Sunday Prep Series Week Three

Well, this is it, mamas! Jenn is providing us with the last guest post in the series. She’ll show us a lineup of healthy & delicious meals for the week. Remember, we do all the cooking on Sunday (in under 2 hours) and it will provide your family with lunch and dinner through mid-week. For breakfast, try these smoothie packs!

We’d like to extend a great big THANK YOU to Jenn Wolfe for giving us a glimpse into her kitchen the past few Sundays. She’s answered all of our questions and provided inspiration and advice for making wellness a priority for the entire family. 

Of course, we have a few last questions for her. We need every burning question answered! But, don’t worry! If you still have questions for Jenn after the meal prep series is done, her contact info is at the end of this post. 

Now that we’re going to be shopping on our own, can you tell us the best way to navigate the grocery store?

Absolutely! Learning how to work the grocery store to your advantage is key! To get clean, whole foods you will mainly stay around the perimeter of the store. Going up and down aisles leads you to bags and boxes of foods with several ingredients. Many of the ingredients you can’t pronounce or recognize, and guess what? Your body won’t either! 

What’s the best way to turn our favorite recipes into meal plans for the week?

Great question! I think about the foods I love and create meals out of them. For instance, this week’s Pad Thai is a favorite of ours, but with a couple simple switches of ingredients and pasta it can be made much healthier. There are plenty of healthy substitutes. I share these with my clients to allow them to feel they aren’t being deprived while making small daily adjustments to meet their personal wellness goals. Remember to keep it simple, keep variety in your meals week to week, and avoid processed foods. 
 

What tips do you have for getting the family on board with making health a priority?

I’ve always cooked one meal and everyone eats that meal. Thankfully we have no dietary restrictions (other than mine), and my girls and husband eat (and like) everything. If you aren’t as lucky, and you’ve been struggling to find a meal everyone will eat, I think starting out basic is key. Choose a protein everyone likes, choose a vegetable everyone likes, and play around with the starch or complex carb. Then the next week, play around with a different food group while sticking with your safe foods for 2 of the 3 meals. No one will go hungry. Let’s face it, if they are hungry enough- they will eat!
 

Ok, ladies! Let’s get shopping.

Shrimp  Pad Thai


18oz raw shrimp (2 bags if you are feeding 4 people) OR chicken breasts or shrimp isn’t your thing
4oz (56g) flat brown rice noodles
3 tbsp garlic paste
1 red bell pepper
1 cup mushrooms (chopped)
1 cup green onions (chopped)
1.5 cup bean sprouts
Fresh cilantro

Sauce:
1/4 cup rice vinegar (or fish sauce)
1/8 cup coconut aminos (low sodium soy sauce)
1/8 cup red chili pepper sauce
2 tbsp coconut sugar
Juice from 1 lime

  1. Boil brown rice noodles. Drain and set aside. Do not OVERCOOK- they get mushy!
  2. Chop veggies- bell pepper, mushrooms, green onions, limes, cilantro.
  3. Peel and devein shrimp OR slice chicken breast into small pieces.
  4. In a bowl, mix rice vinegar or fish sauce, coconut sugar, red chili pepper sauce, & fresh lime juice.
  5. Spray a nonstick skillet with coconut oil, then add garlic paste.
  6. Toss in Shrimp OR chicken breast pieces and cook.
  7. Finally, add noodles, then fresh veggies and the sauce.

Note: This is Sunday dinner for us because we’re using shrimp. If you’re using chicken, it will last longer in the fridge.

 

Stuffed Chicken with Spinach and Feta


1  tablespoon olive oil, divided
1  medium onion, chopped
10 oz spinach, fresh
1  teaspoon zest of lemon
1⁄4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1  teaspoon table salt, divided
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1  lb boneless skinless chicken breast

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet heat 1 teaspoon oil and saute onion until golden, about 5 minutes.
  3. Wilt spinach (steam spinach or heat damp spinach over medium heat in nonstick pan); stir in zest, feta, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, set aside.
  4. Slice chicken breast in half lengthwise and place even amount of spinach mixture on each breast.
  5. Roll up and secure with toothpicks.
  6. Sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper.
  7. In same skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat.
  8. Cook chicken, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  9. Remove toothpicks.
  10. Cook 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165F.

