Busy Mom Meal Prep

busy mom green smoothie

I am so not the pinteresty, instagrammy meal prepper. 1) My ish ain’t pretty. and 2) I actually didn’t consider what I do “meal prep” until someone told me it counts since I’m “prepping” stuff for the week ahead of time. So I still don’t call it that lol, but I do process foods for the week to make life easier.

A few things to note:

  • I follow a generally low carb, clean lifestyle
  • John eats low carb but not necessarily clean
  • Kids follow not exactly clean diet with healthy carbs (whole grains etc)
  • I’m home with the kids during the day and am a serious grazer
  • John works outside the home and takes lunch most days

So how I do things:

I call it “processing” food. Which…is probably the worst word to use when you’re a clean eater, but this is how I process stuff.

I grocery shop every 7-9 days. My hauls tend to look like:


I buy eggs, fruits for smoothies and kid snacks, a variety of veggies but always zucchini for spaghetti, onions/green peppers / tomato, bagged greens for smoothies and sauteeing as a side dish, bagged salads to make lunch easy, a variety of meats going by what’s on sale but always ground turkey, ground beef, spicy Italian sausage, and chicken breasts (often pork loins and roasts as well but again that’s by sale price).

Then I also purchase the things I like to graze on during the day: almonds, peanut butter, kimchi, cheese, deli meat (not clean, but low carb)

Immediately after I get home I:

  • throw away whatever’s gross in the fridge.
  • divide the ground beef (i buy the 4.5 lb pack) into 3 even portions and pop in freezer
  • divide the big pack of chicken breasts, cut them in half lengthwise and bag them up for seasoning or freezing
  • peel, halve and bag up bananas and pop in freezer (I also bag up whatever fruit will be for my shakes)



Each week I make a few staples:

  • a big batch of chili (John takes this to work for lunches)
  • a batch (or 2) of turkey muffins (I eat these during my random grazing thru the week)
  • bake all the chicken breasts (2-3 batches because I flavor the different bags differently)
  • (sometimes) a big batch of pasta sauce (for zucchini noodles)



We eat a lot of the same foods each week, but I (try to) season them differently so it doesn’t get boring.

Our dinner is often just meat, salad and veggies in some random combination…

Sweets are zero carb frozen treats, and I make these sugar free “cheesecakes” fairly often.

I make a lot of “catch all” dishes, throwing every random veggie we have left over into either an egg bake, a “meatloaf” a soup or something…

*Note: I DO make separate food for the kids. We let them try what we’re eating…(knowing they’re gunna most likely throw a fit) and then I’ll give them a pasta dish of some sort, or when they ask for it, oatmeal or mac n cheese or whatever. They don’t get any “sugar free” anything…  (And I sneak veggies & protein into everything they get #trickymommy)

What I am trying to get better at: 

  • pre-planning the new meals and recipes that I experiment with
  • enforcing that the kids eat more of the “family” meal

I’m no good with rigid stuff, so my loosey goosey meal prep/planning works for our house.

Do you do any form of meal “prep”?

Clean Low Carb Peanut Butter Banana “Pancakes”

low carb pancake

You already know I eat low carb and clean overall. The thing with me is, if something isn’t easy, quick, and tasty…. there’s no way in hell I’m going to do it. This Peanut Butter Banana Pancake recipe is one of the easiest ever, and super sweet and tasty.

We Caribbeans make banana fritters… soooo not low carb… filled with flour and sugar, and so not clean… fried in oil. But they’re delicious tho!
In an effort to create a healthy version of my banana fritters, and in lieu of my family’s staple pancakes, I make these low carb pancakes and the kids even love em!


  • 2 eggs (or 1 full egg, and 1 egg white)
  • 1 ripe (or overripe) banana
  • cinnamon (to taste)
  • nutmeg (to taste)
  • vanilla extract (to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mash into a batter.

Grease your pan in your preferred way. (I use spray coconut oil)

Cook as you would a pancake!

Serve as you would a pancake, or crepe.

I smear peanut butter on mine and fold over to eat like a crepe.

The taste is all banana. If you taste any eggy-ness in your low carb pancake, add more cinnamon, and extract etc next time.

banana and eggs batter    pancake peanut butter pancake crepe

Try these low carb pancakes and tell me how you like it!!



Kitchen Sink Fried Rice

Tracking Pixel

kai waits for rice

(this was an outtake pic…but Kai’s face in the background cracks me up!)

