Meal Plan Monday

How is it Monday already?! I feel like I just published last week’s edition of Meal Plan Monday! Man these last few weeks of summer are just flying by! And we are desperately trying to savor every last second. My mind is spinning in all directions! I’m still partially stuck in summer mode, but also starting to make mental notes of all that needs to get done before school starts. I have decided I’m giving myself two more weeks of full on summer until I have to start worrying about all of that!

As for our meals… I have been doing a little better with the meal prep and planning. And we have been taking full advantage of the abundance of fresh vegetables we have been plucking from our garden daily. Our zucchini is still going strong, so that has been gracing our plates pretty much daily. Over run with zucchini as well? Check out last week’s Meal Plan Monday post here for two of my favorite recipes! And check out this post completely dedicated to what to do with all that freaking zucchini!

Most of my time in the kitchen has been spent preserving all these veggies for winter storage lately. So dinner is always an after thought! Tonight I threw some ribs in the oven low and slow while I pickled tons of cucumbers and beets and prepped a ridiculous amount of zucchini for freezing! I paired the ribs with the easiest potato salad ever, fresh green beans from the garden and some corn on the cob. Easy peasy and pretty delicious!

Check out some of my favorite recipes from last week and please feel free to share your favorite summer meals with me in the comments! We are always looking for new ideas!

 

Meal Plan Monday Recipes

  1. Slow Cooker Kalua Pig– I have shared this recipe before and it makes an appearance in my meal plan at least once a month! Throw everything in the slow cooker and bam in a few hours your have amazingness! There are endless things you can do with this awesome pork and the leftovers are amazing! Follow the link to Nom Nom Paleo’s recipe and you will not be disappointed!
  2. Zoodles! – No real recipe here, I literally spiral sliced some zucchini and topped with onions and sweet peppers that I cooked in Organic Marinara Sauce from Aldi and added some Sweet Italian Sausage on the side. Simple and so good!
  3. Sticky Apple Cider BBQ Chicken– Something about BBQ chicken just screams summer! This recipe is amazing and is the perfect summer meal. Pair it with veggies or a big salad and there ya have it! Follow the link to the recipe and try it for yourself! 

OK there you have it! Some new ideas to add to your menus for the week. What is on your meal plan for the upcoming week? And are you still in summer mode or shifting gears and getting ready for all that fall has to bring? Leave me a comment!

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Five Ways to Put Your Garden Zucchini to Good Use

 

 

This was our first year really putting an effort into our home garden. We have planted a few things here and there in the past, but this year we got serious. We did some research, planned things out and spent countless hours planting, weeding, and watering. As the summer goes on we are finally starting to reap the benefits of our hard work! Most of our plants are doing really well. And besides a rabbit taking out all of our lettuce and most of our beans, I think we are doing pretty great for first timers. Our garden zucchini has done especially well, so much so I am trying to come up with new ways to use them!

Want a full run down of all we planted this year? Head on over here to get all the details! At about this point in the season we are over run with garden zucchini and the six plants we have are showing no signs of slowing down! Even if you only have one zucchini plant you are more than likely going to have more than you know what to do with! I mean we have eaten garden zucchini with dinner every night for the past two weeks, and sometimes I am even sneaking it into breakfast and lunch as well!

So if you are like me and need some new ideas on how to get the most out of your produce, I’m you girl! I am going to share with you five of my favorite ways to use zucchini that you may not have thought of! Exciting, I know! Only us country girls will actually get excited about a new idea on how to use a vegetable. But when you are growing you own food and putting tons of time and effort into it you want nothing to go to waste!

 

 

1. Grill!

OK this one may not be very new or inventive, but it is definitely a favorite in our house. And there are so many different directions you can go with flavor here. Some of my favorites are a simple fresh minced garlic and olive oil, garlic with lemon and pepper, or pesto. And there is just something that screams summer about cooking anything on the grill. Check out this week’s Meal Plan Monday for an awesome grilled zucchini recipe!

 

2. Bake!

And by bake I mean in bread form! Wonderful, warm, delicious zucchini bread! As a mom we try to sneak vegetables into EVERYTHING! This is a great way to get the veggies in while they think they are having dessert. We are mostly gluten free in our home so check out my go-to recipes for Gluten Free and Paleo Zucchini Bread… one of them even contains chocolate!!

Paleo Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Paleo Zucchini Bread with Chocolate Chips

 

 

 

3. Zoodle!!

I actually made noodles last night for dinner and my kiddos did not even know the difference! Now the are good eaters, but they are even getting sick of zucchini lately. So noodles were an awesome change in pace! Top with your favorite tomato sauce, pesto, or even just butter for a delicious meal. So do yourself a favor and get yourself a spiral slicer and treat yourself to some Zoodles!

