5 Chicken Freezer Meals

Happy Monday, beautiful! Today I am going to share with you a super simple meal prep that can be done in 30 minutes that yields 5 easy dinners that can be tossed together in a pan or insta pot. These meals are easily prepared with fresh fruits and veggies, steamer rice or even in a delicious spinach wrap. They’re versatile, easy and make dinner time a breeze.

Chicken is the protein of choice in our house so I start with about 3.5-4 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts. That’s about 6 chicken breasts. I dice up my chicken into bite size pieces and distribute evenly to 5 freezer bags. Now, these meals are made for about 2.5 people so if there are more mouths to feed in your house, simply adjust the amount of chicken you need. Once you have the diced chicken divided up into their bags, we can start adding the rest of our ingredients.

The recipes of choice in our house this week are:

  • Honey Mustard Chicken
  • Honey Pepper Chicken
  • Sesame Chicken
  • Southwest Chicken
  • Buffalo Chicken

The nice thing about this meal prep is that there is no chopping up vegetables. I like to keep items like steamer rice, fresh broccoli and greens, spinach wraps and cauliflower rice on hand to pair with these recipes.


Honey Mustard Chicken

  • 2 cups cubed chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp grain mustard
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp cracked pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 sweet onion or chopped green onion (optional)

Put ingredients into freezer bag and shake to incorporate. Release the air, label with the date and contents and freeze. To prepare, thaw and toss contents into a frying pan on medium heat or into your crockpot or insta pot until chicken is well done. Serve with rice and fresh veggies.


Honey Pepper Chicken

  • 2 cups cubed chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • 1/2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cracked pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Put ingredients into freezer bag and shake to incorporate. Release the air, label with the date and contents and freeze. To prepare, thaw and toss contents into a frying pan on medium heat or into your crockpot or insta pot until chicken is well done. Serve with rice and fresh veggies.


Sesame Chicken

  • 2 cups cubed chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • chopped green onion & sesame seeds (optional)

Put ingredients into freezer bag and shake to incorporate. Release the air, label with the date and contents and freeze. To prepare, thaw and toss contents into a frying pan on medium heat or into your crockpot or insta pot until chicken is well done. Serve with rice and steamed broccoli.


Southwest Chicken

  • 2 cups cubed chicken breasts
  • 1/2 can of yellow corn
  • 1/2 can of black beans
  • 4-5 tablespoons of salsa
  • 1/2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put ingredients into freezer bag and shake to incorporate. Release the air, label with the date and contents and freeze. To prepare, thaw and toss contents into a frying pan on medium heat or into your crockpot or insta pot until chicken is well done. Serve over rice, in a tortilla, use as a base for burritos or quesadillas.


Buffalo Chicken

  • 2 cups cubed chicken breasts
  • 1/2 can of yellow corn
  • 1/2 can of black beans
  • 2 tbsp ranch dressing
  • 4 tbsp buffalo sauce (or more if you LOVE buffalo)
  • chopped white onion or green onion (optional)

Put ingredients into freezer bag and shake to incorporate. Release the air, label with the date and contents and freeze. To prepare, thaw and toss contents into a frying pan on medium heat or into your crockpot or insta pot until chicken is well done. Serve as a salad over greens or in a spinach wrap.


 

Full honesty, I eyeball a lot of my ingredients instead of measuring them out. So use what you have, feel free to experiment and enjoy having some easy meals on hand to keep your weeknights simple. Enjoy!

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Simple Korean Beef & Kale

Simple, tasty, recipes that don’t make you feel like garbage are staples in our house. Especially this time of year when we’d much rather spend more time outside than slave away in front of a hot stove. This recipe was inspired by a Pinterest find and was perfected over time after sharing it with family and testing different variations on Juan and Violet. It has less than 10 ingredients and we rarely have leftovers because it’s just that good.

You will need:

1 lb ground beef
3 cups fresh kale- chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp. ground ginger or 2 tsp. fresh ginger
1/2 cup Coconut Aminos or Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
Red Pepper Flakes to taste

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and break it up into small pieces. Continue to cook the meat until a nice crisp starts to form. Add in your minced garlic but be careful not to burn it. You may need to adjust your heat. As your meat is browning, mix together the coconut aminos, ginger, sesame oil, brown sugar and red pepper flakes until the sugar is dissolved. Add your mixture to the meat and stir to incorporate. Add in your fresh kale, stirring occasionally until the kale is wilted and warmed through. Serve over white rice or cauliflower rice & top with green onion for a bright crunch.

