Category Archives: Recipes

Meal Planning Tips and Tidbits

Get on the meal planning train with these 4 tips and tidbits for finding recipe inspiration for healthy dinners all week.  happyfitmama.com

Hey there!

I hope you enjoyed the long holiday weekend. I know we sure did! How can you not, right?

I took a little blog holiday over the weekend so I didn’t share my weekly meal planning post. As I was putting it together, I thought I’d share some tips and tidbits that I’ve picked up over the years of planning.

Prior to kids, I rarely ever meal planned. I’d find recipes from cook books or magazines and make them whenever I felt like it. I rarely planned out the meals before I grocery shopped for the week. Don’t have the ingredients for a certain dish? It was no big deal to run to the grocery store to pick it up on a whim.

After the kids’ were born, I still didn’t meal plan. Winging it was all the time I felt I had for food. If I wasn’t trying to feed myself, I was trying to feed two other mouths. And then clean up those two mouths. Which rarely got said food only in mouth.

eating with kids  happyfitmama.com

But then around their one year birthday, I realized that winging it wasn’t going to work anymore. My free time was spent feverishly cleaning the house or doing whatever else I could cram into nap time. And with the magical witching hour always landing around dinner time, I couldn’t afford to be spending more than 20-30 minutes preparing food.

 

That’s also about the time I started reading food blogs. I began to find new easy, healthy recipes. I can’t remember exactly what blog it was, but the concept of meal planning was mentioned and I knew I needed to try it.

Since then, I’ve been on the meal planning train. It definitely helps a ton in grocery shopping and not living on eggs, toast and avocado every single night. Although I do really enjoy those types of dinners too.

kale blueberry superfood salad 3  happyfitmama.com

I let my meal planning slide a bit during the summer but I committing to it once again with the new school year. With kid’s sports and other evening activities going on each week, it’s essential to have a plan.

Here are 4 meal planning tips and tidbits that I use each week.

Pinterest

By far, my biggest source of meal planning inspiration is from Pinterest. Consulting my Crock Pot Recipe, Easy Dinners, Healthy Snacks, or Clean Eating Recipe Boards always gives me ideas. The genius behind the alogorithm of Pinterest knows what I like. I can go on there anytime and find recipes that I like.

Blogs

If Pinterest is my first stop, it’s because I pin a TON of recipes off of blogs every week. When you are a blogger who loves reading blogs, you find recipes everywhere. Here’s some of my favorite food blogs to follow for delicious recipes.

Family Favorites

I don’t always feel like following a recipe. Sometimes I want to wing it. Maybe it’s making a simple stir fry, Broccoli Slaw Egg Rolls, Crockpot Veggie Chili or Brinner, family favorites that are quick and easy always happen at least once a week even if I did have something planned.

A great recipe for a healthy version of a favorite take out food - Baked Broccoli Slaw Egg Rolls  happyfitmama.com

Magazines

I laughed when my mom sent me a subscription to Good Housekeeping Magazine. Isn’t that an old lady magazine? I was pleasantly surprised to find really good recipes (and home tips!). It’s not as old lady-ish as I remembered. Or it’s just because I have become an old lady who enjoys Good Housekeeping.

Runner’s World and Women’s Running are two of my other favorite magazines for recipes. They know what runner’s want!

When I find a recipe that looks good, I’ll rip it out and stick it in a binder I have full of recipes. I was looking at my recipe binder for this week’s meal plan and laughed at one recipe in there – Cooking Light circa 2006. There’s mention of margarine. Does anyone use margarine anymore? If so, please don’t!

 

Here’s what’s for dinner this week at my house:

Sunday: Make your own pizza night

Monday: Cook out

Tuesday: Peanut Chicken Zucchini Noodles

Wednesday: Crockpot Black Bean Quinoa Soup

Thursday: Homemade Pizza Bowls

Friday: Take out

Saturday: Grilled Honey Chiptole Salmon + veggies

Where do you get your meal planning inspiration?

Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt Dip

Stonyfield and Justin's happyfitmama.com

This is a sponsored post from Stonyfield. All thoughts, as always, are my own.

I looked at the calendar last week and was bewildered why there was only 2 weeks left of summer vacation before my kids go back to school.

Wait. What?

We haven’t done nearly half of what I wanted to get accomplished in our 8 short weeks of summer vacation.

I’m dragging my feet in accepting that summer is almost over. Sure it will be nice to get back into the routine of things but I’ll miss the lackadaisical feel of summer. It’s a whatever goes feeling.

Back to school time means it’s back to lunch packing time. Well, not really, for us. I haven’t stopped all summer. My kids brought a lunch everyday to camp. My son still isn’t into sandwiches so I make my Easy Morning Glory Muffins or Blueberry Zucchini Muffins for him to munch on. But it gets really boring for the kids and me to have the same ol’ thing every single day. I’m always looking for new things to jazz it up a bit.

STonyfield, Justins happyfitmama.com

Our friends at Stonyfield just sent us a PackIt freezable lunch bag and a yummy assortment of Justin’s, perfect for our back to school lunch and snack needs.

