Our Little Life Hack #12: Save Money at the Grocery Store – Freeze It!

I have shared with you some of the ways that I save money on my grocery bill before – including my favorite apps.  Today I have yet another frugal living tip for you in regards to your grocery bill: Freeze it!Read More »

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Our Little Life Hack #4: Healthy Popsicles & Avoiding Food Waste

I don’t know about you, but it seems as though on the weeks I’ve bought the 1 lb pack of strawberries, the pack is gone in a day or two.  Everyone wants strawberries! So on my next weekly grocery shopping trip, I buy the 2 lb pack of strawberries and I end up throwing away old, yucky strawberries by the end of the week because barely any were eaten.  It’s so difficult to guess whether this week will be a strawberry week or not.  By the way, this goes for lots of different fruits in my household, not just strawberries.  So what can I do to avoid wasting perfectly good produce that my kids are just “not in the mood for” this week?  Hello healthy popsicles!Read More »

Our Little Life Hack #2: Add Some Flavor to Your Water

Welcome to our new series: Our Little Life Hacks!  Check back each week for a quick trick or tip to simplify and improve your life. Remember, little steps help us to stick with a new change or habit.  

We all know that drinking lots of water each day is great for our health.  It helps our body flush out toxins, improves our skin, hydrates our bodies, and the list goes on.  However, some of us get bored of drinking just plain water all day.  That’s where our next Little Life Hack comes in: add flavor to your water.
Read More »

What’s Cooking? Bacon, Ham, and Pepper Jack Cheese Egg Muffins

In my quest for my family to eat healthier, one change I made was to try to stock my refrigerator with meals that were cooked and ready for us to eat.  One of the ways I do  this is to prepare breakfast muffins over the weekend and place them in bags in the refrigerator.  Before my husband leaves for work he grabs a bag to bring with him to work.  It is an easy recipe.  I make a variety of different kinds by changing the types of cheese and meat that I add to the eggs. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients
12 Eggs (one per muffin)
12 slices Bacon
3 slices ham
Cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, or pepper jack)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°.
Lightly grease 12 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners.
Oil Muffin Pan Cups
I used precooked bacon and sliced ham today. I cut each slice of bacon in half and put it in the bottom of the muffin cup.
I then added 1/4 of a slice of ham and ¼ slice of pepper jack cheese on top of the bacon.

Beat eggs in a large bowl.  Then pour into muffin cups.

Pour Eggs
Bake for 20- 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Let cool.  Then bag them and keep them in refrigerator.  Breakfast is cooked for the week and ready whenever you are.

Bacon Egg and Pepper Jack Cheese Muffins
 In an earlier post,  I wrote about another way I keep healthy meals ready in the refrigerator.  I do this by sharing meals.  Check out the post here if you haven’t read it yet.  It’s a fun way to eat a variety of meals with half the work.

–Penny

What’s Cooking? Zucchini Lasagna

Today I am going to share with you how I make zucchini lasagna.  In this recipe, I replace the lasagna pasta with sliced zucchini.

Ingredients:
Zucchini and/or yellow squash
Mozzarella Cheese-Shredded
Pasta Sauce (I used ground beef in my sauce, but you can leave the meat out if you want)
Olive Oil for grilling the zucchini and squash

Directions:
I used a mandoline to slice my zucchini and yellow squash 1/8 inch thick.  Since zucchini is a veggie that has a lot of water content, I drizzled olive oil over them and grilled them to remove some of the moisture.

Next you will need a jar of pasta sauce or you can cook it from scratch.  (I seasoned and browned a pound of ground meat, then added a tall can of tomato sauce.)  Cook the pasta sauce until it is thick.  Even though the zucchini was grilled, it will still release more liquid, and make the sauce the perfect consistency.

Layer One Zucchini Lasagna
Once the sauce is ready, begin layering the ingredients into a casserole dish.  I begin with sauce on the bottom.  Then I add a layer of zucchini.  I top the zucchini with sauce and mozzarella cheese.  Then I add another layer of squash, sauce, and cheese.

