***In my Good Eats and Good Reads posts I’ll share a recap of the last several weeks in recipes, photos, and links.***
School has started and we are back into our fall routine. We have one in first grade and one in pre-k. We also have both kids involved in sports for the first time. So it’s a busy time of year but we are all settling into our new rhythm. I, for one, am looking forward to the beautiful fall weather. (But I do not like waking up to the dark outside!)
We’ve had a lot of simple dinners over the last few weeks and I’ve been relying a lot on my freezer. I’ve been so thankful to have a freezer full of meals ready to go. Here are a few meal ideas for you from the past two weeks. Most of these are pretty simple.
***Mini Quiche Cups
We made about 36 mini-quiches the other night. I detailed how we made them at the end of this post. They made a delicious dinner and we had tons leftover for the freezer. I pull them out the night before I want to cook them and they are ready for the oven in the morning. I like involving the kids in this recipe because it motivates them to eat a few veggies.
***Freezer Friendly Meatballs Over Roasted Veggies and Whole Wheat Pasta
I pulled out some of our meatballs from the freezer and let them defrost in the fridge. After I cooked them I added some spaghetti sauce to the meatballs and let it warm through. While all that was cooking I cooked the whole wheat penne noodles until al dente. I also roasted all of those veggies in the oven at 425 degrees for about 15 – 20 minutes. I layered the pasta, veggies, and meatballs. It was delicious and the addition of veggies fills you up and helps keep your portion of pasta (which is high in calories and carbs) smaller. I’m definitely not anti pasta or carbs but most of us definitely overdo it on that food group. It’s much better to load up on the veggies when possible because they are more nutrient dense and lower calorie.
The kids ate theirs all separate. No surprise there.
***Lettuce Wrapped Trader Joes Turkey Burgers
Here’s a quick, easy, and healthy meal idea for you. I used Trader Joe’s Turkey Burgers for this meal. They can be grilled or cooked stove top. You can serve them on buns or if you want to keep it lighter serve it between Romaine lettuce leaves. I set out onions, tomatoes, cheese, pickles, more lettuce, fresh salsa, and guacamole for toppings.
We also steamed a whole head of cauliflower and mixed in a little butter, garlic salt, and pepper. Steamed veggies reheat really well so we had the leftovers the next two nights with our meal.
In case you are wondering, the Turkey Burger ingredients are : turkey, kosher salt, and rosemary extract. May not be the highest quality meat but sometimes it’s nice to have a quick and easy option.
***Sausage and Veggie Foil Grill Packets
If you follow me on Facebook, you might have seen this meal idea before. We’ve done it several times. I’m in love with how delicious and easy they are! Plus, I used the MyFitnessPal app to determine the calories and it was about 350 calories for a pretty generous portion (if you load up on low cal veggies like onion, peppers, and green beans). I think 350 calories for dinner is a pretty good deal.
I poured 1 tsp of olive oil onto each person’s foil and added the veggies and tossed with plenty of salt and pepper. Then I put one cut up sausage link on top. I folded the foil really well and repeated for all family members. We grilled them for about 20 minutes. (My sausage was pre-cooked but you can use uncooked sausage as well.) For directions on that, go here.
I used some sweet basil chicken sausage from Trader Joes, potatoes, sweet potato, green beans, peppers, and onions. This is such a great way to customize each person’s meal.
I used my tuna salad recipe to make tuna melts. This was at my 7 year old’s request. I made them using whole grain bread, just a sprinkling of white cheddar, tomatoes, and some of my tuna salad. I used a little bit of butter on the outside of the bread and then used my panini press to warm it all through. They turned out pretty tasty with a side of steamed broccoli.
A few posts made to the blog over the last two weeks:
Lightened Up Tuna Salad For Two
I love tuna salad. But many recipes and restaurant versions are super high in fat and calories. So I came up with my own recipe that I’m happy with. I try to eat it on a bed of greens or with veggies to make it a light and healthy lunch/dinner option.
Mini Meat Loaves
This has been a family favorite for quite some time. I’m happy to have it written up on the blog now because I was able to throw away my paper version! This recipe is for all those meat (and meatloaf) lovers out there.
Overnight Whole Wheat Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes
I’m probably more excited about this recipe than any of the others I’ve created in a while. I love fall. I love pumpkin. And I love pancakes. Plus, I love anything that can be prepped ahead of time. The pancake batter is prepared ahead of time, making it a super easy and quick recipe for busy mornings. Or it would make a great breakfast for dinner option.
Tips For Making Healthier School Lunches
If you have kids in preschool or elementary school you’ll want to take a look at these tips. If you have any additional tips for me, I’d love to hear them!
Here are a few good articles/blog posts I’ve read recently. Lots of great suggestions and things to ponder!
Why Is Heathy Food Such A Joke by Real Mom Nutrition
Ten Simple Ways To Get Your Toddler to Try New Foods by Yummy Toddler Food
Screentime is Making Kids Moody, Crazy, and Lazy from Psychology Today
Cooking With Kids, 5 Reasons You Should Be Doing It from the New York Times