Chef’s notes:

  • Even if you are not soy sensitive, I would recommend using coconut aminos to get the perfect blend of flavors.
  • You can add onion to the meat mixture for an additional level of flavor.
  • Take the time to brown your meat until it has nice, crunchy edges- thank me later.

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Chipotle Lime Chicken Salad

This recipe is one of my favorite meal planning hacks and is totally sustainable to whatever ingredients you have in your kitchen. Just a couple super simple ingredients and minimal effort for maximum flavor and it gets better the longer the flavors meld together. It’s perfect to make on a Sunday and eat throughout the week. Put it on a salad, in a wrap or just eat it on it’s own and you will thank yourself for this killer lunch option.

You will need:

Primal Kitchen’s Chipotle Lime Mayo: You can make your own chipotle lime mayo fairly easily but this is an easier hack and will last longer in the fridge than your homemade option. Plus, no cleanup!

Rotisserie Chicken or Two Chicken Breasts, shredded: If using chicken breasts, you can cook them in a crockpot and shred them ahead of time or just chill them before making the rest of the dish. Rotisserie chicken can be shredded easily and depending on your preferences, you can use both white and dark meat for more developed flavors.

Roasted, un-salted cashews: This is a go-to for me but slivered almonds, roasted peanuts, pecans, whatever nuts you’d like to give this recipe a little crunch. If you are nut free, then simply omit this ingredient.

Green Onion: I personally like green onions for this dish because they tend to be a bit more mild when it comes to sharp oniony flavor. But whatever onion you have on hand will be just as good.

Grapes, dried cranberries, raisins, whatever you like: I personally love a good fruit option. Fresh grapes will give this dish a nice crispness, dried fruit will give some sweetness but watch out for added sugars.

Toss it all in a bowl and mix! It’s really is that simple. The best part about this recipe is really no measuring is needed. Use ratios that make sense for your tastes and what you have on hand. Then start with 1-2 spoonfuls of the chipotle lime mayo and mix. Keep adding little by little until you get the creaminess you want. Store it in the fridge and enjoy!

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An easy one pan meal

If you follow my Instagram, you probably saw my favorite one pan meal last week. It’s super easy and makes for an awesome weeknight meal. My husband and I have been super busy at work and we had a sick little boy last week so I prepped this bad boy the night before and popped it in the oven when I got home from work on Thursday and it did not disappoint.

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@oakesmama

I’m pretty loosey-goosey with this “recipe” because it’s one of those meals you make when you need to use up a little bit of this-and-that. Which is pretty often in our house. So here it is!

1 package of whole grain spaghetti or fettucine noodles (doesn’t have to be a full package, I use about half a box or whatever is left)

1 can of low sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons (approx) of olive oil or avocado oil

Minced garlic & fresh herbs (if you don’t have fresh, garlic powder and some italian seasoning or a few dollops of pesto works great)

Salt & Pepper to taste

Whatever you have for fresh veggies (I typically throw in whatever I have left for tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach… feel free to experiment!)

Chicken (I usually reach for chicken breast or maybe you have some leftover chicken you can toss in from earlier in the week. I also like to keep Italian chicken sausage in the freezer which makes for a super easy addition to this meal, just chop it up and toss it in!)

Cheese (this can seriously be any kind of cheese.. I have used fresh mozzarella, provolone, havarti, parmesan and sometimes a combination if I’m trying to use something up)

The process: Put your dry pasta (I like whole grain fettuccine) in a glass 9×13 baking dish. Add your oil, minced garlic, fresh herbs and seasoning. Give it a toss with your hands so you can evenly distribute the oil on the pasta. Toss in your chopped vegetables and give it another little toss. Now you can add your chicken however you like. In my last run of this, I placed one big chicken breast right on top and seasoned it just like my pasta. Next, take your chicken broth and pour it over the whole dish, this is what will cook your pasta to perfection. I then place 4-5 slices of cheese over the dish (shredded works great if you have it but I used sliced havarti last time and sprinkled parmesan over top). Place foil over the top and pop it in the fridge to sit overnight. You don’t have to let it sit overnight but I recommend it if you plan on using fettuccine. When you get home from work, pop this in the oven with the foil on at 375 degrees for about an hour, it just depends on if you are using fully cooked meat or not. If you are, you can pull that bad boy out of the oven as soon as it’s bubbly and the pasta is tender.

