lunch box favorites :: 1

lunchbox favorites

if i don’t plan ahead, i usually eat out for lunch. mostly, i tend to justify it because eating out gets me away from work as it’s hard not to get interrupted and taken away from my lunchtime if i stay onsite.

if i’m smart, i have my lunch packed and i eat it in the car. it doesn’t cost any extra and i can listen to npr, jot down notes or just relax in the slightly warmer than outside temperature of the car.

one of my favorite ways to cook is with a crockpot. over this past year, i feel i’ve found a bunch of really good crockpot recipes, either through pinterest or

when i saw this recipe for crockpot fried rice, i was really hankering for fried rice. it also had simple ingredients and i had everything on hand. i also liked that it called for leftover rice. the only thing holding me back was the photo. it didn’t look very appetizing. then somewhere i read said something like” trust me, it’s good, don’t judge it by the picture.”

they were right. it’s one of my favorites and i love making a big batch of it, so i have leftovers for work. i adapted the recipe a little bit based on what i normally used for chicken teriyaki.

crockpot fried rice
adapted from a year of slow cooking
(I usually double the recipe)

2 cups leftover rice (day old works best, or if you make rice in the morning, it should be good enough by mid day.  You want it really dry, no moisture)
2-3 T butter
2 T soy sauce
1 T worcestershire sauce (or 1 T fish sauce)
1 T rice wine vinegar
1/2 t black pepper (less, or none, if kids are going to be eating it)
1/4 t kosher salt (or 1/8 tsp iodized)
1/2 diced red onion
1 cup of frozen veggies. (I usually use a pea, corn, green bean, carrot mixture)
leftover meat (rotisserie chicken is awesome, frozen cooked shrimp is what i usually use, ham would be good too!)
1 egg
1. spray the crockpot with cooking spray
2. dump all ingredients in. (except if using cooked shrimp, leave it out)
3. stir and cook on high for 1.5 hours. if you can, wipe the moisture off the inside of the lid 3-5 times during the cooking time. (If using shrimp, throw it in the last half hour.)

enjoy! i would love to hear if anyone makes this!

meal plan :: sunday-saturday #2

last week went ok.  i made most of the meals in our meal plan, however almost none of them were on the days i said we would eat them.  so, this week, i’m going to list the meals that way i’m not tied down to a specific one each day.  hopefully, it will still make me think i have a choice for what to eat for dinner!

we ran out of fresh veggies too soon last week, so i need to stock up.  we’ve been steaming most of our veggies since my mom gave us her steamer that i remember having when i was a kid. i absolutely love using to get our veggies ready. the bowl is cracked and it’s definitely old, but i’ll keep using it until it doesn’t work anymore!

i’m going to attempt to make the bulk of our meal plan from what we have in our pantry, fridge and freezer this week.  i had some expenses from work that i pulled money out of the food budget.  i’ll get reimbursed and could put the money back in the food budget, but i’m going to see if maybe we can just set it aside for our debt snowball instead.

here’s our meals for this week:

tuna noodle casserole (make ahead)

baked potatoes


soup and bread

crockpot fried rice with shrimp


steak tacos

for breakfast, we’ll have a mix of bean burritos, hash brown bakes and oatmeal.

for lunches, we’ll either have leftovers, peanut butter and jelly, or sandwiches.


meal planning :: sunday-saturday #1

welcome to the first meal plan! i love looking at other blogger’s and vlogger’s meal plans and i always pick up good inspiration. i thrive more off of simplicity though, so most of our meals are pretty basic. every once in a while we’ll splurge and make something with a bunch of ingredients, but usually when we do that, our food budget goes out of whack!

we overspent on our food budget last month, so this month we are going to work hard to keep down, maybe even come under budget. wow, that would be awesome! meal planning takes the stress out of figuring out what to eat for dinner and we can all use a little of that.  my husband and i both work full time and we get home late, so getting food on the table is always a bit of a headache anyways. here’s what we plan to eat this week.

sunday :: ham, spinach, and potatoes

monday :: spaghetti & asparagus

tuesday :: chicken nuggets & carrots (mama’s late night)

wednesday :: macaroni & cheese & peas (mama’s late night)

thursday :: bean tacos

friday :: chicken, broccoli & rice

saturday :: loaded baked potatoes

(total grocery bill for march week #1: $54, still need chicken, popcorn, apples, raisins and peas)