OAMC prep and cooking day

This is Post 1 of 2, the vegetarian cooking prep will be next post. I do it at the same time when I am cooking, but it was taking SOOOO long to type up I decided to split the past in half…

Overall directions, recipes follow…

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, put pot of water on stove to boil
2. Label all the bags- cooking time, date, what it is, cooking instruction, anything to add?
3. Wash all the veggies
4. Peel and cut up 6 sweet potatoes
5. Place sweet potatoes in bowl and drizzle with olive oil, garlic powder, cayenne powder, salt. Put on 2-3 trays (parchment paper if you want) and put in oven- set timer for 18 minutes. These are my snacks throughout the week. If I can keep NoOne away from them.
6. Cut the rest of the veggies then put gluten free (I think Tinkyada is the best brand) pasta in pot, it should be boiling by now (set timer for pasta)
7. Put the veggies in the bags (see recipes)- stand upright
8. Put liquids into the bags
9. Add veggie meats to the bags if you want or you can add veggie meats at cooking time since they sometimes get mushy
10. Close up all veggie bags- squish to mix, make sure they are labeled and well sealed. Freeze flat
11. Check sweet potatoes, if done, pull out to cool. If not, put back in for 5 minutes. Save pans for meatballs. Turn oven down to 350. Drain and rinse pasta if done. Put aside for spaghetti pie
12. Clean area- compost veggie trash or save for bone broth (which I have never made…)
13. Prepare meat station
14. Make the meatballs, clean the meats and prep
15. Place the meats into the bags
16. Close up all bags- squish to mix, make sure they are labeled and well sealed. Freeze flat
17. Put cooled meatballs into freezer bag, seal and freeze flat
18. Clean the area

Warning- I DO NOT MEASURE! I usually measure by handfuls of veggies so these are truly just estimates. My “recipes” are SUPER EASY so they are SUPER EASY to adjust based on whether you like things saucy (I do), whether you hate/love certain veggies. Just modify based on your needs!!!

• 2-4 cloves garlic, minced (C)
• 2 peppers cut into small chunks(C)
• 1 medium onion cut into small chunks(C)
• 1 box of POMI crushed tomatoes (V)
• 1/3 cup of Newman’s Own Organic Italian Dressing (C)
• 5 sausages- I usually use Aidells organic sausage from Costco since it has no added sugar, nitrates, or dairy. (C)
• Salt and pepper to taste (you may not need salt if your sausage and canned tomatoes are salty)
1. Cut the garlic, peppers and onions, place in bag
2. Pour tomatoes into the bag and add Italian dressing,
3. Cut the sausage into bite-sized chunks and add to bag
4. Add salt and pepper
5. Freeze flat. To cook, just dump everything into the crock pot, no need to thaw first. Cook on low for 7 hours. Since I am the only meat eater in the house, I thaw in the fridge and cook smaller portions as I need them. The whole bag will be dinner/lunch/dinner/lunch for me.
6. If not paleo, serve over rice or in a GF bread roll. If Paleo, serve over zucchini/veggie pasta, cauliflower rice, or just eat in a big bowl (which I just did)
Costco packages come as 3 packages of 5 sausages, so I usually make 3 bags of this when I get the sausages so I don’t waste anything.

Sauce (in separate bag) Make 2 bags (1 for meatballs, 1 for chicken)
• 2-4 cloves garlic, minced (C)
• 1 pepper cut into small chunks(C)
• 1 medium onion cut into small chunks(C)
• 1 cup of pineapple chunks drained(C)
• 1/4 cup Organic chicken stock(C)
• ¼ cup Sesame teriyaki sauce
• You can sub fish sauce/coconut aminos/honey mixture to taste if you are strict paleo
Meatballs (in separate bag) This usually makes around 1 1/2 gallon bags
• 2 eggs(C)
• ½ onion diced small(C)
• 2 cloves garlic, minced (C)
• ¼ cup of almond flour (omit if allergic to nuts) (C)
• Spices- oregano, salt, basil, etc.
• 1 ½ lbs of ground beef or buffalo (grass fed) (C)
Chicken- do not freeze, add at cooking time
• 2 chicken breasts cut into strips (fresh, not frozen)

