Homemade Turkey Instant Pot Tamales + How To Battle Heartburn

This shop featuring Homemade Turkey Instant Pot Tamales has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ad #MakeHeartburnHistory #CollectiveBias

homemade-tamales-in-the-instant-pot

With the holidays right around the corner, we’re already planning our Thanksgiving meal. Since my mother in law will be out of town, I’m trying to think outside the box and am considering a few alternate main courses for our Thanksgiving dinner table. And these homemade instant pot tamales totally fit that bill! Paired with some rice, beans, and some bunuelos for dessert, our whole meal could take less than an hour to prep with family and make instead of the full day of cooking it normally takes. 

Every year my mom would make enchiladas for Christmas so why not tamales for Thanksgiving, right? Tamales are the perfect meal to get the whole family involved with. Everyone can help make tamales. Plus you can use a turkey filling for the traditional turkey meal! And when you can make them in the instant pot, it’s even better! Because they cook a lot faster than the stovetop steaming method.  But for those who may suffer from frequent heartburn, this meal may not look so appetizing. 

Heartburn sucks. As someone who’s suffered from heartburn since I was a young teen, I’m very familiar with the symptoms and issues that come with frequent heartburn. Not being able to enjoy my favorite foods because they trigger heartburn would take the joy out of family meals. And as someone who’s grown up eating Mexican food on a regular basis, not having my favorite spicy foods just isn’t going to work! Luckily I have Nexium® 24HR 42ct Tablets* in my medicine cabinet.

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Homemade Turkey Instant Pot Tamales

  • 36 corn husks
  • 3 cups of masa harina
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 8 ounces lard (manteca)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 cups shredded cooked turkey

Soak corn husks for about 1-2 hours in water. Mix 3 cups of masa harina with 2 cups chicken stock and let rest, covered, for 15 minutes.

Combine lard, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium-high speed until well whipped, about 1 minute.

Add one-fourth of the masa at a time to the lard, beating between additions until thoroughly incorporated. Add chicken stock and continue beating until dough is light and has a soft and spreadable hummus-like texture. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Remove tamale dough mixture from the fridge.

Working one at a time, grab a corn husk and place 2-3 tablespoons of tamale dough on larger end of husk and spread into a rectangle approximately 1/4 inch thick, leaving a 1-inch border around edges of husk. Place a heaping tablespoon of turkey in a line down center of dough. Fold over sides of husk so dough surrounds filling, then fold bottom of husk up and secure closed by tying a thin strip of husk around tamale. Repeat with remaining husks, dough, and turkey.

Fill Instant Pot with 1 cup of water and add steam basket or rack. Rest tamales upright in Instant Pot above the water level. Cover and cook on manual for 20 minutes. Use the quick pressure release method to release pressure in the Instant Pot. Once the silver pin has dropped and it’s safe to open the lid, remove tamales from Instant Pot and let rest until dough firms up, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately with salsa verde or store in refrigerator for up to a week or freeze for up to four months. Defrost and reheat tamales in Instant Pot using the same timing.

Makes 3 dozen tamales.

homemade-tamales-in-the-instant-pot-the-perfect-holiday-meal

Getting together for the holidays is about the experiences we create with our loved ones. Sharing a meal doesn’t have to mean we stick with our traditional ideas of Thanksgiving dinner. Consider stepping out of the box yourself and trying something new this holiday season! Instead of spending hours in the kitchen while the family is in the living room, cut it down to 30 minutes of cook time and spend that extra time with your friends and family making tamales. 

Don’t want to skip the traditional bird for Thanksgiving? Enjoy these tamales the weekend after Thanksgiving and use up the leftovers! Perhaps host your own friendsgiving and have friends come over to help make them with you. 

