Freezer-to-Crockpot: Beef & Broccoli

Are you a busy mom who loves her slow cooker?  I don’t know what I’d do without mine.  Your family will love this Asian-inspired dinner because it tastes delicious.  You will love it because you can make in advance, pop it in the freezer, and later take it out to cook in the crockpot without any hassle!  I made mine about 3 weeks before serving for dinner, and it held up in the freezer beautifully!  As if you needed more reasons to try this — it’s nutritious (full of fiber, vitamin C and iron) and economical (only $2.82 per serving).  Enjoy!

Beef & Broccolibeefbroccoli

Yield: about 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds flank steak, thinly sliced
  • 1 beef boullion cube
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 16 oz bag frozen broccoli florets
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into thick circles
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice

Directions

  1. In a 1-gallon size plastic freezer bag, place beef, boullion cube, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, sesame oil, and cornstarch.  In a separate plastic freezer bag, place broccoli and carrots.  Seal tightly and freeze for up to 3 weeks.
  2. When ready to prepare, dump contents of beef bag into slow cooker.  Add 1 cup water.  Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours.  Add vegetables to slow cooker during last hour of cooking time.
  3. Serve over brown rice.

Lemons: One Sheet Lemon Chicken-Cabbage-Carrot Dinner

Guys – I am ALL about the one-sheet pan dinner craze!  Only one pan to clean up?!  Yes, please!  This delectable dinner came together super quick, and used up 2 large lemons (bonus!).  By the way, we harvested ONLY 140 pounds of lemons this year….. last year was over 200 pounds.  So, still a ton to use, but definitely less than prior winters!

Hope you love this!

One Sheet Lemon Chicken Cabbage Carrot Dinner

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2 large lemons, juiced
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, cut into large slices
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Arrange chicken, cabbage and carrots on sheet pan.
  4. Drizzle lemon juice and olive oil over chicken and vegetables.  Sprinkle with salt, garlic powder and Italian seasoning.
  5. Roast for 30-40 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink inside and vegetables are tender.

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Lemons: Easy Fresh Lemon Salad Dressing

I use this on sooooo many foods….. salads (obviously), roasted Brussels sprouts, potatoes, sandwiches, steamed veggies…. it is super versatile and takes only a couple minutes to throw together.  And, the best part – it does not contain unpronounceable ingredients, high fructose corn syrup, salt or any other weird undesirable ingredients!  Hope you love it!

Easy Fresh Lemon Salad Dressing

Yield: about 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Garlic-Herb flavor Mrs. Dash seasoning mix
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Put all ingredients into a mason jar & shake to combine.  Stores well in refrigerator for a couple of weeks.

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Lemons: Creamy Lemon Pistachio Pesto Pasta

img_6857What is more comforting than a warm bowl of creamy pasta?  Even better, add in some greens for fiber and vitamins, lemons for vitamin C, pistachios and avocado for healthy fats, and Greek yogurt for protein!  This dinner is fancy enough for company, yet quick enough for a weeknight!  I hope you love it!

Creamy Lemon Pistachio Pesto Pasta

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Grated peel and juice of 3 lemons
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1 avocado
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, warm the yogurt with lemon peel.  Do not boil, just warm thoroughly.
  3. In a food processor, combine lemon juice, parsley, parmesan cheese, pistachios, avocado and garlic.  While processor is running, drizzle in olive oil until well combined.
  4. Place pesto in a large bowl.  Stir in yogurt-lemon peel mixture.  Stir in pasta and toss well.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Cheers, Jenn

Lemons: Lemon Brownies

This may not be the healthiest lemon-based recipe, but it is truly decadent!  And, in our house, the fact that this recipe uses up about 3 large lemons is a huge bonus!  Sugary treats are okay once in a while, right?  Remember, I’m the down-to-earth Dietitian and I love goodies just as much as anyone…. well, maybe not as much as my teenager, but you get the idea….img_6794

Lemon Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons lemon zest, divided
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice, divided
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Spray a 9×9-inch baking dish with cooking oil spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together flour, sugar, salt and butter.
  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together eggs, 2 tablespoons lemon zest and 1/4 cup lemon juice.  Pour into flour mixture and beat at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Pour batter into baking dish and bake for 25 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make glaze by whisking together powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon zest and 1/2 cup lemon juice.  Set aside.  Allow brownies to cool completely before glazing.