1. Make sure oven is still on from Sweet potatoes- turn down to 350
2. Whisk eggs in large bowl. Add onion, garlic, almond flour and spices. Add ground beef and mix thoroughly.
3. Scoop big spoonful of mixture, roll into ball and add to parchment papered baking sheet
4. Fill baking sheet, place in oven and bake for 20 minutes until browned
5. I recommend keeping the veggies and meatballs separate. This means you can be more versatile with your meatballs without committing to a sauce and the meatballs also don’t get mushy. You can make Meatball subs and Teriyaki meatballs!
6. Let meatballs cool and then freeze meatballs in bag flat. Freeze veggies flat.
7. When ready to cook, thaw both bags in the fridge overnight. Empty contents into crock-pot and cook on low 4 hours. If you would like more liquid, add ¼ cup of broth.
8. For chicken, place veggie mix in crockpot for 4 hours on low or 2 on high. Cook chicken strips in skillet until no longer pink, add to crockpot, stir, and cook for 10-15 more minutes. Check after 10 minutes.
9. You can serve over rice or cauliflower rice (Paleo)

• 1 medium onion chunked (small)
• 3 boneless chicken breasts or 4 drumsticks(C)
• 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
• 1/8 – ¼ cup maple syrup(C) (depending on your tastes)
• 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (C)
• Salt & Pepper (optional)
1. Place onion in bag.
2. Mix sauce starting with ¼ cup mustard, 1/8 cup maple syrup and 2 Tbsps on balsamic vinegar. Add more based on your taste.
3. Place chicken in bag, add sauce, mix and close
4. When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge overnight.
5. Cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or HIGH for 3 hours.
6. Last 20 minutes of cooking I sometimes add zucchini and fresh tomatoes, sometimes I don’t… At this time, pull the chicken out, let it cool and take the meat off the bones. Return to the cooker. I use drumsticks sometimes instead of breasts to save money, but make sure to pull out all the bones and bone parts!
7. I usually massage kale with olive oil, place in a big bowl and then add the chicken and veggies. Or I heat and make a sammy with the end pieces of our GF bread since the boys won’t eat the ends…

• 1 medium onion sliced into small chunks(C)
• 2 Garlic cloves minced(C)
• 1/3 cup lemon juice(C)
• 1/3 cup Italian dressing(C)
• ½ cup chicken broth(C)
• 3 Chicken Breasts or 4 drumsticks(C)
• salt and pepper
1. Place veggies in bag
2. Combine broth, lemon juice, and Italian dressing, add to bag
3. Add chicken to bag
4. Freeze flat. Defrost in fridge. When ready, dump into crock pot and cook on low for 5-6 hours. If possible, try to arrange the chicken on top of the onions. Make sure the sauce coats everything, if not, you can add more broth. I like cutting up a lemon and adding it to the top of the mix, make sure to remove seeds and remove lemon slices before eating.
5. When done, remove chicken (and lemon slices); let chicken cool until easy to handle; remove meat from bone, shred, and place back into crock with broth and onions.

• 1 medium onion, sliced into small chunks(C)
• 3 carrots, chopped(C)
• 3 stalks celery chopped (C)
• 1 cups of water
• 3 cups of chicken broth (C)
• 1 tsp salt
• 1/4 tsp pepper
• 4 chicken drumsticks or 3 breasts (C)
• Herbs- rosemary & thyme, basil, salt
1. Veggies bag
2. Liquid in bag
3. Chicken in bag, season and salt
4. Freeze flat, thaw in fridge. When ready cook in crockpot on low for 5 – 6 hours.
5. Remove chicken; let chicken cool until easy to handle; remove meat from bone, shred, and place back into crock.

• 1 medium onion chunked (C)
• 1 bell pepper chunked (C)
• 1-2 carrots, chopped(C)
• 1 sweet potato, peeled and chunked (C)
• 3 quarter sized slices of ginger
• 1 can full fat coconut milk (V)
• Splash of lime juice
• 1 Tbsp red curry paste (or more to taste) (V)
• 1 Tbsp coconut aminos (V)
• 1 tsp Red Boat fish sauce(V)
• Optional 1 cup of chicken broth
• Sometimes I also add 1 cup of pineapple, or 1 medium zucchini
• Frozen shrimp- no need to combine in freezer bag
1. Place veggies in bag
2. Pour coconut milk and solids into a bowl. Add lime juice, red curry paste, coconut aminos, fish sauce and mix well. Pour into bag.
3. Squish to mix and freeze flat
4. When ready to use thaw in fridge. If you feel like you want more liquid, add 1 cup of chicken broth. Cook in crockpot on low for 5-6 hours. Test sweet potatoes at 4 hours. If soft, add the frozen shrimp and stir in. Add the 1 cup of pineapples if you would like. You can also add zucchini at this point. Cook for the 10 minutes more.
5. Remove the ginger slices

Veggie Post coming soon…
Including Casseroles!
Here are the casseroles I make.  They are all Gluten Free and Vegetarian. Spaghetti Pie with TVP, Cream of Mushroom Broccoli/Rice/Chick’n Casserole and Hashbrown Pie.