And if frequent heartburn hits, don’t let it ruin your holiday! Nexium® 24HR provides protection from frequent heartburn so everyone can enjoy the best flavors of the holidays. Did you know just one pill a day provides all-day, all-night protection from frequent heartburn – no matter what triggers it?* Pretty awesome! 

homemade-tamales-in-the-instant-pot-how-to-battle-heartburn-with-nexium

You can save now on Nexium® 24HR at Walgreens! Just head over to the aisle with the acid reducers and check out these savings: 

  • November 13, 2016 -National FSI – $5.00 coupon on Nexium 24HR (28 ct. and 42 ct.)
  • November 1 – 30, 2016 – In-Store Walgreens coupon – $2.00 off Nexium 24HR (48 ct.)
  • November 1 – 30, 2016 – Special price in-store – Two Nexium 24HR (28 ct.) for $40.00

*May take 1 to 4 days for full effect. Use as directed.

nexium-24hr-at-walgreens

What’s your favorite holiday meal? 

5 Tips for Making Weeknight Dinners Easier + A Southwestern Steak + Sweet Potato Bowl Recipe

These 5 tips for making weeknight dinners easier were inspired by our sponsor, Terra’s Kitchen. Read ahead to find out how you can save time and money in the kitchen while still getting delicious dinners on the table during the week! 

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We are now in the throes of school life and as we near the busiest time of the year, I’ve really started planning ahead. That means keeping up with my calendar, staying on top of our budget, and making sure I have dinner on the table every night. Sometimes that last challenge is harder than you’d think! 

In an effort to not only stay on top of our budget (eating out is expensive!) but also make sure I have dinner ready nightly, I’ve come up with a few ways that I can cut a few corners by planning in advance and using tools like Terra’s Kitchen to make my week a LOT easier. 

5 Tips for Making Weeknight Dinners Easier

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1. Meal Delivery

I’ve tried out a few frozen or prepared meals out in the past but I just can’t get over not being able to cook my own food. Now don’t get me wrong, I do love my microwave for things like popcorn and microwavable bacon (the kids can make their own and there’s no mess!). But cooking my meals in the microwave from the freezer just isn’t as tasty. 

So when I heard about Terra’s Kitchen and looked at the weekly menu offerings they had, I was excited to try out a few of their meals through their meal delivery program. Not only is it not frozen, it comes in a climate-controlled vessel straight to your front door. When I unloaded the vessel, I simply removed the removable shipping label, placed it back outside, and it was picked up the next day and on it’s way to shipping more food to someone else. These vessels can be used up to 100 times! Waay better than the styrofoam packaging I was used to for previous services. 

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2. Meal Planning

With Terra’s Kitchen, I can input the meals I’ll be making from them into my weekly meal plan. That means I’m only shopping for breakfast and lunch (and a few items for snacks). I don’t have to worry about dinners because I’ll be making healthy meals in 30 minutes or less with my Terra’s Kitchen orders! 

Meal planning really does help for more than just dinner. And it’s a great way to stay on track with our budget because we only buy what we’ve planned to eat. It also allows me to keep an eye out for weekly specials and coupons in the paper. It may sound daunting to take this time on the weekend but it does pay to plan ahead when there are PTG meetings, soccer practice, and homework looming over our heads during the week.  

Terra’s Kitchen includes the ingredients list and recipes of each of their meal items and it’s conveniently printed on a 3 hole punched piece of card stock so you can easily add it to your meal planning binder. If you love a recipe, you’ll know exactly what to purchase to recreate the meal again and again in your home! 

3. Prepping Ahead

When I meal plan for the week, I also try and get all of my prep work done in advance on Sundays. That way I don’t have to think about cutting and chopping during the week. I also pre-package the kids snacks for lunches as well so they’re easy to grab. 

Well, Terra’s Kitchen does the same thing! All of the ingredients I received were pre-portioned and pre-chopped ready to go straight to the fridge. And the containers they were in fit perfectly on top of one another. It was kind of fun playing Tetris in my fridge to get everything to fit perfectly! Plus there was still room for the essentials we always keep in the fridge. 

Tip: You can use the containers your food comes in as seed starters for your garden! We’ll be sharing our seed starting tips next week so stay tuned! 

