Master List of Simple Breakfast Ideas

Who is ready to download the Master List of Simple Breakfast Ideas?!

Hopefully you already grabbed the Master List of Simple Lunch Ideas. I’m covering my fridge with these lists to make our transition from summer break to a school schedule a little bit easier. If you haven’t already, be sure to get your lunch list here!

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Watch also for our upcoming Master Lists of food and recipes and ideas to make snacks and to fill a lunchbox. (Subscribe here so you don’t miss them!)

Today’s list:

The Master List of Simple Breakfast Ideas

Keep Breakfast Simple

Note: If possible I try to always serve a protein of some sort for breakfast. I also always serve fruit. I’ll begin this Master Breakfast List with the protein and fruit lists that I typically serve with everything else on the list!

Your Real Food Master Simple Breakfast List

You can download this entire list here. But I’ll share it all on this post for reference also. I also recommend that you pin it so you can find it quickly as needed!

strawberry

Protein to Go With Breakfast

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Fruit that is Great With Breakfast

Any fruit is great! Our favorites for breakfast are:

  • Apples
  • Applesauce
  • Oranges
  • Clementines
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honey Dew Melon
  • Grapes

Stir and Pour Bread Varieties

This Stir and Pour Bread recipe is a game changer to make it super simple to have Homemade Bread on hand to use for a quick breakfast!

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Breakfast You Can Make the Night Before

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Make Ahead Breakfast Cereal

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Breakfast in a Mug or Glass

Quick Breakfasts From Freezer to Oven

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Big List of Muffin Recipes

Breakfast You Can Make in Your Waffle Iron

Great Waffle Iron Hacks

Quick Mix Breakfast Ideas

If you have Quick Mix on hand, you can quickly make:

Would you like to make this Master List of Simple Breakfast Ideas even simpler?

Sign up here to receive the entire Master List of Simple Breakfast Ideas in a free downloadable document! Then you can keep it handy on your computer or print it and put it on your fridge as a super handy reference!

Master List of 60 Simple Breakfast Ideas

Grab a free download of the Master Simple Breakfast List!

Watch for more Master Lists coming this month, filled with real food and simple snacks and lunch box ideas!

What would you add to the list? What are your favorite simple breakfast foods to feed your family?

P.S. What about a simple dinner list? We’ve already got that covered with our Weekly Simple Meals Plans!

The Simplest and Best Grilled Chicken (My Very Favorite Summer Food!)

You should know that there is much significance in me sharing that this Best Grilled Chicken is my favorite summer food. After all, do you know how many great summer foods there are to compete with this chicken?

There’s cold watermelon. There are strawberries, which can be made into this amazing Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait. There’s fresh corn on the cob (hello, I’m from Nebraska). There are peaches and nectarines. There’s asparagus and okra (sure I’m weird, but these actually are summer favorites of mine).

I guess the best news is that all of the above mentioned summer food choices can be served with The Simplest and Best Grilled Chicken, creating the best meal on the planet, amen and amen. (By the way, remember how our grill was broken? My genius husband was able to fix it. I am so very thankful!)

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What I love about grilling is that all I have to do is throw out some simple fruit and veggie side dishes to complete the meal. Anything goes with this chicken. Any veggie. Any salad. Any kind of potato, pasta, or rice. Any fruit.

And even better: You can make it with any sauce you like!

Great Sauce and Dressing Ideas to Marinate The Simplest and Best Grilled Chicken

If your time is limited, you can do what I’ve been doing lately and buy a few sauces pre-made to have on hand for Simple Recipes like this. Homemade sauces are awesome, but as I’ve shared, right now I’ve got to pare back to keep my schedule a little lighter. So I’m not making everything from scratch right now (and I’m smiling more often).

I do read the labels (no high fructose corn syrup or other nasty ingredients allowed!). I am searching for good prices. But I’m appreciating the ease of opening a bottle and dumping it on chicken to marinate for our dinner. Sooooo simple!!!!

Do you see how easy it is to make real food for your family? And do you see how delicious real food tastes? (Wait. Can you see how food tastes? Who even wrote that sentence??)

