protein Power Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 T. honey, optional
  • 1 1/2-2 cups milk, add a little more if it seems too thick
  • 2 eggs, beaten (for fluffier waffles separate the eggs and beat the whites in a separate bowl. Gently fold into the batter and cook as directed.)
  • 4 T. butter, melted
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour (You could try using whole wheat flour or oat flour too.)
  • 1 T. plus 1 t. baking powder
  • 2  t. mineral salt
  • 2-4 T. sugar (I have been using Stevia in place of the sugar)
  • 1 scoop protein powder, optional (We like to use the vanilla flavor)
  • 1 T. MCT oil powder, optional

Directions:

In a large bowl whisk together the honey, eggs, butter, and milk.

In a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir just until well moistened.

 (The finished product will be tough if it is over stirred.)

Cooking instructions:

For pancakes:
Heat a greased griddle or skillet over medium-high heat.

Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle.

Flip when the top is bubbly. Don’t mash down!

Cook just until the other side is browned.

For waffles:
Preheat your waffle iron.

Spray iron with cooking spray and then pour about 1/3 cup of batter onto the iron.

Cook as directed or until the steaming stops.

These can also be frozen a reheated in the microwave or toaster.


Protein Power Sourdough Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 T. honey, optional
  • 1 1/2-2 cups milk, add a little more if it seems too thick
  • 1 egg, beaten (for fluffier waffles separate the eggs and beat the whites in a separate bowl. Gently fold into the batter and cook as directed.)
  • 4 T. butter, melted
  • 1 c. sourdough starter
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour (You could try using whole wheat flour or oat flour too.)
  • 1 T. plus 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 2  t. mineral salt
  • 2-4 T. sugar (I have been using Stevia in place of the sugar)
  • 1 scoop protein powder, optional (We like to use the vanilla flavor)
  • 1 T. MCT oil powder, optional

Directions:

In a large bowl whisk together the honey, eggs, butter, and milk.

Gently stir in the sourdough starter.

In a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir just until well moistened.

 (The finished product will be tough if it is over stirred.)

Cooking instructions:

For pancakes:
Heat a greased griddle or skillet over medium-high heat.

Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle.

Flip when the top is bubbly. Don’t mash down!

Cook just until the other side is browned.

For waffles:
Preheat your waffle iron.

Spray iron with cooking spray and then pour about 1/3 cup of batter onto the iron.

Cook as directed or until the steaming stops.

These can also be frozen a reheated in the microwave or toaster.


Protein Power Hybrid Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 T. honey, optional
  • 1 1/2-2 cups water, add a little more if it seems too thick
  • 1 c. sourdough starter
  • 2 c. ready-made pancake mix (We like the Krusteaz brand from Walmart)
  • 1 scoop protein powder, optional (We like to use the vanilla flavor)
  • 1 T. MCT oil powder, optional

Directions:

In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients.

Gently stir in the sourdough starter and honey, add the water a little at a time to get the right consistency.

 (The finished product will be tough if it is over stirred.)

Cooking instructions:

For pancakes:
Heat a greased griddle or skillet over medium-high heat.

Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle.

Flip when the top is bubbly. Don’t mash down!

Cook just until the other side is browned.

For waffles:
Preheat your waffle iron.

Spray iron with cooking spray and then pour about 1/3 cup of batter onto the iron.

Cook as directed or until the steaming stops.

These can also be frozen a reheated in the microwave or toaster.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Stuffed Mushroom Omelet

This is such a yummy way to start your day and we love this with mushrooms but you could really use any kind of vegetable you like and maybe even add some bacon or sausage to make it a little bit heartier. Some of us like to eat this with a side of Super Simple Sauteed Spinach.

This could work for lunches and dinner too for those crazy days when you just don’t feel like cooking much or when you haven’t been to the grocery store in a while.

Stuffed Mushroom Omelet

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs (or use 1 egg and 1 egg white)
  • 1-2 T. milk or cream
  • 1/3 c. parmesan cheese, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste (we like to use mineral salt or Lawry’s garlic salt)
  • 1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 2-4 T. butter
  • 1-2 c. shredded cheese
  • 1 t. nutritional yeast, optional
  • bacon bits, optional
  • chives, optional

Directions:

Beat eggs in a small bowl. Mix in the milk, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper until blended.

Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir mushrooms about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat more butter in the pan, if needed.

Pour in the egg mixture; as the eggs set gently lift the edges, letting the uncooked mixture flow underneath.

Once the eggs are mostly cooked sprinkle with shredded cheese and add the cooked mushrooms.

Carefully fold the omelet in half, cook 1-2 minutes and then flip and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.

Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and garnish with bacon bits and/or chives as desired.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Super Simple Sauteed Spinach

This is such an easy and delicious way to get some greens into your diet. They are good served with any meal as well. I know I always wanted to eat my spinach so I could be strong like Popeye but most kids nowadays don’t know who Popeye is and they don’t want anything to do with green veggies. My kiddos love this stuff though!

Super Simple Sauteed Spinach

Ingredients:

Directions:

Heat the oil or butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the spinach to the skillet and cover; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle in the seasonings and cover again for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and/or nutritional yeast, if desired.

Serve immediately.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Super Yummy Caulitaters

When Mr. Awesome made the decision to give up some of his favorite foods I knew I had to get creative with some alternatives to the potato dishes that we eat so frequently. I had tried to make some ‘fake taters’ before without success but this time we finally had a winner.

This version is close to what they have in the Trim Healthy Mama books but may not be entirely on the plan as I have added a few extra ingredients which takes them to a whole nother level! If your crew isn’t entirely sold on the idea of cauliflower taters then try using half potatoes and half cauliflower, to begin with. These are really good on top of Shepherd’s Pie in a Skillet as well! (You can sneak some extra veggies and/or spinach into that recipe as well!)

Super Yummy Caulitaters

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 c. cauliflower florets (can be fresh or frozen)
  • 4 T. butter
  • 2-3 T. sour cream
  • 1/3 c. parmesan cheese
  • 1 t. nutritional yeast, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste (we like to use mineral salt or Lawry’s garlic salt)
  • bacon bits, optional
  • chives, optional

Directions:

Steam or boil the cauliflower until tender.

Drain well, pressing down a bit to get out as much water as possible.

Place into the food processor and add the remaining ingredients except for bacon bits and chives.

Blend until smooth and season to taste.

Garnish with bacon bits and/or chives, if desired.

Serve with any meal where you normally serve mashed potatoes.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Manly Meatloaf

This recipe just happened to come about as Mr. Awesome decided he wanted to start eating healthier. I had already done my grocery shopping for the week so I just decided to tweak a few recipes to make them a bit healthier. I needed a name for this and he said it was a ‘manly meatloaf’ so that’s what we’ll call it from now on. It has also earned a repeating spot on our meal planning calendar.

I have been scouring the Trim Healthy Mama books for some inspiration as well and will be posting many more recipes soon! This one was adapted from my recipe for Upside-Down Meatloaf.

Manly Meatloaf

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb ground beef, ground turkey, or a mixture of ground beef and turkey/pork
  • 3 1/2 c. oatmeal (or 14 packs of the instant oatmeal)
  • 1-1/2 c. buttermilk (or add 1 T. vinegar to regular milk)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 t. salt
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 c. veggies, chopped (I used the California blend veggies and some baby spinach from Walmart this time but you could use just about anything you like.)
  • 1-2 c. shredded cheese, optional
  • nutritional yeast, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Lightly grease a 13 x 9 pan or 2-5×9 inch loaf pans.

Mix remaining ingredients and put into the pan(s).

Top with shredded cheese, if desired.

Sprinkle with nutritional yeast before or after baking, if desired.

Bake 45 minutes or until juices run clear.

We served this with some caulitaters (Mr. Awesome says he actually likes them better than real potatoes) and a salad.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

10 Foods to Fight Depression & Anxiety in Kids

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Statistics are grim: 1/3 of our kids and teens experience anxiety or depression, and we’ve seen a massive increase in recent years.

May 6th is Childhood Depression Awareness Day – but rather than figure OUT if and when our kids have depression (or anxiety!!), wouldn’t it be better to PREVENT and actually HEAL from it!?!?

Don’t let your kids be a statistic… grab a copy of this FREE download: 10 Foods to Fight Depression & Anxiety in Kids today!

I just grabbed my FREE copy and I can’t wait to try out some of these great recipes!

**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. Thank you!

Sign up Today! Raising Adventurous Eaters – 3-step solution even for picky kids

Image by tookapic from Pixabay 

Ah, dinner time.

That moment in the day where the whole family comes together, enjoys a nourishing meal, and takes a genuine interest in one another’s day…

(or maybe…not?)

If your mealtimes feel a little more like Looney Tunes let the Tasmanian Devil loose around your kitchen table…or the princess from the pea-under-the-mattress story stopped by to give commentary on each item on the plate…you’re not alone.

And I might have a solution for you.

I’ve been checking out some tips from the teacher behind the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse, an online cooking class for kids. She’s got so many ideas about strategies for peaceful dinners, fostering healthy eaters, and dealing with picky ones, and she’s sharing them all in a (free!) live online event next week:

Raising Adventurous Eaters: Proven 3-Step Process to End Mealtime Madness and Get Your Kids to Eat Healthy ​​​​​(even if they’re picky!)