 

If you are the type that likes to follow recipes word-for-word, maybe this isn’t the recipe for you.. But if you are like me and often fly by the seat of your pants when it comes to dinner time, give this a try!  Feel free to be creative and incorporate things you know your family likes! My husband loves pesto so this is an easy one to turn into a delicious pesto chicken bake and I never have to boil any pasta!

I hope you try out this fun recipe this week and if you do, please share your masterpiece!

Enjoy

Laura_Signature

 

 

 


Refocusing After Vacation

If you follow either myself or @laurasmithwellness on Instagram, you know that we were on vacation in Mexico during the last part of February. We were fortunate enough to be gifted a family vacation by our parents who took us all down to Playa del Carmen for 8 days, babies and all. This was my first experience with all inclusive and boy did we enjoy it. All you can eat and any cuisine you can imagine, endless chips and guac and all the Bahama Mama’s & Paloma’s you could drink. We thoroughly enjoyed a break from cooking, working & any semblance of a routine.

Flash forward to a good ole’ fashioned Minnesota snow storm welcoming us back to reality. Vacation came to an abrupt halt and it was a bit of a struggle adjusting back to life as we knew it. Vacations are meant to be enjoyed but I came up with some tips to help ease you back to reality and get you back on track with your wellness lifestyle post-vacay.

Drink so much freaking water. 

You’d be amazed at what chugging some good old H2O can do to help clear your system and get you back on track. Kicking up your water intake will help replenish your cells from all that sugar & alcohol you consumed on the beach. Be prepared to pee SO FREAKING MUCH as your body adjusts. Everyone’s intake goals should be specific to them but get yourself a 24 oz water bottle and aim for 3-4 of those a day as a good baseline.

Pack in the veggies. 

You are an adult. Adults eat vegetables. I can’t help but laugh when I meet full grown adults who don’t eat their vegetables. Your body NEEDS these essential vitamins and minerals and you will feel 1000 times better when you consistently fuel your body with what it needs. Especially after a week of endless treats, filling your plate with fiber dense veggies will help you feel satisfied. When you’re satisfied you crave less sugar. It’s a win-win. With that being said, you need to find vegetables that you DO like. If you don’t like broccoli, try cauliflower or asparagus. If bolder flavors are your thing, try munching on some sweet baby peppers. If you can’t stomach raw veggies, toss them in a pan with some ghee or olive oil and garlic. Trust me. Eat. Your. Veggies.

Cut out the sugar. 

I know this one is easier said than done but your body responds to what you fuel it with. If you pack your body full of sugar, it will continue to crave sugar. So by cutting it out- just for a few days- you are giving yourself the opportunity to break that addiction and help you kick the cravings. Be mindful of the hidden sources of sugars like pressed juices, fresh fruit, and yogurts. You may feel like you’re making a better choice but these often have just as much sugar as a can of pop or candy bar.

Ease your way back into your fitness routine. 

While on vacation, we walked a lot but it was not the typical 30-40 minutes of heart pumping work that I was used to. That meant that even in a week, my conditioning was lessened. Do not sabotage yourself by going full boar into an intense cardio session, feel out of shape and then give up. Plan 3-5 workouts for your week, listen to your body and modify if necessary. Easing into your routine will help your body adjust and give you the energy boost you need to keep going.

Be kind  

Do not waste time feeling guilty about the foods and drinks you consumed a week ago. Vacation is supposed to be fun and that includes treats and foods you don’t typically reach for on a weekly basis. I want to challenge you to stop thinking about foods as “good” and “bad”. Instead think about how you want to feel and what foods will get you there. Be kind to yourself as you ease back into your routine and focus on one decision at a time to get you there.

Oh, and start planning your next vacation now.

Cheers

Emily_Signature


Hi, I’m Laura.

Hi, I’m Laura. I’m the younger sister in this duo. I’m a creator but the kind that sits behind a computer and makes things pretty. Im not very public by nature, but very much enjoy connecting and collaborating with other people. I’m so glad you’re here!

I’m a mom, a wife, a graphic designer, a coffee guzzler, cheese lover. For years I have designed for others, branded businesses, created logos. I love what I do! But I have always aspired for more outside of my career. I think my sister Emily and I share that.

For years we have dreamt up big ideas together and collaborated in all aspects of our lives. From the beauty products we use, recipes we’ve tried, to raising our babies, we are constantly trying new things and learning from each other.

And that’s how we came up with the idea to start a blog. “Wellness” holds a different definition for everyone. It’s what works for you and makes you feel good. So were here to share what makes us feel good and we hope you will stop by every once and a while and find something pretty or useful to use in your everyday life.

xoxo

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