Lots of make-ahead meals this week!

Yesterday, I had a glorious morning of nothing. It was great. Nowhere to be. Nothing that I had to do. Those days are few and far between so I enjoy every last second. I stayed in my jammies, curled up in my bed, surrounded by my new cookbooks with kid #1 and planned out the meals for this week. It was so amazing to see her excitement and willingness to help. Meal planning is so much more fun when you have company and help. So what did we decide on? Check it out:

Monday – Twice Baked Stuffed Butternut Squash

This one is from the Paleo Kitchen cookbook and looks easy and delicious. Mondays can be kind of crazy in our house so I like to pick out easy meals or meals I can prep in advance. Here’s what you do:

Ingredients:

One butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 apple, cored and diced

1 lb. ground pork

2 Tbsp. dried parsley

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. blanched almond flour

In 400 degree oven, bake squash cut side down on baking sheet for 30 minutes. Make sure to use parchment to prevent sticking. Let cool.

In saute pan, heat oil. Add onion and apple and cook until onion is translucent. Add pork and spices and cook until pork is cooked through, breaking up pork as you cook.

Remove seeds from cooled squash and scoop out flesh. Mash it up and mix into to pork mixture. Add mixture back into squash halves and sprinkle with almond flour. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  YUM!

TUESDAY – Carne Asada, Mashed Plantains, and Green Beans

Another simple night here. Those mashed plantains sound heavenly.  The Carne Asada is from the Paleo Kitchen cookbook too. Here’s how to do the carne asada:

2 lb. flank or skirt steak

salt/pepper

4 cloves minced garlic

1/2 red onion, minced

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 large handful cilantro, chopped fine

juice of one each: Lemon, Lime, Orange

1/2 c. olive oil

Combine everything but steak in a bowl and combine. Pour over the steak and let marinate in fridge for up to 48 hours. Then grill 2-3 minutes on each side. Let rest for a few minutes, then slice and enjoy!

Wednesday: Ginger Chicken, Duchess Sweet Potatoes, & Steamed Broccoli

I’ve made this chicken before and the flavor is amazing. And my barbaric kids love eating chicken off the bone. I think they are taking this “eating like a caveman” thing a little far. Savages!

The sweet potatoes are from the Paleo Eats cookbook. I never used to like sweet potatoes and I’m not sure why it took me so long to change my mind. What’s not to like about sweet starchy goodness? Now, they are a major staple in our house. These sweet potatoes look too fun. And I love any recipe that involves “piping” things. Here’s how to make them:

2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

1 can full fat coconut milk, chilled overnight

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

2 large egg yolks

1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

Put sweet potatoes in a pot, filled with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer until potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes. Drain and cool.

Scoop the coconut cream solids off the top of the coconut milk and add to the potatoes. Save the water underneath for something else. Add spices, egg yolks and oil and mash everything up together until smooth. Put mixture in a piping bag and pipe onto parchment covered baking sheets in pretty little 2-inch mountains. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

Thursday – Rosemary Sun-dried Tomato Meatballs, Crockpot Spaghetti Squash, Rosemary Garlic Biscuits

This is the meal that kid #1 picked out to make herself this week. I’m pretty excited about this! The meatballs are from The Paleo Kitchen and the biscuits are from Every Last Crumb. Here we go:

Meatball Ingredients

2 lbs. ground beef

1 cup sundried tomatoes, minced

1 red onion, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

2 eggs

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

2 teaspoons each, sea salt and ground black pepper

1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce

Mix all ingredients except tomato sauce together and form into meatballs. Place in slow cooker and cover with the tomato sauce. Cook on low 8 hours.

The biscuits…

Because baking requires more precise measuring, Brittney suggests measuring with a kitchen scale, instead of measuring cups. I will add both measurements.

119 grams blanched almond flour (about 3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp.)

106 grams tapioca starch (about 3/4 cup, plus 2 tsp.), plus more for work surface

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. xanthan gum or guar gum (got mine at Whole Foods)

1 tsp. dried ground rosemary

1 tsp. garlic powder

112 grams (1/2 cup) semi-chilled salted grass-fed butter

2 Tbsp. hot water

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Whisk all dry ingredients together. Cut in butter with a pastry blender. Add water and vinegar and mix gently. On parchment dusted with tapioca, shape dough into circle. Use biscuit cutter to cut out biscuits. Baked at 350 degrees on parchment lined baking sheet for 18 minutes. Enjoy!

Friday – Chicken Pot Pie

Another easy, end of week meal that I can throw together the night before. Sounds good to me!

Ok, I think that’s a wrap for this week. Have a good one…

UPDATE:

Monday – Stuffed butternut squash was AMAZING. And super easy. I made it on Sunday night and just had to throw it in the oven to warm it up on Monday. Definitely making this again.

Tuesday – Carne Asada was good. Not my favorite steak marinade but still tasty. Mixed reviews on the mashed plantains. I wasn’t a huge fan but hubs liked them a lot!

Wednesday – Ginger chicken is a winner. Makes great cold leftovers in the kids’ lunches. Sweet potatoes were so delicious. And pretty!? Definitely making both again. We ended up having this on Sunday instead of Wednesday.

Thursday – Kid #1’s meatballs were awesome with spaghetti squash. So proud of her! A touch on the spicy side for the kids but hubs and I loved them. Next time, I might cut down on the jalapeno for the kids. And crockpot spaghetti squash might be the easiest thing I’ve even cooked. Both kids loved that.

Friday – We ended up having pot pie on Wednesday because we ate Wednesday’s meal on Sunday. Schedules change…we roll with it. This recipe was good but next time I might try tapioca starch or arrowroot in place of the coconut flour to thicken the gravy. I feel like the coconut flour gave it a little grittier texture. Still delicious but strange mouth feel.

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