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!

Continue Reading

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!

Continue Reading

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!

 

Continue Reading

Meal Plan Monday

Hi all! Happy Monday! Hope everyone had an amazing weekend! Things were good over here. I worked Saturday and then Sunday I got to spend the day at the ball field! My oldest started T-ball last week and yesterday was Opening Day. Such an exciting day for all of us, but especially for her! This is our first go around with kids sports and as a former athlete I could’t be more proud to see how much fun she is having! And let’s be honest the most important thing about T-ball is having fun, both kids and parents! We adults had a few good laughs watching todays game. For anyone who has watched a group of 5 and 6 year olds learn to play you know what I mean!

Tuesday Night Tball Practice Views

Ok back to the whole point of this post! Food! We recently decided to step into the reintroduction phase of our Whole 30 after close to 5o days on the program. To be honest we feel our best when we stick very closely to the guidelines of the Whole 30. After this being our fourth go around we know for sure that gluten and dairy make us feel like crap. So we plan of avoiding those things in our daily lives. So really mostly all of our meals last week were Whole 30 approved.

We did end up eating out twice last week, which is pretty unheard of for us. But we were able to stick to foods that make us feel good and not deprived! One afternoon was lunch at Ruby Tuesday’s, at our little man’s request. I got the salad bar and stuck to all Whole 30 approved items and topped it with Balsamic and Olive oil and I paired that with a burger. Delicious and it didn’t make me feel like crap! And yesterday after T ball we enjoyed a family dinner our with my parents at a local spot. Hubby and I both had Cobb Salad’s topped with oil and vinegar. No complaints from either of us, but we do get so much criticism from everyone else about why we are still on this “diet.” Lifestyle change is how I describe it, but everyone still thinks we are crazy! Oh well!

Up next you can find the rest of the meals we had for the week. Clink the links to find the full recipes, cook them and ENJOY! I bad at taking food pictures this week…. Sorry! So enjoy the one picture I did take!

Meals

  1. Last Monday I ended up pulling two of our home grown chickens our of the freezer and roasted them. Check out the Whole 30 cookbook for an amazingly easy recipe for Roasted Chicken! 1/2 of one we ate that night with baked potatoes and roasted carrots. With the leftover I made this amazing Buffalo Chicken Dip, that we enjoyed with sliced veggies. As well as a simple chicken salad with shredded chicken, homemade mayo, grapes, onions and pickles. Then I saved all the bones and made a ridiculous amount of Homemade Chicken Stock to restock my freezer stash. All delicious and Whole 30 approved.
  2. Homemade Stuffed Mushrooms were also on our menu last week. No recipe for this one. Just cooked some sausage, peppers, onions and some Italian spices together and stuffed all that goodness into some preroasted mushroom and enjoyed with a big salad on the side.
  3. I got some country style pork ribs at Costco for a good price last week so I followed this recipe from Mama Schquigs, just substituting homemade Whole 30 BBQ for the sauce she used. I cooked up some sautéed cabbage and potatoes and green beans for our sides. Delish, and made tons of leftovers!
  4. With T-ball practices this week our evenings were slightly rushed so we ended up having Brinner, breakfast for dinner, twice this week. Nothing fancy here, one night was a egg scramble with shredded sweet potatoes and chicken apple sausage. The other night the hubs just made the kids some “dippy”, sunny side up, eggs and served it with leftover cabbage and potatoes. Quick and easy.

    This is a pic of the same scramble but obviously not from last week… notice the snow, lol!

Leftovers consisted of the rest of our meals for the week, so it was a rather unexciting food week here! With the weather getting nicer I find we have so much more to do outside that I am wanting to spend less and less time in the kitchen. So I imagine I will have lots of grilling recipes and get it done quick things to share over the next few weeks! Hope you week is off to a great start, thanks for stopping by! Leave me a comment with some of your favorite quick and easy family meals, I am always looking for something new!

 

Continue Reading

Taco Beef and Veggie Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

I am always on the hunt for new family friendly recipes. And with us now on our fourth round of the Whole 30 adding variety to our meals is key. What is the phrase? Variety is the spice of life?! So true right? So this time I am doing my best to mix up our meals and try lots of new things!

