• Daily Life,  Family Health,  Recipes

    How to Make Easy Healthy Family Meals

    Find some tips, hints + friendly reminders on how to make easy healthy family meals everyone is going to love. If you’re stumped for meal ideas or just want someone to do the meal planning for you, check out $5 meal plan.

    Yes, someone professionals plans your meals for just $5 per month! It’s sooooooooo worth it.

    Limit Processed Foods

    Even though we all love boxed mac and cheese, did you know it’s so easy to make from scratch?

    Just boil up some noodles, then drain. Add butter (grass fed is healthier), organic milk or half + half + some easy melting cheese like cheddar, American or even Parmesan if you want a little more tang in your mac.

    Turn the heat to low + stir until everything melts together into a yummy, gooey, cheesy sauce.

    There are plenty of other convenience foods, like instant oatmeal, that you can make from scratch without batting a brow. So much healthier… plus, cooking from scratch is good for the soul.

    Eat Yogurt with Everything

    Make plain yogurt a permanent item on your grocery shopping list. Learn how to cook with it + serve it as a side with breakfast, lunch + even dinner.

    Yogurt contains active cultures which give the gut flora a healthy boost. You can eat yogurt in the morning with fruit, nuts +/or granola.

    If you’re dipping cut-up veggies with lunch or as an afternoon snack, add a dollop of plain yogurt to your favorite ranch dressing.

    At dinner time, sub in plain yogurt for sour cream + serve with Mexican favorites like tacos + burritos, or add a spoon or two to your favorite vegetarian soup.

    Chicken tenderizes beautifully in yogurt and spices. What else can you think up to make with yogurt?

    Consider Seasonal Foods

    Do you enjoy gardening in the spring and summer?

    Cool to warm seasons like spring + fall bring nutrition in the form of cold loving veggies like lettuce, kale, broccoli, carrots, turnips, collards + spinach.

    Hot weather yields fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers + eggplant, to name a few.

    Even if you can’t find time for a backyard garden, you can make pit stops at the local farmer’s market on your way home from work or running errands.

    Stock up for the 5-day work week + keep a mental (or physical) checklist of what veggies are in your crisper so you won’t let anything go waste.

    Avoid Food Processed Powder

    Avoid any food that’s been processed into a powder and can fit into a box, pouch or carton. For example, those powdered gravy mixes that come to life when heated with water.

    Powdered lemonade or ice tea mixes are easy to replace by squeezing a few lemons into a pitcher of water, or brewing iced tea at home. Even those trendy designer “good for you” chips and crackers sprinkled with mysteriously addictive, flavored powders, should be minimized.

    The exception would be if you read the list of ingredients + find there’s only salt, pepper, natural spices + herbs.

    Avoid Overcooking

    Don’t overcook. Red meat should be cooked medium-rare to medium to ensure that pathogens are destroyed on the surface but the nutritional content remains in tact on the inside.

    Cooked vegetables should retain their color + be crisp, not flaccid. Stir-frying is better than boiling veggies, as vitamins and minerals leach into the cooking water which we usually toss instead of drink (consider drinking the cooking water next time you cook some spinach!).

    Soups should be simmered slowly rather than boiled rapidly, to retain the nutrients.

    Grass-fed Trumps Feed Lot

    More people are becoming aware of the crowded + disease-ridden conditions that animals on feed-lot farms must endure before they become food on our table or at the drive-through window of your favorite fast-food establishment.

    To get the most nourishment from meats, invest in a bulk meat share where you can freeze a large quantity of grass-fed beef, pork or free-range chicken in the name of your family’s health.

    To save money, eat smaller portions of meat, subbing in healthy veggie + fish alternatives.

    Make Your Own Stock + Broth

    Bone broth is trending right now, because people are once again realizing something that the old timers have known for generations. Animal bones contain important minerals that help strengthen our bones, protect our immune systems + nourish our bodies overall.

    Even better if the animal comes from a small local farm where it was permitted to graze on grass outside in the healing sunlight.

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  • Holidays for Girls,  Recipes,  Valentine's Day for Girls

    3 Valentine’s Day Foods + Goodies for Your Sweetie

    Food is LOVE  🧡🧡🧡

    It doesn’t have to be unhealthy food but it does have to be YUMMY food.