Lemme just say this: If you’re afraid of real food and the word “healthy” makes you cringe and think of sprouted beans and tofu (I cringe at those too!), let go of the fear and make yourself some of this chicken with a slice of watermelon and some steamed green beans on the side. It’s as easy as that and you will learn that real food is the best thing you ever ate!

My Favorite Grilled Chicken Tip

My Best Chicken Tip

I’ve shared this before, but let me share again that the secret to making perfect chicken on the grill is to use boneless chicken thighs instead of boneless chicken breasts. Breasts get dry quickly. Thighs retain juiciness and the flavor is unbeatable.

Bonus

Boneless chicken thighs are usually less expensive than chicken breasts. Who knew?

Simple Grilled Chicken

Simple Grilled Chicken (My Very Favorite Summer Food!)
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2-3 pounds boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 cups of your favorite marinade (bbq, teriyaki, Italian dressing, etc.)
Instructions
  1. Place chicken in a single layer in a 9x13 inch dish.
  2. Spread dressing or sauce over the top.
  3. Cover and allow chicken to marinate until grill time or for at least two hours (overnight is fine!)
  4. Grill marinated chicken on low heat for 20-25 minutes, watching to be sure chicken is cooked evenly on both sides.

What are your favorite summer foods?

More Simple Recipes

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Lilla Rose is having a Summer Sale ThursdaySaturday – FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $50! (Must select “Free Shipping” at checkout.

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So many lovely styles to choose from! Plus there are beautiful new natural hair sticks and cute new summery U-Pins, such a ladybugs, sand dollars, sea turtles, and flip flops!

Sale runs Thursday, July 13th, 2017 at 7am Pacific, through Saturday, July 15th at midnight Pacific. This is a sale you won’t want to miss!

“Processed Food” I Buy on a Regular Basis

It’s true. I buy processed food all the time. Check it out…

groceries feb 172

What you see there is none other than cases of processed Spaghetti Sauce, Salsa, and Canned Black Beans. Processed food, baby. Store-bought, canned, jarred, food right off a shelf.

And you thought you knew me.

But there’s more…

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Are those hotdogs? What is this world coming to? Oh, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet:

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This might come as a surprise, but I do not have a maple tree in my yard to tap in an effort to provide our family with this golden pancake and waffle topper. Also – and it might hurt to hear me say this – I don’t always take time to squeeze limes. Indeed, I have stooped so low that I actually buy jars of lime juice to make my Guacamole. Can we still be friends?

Those baked beans though. They are on my shelf ready to be served with the hotdogs you saw above, but you’ve already seen my Beanie Weanies and you haven’t abandoned me yet. Pizza sauce? In a can? Well, thank goodness that at least it is organic.

I’m not even done. There’s more for you to see:

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That there is a box of spaghetti noodles. There are a couple ingredients in that cream that I would rather not know about, and see that cheese? That’s 10 pounds of Colby jack all wrapped up in a package.

So here’s an idea…

Let’s change our thoughts about processed food

Not all processed food is bad.

When I first started making the switch from “bad food” to “good food” I got an idea in my head that all processed food was evil, that I must make everything from scratch in order to be a “good mom” and canned food would never again enter my home.

Eleven years later I have come to terms with the fact that someone else can juice my limes. Having shelves full of canned pizza sauce and black beans in my pantry makes my life so much easier I smile every time I see them. I open and use jars of salsa like there’s no tomorrow but guess what?

It’s all still real food.

It’s all real food!!!! Do you hear what I’m saying? The “processed” food I buy hasn’t been turned into something horrible. The spaghetti sauce in those jars is made from actual tomatoes and spices (and nothing else because I’m careful about the ingredients in my jarred and canned food purchases). These items started as food and ended as food and they help me put Simple Meals on the table like a boss.

This is what we must consider when choosing food from a shelf, a box, a bag, or a can:

Is this real food and does it nourish?

