Meals and Snacks I Made Ahead This Weekend, June 30, 2019

Lately, my husband has barbecued on Sunday, and we make enough for leftovers on Tuesday night.  That leaves me to find meals for four week days.  This week, my husband will be off on Thursday for the 4th of July, when he’ll probably BBQ again, so I don’t need to cook very much this week.

The foods I made ahead, then, are for our lunches this week and for snacks and desserts for the kids.

Here’s what I made:

Almond Butter Truffles

I think these would make a great holiday dessert.  I definitely won’t make them every week, but my kids are getting old enough that they see all of their peers eating a lot of junk food, and they want treats, too.  We can’t eat gluten and dairy, and I try to keep the kids away from artificial dyes, so there aren’t many traditional sweets that I approve of.  However, I like to make them treats, like this one, that taste great but are still made of relatively healthy ingredients.  I’m hoping they’ll take this model into their adulthood so that they can enjoy healthier treats in moderation.

Peanut Butter Protein Balls

I made two versions of these.  One for the kids and my husband with peanut butter, and one for me with Trader Joe’s mixed nut butter.  We like them, but all of us agree that when I make this next time, I’ll need to cut the amount of honey in half because they’re just too sweet.  I’ve been off all sweets for 17 days now, and I found them much too sweet.  I’m thinking next time I could forego the honey all together.

Peach Pie Overnight Oats

We’ve never tried overnight oats before, so this will be an adventure when we try these tomorrow.  I’m hoping that we like them because I didn’t add any sweetener.  Of course, we love Breakfast Mueseli, but I don’t want to have that much maple syrup.  I’m hoping the Peach Pie Overnight Oats are a nice addition to our breakfast meals.

Hashbrown & Ham Breakfast Bake 

Recipe coming this week for this simple meal.  I made it this week to pack in lunches because making meals ahead for lunches is much cheaper than buying loaves of gluten free bread.

Taco Rice

I seriously can’t get enough of this meal.  I made this on Saturday morning to pack for our lunches for a day at ABA, and we still have leftovers (but not for long!) for a few lunches this week (probably mine.)

Do you have favorite make ahead meals?  If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

 

 

 

 

Meals and Snacks I Made Ahead This Weekend, June 23, 2019

Usually when I make ahead food for the week, I make lots of snacks the kids can have in the afternoon.  Most of the snacks have some type of nut in them, and I usually also put in some protein powder.  Bookworm has had a big appetite for years, but now that PB & J Girl is heading into puberty, her appetite has ramped up, too.  I’ve discovered that if I make snacks with a heavy dose of protein, their satiated longer.

However, Bookworm has been volunteering as an assistant counselor at a kids’ summer camp, and because of different kids’ allergies, he can’t bring peanuts OR other nuts, so the snacks I made are still in the freezer.

This week, Sprout’s had grass fed ground beef on sale early in the week (the sale ended on Wednesday), so I focused on getting some meals and food prep done.

This post contains affiliate links.

I made 2 packages of the filling for Cornbread Taco Bake (this is one of my kids’ absolute favorite meals from My FreezEasy.)

I browned another pound of ground beef and divided it into two packages.  (I’ll use it to add to spaghetti.)

And I made a bowl of Taco Rice.  I don’t know what it is about this recipe, but I’m loving packing it for lunches when I take the kids to ABA therapy.  I simplify the recipe–it’s literally brown rice, ground beef, salsa, and Daiya cheese.

And I made Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars.  (My husband has been running A LOT in the morning, and he likes a “healthier” snack/sweet food at night.)

Do you do weekend meal prep?  If so, what do you usually prepare?

Freezer Friendly Homemade French Fries

100_4630aWe love french fries, but we don’t like the cost of frozen store bought ones–or all of the icky chemicals that come with them.

We never buy store bought frozen french fries anymore.  Now, I prepare them specifically for the freezer, and we can pull out the amount we want on the night we want them.  They are just as convenient as store bought, but cheaper and healthier!  Bonus!

If you’d like to make your own french fries that can be conveniently frozen for later use, here’s what you need to do:

Freezer Friendly Homemade French Fries

Ingredients

Potatoes
Olive Oil
Salt
Optional–Add other seasonings such as garlic powder, onion powder, cumin or oregano

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Peel and wash as many potatoes as you would like. (I use about 6 to 8.)

100_4536Cut each potato in half lengthwise and then cut into strips.  (To save on time, I cut them into steak cut fries.)