    Check out these foods + yummies especially for Valentine’s Day!

    Red Velvet Pancakes Mix

    Get creative this Valentine’s Day + spoil your honey with decadent + festive red velvet pancakes

    Delicious and colorful, this indulgent meal looks absolutely stunning on a beautiful tray for a special breakfast-in-bed treat.  Add a special touch + cut them into heart shapes with heart shape cookie cutters.

    These pancakes are extra decadent, studded with mini chocolate chips + drizzled with a cream cheese glaze. 

    Strawberry Fluff Graham Icebox Cake

    A delicious no-bake cake, filled with strawberry marshmallow fluffy layer featuring real strawberry marshmallows. 

    This yummy icebox cake takes minutes to whip up + no baking is required. 

    Luscious layers of graham, strawberry fluff mixed with cream cheese, topped with strawberries + whipped cream. 

    Just add whipped cream, real strawberries, cream cheese + butter. This is a four-layer frozen dessert that’ll keep your sweetie coming back for more!

    Make is a perfect V-Day treat by making it in a heart-shaped dish/pan!

    Gourmet Red Velvet Cupcakes

    Classic red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are always a hit! 
    These cupcakes are so moist + the cocoa-buttermilk flavor will make you or your sweetie swoon.

    The mix features the decadent red velvet cupcake mix, naturally colored with red beets + pitaya powder + includes a light but lovely vanilla bean cream cheese frosting. 

    Makes 12 cupcakes. Bake them in a heart shaped muffin pan for an added special touch.

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  • Daily Life,  Recipes

    Easy Freezer Meals for After Baby

    Each time I was pregnant, during my nesting phase, I would prep easy freezer meals for after baby came home from the hospital. I ended up having two unplanned + one planned C-sections so it was super helpful to my recovery to know that I had a stash of food in the freezer so nobody would starve (baby excluded).

    Of course, friends brought food + had food delivered too but this wasn’t every day of the week! Check out at least three ways you can make easy freezer meals for after baby comes home from the hospital,

    Make + Freeze

    Stork the freezer! There are plenty of recipes/meals/dinners you can make that are easy to freeze. Spaghetti sauce is easy to make ahead + freeze. Then all you have to do is thaw the sauce + boil the pasta.

    Baked ziti is an easy recipe to make, freeze + reheat when it’s time to eat. Soups are another great food to make ahead of time, freeze + throw in the crock pot or microwave to reheat. You can add a side salad + pair it with a nice bread, if you’re so inclined.

    Crock Pot Meals

    I LOVE crock pot meals. There is something so satisfying + easy about throwing a bunch of ingredients into a crockpot, turning that sucker on + letting it go to work.

    Sometimes, I follow a recipe. Other times, I just throw a bunch of ingredients in the crock pot that I think will make a yummy dinner + let the magic happen (or the chips fall where they may–not actual chips but proverbial chips, that it).

    Do yourself a favor + buy some crock pot liners. These are life changing because it makes cleanup as easy as cooking the meal is.

    Meal Kits

    Another great option is meal kits. These kits come with all or the majority of the ingredients you need to prep + freeze meals ahead of time. Some are freezer meals that come in sets of 5, so you you just go to your freezer, pull out a meal, pop it in the oven or crock pot + promptly put dinner on the table for your family the fast + easy way.

    As an added bonus, you can find healthy KETO freezer meals, too.

    If you’re stumped for meal plans or just want someone to do the meal planning for you, check out $5 meal plans. A professionals sends you meal plans for the week for just $5 PER MONTH! (That’s just crazy talk.)

    Let’s be real. When 5 p.m. rolls around, the last thing you want to do is brave the grocery store + start cooking dinner from scratch — especially if you have a newborn, but even if you have older kids.

    Don’t let every evening roll around, where you end up facing a mob of hangry family members + you’re staring at an empty fridge.

    Use one or all of these options to prep + freeze meals so that you can feed yourself + your family as you ease into life with a new baby.

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  • Family Health,  Recipes

    Turmeric Tonic: Warm Wellness Drink Recipe

    It’s that time of year when all the crud is going around. My girls seem to bring home ALL. THE. GERMS. from their respective schools.