Growing up Jamaican we ate a lot of rice & peas at dinner so I’m excited to partner with Success® Rice for this post. Rice was a side dish almost every single night. My friend Rich in high school is Hatian and said his mom would even serve him rice with spaghetti! (I think I believed him at the time, but now seems just too weird to be true.)….Random…in another conversation with Rich I remember him telling me how he wished rice was just one big grain that he could eat with a knife and fork instead of tons of tiny rice grains…I remember thinking he was nuts because I could literally eat it for breakfast lunch and dinner… and plain too..with just butter or gravy only. (don’t judge me!) Thinking back I wonder how many rice conversations I had with that kid…. #growingupcaribbean. My cousin Arielle eats rice with just italian dressing. I think that’s one of her comfort foods.

Anyway, we now eat a fairly low carb diet as you know so we don’t have rice as a daily side dish. What I do now is have quinoa as an alternative and make rice special for carb days  and…when I just want comfort food at a certain time of the month. My two go to recipes are rice & peas with coconut, Caribbean style, and fried rice Asian style.

I normally use brown rice, but the last two times I made it, I used Success® Jasmine Rice. It has a nutty fragrance that I liked (and the kids did too) and a smooth texture. I liked switching things up with the aromatic rice!

The secret to kickass fried rice is making sure your rice is cold before frying it up. After cooking the rice, I popped it in the freezer to cool since I didn’t have time to let it chill out overnight in the fridge. It worked just perfectly. Plus Success® Jasmine Rice cooks up in just 10 minutes so I had a lot of time for it to sit in the freezer to cool down. It cooks in a pre-portioned bag so it made it extra easy with no mess from transferring from pot to bowl.

My fried rice should be called kitchen sink fried rice, because I tend to make it with any and everything we have bits of in the fridge and pantry. The last time I had random bean sprouts, some diced up left over pork loin, random veggies… suffice to say it’s a good dish to use-up the odds and ends from your week. Of course, me being me…when I made it I forget to take pics along the way to share so for the first time in a long time we had “kitchen sink fried rice” two weeks in a row. Below is the recipe of the second batch.

kimchi fried rice collage

I first searched the fridge and diced up everything that would be yummy in the dish while the kids were having a snack.

My sous chef Rohan helped me make the rice and I popped it in the freezer.

rice in pot

This week the kitchen sink fried rice only had onions, kimchi, cilantro, garlic and eggs, but it was delicious.

I heat some stir fry oil (it has a garlic flavor) in the pan and add fresh onions and garlic to soften.



Then I throw the rice in and season it up (I use pepper, 5 spice, soy sauce, ginger, lime).

I throw in whatever veggies I’ll be including at this point, and slide everything over to fry/scramble the eggs all in the same pan.

fried rice and eggs

Mix it all together and add the kimchi last so it still has some bite to it when served. I season again at this point just to make the flavors balance how we like it.

kimchi fried rice

(Sometimes I’ll just buy a packet of fried rice seasoning to save time but I still have to tweak that)

Kaya is my adventurous eater. She ate that fried rice with no questions asked.

kaya rice

Rohan … not so much. The first batch from the other week (that I forgot to take pics of) he picked out the rice to separate it from the meat and the veggies and only ate the rice! It was a mess. So this time, I fried him up a separate little batch of Jasmine rice in the garlic oil with a little bit of soy sauce  and lemon (and a regular scrambled egg on the side) so he could have something plainer but still connected to the recipe everyone else was eating. If you’re interested in recipe ideas, special offers and more, join the Recipe Club®http://bit.ly/1RDuJ2b.

roey rice


What’s your go-to rice dish?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Success® Rice. The thoughts, feelings, recipe and cute kids are all mine!


Pollo Tropical Balsamic Tomato Salad

pollo tropical balsamic tomato salad copycat recipe

You know who’s not getting any more of my coins?

Pollo Tropical.


I don’t need them anymore.

I can pull my own pork with ease. (thank you, crock pot)

And now I can make my favorite side at home on my own… and … dare I say… It’s better than Pollo Tropical’s version!