I make 3 servings of pancakes for quick breakfasts. For the pancakes I use Pamelas All Purpose Baking and Pancake mix, I have found it to be the yummiest mix for pancakes.  Also good for blueberry muffin cobbler (which also freezes well). Maybe I will post that one too. This mix is spenny, but it is the best mix for pancakes.

For the veggie stir fry and the fajitas, I add Beyond Meat’s fake chicken strips.  For the GF burritos I use Udi’s gluten free tortillas. These tortillas are actually roll-able and won’t break or fall apart! I will post recipes soon!

And when I am done prepping, it’s time for a glass of wine!


Hope they turn out okay for you. I love leftovers, so this plan works out for me even though each bag is 4-5 servings. I just eat over 2-3 days and only have to prep once. That way hubs doesn’t have to deal with dead animals all over the kitchen more than once a month.

Happy cooking! And share recipes that work for you! I love having more recipes to draw from!


Once a Month Cooking- or How to be completely predictable in the kitchen


Hubs is a vegetarian.  Can’t eat anything with a face.  NoOne and NoTwo are Pescatarian.  Meaning they eat fish but no red meat.  Their fave food is crab legs.  Me, I’m trying to be Paleo, and my favorite food is bacon.  Or as Hubs like to say, dead pig.  And no gluten comes into this house (unless I sneak it in- I’m the only non-celiac).  


What does this mean?  It means that without pre-planning, dinner can turn into a cluster f*ck of 3-4 different meals, one for each person.  So I have devised my once a month cooking plan.  Not only does it save my sanity, it saves money too!  To be honest, we don’t have the space for a whole month, so it’s really more like twice a month cooking, but that’s really not as catchy of a title…

So, what does twice a month cooking look like for me?

2 dinner casseroles- spaghetti pie and broccoli/rice/chick’n
2 breakfast casseroles- hashbrown pies
3 pancake breakfasts- good for heat and go or breakfast as dinner
7 bags of crockpot meals with meat- these are all for me! 
2 bags of veggie stir fry
1-2 bags of Chick’n fajita blend
2 bags of gf burritos- bean and cheese


Our meal plan looks like this…

M- Rice dish or casserole
T- Taco Tuesday (we go out for this one)
W- Pasta or Spaghetti Pie Casserole
R- Stir Fry
F- Pizza
Sa- Burgers and Fries
Su- Breakfast as Dinner
Breakfasts are usually pancakes, eggs or cereal
Lunches are usually left overs or Almond butter and jelly sammies (NoTwo)

Obviously, some of the OAMC meals are for lunches as well as dinner.  The day before cooking I go to Costco.  

Shopping list
bag of peppers
10 lb bag of sweet potatoes
10 lb bag of carrots
bag of broccoli
bag of sugar snap peas
box of apples
bag o’ avocados
bag of brussel sprouts
package of organic chicken breast
package of frozen organic shrimp
package of nitrite free sausage
package of grass fed beef or bison

If in need…
cans of refried beans
cottage cheese
pasta sauce.

These are the crockpot bags I usually make for myself
Balsamic Mustard Chicken with veggies
Chicken or Shrimp Coconut Curry
Chicken Fajitas
Teriyaki Meatballs
Lemon Garlic chicken
Sausage and peppers
Chicken soup with veggies

Here are the casseroles I make.  They are all Gluten Free and Vegetarian.
Spaghetti Pie
Cream of Mushroom Broccoli/Rice/Chick’n Casserole
Hashbrown Pie

For the pancakes I use Pamelas All Purpose Baking and Pancake mix, I have found it to be the yummiest mix for pancakes.  Also good for blueberry muffin cobbler (which also freezes well).

For the veggie stir fry and the fajitas, I add Beyond Meat’s fake chicken strips.  For the GF burritos I use Udi’s gluten free tortillas. These tortillas are actually roll-able and won’t break or fall apart!

I will post links to the crock pot bags soon.

