Meal Prep: quick couscous edamame salad

Another busy weekend means another quick meal prep! Saturday I drove down to Detroit with my coworker to pick up our race numbers and t-shirts, and Sunday was the actual 5k. This left me very little time to shop, prep, and cook everything for the week.

img_20180429_09133050891400072.jpg

The Beard finished in 23:55, but us ladies walked the course. It was a bit chilly out, but at least the sun was shining! Also, check out the hat my uncle knitted for me, he has some mad skills.

Once we got back, it was time to meal prep. I went with a quick simple salad for dinners this week. The only thing that needed to be cooked was the couscous, which I’m still working through from my pantry. A little bit goes a long way! So this meal was quick, easy, and inexpensive!

1 cup pearl couscous ($0 – pantry item)

1 bag frozen corn ($1)

1 bag frozen edamame ($1.99)

1/2 bunch green onions ($0.49)

1/2 bunch cilantro ($0.49)

Dish of red wine vinegar

The only bummer is that this only made three meals, but I do still have soup in my freezer so I will not need to buy anything extra this week. I will also have PB&J or tuna sandwiches for lunch this week. This is the first time I’ve eaten edamame, so I’m pretty excited to dig into these!

What did you prep this week?

Advertisements

Friday Favorites #5

Hey, number 5 already! (but check out Friday favorites, Friday Favorites #2, Friday Favorites #3, & Friday Favorites #4)

  1. Favorite thing I’m eating: Cheez-It Extra Toasty. These things are the bomb.com. Capture
  2. Favorite thing I’m excited about: Spring weather, finally!
  3. Favorite thing I’m eyeballing: This top from Amazon I’ve had this in my wish list a couple of weeks and keep coming back to look at it. I have one velvet skirt I wear for work, and I just love the soft feeling. I’ll probably stare at it a few weeks longer until I buy it (I’m trying to be good) Capture
  4. Favorite thing I’m doing: I’m a little bit of an old lady at heart and am trying my hand at crocheting. I’m working through my goal of 7 scarves with some of the extra yarn my mom had laying around. I believe this is scarf number 5. img_20180423_204742_654340033094.jpg
  5. Favorite thing I’m watching: The new Queer Eye on Netflix, it is so good! If you want to shed some happy tears, give it a shot. Also, my other favorite, Guys Grocery Games.

 

A few other updates: I’m still working my way through my de-clutter challenge, but it stopped being so organized! I now have boxes and bags laying around, waiting to be dropped off. We now have a total of one bag of clothing and 4 boxes of household items ready to go out the door, plus a few items I set aside for a coworker to look at.

This weekend: We are doing a 5k! The Beard is running, I am walking. It’s through the city of Detroit, and I’m hoping for a warm morning. It’s called ‘ I Ran the D’ and the proceeds go to Detroit Tiger’s Foundation. And how cute is this shirt?

CaptureWhat are you plans for this weekend? Do you finally have spring weather?

Meal Prep: Breakfast style

So as I’ve mentioned before, I literally prep breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks every week. It’s a huge job, but it works for me. Here are some breakfast ideas to get you started. This post contains affiliated links, please see my disclosure here.

Overnight Oats. I make these for my husband every week, and I also dabble for myself when the mood strikes me. I’ve had some real hits and misses with store bought oatmeal packets, and making these homemade lets you control what goes in them. You can also add it goodies such as chia or flax seeds. Mason jars work great for these, they are the perfect size and have measurements on the side to make it easier to fill.

The possibilities with these are really endless, but I usually make mine with fresh fruit and cinnamon. For The Beard I use 1/2 cup of oats, chocolate protein powder, and raisins.

Egg muffins. Again, the possibilities are endless! Which is really great, because you can just toss in your extra veggies/meats for these.

Personally, I love broccoli and cheese together, but you can mix and match – even within a single batch for the week. Just toss in whatever veggies/seasonings you have on hand. I like to use these silicone muffin liners since they are reusable (and cute)

Fruit and yogurt parfaits. I usually eat these for “second breakfast” around 10 am, but they could work for anytime (maybe paired with eggs for a full breakfast)

Just layer your fruit and yogurt, top with granola if you have it. (still looking for the perfect recipe) These can me made in advance, or made up real quick in the morning.

