Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Back to School Freezer Batch Cooking – Whole30 and Paleo!

Most teachers I’ve met are born planners and organizers. That is exactly how I would describe myself as well. This past summer, I dove head first into the world of Whole30 (an anti-inflammatory way of eating that centers on healthy, lean meats, vegetables, fruit, and some nuts and healthy fats – basically, no dairy or grain). I LOVED how it made me feel: strong and healthy. More than that, I loved how I DIDN’T feel anymore – no more bloating, GI discomfort, headaches, feeling sluggish. Even mosquito bites didn’t bother me as much any more, as if to say my body was healing and better able to fight.

I wanted to be able to continue eating Whole30 (W30) throughout the school year. However, as you know, time is a precious commodity, and W30 does require a lot of cooking. Armed with my favorite kitchen appliance – my Instant Pot – I spent a good amount of time this summer batch cooking and freezing for the fall. When I made dinner for the family, I’d double it and freeze half. By the end of the summer, you can see below what I amassed. These recipes include W30 as well as paleo items, as I am now in W30 maintenance and slowly adding in items that are permitted in paleo (i.e. honey) but not in W30.

In this picture you see:

  • 4 sweet potatoes slightly cooked, peeled, and diced to be added to hash – W30
  • Golden Chicken – paleo
  • Banana Porridge (Against All Grain Cookbook) – paleo
  • Salmon Cakes – W30
  • Tikka Masala – W30
  • Kalua Pig – W30
  • Texas Brisket – W30
  • Mint Chip Ice Cream (Against All Grain Cookbook) – paleo
  • Chicken Zucchini Poppers – W30
  • Frozen banana slices with almond butter – paleo
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip bread – paleo
  • Chocolate Chip cookies – paleo
  • Pulled chicken – W30
  • Stuffed Pepper mix – W30
  • 2 giant bags of frozen veggies from Costco

My first stop to prepare for this endeavor was Costco. There I was able to purchase bulk meat at a discount. Next, I treated myself to a jar of minced garlic to save me a step. I purchased a giant bag of almond meal from Amazon for the paleo recipes.

Not pictured here are the things I will make weekly, including:

  • Keto overnight oats
  • W30 Egg breakfast
  • A dozen hard boiled eggs
  • Paleo cereal

In addition, I have purchased a lot of snacks to keep in my desk, listed below:

  • Dried apple rings
  • Roasted Plantain chips
  • Rx Bars (Chocolate Sea Salt and Blueberry are my faves!)
  • Larabars
  • Fruit and veggie pouches
  • Unsalted Mixed Nuts

In the fall, I plan to warm up these items fairly quickly either by thawing them in the fridge the night before, or throwing them directly in the Instant Pot to sauté and warm up.

If you enjoy following my food journey, you can find me on Instagram! I am MightyKeka

Did you do any food prep this summer? I’d love any tips or tricks you can share!


High Five for Friday! 2-13-15

::spooky voice:: OOoOOoOoooH, Friday the 13th! ::knockonwood:: nothing goes wrong today! I don’t really believe in superstitions, though. I hope the students are well-behaved today! Here are 5 highlights from this week:

Book Signing Flyer copy

1. Author Visit – First, my best news – we are honored to have a visit from Trudy Krisher! She will be visiting our school in just 10 days. We are so excited! I can’t believe how lucky we are! More to come on that later!


2. Would you? Our students are doing their own self-designed Science Experiments, which is a fantastic, student-centered, inquiry-based lesson. So a student came up to me and handed me 2 cups of water, asking, “Would you please take a sip from both of these and tell me which one is tap water and which one is bottled water?” I can’t believe it, but I did it. I had so many questions (Are these new cups? How did you get the tap water? Did you DO anything to this water?!?), but I took a leap of faith and gave it a shot. Turns out, I was wrong! I thought the more metallic tasting water would have been tap water, but it was actually the bottled water. Hmm!