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4. Freezer Meals

Now I know that things do come up and sometimes we don’t even have the mere 30 minutes to cook a meal. So I prep ahead and turn leftovers from one meal into freezer meals for a meal in the future. I turned the leftovers from this amazingly delicious Southwest Steak and Sweet Potato bowl into mini pot pies to gobble up in the near future when all I have time for is turning on an oven and sticking a freezer meal in to bake. By prepping freezer meals for the oven or the slow cooker, I can make sure the days we don’t have a Terra’s Kitchen meal are covered! 

5. Time Management

My biggest enemy during the week is time. The time between picking the kids up from school and dinner is a big black vortex that seems to disappear before my eyes. No, seriously. I have NO idea how time goes so quickly between then. 

So in an effort to be better with time management, in addition to meal planning, shopping, and prepping on the weekends, I also set a timer to go off 30 minutes before my husband normally comes home from work so I know when I have to start cooking dinner. It’s so easy to get sucked into working just a little longer when you work from home so setting limits and timers is important. 

By setting aside this time and scheduling it for these tasks, I’m able to stay on top of feeding the family. And a fed family is a happy family! 

5-tips-for-making-weeknight-dinners-easier-delicious-meals-from-terras-kitchen

Southwestern Steak and Sweet Potatoes Bowl

Recipe courtesy of Terra’s Kitchen

  • 16 ounces sweet potato chunks
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • .7 ounces jalapeno slices
  • .3 ounces minced garlic
  • 12 ounces skirt steak
  • 2.25 ounces sliced scallions
  • 1 avocado

1. Preheat the oven t o450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. 

2. Cook the Potatoes: Pour sweet potatoes onto baking sheet. Pour 1 tablespoon of oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of cumin (optional) over sweet potatoes and toss with your hands to coat. Place in the oven and roast until browned and tender (approximately 20 minutes). In the last 5 minutes of cook time, chop the remaining jalapeno and use a spatula to stir it into the potatoes along with the remaining garlic and all of the scallions.  

3. Make the Steak Rub: Pour half of the jalapeno slices, half the garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper into a small pile on a cutting board and keep cutting through the mixture with your knife until the jalapeno releases juices and you have made a wet paste. Rub mixture over steaks. 

4. Cook the Steaks: Rub a grill pan with 1 teaspoon of canola oil and place over high heat. Once grill starts to smoke, add steaks and cook to medium rare, turning once (approximately 3-4 minutes per side). Remove to a plate and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice against the grain and make sure to save the juices on your plate to use later. 

5. Dice the avocado by cutting in half, removing the pit, using a pairing knife to cross hatch the flesh and scoop out flesh with a spoon. 

To Serve: Divide sweet potatoes between two bowls and drizzle the steak pan juices over each. Fan sliced steak over potatoes and top with diced avocado. 

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Do you have any tips for easy weeknight dinners? 

Want to try Terra’s Kitchen for yourself? Use code SIMM30 at check out and save $30 off your first order (no expiration). The only condition is a minimal order of $64.99 (which is always the minimum to ship). Enjoy! 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Terra’s Kitchen. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

Low Carb Fish Tacos + a Homemade Tartar Sauce Recipe

Lettuce Wrapped Mahi Mahi Tacos with Low Carb Tartar Sauce

It is summer and I just do not feel like cooking big, heavy meals. So when I grabbed a box of salmon fillets from Costco a few weeks ago, I was dying to try them out. The fillets go in the oven (boo) but cook really quickly and what you can do with them afterwards is even better! 

We had been just serving the fillets with some veggies or over a salad but I decided to get a little creative and create some mock fish tacos that fit my low carb lifestyle. I’ve been low carb since the beginning of June (actually started last year but that lost steam around the holidays). With my new lifestyle, I also started a blog because… why not? It’s a local blog that covers local restaurants and how to eat low carb around San Diego but it’s also going to be chocked full of the LCHF recipes I try out. Like this lettuce wrapped mahi mahi taco with low carb tartar sauce. 

