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!

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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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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!!

 

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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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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!

 

 


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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!
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Hearty Sausage, Pepper and Onion Skillet

I have totally been on a cheap, one pan dinner kick lately! It’s that time of year when life is in full gear.  Everything is completely stretched to the limit. Specifically, time and budget! So, I have been attempting to come up with an arsenal of one pan recipes. That way I always have options I can turn to on those days when life is just a little too crazy!

I know today is Monday… probably the most hated day of the week for you all. I personally loooove Mondays! Mondays are like my Friday, and for most of the world Fridays are amazing! But, because I work weekend nights as a nurse I absolutely hate Fridays, I despise them. They are hectic and stressful, much like the start of the week for most of you! So I’m sharing this recipe today for all you stressed out momma’s out there! I got your back! This dinner is quick, filling and healthy and doesn’t break the bank.

I have gotten pretty good at throwing a bunch of ingredients in a pan and having them taste good! I enjoy cooking and that’s a good thing because I spend most of my time at home in the kitchen. This recipe is somewhat of a play on a sausage and pepper sandwich, but because we eat mostly gluten free I used rice instead. Making this recipe a hearty and satisfying one pot meal!

Hopefully you all enjoy this and can add it into your meal roration! Let me know what you think, I would love to hear how it turns out for you! Happy Monday all!!

Print Recipe
Hearty Sausage, Pepper and Onion Skillet
Hearty, tasty and easy weeknight family meal!!
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Brown sausage in skillet
  2. While sausage is cooking dice onions and peppers and mince garlic
  3. Once sausage is browned add olive oil, peppers, onions and minced garlic to the pan. Cook for about three minutes on medium heat, until onions and peppers start to get tender
  4. Add uncooked rice, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and chicken broth to skillet
  5. Bring to a boil then turn heat to low and simmer, covered for about 30 minutes or until rice is tender
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Fall Favorites and a Healthy Weeknight Dinner Recipe!

Hi All!! Hope everyone is having an amazing week and you are getting to enjoy all of the awesome things Fall has to offer! I finally got some of my fall decorations up in the house, and we got our pumpkins and mums for outside last weekend. This is my absolute favorite time of the year. I love that timg_5023he mornings are cool and crisp, but the afternoons warm up to glorious temperatures. Perfect for all those awesome fall outdoor activities! And of course I love EVERYTHING pumpkin… and apple for that matter! Fall candles, apple cider, tall boots, and jeans and hoodies… seriously does it get any better?!?

I took a day off last weekend so we could get in all sorts of fall family activities! And we have more things lined up for the next two weekends leading into Halloween! We are planning our annual apple picking trip for Sunday, which always leads to a restocked freezer full of homemade applesauce and apple butter. We also already got in our hayrides, corn maze and pumpkin patch trip. So many fun things to do before the weather gets too cold! The beginning of this week has been unseasonable warm, so I keep kicking the kids outside as soon as they get home from school to soak up this awesome weather! We all know the cold and snow is coming here in Eastern Pennsylvania!

img_5014What are you favorite fall activities and traditions? Are they any special things in your area that you love to do this time of year? Or any recipes you love to cook as soon as the seasons start to change? I am always looking for fun new things to do with the kids!

Things have been so busy around here and sometimes it is so hard to balance everything. So I took a few days off from the blog to concentrate on things that needed to get done around the house. With jobs and three kids I feel like there is never a free second in the day, something or someone always needs my attention. We have some big things coming up that I am starting to plan for, which I am really excited about! Our littlest love is turning one at the beginning of December and birthdays, especially first ones, are a huge deal around here. So the planning has started for her party!
Also, we are planning a Walt Disney World trip for the end of January, which takes tons of preparation! We will be there for my oldest and my birthdays so it will be an extra magical trip! With all the holidays and celebrations coming up money and time always become a factor. So our meals have to be quick and cheap lately. Now those two things don’t always go hand in hand with healthy, right? So I am always on the hunt for recipes that are hearty, healthy, can be thrown together in a snap and are easy on the wallet… whew! That’s a lot to ask for in a dinner!

This recipes is soooo easy and soooo delicious! And it only has a handful of ingredients! Our CSA share finished up last week, which I am super sad about, but we got an awesome cabbage in one of our last baskets. Perfect for this recipe! Combine that with some potatoes and kielbasa and you have the perfect weeknight fall meal! Now my 4 and 5 year old are pretty good eaters, so I have no trouble getting them to gobble up this meal, but the cabbage in this dish has an awesome sweetness that little bellies will love! So don’t be afraid to offer this to the kiddos as well!

Print Recipe
Cabbage and Kielbasa Skillet with Potatoes
Easy, Quick and Healthy Weeknight Meal!
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in skillet
  2. Add chopped cabbage, diced potatoes and diced kielbasa
  3. Cover and cook on medium heat until potatoes are tender and cabbage is soft. Stirring occasionally.
  4. Salt to taste and enjoy!!
Recipe Notes

Seriously 5 ingredients and 4 steps, does it get any easier than that! Hope you enjoy and I would love to hear your thoughts and you favorite cheap, easy and healthy dinners! Happy Fall!!

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