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The little book with BIG resources!

Fix, Freeze and Feast on Taco Tuesdays!

Who doesn’t love Taco Tuesday’s to add a little fiesta into the week!  Check out these yummy recipes from Liz, with the iFamily Mom Squad, to spice up your menu!

taco tuesday's

Fix, Freeze and Feast on Tuesdays!

Last week’s meal prep was Mexican cuisine! I made a quick and inexpensive trip to Aldi’s and loaded up on veggies, chicken, beef, rice and black beans! Prepping for a few Mexican meals is super easy and loved by the entire family! In a short time I was able to prep a few meals including, chicken fajitas, beef fajitas, cilantro lime chicken and extra corn/tomatoes/ black beans and onions for future chicken bowls and burritos.

Here are the yummy recipes that I prepped! For quick organization I made my shopping list of exactly how much of everything I needed. All the recipes are similar, it’s easy to shop quickly and convenient to prep extra.

Cilantro Lime Chicken

1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (10 ounce can) mild diced tomatoes and green chilies

1 cup of corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted

½ cup salsa, homemade or store-bought

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1 red diced onion, 1 diced jalapeno,

2 teaspoons cumin, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 4 cloves garlic minced

Juice of 2 limes

Combine all ingredients together to freeze in a gallon-sized freezer bag or add to your slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.

Variety of ways to serve this meal! I sometimes make it without adding the cilantro and lime juice. You can shred the chicken or cut into cubes. We eat ours over brown rice for a tasty chicken bowl.

Beef or Chicken Fajitas

2 pounds of boneless beef chuck shoulder roast or boneless chicken breasts

2 red bell peppers, sliced

1 small onion, peeled and sliced

1 tablespoon of honey,

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Juice from 1 lime

1 tablespoon chili powder, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon paprika,

¼ crushed red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients together to freeze in a gallon-sized freezer bag or add to your slow cooker. Cover.  Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours, beef should shred easily with a fork.

Spice up these meals by topping the ingredients with a bed of lettuce. Add more veggies, shredded cheese, greek yogurt (a healthy version of sour cream) and avocados for a yummy taco salad! Or serve with tortillas and rice!

I hope these recipes save your life and some time with the craziness of the start of school, enjoy!

From iFamily to yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Back To School Crockpot Meals

Ready, set, here we go!  Back to school means back to alarm clocks, homework and after school practices!  Some nights it’s hard to find time to fit in a home cooked meal for your hard working family.  Crockpot meals can be a real lifesaver!  Bridgette, from our iFamily Mom Squad, is here to share some of her favorites.  Take a look…

Back To School Crockpot Meals

Back to School Crockpot Meals

Yes, you read that correctly, everyone is getting ready to head back to school already!  I don’t know about you, but when we were in traditional school, that first week was so chaotic! Between getting up on time, making last minute triple checks and remembering what time the bus comes…. Dinner would be the absolute last thing on my mind. I couldn’t think about spending hours cooking subpar food that we had already had two days ago. Which is why I fell in love with crockpot meals, slow cooker meals, dump meals or whatever you want to call them. They truly make dinner time much easier and less of a hassle.

For those first two weeks back to school, consider dinner made! These 10 crockpot meals are delicious, easy and can feed a crowd or be packed for lunch!  Get out your notepad and start making your list!

Cheesesteak sandwiches

This easy recipe from Lauren Greutman is one of my favorites! I also substitute the beef for chicken at times. All the gooey cheese and veggies are seasoned to perfection and definitely make. Simply toss everything in before you head out to grab the kids and it will be ready right in time for dinner!

Ingredients:
2 green peppers, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 – 2 1/2 lbs. thinly sliced steak (I used top round)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 envelope dry Italian dressing mix
1 cup water
1 beef bouillon cube
6 slices of provolone cheese
6 hoagie rolls

Classic Pot Roast

The pot roast can be used in so many ways with so many different sides. You can make it into tacos, burrito bowls, roast sandwiches and more! This recipe from Don’t Waste The Crumbs is one of the best! I personally brown my roast before placing it into the crock pot. Place your roast in the pot in the morning… cook it on low for a meal that is sure to please everyone!

