Plan to Eat!

I’ve been using Plan to Eat for the last month to plan our meals every week. It’s super easy and so helpful!

You put your own recipes in! It’s not as time-consuming as I thought it would be because most of my recipes are on people’s blogs (or my own) and the ones that aren’t really only took a few minutes to add. Also, there’s a neat feature where you click a button at the top of the blog page and it automatically formats it and adds it for you!

You drag the meals onto the day of the week and it adds them to your shopping list. I shop at Aldi, Publix and Costco and it was easy to tell it which stores I get what at. I highly recommend it – it’s $4.95/month or $39/year!

Click here for a free 30-day trial (no payment info necessary) – http://www.plantoeat.com/ref/96382a1cc0

Meal Plan 3/8 – 3/14

Trying to get back into the swing now that R4 is 3 weeks old (time flies!). We were so blessed by those who brought us meals those first two weeks, words cannot express how amazingly helpful that was.

Here’s my meal plan for this week:

Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken, spinach feta rice

Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup

Korean Beef

Pancit

Salisbury Steak w/Onion & Mushroom Gravy, potatoes, steamed broccoli

Sausage and Rice Casserole, veggie

Slow Cooker Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Kale Stew

I Like to Do Things Backwards…

We’re moving to FL! ROFL

After lots of prayer and discussion, Mr. Fox applied for a job in FL (Panhandle). We both really felt that God wanted us to do this so when he was offered the position he took it. He’s staying with my mom and her husband and working 10 hour days so he can be home on the weekend (3.5 hour drive) to work on the house (which was MUCH further from sell-ready than we realized). It’s been an adventure, for sure. In fact, he just had his 90-day review and we haven’t even listed the house yet!

I really didn’t think it would take this long but I’ve realized that God’s theme in this is “Trust me, I’ve got this.” And He knows us SO well! LOL

We’re close. Praying we’ll be listing by next weekend. For a few weeks there something went wrong every weekend when Mr. Fox came home and it just added to our list. But we’ve finally finished the basement (WOOT!) and have learned so many lessons (mainly that when you reap laziness you sow lots of work! LOL ) and what not to do in the future. :)

We miss him terribly during the week but know it’s only for a short time. The kids are excited and sad, as am I. I will miss my friends (family, really) here terribly and the idea of having a newborn without these wonderful people around me scares the crap out of me. But I have to trust in God’s plan for us. He’s got this.

Meal Plan 9/6 – 9/12

Loaded Potato and Buffalo Chicken Casserole – I plan to use wing sauce instead of hot sauce (Mr. Fox can spice his separately)

Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, veggies

Turkey loaf, rice or taters, veggies

Roast chicken, potatoes, veggies

Sausage, onions, peppers over cabbage

No Dough Pizza

Breakfast:

Banana Cocoa Refrigerator Oatmeal

Banana (Soy)nut Butter Refrigerator Oatmeal

Prenatal Vitamin Tea (Good for women, regardless)

My midwives always prescribe this in place (or in addition to) prenatal vitamins.

1 part Nettle leaf
2 part Alfalfa leaf cut
2 part Red Raspberry leaf
1 part oatstraw
1/2 part Rosehips (or chamomile & lavendar)

It’s a good tea for any woman actually.

Rosehips

Rose hips are reported to have up to 60 percent more vitamin C than citrus fruit and are rich in bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids are important to build and strengthen body tissue. This in turn strengthens the vascular system.

Rose hips are taken by many today as a natural way to get vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K, and help to prevent and treat various infections, especially colds and flu. Rose hips are also taken to quicken the healing process for bruises and skin irritations.
In addition to vitamins C, E, and K, rose hips contain calcium, citric acid, iron, niacin, phosphorus, tannin, vitamin A, B1, B2, and P. As a natural stimulant it gently allows movement of the bowels, as diuretic rose hips cleanse the urinary system, as a pectoral hips are a remedy for pulmonary and other lung diseases, and as a tonic the rose hips strengthen organs.

Stressed and tired? Rose hips will help. Nervousness? Try rose hips for relief. As a matter of fact, rose hips provide innumerable health benefits from skin, to the immune system, to the bladder. Studies have even shown that rose hips can help prevent the development of kidney stones and prevent diarrhea. Additional studies have proven rose hips are helpful to the circulatory system, respiratory system, the thymus gland and as a blood cleanser.

