Sunday, February 17, 2019

Weekly Menu February 17th-February 22nd

I just wanted to share what's on the menu at our house this week! I recently purchased an Instant Pot and have included a couple of new recipes.  I have been trying to make at least two Instant Pot recipes over the weekend to have ready to go for the week! Loving it so far!


Taco Night!

Creamy Shrimp Alfredo


Instant Pot Pot Roast


Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks (bread machine)
Copycat Olive Garden Salad 

Slow Cooker Thai Pork with Peanut Sauce


White Pizza
Bread Machine Pizza Dough

Friday, May 13, 2016

What's on the menu this week?

I take pride in menu planning! I'm weird like that! I look at our schedule, the weather and go from there! Here is what I am serving up this week!

In celebration of warmer weather and lots of mulch laying and deck staining, we're having this delicious grilled New York Strip with herbed butter. It's already seasoned up and in the fridge!

We're hoping for any rain to hold off to finish our very labor intensive deck project! To celebrate a job well done we're having these grilled apple cider glazed pork chops.

I love a good kid friendly casserole when we have a few after school activities dominating the afternoon and evening hours! Everyone loves this chicken and rice bake that can be prepared in its entirety ahead of time.

Soccer practice and my evening work event calls for this chicken and broccoli. Recipe calls for beef but substituting chicken!) in the slow cooker. Scoop and serve as needed! 

Lightening it up on hump day with my all time favorite salad dressing recipe given to me by a very dear friend.  Grilled lemon pepper chicken over caesar salad

Everyone's favorite....well, nobody's but mine actually....LEFTOVERS!

Pizza. Always. Make your own is on tap for this week. Love this bread machine pizza dough recipe. It is my go to! 

I would love some ideas for next week! What is everyone having?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Clean Eating Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls

Yum! I found this recipe on Pinterest, made a few small changes and loved the way it came out! Even the kids raved about it. A keeper!

Prep Ahead Plan: Combine chicken, broth, Rotel, beans and seasonings in the close cooker and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Clean Eating Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls

4 boneless chicken breasts
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1 Tablespoon onion powder
3 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
3 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1 can black beans
1 can Rotel
1 bag of boil in a bag brown rice

Optional garnished: cheddar cheese, scallions, avocado, jalapeños

1. Combine chicken, seasonings, beans, rotel and broth in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.

2.  Remove chicken and shred. Pour the remaining liquid into a pot and follow the directions on the box of your boil in a bag rice. (Boil in the bag for 10 minutes).

3. Mix cooked rice with chicken mixture, garnish and serve!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

21-Day Fix Thai Inspired Chicken and Vegetable Soup

I am on day 21 of Beachbody's 21-Day Fix with Autumn Calabrese and I can not say enough about it!  The combination of the meal plan and workouts is key and I had great results.  Not only am I more energized, I lost 3 pounds, 3 inches in my hip measurement and 2 inches in my waist measurement. My skin, my hair and my nails are nicer than they have been in years (since I can remember??).  AND, honestly, before this, I considered myself a healthy eater.  I also worked out regularly.
I tried poking around online to find a great description of what the program is all about but everything was very focused on weight loss and that's not why I'm doing it, although that is a desirable outcome of the program as well (if that is your goal). I chose to do this for the clean eating guide and 30-minute DO-ABLE workouts. I had just about all I could take of staring at a wall while running on the treadmill. I would try to eat clean and end up not getting the correct amount of proteins, veggies, healthy fats, etc., and be STARVING by 3:00. What I love about this program is that I am never hungry. If you are hungry, Autumn encourages you to add an additional green (veggie) or red (protein) to your day. When I first looked at the program at Christmas time, I was very close to doing this minus the meal plan because it looked confusing. Fast forward 2 months of comfort food later, I knew the meal plan was just what I needed and it is EVERYTHING. The workouts are great but my energy level and mood completely changed after starting the clean eating portion. It's not a diet, it's a lesson on how to eat the correct amount of calories and foods/portions based on your specific caloric needs with an appropriate calorie deficit to keep your metabolism going. (She gives a simple formula in the beginning of the book). 

