Pulled Pork

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The great thing about shredded meat is that it can be used for a MILLION other recipes! Some on my menu for this week are: smothered burritos, pulled pork tacos, pulled pork, egg and potato scramble with salsa for breakfast and pulled pork and cheese quesadillas for the bebe. The pork turned out a little bit salty…not too salty but almost! So I recommend waiting to add salt until you pull it out of the oven to taste.

INGREDIENTS
2-3 lb pork shoulder or roast
1 small yellow onion, cut into large slices
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
3 Tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large cast iron skillet (I used my skillet!) over medium high heat.

While oil is heating, trim pork of excess fat and cut into 4 chunks. Once oil is heated, sear meat on all sides then transfer out of skillet.

Add onions to skillet and sauté until almost transparent then add minced garlic to pan. Cook until onions are transparent.

Pour in chicken broth then transfer meat pack into skillet. Add seasonings.

Transfer skillet to oven and bake uncovered for 2 1/2 hours. Then cover with foil and bake an additional 30 minutes or until meat is done and easily pulls apart.

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Freezer Meals For The Week

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Since it’s my first time cooking freezer meals I decided to go with a few easy and low prep dishes that I know my family will love and eat! I made 2 smaller dishes of Chicken Alfredo (the round pans), a pan of Meatless Lasagna, Beef and Cheese Enchiladas with leftover enchilada sauce, Beef Stew, 3 Bean Chili, and some Cheese Shells. This round I used foil pans, foil and Saran Wrap to store my meals but I’m already hunting these babies down so my husband can take individual freezer meals to work and heat them in the microwave!

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Okay so for the recipes! I usually just throw these things together without sticking to an actual recipe and hope for the best so bear with me!

Beef Stew

  • 1 lb beef stew meat
  • 2 Family Size bags of frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 3 beef bouillon cubes
  • 3-4 cups of water plus one extra cup.
  • flour
  • garlic salt, pepper and meat tenderizer
  • freezer bag
  1. Season meat with garlic salt, pepper and sprinkle liberally with meat tenderizer. Then sear the meat over high heat until all sides are nicely seared. Or you can skip this step!
  2. Dump meat into a gallon freezer bag then add diced potatoes and vegetables, beef bouillon cubes and the 3-4 cups of water.
  3. With the reserved 1 cup of water, add a few tablespoons on flour and whisk until you get a glue-like consistency. Add to freezer bag.
  4. Squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible then zip shut.
  5. And you’re done!! To cook, thaw then simmer on the stove until meat is cooked through or toss in your crock pot for several hours!

3 Bean Chili

  • 1 can black beans with juice
  • 1 can red beans with juice
  • 1 can chili beans with juice
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 lb ground beef or plain breakfast sausage (my husband prefers the sausage!)
  • garlic salt
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  1. Brown ground beef or sausage in a large skillet.
  2. Add cans of beans and tomatoes, stirring until combined.
  3. Add seasonings to taste. Beware that the longer the chili sits, the more flavor its going to have. So its better to add seasonings if need be than for it to be too salty! Personal experience ya’ll!
  4. Add chili to freezer bag, squeeze air out and seal.
  5. Can be reheated on the stove or put in the crock pot. The longer it simmers, the better it tastes!

 

Lasagna

On this recipe I used a foil lined glass baking dish to assemble my lasagna then flash freezed it. Once frozen I pulled it out of the baking dish, wrapped the foil around it, and put into a freezer bag.

  • lasagna noodles (I used whole wheat)
  • 1 lb ground beef or Italian sausage (or go meatless)
  • 16 oz cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 67 oz jar of spaghetti sauce or 2 normal sized jars
  • garlic salt
  • Italian seasoning
  • 2 Tbs minced garlic
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • foil pan or freezer bag
  1. Boil lasagna noodles in a large pot of salted water according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, brown meat in a large skillet with minced garlic. Drain if necessary. Add spaghetti sauce to pan and stir.
  3. In a bowl, mix together cottage cheese, egg and season with salt and pepper.
  4. When noodles are done, lay out on a sheet of foil to keep from sticking.
  5. In a baking dish or foil pan, spread a small amount of sauce on the bottom of the pan.
  6. Begin layering noodles, cottage cheese mixture, sauce and mozzarella cheese topping the cheese with garlic salt and Italian seasoning. Repeat until all ingredients have been used. Freeze!
  7. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bake covered at 350 for 45 minutes then bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until bubbly.