Now for me, I tend to find something I like will stick with it. I will eat it day in and day out. Have you been following my salad obsession on Instagram??? Now this is totally cool if I do this for my lunches, but not so cool for family dinner. I need to mix things up or no one will eat, well besides me!  My husband totally needs variety keep him entertained, and if I am going to keep him excited about this Whole 30 craziness I need to serve him food he will want to eat! This time the tons of new recipes I have been trying are really making this round easy! My husband even mentioned that this has been the easiest round yet!

So easy and enjoyable that we decided to extend it out an extra 30 days to see if we can get some pesky skin and GI issues to totally clear up. Day 39 today and we are both feeling pretty great. And I am totally seeing some improvement in my skin just in the last week. Win, Win! But this is a whole different topic for another time…

Back to the real point here! Variety, Healthy Dinners, Family Friendly Recipes! That was what I was really taking about, right?! Every Whole 30’er with little kids needs some go to recipes that please the whole family. And I am always on the hunt for such recipes! I refuse to make two dinners and my kiddos start to get bored with meat, potatoes and veggies after awhile. So I started throwing things together and came up with this awesome Taco Beef and Veggie mix that can be stuffed into Sweet Potatoes for a healthy, filling and well rounded meal everyone will love. It can also eaten alone, or over a salad. Whatever works for you!

So give this a try and please, please let me know what you all think! I would love to hear what family friendly Whole 30 recipes are favorites in your house! Thanks for stopping in and come back again soon!!

 

Print Recipe
Taco Beef and Veggie Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Whole 30 Approved Family Favorite
Prep Time 20 Minutes
Cook Time 20 Minutes
Servings
People
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 Minutes
Cook Time 20 Minutes
Servings
People
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Brown Ground Beef (I used lean grass fed ground beef so there was very little grease to drain off, depending on the type of beef you use you may need to drain off the grease after browning your meat)
  2. While beef is browning dice and shred your veggies
  3. After beef is browned add in diced onions, bell peppers, and jalapeño. Saute over medium heat for about 3 minutes or until veggies begin to soften
  4. Add in garlic and cook for another minute
  5. Add shredded carrots, zucchini, diced tomatoes, salsa and spices to your meat mix. Add salt to taste. Stir and simmer for about 10 more minutes.
  6. While Taco mix is simmering, cook your potatoes. I am always in a rush with dinner so I just wash them, poke a few holes in each and microwave them for about 10 minutes or until they are soft. If you have tons of time you can always cook them in the oven for about an hour at 400 degrees.
  7. Once your Taco Mix and Sweet Potatoes are cooked, slice and stuff your potatoes with your mix, top with some Guacamole and Cilantro and Enjoy!!!
Share this Recipe
Continue Reading

Meal Plan Monday

Hi all! I’m back with another installment of meal plan Monday! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed your first day of Spring today! We are currently still snow covered over here, boo! But the forecast calls for warmer weather this week, so we are hoping for a huge melt and green grass soon! I’m so over this winter and am soo ready for Spring flowers!

As you know we are currently in the midst of another Whole 30! Soooo again all of the recipes featured in this post are Whole 30 Approved, or I made a few tweaks to make them Whole 30. We are currently on Day 22 and I feel like this round is flying by. I have been thinking of extending this round out a little past the 30 day mark, because I have some skin issues I am hoping will improve with a cleaner diet, but we will see!

We have really been mixing things up this round and trying lots of new and delicious recipes. Which has really helped the time fly by and has kept us from getting bored. My husband even mentioned today that the foods we have been eating have been so delicious that he really has no desire to go back to eating Standard American foods. Now this is a huge step for my sweet treat loving man!

OOOk on to the recipes!

