Hi friends! I hope you had a great weekend! Mine was pretty chill with a few runs at the park and a long awaited get together with a couple girlfriends. I’ve lost count of what week of this situation we’re in, but I know it’s been too long since I got to see my friends.
We are all being careful and taking safety precautions and thankfully a couple of us were able to meet up in honor of Trisa’s birthday. I know it meant the world to her and to us too. We’ve been friends since college and I can’t believe we are in our 40s now! But I swear she never ages!
I asked y’all on Stories what kinds of things y’all wanted to see more of and the answers were all over the map: beauty tips, fashion try-ons, sale alerts, organization and productivity, home decor, and also fitness and food. Today, I’m sharing some really easy meals that I have been eating lately and they require no special cooking skills or much time to make!
And, at the bottom of the post, I’m sharing all the kitchen tools that I use often that make all this cooking and meal prep so much easier!
WHAT I’VE BEEN EATING
I don’t think I could do intermittent fasting because I love to eat breakfast in the morning! I usually wake up and feel ready to eat before too much time passes. If I don’t, I’m so hungry!
A protein pancake is delicious and filling and packed with protein. I buy Power Cakes Protein pancake mix and lately have been making them this way:
1/3 cup Power Cakes Mix
1/3 cup Water
1/3 cup All Whites
1/2 scoop Protein Powder (optional, but I feel like the pancake cooks better when I add this extra protein)
Handful of Blueberries
*Spray 8-inch pan with cooking spray. Mix together and pour into pan over medium heat. I usually cover the pan for a bit until the liquid is mostly solid (about 4 minutes), then flip. Cook on the second side for about 2 minutes. Makes 1 pancake.
I’ve been putting real butter and sugar free syrup on my pancake.
FISH WITH GREEN BEANS
If you follow me on Stories, you know I love my air fryer and use it almost everyday! One thing I make on repeat is fish and it’s perfectly cooked.
Season 3 cod filets (I use salt & pepper, Old Bay, paprika, dill or whatever else I feel like, for example Lemon/Pepper)
Put the fish in the air fry and cook at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. I eat one and then save the next two for leftover for the next two days. I’ll reheat in the microwave for one minute.
I buy frozen green beans, and cook about a 2 cups in the microwave for 2 minutes.
Then, add coconut oil, garlic and nuts or seeds to a pan over medium heat and cook for a couple minutes, add the green beans and cook for a couple more minutes. This is SO good and works for broccoli or other veggies too.
I’ll often add 1.5 cup of brown rice or quinoa to this meal.
I got on a quesadilla kick recently and it was something Jordan liked too- but just cheese on hers!
I take rotisserie chicken, onions, and mushrooms and heat it in a pan. Just eyeball the ingredients to enough that will fill your quesadilla. Sprinkle in taco mix seasoning and a splash of water until the mix absorbs.
Then, spray cooking spray on the tortillas and fill them with the chicken mixture and pepper jack cheese. Cook over medium heat until each side is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Serve with pico, guacamole and/or light sour cream.
You can make your own guacamole, but I’ve been buying these single serve containers.
I try to incorporate greens and veggies into my meal and one salad that’s on repeat is so easy to assemble. You can buy a bagged salad kit or just get spinach, cucumber, chickpeas, nuts, dried cranberries and poppyseed dressing.
You can also eat your tuna salad on a big bed of spinach with a side of cucumber to get those greens in. I love my egg cooker for adding hard boiled eggs to my tuna salad.
DELICIOUS, JUICY CHICKEN
After getting so sick of chicken, I recently found a way to cook it so that it’s so flavorful and juicy. You can add this chicken to salads or eat it as a main dish with a side of potatoes and veggies.
SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS WITH GARLIC BREAD
This is a combo of James’ and Jordan’s favorite meals. Jordan loves mostly the meatballs “served big” (i.e. uncut), and James loves the garlic bread. This is such a simple meal because I buy Trader Joe’s or another brand of frozen meatballs and you just heat them in the skillet to cook.
I love Muir Glen pasta sauce with this and thin shavings of fresh parmesan on top.
James made a video on his YouTube channel for how to make garlic bread.
This Microwave Cover is so genius at keeping your microwave clean when you are reheating explosive things in the microwave!
This banana bread is one Jordan loves to help me with and it’s so yummy! It’s made with all natural ingredients, no added sugar and almond flour. We’ve made it several weeks in a row and it’s delicious!