Ingredients:
1 chuck roast (3-4 lbs)
1 lb baby carrots (or carrots, cut to about 1″ pieces)
1½ lbs potatoes (any variety, cut into about 1″ pieces if necessary)
4 Tbsp homemade dry onion soup mix
1 batch homemade cream of mushroom soup

Chicken Fajitas

Tacos, fajitas and any TexMex really, are pretty much staples in my house lol. Chicken fajitas are one of the quickest to make in my opinion. These fajitas from Cooking Classy are great! ( I don’t use the honey in her receipe)

Ingredients:
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 red , orange and green bell pepper, julienned
1 large yellow onion , halved and sliced
4 cloves garlic , minced
2 1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp honey

Slow Cooker Tikka Masala

Over the past few years, my family and I have fallen in love with more dishes from India, the Middle East and Mediterranean. One our favorites is chicken tikka masala! It is cheap, can feed our whole family for practically two days lol! This recipe from Table For Two definitely takes the cake!

Ingredients:

8 boneless skinless chicken tenderloins, or about 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 lbs.) – cut into 1.5″ cubes
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1: 29- oz can of tomato puree
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Garam masala
1 tsp tumeric powder
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp paprika
2 tsp salt, or to taste
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1-3 tsp cayenne pepper, depending on your heat preference
2 leaves bay
1 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp cornstarch
Lemon juice from half a small lemon
Chopped parsley or cilantro, for topping

BBQ Chicken

Chicken is a go to meat in our house. It is can be used in just about anything! BBQ chicken is perfect for nights that you just want to chill out and not worry about who is getting messy when heading out to do family things. This recipe from Family Fresh Meals was one of the first BBQ chicken recipes I tried. Even my husband approved of it!

Ingredients:
2 lbs boneless, skinless  chicken breasts
1 cup  BBQ sauce
1/4 cup Zesty Italian dressing
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
salt to taste

Cheesy Chicken Penne

Two words, cheese and noodles! Do I need to say more? This recipe from The Slow Magical Cooker is the perfect dish for kiddos and cheese lovers!

Ingredients:
1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 (10.5-oz) cans cream of chicken soup (don’t add water)
½ cup chicken broth
¼ tsp. pepper
½ tsp. dried leaf tarragon (can substitute oregano or thyme here)
1.5 cups sliced mushrooms
1 small sweet yellow onion, diced
Add at the end
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 lb. penne pasta (cooked according to package directions on the stove-top)

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Nothing is better than getting a bowl of hot soup during the cold months! Chicken tortilla soup has been my favorite soup for years and I don’t see anything changing that lol. This recipe from Cooking Classy is definitely what you will see me eating once that frost kicks in! Don’t forget the sour cream and extra cilantro!

Ingredients:
2 1/2 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth (4 1/2 cups)
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
1 1/4 cups finely chopped yellow onion
3 cloves garlic , minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground coriander
Salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Chicken Teriyaki

This is definitely my oldest favorite! Anytime I ask the kids what we should have for dinner, Phoenix is pretty much guaranteed to say Teriyaki chicken! This recipe from Rachel Cooks is probably the reason she loves it so much! I make this about once every 10 days… she can’t get enough! I love that it doesn’t require a ton of ingredients!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds, or about 3 large, boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons cornstarch + 1/4 cup water
rice or quinoa, for serving
sesame seeds, for garnish
sliced green onions, for garnish

Beef and Potatoes Au Gratin

This is definitely a man’s meal lol. Meat and potatoes are a classic combo.  Add in cheese… well I mean it’s cheese! This recipe from The Magical Slow Cooker is actually on our menu for tomorrow!

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef (plus a touch of salt and pepper to season)
3 lbs. peeled russet potatoes, sliced a ¼ inch thick (about 7 cups total after being sliced)
1 cup thinly sliced white onion
1 tsp. paprika
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp. pepper
3 cups shredded sharp cheese
½ cup chicken broth (or beef broth

Chicken Cacciatore

Coming across this recipe, I was hesitant at first.  I’m not a huge pasta fan and my husband doesn’t always trust my Pinterest recipes ( I have failed a lot of them).  I was pleasantly surprised when I enjoyed this one!  Once again, it’s noodles so the kids will love it. For mine, I make sure the veggies are chopped really small so my picky eaters won’t object. This recipe from Heather at Passion For Savings has my husband’s favorite pasta dish! Plus it doesn’t require a lot.

The best thing about these meals is that not only can you dump it and go, you can even make them in advance and freeze them! Whenever I am on my P’s & Q’s, I have a freezer stocked full of meals that I can dump in the crock pot and go on with my day.

As you get ready to head back to school, take a load off with these easy meals that will help you get into the swing of things!

