These delicious and macro-friendly stuffed shells are as easy as it gets! Since they’re made in the slow cooker there’s no need to cook the pasta shells ahead of time. Just assemble in the slow cooker, allow to cook, and enjoy!
- 24 (1200g) Barilla jumbo pasta shells
- 1 cup Publix 2% skim (low fat) Ricotta
- 6 cups marinara sauce
- 1 cup Sargento reduced fat 4 cheese Italian, shredded
- 3 cups Publix 2% mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 large egg
- 5 cups chopped frozen spinach, thawed
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Parsley, optional
Start by adding a layer of marinara sauce to the bottom of the slow cooker (about 2 cups). In a large bowl mix ricotta, 2 cups 2% mozzarella cheese, 1 egg, thawed spinach, garlic, seasonings, and parsley. Take (uncooked) pasta shells and fill each with equal amount of mixture. For you macro trackers you will need to weigh the total mix and divide by 24 to know how many grams of mixture each shell should contain. Layer the bottom of the slow cooker with shells, you will use about half. Once the bottom is covered in stuff shells top with 2 more cups of sauce and sprinkle your final cup of mozzarella cheese on top. Add your final layer of stuffed shells and top with remainder of sauce. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. When you are ready to serve top the shells with the Italian cheese blend and parsley, allow to cook covered for another 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted. Happy flexible dieting!
Macros (2 shells per serving, recipe makes 12 servings): 249 calories, 9g fat, 24g carbs, 19g protein, 1g fiber
To make these a freezer meal, assemble shells into a glass dish including the top layer of cheese, cover, and freeze. When you’re ready to make the shells allow them to thaw overnight, then cook covered for 45 minutes at 425 degrees, uncovering the last 5 minutes for cheese to melt.
Ok so quite honestly I’m not sure if it should be called Sheperd’s pie since it has beef in it. I think the European version is made with lamb but Americans use beef and still call it Sheperd’s pie. Americans are weird like that! At any rate, this is as delicious as it is simple.
- 1lb lean ground beef
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or brown gravy packet
- 16 oz potatoes of choice (I had Gold on hand)
- 3 cups frozen steamable mixed veggies, cooked
- 1 cup skim milk (I used Fair Life)
- 4 tbsp low fat margarine (I used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter)
- Salt & pepper
- Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Peel (or don’t) and boil potatoes. Brown beef on stove with seasonings. Once beef is browned add in onion and Worcestershire sauce, move to medium high heat and allow the liquid to evaporate. Mix in cooked vegetables, take off heat, and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Once potatoes have finished mash them and add in butter, milk, and salt & pepper. Add beef and vegetable mixture to 9×9 glass dish then add the mashed potatoes on top. Cook for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!
Macros (for one serving of 4, about 2 cups): 13g fat, 31g carbs, 30g protein (cheese not included)
You can easily store this meal in the freezer to save for later. Cook as directed, allow to cool completely, cover well, and when you are ready to reheat it defrost the pie in the fridge overnight then cook for 1 hour on 350 degrees covered.
I couldn’t resist sharing this chicken noodle soup because it’s PACKED with protein at only 3g fat, 10g carbs, and 31g protein per serving! It’s just like any other chicken noodle soup but I doubled the meat & liquid. So filling and delicious!
First chop veggies and add into the slow cooker. Then add your chicken, broth, and seasoning. Cook on low for 8 hours.
After 7.5 hours pull chicken out, shred, and throw back in. Add the dry noodles and allow to cook another 30 minutes.
- 1 and 1/2 32 oz contained chicken broth (I used Pacific’s organic brand)
- 1 cup water
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cups carrots, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cup egg noodles
- 2lbs chicken breast (could easily use a cheaper part of chicken)
- Seasoning (I used salt, pepper, and a little ginger)
First chop veggies and add into the slow cooker. Then add your chicken, broth, and seasoning. Cook on low for 8 hours. After 7.5 hours pull chicken out, shred, and throw back in. Add the dry noodles and allow to cook another 30 minutes. Enjoy!
Macros (per serving of 8, about 2 cups): 187 calories, 3g fat, 10g carbs, 31g protein
Another venture of freezer meals for when Marshall arrives and this time we’re going Mexican for dinner! Because who doesn’t love Mexican food? With this taco pasta bake my love for noodles and Mexican have been met. I actually made this for dinner tonight and doubled the recipe so I could freeze the extra portion. Freezing instructions, and as always calories & macros, are included below!
- 1lb lean ground beef
- 15 oz can Hunts tomato sauce
- 1 small can Rotel diced tomatoes & green chiles
- 1 and 1/2 cups 2% Kraft Mexican shredded cheese
- 8 oz dry Cavatappi noodles or elbow (use whole grain to up fiber & protein amount!)
- Sour cream, Greek yogurt, guacamole or tortilla chips for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil pasta according to instructions. While pasta is cooking brown beef with seasoning of choice. I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cumin. Once beef is done drain and add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, then add noodles. Top with cheese and bake for 15 minutes. I topped mine with crushed tortilla chips and Greek yogurt and it was delicious!