As you know, we are huge Stonyfield fans at my house. One thing that is standard in both of my kids lunch bags is some form of Stonyfield yogurt. Squeezers are a favorite especially because you can freeze it and it’s still cold by the time lunch rolls around.

The Justin’s pretzel stick snack pack is amazing. The kids (ok, me too!) loved dipping the pretzel sticks into the chocolate hazelnut spread. The pretzels are the perfect vehicle for delivering the delicious combo of chocolate and hazelnut.

PackIT LunchBag happyfitmama.comAnd now that we have a PackIt lunch bag, everything will stay cold even longer. How cool is it that you freeze the whole bag? Maybe I’ll let one of the kids use the bag. But really? I’m keeping it for myself. Shhhh! Don’t tell on me!

The single serve packets of Justin’s Maple Almond Butter and Honey Peanut Butter are perfect for on the go snacking. Those little packets of gold have saved me quite a few times when in a pinch. They were the best thing ever when eaten at 2 a.m. prior to running my leg of Reach the Beach. They are also perfect for pre-run fuel in the early morning or when traveling for a race.

This simple dip mixture is perfect for after school snacking. Packed with protein from the whole milk Greek yogurt and nut butter, it’s the perfect vehicle for fruit, pretzels or graham crackers. Or you can totally just eat it by the spoonful. Whatever works for you!

Try this Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt Dip for a quick and healthy snack packed with protein. happyfitmama.com

Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt Dip
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Stonyfield Whole Milk Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1-2 packets of Justin's Honey Peanut Butter (or nut/seed butter of your choice)
Instructions
  1. Place ingredients in bowl.
  2. Stir to combine.
  3. Enjoy with fresh sliced fruit, pretzels or graham crackers. Or eat it with a spoon!

Looking for more back to school lunch ideas? Find it HERE.

Linking up with Meatless Monday.

What do your kids like to see in their lunchbox?

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Blueberry Zucchini Greek Yogurt Muffins

This Blueberry Zucchini Greek Yogurt Muffins recipe is a healthy, gluten free family favorite. happyfitmama.com

Have you ever read the book, Blueberries for Sal?

It’s about a young girl who is picking blueberries with her mom and ends up finding a bear doing the same thing.

I had my own version of it when I was a kid.

My family was out picking blueberries in the woods. My dad had gone up ahead of everyone. Suddenly, he came running back down the trail, yelling for us all to get to the car fast. There was a bear up the trail from us picking blueberries too.

We made it back to the car without ever seeing the bear. I still remember being in the backseat, scared beyond belief, locking the doors. Because that would keep a bear away, right?

Through the years, I always remember that story whenever we are out hiking and stumble upon a patch of wild blueberries.

Blueberry Zucchini Muffins happyfitmama.com

Over the weekend, Ron and I split the kids up for date days with each. The girls went back to school shopping and out to lunch. The boys went hiking. I really wanted to go hiking too but I took one for the team this time around.

As luck would have it, the boys picked the right marvelous mountain to hike. It’s known for having oodles of wild blueberries at the summit. Ron was prepared with containers just in case the blueberries were still around. And were they ever. He said it’s the best bunch he’s ever seen up there.

So when the boys came home with fresh blueberries, I knew I had to make something yummy.

And if you are wondering, they didn’t get chased by any bears.

If you’ve never had wild blueberries, you’ve never had a true blueberry. They are so much sweeter and flavorful than any other blueberry you’ll find despite their small size.

I had fresh garden zucchini that I was going to make my Easy Morning Glory Muffins with. Why not add blueberries?

Blueberry Zucchini Greek Yogurt Muffins happyfitmama.com

 

Blueberry Zucchini Greek Yogurt Muffins
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ Cup Oat Flour
  • ½ Cup Coconut Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 1 Large Egg
  • ¾ Cup Whole Milk Greek Yogurt (I use Stonyfield)
  • ½ Cup Coconut Palm Sugar
  • ¼ Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Shredded Zucchini (squeezed dry)
  • 1 Cup Blueberries (fresh or frozen) + more for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tin or line with cups.
  2. In a medium size bowl, mix together oat flour, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another medium size bowl, mix together egg, Greek yogurt, coconut sugar, almond milk and vanilla.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet. Mix till combined.
  5. Fold in zucchini and blueberries. Do not over mix.
  6. Fill muffin cups with ice cream scoop till ¾ full.
  7. Sprinkle additional blueberries on top of the batter if desired.
  8. Place in oven and bake 24 minutes or until done.
  9. Let cool in tin for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

 

Feel free to use whatever blueberries you have on hand. Although, if you have the option of wild, always go with wild!

Try this healthy Blueberry Zucchini Greek Yogurt Muffins recipe for an easy snack for the whole family to enjoy. happyfitmama.com

If you are overloaded with blueberries or zucchini right now, I’ve got more recipes for you:

Kale Blueberry Superfood Salad

Blueberry Lemon Chia Seed Mini Muffins

4 Ingredient Pesto Zoodles

Easy Morning Glory Muffins

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Muffins

Fresh Zucchini and Tomato Salad

Linking up with Meatless Monday.

Have you ever had a close encounter with a bear?

What’s your favorite seasonal fruit or veggie?

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