There are all kinds of processed “foods” that I don’t even call food because they do nothing to nourish and everything to harm. If it started as one thing (corn) and came out completely different (high fructose corn syrup), it isn’t real food and it doesn’t nourish. If it took a detailed process to create in a factory (margarine) instead of starting as one thing (cream) and becoming something good for us naturally (real butter), it isn’t real food and it doesn’t nourish.

Don’t be afraid of a box, jar, or can.

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Read the labels. Do your homework. Consider what’s actually inside the container. Ask: Is it real? Does it nourish?

Sometimes these are the foods that help us get through a day in peace and with a smile.

What are the “processed foods” you keep on hand to help make your real food life easier?

P.S. As many of you requested, I am slowly but surely making a list of items and brands of “processed food” I trust and purchase. Don’t hold your breath, but know that you can look for that list in a few weeks.

The Day I Got Mad at Groceries, Part 2 (Is Balance Possible?)

Read Part 1 – The Day I Got Mad at Groceries and Food in General here.

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groceries 411

After processing with you some of my frustrations with being able to achieve balance when striving to…

  • Save money on groceries
  • Fill us with nourishment
  • Satisfy my teenage sons’ huge appetites
  • Not spend hours in the kitchen
  • Keep up with life during a busy season

…I headed to the grocery store.

I had my list ready to go. I also had our full calendar in mind, knowing all too well what the next two weeks held for my family. Which was bigger – my grocery list or my to-do list? Oh, now that’s a tough one.

So I prayed for a balanced approach to my shopping. God is not above me asking for help in selecting food for my family. God cares about every detail. He knows my desire to be a good steward and also my need to not over-burden myself in the kitchen. He knows what’s on my calendar. He knows how much my boys eat. He knows we need a new vehicle. He knows.

groceries june 17

At the store, I filled my cart with a wonderful variety of fresh produce from strawberries to peaches to zucchini to peppers to apples to asparagus to watermelon to avocados. I got all the produce at wonderful prices thanks to price-matching.

Then I compromised and bought a few loaves of bread, even though I know how to make it myself. I bought pre-made frozen hashbrowns, even though I know how to make them myself. (By the way, the only ingredient in the Mr. Dells brand frozen hashbrowns is potatoes. The lack of fillers made me add three bags to my cart!) I bought several packages of nitrite-free, uncured beef hotdogs for fast and fun lunches on the grill. I bought bottled BBQ Sauce, even though I know how to make it myself.

Truth: Everything I bought was still real food. (Yes, I realize I’m pushing it when talking about hotdogs. Work with me here. They’re trying. Really they are.)

I got good deals. I was careful about everything that went into my cart. But doggonit, when I want to make Grilled Chicken this week, I’m gonna open up a bottle of pre-made BBQ Sauce, dump it on, and go about my day.

I think we all have to:

  • make decisions about what works for our family and what doesn’t.
  • realize that just because something had been working for our family, sometimes a change is in order.
  • ask God for clarity, peace, and help in all areas in our lives.

My conclusions about groceries…today

Actually, I have no conclusions. I conclude that what I conclude today may be different from what I conclude next week. Right? Often if it’s best if we just think about today. I trust God to make it all clear to each of us when it comes to saving money, eating well, and saving time.

Today’s conclusions are:

  • I will continue to follow Simple Meals plans because without them, I’m lost and frustrated at dinner time. The recipes and every aspect of these plans are so easy I barely have to work and I rarely have to think. This is how I’ll continue to do dinner.
  • With that, when a recipe calls for BBQ sauce, spaghetti sauce, salsa, or beans – it’s coming out of a jar, bottle, or can because it is still real food, the price is still reasonable, and I don’t have time to make every single ingredient from scratch right now.
  • Lunches and Breakfasts might need to be some of the same choices over and over for a while. This will cut down on my need to think so hard, and make it easier for the boys to help themselves.
  • As long as I always have plenty of fresh or frozen fruits and veggies to fill the table, I can relax about the occasional hotdogs or pizza.

Balancing Nourishment, Time, and Cost When Grocery Shopping

What have you found helps you most when trying to find balance in saving money, eating well, and saving time in the kitchen?

Freebies for you!

Did you get these yet? Here are two free ebooklets Top 10 Money Saving Recipes and 30 Real Food Money Saving Tips!