I lost 3 pounds and a total of 5.5 inches! I lost 3 inches in my hip measurement and 2.5" in my waist measurement.  On February 27, 2014, I gave birth to my 4th daughter via my 4th c-section.  I have struggled to regain muscle strength in my ab muscles after those multiple surgeries.  It is a very difficult area for me to work and in the past, I would feel very frustrated by my lack of strength in those muscles.  I can’t believe the definition and strength I gained in my ab muscles in those short 21 days. 

I can not believe the changes that took place for me both mentally and physically in a short 21 days.  I am truly emoti I will link up some informational videos in the comments but I just wanted to add my 2 cents because a lot of what they talk about focuses on weight loss but it is really so much more than that.  I created a group on Facebook where I am supplying all of my grocery lists, menu planning spreadsheets and links to the recipes I have used. It is a great group and support system that is keeping everyone accountable!  I will provide you with all of the tools necessary to succeed! Send me your email if you wish to be added to the private, secret group (i.e. no one will see your posts or see that you are in the group). Email me at:

I can't believe I'm sharing my un-showered, very much in need of a tan before and after pics here! It's not a huge transformation or anything but great progress in only 21 days. I can specifically see the 3 inch difference in my hip measurement in the pictures. 

This recipe is an adaptation of one I found on Allrecipes.  The original recipe calls for potato but I didn't want to use up any yellow containers for the soup.  I also made a few other small modifications!  I really loved the sweetness and Thai flavor the peanut butter added, but you could easily skip it for a more traditional chicken vegetable soup recipe!  Enjoy!

21-Day Fix Thai Inspired Chicken Vegetable Soup
a 2 cup serving = 1 red, 1 green, 1 teaspoon

8 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups diced, cooked chicken meat
4 carrots, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 broccoli head, chopped
1 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
2 stalks celery chopped celery
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons of dried parsley
dash of salt and pepper

1. Spray the bottom of a soup pot with cooking spray. Sauté all vegetables until slightly tender.
2. Add broth and parsley and bring to a boil.  Boil for 5 minutes or so until veggies are as tender as you like. 
3. Stir in peanut butter and simmer until well combined (5 minutes or so). Add salt and pepper as necessary/wanted.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

21-Day Fix Shrimp Quinoa Salad

I'm on day 17 of the 21-Day Fix with Autumn Calabrese and I am LOVING every second of it.  If you are feeling the weight of this cold weather and snow on your body and energy level, I highly suggest you look into this program. It's not a gimmick or quick fix, it's a lesson on how to incorporate  clean eating and fitness into your busy lifestyle in a way that will transform your body and mindset. If you want to hear more about it, please feel free to email me at

Shrimp and quinoa salad is a healthy, filling lunch that comes together quickly and makes for some easy grab and go lunches during the week.

Shrimp and Quinoa Salad
Equals: 1 Red, 1 Green, 1 Yellow and 1 Orange

1 cup quinoa (rinsed and cooked according to package directions)
1 15 oz can chick peas
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 container of grape tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, diced
1 cup broccoli, diced
2 scallions, diced
1/4 of a red onion, diced
1 pound raw shrimp or cooked shrimp cocktail

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon tarragon
3 teaspoons dijon mustard
dash of salt and pepper
5 Tablespoons olive oil

1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions and let cool.  If using raw shrimp, spray a sauté pan and heat over medium heat. Cook the shrimp until no longer opaque in the middle (just a few minutes).
2. Add quinoa, beans and all veggies in a large bowl.  Stir together.  Add shrimp and mix to combine.
3.  With a fork or whisk, mix together all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.  Pour over salad stirring to make sure the dressing is well distributed.
4. Separate into 5 containers to eat as individual servings! 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

21-Day Fix Slow Cooker Chili

It's been a long winter with lots of snow and lots of comfort food. I'm bored of the treadmill and miss our active days outside, grilling and overall lighter fare. I've been feeling so sluggish lately and I think it is in part of our over indulgence in treats, treats and more treats!

I've been eyeing the 21-Day Fix with Autumn Calabrese for a couple months now.  When it went on sale this month I decided to buy it strictly for the workouts as I thought organizing the clean eating meal plan might be too much work.  After reading over the guide and watching some of her videos on her clean eating plan, I decided to go for it!

