Tag: cooking

Vegetable Feta Quinoa Salad

This is one of my favorite recipes. My mom actually introduced me to quinoa and making salads with it AND I am forever grateful for this. I have made this salad with lots of combinations. Pick your favorite vegetables, about 2 cups and add it to this salad. My current favorite combination is broccoli, bell pepper, and red onion. I like to use feta but you can also use mozzarella or parmesan if desired.

First gather your salad ingredients

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Then combine ingredients and mix your dressing together (olive oil and spices).

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Toss ingredients together and enjoy!

Plated Quinoa Salad

Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups romaine, baby spinach, or mixed greens
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • ¼ cup red or white onion
  • ½ cup feta
  • 2.5 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp basil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder

Instructions:

  1. Combine the greens with quinoa, bell pepper, broccoli, onion and feta.
  2. In a separate small dish, mix the olive oil, oregano, basil, salt and garlic powder until well combined.
  3. Toss salad with dressing and then enjoy!

Sound good? Have quinoa in a salad before or looking forward to trying it? Let me know, would love to hear from you! Comment below!

Happy cooking! ❤ Hope

Look me up on instagram and Facebook as nonstopmomlife

 

Meal Planning Made Simple

Hey there.

I’m Hope. I love to cook DELICIOUS food and spend time crafting, exploring the outdoors, taking pictures, and enjoying time with friends and family. Check out the rest of the blog to navigate through easy and healthy recipes, along with motherhood  and parenting content.

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So, topic today is MEAL PLANNING. Ugh. I know, sounds boring.

BUT, it doesn’t have to BE and it does not have to be hard. It is a game changer with helping organize meals for the week so you don’t get in the rut of staring at the pantry or in the refrigerator, hoping something pops out.

I use a few easy tricks to plan meals and I wanted to share them with you.

Let’s get to it.

  1. Designate one day a week to consistently plan meals/grocery lists. When you get in the habit of planning meals once weekly, it becomes second nature. I usually spend 10-20 minutes planning the meals and making a grocery list on Saturday and then grocery shop on Sunday. Easy peasy.
  2. Plan 5-6 meals to make for dinners for the week and options for lunches
    • I personally prefer to have 5 weekday dinners set but not necessarily the day, depending on what we are craving that day.
    • I’ve learned to plan for what we typically eat, just so we don’t waste produce. For us, I plan on having enough for lunches and 5-6 dinners and extra frozen food in case we stay in, but we like to have flexibility if we eat with friends or family or go out to eat.
    • I usually cook a big meal on Sunday afternoon or evening, which always has left overs to start the week with. I also typically also try to make extra roasted vegetables or have vegetables ready for salads and a big pot of lentils, quinoa or pasta that can be thrown together for a quick meal or eaten as lunch.

I keep the meals varied – every week I try to include one of these types of dishes:

  1. One night I’ll make a Mexican dish – tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, nachos, or quesadillas
  2. One night I’ll make an Italian dish – vegetarian lasagna, linguine with vegetables, spaghetti, chicken parmesan, baked pasta, fetticini alfredo
  3. One night I’ll make an easy chicken dish – oven baked chicken, breaded chicken, barbeque chicken, chicken wings etc
  4. One night I’ll make a not otherwise categorized dish that are just our favorite random dishes– loaded baked potato bar, grilled salmon, salad bar, some type of sandwich (turkey burgers/ veggies burgers/ grilled cheese etc) a tasty ethnic dish (pad thai, ramen, sushi etc) or a second Mexican or Italian dish if we are craving that and I have the supplies.
  5. Homemade pizza or frozen pizza (yes, frozen pizza is a GREAT go to after a long day at work and I have NO shame admitting that! I like California pizza kitchen, Newman’s own, and also the simple truth brand of pizzas). It is also so quick to use fast rising yeast or pizza yeast and make from scratch, layer with sauce, mozzarella and your favorite toppings.
  6. During the fall and winter, I do soup usually once a week as well but not as often in the summer

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If you haven’t already, I suggest investing in a good amount of glass or microwave safe containers and locate their lids for easy food prep. It makes all the difference!

Pyrex Simply Store Glass Rectangular and Round Food Container Set (18-Piece, BPA-free)

I hope these tips come in handy. What helps you guys meal plan? Any tricks you guys use?  Note: The link above is an affiliate link to Amazon.