Creamy Chicken Alfredo Pasta

This is an amazing recipe and so delicious! My one year old and husband were real big fans 🙂 The recipe is located in the link above but I’ll go ahead and include it in this post. This website has TONS of yummy looking recipes to try!

  • 1/2 16 oz package of penne pasta
  • 4 Tbs butter
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk (I used almond milk)
  • 2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded (I used a rotisserie)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/8 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions in salted water.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the whipping cream, milk and Parmesan cheese, whisking until combine.
  3. Bring mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Sauce will begin to thicken after several minutes.
  4. Add chicken, chicken broth, garlic, oregano, and thyme to the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir and let simmer for 3-4 more minutes until chicken is heated and sauce is thick.
  5. Spray your baking dish or foil pan (I used a deeper 9x 13 pan) with nonstick spray and add noodles to the pan. Pour sauce over top of noodles, add the mozzarella cheese then sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
  6. If you’re making this dish to eat immediately then cook under the broiler until hot and bubbly. To freeze this dish I wrapped the pan in Saran Wrap then foil and froze it. Thaw out and reheat under broiler when ready to eat!
  7. This dish is best served immediately after being cooked. I sent my husband to work with leftovers and when he reheated it, the sauce kinda disappeared…it’s still good reheated and sprinkled with garlic salt but its not the same as fresh out of the oven!

Beef and Cheese Enchiladas

Again, I don’t have exact recipes nor do I know how many corn tortillas or how much cheese I used in this recipe! I kept heating and rolling enchiladas until my pan was full 🙂

  • corn tortillas
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • cheddar or colby jack cheese
  • homemade or canned enchilada sauce
  • garlic salt
  • chili powder
  1. Brown your ground beef adding garlic salt and chili powder to taste.
  2. In your foil pan or baking dish, spread a small amount of sauce across the bottom of your pan.
  3. In a skillet, heat your corn tortillas over medium-high heat until slightly browned and pliable. I usually “fry” mine in heated oil for a  few seconds on each side but this time I thought I’d try a lighter version and just heat them on a skillet.
  4. After tortillas are heated and meat is browned, you can start assembling! Sprinkle some cheese in the middle of the tortilla, top with some beef and add more cheese. Roll up and place seam side down in pan. Continue until all ingredients are used up.
  5. Pour sauce over the top of enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese.
  6. To eat immediately, bake in oven at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly. For freezing, I flash froze these then wrapped in foil and Saran Wrap. To reheat, thaw and bake as directed above!

 

So this was my haul for this week. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to start compiling and trying out some healthier options to fit my diet as well as my family’s taste!

Protein Peanut Butter Cookies

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I have a HUGE sweet tooth and when I get a craving for something sweet, all willpower and motivation go out the window. So I’ve started trying to find and make healthier options so I don’t completely blow all my hard work on a pint of ice cream ;). These peanut butter cookies are relatively healthy…the only thing I don’t eat on a daily basis is the maple syrup. But with only 1/3 of a cup, it’s really not too big of a deal! Hope you enjoy 😀

INGREDIENTS
1 cup natural peanut butter (I used chunky)
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 Tbs almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup oat flour (just grind oatmeal in a blender or bullet!)
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/3 cup chocolate chips (I left these out)

DIRECTIONS
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Mix all wet ingredients together and in a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients together.
3) Slowly add flour mixture to wet ingredients and blend until thoroughly combined.
4) With your hands, roll dough into 10 balls then place on a greased cookie sheet.
5) Press dough down with a fork to flatten.
6) Bake for 12 minutes.