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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Meal Plan Monday and a Bonus Cabbage Roll Skillet Recipe!

These past few weeks I feel like I have gotten soooo lazy in the cooking department! Our meals have gotten seriously simple over here! Between running kiddos to all of their activities and all the chores that need to get done around here I just don’t have time! Now that the weather is nice, cooking has moved down on my priority list! I think most moms can relate, right?!? So I am all about quick, easy and healthy meals I can throw together in a matter of minutes! I think that has been the theme of most of my Meal Plan Monday’s lately! Ahhh lazy mom’s unite!

Also hello warm weather! That makes me want to cook even less! Soooo break out the grill people! That will make your lives soooo much easier this time of year! We have been serving some type of grilled meat, potatoes, veggies and salad on repeat around here… and no one is complaining! When time is really tight and grilling is not a option I have been breaking out the crock pot. And no the crock pot is not only for the fall and winter! Crock pot carnitas has become a weekly staple in our house. And the leftovers have unlimited possibilities… double win!

This week’s edition of Meal Plan Monday is full of eaaassyyy, peasy, healthy meals! We don’t have time to be slaving in the kitchen this time of year! So please leave me a comment with your go to easy meals and let me know what you think of all these delicious recipes! Happy Monday All!! Start your week great!

 

Recipes

  1. One pot meals are a huge time saver in both the cooking and cleaning process! I make a mean cabbage roll skillet with just four ingredients that my family loves! Check out the recipe at the end of this post!
  2. Like I mentioned before Crock Pot Carnitas have been my go to lately! Pile that delicious pork over rice if that’s your thing, or over a huge salad if you are like us! Top with salsa, guac and fresh cilantro to make the perfect meal!! Check out MariaMakes for an amazing recipe that makes tooonns of leftovers!
  3. Ok now this recipe took a little prep but was delicious none the less! I have been meaning to try Sarah’s recipe for Thai Meatball and Egg Drop Soup from her blog A Saucy Kitchen for a long time now. I finally made it last week and I’m in love! So satisfying and full of flavor. Check out the recipe here!
  4. Another easy and satisfying one pot family favorite in our house is steak fajitas! Jessica from Easy Living Today has a great recipe! Find it here!
  5. We are using up the last of my freezer stash of home grown chickens and this Beer Can Chicken recipe from Jo Cooks is AMAZING! So juicy! I did mine in the oven like her recipe and eliminated the brown sugar. But you can also make a mean chicken on the grill as well!
  6. Last recipe for this week is this tasty and family friendly recipe for Sausage Pizza Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes from The Paleo Running Momma! Ahhh all adults and kids in our house devoured them all!

 

Thanks for stopping by today! Hopefully you will find a meal or two your family will love in this bunch! Don’t be shy to leave me a comment with what you think!

Print Recipe
Paleo Cabbage Roll Skillet
Remember those homey cabbage rolls Grandma spent hours making?! Well here is my lazy mom interpretation! It only takes four ingredients to make this one pot, satisfying, comfort food!
Servings
people
Ingredients
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Brown ground beef in your skillet
  2. Once beef is browned add sliced cabbage, tomato juice, and salt to skillet
  3. Cover and cook on medium heat until cabbage is tender. About 20 minutes.
  4. Enjoy!!
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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!

 

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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!!!
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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!

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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!

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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!

 

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Meal Plan Monday 3

Back again with another Meal Plan Monday! Every week when I sit down to write this post I am astonished at how quickly the week has flown by! Scary! This past week we enjoyed several days of amazing weather! Playing outside at the park with the kids in jeans and a short sleeve shirt?? Pretty much unheard of for February in Pennsylvania. None the less we enjoyed every second of those beautiful days. And are back to more characteristic February weather today… cool 40 degrees.

This week is grocery shopping week for me. So today I am snuggling a sick baby and attempting to make a meal plan. The hubby and I also decided to start another Whole 30 today so all of my meals for the next few weeks will be Whole 30 approved. If you have been following for a little while you know we recently went on a family vacation to Disney. We completely enjoyed our time there, which included indulging in delicious food! Now not all of those foods were “healthy.” So we feel we need another little reset now that we are back home and back into our routine.

This morning I also started reading Melissa Hartwig’s Newest Book… Food Freedom Forever. I am only a few pages in and it is already AMAZING. Everyone has a connection with food. But, putting  yourself in control of the way you interact with food can be a challenge. Melissa’s Whole 30 program gives you a chance to “reset” your health, eating habits and your complete relationship with food. And “food freedom” is what you can obtain. I cannot wait to finish it!

Drawing on the cover thanks to my creative 1 year old!

Part of Food Freedom for me is our ability to enjoy our Disney Vacation whole heartedly!  We enjoyed food we do not normal eat, because it is what we wanted to do. We did not feel bad or guilty about one thing we enjoyed there. Now it’s time to do a Whole 30, because that helps us to feel good as well. Stay tuned for a post later this week detailing all of the deliciousness we enjoyed at Walt Disney World!

