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Showing posts with label eat clean. Show all posts
Showing posts with label eat clean. Show all posts

Nov 18, 2016

Sweet Stir-fry Chicken + Veggies {dairy + gluten free}

Do you ever feel like you make the same three meals on repeat and need a menu revamp? I feel that way frequently and find myself trying to come up with loads of new meal ideas and then blow my budget on all of the ingredients to put just a few of them together. 

When I can sit down and make a meal plan, then make my grocery list from that, I feel like my life is so much more organized. But I have learned through the years that I really need to pick one new meal idea each week or even every other week, then stick to tried and true, easy to throw together, family favorites the rest of the time. This revelation has truly changed the way I grocery shop, and even the way I cook. I can easily swap certain ingredients for others which mixes it up just enough to feel different and not blow my budget. 

Some of our usuals that are easily interchangeable:
  • Mexican (soft or crunchy tacos; fish tacosshredded pork quesadillas, nachos or taco salads)
  • Italian (spaghetti, lasagna, goulash, chicken alfredo, pizza casserole, pizza bites)
  • Meat/Veggie/Starch (all roasted on a pan in the oven, or slow cooker meals are my fave!)
    • chicken/brussel sprouts/sweet potatoes
    • chicken/broccoli and cauliflower/rice
    • smoked sausage/peppers and onions/roasted potato wedges
    • pork loin/green beans or asparagus/mashed potatoes
  • Sandwiches (pulled pork, shredded chicken, sloppy joes, or burgers)
  • Grilled kebabs/kabobs in warmer weather (Hawaiian pork, shrimp boil, chicken fajitas, steak)
The best part about any of these meal ideas is that you can really just pick up whatever protein, vegetable, and starch or sauce you feel like having, and make any one of these meals on a whim. I like to stock up on marinara sauce, gluten free noodles, rice, tortilla chips, and any other ingredients that I use for sauces to just have on hand at any moment. Then I pick up meat when it is on sale and throw it in the freezer. Then I really just have to make sure I have fresh produce to go with everything else. 

Having this plan in place has really helped to cut back on the amount of money I spend at the grocery store, as well as the number of trips I have to make. I usually make one monthly trip to specialty stores to pick up all of our dairy free cheeses, butter, and specialty gluten free products that aren't sold at every store. I make one trip to Aldi or shop the sales at my regular store for pantry items and meat. 

Then I just have to make a run for produce and anything that I feel like grabbing on my weekly/bi-weekly shopping trip. I also build days into our menu to go out for dinner, or when we're just sticking with leftovers or doing a "fend for yourself" night to give myself an occasional break from cooking. 

One of the other easy ways to switch up flavors is to add a sweet and savory sauce to your meat and veggies. This Sweet Stir-fry Chicken and Veggies recipe has been a family favorite for many years. It's fast and delicious, and the kids just love it. Most of the ingredients are things I always have around and can just throw together quickly on a weeknight. 


Aug 13, 2016

Baked Turkey Quinoa Meatballs {dairy + gluten free}

I started making these meatballs over three years ago when I ended up cooking entirely too much quinoa and needed to find a use for it all. What I love most about these is how easy they are to make ahead and freeze. You can either freeze them before baking and then just take out what you need and let it thaw, or you can bake them all up, freeze them, and remove them to reheat a few whenever you need a quick and healthy meal.

Jun 27, 2016

Grilled Marinated Salmon {dairy + gluten free}

I love quick and easy grilling recipes that taste so good it's hard to believe they are healthy too. We have been super busy lately and our evenings are hectic. I've been missing sitting down to dinner together as a family and enjoying good food and each other's company. We're nearing the end of baseball season so hopefully we'll have a bit of a break in the activities for a few weeks or so.

Our boys have started to become a bit pickier lately, but thankfully they still enjoyed this salmon, as it used to be a favorite. Buying salmon, especially wild-caught instead of farmed salmon can get really costly here in the midwest so I don't tend to make this recipe too often. But every time I do, it never fails that someone in the family wishes we'd have it more often!



Aug 6, 2014

Cashew Cookie Bites {dairy, egg + gluten free}

#glutenfree #dairyfree #eggfree #snacks

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to try the Whole 30 Challenge. Basically it is a 30-day challenge to eat whole foods, eliminating all grains, dairy, soy, legumes, sugar, alcohol (I'm probably missing something) from your diet to help your body essentially "reset" itself. The book It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig from Whole9Life  outlines the science behind the "diet." 
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