 

4. Pickle!

Who doesn’t love a good pickle? And Zucchini Pickles?!?! That’s right folks cucumbers aren’t the only garden veggies you should be pickling this summer! Zucchini works just as well and tastes freaking delicious! Dilly, tangy, garlicy, sweet… all taste great! Bread and butter are my favorite, but check out some of my other go to recipes below! I am not a huge fan of tons of added sugar, so these recipes have little sugar or give options for sugar substitutions!

Bread and Butter Zucchini Pickles

Sweet and Spicy Refrigerator Pickles

Dill Zucchini Pickles

 

5. Freeze!!

If you are growing your own zucchini at some point in the season you will have had your fill. And let me tell ya we are reaching that point soon over here. And I have heard that zucchini plants will continue to produce until killed either by disease or frost, and if that’s true there could be a few more zucchini filled weeks in my future! That means its time to get to freezing, or to sharing some of the fruit of your labor with family and friends. Now I get a little greedy and like to have my freezer stocked before I just give some of my hard work away! Freezing is a wonderful way to preserve your fresh veggies for use over the winter!

My favorite method is slicing, blanching, shocking in ice water, drying, freezing on a baking sheet then transferring to vacuum seal bags. Then when I can use in soups, stir fry, fajitas and so much more all winter! I already have enough frozen for about 8 to 10 meals but I am planning on doing much more. Shredding squeezing out all excess water and freezing is also another option. This would be great for zucchini break, tossing into meat loaves or casseroles as well. So many options!

 

 

Hopefully this list gives you a few new ideas to help you put all your garden zucchini to good use! Feel free to leave me a comment with your favorite ways you use your abundance of garden zucchini. I am always looking for new ideas! Thanks for reading!

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Meal Plan Monday including Two of My Favorite Zucchini recipes!

Hello!! It has been way way too long since you all have heard from me! I guess we have gotten a little caught up in all the excitement that summer brings! But I finally got my shit together to update you all on our happenings and share some of the wonderful recipes we have been cooking up around here lately!

We have been busy. Busy, busy checking things off our summer bucket list! Now I am not one to sit still for very long and with the extra freedom and longer days of summer we have been taking full advantage of all our time together! Hikes, swimming, amusement parks, drive ins, live music in the park… we have been having so much fun! Add all of that fun to the work of keeping up with our tiny farm and working jobs outside of the home and that doesn’t leave much extra time in the day! But I am back and so happy to reconnect with you all!

I think our favorite trip so far this summer was last week when we spent the day at Hershey Park! We looove it there and had such a fun time this year! If you are ever in Pennsylvania plan a trip and don’t forget to hit up Chocolate World and the Great American Chocolate Tour! You learn all about how their chocolate is made! Always the most favorite part of our trip and you get a free candy bar! So fun and what isn’t there to love about a place that smells like chocolate!

Ooook enough about how busy we are and on to what we have been eating! On the meal front we have been keeping things super simple and seasonal over here! Our garden has been doing much better than we expected so we have been reaping the benefits of lots of fresh produce! Mostly green beans, zucchini, kohlrabi and cucumbers for right now, but so much more is coming soon! Grilled meats, veggies, salads and potatoes have been our staples! I do have a couple of delicious recipes to share with you this week that hopefully you can add into your summer meal rotation! I am also sharing with you two of my favorite ways to eat zucchini if you have an over abundance like we do! 

Check out these awesome recipes and clink the link and head over to the original posts to find them! Let me know what you you and what you all are loving to eat this time of year!

Recipes

 

  1. Greek Bowl with Meatballs– OMG this recipe was amazing! We subbed rice for the couscous and it was all delicious! Follow the link to Our Life Tastes Good and make this recipe! Your family and your taste buds will scream with delight!
  2. Paleo General Tso’s Chicken– I work weekends and I have been doing a pretty good job at batch cooking on Fridays so the fridge is stocked while I’m at work. This past Friday I made this delicious recipe from Ancestral Nutrition! Way better than takeout with the bonus of knowing exactly what you are eating! This was a huge hit with the whole family. I served it with rice and broccoli.
  3. Baked Parmesan Zucchini– This recipe from Damn Delicious has been the best side dish to all of our grilled meats lately! Easy and tasty, just the way I like it!
  4. Grilled Lemon Garlic Zucchini– Another great recipe from Damn Delicious and another great accompaniment for any summertime dinner!
  5. Kohlrabi, Potato and Sausage Hash- I can’t even include a recipe for this because I literally just threw things together. Sautéed some fresh picked, peeled and diced Kohlrabi from our garden with diced potatoes and some diced Mango Jalapeño Sausage in a skillet in everything was tender and cooked through. I served it as a main dish one night with a salad and ate it as a side the next night! So good!

 

 

So there is a little wrap up of what we have been eating lately and what has been keeping us busy! Stay tuned for more of our shenanigans! Hopefully you all are having a great summer and making amazing memories with you family! Take time to disconnect and really enjoy the quality time you have, I cannot stress how important that has become to us! Please feel to share your favorite summer activities and recipes with me, I would love to hear all that you have going on!

 

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