Joe & Jason Get the Job Done!

Joe & Jason Get the Job Done!

You know your life has changed when...
Going to the grocery store by yourself is like a mini vacation. #momlife

There's something so peaceful and oddly relaxing about it, right?
Well, IF you have a plan there is.

If you don't head out with a plan, you probably get totally overwhelmed by grocery trips and end up heading home with a bunch of CRAP. 
Been there, done that?

Guilty! 

I used to put myself through that TORTURE and then didn't know what to do with all of the things (half the time, JUNK) that I spent my hard earned $$$ on!?

Let me help you out though...

Here is my grocery haul from last week!!

Here is my grocery haul from last week!!

I went to Trader Joe's and Jason's Deli. 
I spent $66.91 at TJ's and $24.30 at Jason's Deli (not pictured are mine and Stephen's lunches from Jason's) and my family of 3 was all set for the week!

So, what the heck did I do with all of this?!
How did I make quick, healthy meals that my family actually enjoys? #milliondollarquestion

Let's break it down! 
Are you ready??

Notice the items in the top right corner?
Those are toddler snacks. 
(Not the butter, silly.. that's weird and GROSS!)

Maddie typically has 3 meals + 2-3 snacks per day. These bars, yogurts, & apple sauce pouches - in addition to her daily shake - have been her snacks for the past TWO weeks. They're simple, grab & go, throw in the diaper bag options that she LOVES and that I feel good about. 

For breakfast, she usually has a bowl of oatmeal (buy in bulk!) or a breakfast taco from the Veracruz All Natural taco truck at Radio
**For those of you who don't know, we are regulars there and I make sure to include coffee/taco dates in our meal plan.**

Then, she has the same thing that Stephen and I have for lunch and dinner. 

What about the rest of it?

Apples - grab & go snacks for Stephen and I 

Pita chips (for him), Plantain chips (for her, Whole 30 approved!) + hummus - another snack option for Stephen and I

Turkey meatballs & zucchini - Super simple, HEALTHY spaghetti night!
(see below)

1. Spiralize the zucchini and then saute in 2 tbsp cooking oil of choice (I use EVOO) 2. While zucchini is cooking, heat meatballs in skillet according to package directions + add sauce 3. Separate into bowls, top with parmesan. ENJOY!

1. Spiralize the zucchini and then saute in 2 tbsp cooking oil of choice (I use EVOO)
2. While zucchini is cooking, heat meatballs in skillet according to package directions + add sauce
3. Separate into bowls, top with parmesan. ENJOY!

Turkey burgers (4 in a pack) = 2 meals that took about 15 minutes to whip together!! 
Paired one set with cauliflower rice and asparagus sauté.
And the other we cooked with the Japanese Style fried rice (drizzled with sriracha)...so easy & tasty!

Riced Cauliflower - 1 bag went with turkey burger meal, the other with Salsa Chicken burrito bowls
(see prep instructions below) 
Stephen likes to have the tortilla chips with his burrito bowls and for just an occasional chips & salsa snack. 

1. Place chicken breast or tenders on bottom of crockpot 2. Pour jar of salsa and can of black beans over chicken 3. Cover & cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours 4. When ready to enjoy, cook cauliflower rice according to package directions. Season as desired. 5. Assemble bowl (I like to add fresh spinach, avocado, and shredded cheese to mine!)

1. Place chicken breast or tenders on bottom of crockpot
2. Pour jar of salsa and can of black beans over chicken
3. Cover & cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours
4. When ready to enjoy, cook cauliflower rice according to package directions. Season as desired.
5. Assemble bowl (I like to add fresh spinach, avocado, and shredded cheese to mine!)

Wine - don't worry, it fits in the meal plan! We have a glass (or two) with dinner a few nights each week. Plus, it was literally $1.99...how could I resist?!

Superfoods Pilaf - paired this with some frozen chicken tenders that I bought a neverending bag of from Costco a few weeks ago.

Jason's Deli To-Go Container of veggies - This. This is how I save ALL OF THE TIME in the kitchen! I don't spend hours washing and prepping and chopping veggies. Once a week, I go and grab us lunch to-go and also get a to-go salad bar to have veggies for the week! These veggies get dipped in hummus for an afternoon snack; they get added to salads, wraps, egg muffins, you name it!!!
With the salad bar, you get two other containers... a small one that I usually use for dressing and then a larger one that I fill with bean salad. I mix a can of tuna into the bean salad for my Thursday night dinner since Stephen is at kickball.

Anddd... that's a wrap!

I just follow the K.I.S.S. method (keep it simple sweetheart) and make very basic, QUICK meals. We budget $350 for our monthly groceries and, other than our frequent morning taco runs, we pretty much eat all meals at home and follow the Portion Fix® nutrition guide!

