As lazy summer days come to a close and back-to-school season begins, to-do lists start overflowing and schedules become packed fast. Now is the time to prep and plan easy, quick, healthy snacks and meals for your family as kids begin another busy school year. Speaking as a teacher-turned-mom, I have learned that freezer meals, large batch snacks, and dinners cooked in the crockpot all day are sure to provide your family with the nutrients needed to make it through the summer-to-school year transition.
These mini breakfast burritos are so easy to make and even easier to prep and eat on a hectic school morning! Prepare a big batch of these burritos on Sunday night and you will be thanking yourself for all the help the first few weeks of morning drop offs.
- 6 large eggs
- 1/2 lb. mild breakfast sausage
- 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 large russet potato skinned and diced OR half a small bag (~8 oz) of microwaveable hash browns
- 1- 20 ct. fajita sized flour tortillas
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Scramble eggs until fully cooked through then put into a large mixing bowl to cool.
- Cook breakfast sausage – breaking apart with spatula. Put in same bowl as eggs and mix together – setting aside to cool again.
- Potatoes: you can either skin and dice a russet potato to boil/cook through on the stove or you can get a bag of microwaveable hash browns and use that as your potato component. Again, add to mixing bowl and let cool.
- Once all of your warm ingredients have completely cooled add shredded cheese.
- Put one heaping spoonful into the middle of a tortilla and roll up like a burrito.
- Wrap each burrito in foil and freeze (can be frozen for 6-8 weeks).
- To reheat – remove foil completely, wrap desired amount of burritos in a damp paper towel and microwave in 30 second increments until desired temperature is reached.
Banana bread with a little extra protein can kickstart a morning or be the perfect post-school bite. Pair a slice of bread or halve a muffin and spread 2 tablespoons of peanut butter on top for an energy packed snack!
- 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 c. rolled oats
- 1/2 c. mix-ins of your choosing (e.g. chocolate chips, nuts, etc.)
- pinch of salt
- 5 tsp. cinnamon
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 large egg and 1 large egg white lightly beaten
- 1 c. mashed bananas (2 medium bananas)
- 1 container of plain greek yogurt
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- Mash bananas using a fork or a potato masher – you want to make sure that there are as few chunks as possible and that it is relatively smooth.
- Add in your liquid ingredients: coconut oil, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla and whisk together with bananas.
- Once all liquid ingredients are completely combined whisk in sugar.
- Once sugar is completely combined whisk in salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.
- After the previous dry ingredients are completely combined whisk in flour 1/4 of a cup at a time.
- Fold in oats and chocolate chips into batter with a spatula.
- Spoon batter into a lined muffin tin or loaf pan.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Muffin cook time: 30 minutes
- Bread loaf cook time: 1 hour – 1 hour 10 minutes
It can be hard to sneak in veggies, especially into snack time when processed foods and quick fix meals seem to satiate every afternoon craving. This recipe is another easy-to-freeze big batch snack that can be made weeks in advance and make the start of the school year a much smoother transition.
- 2 cans of crescent roll dough
- 1- 8oz. package of Greek Cream Cheese (or half of a 10oz. greek yogurt combined with half an 8oz. package of cream cheese)
- 2-3 tbsp. of chopped fresh basil
- 1 tbsp. of chopped fresh garlic
- 1 c. fresh baby spinach
- 1/4 c. grated parmesan
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 F* and roll out crescent roll dough on a lightly floured surface. Pinch together the perforation for the crescent rolls making it one large sheet of dough.
- Soften the Greek Cream Cheese in the microwave until easily mixed with a spoon (about thirty seconds to one minute).
- Fold chopped basil, garlic, parmesan, and salt and pepper to Greek Cream Cheese until evenly distributed throughout the entire mixture.
- Spread a thin layer of your cream cheese mixture onto your crescent roll dough using the back of a spoon or small spatula.
- Lay baby spinach leaves in a layer on top of the cream cheese.
- Roll up your crescent roll dough, cream cheese, and spinach.
- Cut your crescent roll log into 1/4 inch – 1/2 inch slices and lay flat on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 11-13 minutes in the oven and let cool before eating.
This recipe is a fan favorite at our house. Not only is it easily prepped and prepared (the slow cooker does all the work!) but it makes the best leftovers. This is another recipe that packs a ton of veggies as well as extra protein provided by the quinoa.
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 1/2 c. uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 1 - 15 oz. can of fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 c. frozen corn
- 1 - 15 oz. can of black beans – drained and rinsed
- 2 chopped garlic cloves
- 1 chopped medium yellow onion
- 1 chopped green bell pepper
- 1 c. water
- 1 - 16 oz. jar of mild salsa
- 2 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tbsp. cumin
- 1 1/2 c. Mexican Cheese blend divided (1 cup will be mixed in and leaving 1/2 cup for topping later)
- 1/4 c. chopped cilantro for garnish
- Brown ground beef in a skillet until completely cooked through. Add to slow cooker.
- Add the following ingredients to the slow cooker: quinoa, fire roasted tomatoes, frozen corn, black beans, garlic, yellow onion, green bell pepper, water, and salsa. Stir until completely combined.
- Add spices: chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper to taste – mix once again until well combined.
- Add 1 cup of Mexican Cheese blend and mix until completely combined.
- Put lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 3 hours until liquid is absorbed.
- Then stir casserole one more time to ensure there’s no liquid on the bottom of the slow cooker and to fluff the quinoa. Top with remaining cheese and put lid back on slow cooker for about 10 minutes or until ready to serve.
- Plate by topping with cilantro for garnish.
- This casserole can be eaten by itself or served with tortilla chips for dipping. It’s also really great the next day spread over a corn tortilla and cooked as a quesadilla!
In my opinion, the best recipes are easy, fast, healthy, and reduce the amount of food waste in my refrigerator. This recipe is easily customizable to the produce you have in your fridge and comes together in a snap.
- 2 c. cooked brown rice
- 2 eggs
- 1 chopped red bell pepper
- 1 chopped medium zucchini
- 1 chopped small red onion
- 1 - 16 oz. can of chickpeas
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- dash of sesame seed oil
- Cook rice according to directions on the box.
- Lightly coat bottom of skillet with oil and toss cooked rice for 1-2 minutes
- Add in chopped zucchini, onion, red bell pepper and toss until cooked through.
- Crack two eggs into rice and break apart while continuing to toss mixture in the pan.
- Add your sesame seed oil in last. Tossing mixture around in it for 1-2 minutes. Season to taste.
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Joanna Martin writes the popular Café du Martin blog about food, faith, and family in North Texas. She lives in Richardson with her husband, two daughters Madeline (3) and Genevieve (1), and a dog, Kaylee.