Hello! Hope everyone’s weekend was amazing. Ours was filled with birthday celebrations for Steve’s sister and a trip to Western Fair to check out the sports and rec show there. Because we were so busy all weekend I didn’t get around to shopping and food prep until last night. But now it’s all done and I’m totally prepared for the week ahead.
Here’s a look at some of the things I put together:
Lots of pre-baked chicken. I love having chicken all ready to go.I usually cook up half the fresh chicken the night I get it and keep the other half raw so I can make stuffed chicken breasts on a night I have more time. I season it really simply with salt, pepper, and sometimes garlic powder so it can easily be used in a variety of dishes. Tonight we’re using this to make some chicken fajitas so I’ll just slice the chicken and quickly saute it with some peppers in some fajita seasoning.
Chili! Steve loves chili and it is so simple to make. Just brown some extra lean ground beef, sirloin, chicken, or turkey and throw in some beans, tomatoes and anything else you’d like. He likes his pretty basic so this is just tomatoes, kidney beans, white beans and V8 with chili seasoning. Put it all in the slow cooker and wake up to hearty meal.
Here are some of our meals packed away. In the blue containers is my pre-portioned shepherds pie which I freeze and use as needed and the other two contain pre-cooked ground beef seasoned with tex-mex spices. I don’t reccommend seasoning your ground beef after the fact as I find it just doesn’t take on the flavour as well. We’ll use this for a tex mex night with burritos and I also love this in omelettes for either breakfast or dinner.
Being prepared means I don’t have to think too hard when I get home about what to eat. having this already prepared and some easy veggie/side dish recipes ready to go makes our meal prep simple and ensures we don’t stray simply because we don’t have time.
Now on to my granola recipe. I started making this a couple weeks ago and I absolutely love it. I am a cereal junkie. I can’t keep it in the house because I devour it far too fast. While I opt for healthier choices like mini wheats and kashi brand I still prefer to not buy it. So I made it a mission to make some healthy granola cereal that would resemble Kashi’s go lean crunch but that I could prepare myself. I’ve upped the fibre and it’s cheaper than buying it. Steve has been eating it every morning along with his protein shake and he says this ones a keeper for sure.
- 4 cups oats
- 1 cup oat bran
- 4 cups puffed wheat or rice or kamut or quinoa (basically any puffed grain)
- 1 cup milled flax seeds
- 1/4 – 2/3 cup nut butter (I typically use 2/3 but you can opt for less)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup sugar free maple syrup (you could just use 2/3 cup of this and omit the honey but I love honey)
- 2 Tbsp cinnamon (I don’t really measure it I just dump it in)
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325°
- Mix all dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl
- Take your nut butter, honey and maple syrup and put it in a mug and heat it for 30 sec or until runny
- Add vanilla to wet mixture
- Pour over dry ingredients and mix well. Clumps should form.
- Now this may sound weird but you’re now going to add small amounts of water to the mix until it is crumbly. This is how you avoid adding extra oil to the granola like so many other recipes do. Don’t go nuts and dump a bunch in, just add it in slowly bit by bit until it reaches a consistency you like. Some people (like moi) enjoy more clumps and others like it looser
- Next dump it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. It should fill two trays
- You’re going to bake it for approximately 45 min, checking on it and moving it around every 15 minutes or so. Granola burns extremely easily and no one wants that so pay attention!
- When it’s all browned and delicious looking and your house smells really good, take it out and let it cool completely. It will crisp up more as it cools.
- Store it it an air tight container and add in any fixings you like! This container here is from a club sized pack of almonds and will last us the week.
Here’s how I enjoyed mine this morning as cereal topped with bananas and currents. I also really love it with greek yogurt and berries.
This recipe is really forgiving and it’s easy to make it suit your own taste and preferences. You could easily add in chia seeds, hemp seeds or use different sweeteners like agave or brown rice syrup. Recipes are meant to suit your own tastes so experiment away.