Healthy Recipes You can Prep in Advance

Happy National Food Day!!

National Food Day is observed annually on October 24. One of the targets that Food Day aims to help people is to “Eat Real,” which is defined by them as “cutting back on sugar drinks, overly salted packaged foods and fatty, factory-farmed meats in favor of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and sustainably raised protein.”  National Food Day involves some of the country’s most prominent food activists, united by a vision of food that can be healthy, affordable and produced with care for the environment, farm animals and the people who grow, harvest and serve it. 

So, in an effort to “eat real” I’m sharing 3 meals that are full of veggies, plant protein, are inexpensive, easy to prep in advance, & taste great!

Pasta Night

What you need: basically any veggies you have on hand will work, the idea is to make the dish heavy on the veggies & light on the pasta. I used broccoli, bell peppers, 1/2 onion, some cauliflower I had leftover, can of diced tomatoes, & fresh tomatoes. Eggplant is also another fabulous veggie to add! You will need a box of your favorite pasta, basil or Italian seasoning, garlic, pasta sauce (not in pic), & a little fresh basil to add at the end.

To prep in advance: I like to use a ziplock bag & sharpie to help prep my meals…it’s extremely user-friendly, simply write the ingredients that you need to prep in advance. For pasta night I needed to wash and cut veggies into bite sizes. Placed in ziplock bag, made certain I wrote pasta night on the can of diced tomatoes & pasta box so neither was used for another meal.

Day of the meal: put foil on roasting pan, preheat oven to 400, open bag, dump veggies on pan, & roast veggies for 25 minutes.

Remove, place veggies in large pan on range at low-medium heat. Add can of tomatoes, basil/Italian seasoning, pasta sauce and cook with lid on for 10 minutes stirring every few minutes. Meanwhile boil pasta. When pasta is done add it to pan with the veggies, stir, remove and place in 13×9 Pyrex (or whatever dish you have on hand), stir in fresh basil, & enjoy!

Sweet Potato, Chickpea, & Coconut Curry

What you need: cauliflower, 2 sweet potatoes, 1 onion, 3 garlic cloves, fresh ginger if possible or 2 teaspoons ginger seasoning, can diced tomatoes, can chickpeas, can of coconut milk, 2 teaspoons curry seasoning, turmeric, cinnamon, & chili powder. Cilantro & lime (optional)

To prep in advance: clean & cut cauliflower, sweet potatoes, & onion into bit sizes and place in ziplock bag. Label cans for curry night so that they don’t get used for anything else. Place ziplock bag in fridge.

Day of the meal: take bag of veggies out of fridge and place veggies on foil covered sheet pan, roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven & place in a deep pan on top of the range at medium heat. Add diced tomatoes, chickpeas, coconut milk, garlic, ginger & seasonings. Cook for 1/2 hour stirring occasionally. While it’s cooking make brown rice.

Taste…add more seasoning if you wish, depends how you like it & who you are cooking for, children don’t like it too spicy. You can always leave seasonings on the table for people to add to their individual dish. Place rice in bowls, add cauliflower, sweet potato, & coconut curry on top of rice and garnish with cilantro & lime (optional) and enjoy!

Teriyaki Stir-fry

What you need: broccoli, carrots, green beans, red and orange bell peppers, 1/3 of an onion, brown rice, rice noodles, pineapple (optional), bottle of favorite stir-fry sauce. (Chosen Foods, in the organic section at Kroger has some delicious options)

To prep in advance: clean all veggies, cut broccoli into bite sized pieces, slice peppers lengthwise, & dice onion. Place all veggies in ziplock bag.

Day of meal: remove veggies and place in a deep pan on top of range at medium heat. Add preferred sauce and cook for roughly 25 minutes, until veggies are tender. If you are including pineapple, clean & slice it, place on grate on top of a sheet pan, roast at 450 for 15/20 minutes. Cook rice and/or rice noodles. Serve & enjoy!

Bonus:here are some snacks you can prep in advance….

Do you have a favorite “real food” dish your family loves? Please share.

You’ve been BOO-ed?

Door bell rings, dog barks, you rush to the door & no one! Are you the victim of ding-dong ditch? Nope. An adorable black & orang jack-o-lantern bucket full of Halloween tricks & treats is on your front-door step, you’ve been BOO-ed! BOO-ing neighbors has quickly become a fun Halloween tradition that has expanded into the workplace and with close friends & family.

How it works…you put together a fun gift basket of sorts (see images below for ideas) filled with tricks & treats, secretly leave it on a neighbor’s doorstep, coworker desk, etc. (the key is to try and be Anonymous) with BOO-ing instructions and BOO sign.

The lucky BOO-ed recipient is then suppose to post their sign near their door alerting others that “We’ve Been BOO-ed!” That way, new BOO recruits won’t leave a duplicate BOO on the doorstep. The BOO-ed recipient is asked to BOO two other households, leading to a chain reaction of Halloween fun!!

Here are some fun BOO-ed basket ideas:

Click on link for Free “You’ve been BOO-ed” Printables….

https://www.thehappierhomemaker.com/you/

So, all that’s left to be asked is, who you gonna BOO? Don’t want to go it alone? You can Boo together…go in on a basket with a neighbor or friend. And remember, have fun!!