Katie Kimball, who is a teacher and mom of 4, will show you:

  • How to WIN Every Time You Play the Game of Dinner with Your Kids (and your kids win too!)
  • THE Snacktime Rule That Will be Your New Best Friend
  • Why WHEN You Serve Veggies Totally Matters
  • Power Struggle Diffusers to Make Family Mealtimes Peaceful (even if you have picky eaters)
  • How to Make the Clean Plate Club Totally Unnecessary
  • 3 Choices to Give Your Kids That Will Make Healthy Food a Reality in Your House — but They Still Think They’re in Control
  • Quick Phrases for Your “Parenting Toolbox” That Ease Decision Fatigue at the End of the Day
  • How to Leverage Your Unfair Advantage in the Kitchen (= More Veggies in Your Kids!)

Are you ready to experience a family dinner that everyone enjoys – even the adults?

You won’t want to miss this free event – it’s time to flip the script on “kid food” and raise healthy, adventurous eaters!

RESERVE YOUR SEAT FOR THE LIVE EVENT 

P.S. The training has 4 times to choose from so it’s even easier to get there:

  • Monday, April 29 at 7pm EDT (4pm PDT)
  • Monday, April 29 at 10pm EDT (7pm PDT)
  • Tuesday, April 30 at 2pm EDT (11am PDT)
  • Thursday, May 2 at 10am EDT (7am PDT)

It will be recorded but signing up is the only way to get the replay!

Sizzlin’ Skillet Steak

I know sometimes there are recipes or foods that just kind of stay away from because of one reason or another. Well, steak was one of those for me as they always turned out tough when I cooked them.

Then there might come along a certain someone, aka Mr. Awesome, who really likes his steak. I tried to convince him that I was incapable of cooking steak but he refused to give up on me. He has made some really great steaks on the grill but I really don’t grill that much anymore either so I wasn’t interested in trying that method.

After a little trial and error and a few burnt steaks, I’ve finally come up with an almost foolproof method that works for me. Now I do use my cast iron skillet for this so I don’t know how well this will work if you use something other than cast iron. These usually turn our about medium rare so you may need to adjust the cooking times for your preferred level of doneness too.

If you cook the veggies before you cook your steak you get a whole new level of taste. This method usually results in a nice crust too. This is really so good that I’ve even impressed myself with this.

Sizzlin’ Skillet Steak

Ingredients:

  • 2-6 T. butter
  • 1 steak (we usually use ribeyes that at about 1 inch thick)
  • Garlic salt (we like Lawry’s Garlic Salt with Parsley and it looks really pretty too)
  • pepper
  • sliced onions, mushrooms, green peppers for toppings (optional)

Directions:

Season both sides of your steak with garlic salt and pepper.

Heat your cast iron skillet on medium-high heat.

Add 2-3 Tablespoons of butter and let melt.

Once melted, you can saute the vegetables until tender, if you choose. **

Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.

**If not using vegetables go directly to the next step but don’t add more butter to the pan.

Add another 2-3 Tablespoons of butter and let melt but don’t let it burn.

When the butter is melted and hot carefully place your steak in the pan.

Don’t touch it or move, just let it be for about 3-5 minutes.

Now carefully flip the steak.

Don’t touch it or move, just let it be for about 3-5 minutes.

Remove it from the heat and let it rest for another 3-5 minutes.

Serve with a simple salad, some baked potatoes, garlic bread, and top with sauteed veggies.

Enjoy!

**This post does contain affiliate links to products we use. We may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if a purchase is made through links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. Thank you!

Super Easy Power Cooker Potatoes

I  know you can pop a potato in the microwave for a quick bite to eat but when you have as many people in your house as we do, everyone seems to want a potato at the same time. The microwave can’t cook them fast enough and the oven seems like it takes forever.

In comes our superhero of the kitchen, our Power Cooker XL, which can whip up some baked potatoes in a hurry. You can cook up a few extra to have on hand for a quick meal or snack during the week or you can also wrap the extras in foil and freeze them for later.

Super Easy Power Cooker Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 6-10 potatoes of similar size
  • 1 c. water
Toppings (optional)
  • butter
  • sour cream
  • ranch
  • bacon bits
  • chives
  • salt and pepper
  • shredded cheese

Directions:

Scrub your potatoes well and poke them all over with a fork.

Place the steamer rack in your power cooker and place the potatoes on the rack.

Add the water.

Set the manual cook time to 12 minutes for small potatoes and up to 20 minutes for larger potatoes.

Place the lid on making sure that the pressure release is closed.

When the cooker is finished let it sit until the pressure releases on it’s on.

Top your potatoes with whatever you like.

For Crispier skin:

(takes a little bit longer but so worth it)

Rub the cooked potatoes with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes.

Enjoy!

**This post does contain affiliate links to products we use. We may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if a purchase is made through links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. Thank you!