Cucumber Quinoa Salad


1 English cucumber, diced
2 cups chilled, cooked quinoa (Cook the night before to save time on Sunday)
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup julienned or roughly-chopped fresh basil leaves
1 batch Lemony Italian vinaigrette (see below)*

*You can also use Italian dressing or Braggs Vinaigrette instead of making your own 

Lemon Italian Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, homemade or store-bought
pinch of salt and black pepper

Turkey Taco stuffed sweet potatoes

2 medium sweet potatoes
1 tsp olive oil

1 ¼ cup canned crushed tomatoes
¼ cup grated pepper Jack cheese
2 tbsp minced flat-leaf parsley

1 Package of Mrs. Dash Taco Seasoning OR these ingredients:
1 ¼ tsp ground cumin, divided
¼ + ⅛ tsp salt
¼ + ⅛ tsp ground pepper
¾ lb. lean ground turkey
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp paprika

  1. Pierce sweet potatoes all over using a fork.
  2. Cook in the microwave on HIGH until tender when pierced with a fork, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
  3. Let potatoes rest until cool enough to handle.
  4. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop the flesh out of the potatoes and place in a medium-sized bowl. Reserve the skins.
  5. With back of a fork, mash potato flesh until most lumps are gone. Stir in olive oil, ½ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  6. Divide mashed sweet potato evenly between the potato skins. Place on baking sheet.
  7. While the potatoes are cooking, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly coat with cooking spray.
  8. Add ground turkey and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until cooked through.
  9. Stir in garlic, chili powder, remaining ¾ teaspoon cumin, oregano, paprika, and remaining ⅛ teaspoon salt and pepper OR 1 package Mrs. Dash Taco Seasoning.
  10. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in crushed tomatoes.
  11. Spoon the turkey mixture into each sweet potato.
  12. Heat Potatoes in oven or Microwave when you are ready to eat.
  13. Top with grated cheese if desired.

Chicken, Beans and Cauliflower

1 lb chicken breast

4 garlic cloves

2 green bell peppers

3 tbsp green onions

1 Large Onion

2 tbsp Mina Harissa OR red chili pepper, red bell pepper, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar & salt

1 15oz can Tomato Sauce

Salt and Pepper

EVOO

2lbs or cauliflower OR buy already RICED in the frozen sections of grocery store

2 14oz cans of low sodium black beans

  1. If you’re making your own RICED cauliflower you will need a food processor. Add cauliflower florets in batches and process until “rice” forms. If you process too much it will turn to mush. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Preheat a large and deep non-stick skillet on medium heat and add EVOO. Add cauliflower rice and cook for 3-4 mins. (If you bought frozen, skip step 1 and cook now.) It should be golden brown. Season with salt and pepper and add to bowl.
  3. Add more EVOO to skillet and add onion, garlic and green bell peppers. Cook for 7 minutes.
  4. Add Chicken and cook for 5 more minutes.
  5. Add tomato sauce, black beans, and Mina Harissa. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 10 mins.
  6. Remove from Heat. Add rice and sprinkle green onions on top.
  7. Serve on its own or with extra brown rice for those hungry people In your family!

* Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Hard Boiled Eggs

  1. Put as many eggs as you can eat in 4 days in a pot. They have to be covered in water.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Pour cold water over and when you can handle peel and store in zip lock baggies. This makes it easy to grab and go! 

More photos of the finished product!

Here’s how to contact Jenn for guidance on health and wellness, information on AdvoCare and the 24 Day Challenge:

Website: www.wellnesswithwolfe.com

Email: wellnesswithwolfe@yahoo.com

Facebook: Jenn Wolfe /jennifer.wolfe.77715

Instagram: @wolfe.jenn

Do you know of a mom with something to share in a guest post or series of guest posts? Contact us!

The Macro-Friendly Mac & Cheese That Broke the Internet

 

Ok, so it didn’t exactly break the Internet. But my macro-friendly mac & cheese recipe from my old blog has been pinned over 1,000 times on Pinterest. That makes me Pinterest famous, right? I’m a one-hit Pinterest wonder.

To be honest, there isn’t anything crazy special about this mac & cheese. And you might be wondering what macro-friendly even means! Well, I’d need a longer post to explain counting macros. In a nutshell, if you actually measure the fat, protein, and carbs you take in every day, you can make big changes in your health and lifestyle based on these numbers. 

At one time in my life (pre-baby) I measured and counted these macros to study my eating habits. I made adjustments and learned a ton about what I was putting into my body. (I will write a more detailed post about this in the future if you’re interested in how to do this yourself.)

While on this food journey, I wanted some mac & cheese. Because, well, who doesn’t crave a bowl full of cheesy carbs now and again?

The great part about tracking your macros is that you can eat whatever you want. It’s the anti-diet. But, you want to be sure you’re keeping your fat, protein, and carbs at a certain number for the day. So, I set out to make a single-serving mac & cheese that would fit within my daily numbers.

This can easily be made into a family-sized recipe, and it includes a serving of broccoli, which means the kids will be getting their veggies in. You could also throw together a single serving for your own lunch…if you have that kind of time!