Join our Heavenly Homemakers Savings Club, and we’ll send it to you for FREE! (Joining means we’ll also keep you informed of all the latest money saving groceries and homemaking items we come across. A win-win! It costs nothing to be a member.)

Top 10 Money Saving Recipes

Sign up to join our Heavenly Homemakers Savings Club here.

The Day I Got Mad at Groceries and Food in General

A few weeks ago I talked about how our family is having to tighten our budgeting belt right now as we build up our savings again after needing to replace our van right after investing in a new business venture for Matt (radon mitigation).

groceries feb178

Naturally, I challenged myself to see how I could cut back on our enormous grocery budget, even though a few weeks before that I’d shared that there was no way I could cut back because…

We eat a lot of food.

I felt all kinds of blah about this, because cutting back didn’t seem possible and also I am trying very hard during this season in life not to…

Go crazy.

This time of life filled with a houseful of teenagers with all their friends and comings and goings and activities and growing experiences is very much like (except very different from) my years of raising a houseful of babies. Those were lean and busy years too, also a time in which I was trying to avoid going crazy (while the Blue’s Clues theme song played on repeat in my subconscious). All of life cost less then, seeing as we didn’t have a slew of teenage boys included on our car insurance policy and their shoes and appetites were much smaller.

But the busyness. And the needs. They were/are so great! (“Great” shall be used twofold in this context as the needs are great and the needs are also great. How great that they need me! How great are their needs! This is all so great.)

Through the busy seasons…

These are the years we might need to compromise a little on making all food from scratch and settle for the occasional pre-made tortillas and take-and-bake pizzas. I felt it in the baby-raising-years, had a bit of a reprieve as my kids got old enough to buckle and wipe themselves, but am back to feeling the pinch of time, money, and energy as I am in a season of “hold on for dear life” with my teenage and adult kids.

Add to that the fact that one by one my boys insist on graduating high school and moving out of my nest and I feel the need to use every minute with them for a greater purpose. As I watch these years with kids at home vanish before my eyes, I refuse to use any of this precious time with my back turned to them while I spend time on a task like making Mozzarella Cheese.

All this was going through my head one day recently as I made a grocery list.

“Save as much money as possible!” thought I.
“Nourish us well; this is so very important!” came my next thought.
“Take time to enjoy the family; save your energy; save yourself; buy the pizza!” – and with that I got angry.

Is it even possible to do all of this at the same time? To save money, to eat good food, and to not spend hours in the kitchen while making it all happen?

The Day I Got Mad at Groceries

Yes, I know about the thing called “balance.” I’ve written about it, danced with it, poked and prodded at it, and as of today, I came to the conclusion that while balance is a great word and a great goal for which to strive, today I’m going to have to settle for…

Fine. Good enough. Okay, I guess.

The key word here is “today.” I believe in the long run everything actually will balance out because I truly am intentional about saving money, filling us with nourishment, and not spending all my time in the kitchen. Balance wins out in the long run. But that will no longer be my focus. Right now my focus has to be…

Today.

I can’t look beyond today. Today I might feed us all salads and veggies and grass fed meat and beautiful bowls of fresh berries. I might even do it while saving a bundle of money through price-matching and gardening and being resourceful and cooking from scratch. If that is what today looks like, then yay for today!! But tomorrow? Tomorrow…

I might buy pizza.

And sure, I’ll serve it with a salad and slices of pineapple, but I won’t have saved money and I will have filled us with some empty carbs.

This has to be okay, because okay is the best I can do.

The best I can do is actually something to be celebrated. The best I can do truly is the best. Whether it’s a frugal meal that only cost $1.00/plate or a super nourishing meal filled with fresh greens and veggies, or a corndog on a stick that came out of a box.

The best I can do is what offers my family the best of me.

And with that, I’m no longer angry with food and will head to the grocery store.

To be continued…

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Real Food Grocery Savings Freebies for you!