I sat down and planned all 21 days worth of meals and snacks. I made Excel spreadsheets for the daily menus and grocery lists for each week.  I organized a Pinterest board with the recipes and I now am ready to go!

I always do better with these challenges when I have friends to join me but I didn't have any takers this time around! So, for those of you that are interested, I created a challenge group on Facebook and am doing this a second time on March 9th.  It is a closed, private group so posts can only be seen by members and will not show up in other's news feeds. Here, I will share all of the documents I have organized and all of the planning I have done! It will be a support forum for everyone to stay motivated, discuss workouts and share recipes. The official challenge begins March 9th but feel free to join the group before then!

For the record, I will not be getting on any kind of soap box lecturing about clean eating! Velveeta and Rotel happen in my house. Ice cream sundaes happen and so does bacon. I am just struggling to find a balance lately and want to go into spring feeling healthy and fit.  I think this program is just what I need as a kick start.

Hope to see lots of friends join me!!

Here is my 21-Day Fix approved dinner for Monday and lunch for Wednesday!

Two Cups of Chili= 1 Red, 1 Green and 1 Yellow container

Slow Cooker 21-Day Fix Chili
1 lb turkey meat
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz can pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup of frozen, sweet corn
1 can Rotel
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon salt

1. Brown turkey meat with pepper, onion and garlic. Drain
2.  Add browned turkey/pepper mixture to slow cooker pot and add all remaining ingredients.  Cook on low for 4 hours.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

freezer meals for busy weeknights

Right before Isla was born last year, I started doubling our dinner recipes on occasion and storing half of the dish in the freezer. I saved them until after she was born and had a bunch of pre-made dinners ready to go as we adjusted to life as a family of 6! It made life so much easier during those crazy weeknights when the older girls went in a million different directions.

Fast forward one year later and I'm still making a habit of having a variety of frozen dinners stocked in our freezer to make our weeknight evenings slightly less chaotic!

I thought I would share what our freezer looks like today and some of my go-to recipes for doubling and freezing!

1.  Grilled Chicken Breast
Well, this is not a recipe obviously and the batch that is pictured is not actually grilled but oven baked instead! I prefer having grilled chicken breast in the freezer but our grill is currently buried under 2 feet of snow.  I grill/bake boneless chicken breast with a little salt and pepper, individually wrap them and store them in the freezer.  They're so nice to have on hand to defrost and throw in a salad or make some quick quesadillas.

2.  Glazed Meatballs
I prepare the meatballs and freeze them. The day before we're going to eat them, I put them in the fridge to defrost. Before I put them in the oven, I mix up the glaze (the PW glaze is our favorite) right in the pan, stir in the meatballs and pop them in the oven.  I like to serve these with carrot sticks and potatoes of some kind.

3.  Broccoli Cheddar Soup
I love this Skinnytaste version!  This defrosts quickly in the fridge. I serve it with a salad and bread.

4.  Chicken Taquitos
This site has a great chicken taquito recipe that I love to use!  I follow her directions for freezing and baking.  She suggests writing the cooking instructions right on the freezer bag.  I do this for all of my freezer meals. This way, I don't need to go and look up the recipe to find out how long and at what temp it needs to be cooked.

5.  Pioneer Woman Turkey Chili
I have tried lots of chili recipes and I always go back to this one.  I use turkey instead of beef and add a can of rotel to the recipe.

6.  Amazing Pork Tenderloin
This is really good. Pork tenderloins always come two in a pack.  It's so easy to mix up the marinade twice and freeze one, raw, pre-marinated tenderloin.  I defrost it in the fridge the day before I am going to make it and dump it all in the slow cooker the next day! If you are opposed to using dry onion soup mix, you can make your own using this recipe.

7.  Baked Ziti
Two of our girls don't like baked ziti and prefer plain pasta with butter.  I double the recipe and bake one 9x11 pan and use the leftovers for either lunches or another dinner that week.  I take the second half of the recipe and divide it into 3 separate loaf pans.  This way R and L can have either gluten free or buttered pasta and the loaf pan is just enough for the rest of us!  Also, this recipe calls for sour cream but I use ricotta instead.

Thanks for taking a peek inside my freezer today! Have a great week!