Wednesday, August 31, 2016

MEAL PREP & FREEZER MEALS

September is going to rock my world.  I will be traveling away from my children on two separate trips - both of which I am super excited about.  (Side note: I just finished reading a book where it made fun of an American girl that regularly used the word "super."  I saw myself and cringed a little, 😁, but guess what?  I'm still going to use it.  It is a super good word.)  Anyway, because of all of the traveling, I need the people who will be caring for my children to have meals ready to go.

Yesterday, I spent a couple of hours mapping out meals for the next month+.  This included making an extensive grocery list and then ordering said list to be PICKED UP at Wal-Mart.  This grocery pick-up is a game changer.  Now, please know that I am a teensy bit irritated that this came to fruition just in time for all of my grocery "helpers" to go to school.  That said, it is still a major win in my world.  This morning I picked up 82 - EIGHTY TWO - items from Wal-Mart.  They were finishing up my order when I arrived, so I waited a few minutes, but then it was all loaded into my car ready to go home.

No wandering the store.  No double checking the list again.  No going back to the other side of the store after missing something there on my first visit.

Seriously amazing.  Kroger has it too, but I haven't yet tried theirs - I've heard that it still has a few more kinks.  But, Wal-Mart's is fantastic and made me trying to get food for a month a much better experience.

Okay - here are *most* of the recipes that I'm using this month.  They all fit into my "eat healthier" category by being mostly bread free, mostly fresh food.  These are all being frozen.

Mini-Meatloaf Pepper Rings
- I mentioned this in my "Recipes We've Enjoyed" post last month, but this time, I'm making it for the freezer so someone else can pull it out and feed it to my kiddos!  As a double bonus, peppers are really quite beautiful, not to mention tasty.  I froze these at the point that you would be ready to put them into the oven, and I doubled the recipe, making two trays of it.  For our family, I only put tomatoes on half of it, because several of my kiddos are picky.

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Crockpot Honey Pork and Apples

Slow-Cooker Lemon Herb Turkey Breast

Slow-Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies
- This one is great, because it is truly an entire meal.

Sausage, Kale and Spaghetti Squash Boats
- I am planning to freeze a couple extra of these with instructions to defrost and warm up, covered, in oven until warmed through.  I think it will work - fingers crossed!

And, just because I'm feeling super 😉 generous, I'm going to throw in a few more recipes that we've recently enjoyed!

Crazy Good Peanut Noodles
- These are noodles made with yellow squash, and I used almond butter instead of peanut butter due to our peanut allergy.  I also made basic chicken in the crock pot that we then slathered in this sauce.  For us, it was a big win.

Creamy Maple Dijon Chicken with Bacon
- I have only started to develop a taste for bacon in the last year.  I know, I know.  What took me so long?  Well, I had a very bad experience with bacon at an After-Prom breakfast in high school where I managed to set fire to a microwave and turn a plate of bacon into a crater.  But, I'm starting to come around, and this recipe was delicious to me, bacon and all.  We ate it with zoodles (zucchini noodles) which most of my kids will eat.  Depending on the day.  And their moods.  Just like all food.

Healthy Dark Chocolate No-Bake Bars
- I've already made these twice since last week.  They are a hit with us all!  Almonds, Oats, Pecans, Dates, Dark Chocolate, and a tiny bit of salt and Vanilla Extract are all it takes.

For whatever reason, I like to vary our meals pretty frequently, so I am almost always trying out new recipes, which has definite pros and cons.  These are all winners, so I hope to incorporate them more often.  Hope this gives you some meal planning inspiration!

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