Want a recipe eBooklet full of my Top 10 Money Saving Recipes? Join our Heavenly Homemakers Savings Club, and we’ll send it to you for FREE! (Joining means we’ll also keep you informed of all the latest money saving groceries and homemaking items we come across. A win-win!)

Top 10 Money Saving Recipes

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Also for Savings Club Members…

30 Real Food Money Saving Tips

This eBooklet is full of 30 Real Food Money Saving Tips. This resource is super practical and easy to read through. I bet you’ll find some ideas you hadn’t thought of before, some that you can work toward now, and some that might benefit you in a different season.

It’s free for all and it’s loaded with tips! Get it here —->

Sign up to join our Heavenly Homemakers Savings Club here.

My 17-Year Old Confesses How He Really Feels About How I Make Him Cook

Remember this kid?

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Oh my goodness, this guy!!

At his very core, our Justus is the same motivated, hard working, creative, g0-getter that he has been since he was little. Now he is 17 and getting ready to be a senior in high school. Ahhh, the senior year! Here we go again…

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Recently, Justus and I were working on lunch together in the kitchen and out of no-where he said, “When I have kids, I am totally going to teach them to cook like you taught us. Why do people think this is hard?”

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I’m not exactly sure what inspired his proclamation as it came without prompting somewhere between the steaming of the green beans and the grating of the cheese. But he went on with, “So many of my friends think cooking is hard, and I’m like, ‘Not really. It only takes 5 minutes to make scrambled eggs.'”

It hit me then that cooking with my kids from the time they were little became such a natural thing that they didn’t even know they were learning. To Justus, cooking is just cooking…a normal part of any day. There’s nothing hard about it for him because it’s just a fact of life.

Justus' Cooking Confessions

Sure it takes effort, and sure at any given time my boys would rather sit on the couch playing a video game. But when I say, “Justus I need you to brown the meat for dinner; Elias please make Guacamole; Malachi head on in and get the veggies ready…” they just do it.

What started with me “letting my boys help” in the kitchen has turned into my ability to turn them lose. During this on-the-run season in our lives, I’m really not sure how I would keep them all fed if they didn’t pitch in and help.

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Be still my heart.

Hearing these words from my 17-year old meant a lot to me. He gets it. He understands that the reason most kids think cooking is difficult and that eating out is the only option is because they haven’t been taught how simple it is. And apparently he’s on a mission to tell his friends, “Dude. Learn how to scramble an egg. It’s not even hard.”

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My turn for a confession: I found it easier to naturally teach my older three boys to cook, but my youngest kind of got the shaft. Why? I think because by the time Malachi was old enough to truly be of help, I already had three bigger boys doing the jobs I needed done. Then when the older boys got busier and didn’t have time to help as much, I didn’t have as much time to focus on teaching Malachi the basics. Oops.

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All that to say, I encourage you to try and make it natural to teach your kids to cook. Pull them into the kitchen with you as much as you can so they learn without even knowing that they’re learning. But if that doesn’t work or it isn’t coming naturally, consider doing what I did with Malachi…

He and I sat down together and went through the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse together. That was the magic bullet for both of us as it finally inspired him to want to get in the kitchen and gave him all kinds of confidence! And it helped me because the course did most of the teaching so my overloaded brain didn’t have to think so hard or work so hard. Why reinvent the wheel, right?

Check out the wonderful Kids Cook Real Food eCourse your entire family can enjoy together. Malachi and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

A Kids Cooking Freebie for All

Want a freebie? Get a FREE Kid-Friendly Real Food Snacks Recipe download. This is a lot of fun, and a great way to motivate your kids to get into the kitchen with you this summer. And it’s free, so why not?

Malachi's Favorite Cookbook small

If you get the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse, Malachi said he would be happy for me to email you a free copy of his cookbook. :) As you can see, it’s full of his favorites. (I promise he gave a big thumbs down to any recipe he didn’t totally love as I suggested various ideas –  ha!)

Here are a few of the recipes my kids like to make on a regular basis:

What are ways you’ve found to make it easier to teach your kids to cook?

Be sure to get the Healthy Kid Friendly Snacks Freebie here!

This post contains affiliate links.

Simple Waffle Omelets – perfect for any meal!