Other health benefits include lowering abnormal body heat, relieving thirst, healing of internal hemorrhaging or spitting of blood, aid for dysentery, strengthens the stomach, prevents and helps relief chest infections and coughs, cleans the kidneys and bladder, prevents fluid retention, helps with gout and rheumatic conditions and nourishes the skin.

Nettles

The known benefits of organic nettles leaf are extensive, as this plant has truly been used for centuries on end. Currently, there are several well-known, well-documented benefits of organic nettles, including:

Female tonic, especially for young women beginning menstruation and older women in menopause.
May assist the body in the detoxification of chemicals and heavy metals
Helps to reduce water retention, and is particularly helpful for PMS and menorrhagia, a condition where there is heavy menstrual flow in women.
Helps Stimulate mothers milk, and increases energy after childbirth.
Natural testosterone booster which aids in increased vitality in men.
Diuretic that increases uric acid secretion, while at the same time, resisting nighttime bathroom urges. Great for urinary problems and bed-wetting issues.4
Sterols, one component of nettles, reduce the activity of DHT, a type of testosterone, causing enlarged prostate.5
Anti-inflammatory capacities act to help many of the symptoms related to arthritis. The robust amounts of boron and silicon minerals reduce pain of osteoarthritis, tendinitis, bursitis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout. The leaves can be made into a paste to be rubbed directly on painful areas of skin for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Anti-hemorrhaging qualities for internal bleeding, as well as small cuts and wounds
Anti-asthmatic for both bronchial and asthmatic difficulties, helping to clear constricted bronchial and nasal passages6
Magnesium components moderates the pain of Fibromyalgia
Contains natural antihistamines. Wonderful for hay fever and allergies
Natural kidney and adrenal-gland tonic
Powerful analgesic
Depurative agent

Alfalfa

Besides these historical uses of the plant, the known benefits of organic alfalfa leaf are considerable. Here are some of the well-documented beneficial uses of the plant 3,4,5,6

•Excellent natural laxative and diuretic
•Detoxification of the urinary tract, and urinary tract infections
•Reduces excess water retention in the bladder
•Excellent natural source of vitamin K
•Well-known blood and liver purifier of chemicals and heavy metals
•Eases joint problems, skin issues and foul breath
•Has a strong alkaline effect on the body
•Excellent neutralizer for the acids in the intestinal tract
•Eases general digestive problems, gastritis and indigestion
•Reduces migraine headaches through combined high magnesium and calcium levels
•Contains bioflavonoids that stop the inflammation of the stomach lining.
•Contains high levels of enzymes for food digestion and assimilation
•Lowers bad forms of cholesterol, and reduces the incidence of atherosclerotic plaques
•Stabilizes blood sugar levels, particularly when taken in conjunction with manganese
•Improves pituitary gland functioning
•Stimulates the immune-system
•High level of vitamin K adds to the effective healing of bleeding gums and nosebleeds
•High bioflavonoid count increases blood capillary strength
•High levels of Vitamin K2 may partially prevent bone loss due to lack of estrogen in menopausal women

Red Raspberry Leaf

They have been used in connection with the common cold, sore throats, diarrhea, pregnancy, and postpartum support.

In pregnancy it was traditionally used to help with nausea, ease labor and delivery, and post- partum recovery. It is also helpful for regulating menstrual period and controlling diarrhea.

Red raspberry leaf with its high content of vitamins and minerals like, vitamin A, B, C and E, potassium, phosphorus and calcium, can promote the overall health and well being of a woman during pregnancy. Therefore, red raspberry leaf tea is considered as a tonic for pregnant women, that can boost their overall health and the immune system. Apart from vitamins and minerals, the leaf contains carotenoids and alkaloids like fragrine. The alkaloid fragrine has been found to tone the muscles of the pelvic region and uterus, so that the process of delivery becomes easier, faster and less painful.