    I’m always looking for ways to fight off the crud before it lands in my house. Here’s a recipe for a warm wellness tonic for you moms.

    Boost immunity + stave off illness with this warm morning tonic.  It isn’t like a medicinal drink but a warming tonic — almost latte made with turmeric + other superfoods for a morning boost. 

    It’s sweet, creamy + delicious.  A drink that is a cross between white chocolate chai + pumpkin spice lattes but with health benefits.

    Ingredients

    Directions:

    Mix hot Milk or plant based milk with a 1/2 tablespoon to 1 tablespoon of the tonic. Stir. 

    All About Turmeric

    Curcumin, the active component in turmeric, has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries due to its strong antioxidant properties (1).
    Antioxidants are compounds that fight cell damage, protecting your body from oxidative stress.

    It’s essential to the functioning of your cells + studies regularly show that diets rich in antioxidants may help lower your risk of infections + disease

    The Turmeric AM Tonic has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

    Chronic inflammation is thought to play a major role in chronic diseases, including cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s + heart disease. For this reason, diets rich in anti-inflammatory compounds may reduce your risk of these conditions.

    Research shows that ginger, cinnamon + curcumin — the active ingredient in turmeric — have potent anti-inflammatory properties (678).

    These anti-inflammatory effects may reduce joint pain from osteoarthritis + rheumatoid arthritis.

    You can check out the 10 Health Benefits and Uses for Turmeric Curcumin Supplements for more information.

    INGREDIENTS : Real Cream, Turmeric, Monk Fruit, Erythritol, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom, Vanilla, Natural Flavors

    If you try it out, let me know what you think in the comments!

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  • Recipes

    4 Yummy + Healthy Lunchbox Ideas

    If your kids are anything like mine, they have their picky eating periods + I think they get bored with the same old lunches.

    Most of us are returning to school tomorrow after the holidays so here are some ideas from Do You Bake? + Crave It to inspire some yummier + more exciting lunches in 2019.

    1. Berries + Cream Sandwich

    Berries and Cream sandwich bento box lunchbox ideas

    Create a delicious medley of sweet and savory for a perfect lunch time meal. When your kiddos don’t feel like a meat sandwich, substitute it with a delicious berry + cream filling. Pair a creamy berry sandwich with sliced vegetables such as celery, cucumbers or peppers. Add slices of meat for easy snacking. For a small sweet, bake up mini chocolate cupcakes topped with a delicious dark chocolate frosting.

    Prep 101: The Make Ahead Prep!

    #1 : Bake up a loaf of Do You Bake? Pumpernickel Bread (as shown) or EZ Country White Bread.  Store wrapped in the fridge + pull out when ready to make your lunches!

    #2 : Make your Cream Cheese Filling! Make up a batch of Do You Bake? Love that Lemon Cheese Ball Mix (One 8-oz brick of cream cheese + 1 package of mix) or Blueberry Blast Cheese Ball Mix (One 8-oz brick of cream cheese + 1 package of mix) + refrigerate until you are ready to build your sandwich!

    #3 : Make your Do You Bake? Gluten Free Cheeky Chocolate Cupcakes ahead of time! Make mini cupcakes for little one + two bite dessert treats for your lunch.

    FREEZER NOTES :

    Both Pumpernickel & EZ Country White Bread freeze great! Simply slice your loaf into perfect lunch portions + freeze your sliced loaf in a freezer ready zip top bag. Remove slices of bread as needed.

    Gluten free cheeky chocolate cupcakes freeze well! Simply frost your mini cupcakes, place them on a sheet pan + pop them into the freezer until frozen. Remove from sheet pan + pop your mini cupcakes in freezer ready zip top bags. Remove individual frosted cupcakes when ready to use!

    Build Your Berries + Cream Sandwich

    #1 : Cut 2 slices of bread + smear on a little of your softened cream cheese dip (about 1 – 2 tablespoons per slice of bread). Top one slice of bread with your favorite sliced berries (Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries) + place the second slice of bread on top. Cut into triangles or squares. Add to one compartment of your bento box.