We might as well just call these “Womelets” because that’s what keeps coming out of my mouth when I try to talk about Waffle Omelets. I’m excited to share this recipe idea with you, but I’m sorry for causing all of you to be in this tricky verbal situation.

The cool thing is that these Womelets (I’ve given up on  trying to say it correctly) really are fun to make and super tasty.

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Here are some Waffle Omelet highlights:

  • You can make everyone’s Waffle Omelet to fit each person’s preferences.
  • These are super quick and simple to make.
  • You can make Waffle Omelets for a quick dinner when/if you forgot to thaw meat to prep for your meal.
  • You can prepare ingredients ahead of time and store them in the fridge to pull out and make Womelets at the spur of the moment.
  • These are inexpensive!

By the way, have I ever told you what a messy cook I am? Truly. If there are three people standing side by side putting together making food, you will be able to tell which cooking station was mine because of all the food that had been dripped, drizzled, slopped, and spilled in my area.

I am especially good at making a mess of these Womelets, as I often overestimate how much liquid to pour into the waffle iron. Out of the iron the egg mixture will spill, causing a huge mess of slime down the sides and all over the counter-top. Have I no shame?

In addition, you should see me try to take the Waffle Omelets out of the waffle iron without tearing them to bits. Notice, above, how I finally gave up and took a picture of the omelet directly in the waffle iron? It was better this way.

I finally figured out that if I use hot pads and pick the waffle iron up, then dump the omelet onto the plate, it actually comes out easily and pretty. How about that? No mess! (You’ll see below that it folded itself in half while being dumped, but it was the best I could do.)

waffle omlet

I’ve finally learned that for my waffle iron, it takes somewhere between 1/2-3/4 cup of egg mixture to make one nice waffle omelet without spilling over.

Fill your mixture with any combination of meat, cheese, and chopped veggies that you like! I suggest mixing the eggs, milk, and salt in a bowl, then you can add your “fillings” as you make each individual waffle omelet so you can make it according to taste!

Simple Waffle Omelets

Simple Omelet Waffles - perfect for any meal!
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 10 eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt (more or less to taste)
  • Any variety of chopped meat, diced veggies, and shredded cheeses you like.
Instructions
  1. Whisk together eggs, milk, and salt.
  2. Heat and grease waffle iron.
  3. Scoop egg mixture into waffle iron to fill the bottom about ¾ full. (Mine takes ½-3/4 cup of mixture).
  4. Add in any fillings you like.
  5. Close waffle iron and cook for 3-4 minutes until eggs are cooked through.
  6. Serve right away.

Simple Waffle Omelets

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Simple Tex-Mex Creamy Chicken

I have made a decision. It is a big one and I appreciate your support. Thank you in advance.

As of now, until further notice, I shall not soak and cook my beans.

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Canned beans for the Simple Meals win.

I know. This news is big. But my beans and I have valid reasons for such a drastic change in our relationship.

Indeed I used to be a faithful bean soaker and cooker, but the demands of working full time while homeschooling teens, chauffeuring teens, feeding teens, supporting teens, and finding a tiny moment in my day to say hello to my husband have led me to kick bean-prep off my priority list. It’s either buy canned beans or become a beanless family. Long live the bean.

I am well aware that bean-cooking is not difficult. A child could do it. But I found that I almost never remember to soak beans ahead of time because I’m too often in my car running my kids to all of their social/church/work/sports/ministry outings. (And by the way, if one more person says something to me about homeschoolers not getting enough socialization I shall happily throw my van keys and event calendar at them and make them take my kids to all their social events so they can see the truth and laugh as they realize they most definitely never had a need to worry. Said person shall need a nap after this feat, but there’s no time for one – and this is why I don’t soak my beans.)

I can hear what some of you are saying. “Get an Instant Pot!” But we’ve been through all of this so I’ll have to ask that you cheerfully support my decision and let me open my cans of beans in peace.

This post has a point (thank goodness). And also a recipe. It will come as no surprise to you when you see that said recipe includes a can of black beans.