Waffles. I haven’t made any lately since I already do so much in the kitchen, but homemade waffles are pretty awesome. I usually just buy muffin mix from the grocery store and make waffles out of that. But you can make healthy ones or protein waffles. They freeze great and defrost quickly in the toaster. I use the mini waffle maker my husband got me for Christmas. It makes the most perfect sized waffles.

My skill level does not translate to pancakes, but I’m sure those would work just as well!

Frittata: Like egg muffins, but bigger!

img_3021-1

Similar to the egg muffins, its mostly just eggs, veggies (meat, if you eat it), and cheese. I’ve never been able to make omelets, so this comes pretty close!

What do you prep for breakfast? Do you have a favorite overnight oat recipe?

Meal Prep: Couscous Salad (take two)

This is a recipe I’ve made before, but since I still have the couscous in my pantry, it was a pretty cheap meal. I’m still trying to save money by using up the stuff I still have.

img_20180415_100254626-11392632767.jpg

The salad is made with pearl couscous ($0.00 since I already had this), cucumber ($0.59), tomatoes ($2.29), red onion ($0.60), parsley ($0.89), and chick peas ($1.00). With a squeeze of lemon ($0.59) and sliced cheese (2 for $4.00) on the side. The salad is actually vegan, but with the cheese this is a perfect vegetarian meal.

I’m still riding the peanut butter and jelly train, but I’m down to my last two jars of jelly. Since the jars are so small, they don’t last too long. After the jelly is gone I may buy a bigger jar or switch over to some egg salad sandwiches, since I already buy eggs every week.

I also picked up some frozen fruit for smoothies (buy one, get one free), fresh strawberries, bananas and yogurt for my midmorning snack, and avocados and crackers for a snack or as part of a light lunch.

img_20180415_1915414241124542146.jpg

I’m so happy the strawberries taste good this week, and they are huge! The weather hasn’t been great this last week/weekend so I’m really looking forward to something bright and light this week.

Hope everyone has a happy Monday, now can we get the sun to come out and play?

Meal prep tips: Keep it simple

Hey guys,

I’ve been a chronic meal-prepper for a couple of years now. I first stumbled upon the idea on Pintrest, and have been hooked ever since. It was the perfect system to keep our lunches on track, and soon evolved into prepping breakfast, dinner, and snacks as well. My husband and I work until 6 every night, and with a 30 minute drive home, dinner seems impossible. I’m constantly looking for new idea and new recipes, since I switch up my meals every week. Here are some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.

  1. Keep it simple. Anything too complicated can be overwhelming and stressful, especially if you have a busy weekend. Sometimes just whipping up some salads is exactly what you need.

    img_4131
    Mason jar salads are so easy and quick.
  2. Switch it up. and I don’t mean a different meal for each day. Switch up your dressing, seasoning, or toppings. Usually by day three I’m feeling a little ‘blah’ about what I prepped, but if I change the flavor a bit, I can keep rolling with it.
  3. Start small. I started by just prepping lunches, if I tried to do breakfast, lunch, and dinner when I first started, it would have been too overwhelming. Start with one meal and work from there. Maybe you don’t work as many hours as we do, and you don’t need to prep your dinner like we do. Prep your veggies, it makes making a meal so much quicker.
  4. Stay organized. I like pulling out all my ingredients and containers before I start. We try to prep the veggies the day before so they are all washed and chopped. Prepping your prep makes the work that much quicker. I still forget to run the dishwasher the night before, nothing makes prep work more disorganized then a sink full of dishes.
  5. Wash as you go. It keeps your work space less chaotic and makes for easier clean up when you are all done.
  6. Have good containers. Whatever works for you! We have divided containers (two compartments or three), mason jars (overnight oats, salads, yogurt parfaits), and any army of Tupperware. Check out these glass containers from Amazon
    IMG-3966
    Glass, three compartment containers

     

  7. Make a list. I’ve used the Kroger app for the coupons for a long time, but recently I started using to make my grocery lists as well. Guys – life changer! You can check sales, add coupons, and make your lists. When making a lists it even tells you how much each item is, so you can make it fit within your budget! I also use this to compare prices when I’m shopping at Aldi, because not everything is cheaper there (those most items are). I love using the app to make my list, and I use it throughout the week to add things when I think of them as well.screenshot_20180413-0948251479966426-e1523628014455.png

screenshot_20180413-0948161851427203.png

screenshot_20180413-0948041578053628.png

8. Set aside time. I stick to my schedule the best I can. I like to do all my prep Sunday morning. If I didn’t set aside time to do it, it just wouldn’t make sense since I prep so much. Do what works for you.