Put all the potatoe strips into a bowl, sprinkle salt on top and cover with a good dose of olive oil. If you’re adding optional ingredients, now is the time to do so.100_4538

Use enough oil so that each potato strip has some oil on it, but don’t put too much or the texture won’t be right.  There shouldn’t be a lot of extra oil in the bowl.
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Pour onto a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  (If you’re eating them on the day you’re making them, bake for 20 minutes instead.)
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Remove from oven and cool completely.

Freeze individually on a clean baking sheet.

Then place in a zip lock bag.

When You’re Ready to Eat Them from the Freezer

When you’re ready to eat them, toss the frozen fries on a clean baking sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes until the fries are soft and heated through.

Enjoy!

I shared this post at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, The Gathering Spot #49, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Kids in the Kitchen, Try a New Recipe Tuesday, Delicious Dish Tuesday, How to Tuesdays, Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Allergy Free Wednesday, Welcome Home Wednesday, Tasty Traditions, Gluten Free Fridays.

MyFreezEasy Valentine’s Day Sale

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Do you do anything special for Valentine’s Day?  One year, when I didn’t have a boyfriend, my mom, cousins and I went to Red Lobster as a Valentine’s Day treat to ourselves.  Well, the line was ridiculous, and we ended up waiting for a table from 6 to 9 p.m.!!  Three hours.  When we finally got a table, we weren’t in a very celebratory mood.

Since that experience, I never celebrated Valentine’s Day on the actual day.  Why fight the crowds?  This year, my husband and I will likely celebrate over the weekend, maybe by having date night at home and picking up some sushi.  The problem is that our kids love sushi, so they want to celebrate with us.  😉  We’ll see.

This post contains affiliate links.

As you know, I’ve gotten back into freezer cooking, and two of my favorite resources are Once a Month Meals and MyFreezEasy.  Both services make it so easy to have a freezer cooking session because the companies do all of the planning for you!  I’ll do a comparison post in the next few weeks, but right now, MyFreezEasy is having a Valentine’s Day sale!

This sale runs from today, February 14th through the weekend.  During the sale, the annual membership will run $96 (normally $120), and the monthly membership will run $10 (normally $12).

If you’re on the fence and are not sure you want to commit, follow the link, scroll to the bottom of the page, and fill out the form to try MyFreezEasy for free!  You’ll get a free freezer plan with three recipes to try.  Then you can decide if MyFreezEasy is for you.

Just an FYI, we just had a MyFreezEasy meal last night, Cornbread Taco Bake, which is one of my kids’ favorites.

We also love Chalupa Salad and make it quite frequently (usually when ground beef is on sale).

If you’re looking to start stocking your freezer, you can’t go wrong with this sale.  Make it easy on yourself by trying a menu for free and then buying a monthly membership.  You’re only committing for one month so you can see how this system works for you.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

How do you typically celebrate Valentine’s Day?

 

Chicken Apple Sausage, Kale and Rice Soup – OAMC, Dairy Free

My husband was hungry for this recipe this weekend, so I dug through the archives and found it.  We all enjoyed it (well, except one child), so I thought I’d share it again!

Two things have been abundant in our Tuesday CSA delivery–kale and beets.  Kale is a powerhouse vegetable, but I wanted to find a way to incorporate it into our diet that our kids would like.  (They are great about eating spinach, but kale and Swiss chard have a heartier texture and taste, which they are slowly adapting to.)  I recently found this recipe on food.com, so I adapted it to make a bigger size and add more vegetables.

We loved it and have already made several freezer meals of this that we plan to enjoy in the winter months.

One note–the apple chicken sausage is essential.  The sweet flavor of the apple permeates the entire soup and creates a lovely complement to the vegetables.  I use Trader Joe’s apple chicken sausage.

Apple Chicken Sausage, Kale and Rice Soup

  • 1/2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tsp. dry Italian seasoning
  • 5 chicken apple sausages, cut length-wise in 4 and then diced
  • 5 cups chicken broth (I use homemade)
  • 1 large bunch kale
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • salt and pepper to taste

–Pull the kale off the stem and tear into bite size pieces.  Soak in a bowl of cold water to remove all of the dirt debris.

–Heat oil in a large stock pot.

–Add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic cloves.  Sautee until tender.

–Add the Italian seasoning and stir for one minute.

–Add the sausage and let cook for a few minutes, until the sausage is browned on each side and the juices have been released.  Stir occasionally.

–Add the chicken broth and let the mixture come to a boil.

–Drain the kale, rinse, and add to the boiling pot of soup.

–Add the rice and return the mixture to a boil.

–Turn down the heat to a gently simmer, cover and let cook for 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

I shared this post at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Scratch Cookin’ Tuesday, Tasty Traditions, Gluten Free Fridays, and Try a New Recipe Tuesday.