Substitute canned beans with those you have soaked/cooked yourself if you like. Best news of the day: I did the math and learned that when I buy canned black beans by the case it does not cost me anymore than if I were to buy dried beans and make them myself. I had no idea! You might also like learning that this dish I am about to share with you costs around $2.00/serving for my family. Not too shabby for a real food meal that sufficiently fills teenage boys.

Bet you’re hoping I’ll just go ahead and share the recipe already.

Simple Tex-Mex Creamy Chicken

Simple Tex-Mex Creamy Chicken
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 16-ounces salsa
  • 15-ounces black beans
  • 2 cups corn
  • 2 cups sour cream
Instructions
  1. In a skillet, brown chicken pieces in olive oil, seasoning them with chili powder and salt.
  2. Once chicken is cooked through and through (about five minutes on each side) add salsa, black beans, and corn.
  3. Simmer for about two minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.
  5. Serve over brown rice, pasta, or tortilla chips

Simple Tex-Mex Creamy Chicken

Note that adding sour cream to this makes the chicken mixture thick and creamy without any effort to make a cream sauce. That’s what makes this recipe so simple!

A huge time and money saver for our family (and many others!) has been our great Simple Meals program. Join us and be amazed at how this simplifies your life – plus you’ll love the easy, healthy, real food you’ll be putting on the table so quickly each day. We’ll welcome all who soak their beans and all who don’t, because we’re all friends and no one shall be beanless. Check it out and join here!

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Six More Ways I’m Going to Try to Save on My Grocery Budget (Plus a Quick $25 Giveaway!)

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Matt and I have exactly one more year until we have two kids in college. At that point, assuming all of our kids choose to go to college after high school, we will have two in college until 2024. Thinking of the financial hit we will take because of this…

I pass out cold.

The good news is that having more than one kid in college offers additional grants for students. The other good news is that our kids have been working hard for years and saving money to help pay their own way through college. More good news is that my kids have worked hard to receive and maintain good scholarships to make their college bill lower.

I start to pick myself up off the floor…

But the bad news is that even a “lower priced” college costs around $25,000/year. I can pretty quickly do the math on that, because four kids times four years equals $400,000. And with that…

I fall down dead.

Praise God for scholarships and hard working kids that make that total much lower, but still. Matt and I have made plans to help each son with a specific dollar amount each year. To state the obvious, when we have two in college at one time, we will be forking out twice that dollar amount every year.

Someone please throw a glass of cold water on my face.

One would think my grocery bill would go down as the kids fly the coop, but so far, that hasn’t been the case. As our personal savings account has dwindled recently because of a business investment for my husband (allow me to introduce to you our town’s newest Radon Mitigation Specialist), and then our family van died suddenly, I have felt challenged to reconsider what I wrote a few weeks ago about my huge grocery budget.

In that post I said:

  • There are no other ways I can cut our grocery bill.
  • My teenagers eat an enormous amount of food.
  • I give up.

Or something like that.

It is true that my teens eat huge portions. This isn’t because they are excessive. It is because they are hungry. (A mom of one tiny baby recently suggested I simply cut them off and don’t let them eat as much. That is only a good idea on opposite day.)

But I am challenging myself to think even more frugally about groceries as we move toward our near future with buying a new vehicle and sending boy #2 to college in a year. (I shan’t skimp on Kleenex. The tears have already started about next year’s graduation. I can’t help it.)

Ways I already save on real food

  1. I make a lot of our food from scratch.
  2. I keep our meals simple, not elaborate.
  3. I price-match to get good deals on produce in my small town.
  4. I preserve food from our garden if there happens to be any excess.
  5. We only eat out when traveling, and then often we pack our food to take with us.
  6. I avoid expensive produce that is not “in season.”
  7. I buy our meat in bulk and our eggs and milk from local farmers, all for reasonable prices.
  8. I watch for mark-downs on any of our favorites at the grocery store.
  9. I stock up on anything we use often whenever it is on sale.
  10. I stock up at Aldi on staples whenever I make a trip to the city.
  11. I stopped buying everything organic even though it makes me cringe a little bit.