Recipes

  1. Best Ever Pork Roast and Sauerkraut– Lori at the Kitchen Whisperer has an amazing recipe for pork and sauerkraut! This meal is complete comfort food for me and bring back so many memories! I subbed a chopped whole apple and a smudge of apple juice for the brown sugar in this recipe to make it Whole 30 compliant.
  2. Shepard’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping– I guess this week was all about comfort food for us. This recipe was another homey and delicious meal. I got grass fed ground beef on sale last week and this was a great way to use it up! Full of meat and veggies! Follow the link to Stacie’s recipe on the Real Food Dietitians site!! Sorry my picture is ugly, it really is delicious!
  3. Chicken Cacciatore– Purchase the Whole 30 book, it is filled with so manx amazing recipes! We made the Chicken Cacciatore with a whole roasted chicken that we raised ourselves and it was delicious. I served it over a baked potato for the hubby and I and over rice made with homemade bone broth for the kiddos! Check out my recipe for homemade broth here. Follow the link to the Whole 30 website for the recipe or just do yourself a huge favor and buy the book!

The rest of our meals I don’t really have recipes for! We made The Perfect Burger from the Whole 30 cookbook twice last week. We also had a ground beef and veggie stir fry and beef stew, both recipes that I am perfecting and should have up on here soon! Aidells’s Chicken and Apple Sausage with a side of veggies was another meal. And if you follow me on Instagram you know I have been on a salad kick lately so almost every meal has been accompanied by a salad. As well as leftovers with salads for lunch. Hey stick with what works!

Ooookkk so here are at least three hopefully new recipes that you can incorporate into your meal plan! Variety in your meals keeps things interesting and prevents you from getting bored.

Please leave me a comment and share your favorite Whole 30 recipes with me, I would loooove to give them a try!

Continue Reading

Meal Plan Monday 5

Hello Friends! It’s another edition of Meal Plan Monday here on the blog. I am coming at you a little late today. The day really got away from me today. We are planning for a huge winter storm tomorrow here in Pennsylvania and there was a lot that we needed to get done here on the home front. Being that it is already Mid March and this is our first (and hopefully only) huge storm of the Winter I’d say we are lucky. But to say everyone is panicking is an understatement. Now we are pretty calm and collected over here. The fridge is stocked with healthy, Whole 30 food. The 4 wheeler is gassed up and ready to plow us out and the generator is on standby just in case!

Now filling the fridge was my first priority today. And man those lines were huge at the store! Thankfully I didn’t need to stock up on milk, bread and eggs like everyone else.  I made an abbreviated meal plan for this week and just purchased enough for several healthy dinners.  We are on our third week of our Whole 30 and things are going pretty good! And last week we had a few really delicious meals… check them out below and click the link to take you to the original recipe!

Recipes

  1. Balsamic Beef Roast and Veggies– This recipe from Sarah at The Magical Slow Cooker was delicious! I loooove slow cooker recipes, and especially ones that taste great! Very easy and a great way to serve the beef roast I got on sale. Score!
  2. The Perfect Burger– Who doesn’t love a good burger? Steph from Stupid Easy Paleo got it right with this recipe! These were great and definitely took care of our burger cravings! I served mine with a salad and a side of sautéed cabbage. Delish and very satisfying! And I have been on a salad kick lately so this was awesome!
  3. Balsamic Roasted Pork Chops– My parents brought over pork chops for dinner one night and I just happened to have this recipe on my to try list! Amy from A Healthy Life for Me has so many amazing recipes on her blog and this one did not disappoint! We omitted the honey to make them Whole 30 compliant and they were great! And tasted delicious as leftovers the next day.
  4. Sweet and Savory Blueberry Omelet– We may have eaten this recipe a few times over the past week. Twice for brunch and once for dinner to be honest! Again from Steph at Stupid Easy Paleo this one fulfilled our sweet and savory cravings while on the Whole 30.

So there ya have it, our recipe roundup from last week! All of these we made Whole 30 Approved and were delicious and satisfying. The rest of our meals consisted of Eggplant Lasagna, an awesome Chicken Lettuce Wrap recipe I am working on, and tooonnnss of salads for me. Stay tuned next week for more awesome, Whole 30 approved Family meals! Hopefully this gives you a little inspiration!

Continue Reading

Meal Plan Monday 4

Happy Monday Friends! It’s that time again… time for me to fill you in on all my favorite recipes from last week! As I mentioned in my post last week we are doing another Whole 30. After our Disney Trip and a few crazy busy weeks around here we are in need of a little reset. And the Whole 30 Program is our go to when we need to get back on track!