 

 

As always, happy cooking! ❤ Hope Look me up on instagram and facebook —-> nonstopmomlife

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Easy Seasoned Quinoa

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Fluffy, tasty and versatile quinoa at your service. It can be part of a main dish, served as a delicious side, on salad, in wraps, in stuffed peppers or lots of other ways! It not only tastes great, it is so nutritious. Quinoa is a healthy carbohydrate AND complete protein which provides all your amino acids and keeps you full! Read on, get your quinoa ON.

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Full recipe below  > > > > > >

Easy Seasoned Quinoa

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Rinse quinoa in a strainer.
  2. Combine 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water in a medium saucepan
  3. Cover and bring to boil, then reduce to simmer for about 15-20 minutes until all water is absorbed, stirring every 4-5 minutes to prevent quinoa from sticking to bottom of pan.
  4. After water is absorbed, remove from heat and keep covered for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add olive oil, oregano, basil, and salt.
  6. Fluff, serve and enjoy!

Note: If you would like to make plain quinoa for a specific recipe, follow steps 1-4 only 🙂

Happy Cooking! Let me know what you think. Plan to make it soon?

❤ Hope

Look me up on Facebook and instagram @ nonstopmomlife

 

 

 

Tasty Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

You know that brisket type pulled pork that makes your mouth instantly water. That’s what we have here. A delicious pulled pork that you can have on sandwiches, on salad, with nachos, in a wrap or whatever your heart and appetite desires.

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First get those ingredients ready

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One onion chopped, spices, minced garlic, and orange (or apple) juice

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Of course the pork, the shoulder is the best piece for pulled pork. I usually use two 2-2.5 lb cuts.

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Layer ingredients in crock pot with onions, garlic, and orange juice on the bottom.

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Cover, let it cook about 8 hrs and then shred and enjoy!

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Serve with your favorite sauce for an extra kick of tang, sweet, or smokey flavor!

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Tasty Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 lbs pork shoulder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 ½ tsp minced garlic or 5 garlic cloves minced
  • ¼ cup apple or orange juice

Instructions:

  1. Trim large pieces of fat off of pork pieces
  2. Add minced garlic, orange (or apple) juice, and chopped onion to a crock pot.
  3. Mix all spices together besides garlic.
  4. Pat the spices on the pork, top and bottom, and then place pieces on top of the onion mixture in crock pot
  5. Cook on low for at least 8 hrs. Remove from crock pot to a cutting board or plate and shred with a fork. If desired, feel free add your favorite barbequece sauce!

Note: You can discard the remaining liquid after cooking or strain remaining liquid discarding the onions and fat, then add back to pork! I typically use about 1 cup of strained liquid for extra flavor and moisture 🙂

Happy Cooking!

❤ Hope

Look me up on Facebook and instagram @ nonstopmomlife

 

Easy and Quick Oven Baked Chicken

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It is SO nice to have cooked chicken breast for a quick meal with sides, on salad, for a sandwich, to use in another recipe, for tacos, quesadillas, with pasta, in a wrap, or another way. I could go for a while : ) . This chicken is not only fast to make, it is delicious with lots of flavor from seasonings and is versatile.

What you’ll need

Chicken breast, spices (I used oregano, basil, garlic powder, paprika, sea salt, and black pepper), and olive oil

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First get those spices measured and mixed up

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Coat the chicken with olive oil and then seasoning. Then pop on a parchment lined sheet and bake!

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Bake until internal temp is 165 degrees.

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Pair with sides and dinner is ready!  It is that easy and great! Read on for details ❤

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FULL RECIPE BELOW   < < < < < < <

Easy and Quick Oven Baked Chicken

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Chicken breasts
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp basil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

Instructions;

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Mix spices together in small dish
  3. Apply olive oil to chicken breast, then add spices, coating top and bottom evenly
  4. Place seasoned chicken breasts on a parchment paper lined baking sheet
  5. Cook for 21 – 27 minutes, with small pieces of chicken cooking faster and larger pieces taking longer. I use a digital meat thermometer to make sure the chicken is 165 before I allow it cool.
  6. Pair with your favorite sides.

Note: If I know I am making this chicken for dinner, I sometimes double this recipe so I have extra for cooking with and leftovers later in the week for other quick meals.