Now onto the recipes of the week. Oookkk I am going to be completely honest here… Last week I was a slacker in the kitchen. Two kiddos were and still are sick. We also enjoyed the weather a little too much and dinner became somewhat of an afterthought most days. But, I do still have two

amazing recipes to share with you this week! I was also a huge slacker in the picture department… so forgive me for the lack of food pictures!

The following recipes come from some amazing bloggers, follow the links to the original recipe!

  1. Halal Cart Chicken and Rice– We eat a fair amount of rice on a normal basis. It is gluten free and a grain that make us feel good, so a good amount of our meals contain rice. I have been searching for new and different recipes and came across this one from Sabrina at Dinner then Dessert. Great combination of flavors, easy to good, and enjoyed by our whole family!
  2. Easy Oven Fajitas– One pan meals are my favorite and Beth from Budget Bytes came up with this easy and delicious oven steak fajita recipe. We ate ours in a bowl with lettuce, salsa and guacamole and they were awesome! Her website is full of so many healthy and budget friend;y recipes we love!

Like I said before I was a cooking slacker last week so these are the only two recipes I have to share… sad face emoji. Our other meals consisted of a one pan chicken and veggie dish I am working on, leftovers and take out! But tune in next week for lots of Whole 30 approved recipes! Have a great Monday and please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know of your families favorite healthy weeknight dinners! I am always looking for new things to try!

 

 

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Meal Plan Monday 2

Well Friends it’s Monday again… and that means I have more of my favorite recipes to share with you all!! Hope everyone had a wonderful week and weekend! The weather has started to warm up around here… so the kiddos and the hubby got to spend tons of time outside this weekend! While I slaved away at work! Boo! But… this week is suppose to be beeaauuttiful so we will be parking it a lot and hitting up our favorite nature trail! With bikes and strollers in tow! This week is my off week from meal planning and grocery shopping too, which gives us more time to soak up the awesome weather.

Now I am all about quick, easy, cheap and healthy dinners lately. We have been attempting to make some huge changes in our house this year! Healthy eating, budgeting and spending more time as a family are on the top of my list. Check out all of my New Years Resolutions here! Anyways… I have been making big changes in the way I grocery shop and meal plan. It’s a struggle trying to bring down the amount of money we spend on food without sacrificing the quality of the food we eat.

Over the past month I have completely stopped shopping at our local big chain grocery store. I have been able to find everything we need at Aldi’s, Costco, The Grocery Outlet and our local Dairy. This change has managed to save us close to $200 a month, crazy right?!? This process takes a fair amount of planning and a little more time, but it has been worth it. And that extra $200 a month can go towards other things we want to pay off, win win!

Now I am super Type A! I need to have everything planned out and I have lists for everything! This super planning gene I have comes in handy with the whole meal planning process for sure! I am slightly obsessive about my meal plan and grocery list, and will never step foot into a grocery store without my trusty planner! I try to stick to my list as much as possible and avoid buying things that are not necessary.

Sooo the meal planning tips to take home today are check out stores that are out of the norm for you. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you actually find! Not gonna lie I was a little unsure of Aldi’s at first, but it has quickly become a staple stop for us! I cook dinner at home for my family almost every night. Soooo I am always on the hunt for new, delicious, affordable and healthy recipes to serve my family.

Check out my favorite recipes from last week… some are mine and others are from other amazing bloggers! Click on the link to get to the full recipes! Enjoy and happy cooking! Get out and do something out of your comfort zone this week and please feel free to share all of your thoughts on this amazing food with me! Have meal planning tips to share?!? Post them in the comment section below, I would love to hear what works for you and your family!!

  1. Cheeseburger Rice – I stumbled upon this recipe while searching for budget friendly gluten free dinners on Pinterest. If you are on a budget but still want to eat healthy Erin from $5 Dinners has hundreds of tips and tricks to help you cut money on your grocery bill! So much amazing information!  Merissa from Little House Living came up with this delicious recipe and we loved it!
  2. Hearty Sausage, Pepper and Onion Skillet– I looove one pot meals! And I scored some good quality sausage on sale last week so this recipe was a no brainer! I came up with this recipe because I always have all of these ingredients on hand! Quick, easy, and delicious… just how I like it!
  3. Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry– Beth at BudgetBytes has a knack for creating delicious, healthy meals that don’t break the bank, and this one did not disappoint! I am fortunate to have kids that will eat almost anything and cabbage is a favorite in this house! So this recipe was a win all around, and the leftovers were even better!
  4. Butternut Squash Lasagna– Like I said I scored a good amount of sausage on sale last week so I needed recipes to use it up! This is a simple and gluten free favorite in our house!

That’s all the recipes I have for this week! The rest of our menu last week was not so exciting… roasted chicken and veggies, ribs with potatoes and veggies and lots of leftovers rounded out our menu! Come back next week for some for delicious recipes!!

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