The Costco trip usually costs around $250.  I only do this once a month.  I do have to supplement with a trip to Sprouts, Lucky’s or Vitamin Cottage probably 3x a month.  Each trip usually costs $100.  I also buy some stuff at Vitacost on a 3 month automatic ship program.  Not all of it is organic, I try to buy it when I can and definitely for the dirty dozen and the meats.  All in all, we spend around $550-$600 on a good/average month.  As a GF family, I think we do a pretty good job being frugal while staying pretty healthy.  The kids usually grumble on Stir Fry Night, but whatever.  If I had to please everyone at dinner every night, then I would be in the kitchen 24/7.  No way. No how.

Let me know if you have any crockpot meals or meal planning tips.  I love learning new tips to stay sane in the kitchen!  I will post links to the crockpot recipes I use as well as follow up with what the prep/process looks like on cooking day.  They are easy, yummy and mostly paleo!


(add teriyaki sauce and celery to the Costco list)

Take this job and shove it…

This was posted on my original blog years ago, then shared on Revolution Mommy this year.  Thought I would repost here since I have no idea how to log in to my original blog…  Technology.  Meh.
Stay at home moms, don’t you sometimes just want to quit.  When the laundry is up to your eyeballs, nobody wants to eat the dinner you’ve slaved over, you are running 15 minutes late to everything and people are rolling their eyes at you as you give them 100 reasons you are late, the dog ate something it wasn’t supposed to and now it is having “issues” and the list goes on and on…

Well too bad.  You can’t.  Because it really isn’t a job.  You don’t even have a job description.  Salary?  Nope, not that either.  Performance evaluation?  Well, unless you consider the word “gross” describing the dinner you made as a performance evaluation, you don’t get one of those either.   You don’t even have a direct supervisor, unless you count your husband (as if!) or your kids (well I do call the older one “the little dictator”).

So yes, I am venting.  I am complaining.  It seems to be something people do about their jobs, so I figured I would join in, even though technically I don’t have a “job”.  But I suppose I do have the same gripes as people who work out in the “real world”.

So let’s break it down…

Common complaints from some one who has a “real job”:

1.  I don’t know what my job entails, am I supposed to process the xxx data or is Joe?
So…  As a stay at home mom, am I supposed to be in charge of the laundry, dishes, cleaning, shopping, dog walking, mail getting, bill paying, etc.  Or am I just supposed to be entertaining, educating and enjoying my wonderful children?  Because I feel like I should be doing all those things and when I don’t I feel overwhelmed and a bit of a failure.  (if I have time I will insert a picture of the pile of laundry sitting next to me)

2.  I never feel appreciated, my boss never even says good job!
Do I even have to explain this one.  I am supposing everyone who is reading this is a SAHM and you totally get this.  I mean, have your kids ever said “thank you mom for doing the laundry so I have clean underwear”?  And I mean without prompting.

3.  To meet this deadline I have to work overtime!  What happened to my weekends?
Weekends…  As a SAHM do we even get these?  There are still dishes, laundry, cleaning, shopping, dog walking, mail getting and bill paying to be done.  (Are those part of my duties, I can’t remember.)  I thought weekends were supposed to be a respite from the drudgery of our work week.  But since my hubby works out of the house all week all he wants to do is hang out at home.  Since I am AT HOME all week all I want to do is GET OUT!!!  So herein lies the rub.  Don’t get me wrong, my husband let’s me (don’t even get me started on the “let’s me” part) have me-time on the weekends while he get to “be me”, which I love.  But when I return, the kids have not been fed, the laundry is not done, the dishes are still dirty, the mail is not fetched, and the house is a mess.  Since at this time he is supposed to “be me”, I am thinking that perhaps the above mentioned tasks are NOT part of my duties and I am once again being a workaholic (a label I got when I too worked in the “real world’).

4.  My salary sucks.
I allow myself $25 a week to spend on me and the kids and $400 to spend on groceries for the whole month.  I know I am cheap, but my salary sucks.  One mom friend posted on FB, “My daughter gets paid $10 an hour to babysit one kid.  I have three kids and I take care of them everyday.  Guess who makes more.”

5.  I have no possibility of promotion.
In nine years I will be promoted to the parent of a teenager.  At this time I am sure to be awarded more attitude and given the bonus of increased requests for material possessions.

6.  That B*^ch in accounting is always taking credit for my work.
I can’t actually take credit for the wonderful things my children accomplish.  They are truly wonderful, shining, funny, sweet, loving handfuls because that is who they were born to be.  But I do like to credit for other things.  Like when K pushes, or does not share.  Or when E throws a tantrum, or was not walking at 18 months.  Or when I found out that K is small because he is celiac and we have been feeding him wheat his whole life.  Or that E can’t sleep in his crib because I am constantly on the go so he is used to sleeping in the car.