However, red raspberry leaf tea does not induce labor directly. Instead, it strengthens the muscles of the pelvic and uterus, so that they can contract more efficiently during labor which is why there is widespread use of red raspberry leaf tea to induce labor. In other words, the tea can promote uterine contractions during childbirth and also help to reduce the pain experienced during and after labor. In addition to these, red raspberry tea leaf can promote better blood circulation, ease morning sickness, prevent postpartum hemorrhage, relieve constipation, prevent miscarriages and promote lactation and bone development in the baby.
Red raspberry leaf is also known for its effect on fertility. The leaves of raspberry plant are believed to cure infertility in both men and women. Therefore, along with pregnant women, those wanting to get pregnant also take red raspberry leaf tea as a tonic. The leaf is sometimes, combined with red clover to enhance its benefits for fertility. Women, especially those having menstrual irregularities can take this leaf or the tea to regulate their menstrual cycle, and reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

Other Benefits of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Apart from the pregnant women, people with certain ailments or health problems can too benefit from the red raspberry leaf tea. Some of the most well known red raspberry leaf tea benefits are:
•The leaves of red raspberry plant has astringent properties, for which it can constrict the intestinal tissues to provide relief in diarrhea and soothe inflammation of the intestine.
•Red raspberry leaf tea can be an effective herbal remedy for sore throat, irritation of the oral cavity and gum diseases.
•It can also help to prevent dehydration, and lower the level of blood sugar in diabetic patients.
•Apart from these, red raspberry leaf tea can be used to treat flu, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, fever and rubella.

Oat straw

With its sweet, delicate flavor, it may be surprising to learn of the strengthening ability of oat straw. This herb fortifies not only the nerves, but also bones and teeth, the lungs, and the circulatory system. It supports the endocrine system, and stabilizes blood sugar levels. Oat straw nourishes the skin, hair, and nails. It is hard to turn away from the soothing promise of oat straw tea.

For any nervous disorder, oat straw tea can be used on a daily basis. It nourishes and rejuvenates the nerves, alleviating feelings of anxiety and stress, as well as emotional disturbances such as grief or exhaustion. Its nutritive content is a perfect cocktail for a weakened nervous system. Calcium, magnesium, zinc, and the B-complex vitamins all are necessary for mental well-being.

Through nerve support, oat straw actually increases sensory sensitivity. It allows both the body and the mind to reach a state of calm relaxation.

Meal Plan 8/25 – 30

I’ve never been a big fan of cooking dinner. I’m even less of one now that Mr. Fox isn’t here in the evenings. So, I’m trying to use my crock pot as much as often and make meals that will definitely leave us with leftovers.

Beef, Potato and Quinoa Soup
Roast
Black-eyed peas
Hot dogs, mac n cheese
Korean beef – chop LOTS of veggies up very tiny: broccoli, carrots, onions, cabbage. Saute. Add ground beef, cook. Soy sauce, a little brown sugar, ginger, garlic. Serve over rice.

OAMC Crock Pot Style – June

Beef and Broccoli

Ingredients
1 pound boneless beef chuck roast, sliced into thin strips
1 cup beef consumme
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cooled sauce from the crock pot after being cooked
Fresh broccoli florets (as many as desired)
Hot cooked rice

Directions
1. Place beef in a crock pot.
2. In a small bowl, combine consomme, soy sauce, brown sugar, oil, and garlic. Pour over beef. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
3. In a cup, stir cornstarch and sauce form the crock pot until smooth. Add to crock pot. Stir well to combine. (If your sauce is not thickening, try bringing your sauce to a boil on the stovetop with the corn starch mixture. Boil until your desired consistency is reached).
4. Add broccoli to the crock pot. Stir to combine.
5. Cover and cook an additional 30 minutes on high (the sauce has to boil for it to thicken).
6. Serve over hot cooked rice.

Cheesy Chicken

– Bag of frozen Chicken Breast Tenderloins (2.5-3lb bag)
– 8 oz block of cream cheese (don’t use Fat Free! 1/3 less fat or regular is fine)
– Can of Black Beans, drained & rinsed. (or Pinto Beans if you prefer)
– Can of Corn, drained.
– Can of Rotel

Directions:
Put frozen chicken in the crock pot.
Put Cream cheese on top of the chicken.
Dump in the Black Beans (make sure they are drained & rinsed!!!)
Dump in the drained corn.
Dump in the Rotel,
Cover & cook in your Crock Pot on low for 6-8 hours.
Every 2 hours, stir the ingredients.