Don’t ask me for exact measurements, cuz your girl doesn’t operate that way, but here’s my version of the easiest bbq side dish in the world:

Pollo Tropical Balsamic Tomato Copycat Recipe


  • Tomatoes
  • Red Onions
  • Brown Sugar (or agave nectar…or white sugar if you don’t care)
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt/Pepper


Rinse and chop your tomatoes to your desired size and pop in a bowl

fresh red diced tomatoes

Thinly slice your red onions and add it in

tomato and red onion

Sprinkle on salt, pepper, sugar, and pour a lil balsamic vinegar and olive oil on top

tomato onion balsamic olive oil sugar

Mix it together and let it hang out for a few hours (best if overnight)

balsamic tomato recipe ingrediates all mixed together

I forgot to take a pic of it the day after before we actually ate it this time.

You’ll have a lot more liquid and it’ll be all yummy and flavorey. At that point you can taste and season to your liking.

IF you want you can sprinkle on some italian seasoning or something but I kinda like to keep this super plain since we usually eat it with really flavorful and spicy meats.

So there you have it. Healthy, yummy and generally clean. Sorry Pollo Tropical, see ya never!

What’s your easy go-to side dish?

Click HERE to check out more easy recipes!

How A CrockPot Saved My Life

red crockpot

Or maybe…How a crockpot could save my life if I could figure out what to make in it….

So, in 2009, I forced John to go black friday shopping with me. We got a crock pot for $5 and promptly forgot about it.
A couple years ago (I think) John made chili in it once.

I finally made use of it a couple weeks ago… and now I’m lightweight in love.

Mornings are easy for me. (And you know this, man.) I can get up early and get tons done. Evenings….notsomuch. I’m still really hurried with getting home from work, getting Ro from daycare, getting Kai from family (which can either take 10 minutes or an hour depending on the day), getting them all unloaded into the house, then getting something cooked without them ripping the house apart, spending some quality time with them, getting them bathed, fed and put to bed.

I realized I was starting to be that mom that relies on the TV to babysit while I cooked. (No shade to those moms, I get it, and the struggle is really real. I just don’t want that for us right now.) I would try to have Roey help me, and actually get annoyed at Kaya being between my legs fussin’ and trying to get picked up, instead of including the poor child or spending time with her.

John gets in about an hour after I do, and needs a minute to decompress before jumping in to daddy mode. This would add to my frustration because I’d love for him to just come home and immediately take both of them so I could finish cooking….or him finish cooking so I can play with the babies.

Note: I don’t even like cooking.

These frustrations build and build and I’m hating our evening routine and stopping at McDonalds once a week to throw a cheeseburger down Ro’s throat instead of having to cook and deal with the annoyance. (And sidebar: I’m halfway obsessed with the Southwestern Salad…and now the new Asian Salad with ginger dressing. So good! but that’s a separate story.)

So I’m looking for my big frying pan one day and checked in a cabinet I never look in…and find my new savior.

The Crock Pot was sitting there all shiny and un-used just waiting to make my life easier. (full disclosure: I still haven’t found the big frying pan…John ended up buying one at Costco.)

I added the crock pot prep to my morning routine and I came home to a hot entree ready for my family! I just had to throw some veggies on, or put a salad together and boom. (If we weren’t low carbing it would be even easier, I could just put rice or pasta or something in the pot and have a one-pot meal all done for me.) 

It freed up about an hour of my evening!!

Bonus: During the time I was cooking, it was easier to have Roey help me out with an easy task (ex: taking craisins out of bag and putting into salad), and I could even have Kaya on my hip cuz I wasn’t cooking anything that would pop oil on her, or required two hands or knifework.

YAY!!! Slow Cooking For The Win!!!!

I told John my plan to use it at least twice a week. He was totally down with it and said he’d use it once a week, and I figured we’d have leftovers to help us make it through.



We made it about a week and a half into that plan.



I didn’t prepare properly.

We ended up trying just two recipes:

BBQ Chicken Breasts: Chicken breasts, onions, garlic, italian dressing, salt, pepper

Mushroom Chicken Breasts: Chicken breasts, onions, mushroom slices, can of cream of mushroom soup, salt, pepper

Both were simple in flavor profile, but still pretty yummy. I need to find some proven delicious crock pot meals that will work for all four of us. I became mini obsessed with allrecipes.com for a hot second trying to find easy slow cooker recipes for my family.

I don’t do traditional meal planning all the time, I do more of a….general meal “guide” if you will… but with the newness of slow cooker use, I’ve got to meal plan a bit more thoroughly.

That said, I need your help!

Do you use a slow cooker?

Any great recipes or tips to share?