Let’s get ready for the week!

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So no freezer cooking this weekend.  I spent the weekend with my mom, celebrating my birthday at a quilt class.  I stopped at a fabulous kitchen store- Sur La Table, and found some great little toys.  I came home with what I am going to call a hot pocket/pop tart maker, an egg ring for making breakfast bagel sandwiches, and a dolphin cookie cutter.  My 4-year-old loves picking out cookie cutters when we go there, and this time he chose what he thought was a fish.  No one tell him it’s technically a dolphin!  I had a great time, but the week is upon me, and I’m wondering what I am going to do.  No fear, I had a few extra meals in the freezer, so we’ll make it to the end of the week.  I am however all ready for my big cook this weekend!

The menu is set.  The groceries are bought.  The kitchen will be cleaned and the kids will be busy with dad.  I’m sure my ‘helper’ will come in to help throughout the day.  What’s on the menu you ask?  Several healthy and creative meals!  I’ve taken some of the meals from the diet, traditional, and whole foods menus on Once a Month Mom.  I liked a little of each, so there we have it.  Of course there are several favorites on our menu this month, including pizza, BBQ chicken baked potatoes, quesadillas, muffins, poptarts, and various smoothies. 

Tonight I pulled out dinners for the next couple of nights, and started making some smoothies and BBQ Chicken Baked Potatoes.  I love these potatoes because they are so filling.  And when you buy your potatoes at Costco, then you have a meal in itself.  The recipe couldn’t be easier.  Bake your potatoes.  While they are cooking, you can get the mixture ready.  Use cooked cubed chicken, or in this case a can of chick (drained well), and mix with your favorite BBQ sauce.  I had a coupon for Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce today, so that’s what I will be using.  Mix in a small handful of cheddar cheese.  Once the potatoes are baked and cooled slightly, remove the filling and mix with the BBQ chicken.  Carefully spoon the potato chicken mixture back into the potatoes.  Top with cheese.  To freeze, wrap in plastic wrap and then foil.  Put all the potatoes in one bag and freeze.  I usually pull these out the night before and let them start to defrost in my fridge the night before.  They will continue to defrost during the morning before lunch.  Simply reheat in the microwave and enjoy!

I love smoothies for breakfast, and while they are simple enough to make, I truly hate making them when I am trying to get out the door in the morning.  I usually just combine frozen fruit, yogurt, juice, or milk, and some fresh fruit.  Make a blender full, pour individual serving sizes into quart freezer bags.  Take one out in the morning to defrost while you are getting ready, and presto- a healthy breakfast on the go.  Tonight I was inspired by the Dark Chocolate and Strawberry smoothies on the Once A Month Mom website.  I used vanilla almond milk, though you can use whatever milk you want, a mixture of frozen berries (the last bits of several bags in the freezer) and some dark chocolate chips.  All I can say is OMG!!  This smoothie is not only healthy (8 WW points plus, 290 calories, 38 sugar, 6 fiber, 11 fat), but delicious!!  It’s a bummer that I have to wait until the morning for breakfast to come! 

Have a wonderful week everyone.  Get your menus together and your ingredients ready so you can cook your way to an organized month.

The original posting for the BBQ potatoes: http://www.cookingwithmykid.com/recipes/ 1

The original posting for the smoothies: http://greenlitebites.com/2011/02/14/dar 1

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