3. Coloring Book – I’m working on my next coloring book on – you guessed it – dinosaurs! It will be a gift for all of my little nieces and nephews as well as a new product up on TpT. If you are interested in any of my other coloring books, they are Zoo Animals, Rainforest Animals, and My Animal Coloring Book.

Paleo Foods (c) Kristen Dembroski

4. Cooking – I got back into cooking this weekend. I had really fallen off the wagon this winter, eating lots of soups, fried eggs, and pasta, because I had been hit with one virus after another and I went for the easy/quick fix foods. Well I had forgotten how meditative, relaxing, and fulfilling it is to make your own foods from scratch. This weekend I made Bacon-Topped Spinach Meatloaf and Broccoli Egg Bake, two of my favorites. Lots of protein and vegetables for the win!

Stir Crazy (c) Kristen Dembroski5. Stir Crazy – Okay, we are all going a little nuts around here. Me, my students, even my dogs. Winters are HARD! I feel so bad for this toy monkey, but then I realize he is pretty much a metaphor for my life. We are in the heart of winter and in for at least another 2 and a half weeks of freezing temperatures. I miss sun! At least I have little dogs who can get a lot of exercise just playing inside. For my students, on the other hand, indoor recess isn’t cutting it. We need an outlet for all our energy! Maybe a roller skating field trip?



High Five For Friday! 2-28-14

Welcome to the end of February and the end of week 25. Boy, I can’t for the temperatures to catch up with the week number! Here are the highlights from the past 7 days:

Feedback Oreo (c) Kristen Dembroski

1. The Feedback Oreo – We recently began the Show Me Creative Writing Unit in Language Arts class. Students learn to write short, detailed, language-rich descriptions with specific word choice, sensory details, and metaphor. An integral component of this unit is the feedback or critique process. We begin by doing this as a class to model appropriate language and feedback. My students were doing a phenomenal job with this, so I brought in real Oreos as a treat. The Feedback Oreo = detailed compliment, detailed critique, detailed compliment. Each student walks away with specific ideas of how to improve their piece as well as a confidence boost.

Weekly Cooking (c) Kristen Dembroski

2. Weekly Cooking – The best decision I ever made was to do all of my cooking for the week on Sundays. I make a couple of entrees for me and my husband – we split these up into individual portions for lunch and dinners. I often double the recipes and freeze half. Above, you will see a Vegetable Stir Fry, Egg Muffins, Thai Pad See Ew, Korean Beef Noodle Bowls, and a Chocolate Pie! Not having to worry about meals during the hectic week is a major stress reliever for me and helps me to continue eating healthfully.

PBIS Pizza Party (c) Kristen Dembroski

3. Pizza Party – To celebrate the winners of the PBIS Video contest, we threw a pizza party last Friday. All of the 8th grade staff helped chip in with desserts, soda, and other treats. It’s great to stop and celebrate with the students – it’s a great time to build relationships and reinforce positive behaviors.

Sushi (c) Kristen Dembroski Cupcakes (c) Kristen Dembroski

4. Celebrating – On Saturday night, my husband took me out to celebrate turning in Chapter 4 of my dissertation. We went to my favorite sushi restaurant, then to Gigi’s Cupcakes for dessert. I love spending time with my husband – yay date night! – and I have no idea what is better than sushi and cupcakes!

Money Challenge (c) Kristen Dembroski

5. Money Challenge – Have you seen this on Pinterest? It’s a weekly plan to put away money with the goal of saving up $1,378 by the end of the year. Since I’d like to buy a nice DSLR camera, I thought this would be a great idea. I’ve been putting away the suggested weekly deposit, but I’ve also been putting away some of the larger deposits for the end of the year. I guess I figured it would be easier to make these more difficult deposits when I have the extra cash. Have you ever done a money challenge? I’m wondering how well people stick with it. Seems like a great idea!

Ruffy & Rocket (c) Kristen Dembroski

BONUS 6. Cuteness – The boys got their hairs cut. LOVE them!

I hope you had a fabulous week! I’d love you to send me a link or tell me about it below!


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