Happy cooking!

❤ Hope

Look me up on instagram at Nonstopmomlife

Oven Baked Nachos

Who doesn’t love a quick and easy weeknight or weekend dinner recipe that EVERYONE will like?! Give yourself 10 minute to preheat the oven while you get the ingredients ready to go, 8-10 minutes in the oven and dinner is ready. REALLY. 🙂

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Let’s get started

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Ingredients needed are your favorite tortilla chips, bell pepper (any color), and a can of pinto/black beans.  Feel free use garnish like cilantro, salsa, avocado, or sour cream if desired! You can always add shredded chicken or another protein on top as well!

First layer the main ingredients: Chips, beans, chopped bell pepper, and cheese on parchment paper

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Bake until cheese is perfectly gooey but not burnt

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Garnish and enjoy!

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FULL RECIPE BELOW

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Oven Baked Nachos

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag tortilla chips
  • 1 bell pepper, I prefer red, yellow or orange (chopped)
  • 1 can pinto or black beans, rinsed or drained
  • 2 cups Mexican cheese blend
  • optional garnishes: cilantro, salsa, avocado, sour cream

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. While the oven is preheating, wash and chop a bell pepper, rinse and drain the beans and get the cheese ready to layer.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  4. Make an even layer of tortilla chips on the pan (You might not use a whole bag)
  5. Layer beans, bell pepper and cheese on top
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and starting to brown, keep an eye on them while baking.
  7. Remove from oven, garnish with cilantro, salsa, avocado or sour cream and enjoy!

Let me know what you think!

❤ Hope

Look me up on instagram @ nonstopmomlife

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Chicken Enchilada Bake

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My husband requests this often. It is that good. A quick, easy take on chicken enchiladas baked in the oven in layers.  This is my take on it, I’ve seen other recipes use refried beans but I love using whole black beans and frozen corn, which bakes in the oven and goes so well with the dish. You can make it vegetarian by omitting the chicken if desired.  My mouth is watering just typing about this recipe. Let’s get started.

1.Get your ingredients ready

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2. Place sauce to bottom of pan, then place two tortilla pieces on top,

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3. Layer tortilla pieces to the sides

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4. And then the other side to form one solid layer of tortilla.

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5.  Layer with 1/2 half cup of frozen corn and 1 cup of black beans (1/2 can)DSCF1681

6. Layer with chicken, cheese and 1/3 cup enchilada sauce

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7. REPEAT to make another entire layer of tortilla, corn/beans, chicken/cheese and sauce.

8. Final layer is tortillas, enchilada sauce and then cheese

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9. Cover with foil, made to a point to prevent the cheese from sticking to the foil

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10. Bake for 30 minutes while covered with foil, remove foil and then bake for 5 more minutes. I always put the baking dish on a cookie sheet to catch anything as it bakes.

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FULL RECIPE BELOW > > > >

Chicken Enchilada Bake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can black beans (15 0z) rinsed and drained
  • 1 can enchilada sauce (I like the red mild best but the green is great too)
  • 2 cooked medium chicken breasts, shredded or diced
  • 2 cups Mexican cheese
  • 6 Tortillas (small or large) – each cut in half
  • Optional to use for garnish: Cilantro, sour cream, avocado, salsa

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Using a square 9X9 pan, first place several spoonfuls of enchilada sauces to the bottom (6-8spoonfuls).
  3. Arrange tortillas (4 of the ½ pieces) overlapping to form a layer.
  4. Place ½ can of black beans (about 1 cup) and ½ cup frozen corn on top of tortillas.
  5. Arrange ½ of cooked shredded chicken and 1/2 cup cheese, followed by 1/3 cup enchilada sauce.
  6. Repeat layer 3,4, and 5  (So you have an additional tortilla layer, corn/bean, chicken/cheese and sauce layer).
  7. Last layer will be the last of the tortillas, rest of the enchilada sauce, and 1 cup of cheese.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes with foil made to a peak on a baking sheet.
  9. Remove foil and back for an additional 5-10 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven, let sit for 10 minutes, cut into pieces, garnish with cilantro, sour cream, or avocado if desired and enjoy!

Let me know what you think! Do you plan to make it? Did you make it?

❤ Hope

Look me up on instagram @ nonstopmomlife

Happy cooking ❤