Monday Meals: Pepper Steak Stir Fry

I love stir fry. Seriously, it’s simple, quick, and versatile. This is one I whipped up last week.


Pepper Steak Stir Fry


  • 1 – medium-sized skirt or flank steak
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Ginger (ground or fresh, I used fresh)
  • Coarse ground black pepper
  • Garlic (1 clove fresh or garlic powder, I used fresh garlic)
  • Olive oil or coconut oil (I used olive oil, about 1 tbsp.)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Low-sodium soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 2 bags frozen stir fry vegetables

I like to marinade my meat before I start the stir fry to let the flavor really soak in.

  1. 1 hour before cook time; place steak into airtight container, season with minced garlic clove, grated ginger, and black pepper. Pour 2-4 tablespoons teriyaki sauce over seasoned steak, and seal with lid. Place in refrigerator for about an hour.
  2. At cook time: remove steak from refrigerator, place in a warm skillet pour marinade mixture over steak, and sear on each side for about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and place on cutting board to rest.
  3. Drizzle olive oil in pan. (One circle around the pan should do it.) Pour vegetables into skillet, add water, and let steam for 2 minutes.
  4. Add soy sauce, teriyaki sauce and more ginger. (I swirled the soy sauce bottle around the pan once as well as the teriyaki sauce.)
  5. Stir vegetables to coat with seasonings.
  6. While the vegetables are steaming for about 3 more minutes, slice the steak into thin strips. The meat should be at a medium-rare to medium. Cross cut the steak strips to make “cubes”. Toss into pan with vegetables.
  7. Stir steak and vegetables together until steak is browned on all sides.
  8. Serve immediately.

Options: Serve over brown rice (as shown in picture), over rice noodles, quinoa pasta or over mashed sweet potatoes. It’s pretty awesome by itself too!

Please let me know if you try this quick and easy meal, what you think of it, and if you made any changes to it.


















Monday Meals: Chicken Ranch Tenders

If you have kids and your family loves chicken, you will love this meal. I found the base recipe at, and in my kitchen fashion, I modified, even a pretty healthy recipe, to make it even healthier. Here’s the link to the original recipe if you’d like to check it out. ($5 Dinners: Ranch Chicken Dippers)


Chicken Ranch Tenders

Preparation Time – 10 minutes

Cooking Time – 20-25 minutes


  • 1 package skinless, boneless chicken tenders (I made about 12 tenders)
  • 2 jumbo eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (I used homemade, whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 – 1 oz. packet Original Hidden Valley mix for dipping (I used Hidden Valley for this test run, but I will probably try to make my own ranch mix and/or look for a Tastefully Simple gluten-free mix)
  • Marinara sauce for dipping (I used an all natural marinara jarred sauce because of time constraints, but if you have some homemade, even better.)
  • Served with steamed broccoli


  • Preheat oven to 350. Grease a cookie sheet with non-stick spray, or line a cookie sheet with non-stick baking mat.
  • Whisk the 2 eggs and milk in a small bowl. Mix together the bread crumbs and ranch mix in another bowl.
  • Dip each chicken piece into the egg, then coat in the ranch-bread crumb mixture. Place on the cookie sheet, and repeat until all chicken pieces are coated.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until all chicken pieces are cooked through and have turned slightly golden. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.
  • Serve tenders with marinara sauce and other side dishes.

This meal is way easy to prep, way easy to cook, and it’s a HUGE hit with the kiddos. Fantastic substitute for chicken nuggets or any breaded chicken dish. This is definitely going in my regular rotation. Enjoy!

Gratitude Journal

This post was spawned off a post on my personal FB page, with friends wanting some clarification on how I started my gratitude journal.

I started journaling again heavily in November since I was struggling with several deeply personal issues, and it helped…to an extent. Yet over the past weekend, I started a gratitude journal following a format from Craig Ballantyne, editor of Early To Rise, and it’s been helping me shift focus from word-vomiting, so to speak, to taking life in fully and being thankful for the little things on even seemingly not so great days or moods.

My special journal for gratitude. Bright, cheery, and always easy to find.

My special journal for gratitude. Bright, cheery, and always easy to find.

Craig posted about it on a while back. I had saved the post for future reference to just buy his journal (a.k.a, his black book) he offered, but I realized I needed a shift in my journaling asap because I wasn’t making the progress I felt I needed to make. I picked up the nearest notebook, pulled up the bookmarked post on my phone and read about his GODDA approach to journaling. I’ve termed his approach the 5×5 format, and within days…it’s helping in little things and big things, even just slightly. Here’s how I’ve formatted my journal pages.

At the top of the page, I date it for the day that is ending or for the day before (I often journal first thing in the morning.)

The First 5:

G (Gratitude): Your individual gratefulness for one thing in your life.

O (Opportunity): This is your “Get To” place.  An opportunity or more than one you are looking forward to, in any aspect of your life.

D (Did): One thing you did that made you feel accomplished

D (Do): What important thing you will do

A (Appreciation): Who do you appreciate in your life for the day? I’ve started listing at least 5 people and short reasons why I appreciate them that day. This can be anyone!

The Last 5:

Here, I have a numbered list of 5 things I have accomplished/achieved for the day. On days where I have kid-focused days (better known as school holidays), I make sure I write down activities, jokes, stories, etc. about what we did that day as well as actions I’m working really hard on with the boys, like “I didn’t yell that day” or “I didn’t get bossy with T”. I do the same on lazy days because being relaxed and chill is a huge accomplishment for this on-the-go mom.

The 5x5 Format

The 5×5 Format

I truly hope that if you begin a gratitude journal and use this format that you find it easy and beneficial. I know if I ever meet Craig Ballantyne in person, he’s getting a huge hug from me. Ha!

Monday Meals: Crockpot Bonanza

This is pretty much a reblog. Earlier this month, I took $100 and bought everything and then some to make all of the meals in this post from Danny J. at Sweaty Betties. Not all were the healthiest, but it saved money, and ALL the meals are healthier than eating out.

Basically, in 3 hours, we made 9 crockpot freezable recipes for 5-6 servings. In actuality, it became 12 dinners plus leftovers for lunches.

8 crockpot meals in the freezer

8 massive crock pot meals in the freezer

Here’s a list of the meals made:

  • Pizza Soup
  • Chicken Curry
  • Savory Chicken
  • BBQ Pineapple Pulled Pork
  • Lemon Garlic Chicken
  • Chicken and Spinach
  • Taco Soup
  • San Francisco Pork Chops
  • Lazy Day Stew

All meals were kid friendly, and kid-complaint free!!!

I hope you can use these meals as well to help you save time, money, and the “what’s for dinner?” headache!