6 More Ways I'm Going to Try to Save on My Real Food Grocery Budget

Ways I think I can do better as we try to rebuild our savings

  1. Go to the store about every week and a half instead of every week. (Sounds like a good experiment, huh?)
  2. Don’t buy pre-packaged snacks for the boys to eat at games, even if they are “healthier” and even if they are a good deal.
  3. Serve more eggs and meatless meals. (I might have a revolt. To be continued…)
  4. Stop buying cereal. (I rarely buy this anyway, but what if I stopped altogether?)
  5. Eat some of the “random stuff” hanging out in the back of the pantry and freezer whether it’s exciting or not.
  6. Cut back on cheese, or let cheese replace meat sometimes. (Like in this recipe.)

30 Real Food Money Saving Tips

I plan to peruse this book again to trigger more ideas (get yours here – it’s free!). Knowing my family situation (four teenage sons, big eaters, focus on eating nourishing foods instead of fillers), do you have any more suggestions to share?

I’ll share an update in a few weeks once I see how some of these experiments go!

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Honey Sweetened Peanut Butter Cups You Can Feed Your Family for Breakfast

This is how I begin every day:

fat-bombs-easy-and-delicious

And also this…

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They all go together for me now. I begin each day (if at all possible) with time in my chair with my Bible, my coffee, and a Chocolate Peanut Butter Fat Bomb.

Can you think of a better way to start the day? I think not.

I think the coffee and Bible are obvious, but you might be wondering – a Fat Bomb? For breakfast?

Absolutely, yes. I’ve gone from avoiding fat at all costs (in my teen and young adult years) to eating as much good fat as possible. In fact, I’ve discovered that the more good fat I eat, the better I feel. When I start my day with a Fat Bomb, I start my day with energy and a clear brain that actually functions.

I usually eat another Fat Bomb mid-afternoon, and sometimes at night before bed. I need the fat. You probably do too. Healthy fat is so very good for our bodies and minds.

Well, that’s my Fat Bomb story (thank you for asking), but what about everyone else in my family?

My husband eats a Fat Bomb here and there, loving them as much as I do (though he can eat most anything he wants without feeling crummy, so he doesn’t seem to crave these or need them like his fat-seeking wife). And our boys? Well, they just don’t like stevia-sweetened food. It’s okay. I probably wouldn’t have either when I was their age.

But here’s the thing: These sons of mine are growing to be enormous man-sized people. If I don’t have eggs and/or some kind of meat on the table every morning for breakfast, they pleasantly ask, “Is there something we can eat with protein?”

Yep, gone are the days they would eat a muffin and fruit and be fine for a few hours. These men need their meat. {mmm…bacon}

Thus, I have been playing with my Fat Bomb recipe to see if I can make them more palatable for my kids, which offers them protein and fat in the morning but keeps us from eating too many pigs (there’s no other way to say this).

Now, my youngest won’t touch these Fat Bombs because they have peanut butter in them. (He’s slightly allergic, but mostly, he can’t stand the taste.) But my other boys love these and as my 17-year old said, “Why would I ever need a regular peanut butter cup with all the sugar? These are phenomenal!”

So I now present to you a slightly altered Fat Bomb, sweetened perfectly with honey, and a fantastic choice for breakfast or a filling snack. What a great way to start the day! (For the record, I’m sticking with the stevia-sweetened Fat Bombs.)

Honey Sweetened Peanut Butter Cups

5.0 from 1 reviews
Peanut Butter Cups You Can Feed Your Family for Breakfast
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • ½ cup coconut oil (I use expeller pressed so the coconut flavor didn't overpower.)
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • 2-3 Tablespoons honey
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, heat and stir together coconut oil, cocoa powder, butter, honey, and peanut butter.
  2. Pour into 12 muffin lined muffin tins. (I prefer silicone liners for these.)
  3. Freeze for 20 minutes or refrigerate for 2 hours.
  4. Store in fridge and eat as needed.

These Silicone Muffin Liners are a rock star for this recipe.

Have you tried the Fat Bombs? Are you a stevia lover or a stevia hater? Think you might prefer these sweetened with honey?