I’ll make sure to share a snippet and photos of my recipes here with a link over to the full recipe on each post so you can stay in the loop! And if you’re living a low carb lifestyle already, I’d love to hear your go-to food ideas! 

Grab the full recipe here: 

LETTUCE WRAPPED MAHI MAHI TACOS WITH LOW CARB TARTAR SAUCE

Lettuce Wrapped Salmon Tacos - delicious low carb dinner

Soy Ginger Marinated Chicken Drumsticks

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The a2 Milk Company™. All opinions are 100% mine.

Soy Ginger Marinated Chicken Drumsticks

Remember when I shared about the awesomeness of a2 Milk®? Well we’re sharing some more with this yummy soy ginger marinated chicken drumsticks. Not only is this recipe easy to make, it has a fresh and delicious flavor that’s perfect for spring. Paired with some rice and roasted veggies and you have yourself a complete meal for the whole family. You could even throw this on the grill if the weather is nice outside!

Since this recipe can serve a crowd if doubled (or tripled) using a2 Milk® ensures that all of your guests will be able to enjoy eating it without tummy troubles. As I’ve mentioned before, a2 Milk® doesn’t have the A1 protein that gives some people issues after consuming dairy. That means this would be an awesome recipe for the next family barbecue or game day event! 

 Soy Ginger Marinated Chicken Drumsticks - how to build the marinade

Soy Ginger Marinated Chicken Drumsticks - roasted in the oven

As I mentioned when I shared my strawberry vanilla overnight oats recipe, my 14 month old has been drinking more and more cow’s milk. And instead of hesitating, I’ve actually been more willing to give her milk because there is no A1 protein in a2 Milk®.

And so far, so good!

We’ve noticed a smooth transition from all breastmilk to breastmilk and cow’s milk and I couldn’t be happier. That means that Grandma is happier too because she can watch Norah longer and during the day.

Soy Ginger Marinated Chicken Drumsticks with green onions

Do you use a lot of marinades?

Interested in more info about a2 Milk®? Check them out on Twitter and Facebook or find where you can purchase it by using their Product Locator! Or check out the great recipes they have on Pinterest. And right now you can take advantage of this a2 Milk® $1 Off Coupon.

Visit Sponsors Site

10 Ways to Cook Carrots {From Garden to Table}

10 Ways to Cook Carrots {From Garden to Table}

I know winter just arrived but I’m already thinking about my garden and what I am going to plant in it as soon as I find the time! Now that we’ve moved our chickens to another part of the yard, I can get my garden going again without the fear of them eating just about everything in there. One thing that the kids love to plant is carrots.

Not only are they super easy to grow, they’re also delicious in many different ways. From pulling them up and eating them right out of the ground (after a little washing) to cleaning and chopping them up into our favorite soups, to throwing them in the new Vitamix I got and juicing them!

There are quite a few ways to cook carrots but sometimes you just go with what you know. I find myself just roasting them up or steaming them but I could be doing so much more! Below are 10 ways to spruce up how you’re using carrots. And I’m pretty sure my kids wouldn’t  think twice if I put a few in their mac and cheese!

Ways to Cook Carrots clean after you pick them

10 Ways to Cook Carrots

  1. Maple Glazed Carrots with Bacon | Confessions of an Overworked Mom
  2. Shredded Potato, Beet and Carrot Latkes for Easter Brunch | Handmade in the Heartland
  3. Steamed Honey Glazed Carrot Medallions | It Happens in a Blink
  4. Carrot and White Bean Veggie Cutlets | Amuse Your Bouche
  5. Sneaky Carrot Mac and Cheese | White House Black Shutters
  6. Carrot and Bok Choy Slaw | Confessions of an Overworked Mom
  7. Carrot Orzo Risotto | Food Done Light
  8. Carrot and Sage Soup | Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen
  9. Cucumber, Carrot and Edamame Salad | Sarah’s Cucina Bella
  10. Fresh Carrots with Butter and Dill | A Family Feast

Ways to Cook Carrots - eat raw

What’s your favorite way to incorporate carrots into a meal?

