Saturday, October 11, 2014

Prepping and planning for after school snacks and dinners for the upcoming week

I start new classes for school this next week. I am excited and nervous like no other. The anticipation is ridiculous..haha. This past week was super busy and I didn't meal plan..which equaled a grumpy crazy mom and not the greatest selections for healthy dinners.  As I have heard before "FAIL TO PLAN, PLAN TO FAIL."  Planning your week out is super helpful and necessary. Things don't seem to magically appear done, I wish they did sometimes. Here are some of the recipes that I will be using. I usually plan for 3 to 4 dinners a week. That way I don't over shop and waste things that I buy.  If you have any tips that you like with your meals for the week. Feel free to share :-)
Pumpkin No bake cookies
3/4 cup quick oats (60g)
1/2 cup oat flour (or make your own by blending oats in a food processor until they become powder. Measure after blending.) (75g)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup xylitol or sugar (or coconut sugar or sucanat) (55g)
1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional: a pinch pumpkin pie spice as well)
optional: handful mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup canned pumpkin (or sweet potato puree) (80g)
2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons milk of choice, as needed
1 tablespoon oil (omit if you desire, but I can’t vouch for the results)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
No Bake Pumpkin Cookies Recipe: Combine all dry ingredients and stir very well. In a separate bowl, combine all liquid (including pumpkin). Then stir to combine, and form into balls or cookies. Or put in the fridge to firm up a little before forming cookies.
Healthy Pumpkin Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A delicious and moist low fat healthy pumpkin bread with zucchini and chocolate chips! This is amazing!
Recipe type: Bread, Healthy, Low-fat
Serves: 12 slices
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of cloves
  • pinch of ginger
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed of excess moisture
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.
  3. In a separate large bowl combine pumpkin, zucchini, honey, oil, egg, and vanilla until well combined and smooth. Whisk in almond milk. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips, reserving a few for sprinkling on top. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 10-15 minutes, then remove bread from pan and transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.
You can also bake these into muffins, but may need to adjust baking time. I would check them at 20 minutes.

You can use different types of chocolate chips to make this bread your own. Add in a handful of toasted pecans or walnuts for healthy fats.

I love adding 1/2 cup of coconut to this bread to make it extra special.


Recipe for Slow Cooker White Bean and Chicken Chili
Makes 4 servings (this recipe can easily be doubled)
Ideal slow cooker size:  3 quart
Cooking time: 4-6 hours on low

2 cups water
2 tsp chicken bouillon (or 1 tsp if using Shirley J brand)
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts (I added mine in frozen)
2 minced garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
2 (14.5 oz) cans great northern beans
2 cups frozen corn 
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Grated mozzarella cheese, for serving

1.  Add water, bouillon, chicken, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, red pepper and beans (entire can, juices and all) to slow cooker.
2.  Cover and cook on LOW 4-6 hours.
3.  Remove chicken and shred on cutting board.  Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup.
4.  Add in corn and lime juice.  Let cook on high for another 10 mintues until corn is heated through.
5.  Ladle into serving bowls and top with cilantro and mozzarella.


PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 40 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 55 minutes
One-Pot Paprika Chicken Thighs, with potatoes and carrots, is flavorful, healthy, and good enough for company! Try it on served in rice, quinoa, or farro.


  • 3 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Smokey paprika
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Pressed garlic
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 lb. red and white small potatoes, in 1-inch chunks
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 2 Tbs. flour
  • 1 1/3 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. fresh thyme, finely chopped


  1. In a Ziploc bag, combine about 2 T. smokey paprika, 1 tsp. each of salt and pepper. Mix together and add 4-5 pieces of chicken at a time, lightly shaking. Pull the chicken pieces out and put on a large plate. Repeat the process, adding more spices if needed, until all the chicken has been coated.
  2. In a large heavy frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Repeat the process until all the chicken has been lightly cooked.
  3. Add the garlic and onion to the frying pan, stirring for about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and stir another 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and carrots. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  4. Gently whisk the flour into the wine. Gradually pour into the vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add the chicken stock; stir. Return the chicken to the pan and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover the pan, and reduce the heat to medium-low, simmering until the chicken and vegetables are cooked. Cook for about 30 minutes. Right before serving, mix the chicken and vegetables; add in the thyme. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper. Serve on farro, rice, or quinoa.

Zoodles: Zucchini Noodles with Marinara and Meatballs


Zucchini (about 1 med zucchini per person)
2 Tbsp butter or olive oil, divided
1 pound bison
1 egg, lightly beaten
Homemade Marinara sauce (see below)


To Make the Meatballs and Sauce
In a bowl, squish together Italian bulk sausage and the egg. Roll small meatballs in your hand.
In a large, deep skillet, melt 1 Tbsp.
fat over medium heat. Add meatballs and brown on all sides. 
To Make the Zoodles
Using a spiralizer (I ordered mine off amazon) make zucchini noodles according to spiralizer directions. In another large skillet, sautee them over medium heat with a little olive oil or butter until tender, but still crisp (for about 2-4 minutes).
Put zoodles in a bowl, top with 2-3 meatballs and marinara. Sprinkle parmesan and serve.



2 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2. Tbsp. minced fresh basil
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. fresh oregano
4 cups of blended tomatoes  (can replace with no salt added crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce depending on desired consistency)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. raw, unfiltered honey


In a 3 qt. saucepan, heat butter or olive oil and saute garlic until golden and fragrant. Stir in fresh herbs and tomatoes. Add salt and pepper and simmer the sauce for 20 minutes. A few minutes before the sauce is finished, add 1 Tbsp. honey.

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