Layers Zucchini Lasagna

When the casserole dish is full, I place it in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 35 minutes, or until golden brown.
Completed Zucchini Lasagna
Let cool for a few minutes and then enjoy.

–Penny

Frugal Living: How to Feed Your Family With Just One Chicken! Recipe #8: Chicken Broccoli Bake

This is post eight in the series that started with the crockpot whole chicken.  Just finding out about this great series? Start here to catch up.

I love chicken, broccoli, and casseroles, so I think I would love any kind of chicken broccoli baked dish.  However, it has been my experience that the few times I’ve tried this combination, I’ve not loved the outcome.  Today I tried this combo again and I actually found some success!  Bonus points that this recipe is quite healthy and easy!

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp of coconut oil, divided
4 cups of broccoli florets (I used a bag of frozen ones, chopped)
1 medium white onion, diced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
1 cup chicken broth (make your own here)
1 cup coconut milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.) Use one tablespoon of the coconut oil to grease the casserole dish.
3.) Steam the broccoli only until lightly cooked.  I used frozen broccoli florets, so depending on the package, you can steam it right in the bag (just steam for less time than the bag instructions say).  I also chopped up the broccoli into smaller pieces after it was lightly steamed.  Set broccoli aside.
4.) In a pan, add the remaining one tablespoon of coconut oil, onions, salt, and pepper.  Brown the onions.  Once the onions are brown, add the mushrooms and continue to cook until mushrooms are done, stirring occasionally.

add-contents-to-casserole-dish-chicken-broccoli-bake
5.) Add the broccoli,  mushrooms, onions, and chopped chicken to the casserole dish and mix slightly.


6.) In a medium bowl, whisk broth, coconut milk, 2 eggs, and nutmeg with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Pour the mixture into the casserole dish evenly.

remove-from-oven-to-cool-chicken-broccoli-bake
7.) Cook for 40 minutes. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and then enjoy!

–Brandi

Missed the previous recipes? Find them all here:

Recipe #7: Chicken Pesto Sandwiches 
Recipe #6: Chicken Alfredo Pasta 
Recipe #5: Chicken Salad Sandwiches 
Recipe #4: Chicken Quesadillas 
Recipe #3: Chicken Caesar Wraps
Recipe #2: Homemade Chicken Broth 
Recipe #1: Crockpot Whole Chicken 

 

How to Make Your Own Beef Bone Broth

 

In one of my past blogs on eating healthy and sharing meals, I shared how it was easier to eat healthy when you take turns cooking and share the healthy meals with a friend.  The friend that I share meals with is not the only friend that I have that is aiming to eat healthier.  Although we don’t share meals each week, she has shared recipes and sent samples of new recipes.  In today’s post I am sharing the pictures and recipe for the beef bone broth that she made.  Thanks Christine for sharing!

Start by roasting organic soup bones in oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.

roasting-beef-bones

While bones roast …
Into a crock pot, add three fourths hot water, large onion (or onion peels and tops of onions that you have been saving in freezer after chopping onions for other recipes), celery (or celery leaves and ends cut off and saved in freezer), cloves from one head of garlic, ground Thyme, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and sea salt.

After bones have baked for 45 minutes, add cooked bones and any liquid to the crock pot.

Cook on high for one to two hours.  Then cook on low for one to three days.  The longer the broth cooks, the more nutrients and minerals will be extracted from the bones.

cook-on-low-in-crockpot-for-beef-broth

Drain liquid.  Freeze in freezer quart jars.  This recipe made 5 jars.

Save bones and marrow.  When cool put in freezer bag, save for dog treats.

Save strained onions, celery and garlic.  When cool feed to chickens.  No waste!

If you have chicken bones instead of beef bones, refer to Brandi’s post (Homemade chicken broth)

In a future post, I will share Christine’s recipe that she made using this bone broth.  It was the most delicious chili that I have ever eaten!  Oh how I could eat some more of that.  Hint…Hint…

–Penny