10 Simple Classroom Approved Halloween Treats for Busy Moms

10 Simple Classroom Approved Halloween Treats for Busy Moms

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Decorate for Halloween, visit orchards, take the kids trunk-or-treating, get pumpkins, carve pumpkins, get candy, oh, and don’t forget those Halloween classroom snacks you signed up to bring the first of the year! Here we go, mommas! This is Marathon season for us moms, Halloween is our starting point and we don’t get to the Finish line until December 26th.  We are going to jam pack so much festive joy into our children’s lives, while still maintaining the everyday chaos, but first, those classroom Halloween treats.  Ever notice that Pinterest idea of an easy snack & your definition are two different things?! Here are 10 Halloween Treat ideas that check everyone’s boxes… the teachers, moms, & kids!

The following are Halloween Treats that have…

  • no nuts
  • no copious amounts of frosting
  • are individual treats
  • Less than 5 ingredients
  • Semi-homemade
  • Takes less than an hour to prepare
  • Doesn’t cost a fortune
  • And cool, by kids standards (most, verdict is still out on the tangerine pumpkins & ghost bananas)

 

 

 

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Cheese & Pretzel Broomsticks (these need to be kept cool!)

 

 

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Vampire Donuts

 

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Little Monsters with Swiss Rolls & Fancy Cakes

 

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OREO Eyeball Cookies

 

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Witch Finger Pretzels (Instead of Almonds for the fingernails use raisins or candy)

 

 

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OREO Bat Treats

 

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Tangerine Pumpkins & Banana Ghost

 

 

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Halloween Zombie Chex Mix (Exclude all nut products)

 

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Rice Krispy Treat Ghosts

 

 

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Donut Hole Eye Balls

These were our treats from last year and they were super easy, not too messy, and kids loved them!

What you need:

1 box powdered donuts from store

3 Tubes of red gel from the baked goods aisle of grocery store

Package of eyes from craft store

A few packages of faux silverware, forks, from the dollar store (I want to say 4 come in a package)

Assemble:

1-Place donut holes on the forks

2-Add gel to donut holes & put a dab of gel where the eye will go (use as a glue for eye)

3-Done!

 

 

Featured Moms Night Out: The HandleBar Toledo

Imagine it….10 ladies, 2 hours, 1 awesome downtown! Cue the laughter, music, and pedal power!

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What is The HandleBar Toledo? It’s a BYOB bar (cup holders provided) that you and 12+ of your closest friends literally pedal, like a bicycle, to make the bar go. It’s so basic, yet so unlike anything you’ve ever done before, you’ve just gotta try it for yourself.

A map is provided with various locations you can pedal to. Your group will have the opportunity to stop off at 3 different locations downtown.  So it’s like 4 mini ‘Ladies’ Nights Out’ in one! You could stop off at….Wesley’s, Ye Old Cock n Bull, The Height…basically any place that your pedal power can take you within the allotted time! Just FYI,  views of Toledo from The Height are gorgeous! (And, yes, I’m totally obsessed with this place).

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You will have the best time EVER! It’s both, childlike fun & an invigorating adventure that’s close to home!

 

How it Works:

  1. Find out who is interested in attending (12 or more & you will want to book a private tour) & pick an available date on The HandleBar Toledo calendar.handlebartoledo
  2. For the private group tour….the cost for a 2hr tour is $400 Friday/Saturday (10am-10pm) and $300 all other days (Mon-Fri. 12:30pm-10pm & Sunday and Saturday 10am-10pm). Thus, the cost per lovely lady is between $19-25 if you bring 16 people. (If you only have a few ladies attending then you can easily hop aboard one of the public individual tours, cost $20-$32 depending on the day, and each person books & pays for themselves).
  3. Be sure to dress for the weather, sign waiver online, & the HandleBar is a BYO bar so you can bring a beverage of choice (no glass or liquor), coffee, beer, wine, water, etc.

Did I make that confusing enough for everyone? LOL! If you click on the link above The Handlebar Toledo does a fabulous job of going over all the DEETS.

The HandleBar operates from March-November so don’t miss out on this epic Ladies Night Out idea…call up your girls & book the Bar today!

 

 

Visit Toledo Firefighter Museum for Fire Safety Awareness Month

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 Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. A fire can be anywhere.

  • According to the NFPA*, in 2016 there were 352,000 home fires, and 3 out of 5 fire deaths occurred in homes without smoke alarms.
  • Less than 50% of homeowners have an escape plan.
  • Carbon monoxide is the #1 cause of accidental death.

These facts and statistics are reasons why your home needs to be equipped with the proper amount of fire safety equipment and alarms. Fire Safety Awareness Month is a great time to kick start your families commitment to fire safety! (Source: https://www.nfpa.org/fpw)

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And there is no better way to kick start your family’s fire safety commitment than by visiting the Toledo Firefighter Museum. We are fortunate to have such an amazing resource in Toledo.

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Not only does it commemorate all those who have sacrificed for our safety, it illustrate the advances in fire safety over the decades/centuries, & it also offers an invaluable teaching mechanism upstairs, “Jed’s Room”, a fire simulator space that helps children see how a fire and smoke spreads, why they need to stay low to the ground, how to escape, and more! They also offer the children the opportunity to try on some of the firefighter gear which is important, we don’t want young children to hide and be scared of firefighters in the case of a fire, we want them to seek them and get out safety.

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Toledo Firefighter Museum

Address: 918 W Sylvania Ave, Toledo, OH 43612

Phone: (419) 478-3473

Hours: Saturdays 12-4pm or by appointment (perfect for groups-playgroups, Scouts, etc.)

Cost: FREE

Website: http://www.toledofirefightersmuseum.org/

 

 

Additional resources…..

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Link: http://www.sparky.org/

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Link: http://www.toledofirerescue.com/assets/SmokeAlarmDistForm1.pdf

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