What’s on my Menu? Healthy, Fast, and Delicious Food

We made it through the July 4th holiday, and I'm not going to lie...my food choices weren't amazing.  It definitely could have been worse, but I'm feeling the aftermath of those not so great choices - the post holiday bloat.  This week, I made sure to get my menu together so that I am prepped and ready to go for the week.  My choices aren't fancy, but I know they are kid approved, they are all meals that I enjoy, and I will have plenty of leftovers.

I am sharing my menu this week in hopes that it will help you get back on track.  All of these meals are or can easily be made Primal, Paleo, Keto, or even Whole30.  I've got a crazy busy week, so they are all super easy to prepare, and they can be made in advance and used for leftovers.

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Breakfast.

Breakfast has to be fast for me.  I swing in the door from Fixed on Fitness, and I have to have my kids fed, my computer work done for the day, the house sort of picked up, and be ready for swim lessons at 9:00 am.  I don't love eggs, so here are my two breakfast options this week.

Rocket Fuel Latte.  I shared the recipe for the Rocket Fuel Latte from Leanne Vogel and all of the things I LOVE about this drink in my Keto for Six Weeks blog post.  I probably drink a Rocket Fuel Latte or some version of it at least 3-4 times a week.  It's fast, it's packed full of fat to keep me full until lunch, and it tastes AMAZING.  You can read the post from Leanne Vogel here.

Greek Yogurt.  I don't have an issue with dairy, so Greek yogurt has become a good breakfast option for me.  I stir in a tablespoon of almond butter, flax seeds, chia seeds, a few blueberries, and some mixed nuts.  The brand of yogurt that I use is the full fat Chobani Greek yogurt, so it has plenty of fat.

Lunch.

I can get easily overwhelmed when it comes to lunch.  I have found that the more I simplify lunch, the better I eat.  If I'm scrambling to throw together leftovers, I find myself rummaging in the fridge, dragging out tons of random containers, and then I have a mess.  In order to simplify, I try to select one lunch for the week (Monday - Friday).  Five days isn't long enough for me to get bored, so simple just works for me.

This Week's Selection.  I'm going back to one of my favorite lunches for this week.  Lunch this week includes two boiled eggs, one Aidells chicken and apple sausage, half of an avocado, and a huge handful of spring mix.  I top my spring mix with hemp seeds, goat cheese, and the Primal Kitchen honey mustard dressing.

I do boil eggs and bake the chicken and apple sausages on Sunday.  One tip if you are boiling eggs - STEAM THEM.  Use a steamer basket, and steam them for a bout 18 minutes before putting them in an ice bath for about 5 minutes.  They will peel so fast.  

Real Good Pizza.  Just in case of a lunch emergency, I always have a stack of Real Good Pizzas in the freezer.  They now sell these pizzas at Publix, and you can also buy them online or at the Vitamin Shoppe.  You can throw them in the oven, or microwave them if you are in a pinch.  These are always a great option to have if you need a quick go-to.

Dinner.  Monday and Wednesday.

Stepherd's Pie is probably one of our most frequently made dinners.  It provides A TON of leftovers, it is really fast to make, and my kids beg for it.  I do make two versions...one for the kids and then one for Josh and me.  I don't eat potatoes often, so I use mashed cauliflower on one and potatoes on the other.

Shepherd's Pie.  I'm not a cook by any means, so I'm writing this recipe on the fly, but here is what I do.  Brown 2 lbs of ground beef.  Add onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and spices as you brown your beef.  Once the beef is cooked, stir in two cans of drained green beans and a can of tomato sauce.  Split your beef mixture into two 8x8 casserole dishes (or just one large dish if everyone is eating the same version).  

Next, make your mashed cauliflower and mashed potatoes.  For the mashed cauliflower, I buy the frozen riced cauliflower and cook it in the microwave for 6 minutes.  I use two bags when I make mashed cauliflower.  After the cauliflower is cooked, place it in the blender with plenty of butter, some heavy whipping cream, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and some cheese.  Blend it up until smooth and adjust your seasoning as necessary.  For mashed potatoes, you don't need to get fancy.  Boil your potatoes until tender, beat them with a hand mixer, and then add butter, heavy whipping cream, and spices until you like the taste.