Savory Chicken

Ingredients:
4-6 chicken breasts
2 cans stewed tomatoes
4 Tbs white wine (or extra broth)
1 large onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chicken broth (see how I make mine below, or choose one w/ no msg or bpa)
Salt and pepper to taste, 2 bay leafs
4 cups broccoli (added while cooking)

Split between 2 bags, seal, mix, lay flat, freeze
Directions for Bags: Cook on low 6-7 hours. Add broccoli during last 30 minutes, remove bay leaves before serving

Slow Cooker Coconut Ginger Chicken & Vegetables

Ingredients
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 inch cube of ginger (about 30 grams), roughly chopped
1 small sweet onion, peeled, quartered
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
2.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into four
2 cans coconut milk, not shaken
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 can of baby corn cobs
1 cup peas or frozen vegetables of your choice
For the spice blend
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground tumeric
1 teaspoon salt
Instructions
Combine ingredients from the spice blend together and set aside.
In a mini food processor, combine garlic, ginger and onion and pulse until it forms a paste.
(Prepare the first few steps of this recipe in a heavy bottomed pot or skillet and transfer the ingredients to the slow cooker when the liquids are added.)
In a large pot heat olive oil and melt butter. Add pureed aromatics and stir well. Cook for a few minutes, then add spice blend. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Move aromatics to one side of the pot and add chicken pieces to the pot. Cook chicken slightly on all sides, using a sturdy wooden spoon to move it around the pot. It should get thoroughly coated with the spice mixture.
Open the cans of coconut milk and remove the cream from the top using a soup spoon. You should have about 1 cup. Pour the coconut milk over the chicken and with both cans, it should just barely cover the chicken.
Drain the corn cobs and chop in half. Add to the pot.
Ppur all into crock pot and cook on low for 4 hours.
Whisk cornstarch with coconut cream until smooth and add to the chicken. Stir well. Add frozen peas or other vegetables of your choice. Cook for another half an hour or until you deem the chicken cooked and the vegetables hot.
Notes

You can certainly use boneless, skinless chicken breasts in place of the thighs, but I prefer the dark meat and find it to have more flavor than the breast. It’s more affordable, too!

In the recipe I call for peas, but you can use any cooked or frozen vegetables you have on hand. A bag of stir fry packages of vegetables, work perfectly with the dish.

Salsa Chicken

4 Chicken Breasts
1 Cup Salsa
1 Package Taco Seasoning
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 Cup Reduced Fat Sour Cream
Add everything to Crock Pot (except Sour Cream). Cook on LOW for 6-8 Hours. Stir in Sour Cream at the end and serve over rice.

Zesty BBQ Chicken

5-6 Chicken Breasts
1 12 oz Bottle BBQ Sauce
1/2 Cup Italian Salad Dressing
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
Put chicken in bag. Stir all other ingredients together in a bowl then pour into the bag. Cook HIGH 3-4 hours or LOW 6-8 hours.

CHICKEN WITH PINEAPPLE AND RICE

4 boneless chicken breast halves
1 can (14 oz.) pineapple tidbits in juice, undrained
3/4 cups finely chopped carrots
1/2 cup each chopped sweet red peppers and green peppers
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cups chopped green onions
2 cups of chicken broth

Combine all ingredients in freezer bag. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Serve over rice. Sprinkle with sliced green onion.

ORANGE CHICKEN
2 cups carrots
2 cups bell pepper
1 lb chicken breast
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
8 oz orange juice concentrate

Combine all ingredients in freezer bag. Cook in crock pot on low 4-6 hours. Garnish with clementine or mandarin oranges and green onion. Serve over rice.


GARLIC LIME CHICKEN

1.5 lb chicken
1/4 cup lime juice
1 TBS chicken boullion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp pepper
2 TBS butter

Combine all ingredients in freezer bag. Add 1 cup water to crock pot with ingredients. Cook on low 7-8 or high 5-6 hrs. Serve with starch and veggie of choice.