Keto Friendly Cheesy Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup

Keto Friendly Cheesy Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup

We’re whipping up more LCHF goodness over at Low Carb San Diego! You can find this deliciously easy low carb broccoli and cauliflower cheese soup recipe posted today. Not only is it minimal ingredients, it takes less than half an hour to make. Plus you can double the batch to heat up later and enjoy all week. Talk about an easy meal plan!

You can find the full recipe here.

Pinterest Inspiration

Keto Friendly Grilling Meals: Hatch Green Chile Chicken Drumsticks

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LegendaryTailgate #CollectiveBias

Keto Friendly Grilling Meals- Hatch Green Chile Chicken Drumsticks

So it’s been a little over a month since I’ve switched over to a low carb high fat lifestyle (LCHF) and I’m starting to get the hang of things. I’m a bit obsessed with experimenting in the kitchen and love to find great meals that I can tweak. One of my favorite recipes to make over and over again is mashed cauliflower. I don’t know why… maybe it’s the heavy whipping cream and butter? Yeah, it’s definitely the heavy whipping cream and butter!

But I can’t just eat mashed cauliflower for dinner. Or serve it to the family. They might riot.

This weekend I was doing my grocery run sans kids (yay!) with coffee in hand (double yay!) and I headed down the marinade and sauces aisle. It’s one of my favorite aisles to peruse for help for dinner. Not only are there plenty of lower carb/sugar options, but they help make tasty meals in little to no time. This time around I found a delicious green chile marinade in Stubbs Anytime Sauces. Paired with the Foster Farms drumsticks I picked up on sale, I was ready for grilling!

Keto Friendly Grilling Meals - foil wrapped asparagus Keto Friendly Grilling Meals Mashed Cauliflower with Butter

One thing I love about grilling, even in November, is that I can prepare just about anything on the grill. What’s not to love about a full meal being cooked outside while I don’t have to dirty up the kitchen? Less dishes in my sink. With the help of some foil, I was able to cook up the asparagus and the cauliflower right on the grill along side the drumsticks as they cooked. 

And? It’s perfect for tailgating meals too. When we head out to watch our team play on the field when they’re here in town we love enjoying a meal on the grill before heading into the stadium. Or when we’re hosting family over to watch the game on TV. Grilling makes it easier for us to host our family and enjoy time with them while they’re visiting with us. 

Keto Friendly Grilling Meals BBQ Hatch Green Chile Chicken Drumsticks

Hatch Green Chile Chicken Drumsticks

  • 1 jar Stubb’s Anytime Sauces in Green Chile
  • 1 package (24oz) Foster Farms Fresh & Natural Chicken Drumsticks
  • Olive Oil

Place the drumsticks in a 9×13 baking dish. Pour Stubbs Anytime Sauces over chicken. Cover dish with saran wrap or lid and marinate for 4-24 hours.

Preheat grill. Grab a paper towel and blot with olive oil. Rub on grates to prevent meat from sticking.

Once grill is heated, add drumsticks to the grill. Barbecue for 30-35 minutes or until completely cooked.

Let rest for 5 minutes and serve with veggies.

Serves 8 | Nutritional Info: 123 calories, 2 Net Carbs, 2g Carbs, 5g Fat, 16g Protein, 0g Fiber

Keto Friendly Grilling Meals Hatch Green Chile Chicken Drumsticks, Mashed Cauliflower, Asparagus

What’s your favorite thing to grill on the barbecue?

Looking to make grill time easier? Check out Stubbs anytime sauces at Vons! I found mine in the BBQ Sauce and Vinegar aisle.

When you’re in the store, check for an Instant Redeemable Coupon that can be found in-store on the Foster Farms chicken packaging for a discount on Stubbs BBQ sauce so you can save instantly. The coupons expire on 12/31/15.