The recipe is by Annie Jaffrey
Wet: – 3 very ripe bananas
1 large cup sliced dates (tightly packed / seeds removed) (this equals approx 3/4 cup date paste*)
– 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
– 1 tbsp almond milk
– 1 egg
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 cup of GF flour (I used almond)
– 1 cup oats
– 1 cup walnuts (halved) (can also use pecans)
– 1 tbsp cinnamon –
– 2 tsps baking powder
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
– Pinch of sea salt
(Optional toppings: shredded coconut (unsweetened), more halved walnuts & dark choc chips)
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350’ F / 180’ C (*To create the date paste – place 1 heaping, tightly packed, cup of dates in food processor, or blender, with a touch of water, blend until smooth and creamy)
1. In a large bowl, mash bananas with fork
2. Add in all wet ingredients (coconut oil, date paste, vanilla extract)
3. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients (GF flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, salt + walnuts and dark choc chips)
4. Gently stir in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients
5. Grease pan with coconut oil, line with parchment paper, place mixture inside and let bake for approx 60 mins (or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and top is golden brown)
6. Remove from tin and let cool on a baking rack for 30 mins, slice and ENJOY!!
♥ TIPS: – To make this recipe vegan, you can substitute the egg for a chia egg (1 tablespoon of chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water and let the mixture sit for 15 to 20 minutes or you can prepare it the night before.)
If you want to make the banana bread sweeter, just add more dates to make more date paste – If you don’t have dates, you can use 3/4 cup of maple syrup or honey
To melt coconut oil, first fill measuring cup with solid oil, place cup in hot water / or on a very light temperature on the stove to allow the oil to melt. As oil begins to melt, add more solid oil until perfect amount is reached.
If the weather permits, we like to grab our plates and eat outside. It’s nice unless the mosquitos are out! We enjoy it when we can. Soon, the dining room will be complete and we can eat in there again!
Even before quarantine, we hardly ever went to restaurants. My kids prefer to stay home and I find it easier/healthier/cheaper to prepare my own meals. I took a detailed inventory of my kitchen items and made a list of all the things I use on a frequent basis and compiled them for you here. I was able to find all of them on Amazon too! #score
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Kitchen Aid Mixer • Pretty sure this mixer needs no introductions, it is a must have for any baker. We use ours all the time, even with the banana bread. Your biggest decision is what color!
Kids Kitchen Knife • Jordan loves to help me in the kitchen, so I just ordered these 100% Food Grade and BPA-Free, kids safe kitchen knives. She will LOVE them!
Toaster • James used to eat raisin bread toast every morning for breakfast and I do like an avocado egg toast, or my Power Grains waffles. Dual control panels make this toaster easy to make several pieces at once.
Stainless Steel Whisks • I use a whisk every day for my pancake and beyond. This set is made of high quality durable stainless steel and highly-polished processing method. It’s ergonomically designed for excellent balance and control-for a difference you can really feel in the hand. Bonus : they are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup!
Bamboo Cutting Board • I’m always using a cutting board to chop and help protect our marble counters. I like the size and not too heavy weight of this one. It has over 2,700 positive reviews and a lifetime guarantee.
Peeler • I recently tossed my rusty peeler and can opener and invested in these good ones. It’s so much nicer to have a good, clean one!
Can Opener • I prefer this handheld can opener over the big electric one. It’s super easy to use. Which kind do you have?
Pizza Wheel • Oddly enough, I use my pizza cutter most often for cutting the kids pancakes into squares. It’s so much easier than using a knife and fork!
Cereal Storage Containers • If you saw my pantry makeover, then you know my love of all things organization related. We store our cereals in these airtight containers and they help keep cereal fresh and easy to pour. Plus, I love the look so much better – especially when we add a label to match the rest of my pantry items. 😉
Butter Crock • Have you guys ever tried a butter crock? They are a game changer! No more cold butter from fridge. This crock keeps your butter soft and spreadable for use on rolls, bread, toast, waffles, pancakes and more, without having a gooey mess on a plate somewhere. Enjoy room temperature butter in the morning! On your protein pancake!
Measuring Cups • I love these measuring cups for so many reasons. The set includes every size you need and they are color coded for my old eyes! And they also have the ml measurement on the cups as well!
Sponge Holder • If you have been here a while then you already know my love of this sponge holder. I love how it sits inside the sink so you can’t see those sponges out on the counter. It also won’t fall down! It’s stainless steel as well, so no rusting and it’s easy to clean.
Mason Jar Soap Dispenser • I have two similar bottles on my sink for hand soap and dish soap and it looks so pretty and clean! This two pack even comes with labels to dress up your dispensers.
Le Creuset Dutch Oven • Every time I pull out my dutch oven, I’m so thankful I have it! It’s a quality piece that will last you a lifetime and you can cook so many things in it.
Cookware Set • I purchased this cookware several months ago and it’s been a pleasure to use. It’s thermolon ceramic non-stick, perfect frying results using less oil and easy cleaning.
20-Piece Silverware • This silverware is close to one of the sets I have and I love the simple design. They are durable for daily use and dishwasher safe.
Microfiber Dish Mat • I have several coffee mugs, Jordan’s cups and pots and pans that I hand wash, so this microfiber dish mat sits beside the sink for quick air drying.