BROWN SUGAR CHICKEN

6 boneless, skinless breast halves
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup lemon-lime soda
2/3 cup white vinegar
3 cloves smashed and chopped garlic
2 T soy sauce
1 tsp ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in freezer bag. Cook low 6-9 hours or high 4-5 hours. Serve over rice with veggie of choice.

Ranch Chicken

6 chicken breasts cut in half
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 packet ranch dressing seasoning
5 large potatoes diced

Place all ingredients in a gallon freezer bag. Seal getting as much air out as possible. Place in freezer and forget it! On cooking day, place contents of bag in your crock pot. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or until chicken is no longer pink and potatoes are tender. Enjoy! I like to serve this with a side salad and breadsticks.

Cranberry Chicken

You’ll need:

3 lbs chicken thighs or legs, skinned (chicken breasts can also be used)
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1 envelope onion soup mix
In a bowl mix together the cranberry sauce and the onion soup mix. Place chicken in the freezer bag and pour cranberry mixture on top. When ready to use, thaw and place contents of freezer bag into crock pot and cook on low heat for 5 – 6 hours.

Serving Suggestions: Serve over a bed of rice. Green beans are perfect with this dish.

Mini Corndog Muffins

3 cups AP flour (I used Gluten Free)
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of melted butter
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
8 hot dogs (I purchased all natural, you could use chicken ones too)
2 cups corn meal
2 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

split between two bags, seal, mix, lay flat, freze

Directions:
Cut hot dogs to toddler size pieces (I decided to just cut hot dogs into thirds and put one part in each muffin- it turned out waaay too much bread and not enough meat- next time I’ll follow directions ha)! In a LARGE bowl, mix dry ingredients together and slowly add wet in order listed. Fold in diced hot dogs. Line 2 muffin tin’s with wrappers. Scoop mixture into wrappers. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes. (Mine made exactly 24 muffins)
Once cooled can be frozen for up to two weeks. Remove, thaw, re-heat.

Cilantro Lime Chicken

6 chicken breasts
3 Tbs olive oil
2 limes, juiced
2 cups cilantro
1 large bag of frozen corn (or two smaller bags)
4 minced garlic cloves
1 finely chopped red onion
2 cans of black beans, rinsed
2 tsp cumin or chipotle powder
salt/pepper to taste

split between two bags, seal, mix, lay flat, freeze

Directions for bags:
cook on low 8 hours or high 4 hours, serve with hot tortillas or tostitos. Dress with sour cream, guacamole, and/or cheese

EO Instead of OTC

When I was in my 20’s and still kinda dumb I poured boiling water over my entire right hand. It was bad, I slept with my hand in a bowl of ice for a week. Then it blistered and scabbed and I knew I was going to be scarred for life. I had no insurance and at one point thought it was getting infected – it’s REALLY hard not to use your dominant hand! The only thing I put on it was Lavender Essential Oil (EO) and Vitamin E oil and it never scarred. Today you can’t even tell it happened!

Lavender is great for lots of things – I recently discovered it even helps your allergies! I’ve been using Homeopathics, herbs and EO’s for years.

I recently went to an open house type gathering where people were sharing their testimonies of how the oils have changed their lives and was really inspired. Allergies, injuries, chronic headaches, snoring husbands, eczema, asthma – all cured with EO’s!!

If you’d like to read some testimonies click this link and then ‘testimonies’ on the left hand side.

If you’d like more info about using EO’s to treat your family, let me know, I’m happy to help!

Meal Plan April 2

Porcupine Meatballs with mashed potatoes, salad

Mushroom and Black bean Enchilada Casserole – (adding chicken)

Crock Pot Smoked Sausage, Green Beans, and Potatoes - subbing something else for the green beans

Farmer’s Casserole

Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Chicken, pasta salad

Korean Beef (a la Hayes): chop LOTS of veggies up very tiny: broccoli, carrots, onions, cabbage. Saute. Add ground beef, cook. Soy sauce, a little brown sugar, ginger, garlic. Serve over rice.

CHICKEN BROCCOLI CHEESE CASSEROLE

World’s Best Chicken, brussels sprouts,

Hamburger Spinach Quiche