Stubbs Anytime Sauces at Vons

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Lasagna

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Finding an alternative to comfort foods has never been easier. I’m getting creative with making my favorite dishes with help from our sponsor Foster Farms and their Sauté Ready chicken like this Spaghetti Squash Chicken Lasagna recipe.

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Lasagna

For months I’ve felt trapped in my post partum body. While I knew having a third baby would change me yet again, I didn’t realize how much harder I’d have to work after my c-section to get my body back. And when I was finally ready to tackle my weight once Norah turned 6 months old, I got hit with a gallbladder attack and my interest in starting a LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) way of eating was curbed. High fat isn’t good when your gallbladder is full of stones. I’d much rather wait it out than feel the wrath of another gallbladder attack.

However I did finally have it removed and felt amazing afterwards. After having my gallbladder removed I was finally able to hop on board and start eating healthier. While I was twiddling my thumbs waiting until my surgery, I read everything I could about keto friendly diets and why butter and cream are actually good for me. During my pregnancy I didn’t care much for sweets. In fact, they made me feel sick. After I had Norah, that didn’t go away. Anytime I ate sweets or carbs I would feel gross and sluggish. So when I finished reading this book, I was able to change my way of thinking and have laid off the carbs and increased my fat intake. Boy does my body prefer this way of eating!

Foster Farms Sauté Ready in the freezer

I stay focused and on plan with the help of planning. I keep a simple list of foods that I call my “go-to” menu stocked up in the pantry, fridge, and freezer to stick with a keto friendly diet. And with Foster Farms Sauté Ready Chicken in my freezer I can make a delicious dinner that’s on plan while still appeasing my family. They’re the perfect high-protein (21g protein/serving) option to keep on hand for quick, healthy mid-week meals. Plus the chicken is 100% natural and cooks in about 10 minutes with no thawing required. Talk about a time saver! And it takes the guesswork out of dinner – it’s homemade made easy.

But when cravings hit and all I want is comfort food, I don’t mind taking a little more time to create a delicious dish. And this Spaghetti Squash Chicken Lasagna sure does hit the spot! All of the flavors of my favorite chicken lasagna with a considerable decrease in carbs. Plus, it’s something the kids would actually try. Like one bite. Hey! It’s better then them turning their noses up, telling me that it’s gross, and then demanding that dad go take them to get chicken nuggets. Yes… that has happened. And yes, dad did give in.

What I love about this recipe is that it really isn’t that difficult. It just has a few extra steps. But if you aren’t watching your carbs you could totally use jarred marinara to make it easier. It’s protein packed, delicious, and full of cheesy goodness. Exactly what I was hoping for when I started cooking. And since I only use 1/2 of the spaghetti squash in this dish, I have more for other recipes throughout the week.

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Lasagna with Foster Farms

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Lasagna

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 15 ounce can of Italian diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup whole milk mozzarella
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning plus more for sprinkling
  • 6 ounces Foster Farms Sauté Ready Garlic Herb Marinated chicken

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Grab your spaghetti squash, a cutting board, a large knife and your muscles (depending on the squash). Cut your squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds (toss or save a few to plant in the garden next year). Put the squash on the foil flesh side down. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until squash is cooked.

While squash is cooking, take 1/2 of the tomatoes and blend until pureed. Set aside. Mix together the ricotta and cottage cheese with the Italian seasoning. Grate the mozzarella.

Once the squash is done, remove from oven and turn around. Reduce heat to 375 degrees. Grab one half of the squash and, while using a fork, scrape out the “noodles” into a bowl. Mix in butter and salt and pepper into the squash.

Add back in 1/2 of the squash. Cover with 1/2 the ricotta/cottage cheese mixture and sprinkle with 1/3 cup of mozzarella. Pour some of the tomato sauce over the cheese and sprinkle with diced tomatoes. Add the chicken. Repeat and cover with remaining mozarella. Sprinkle with Iralian seasoning and bake for 20 minutes.

