Category Archives: Meal Prep

Eat- Turkey Chili 

I know, I KNOW – I am just NO WHERE lately.  The whole summer just FLEW by, and here we are deep down into fall (not that you can tell here along the front range of the rockies, where we are still hitting 80 degrees on the regular.  BOOO!)

Anyway, it is what it is, Keri was too busy doing all the things her blog name says, and not writing about it.  Bad Keri.

BUT YAY FALL!!  Oh how I love cooking in fall.  So cozy with the fam all cuddle down in the house, eating big pots of simmering yummieness together after frolicking in the leaves and such.  (OK, that might be a little more “Instagram filter world” than “IRL” but still – it’s a great season, yo.)

I am determined to start cooking fall weather food, even if the entire family has been sweltering  through pumpkin patch outings and leaf raking in shorts and tee shirts all dang month.

Nothing is better in Fall than a big bowl of chili, amirite? (Yes, yes I am right – even if my husband, who CLAIMS to have been raised in Texas, doesn’t actually care for chili BECAUSE HE IS SHADY OR SOMETHING, can I get an amen?)

I am a “no bean” kinda gal, and I know that is a hugely polarizing statement .  But before you get your oven mits in a bunch about it, you could easily throw in a can or two of your personal faves and have this recipe come out great as well.

It is even BETTER heated up for lunch in the days after making it, and it also freezes and reheats perfectly!

Let’s make Keri’s chili, shall we?

WHAT YOU NEED

1 lb ground turkey (or ground beef, or whatever “ground” floats your boat)

1 medium onion, chopped

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes

1 can low sodium chicken broth

½  29 oz can tomato sauce (take a peak at the ingredients – you just want tomato puree, no salt or sugar!!  I use a half a can, you could use the whole thing if you aren’t the carb counting fiend that I am.)

1 1/1 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

½ tablespoon black pepper

¾ teaspoon garlic powder

Coconut oil (or other oil) –not pictured –  to coat bottom of pot

WHAT YOU DO

Heat enough coconut oil to coat the bottom of a deep-walled soup/stock pot, and add chopped onion over medium heat.  Sweat the onions for 2-3 minutes.

Add in ground turkey and cook over medium-high heat until browned.
Add all spices, and stir to coat the meat and warm the spices

Add tomatoes to the pot (I don’t drain, I just let the juice cook off)

Add the tomato sauce and the broth,  stir well, and simmer partially covered on low for 1 hour. (or you could TOTALLY simmer this in a slow cooker on low all day and fill your house with INSANELY good smells to greet you at dinner time.)


MMMMM.

Now come on fall weather – Colorado is waiting for you!

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Filed under Eat, Ground Beef, low carb, Meal Prep, My Faves, Slow Cooker

Eat, Briefly – Grilled Pork Chops with Brie

Last night’s dinner – grilled pork chops stuffed with Brie, and whipped cauliflower with bacon and cheddar.  So yummy.
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I made NONE of it last night.  You know Keri is all about the prep-cooking, and Jr’s evening T-ball schedule is making that prep pay off even more!

Almost every time I get the grill going to cook something, I load it up with extra chicken breasts or pork chops or even burgers, to be cooked until  JUST done. Then I cool them, seal them in zip-locks, and label them for the freezer.

Tossing whatever we will need into the fridge the night before means that we have food ready to be quickly heated and served for maximum taste in minimum time during the busy evening run-around.

For this meal, I cut a pocket in the side of the already-grilled chops and stuffed each with a smear of brie. (But long time readers know that Keri has long been a fan of stuffing a chop – hello 2009 blast from the past.)

Then I just heated it in the oven next to the whipped cauliflower I had steamed, whipped, and mixed with bacon and cheddar on Monday (always my big prep cooking day.)

Add more Vinho Verde and Tah-Dah – dinner on table after 10 minutes in the oven.

Later in the evening during our weekly viewing of Scream, the TV Series (yes, I know that MTv is not age appropriate viewing for our old ass selves, but we love a good Summer thriller,) we shook up some dirty martinis* with blue cheese olives.  Because you have to have a drink to choke on when the killer bumps off his/her next victim, can I get an amen?
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*sidenote – we are Tito’s vodka fans now.

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Filed under Be- Briefly, Cocktail Time, Eat, Eat - Briefly, low carb, Meal Prep

Eat- Meal Prep Mondays!

It’s no secret that Keri loves a good menu plan. She loves it almost as much as she loves referring to herself in 3rd person. Ha ha ha (seriously though, I do use 3rd person a lot. Probably has some super deep psychological meaning. OH LOOK, I digress already.)

I am a huge proponent of menu planning as a way to save time and money, and reduce stress on my working mom self.
I have a whole shopping and planning system which I talked about here. I won’t go down that rabbit hole today, as it is deep and long, and probably really scary to innocent onlookers.
BUT in addition to my menu planning, I also love a good round of prep cooking to get my week set up for success.