We have a few Whole 30’s under our belt now so getting ready and adjusted to being on the program isn’t too hard for us anymore. Check out my post on our last round here! So in the spirit of the Whole 30 all of the recipes I have to share this week are Whole 30 approved. Now we are a family of five, two adults and three kiddos. And when we do the Whole 30 all of the dinners I make for the family are Whole 30 approved and everyone eats the same thing. I refuse to make separate dinners for the kids, and thankfully our kiddos are great eaters! Now breakfast and lunches for them may look a little different that what my husband and I are eating, and will include some non approved foods.

For all of us, these were our favorite recipes of the week! Again they all fit into my New Year’s theme of quick, easy and budget friendly. So check out these awesome Whole 30 Friendly Recipes and let me know what you think! Some are my recipes and others are from some amazing bloggers!

Recipes

  1. Whole 30 Sloppy Joe Bowls– Even though we are doing a Whole 30 I still try to find recipes that the kids will enjoy as well. This is a family favorite in our house and a bit of a comfort food! We topped baked sweet potatoes with this awesomeness! Thank you Chrissa from Physical Kitchness for this crowd pleaser! 
  2. The Best Pork Chop Ever– Katie from I am Katie definitely hit the nail on the head with the name of this recipe! Crispy and perfectly seasoned! Even my one year old gobbled hers up! Wonderful for lunch the next day as well.
  3. Hearty Chicken and Vegetable Soup– I made this recipe minus the chicken this week and it lasted us days! Filling and delicious. I love me a big bowl of soup!
  4. Paleo Meatloaf– Shanti from Life Made Full has this amazing meatloaf recipe on her blog! I did not have three pounds of ground beef like the recipe called for so I subbed in one pound of Whole 30 compliant Italian sausage and it turned out amazing! Great for breakfast and lunch as well!

 

So those are our favorite recipes from last week! These recipes made a ton of leftovers too, which was perfect for lunches the next day! That helps cut down on some of the food prep during a Whole 30! Stay tuned later this week for a detailed account of everything I ate during my first week of this round of the Whole 30 Program!!Hopefully this gives you all some new recipes to try and add into your meal plan! Leave me a comment with your favorite Whole 30 recipes!

 

Continue Reading

Homemade Stock from Your Kitchen Scraps

Happy Thursday Friends! Right now I am sitting here planning my meals and getting my grocery list ready for next week! We seriously have nothing to eat over here! I still haven’t really restocked after our trip and we have been basically living out of the freezer for the past few days. If you read my last post you know I am all about making huge lifestyle changes for the New Year. On the top of that list is tackling our debt! The hubby and I sat down last night and wrote all of our debt down and it is a little daunting seeing it all laid out like that. Then again it gives me way more motivation to make the lifestyle changes needed to become debt free.

On that note I have been looking into ways to decrease our bills and monthly spending. Once I wrote down all that we spend in a month I realized we are spending a tooooonnn of money on food. Like it is our second largest bill next to our mortgage. If you have been following me for a little while you know health and clean eating is very important to me. So I have always justified the large amount of money we spend on food. But, since we are looking to save money I have been searching for ways to bring this expense down.

One thing I have been trying to do is not waste money on things I can make myself for next to nothing. I am constantly cooking and have large amounts of veggie and fruit scraps that accumulate over the week. Usually I toss most of them to the chickens or goats for treats. But recently I have been saving them in a gallon sized ziplock bag in the freezer to use when I make stock.  Soooooo easy! And why spend money on something you can make for free! I use stock for everything… making rice, soups, roasts, or even to just sip on! Check out my recipes for Hearty Chicken and Vegetable SoupSausage and Kale Soup, or Hearty Sausage, Pepper and Onion Skillet, which are all awesome ways to use your homemade stock!!

As you prepare your meals during the week toss all of your vegetable scraps into a gallon sized ziplock bag.  Store it in the freezer until it’s full. Carrots, onions, celery, herbs, garlic, zucchini, leeks, squash, parsnips, and potatoes all make amazing stock! Stay away from cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts and broccoli as they can make your stock taste bitter.

The basic stock starts with onions, carrots and celery. But you can go in any direction you like with your flavorings, get creative people!! For stock that works well in Asian recipes try adding ginger and lemongrass. I just toss in whatever veggie scraps I have for the week into that ziplock bag, I don’t get too fancy!  The stock will last in the freezer for up to 6 months.  If you are like me you will accumulate lots of scraps and will be making stock weekly.