 

From iFamily to Yours,



In the Kitchen: Easy Chicken Chow Mein

Hello, Kansas City! We are always looking for new ways to feed our kids, and recipes that are QUICK and EASY! Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy, has just the answer — this easy Chicken Chow Mein recipe. Her kids love it and from the pictures, it looks delicious! Check it out…

In the Kitchen: Easy Chicken Chow Mein // iFamilyKC Blog

In the Kitchen: Easy Chicken Chow Mein

 

Do you have a favorite source for recipes? Some people go crazy finding new meals to try on Pinterest, while others stick with a few tried and true recipes. I really enjoy cooking and trying new things, but I always appreciate a good lead on a good source. I have bought many cookbooks to find that I really only like one or two of the recipes. There’s a few food blogs I follow, but sometimes they seem to make things overly complicated. I do have a favorite cookbook author- and everyone is surprised when I share who it is.

I have two of Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbooks, and they are BY FAR my family’s most-used resource.
I tell this to people all the time, and every single time people have been incredulous. I think it’s because of her second cookbook, It’s All Good, which is dedicated to clean eating. I do not have that book. I have her first cookbook, My Father’s Daughter and her latest book, It’s All Easy. In her first cookbook, Paltrow talks a lot about her love of food which she mainly picked up from her father. The book contains many family favorite recipes and some of the stories behind them.

In the Kitchen: Easy Chicken Chow Mein // iFamilyKC Blog
I picked it up because I had tried a few recipes I’d found on her website and really enjoyed them. The cookbook did not disappoint. She walks through a lot of the basics and prep work for ingredients and sauces used in the recipes and many of them have become staples at our home. Sometimes her recipes call for an item I’ve had trouble tracking down, so I’ve substituted. My favorite thing about the cookbook was it taught me new ways to make some of our favorites and new ways to use ingredients we already loved. Some recipes take all day to make, while others are fairly quick.
If fairly quick recipes are more your style, then It’s All Easy may be for you. I bought it after reading a review. Apparently Paltrow’s claim with this book was that you could create a dish that was better than take out, and do it in less time than it took for take out to arrive. A young writer in New York took that challenge and for several days tried to make one of the recipes while ordering a similar dish and compared the two on taste and speed. The cookbook won, much to the writer’s surprise.

In the Kitchen: Easy Chicken Chow Mein // iFamilyKC Blog
We’ve only had the book a few months, but have made quite a few of the dishes and we have really loved them. I will say- once again Paltrow had me headed to the store, scratching my head for an item so I can’t say it’s all easy when it comes to the grocery shopping; but once you get to the kitchen it is smooth sailing.

My favorite recipe is the Chicken and Zucchini Noodle Pho soup. I am soup obsessed. For me, nothing beats curling up with a hot bowl of soup. This recipe helped us get through the TONS of zucchini we had on hand this summer, but it’s deliciousness has me craving it year-round. It’s a good way to get extra veggies in, but you could also use rice noodles if you prefer. If you have a spiralizer, it makes the process of converting zucchini to noodle easier, but I did not at first and was able to use my cheese grater.

 

In the Kitchen: Easy Chicken Chow Mein // iFamilyKC Blog
My daughter’s favorite is the Chicken Chow Mein. She claims, “The chicken tastes better than chicken.” I think the secret here is the tamari sauce. I had never bought tamari before, but now we can never go back! Since this one is a crowd pleaser, I will share the recipe below. Because, as I said, I can never seem to get through a recipe without changing something- I used different oil (I have a good collection of random oils that I do not use up and didn’t want to buy another). I also cut the chicken into bite sizes (because I’d have to do that anyway for the kids) and did not salt them. I cut the broccolini bigger (because I wanted to). This is great as is, but some crushed peanuts and water chestnuts would be a good addition.

Chicken Chow Mein From Gwyneth Paltrow’s, It’s All Easy

In the Kitchen: Easy Chicken Chow Mein // iFamilyKC Blog
9 oz. udon noodles or fettuccini
6 tbsp. peanut oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ¾” x 2” strips
Salt
1 bunch broccolini, cut into ½” pieces
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup tamari
Cook the udon noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Heat a wok or a very large non-stick sauté pan over high heat. Add 3 tbsp. of the peanut oil and arrange the chicken strips in one even layer around the pan; season the chicken with salt.
Sear the chicken for 2 minutes, or until nicely browned on one side; turn and sear on the second side, then transfer to a large bowl.
Add the broccolini to the wok and sauté, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the broccolini to the bowl with the chicken, leaving as much oil in the wok as possible.
Add the onions to the wok and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until beginning to soften and caramelize, then add the remaining 3 tbsp. peanut oil and the cooked noodles. Stir the noodles and arrange them so that as many as possible are in direct contact with the pan (you want to sear them as much as possible) and cook for one minute. Return the chicken and broccolini to the wok, stir to combine everything, and cook for 3 minutes or so more. Add the tamari, turn off the heat, and serve.

 

What are some of your family favorites? We’d love to hear in the comments!

From iFamily to Yours,