what to cook


WEEKLY MEAL PLAN

Highlighting @emilykasel for tips on meal planning! Over the past 2 ½ years of motherhood, I have learned that my kids eat…a lot, like multiple times a day. It’s really important to me to sit and eat with my kids, and to have them eat home cooked meals. However, it is also quite important for me to remain semi-sane. These are some themes that come up for me when it comes to cooking for my kids without losing my mind – make ahead, freezes well, doctored up, leftovers. Check the recipes below, it is nothing earth shattering but my hope is it will help make meal planning a little easier for you…even if just for one week.

*With the current situation really shaking up routines there are many great options for meals that are quick and easy and meals you can prepare ahead of time.


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KITCHEN ESSENTIALS

There are certain items I keep in the fridge or pantry at all times. Most of these items can be found at local grocery stores, online through Fresh Direct or Thrive Market. Here they are! Scroll right to see all my faves. They are also all listed in the grocery list above.

Jovial GF pasta

Banza boxed mac and cheese

Goya organic white beans

Earth’s Best organic frozen beef meatballs 

Vital Farms eggs and butter

Kerrygold butter

Ronnybrook yogurt smoothies

Maple Hill Creamery grass fed milk

Dave’s Killer bread and english muffins

Crofter’s Just Fruit Spread

Better Than Bouillon Organic chicken broth base

Trader Joe’s Bamba peanut snacks

Bare brand apple chips

Little Duck Organics snacks (gummy fruit snacks made of real organic pureed fruit!)

RECIPES TO GET YOU THROUGH THE WEEK

Eggs Cups – MAKE AHEAD

Ingredients:

  • 6 pasture raised eggs

  • ¼ cup milk

  • ¼ cup grated cheddar

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 large handfuls of spinach or any veggie your kid is into, chopped

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350. Spray mini muffin pan with cooking spray or grease with butter.

  • Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Mix in chopped veggies.

  • Pour egg mixture into prepared pan, filling cups about 2/3 full, sprinkle cheese among the cups.

  • Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until eggs set. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before moving to the wire rack. Egg cups can be stored in an airtight container for 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Breakfast Cookies – MAKE AHEAD

Recipe inspired by the amazing Laura Fuentes of MOMables

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup mashed banana (about 1 large)

  • ½ cup natural nut butter 

  • ½ cup honey or maple syrup

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

  • 1 cup rolled oats

  • ¼ cup flour of your choice (almond flour to make GF)

  • ¼ cup ground flax seed (or an additional 1/4 cup flour)

  • 2 T your milk of choice (oat, cow’s milk, or whatever really) 

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ cup dried cherries or raisins

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place parchment or spray cooking spray on two cookie sheets with cooking spray, and set aside.

  • In a large bowl, stir together the wet ingredients.In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Combine wet and dry mixtures together. If the mixture seems too dry, add a little more milk

  • Scoop ¼ cup dough mounds and drop 3 inches apart. Use a spatula dipped in water to flatten, and spread each cookie to about ½ inch thick.

  • Bake for 15 minutes or until browned. Cool completely on wire cooling rack before storing in an airtight container. 

  • Will keep for 3 days, or freeze for 2 months.

Cereal Bowl DELUXE – this is my take on the old classic, with a punch of protein to keep your little one energetic all morning…or until snack time.

Ingredients:

  • Cheerios or cereal of your choice (no added sugar)

  • Purely elizabeth granola

  • Nut butter

  • Berries and sliced banana or any seasonal fruit

  • Milk, whatever is prefered

Directions:

Fill the bowl with cheerios, a few tablespoons of granola, top with fruit, milk and drizzled nut butter. Enjoy!

Oven Roasted Chicken Breast – MAKE AHEAD and use all week!

Ingredients:

  • Skin on, bone in chicken breasts

  • Olive oil

  • Dried herbs

  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375. Rub chicken breast all over with olive oil, sprinkle with dried herbs and generously salt and pepper.

  • Bake until chicken is no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, 45 to 60 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast meat should read 165 degrees

  • * Make Wednesday evening or Thursday, should only be used for 2-3 days once cooked.

Babs Pasta…with a twist – this Mrs. Nipple community famous dish is a fave in our house, and recently I added 1 ingredient to bump up the protein, fiber and creaminess!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pasta

  • Grass fed butter or olive oil

  • 3 fat cloves garlic, chopped

  • 3-4 cups chopped broccoli

  • 1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 lemon

  • Grated cheese (optional)

  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Boil and salt a large pot of water

  • Boil the broccoli and pasta for however long the box directs. Before straining, scoop a cup of pasta water out.

  • In the same pot, saute garlic with some grass fed butter or olive oil until fragrant but not browning yet. Toss in the white beans and mash them up with a potato masher or back of a fork. Once creamy, mix in ½ cup of pasta water then remove from heat.

  • Add everything into the pot – pasta, broccoli, lemon juice & zest, more pasta water, grated cheese and mix vigorously!

Chicken Pot Pie Pasta – this delish pasta satisfies our whole family, my friend shared it with me. It is adapted from the Defined Dish cookbook!

Ingredients:

  • EVOO and/or butter

  • 3 cups mirepoix 

  • 1 lb pasta (we love using bowties/farfalle)

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 2 cups milk

  • 1 t dried or fresh thyme

  • 1 ½ t dried mustard powder

  • 1 t paprika

  • 1 t garlic powder

  • 1 cup frozen peas

  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken breast

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • Salt

  • Pepper

Directions:

  • In a heavy bottomed pot, heat 2 T oil or butter and saute mirepoix + salt and pepper until tender, about 6 minutes.

  • Add in pasta, broth, milk, thyme, paprika, garlic powder and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, stir occasionally, until pasta is cooked through and tender. 

  • Stir in frozen peas, cooked chicken, lemon juice, remove from heat and cover. Let stand about 5 minutes until heated through.

Chicken and Farro Soup – we love soup in our house, while you may think it’s a mess, hear me out. You can strain all or as much broth as you like. My toddler loves the broth and can handle a spoon well. My 1 year old gets the goodies from the soup strained and onto his tray. Either way, it’s a meal we all love and is made in one pot – a total win!

Ingredients:

  • 4 fat cloves of garlic

  • 2-3 cups of mirepoix (carrots, celery & onion)

  • 4-6 cups of chicken broth (made using water and bouillon base)

  • 3-4 cups of spinach

  • 1 cup farro 

  • 2 cups chopped chicken breast

Directions:

  • Saute garlic and mirepoix ( carrots, celery & onion) until tender

  • Add broth, mix in the farro and bring to a boil

  • Simmer for about an hour or until the farro is tender.

  • Mix in chicken and spinach, simmer until spinach is wilted.

  • Serve with grated cheese.

Mama’s Pizza Sauce –  this couldn’t be easier and while I am not one for sneaking “healthy food” by my kids, this is a super easy way to throw dinner together in minutes without sacrificing a balanced meal. And let’s face it you’ve fed these kids all week and you’re just kind of over it. White beans are a total game changer. You are adding fiber and protein to a meal in the time it takes to open a can of beans. Just try it!

Mix the following in your high speed blender until creamy and smooth.

  • 1 bottle of Rao’s marinara sauce

  • 2 handfuls of spinach, try a little and always can add more

  • 1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed.

Keep this in the fridge for over the weekend. Use this to make pizzas on english muffins and fresh mozzarella.

MEAL IDEAS FOR YOUR LITTLES

March 19, 2020

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