Top your meat mixture with your potatoes or cauliflower, add some shredded cheese (optional), and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.  You can serve your shepherd's pie with some mixed greens or even a pre-made bagged salad (just change the dressing).

I will cook this Monday morning, and we will have it for dinner Monday and Wednesday night.  Even after two dinners, I should still have some leftovers for a snack or lunch for the kids.

Dinner.  Tuesday and Thursday.

We are doing Taco Tuesday {and Thursday} this week.  We love, like really love, some Mexican food in the Presnell house.  While I don't often eat an actual taco, the burrito bowl is one of my best friends.

Chicken Tacos, Bowls, or Salad.  We are already having beef this week with shepherd's pie, so are doing chicken for tacos.  I almost always resort to the magic of the Instant Pot for shredded chicken.  Add some boneless skinless chicken breasts, 1/2 a cup of chicken broth, half a jar of salsa, taco seasoning, and a can of Rotel to your Instant Pot.  Turn the pot to poultry, and you will have delicious chicken in just over 20 minutes.  Once the chicken is done, take out your hand mixer and shred it up.  Don't waste your time shredding the chicken with forks...the beater or hand mixer will shred it perfectly in seconds.

For my taco bowl, I start with cauliflower rice (again, I use the bag of frozen riced cauliflower).  I season the "rice" with paprika, cumin, garlic, salt, and chili powder.  Then, I add some chicken, salsa, romaine lettuce, slaw (a bag of coleslaw mixed with Dump Ranch), guacamole or sliced avocado, diced tomatoes, lime, shredded cheese and cilantro.  The kids aren't fans of cauliflower rice, so I typically buy or make some gluten free tortillas for them.

For our meal on Thursday, I'll use the chicken on top of a salad.  My toppings will remain the same, but I will replace the cauliflower with lettuce.  I drizzle the salad with Dump Ranch, and top it with roasted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.

If I still end up with extra chicken, it's nacho time.  Using Epic pork rinds for the "chip", I'll add chicken, cheese, guacamole, slaw, tomatoes, sour cream, and salsa....it's really freaking amazing!

Dinner.  Friday.

It's red snapper season!  We really enjoy fishing as a family, and thankfully we have been able to stock our freezer with some fresh snapper.  We try to incorporate fish into our menu as much as possible.  It's easy to cook, and it is so good for you.

Grilled Snapper with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Grilled Asparagus.  Primal Kitchen just released a Lemon Turmeric dressing, and it's a great marinade for fish.  Josh does the grilling, so he marinates the fish in the dressing with some seasonings.  Before starting the fish, he will grill the asparagus in a grill basket over a medium flame.  I toss the asparagus in olive oil, sea salt, and pepper before he throws it on the grill.  For the fish, remove it from the marinade, and grill it for 3-5 minutes per side over medium heat.  If you don't want to grill the fish, you can always bake it at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.  When the fish comes off the grill or out of the oven, we top it with a few pats of butter and serve it immediately.

I'm pretty sure I was 25 before I actually had a brussels sprout!  I thought they were awful until I tried them roasted.  Hello...they are now one of my favorite veggies.  I trim the ends and then quarter the brussels sprouts.  Toss them in olive oil, sea salt, pepper, garlic, onion, and any other spice that you like.  Bake them on 400 degrees for about 25 minutes.  I like mine a little crispy, so adjust the baking time depending on if you like the crunchy burnt sprouts or not.

Get Cooking.  You Can Recover from the Holiday.

Even if you are busy, you can make these meals work.  They are fast, healthy, filling, and they all taste great.  Keep things as simple as possible.  Remember that every meal doesn't have to be a gourmet one.  Find a breakfast and lunch option that work for you.  Then, try sticking with it for the week.  If you get bored, change it up.  For dinner, rely on leftovers.  If your family is larger than four, adjust the portions so that you will have leftovers.  Remember that the freezer is your friend. You can freeze just about any meal, and freezing is definitely a great option for both shepherd's pie and shredded chicken.

Eat real food.  Make the best choice possible.  Happy eating {and cooking}!

Kenzie Presnell

Loving life, enjoying the ride, and trying to live life as healthy as I can.

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