Stainless Steel Strainers • I often use these strainers over a large colander if I’m straining a smaller quantity. I also like them for sifting dry ingredients as well as washing fruit. I use mine to drain things like a can of chickpeas.
Marble Serving Board • This serving board is not only beautiful, it’s functional! Food-safe natural oil finish helps protect and preserve the wood and it’s ideal for charcuterie and cheese plates. Would make a great gift as well!
Microfiber Cleaning Towels • Did you know I (almost) quit paper towels? I use them every once in awhile for patting dry fish or chicken or placing bacon on out of the pan. But, for cleaning, I mostly use these microfiber towels. They are ultra soft, non-abrasive and will not scratch paints or other surfaces. I wipe down my marble counters with them with just mild soap and water or counter spray.
Rubber Gloves • I never do dishes without wearing gloves. For one thing, my water gets really hot and I also like to save my hands and manicure! These are my favorite kind of gloves to wear.
Coffee Mugs • I got these mugs around Valentine’s day and have been so impressed with the quality, size and how they feel in my hand. If you are looking for a good basic mug set, then your search is over! They come in several pretty colors.
Microwave Cover • This product may have changed my life! Is that too bold to say about a piece of plastic? LOL This cover makes heating up leftovers easy with no messy cleanup. With over 2,400 reviews, it looks like I’m not alone!
Nutribullet • The Nutribullet is the fastest, easiest solution for making single serve smoothies. Load it up with your favorite whole foods like nuts, berries and spinach, then push, twist and blend to make your drink. It’s so easy to use that James uses it to make vanilla frappes!
OXO Food Containers • These are my main food storage containers because they completely seal your food, keeping it fresher longer. Plus, the push button is so easy to use to open and close and they look great in your pantry or shelf. If you’re worried about forgetting how to cook the food you decanted, cut the directions off the bag and tape it to the bottoms of the container for easy reference.
Salad Dressing Maker • I love this little guy. You can shake up your own dressing or decant a too-fast pouring dressing into it, since it pours slower! It’s also airtight and dishwasher safe!
Kitchen Mat • I don’t have these, but I’ve stood on them in my sister-in-law’s kitchen and they are awesome! At ¾” thick, the mats are ergonomically engineered to keep you comfortable while standing for prolonged periods of time. The premium quality foam helps to eliminate tension to give you superior support in your kitchen, laundry room, office, or other high-trafficked area. They also come in several different color options and patterns to fit your kitchen.
Food Storage with Lids • I have an aversion to mismatched tupperware, so I bought this set years ago and never looked back. It’s the only set I need and the durable plastic bases resist stains and odors.
Mini Waffle Maker • I used to make a 1 carb waffle when I was on bikini prep, and fell in love with this guy for it. It’s so easy to use and makes your waffle in minutes.
Nespresso Machine • Y’all know I have a fancy Jura coffee machine, but before that, I had a Nespresso that I loved! It’s so cool because you get to choose different flavor coffee pods that make a single cup of coffee with the touch of a button and it’s so easy to clean.
Cuisinart Knife Set • I’ve been eyeing this white knife set for awhile, but it kept selling out! I finally just ordered it and it should be here soon! With a lifetime warranty, this set includes: 8″ Chef Knife, 8″ Slicing Knife, 7″ Santoku Knife, 5.5″ Utility Knife, 3.5″ Paring Knife, 2.75″ Bird’s Beak Paring Knife, 4.5″ Steak Knives (6), 8″ Sharpening Steel, All-Purpose Household Shears, and Wooden Block.
Silcone Baking Mat • No need for oil, cooking sprays or parchment paper with these baking sheets. They are oven safe up to 480 degrees F and fit half sheet pans. Not to mention easy to clean!
Air Fryer • By now you all know my love for my Air Fryer. It makes the perfect fish filet! This air fryer lets you cook your favorite foods with little to no oil. I need to do a full post of everything I like to make in the air fryer – brussels sprouts top the list too!
Cooking Utensils • I’ve been really pleased with the quality of this set of utensils and how easy they are to hold. The set includes: spoon, slotted spoon, soup ladle, slotted turner, spaghetti server, spatula and oil brush. All silicone parts are heat resistant up to 240 degree Celsius or 464 degree Fahrenheit. Unlike plastic or rubber, the high heat tolerance of the silicone heads prevents the utensil from melting when exposed to heat.
Mixing Bowls • These non skid bottom bowls are great for mixing and the ones we use for our banana bread and pancake mix. They nest together for easy storage and are dishwasher safe and BPA free. Pick one of three color combinations to match your kitchen. White for me, of course!
Plastic Meal Prep Containers • These are the meal prep containers I use and you can get them in different types of dividers. They come with lids and stack neatly in your fridge.
Wow, that was a lot! As I got going, I wanted to make sure I had a comprehensive list of tools and gadgets for you and I think this pretty much covers it! I’ll do a live kitchen tour on Stories this week so you can see where I store all of these things in my kitchen!
Now go kick Monday’s booty!