I do the same with my chicken bones that I do with my veggie scraps. Toss them all in a baggie in the freezer and then when the bag is full I load up my stock pot! Add chicken bones and a bag of veggies scraps, a pinch of salt, bay leaves, a splash of cider vinegar and some seasonings and let it simmer away. I usually let it simmer for at least 6 hours to get the most amount of minerals and collagen from the bones! Then I store the same as with the vegetable stock, see recipe below!

Thanks for tuning in and check back soon for more ways I am saving money on our food budget, while still keeping things healthy and family friendly!

 

 


Halfway Wholesome is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Print Recipe
Homemade Vegetable Stock
Put all of those vegetable scraps you accumulate to good use with the amazing homemade vegetable stock! Fresh, delicious stock for next to nothing, Awesome!
Cuisine Whole 30
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
Ingredients
Cuisine Whole 30
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. When your freezer bag of scraps is full empty into a stockpot, cover with water, add bay leaves, salt and seasonings of your choice and simmer for about an hour.
  2. Strain through a mesh strainer or with cheesecloth if you prefer, and store however you like. I like to fill a few mason jars, let cool then freeze them. Or you could freeze in an ice cube tray and transfer the cubes to a baggie for easy access. Whatever you like!
Share this Recipe
Continue Reading

Hearty Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Does anyone else feel like life is moving in Fast Forward lately? These last few weeks before Christmas are always stressful! Sooo much to do and not enough hours in the day to get everything done. I actually just started my Christmas shopping TODAY, better late than never right?! Last year I was already done. I was due with Little Miss early December last year, and was determined to not have to worry about anything once she was born. This year with a now toddler running around and a 4 and 5 year old, I am not so organized! Thank you Amazon!

This year I am also trying to not go crazy with the gifts. Santa is on a budget and the kids do not have a whole lot of needs. They also don’t have a whole lot of wants on their lists this year, which makes things easier. I’m trying to be practical with the gift giving for everyone this year. I’m spending the time trying to find gifts everyone will actually use. Not just things to open and toss to the side. It’s hard! It is also so hard trying to raise appreciative kids in todays society, but we are trying over here!

Annnyyyways onto to real reason of this post! One thing we all don’t have time for this time of year is spending hours in the kitchen slaving over the stove. Meals need to be quick, satisfying, and healthy. I am also on a soup kick lately, so bear with me. I don’t know if its the colder weather or the lack of time, but there is just something so comforting about a big bowl of soup. And for me it’s easy to just throw a bunch of things in a big old pot and let them simmer away into something delicious. This recipe is super easy and soooo good!

After numerous Whole 30’s I know that when I am eating a Paleo diet I feel my best. So I am always looking for delicious, clean recipes that I will enjoy. But as a busy mom it is not always about me. I refuse to make separate meals for the kids, so dinner has to be something everyone will enjoy. This recipe is a crowd pleaser in our house and is a great way for me to get the kids to eat a whole bowl of veggies!

So in these stressful weeks to come add this into your meal rotation. At least one thing will be quick and stress free! I would love to hear how you like my recipes so please feel free to leave me a comment or shoot me an email!!

Halfway Wholesome is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Print Recipe
Paleo Hearty Chicken and Vegetable Soup
Perfect for those cold winter nights! Healthy, hearty, and heartwarming!
Course Soup
Cuisine Whole 30
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Soup
Cuisine Whole 30
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Wash, Peel and Dice all your Veggies
  2. Add olive oil to your stock and heat for a minute. Then add diced vegetables and garlic and sautee for about three minutes
  3. Add stock, chicken, diced tomatoes, bay leaves and salt and pepper
  4. Bring to a boil then turn to low and simmer for about 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender
  5. Add Spinach and Simmer for an additional minute or two
  6. Remove Bay leaves and Serve!
Recipe Notes

If you aren't gluten free or on a Whole 30 add some cooked Gnocchi to your bowl before serving or serve this with a nice big salad and some crusty butter bread for dipping!

Share this Recipe
Continue Reading