Serves 4 | Nutritional Info: 309 calories, 8 Net Carbs, 9g Carbs, 19g Fat, 25g Protein, 1g Fiber

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Lasagna with cheesy goodness

Looking to save a little on dinner? Simply download and print the coupon you can find here to get $1 off any 1 ONE (1) package of Foster Farms Sauté Ready, or share the coupon with a friend (via Facebook, Twitter or email) for get $2 off any ONE (1) package of Foster Farms Sauté Ready.

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Lasagna - low carb and keto friendly

What’s your comfort food?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Foster Forms.

Easy Dinner Slow Cooker Freezer Meals

Chicken with Campbell's Cheesy Broccoli Oven Sauce

Since having my third child, dinner is usually the farthest thing from my mind at the end of the day. Between working from home, dropping off and picking up the older kids, and entertaining my baby throughout the day, It’s just not as important as my kids or my work (unless making dinner is work!).

Over the past few months I’ve become a little pro-active in making sure that I don’t have to worry about anything once dinner time arrives by doing a lot of meal prep on the weekends! I’ve been stocking up on various oven and crock pot sauces to help me out and make dinnertime a breeze. All I have to do is remember to grab the right protein, veggie and sauce and I’m on my way to making a delicious meal for the family.

Our current favorite? Cheesy chicken and broccoli. So easy to make in a snap! Almost as easy as our favorite slow cooker freezer meals.

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli with Campbell's Cheesy Broccoli Oven Sauce

Easy Dinner Slow Cooker Freezer Meals - Campbell's Slow Cooker Sauces There are quite a few sauces that you can easily incorporate into your freezer meal plan. With these pantry staples you really can make dinner a quick and painless part of the day. And don’t get me started on the delicious oven sauces like the cheesy broccoli chicken featured above.

Today I’m sharing one of my favorites: Tavern Style Pot Roast! Not only is this slowcooker sauce amazingly delicious, it’s something I can keep in my pantry until I need it.

Easy Dinner Slow Cooker Freezer Meals - meat and veggies

Easy Dinner Slow Cooker Freezer Meals

How To Prep Slow Cooker Freezer Meals

To create this simple slow cooker freezer meal all you have to do is gather up a few ingredients. I included a beef roast, chopped carrots, chopped potatoes, and one onion, cut into large chunks.

Then I simply labeled a gallon size freezer bag with the name of the meal and the date I’ve prepared it to freeze. That way I know exactly what meal to grab when I’m looking to start dinner. Once everything is ready to go I add all of the ingredients to the bag and pop it in the freezer for later. Slow Cooker Freezer Meals - label gallon bagSlow Cooker Freezer Meals - pot roast For other dishes that are just as simple I do a similar meal prep. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Hawaiian Pork – Add pork roast, green beans (fresh or frozen), and pineapple chunks to the bag. Stock up on frozen rice and serve pork and green beans over rice.  

Beef Stew – Add beef, diced potatoes, carrots and, onions (fresh or frozen) to the bag. Serve with a nice salad. 

Shredded Beef Tacos – Add beef roast, onions, peppers, kidney and/or black beans and corn to the bag. Use with taco shells or as a filling for burritos or enchiladas.

Easy Dinner Slow Cooker Freezer Meals - slow cooker sauces

What’s your favorite freezer meal to prepare?

Planning Ahead: Meal Delivery Service For Busy Weeks

Disclaimer - Review Posts
Planning Ahead Meal Delivery Service For Busy Weeks

After recovering from gallbladder surgery last week and this week, there’s one thing I was grateful for. Ok, two. My mother-in-law and husband’s help AND Charlie’s Classic Cooking meal delivery service.

I love to cook. I love to eat. I love to watch my family enjoy what I eat. But after going through surgery, or even just having a super busy week schedule, having pre-made meals in the fridge that I know are going to be delicious just takes a huge weight off my shoulders. And when it’s food as good as Charlie’s? Well… lets just say my family was very happy.