Ugh, the list goes on.  And so can I but this post has gotten too long already.  So it has been established that I can’t quit my non-job of SAHM.  And I wouldn’t want to.  Laundry is not difficult, cleaning, although not my forte, is not rocket science, I like walking the dog and being responsible for the family finances.  AND I do enjoy staying home with the kiddos.  I also enjoy owning my own business (Stroller Strides) and having the flexibility to teach prenatal yoga.

So I guess I will stick with it…  I mean who wouldn’t when the job description entails a fuzzy list of duties, long hours, no weekends, no pay, no upward mobility, no sideways mobility, no bonuses, endless repetitive tasks a monkey could do, 100+ kisses a day from messy mouths, huge belly laughs, never ending noise, quiet moments of breathless beauty, countless opportunities to teach, even more opportunities to learn, and the possibility that once again the dog is having “issues”.


Yum! Gluten Free, Grain Free, Primal Fudgy Brownies!


In the PC Days (pre-celiac) when I would bake brownies, I would get Noone (our first born) announcing “Holy Shit, you baked brownies!”, and in a good way. And while I had to tell him we don’t use that language, inside I was pleased because he knew brownies meant love. When he was diagnosed with celiacs at 4yrs old, I knew our days of “Holy Shit Brownies” were over. For the past 5 years I have had to endure “these brownies are gross”. And I was sad. Brownies no longer equaled love. They equaled gluten free grody-ness… Until today! I baked these fudgy brownies from Deliciously Organic and he loved them! Notwo (our second born) liked them too!

Here is what I used, I modified it a little based on the fact I had no tapioca flour…

5 tablespoons ghee
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips)
2/3 cup coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse Celtic sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/3 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons coconut flour
dash of cocoa

Preheat oven to 350 ºF and adjust rack to middle position. Butter an 8-inch glass square pan. Place butter and chocolate in the bowl of a double boiler (or put in a small pan and heat in a larger pan- I ain’t got no double boiler!!!). Melt over low heat. Remove chocolate mixture from heat and whisk in sugar, sea salt, and vanilla extract. Whisk in eggs one at a time. Whisk in almond flour and coconut flour. Let batter sit for 5 minutes (this allows the coconut flour to absorb some of the moisture). Pour batter into the buttered baking dish and smooth into an even layer (I used a coconut oiled skillet). Bake for 30-35 minutes until edges are just pulling away from the sides and middle is still just a touch moist. Cool and then cut into squares. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

It says store up to 3 days. These lasted 1 night. And while I didn’t get a “Holy Shit” from Noone, (that is inappropriate language for a 9 year old) he didn’t have much to say because he was eating brownies. Yay. Brownies again equal love.

Criss Cross will make you jump-jump!

January is done and I have completed my January challenge of 100 miles for the whole month. Most of it was completed in the basement on the elliptical while watching the first two seasons of LOST. I do have to admit I almost fell off the elliptical a few times. Like when Ethan stole Claire, and when Shannon got shot, and every time Jack or Sawyer took off their shirts. But even with the shirtless wonders of Jack and Sawyer, my heart still belongs to Sayid. The only reason I was bummed that Shannon died was because there wouldn’t be any more beach-hut trysts where in my head I could superimpose my head onto Shannon’s body during the scene (grammar police, there really is no good way to write that). Totally looking forward to Season 3… Although Sayid and I have already had a nice steamy Season 3 of our own…

February’s challenge is 12 minutes of jump rope every day. It’s been hard, and it’s definitely not 12 minutes straight. After day 3 I switched it to 1200 jumps a day, which is actually more than 12 minutes but since I spent a good 2 minutes of the 12 huffing and puffing on the floor, I figured it really wasn’t fair to count those, and it would be more fair to count reps. If you are just starting out jumping rope and aren’t a 10 year old, here is a good tutorial from Zuzana. I have mastered the switching feet, backwards jumping and side to side, now I just have to figure out how to do the egg (cross hands in front) without tripping or whipping myself.

Since I felt that the 12 minutes of jump rope, although difficult, left my upper body feeling underused, I decided to add 300 kettle bell swings (26 lbs) a day as well. I started this on Feb 3rd. It WRECKED ME. I got through 4 days of 26 lbs and walking around like a granny. The next day I had to use the 15 pounder. And yes, the first 25 felt like I was going to throw it through the roof, but at least after 200 I could still get it over my head. I think I will alternate light and heavy kettlebells to keep myself a good sore but not hobbled.

Great kettlebell tutorial here and why KB swings rock here.