    #2 : Ready to make your meal!  Take your bento box, lunch box, compartment sections + add:

    • Your YUMMY Berries + Cream Sandwich to one compartment
    • Slices of your favorite lunch meat with mini tomatoes in a separate compartment (optional), add pickle spears + olives (optional)
    • A few of your mini chocolate cupcakes in another compartment
    • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of strips of vegetables such as carrots, celery + peppers

    2. Dunkin’ Nuggets

    lunchbox ideas - Dunkin' Nuggets - Do You Bake


    This lunch is a fun, healthy + delicious option when your kiddos don’t feel like eating another sandwich. Much of this lunchbox can be made ahead of time, frozen + pulled out at future dates for perfectly portioned lunchbox options. Serve with fresh fruit, vegetables + a delicious dipping sauce for a great balance of flavors + textures.

    Prep 101 – Make Ahead Options

    #1 : Make the chicken nuggets: Follow the package directions on the box of nuggets. Simply cool your cooked nuggets completely + freeze in zip top bags into individual portion sizes.

    #3 : Make your Dunk the Chunks CookiesFollow the package directions on the box of Do You Bake? Dunk the Chunks Cookies mix. These make great snacks + desserts as well. There will be plenty leftover. You can freeze them in packages of twos, threes or fours + pull them out as you plan to build your lunchboxes.

    Time To Make Your Lunchbox!

    #1 : Take your bento box or lunchbox + add the following to your different compartments:

    • Chicken nuggets in one compartment
    • In your next compartment, place fresh vegetables such as carrot sticks or celery sticks accompanied by your favorite nuggets ‘n’ veggie dipping sauce (honey mustard, ranch + others make perfect pairings)
    • In a third compartment grab a perfect portion of your favorite fruit such as grapes, orange segments or berries
    • Finally in your last compartment add a few Dunk the Chunks Cookies for YUMMY sweet satisfying snacking

    3. Lunchbox Fiesta Taco Bowls

    Lunchbox Ideas DIY Mini Taco Bowls Do You Bake



    Create mini taco bowls for a perfect lunch time meal. These are great make ahead lunches on the weekend.

    Prep 101

    #1 : Use Chicken or ground beef (1 pound boneless/skinless chicken sliced thin or beef) + saute in 1 – 2 Tablespoons of Do You Bake? Fiesta Seasoning + a teaspoon of vegetable oil or a box of Enchilada dip with a sprinkle of salt (to taste).

    Let cool, add to a container + refrigerate until ready for your lunch packing. You can freeze your cooked meat in 1/2 cup portions for future taco bowl lunches.

    #2 : Make Your taco bowls: Take 8 – 10″ flour tortillas + cut them in quarters. Place your quarter size pieces into a muffin tin + mould them around the tin. Prick the bottom with a fork so they don’t bubble up. Bake in your preheated oven (350F) for about 10 – 20 minutes, until golden. Let cool + pop out of your muffin tins.

    You can store your cups in a sealed plastic bag in a dry location for up to 2 weeks. They also store perfectly in the freezer for up to a month

    #3 : Ready to make your meal! Take your bento box, lunch box, compartment sections + add:

    • 3 – 4 tortilla bowls in one compartment
    • 1/2 cup of your meat in another section
    • 1 ounce of shredded cheese in another section
    • 1/4 cup of shredded lettuce, strips of peppers + other fun fresh vegetables
    • Add 1/2 cup of chopped fruit for dessert (strawberries as shown)

    To get extra fancy, pick up a few dip cups with lids + add in a couple tablespoons of sour cream, guacamole or salsa.

    These are healthy, make ahead lunches that can also be made, frozen + enjoyed over the course of a month when you are short on time.

    4. Protein-Packed Tuna Lunch

    Scoop it Up Tuna salad lunchbox

    Looking to pack some protein and nutrition into your kiddos’ lunch? A tuna salad lunchbox does it for you! From a perfect medley of nuts to a healthy side of fruit + a perfect protein packed sandwich, your child will stay satisfied throughout the day.