We first heard about Charlie’s Classic Cooking when my son and I took two awesome classes a few months back with Stone & Glass as part of their Fire and Fettucini classes. Perfect for just about any coupling you could think of – mother son, father daughter, significant others, girlfriends, “bros” … hahaha – Stone & Glass paired with Charlie’s Classic Cooking to bring together a glass making class and a cooking class. I did the glass making class and Ethan made some amazing fettucini for us to enjoy together after the class ended. I’ve been thinking about that fettucini ever since.

Planning Ahead Meal Delivery Service For Busy Weeks - packaging

Meal Delivery Service From Charlie’s Classic Cooking

The meals were delivered to our door step and my husband was able to take them inside and put them in the fridge. Each one was labeled with what was inside and we were given our menu with reheating instructions. This made it easy to plan which meal to make on what day depending on what the kids and my husband had going on each night.

Here’s a peek at our menu: 

  • Lime and cumin grilled chicken with tomato-corn relish and fresh green beans;
  • Fettuccine alfredo with carrots, broccoli, red peppers and mushrooms;
  • Swiss steak with egg noodles and baby carrots; and
  • Sheppard pie with mashed potatoes and spinach salad. 

It was hard for me to choose a favorite as I already LOVE Chef Charlie’s fettucini, but the lime and cumin grilled chicken was so juicy and flavorful that it won me over! And I was able to turn leftovers into chicken enchiladas a day later. YUM! My husband, however absolutely loved the Sheppard pie and swiss steak.

Planning Ahead Meal Delivery Service For Busy Weeks - instructions

At Home Prep | Enjoying Our Meals

Once the meals were delivered, all we had to do was store them in the fridge and pull whenever one we wanted to enjoy that night out and follow the directions. It was easy enough to simply leave the choices in my husband’s capable hands, give him the menu with reheating instructions, and let him prepare the meals for the family. He literally had to look at what temperature the oven had to be at and heat up the meals. And if pinched for time, we could use the simple microwave instructions.

What I loved, besides the ease in which these meals came together, was the fact that I could still customize them to my family’s liking. Take the Swiss Steak for example. My daughter does not eat most meats (besides bacon, salmon, and chicken nuggets) at dinner. So my husband simply set aside some carrots and noodles for her to heat up seperately. Even my choosy eaters were able to pick and choose what parts of the meals to enjoy.

Planning Ahead Meal Delivery Service For Busy Weeks - swiss steak

These home delivery meals start at $175 for a family of four, receiving four dinners for four people weekly. The weekly meal service allows you to have chef prepared meals weekly. The meals are delivered right to your door (home or office) weekly and monthly menus are sent via email or on their website as a weekly reminder of what’s for dinner each week. You can check out the Charlie’s Classic Cooking website or email charles@charliesclassiccooking.com for more info! 

What would you love to taste from Charlie’s Classic Cooking? 

*** This giveaway is now closed ***

Congrats to Linda Appleby! 

Chef Charlie doesn’t just want my family to enjoy a good meal, he’s also giving one away to one lucky reader on the Simmworks Family Blog! 

One winner will receive a dinner-for-four delivered right to your door (a value of $75).  

Open to US only, 18+. Must live in San Diego County. This giveaway ends October 16th, 2015 at 11:59EST.

Mandatory Entry
Please comment* below with what you would love to taste from Charlie’s Classic Cooking. Take a look at this sample menu of what others are being delivered in their weekly meal service drop offs. 

Thank you and good luck!

*Important: By completing any entry in our giveaways, you agree to ALL of our giveaway terms and conditions. Comments such as “Thank you for the giveaway” “I want to win” etc will not be counted as the mandatory entry and will be deleted along with all corresponding bonus entries. Please be aware that comments are moderated and may not appear right away. Make sure you use a valid email address so we may notify you if you’ve won! Giveaway winners will receive their meal directly through the sponsor. Winner must provide mailing address within 48 hours to receive their meal.

 



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