Macro-Friendly Mac & Cheese
Serves 1
Ingredients
  1. 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1 tbsp coconut flour
  3. 1/3 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
  4. 1/2 cup skim milk or 2 tbsp light cream and 1/2 cup starchy water
  5. 1/3 cup elbow mac
  6. 1 cup frozen broccoli
  7. Dash of salt and pepper
  8. Dash of nutmeg
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. Boil mac and cook broccoli according to directions, reserving starchy water from pasta.
  2. Heat EVOO in a small sauce pan. Add coconut flour and combine.
  3. Add milk or cream/starchy water mix, then stir in cheese to finish sauce. Set aside.
  4. Drain pasta. Combine with broccoli and cheese sauce, adding starchy water as needed to thin out the sauce to desired consistency.
  5. Add salt and pepper, sprinkle with nutmeg.
Calories
319 cal
Fat
15 g
Protein
20 g
Carbs
31 g
Print
Glens Falls Mom http://glensfallsmom.com/

Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts {And How to Break up with Bitter Brussels Forever}

When you’re making your Sunday grocery list, I bet brussels sprouts aren’t the first on the list. In fact, they may conjure up memories of bitter chunks of ickyness slathered in butter. If this is your only memory of brussels, I’m begging you to give them another chance! You might even be able to convince the little people in your house to eat their veggies when you attach the words “maple” and “bacon” to the title.

Making a few small changes to the way you prepare this vegetable makes all the difference. Follow a few simple rules to break up with bitter brussels forever.

Does this look bitter and icky to you? {If you answered yes, fine. Just scroll on by this recipe. But seriously. They’re good. And they’re covered in bacon & syrup…just sayin’.}

 

First rule of Breaking up with Bitter Brussels: DON’T buy them in the freezer section. Brussels sprouts are best when purchased fresh. You may even be able to find them at our local Farmer’s Market! Buy more than you think you’ll need- they cook down quite a bit, and they’ll go fast. They are even better as leftovers because the syrup has a chance to really sink in.

Rule number two: Slice ’em super thin. This takes a while, but you want to slice them as thin as possible and rinse them off well. The thinner they are, the less bitter they are.

Third. Cook them for a really long time on the stove top using low heat. To really soften the brussels, we need them to cook on low for at least 20 minutes, being careful not to let them burn.

Fourth rule of Breaking up with Bitter Brussels: READ through all the directions below. The technique is important here. This time you are not allowed to skim through my writing. Please and thank you.

Ok. So now that you want to try these delicious little sprouts, here’s the nitty gritty. (Full recipe at the bottom)

You’ll Need:

4-6 slices turkey bacon (you could certainly use the real deal bacon)

1 tbsp olive oil

A big bag of fresh brussels sprouts

1/4 cup sugar free maple syrup (or full sugar if you’re up for it!)

Salt & Pepper

Water

1. Fry up some turkey bacon in a pan. Remove, let cool, then chop into smaller chunks.

2. Leave any bacon fat in the pan- there’s not much in turkey bacon- we’ll keep it! Add 1 tsp olive oil and let it get nice & hot.

3. Slice the brussels thin & rinse. Be patient, this takes a little time, but the thin slices are worth it.

Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts

 

4. Sauté the brussels in the pan for a few minutes. When everything is warming up, add 1/4 cup water. Any time the brussels start to brown, add a splash of water to keep them from burning.

Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts

5. Turn the heat down to low and cook on low about 20 minutes, watching to be sure they aren’t burning and adding water as needed. You can add the bacon about halfway through cooking time.

6. When they’re all nice and brown, add some salt & pepper.

7. Top with syrup while still warm.

8. Thank me for helping you rediscover this vegetable. 😉

Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 4-6 slices turkey bacon
  2. 1 tbsp olive oil
  3. A big bag of fresh brussels sprouts
  4. 1/4 cup maple syrup
  5. Salt & pepper
  6. 1/4 cup water (and additional needed)
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. Fry up some turkey bacon in a pan. Remove, let cool, then chop into smaller chunks.
  2. Leave any bacon fat in the pan.
  3. Add 1 tsp olive oil and let it get nice & hot.
  4. Slice the brussels thin and rinse well.
  5. Sauté the brussels in the pan for a few minutes. When everything is warming up, add 1/4 cup water. Any time the brussels start to brown, add a splash of water to keep them from burning.
  6. Turn the heat down to low and cook on low about 20 minutes, stirring as needed to prevent burning. Add water as needed to loosen up and prevent burning.
  7. Add the bacon about halfway through cooking time.
  8. Add salt and pepper and top with syrup while still warm.
  9. Serve hot!
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Adapted from Thanks to a fellow Mama for sharing this one with me years ago!
Adapted from Thanks to a fellow Mama for sharing this one with me years ago!
Glens Falls Mom http://glensfallsmom.com/