9. Use over lapping ingredients. It cuts down on cost and prep time, trust me!

10. Have fun and don’t sweat the small stuff

Bonus tip: share your meal prep recipes, I love finding new things to prep!

 

Meal Prep: pantry soup

Has anyone else’s spring decided to recede back into winter? The past few days have been downright frigid and it is actually snowing right now! I decided to collect as many soup-related ingredients from my pantry and make a dish without spending any extra money. Of course the weather is warming up this week a bit, but I think this will still work as a good, easy dinner.

img_20180408_0839131021468293715.jpgOrzo pasta, noodle soup (with chicken flavored broth), Lentil soup, Spicy ketchup jam.

I also had carrots in the fridge, and chopped onions, corn, and homemade broth in the freezer

img_20180408_0938187241152374629.jpg
The finished product

I’m quite pleased with out this came out! It made five portions and I didn’t even have to buy anything extra, what a win!

For lunches I went with another inexpensive option, still trying to keep costs down. I went with a good stand-by, peanut butter and jelly, with the option of mixing in some egg salad sandwiches. Yum! All I had to buy was bread and peanut butter (since I was out).

img_20180409_121759738806166359.jpg
Today’s sandwich

 

Now, what I’m most excited about! Fruit and yogurt parfaits. I volunteered at a diabetes conference over the weekend, and they had the most perfect fruit and yogurt buffet for breakfast. Right after I went to the store and picked up vanilla Greek yogurt, dried cranberries and pineapple, and fresh black berries. I’m really looking forward to all the fresh fruit that summer time brings.

img_20180408_090036680227272750.jpg
Homemade fruit parfaits

My next mission is to make a homemade granola to go with these. Please let me know if you have a good recipe!

I’ve really been slacking on my Spring Cleaning De-clutter challenge, but hope to do a little more work this week. I did go through our linen closet in the bathroom, but didn’t have anything to donate. The towels are all folded nice again and in nice stacks, instead of the more haphazard look we were rocking for a while. We are looking at another house today, so if it happens to work out that would change things up quite a bit. Fingers crossed my friends 🙂

Our house hunting process: the search

We are working on becoming first time home buyers, and what a process! We first started looking last fall, but took a bit of a break during the winter. The first house we looked at was actually pretty decent, but it didn’t have a basement and was not in a good school district. I then stalked Zillow diligently throughout the winter time, but there wasn’t much out there.

Once we started looking again we looked at two in one day, the one with the smelly carpet and the one with the septic tank. Both of them were duds. The one with the smelly carpet had other problems; it needed a lot of work, the fireplace had water seeping through, and it was just not appealing. The one with the septic tank sat up weirdly high, had a tiny bathroom, a urinal in the basement, and a back yard that was way too big. The first one sold within a few weeks and the other one is still for sale. Next!

After these two duds we started tossing around the idea of checking out some condos. We don’t want a lot of yard maintenance so this seemed perfect for us. The Beard checked out a condo with our relator and loved it. It was a ranch style condo with a finished basement. The price seemed too high since there was a HOA fee associated with the monthly costs so we didn’t purse that one further. (This one is still for sale)

Next we looked at a condo near where we currently live, we were pretty optimistic about this one. But when we got there we were not all that impressed. There was no yard or patio space, the kitchen was very small (too small for a microwave) and all the walls would need to be painted (they had an interesting style). It seemed like something I would be ok renting, but not something we wanted to buy. Surprisingly this one sold in a couple of days. A lot of homes we looked at online were selling quicker then we could see them in person.

Then this week I found a house on Zillow that was pretty perfect as far as we could tell. It had three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a walk out basement, two car attached garage, and is very close to where our families live. We looked at it Tuesday after work and we loved it! We told our relator we were interested and got the processes started for pre approval the next morning. We just knew this house would go quickly! I tried not to get too excited, because I felt like someone else could just come in a scoop it up, but it was hard not to be. We didn’t get preapproved sooner because we didn’t know how quickly we would want to buy something and our lease is not up until December. Our relator informed us that the home did have multiple offers on it so we needed to submit our highest and best offer by the next morning (Thursday)

So we put in an offer!

…and we didn’t get it.

So there we are.

To be continued…