    Prep 101

    #1 : Use 4oz of tuna per sandwich for a perfect amount of protein. Add 1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise, 2 Tablespoons Greek Yogurt, pinch of salt + 1/2 of a tablespoon each of Do You Bake? For The Love of Garlic + Do You Bake? Chive ‘n’ Onion Seasoning per every 4oz of tuna. Chop additional onion, celery or scallions into your salad, as desired. Cover + refrigerate until you are ready to build your lunchbox.

    #2 : Ready to make your meal!  Take your bento box or lunch box, compartment sections + add:

    • 1 Tuna Sandwich using your favorite Sandwich Bread (Try EZ Country White Yeast Bread). Scoop 1/2 to 3/4 cup of your tuna salad onto one side of the bread + spread right to the edges. Top with lettuce + tomato (optional). Add your second slice + cut along the diagonal or through the middle. Place your sandwich in one of the compartments
    • Sliced Fruit in another compartment (add a little lemon juice or brush on a little honey + water mixture to preserve the pretty look of your fruit until you are ready to enjoy!)
    • 1 package of Do You Bake? Powerhouse Nut Mix, a perfect medley of fruit + nuts!

    These are sure to be crowd pleasers + up your lunch game! Your kiddos will thank you for it.

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  • Daily Life,  Recipes

    30 Meals in 30 Days Challenge

    This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. It does not cost you anything extra +  you’ll keep me supplied in caffeine. It’s a win for everyone, really.

    We’ve all done it.

    Peering inside our fridge, hoping that this time you find thawing meat, a little inspiration or even – miracle of miracles – a ready-made meal.

    I know I have.

    There’s one thing that I know helps with this daily dilemma: meal planning.

    When you know what’s for dinner every day, you’re more efficient, less stressed + you get some of your time (+ life) back. While meals won’t throw themselves together, you might be surprised at how much easier (+ even enjoyable) it feels when you have a meal plan in place.

    You probably already know that, but do you want a way to make planning easy peasy lemon squeezy?

    The Healthy Meal Planning Bundle 2019 is on sale now. It helps you put healthier meals on your table, in less time, with less stress.

    With over 1000 recipes, a clickable index, ready-made meal plans (with grocery lists), nutritional information for every recipe + more, the Healthy Meal Planning Bundle is designed to save you from the pain of the frantic, pre-dinner hour. 😉

    Plus, when you buy your copy by midnight tonight, you’ll also get the 30 Meals in 30 Days Challenge (a $21 value) for free.

    If the hardest part of meal planning is making the habit stick, this is for you!

    This challenge comes with a free Facebook group for accountability +reminders, weekly live trainings + frequent email support to help you use your bundle, find time-saving ways to meal plan + cook + get loads of tips to streamline the whole process. At the end of 30 days, you’ll have made 30 meals + kicked off your year with a shiny new habit!

    Get  your bundle now!

    Pick up your copy of the Healthy Meal Planning Bundle + the 30 Meals in 30 Days Challenge (for free!) today.

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  • Recipes

    My Quick + Easy Go-To Dinner for My Family

    Before I had three little people hanging off my leg demanding things, I L-O-V-E-D to cook and bake.

    Fact.

    Now, meh, not so much. Don’t get me wrong. I still do it almost every night but the joy is gone 🙂

    Seriously, though. Here is one of my fave go-to recipes because it is quick, easy and pretty healthy.

    Ingredients

    • 1-2 boxes of premixed herb pasta (I use the Aldi one but you can use whatever one you want/like)
    • Fresh brussel sprouts (1 bag)
    • Fresh spinach leaves (1 bag)
    • Zucchini (1-2)
    • Yellow squash (1-2)
    • Yellow onion (medium)
    • Broccoli

    Directions

    1. Prepare the herb noodles/pasta according to the directions on the box. The Aldi one takes about 5 minutes to prepare each box. I use two boxes so that I have enough for all 5 of us.
    2. Prepare the brussel sprouts. I steam them in the bag they come in (I use the fresh ones from Aldi that are in the bag). After I steam them in the microwave, cut the brussel sprouts in half. 
    3. Slice the zucchini and the yellow squash.
    4. Slice the onion.
    5. Chop the broccoli from the stems.
    6. Add all of the veggies to a pan and saute. Cook until veggies are to your desired tenderness.
    7. Add veggies to pasta.
    8. Enjoy!
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