Macros (per serving of 8 servings or about 1 cup, not including garnishes): 260 calories, 9g fat, 24g carbs, 21g protein, 1g fiber
To freezer simply put in an 8×8 tin pan and once completely cooled cover with tin foil. It will last up to 3 months. Reheat at 350 degrees for 30 mins covered and 15 mins uncovered.
Freezer meals for baby Marshall continues! This mama won’t have any excuses to eat out all the time when he arrives. A few tips for freezer cooking in Ziploc bags: use Ziploc not store brand, put vegetables on bottom and meat on top so when you dump it in the slow cooker the meat is on the bottom, when sealing the Ziploc make sure you get as much air out and once you there is an inch left before closing completely squeeze bag to get any last air you can,and make sure you properly label bag (see photo below).
Recipe (per bag):
- 1lb chicken breast, raw
- 170 grams frozen broccoli (half a bag Bird’s eye)
- 14.5 oz red potatoes thin sliced (a little under 1lb)
- 1 small can healthy request condensed chicken soup
- Dried parsley
- 4 oz 2% Velveeta cheese
Add all ingredients into bag except for Velveeta cheese. Add potatoes and broccoli first, then chicken, parsley, and soup. Make sure to write on freezer bag that you’ll need to add Velveeta cheese. You will dump contents into slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours. Add the cheese and stir for five minutes.
Macros (per serving of 4 for one bag plus cheese): 315 calories, 7g fat, 27g carbs, 33g protein, 3g fiber
Since I am preparing for the arrival of my first born in the next few weeks I’m starting to prepare freezer meals to make my life easier once he arrives. These breakfast sandwiches were my first project and were really easy. I made six for Thomas that included a whole egg, full fat cheddar cheese, and a sausage patty. But the six I made for myself were much more macro friendly…
- Six high fiber english muffins
- Six turkey sausage patties
- Six low fat cheddar cheese slices
- Six egg whites
- Salt & pepper
I baked my eggs in ramekins as they fit nicely in the english muffins. If you don’t have any use a muffin pan. Measure 40g egg whites (3 tbsp) in each ramekin and added a little salt and pepper. Bake for 13-14 mins at 375 degrees. Once they are done lay on english muffin, top with turkey sausage patty, and slice of cheese. Allow to cool then either put in large ziploc bag or wrap in foil. Be sure to add date and reheat directions. Reheat for 60-75 secs wrapped in paper towel. These should stay good for up to 3 months. Enjoy!
Macros (per sandwich): 264 calories, 8g fat, 29g carbs, 19g protein, 8g fiber
Is it just me or do you always have overly-ripened bananas at the end of the week? Well, that almost always happens to me! Thomas is so picky with bananas and will not eat them if they have just a few brown spots on them. Even though I told them that’s when they’re most delicious! Last week I went to Costco’s and purposely bought a bunch of bananas knowing I wanted to make my favorite baking recipe, banana chocolate chip protein muffins! I left five bananas on the counter to get real brown, and I mean REALLY brown which kinda happened on accident because I had injured my wrist and made the muffins a few days later than planned. But no worries, bananas can be completely brown and still be great for baking. The more ripened the easier they’ll be to mash and tastier!
I see all over the internet “clean” banana protein muffins that use Greek yogurt and no butter. These muffins are pretty good but I’m not a huge fan of the spongeness that the yogurt gives it. So I set out to make a recipe of banana protein muffins that aren’t clean, but still packed with protein! If you’re into the clean muffins there are plenty of recipes out there, or you can always convert the butter to Greek yogurt using the various conversion charts found online. Same with the sugar! But I can assure you these muffins are with the extra grams of fat.
- 1 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 3.5 scoops protein powder (I used Optimum Nutrition Vanilla Ice Cream)
- 1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 cups mashed bananas (I used 5)
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg white
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. First mix together the mashed bananas, sugar, butter, eggs, and egg white. In another bowl mix flour, protein powder, baking soda, and salt. Line a muffin pan and add mixture filling liners about halfway. Cook each batch about 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes through the clean in the center. Allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan, then remove from pan and allow to cool another 5 minutes before enjoying. YUM!
Macros (1 serving, for 24 servings): 160 calories, 7g fat, 20g carbs, 5g protein
Is it Fall yet? Not quite..but we are so close! I seriously love Fall. I know, I know… everyone loves Fall. But I REALLY love Fall. Living in Florida gives you a great appreciation for any months not between May and August. Also I have a huge obsession with Halloween. Anyways! My favorite Fall dinner has got to be chili. It’s easy to make and lasts forever! You can either throw this in the crockpot before work or quickly throw it together in a pan.
- 1lb ground turkey
- 16 oz can chilli beans
- 16oz can Rotel diced tomatoes & green chiles
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 16oz red kidney beans
Brown meat and cook onions. If using crockpot, add everything in and allow to cook for at least 6 hours on low. If you’re using the pan, add in the tomatoes and beans and simmer for ~15-20 mins. I garnished with cheese and fritos. So yum! You can easily double the recipe and freeze for later.
Macros (per serving of 6, about 1 cup): 254 calories, 30g carbs, 6g fat, 25g protein, 9g fiber