When I start talking about what I do to prep every week in casual conversation, I get some heavy sideways glances. “Oh Keri, that’s not going to make a difference,” say the non-believers. “I don’t have time to do all of that,” say the negative Nellies.
“That sounds like a lot to do,” say the naysayers.

But nay nay, Naysayers is what I say! (Watch me whip, watch me say nay nay…. couldn’t resist.)
Most Mondays I spend about 1 hour, including clean up,  prepping things I will use to make meals throughout the week. Some prep will actually cover coming weeks as well, as I sometimes grill big batches of chicken breast to freeze for later use, or make a bunch of turkey meatballs and bake them off before freezing.

With my contract writing jobs becoming  more frequent, and my determination to make time every evening to spend with Jr and The Hub, cooking is just NOT something I can devote hours too every night. I know many of you can relate! (Can I get an amen!?)

So,  I thought I’d share this week’s menu and prep with you to show how a quick prep session can make it easy to get dinner on the table lickety-split at night.

This week’s menu:

Monday: Siracha pork and broccoli bowls

Tuesday: Turkey kielbasa with peppers, corn (for the carb lovers in the house.)

Wednesday: Stuffed chicken breast, frozen veggie (probably cauliflower.)

Thursday: Taco casseroles, avocado green salad

Friday: Charcuterie and cheese platter (very typical Friday night fare, I keep a running stash of different ingredients I can throw together after Jr. goes to sleep when The Hub and I finally get to stop and take a breath at the end of the week.0

Saturday: Dinner out at a local spot

Sunday: Pot roast and roasted veggies (I will need to pull this from the freezer on Friday morning, so I make sure it is on the posted menu to help me remember.)

How I prepped:

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Oh look – there’s Keri’s kitchen in the thick of Monday prep time.

– The skillet is full of browning meat for the taco casserole, which I season with chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.

-I have shredded cheese for the casserole

-The crock pot has 1 lb of pork roast being cooked in a mixture of Pampered Chef Asian Seasoning and Siracha.

-On the back left side of the stove I am also hard-boiling eggs for my breakfasts this week, and (not pictured) there are chicken thighs on the grill for my lunches.

-I am cutting red peppers – 1 half pepper for the taco casserole mixture, the other 1 and 1/2 cut in strips for sautéing with the kielbasa on Tuesday. (Note the plastic bag – I keep a trash bag or bowl right on the counter and pitch everything in there so I am not going back and forth to the trash.  Thanks Rachel Ray, for giving that handy tip years ago!)

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After setting a little bit of the meat aside for Jr. (who is in his extra picky 4 year old phase,) I toss the peppers and cheese into the slightly cooled skillet of seasoned ground turkey, and divide it into individual large ramekins:

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These came with handy lids so I can seal them up and stack in the fridge.  (I do a variation on this type of “casserole” almost every week.  The Bacon Cheeseburger variety is another I have mentioned on ED&BK previously.)

I bag up the pepper strips, divide the eggs and chicken thighs into containers for my daytime meals, and do my dishes.  Just under an hour.

Done and done.

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This leaves only a few quick steps each evening:

Monday: drain and shred the pork, add Siracha to taste, steam broccoli (cut, blanched and frozen during a broccoli hording round of prep a few weeks ago.)

Tuesday: Cut Kielbasa into chunks and quick sauté with red peppers. Heat canned corn. Pull previously grilled chicken breasts from freezer for tomorrow

Wednesday: Turn on oven to 375, slit chicken breasts and stuff with pepperoni and cheese and stick in oven to heat for 110-12 minutes. Steam frozen veggie.

Thursday: Remove casseroles from fridge and allow to come to room temp while oven heats to 375.  Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Slice avocado. Serve with bagged salad (so lazy, Keri.)

Friday: Take roast for Sunday out of freezer to thaw in fridge.  From there it goes something like this – watch Jr eat ANOTHER PB&J and “GoGurt Simple” for dinner.  Decide to pick battles. Open wine, put Jr to bed. Pull out selection of meat and cheese (it varies,  but there is always a LARGE pile of prosciutto which Keri doesn’t have to share because The Hub doesn’t care for it.) Stack up high on cutting board along with crackers, cheese crisps, nuts, dried fruit, etc.  Sprawl out on floor with aforementioned wine, and exhale.

Another week of dinners with exactly ZERO pain in my patoot, thanks to one hour on Monday (or Sunday, or whenever it works for you,) spent prepping!

Hooray!!  We should treat ourselves to another glass of wine, no?

What are your favorite time and sanity saving tricks in the kitchen?  I am always on the hunt for great ideas, so shout them out in the comments below and share with all of us!

 

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Filed under Beyond Easy, Eat, low carb, Meal Prep, Menu Lists, Time Crunch Tested