Five Recipes Reviewed: January 2017

I made a few meals this week. Most were tried and true deliciousness!

(Edited to add in Feburary of 2018: As of today, my family doesn’t like or eat anything from this list with the sole exception of the Whole Wheat Banana Bread. We had these recipes a few times, got tired of them really quickly, and never wanted them again. After a few tries, they were neither very tasty nor in keeping with our diets.) Read More

Choosing my word for 2017

Choosing my word for 2017: Author

I wanted to choose a word for the year to help keep focus for my goals. I got wise and had a discussion with my super-awesome-husband. We chatted a bit about my mini weekly goals and my goals for the year. Together, we chose the best possible word for me: Author.
This word is, and has been, at the root of my goals for years.
From NaNoWriMo 2015, to this past year I kept at my writing projects even with a baby in tow and an energetic 4-year-old. This year, I want to put this word at the forefront for focusing myself on my three weekly goals.
My end goal for my books is to self-publish to Kindle e-Books.
From now on, I will set every weekly mini-goal with this word in mind.
It think it’s very fitting that I choose a word in January, because that’s my birth month! I’ll be doing a little celebrating next week. I LOVE cookie cake. It’s one of my weaknesses…I plan on indulging.

Meals:

Best recipe of the week:

Chicken breast: I made 8 chicken breast meals.
I kept it super simple this week for food. It’s been a rough week.

For the chicken breasts, I found this video. It’s super helpful for a cooking novice like myself!
It’s a simple “recipe” or technique as he calls it. I have made chicken breasts this way all week long. My husband says that, in our almost 6 years of marriage, this is his favorite way that I have prepared chicken breasts!

Worst recipe of the week:

I tried his recipe for “brats” or bratwurst. I did not care for it at all. I guess I just didn’t care for that type of sausage. It was so bad that we tasted it and then threw it out. Some might judge me for being wasteful, but the taste was horrible. I was not going to eat it.
Anyone who does like this sausage please forgive me! (And kindly send me a better recipe.)

Writing my novel:

I’ve been delving deeper into my villain’s character, exploring his motivation for why he’s opposing my main character. I’m also exploring my female protagonist’s emotional depth. She experiences a lot of guilt and I want to show her past and the reasons why she feels this way. Interestingly, I haven’t done much with my main character and I’m almost 25k words in. What do you think that says about my story?

Cleaning:

I’ve been cleaning the kitchen plus one room for the second week straight. I did not expect it to make such a huge difference! It helps me keep concentration when I sit down to write.

I’ve been really feeling the space in my head with the clean rooms. It’s like I can breathe more easily! I love how having a clean home makes me feel. It’s so much more effort than I anticipated even with just two rooms, but it is so worth it for me.

To keep me motivated, I’ve been listening to A Slob Comes Clean. I just discovered this podcast and it’s wonderful!

Comment below and tell me about your week!

Meal Prepping Challenge: Week One

EIGHT MEALS: WEEK ONE

One of my goals is to meal prep 8 individual meals per week. This is to make more time for writing by spending less time in the kitchen.
Meal Prepping is going great so far. It’s helping me and my family to eat better without stressing over cooking every night.
  • Prepping Individual Meals
I love prepping Crockpot freezer meals and freezer cooking in general. But lately I’ve also been loving prep for individual healthy meals!
In the videos we watched they had similar meal prep containers, but I got super cheap ones from Kroger. They were $1.99 for 4.

Our meal prep containers:

Prepping individually packaged, from-scratch meals makes it so easy to eat a healthy meal even when pressed for time or when trying to juggle small kids. I can just grab a meal out of the fridge (or even freezer) with very little prep, if any. Also, this works great for making sure my husband has lunches to bring to work that are:

1. Appetizing
2. Healthy
@fitcouplecooks YouTube videos are so easy and so good for individual meals. We’ve done a few and so far: delicious. I’ve made variations on their meals in the last couple weeks:

I’ll confess a little secret. I’ve stepped out of our comfort zone with two ingredients.

  1. Brown rice
  2. Quinoa

I’m embracing new and healthier options! I didn’t even know how to cook it these correctly before this past week.

 Thankfully, @fitcouplecooks provided perfect, delicious instructions for quinoa and brown rice!
  • More @fitcouplecooks goodness…

My husband made their delicious healthy chicken nuggets! This was an A+ winner recipe. I don’t have a pic…because we ate it all!

I’d recommend @fitcouplecooks recipes available on YouTube. They have easy to follow videos and inspired me to build my own meal prep meals!

Here’s a look at what I’ve done this week for my 8 meals!

  • Black bean brown rice burgers – 2 meals (frozen for later)

I made a huge pot of black beans from scratch the other night, so I’ve been trying to find ways to use them.
Note: making beans from scratch is a great way to use your crockpot! Also, making them from scratch is a good way to make beans that don’t have added salt, like you would find in canned beans.
I found a great black bean burger recipe. I’ve made some failed black bean burgers, but this one is even husband-approved! (I omitted the onions.)
  • salad with black beans and quinoa – 4 meals

I added salsa, taco sauce and cheese and heated in the microwave. Delish!

Confession: I did not follow the recipe exactly…
Here are the ingredients I used (“to taste”) for the ground beef:
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Taco Bell mild sauce
Taco seasoning
Salt
(Cooked) Black Beans
And after cooking, I topped with:
salsa
olives
lettuce
We ate this with organic, low-salt corn chips.
The Nachos fed us each dinner plus at least 4 more meals in leftovers!
I’m over my quota for meals this week; which means more time for writing, less time cooking.
Apparently, I don’t have to sacrifice healthy meals to make time for writing. Meal prep for individual meals has bought me time all week!
Do you meal prep, freezer cook or crockpot freezer cook? Let me know how you save time in the kitchen!