Back to School Meal Prep

Is anyone else craving the fall like I am? It’s still about 90 degrees in Charleston. But the calendar is telling me that the weather should be cooling down (wishful thinking)!

This time of year is my favorite! It means apples, pumpkin spice everything, and back to school shopping! Turner starts school on Monday which will get us in full-on schedule mode! I’ve enjoyed the summer, but I’m really looking forward to the change of seasons with our kiddos this year! To help with back-to-school time and to honor my love of all things fall, I wanted to share a few of my fall favorites and a recipe game plan that will help organize your upcoming week!

Meals:

  1. Teriyaki Chicken Casserole (use your prepared shredded chicken and pre-packaged stir-fry veggies).
  2. Meatball Sliders (make meatballs ahead so all you have to do is heat on a bun with some cheese).
  3. Sloppy Joes
  4. Baked Chicken Enchiladas (use your prepared shredded chicken)
  5. Chicken and Dumplings (use your prepared shredded chicken)

 

The beauty of this meal game-plan is that you can customize it based on your family size. AND you are only buying two types of meat for the week: chicken and ground turkey (or beef)! A lot of the ingredients you probably have on hand so you should just need a few items from the grocery store. So browse through each recipe and plan your grocery list accordingly. See my time-saver tips below to make dinner making a breeze!


 

Time Saver Tips:

  • Make ahead as much as you can over the weekend so you’re prepared for the week.
  • Weekend Prep: Put 4 chicken breasts in a crock pot with salt and pepper on each side. Add water halfway up the side of the chicken and cook on low for 4 hours. Shred chicken and store in an airtight container in the fridge for all of your meals!
  • Use pre-packaged stir-fy veggies in a bag in the produce section for the teriyaki chicken dish.
  • Make meatballs ahead as they’re just as delicious, if not better, when re-heated!

Now that we have the meal plan out of the way, let’s talk fall favorites. Here are a few of my favorite things!

  1. Pumpkin Cupcake candle (use offer code BX5XG2 for $5 off): I have bought several of these candles. Every scent I try is amazing! They have a hidden ring inside which is always fun. You can apparently win a ring up to $5000 although I have yet to win one.
  2. Pumpkin Banana Bread: I tried this recipe a few weeks ago and it was amazing! I added chocolate chips. It’s a must!
  3. Toddler Backpack: I ordered this for Turner for school. His other backpack was too small and the LL Bean ones are huge and super expensive! This fits his style, is the perfect size, and is super affordable!
  4. Thieves Essential Oil: More on that in a separate post (recipes and labels coming soon)! I diffuse this in Turner’s room to keep the germs away once school starts!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Hopefully some of these tips and tricks will help make your week a little easier!

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This Week’s Menu

As you know, Stew was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma last week. So our menu is even MORE important! We are completely taking sugar and anything processed out of our diets. We’ve always been really healthy, but we would cheat from time to time. I am planning meals packed with veggies and vegetable protein. We need to make sure he is getting a lot of protein and calories from healthy fats. So we need a plan! I figured I would share, because it’s always good to think about your diet, cancer or no cancer!

**some notes- Any recipe that has sugar, I will use a substitute like 100% natural maple syrup, honey, or agave. Also, anything that has “flour” I will replace with almond meal when applicable! Finally, I have a list of options in each category that we will mix and match, or even repeat (like breakfast or smoothies).

Breakfast Choices:
Potato Free Hash Browns
Breakfast Porridge (almond milk to replace milk)
Bananas Foster Slow Cooker Oatmeal (omitting brown sugar and adding maple syrup to taste)
Puffed Millet Cereal This is a quick, on the go, option. It’s also on the alkaline side instead of acidic.

Lunch/Dinner
Collard Green and Sweet Corn Cakes (replace flour with almond meal and omit sour cream)
Garden Skillet (omit meatballs)
Quinoa Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes
Apple and Leek Soup
Sweet Corn & Barley Risotto (omit wine)
Sprouted Tortillas with avocado, hummus, & veggies
Green Smoothie

Snacks
Banana Oat Bars
Carrot Almond Butter Bites
Veggies & Hummus

And as always, some love from Team Watson!
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Fall Is In The Air!

It hit me today, as I perused Pinterest, that I’m not the ONLY person getting excited for fall!! There are so many pins for fall meals and decorating  scattered throughout the pages. Although it’s still hot and humid here in Charleston, the mornings are cooling off a bit. Turner and I are actually able to sit on the front porch in the mornings without breaking a sweat!

Fall is my favorite time of year. The food is comforting, the bugs start to retreat, and I can pull out all of my boots! Fall also means more crock pot meals. As you know, Stew and I plan our menu on the weekend and do all of our grocery shopping for the week. This makes preparing dinner way less stressful. Stew usually gets home by 6 on week nights, and I have dinner ready so we can eat, go for our walk, and get Turner in the bath by 7. Lately, I’ve been finding that I’m just not in the mood to cook once 5:00 roles around. So, this week, I’m planning things that I can just throw in the crock pot or prep ahead so I don’t have to do much each night. I’ve had a few requests to share my menu and grocery list, so here we go!

Menu
Saturday: Grilled Chicken w/ Winter Slaw
Sunday: Mongolian Beef w/ Barley
Monday: Frozen Fish with Sweet Potato Fries
Tuesday: One of my frozen meals (My friends and I exhange frozen meals once a month at our supper club so we each have 3 homemade meals in the freezer that we can pull out at a moment’s notice. It’s a life saver!)
Wednesday: Turkey and Black Bean Tacos
Thursday: Chipotle Beef Chili
Friday: DATE NIGHT!

**NOTE: I cut the recipes down if they’re for a large group! Also, some items I already have, so I don’t add them to my grocery list.

Baby Food: I make two big batches of veggies and fruit for Turner’s lunch and dinner for the week. In addition to his pureed food, I give him finger foods like local cheddar cheese with his yogurt in the afternoon, whole grain waffles with his oatmeal for breakfast, and even some bites of grilled cheese. This is what his week will look like.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with apples and cinnamon. I peel and cut up an apple into tiny pieces and boil it for the last few minutes. Then, I stir in some cinnamon.
Lunch:  Grilled Cheese bites with Eggplant, Pear, & Plum Puree.
Snack: Local Greek Yogurt (sold at Whole Foods)
Dinner: Pureed butternut squash with apple and cinnamon (peeled, cut up, steamed, and blended).

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Grocery List:
Frozen Tilapia Filets
Frozen Sweet Potato Fries
Ground Turkey
Stew Meat
Kale
Riddichio
Brussels Sprouts
Lemons
1 Eggplant
2 pears
2 plums
1 bag organic granny smith apples
1 Butternut squash
1 Green Pepper
1 onion
Yogurt
Cheddar Cheese
Tortillas
Seeduction Bread (Whole Foods)
1 can low sodium black beans
1 can low sodium pinto beans
1 can low sodium red kidney beans
1 28 OZ can fire roasted tomatoes
1 can chili in adobo

Happy eating and enjoy your holiday weekend!

PicShells

 

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