Hope you love it!

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Prep: Bell Peppers

When these babies go on sale, or when I am lucky enough to get a haul from POW-WOW, I stock up on bell peppers!  Look at how many green bell peppers were included at one week’s POW-WOW distribution!  When you consider that green bell peppers are a good deal at 50-cents each, and usually run $1.00 each, this was an amazing deal!

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Even though my kiddo doesn’t care for them, my husband and I love them.  I like to have strips of fresh bell peppers ready for hummus dippers, salads and wraps.

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And, if they are already cut into strips, weeknight fajitas are a breeze!  Here’s a recipe for Salmon Fajitas that your family will love!

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Stuffed bell peppers are easily prepped on the weekend to enjoy for dinners on busy nights as well.  Just stuff with your favorite beans, rice, quinoa, corn and salsa…. top with cheese if you like…. heat in a 350 F degree oven until the peppers are soft, about 30 minutes!

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Remember – prepping is your friend!  Take a little bit of extra time to optimize your meal planning and eat healthier in the end!

Cheers, Jenn

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Prep: 25 Make-Ahead Breakfasts

Guys – this is the post that I’ve been so excited to share with you!  So many ideas for make-ahead breakfasts are included here – and the best part – all from Registered Dietitian Nutritionists!  YES!

I’m dividing these recipes and links up between EGG-BASED and OAT-BASED.  I encourage you to try prepping a breakfast recipe this week.  See if you end up eating healthier in the mornings… see if you feel more energized… see if the prep ahead time investment is worth it!

Enjoy!!

make-ahead-egg-breakfasts

Ham & Egg Muffins from Jennifer Bowers, PhD, RD at DrJennBowersNutrition.com

Mini Spinach & Sweet Potato Frittata from Jodi Danen, RDN at CreateKidsClub.com

Baked Butternut Squash French Toast from Amy Gorin, RDN at AmyGorin.com

Egg & Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Bites from Tracy Brenner, RDN at TriadtoWellness.com

Salsa Stuffed Egg Nests from Charlene Pors, RDN at EuphoriaNutrition.ca

Mexican Breakfast Casserole from Amanda Hernandez, RDN at NutritionistReviews.com

Veggie Egg Muffins from Jessica Levinson, RDN at Nutritioulicious.com

Smoked Salmon Goat Cheese Mini Frittatas from Marisa Moore, RDN at MarisaMoore.com

Wild Blueberry Overnight Waffle Bake from Shannon Garcia, RDN at LSNutritionTX.com

Paleo Breakfast Casserole with Chicken from Lindsay Livingston, RDN at TheLeanGreenBean.commake-ahead-oat-breakfasts

Seedy Banana & Dried Plum Overnight Oats from Tracy Brenner, RDN at TriadtoWellness.com

Cranberry Pear Steel Cut Oats from Sharon Palmer, RDN at SharonPalmer.com

Apple Pie Overnight Oats from Charlene Pors, RDN at EurphoriaNutrition.com

Ricotta Berry Oatmeal Cups from Jessica Levinson, RDN at Nutritioulicious.com

Creamy Matcha Overnight Oats from Katie Pfeffer-Scanlan, RDN at OneHungryBunny.com

Banana Peach Baked Oatmeal from Sarah Schlichter, MPH, RDN at BucketListTummy.com

Sunflower Seed Butter and Jelly Overnight Chia Oats from Chelsey Amer, RDN at CITnutritionally.com

Mango Banana Almond Overnight Oats from Amy Gorin, RDN at AmyGorin.com

Tomato Basil Steel Cut Oats from Sharon Palmer, RDN at SharonPalmer.com

Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets from Kaleigh McMordie, RDN at LivelyTable.com

Lipton Green Tea Ginger Overnight Oats from Emily Kyle, RDN at EmilyKyleNutrition.com

Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal Cups from Kara Golis, RDN at ByteSizedNutrition.com

Strawberry Chocolate Overnight Oats from Nazima Qureshi, RDN at NutritionbyNazima.com

Mocha Overnight Oats from Dixya Bhattarai, RDN at FoodPleasureandHealth.com

Mango Coconut Overnight Oats from Chelsea Allen, RDN at ChelseasHealthyKitchen.com

Remember – prepping is your friend!  Take a little bit of extra time to optimize your meal planning and eat healthier in the end!

Cheers, Jenn