Grab-N-Go Green Eggs (sorry, no ham)

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Eggs, they're the quintessential breakfast food. And rightfully so, they pack some high-quality protein and are rich in nutrients which helps you sustain your mental and physical energy for the day!

This delicious breakfast recipe comes from the 21 Day Fix EXTREME Nutrition Plan. It's super simple to make and serves as a great grab-and-go breakfast...aka it's perfect for busy moms!

Extra egg cups/squares can be stored in the fridge for up to a week and reheated in the microwave. 

Mini Vegetable Egg Cups

Makes 6 servings of 2 squares/muffins each

Two egg cups/squares = 1 red container and 1 green container.

Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 12 large eggs
  • Sea salt and black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 (9-10 oz.) bag baby spinach, CHOPPED! (Don't skip this, it IS necessary. LOL)
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped

Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. Lightly coat a regular twelve-cup muffin tin or 9x13 baking dish with spray. Set aside.
  3. Place eggs in a large bowl; whisk to blend. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  4. Add spinach, bell pepper, and green onions; mix well.
  5. Evenly pour egg mixture into muffin cups/baking dish.
  6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cups comes out clean.
  7. Enjoy!!!
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Ready? Set-y? SPAGHETTI!

Spaghetti is the ULTIMATE comfort food.

It's rich, carb-heavy, and so quick and easy to prepare! BUT, eating spaghetti isn't necessarily the best for your health...or your waistline.

Gluten-free and void of the high-glycemic carbs, spaghetti squash is truly the best compromise between healthy and delicious comfort food. You'll be amazed at how easy, cheap, and versatile it is to cook with this tasty winter vegetable! It has great flavor, and when it’s prepared correctly it really does have the texture of noodles. Not to mention, it’s loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber! 

There are a few different methods to cooking a spaghetti squash. I prefer cooking it in the oven as it retains the best flavor and texture, so that's what you'll see here.

When shopping, look for a firm, blemish-free squash and store it on the counter out of direct sunlight; it will keep on your counter for a few weeks!

I got this recipe from my Core De Force Nutrition Guide, and only tweaked a few things based on what I had on hand!

So, without further ado, here is our version:

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meat Sauce

5 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large spaghetti squash (about 3 1/2 lbs) cut in half lengthwise
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 jar garlic pasta sauce (25 oz)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. Remove seeds and membrane from squash; plash squash, cut side up, on baking sheet.
  3. Season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
  4. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until tender. Separate strands with a fork; place in a large bowl. Set aside.
  5. While squash is baking, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.
  6. Add onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until tender.
  7. Add garlic, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute, or until fragrant.
  8. Add turkey; cook, stirring frequently for 4 to 6 minutes, or until turkey is no longer pink.
  9. Add pasta sauce, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  10. Evenly divide squash between five plates. Top evenly with sauce cheese, and basil. Serve immediately.

Container Count

  • 1 1/2 Green
  • 1/2 Purple
  • 1 Red
  • 1/2 Blue

Nutty Monkey Cakes

Nothing screams SATURDAY MORNING quite like bedhead, a fresh batch of delicious pancakes, and cartoons on TV (educational, of course.)

What? You thought you couldn't have pancakes anymore?!

Wrong, my friend.

Just because you've transitioned to a healthier lifestyle, doesn't mean you have to throw your favorite comfort foods out the window!

This morning, Maddie and I decided to experiment with the ingredients we had on hand to whip up a delightful, post-yoga session brunch.

These pancakes are super simple to make, grain/gluten-free, and toddler-approved! #momwin

Check them out!!

Ingredients 

  • 1 ripe banana 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup nut butter (we used almond)
  • 1 tsp of baking powder (In retrospect, baking soda might have been the better option for these...oh well, next time!)
  • coconut oil for greasing the pan

OPTIONAL

  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • toppings (syrup/honey, fresh sliced strawberries/bananas, blueberries, chopped pecans, etc...)

Instructions

  1. Preheat skillet/griddle on medium heat
  2. Combine all ingredients (except toppings, duh) in your blender or food processor and mix until you have a consistent batter
  3. Grease skillet/griddle with a dab of coconut oil, and then pour batter making 3-4 inch rounds (CAUTION: these are delicate, if you pour too large, they're hard to flip!)
  4. Cook 2-3 minutes on one side, until it bubbles (see pic) and then flip and cook on the other side for another minute or two 
  5. Serve hot off the griddle with a drizzle of pure maple syrup or honey and/or whatever other toppings you prefer!! (Goes REALLY well with fresh sliced strawberries)
  6. ENJOY!

Container Count

(For the entire batch)

  • 1 Purple
  • 1 Red
  • 4 Tbsp healthy fats