Going Back to School with Fresh Prep (+Giveaway)

Back to School with Fresh Prep Beef Pad Thai

What are your tricks to get ready for back to school? This is our first year of school- hello kindergarten!- and I’ve been trying to think of ways to make getting into our new routine as smooth as possible. At the top of the list: meal planning. My goal is to plan for the week ahead on a Sunday and prep meals/ snacks the night before, to take some of the pressure off in the morning.

Over the Summer I tried to make a habit of meal planning on Sundays and testing out recipes (thanks Pinterest!). I have been inconsistent with this in the past, but what I like about meal planning is that it helps get the week ahead organized. Added bonuses: everyone can make requests, we can mix in favourites with new recipes to try, and it reduces our grocery bill and food waste. While I’m feeling more settled with meal planning, I’ve called in back up just in case there are some bumps in the road as we settle into the new school routine: a few meals a week from Fresh Prep (see some of the ones we’re trying below).

Back to School Fresh Prep delivery schedule

We have enjoyed Fresh Prep before and love their variety, quality ingredients, and how quick and simple the meals are. With just a few clicks you can organize some (or all!) of your meals for the week and have them delivered right to your door. If you want to get meal time organized for back to school and everything that comes with this time of year- after-school activities, practices, appointments, etc- Fresh Prep may be your friend this Fall.

Thanks to Fresh Prep, I’ve got some of the meals for the month already figured out and I’m giving away a $75 shopping credit to help make September and back to school a little smoother for another family!

The meals take 15- 30 minutes to cook, and ingredients come prepped for use, along with easy-to-follow instructions. For busy evenings when you need a little help with dinner, Fresh Prep is a great option. See below to enter!

Other reasons to love Fresh Prep:

  • pick from familiar dishes or get adventurous and try something new
  • menus personalized to your taste preferences
  • skip a week if you want- pause or cancel delivery anytime 
  • speaking of delivery… it’s free!
  • meals feature:
    • quality, fresh ingredients including lots of organic & local ingredients
    • meats raised without hormones or antibiotics
    • certified Ocean Wise seafood (wild caught or sustainably sourced)

Use code INFOHP18 to receive $33 off your first order!

Find Fresh Prep online: Website | Instagram | Facebook

We’re big fans of Fresh Prep at our house- check out this post and this post to learn about our previous experiences.

*Please note that winner must live within Fresh Prep’s delivery boundaries. Click here to view.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Photo + Screenshot- Fresh Prep

Disclosure: Our family received meals from Fresh Prep in return for sharing honestly about our experience with them. All opinions are our own.

Healthy Meals Made Easy: Fresh Prep Review

How do you make the weekly routine a little easier? With school starting up this week, planning meals ahead can go a long way and for those really busy days, meal delivery services are a great way to make sure everyone is eating healthy even while on the go.  Over the Summer I had the chance to try Fresh Prep, a meal delivery service here in the Metro Vancouver area that delivers everything you need for healthy meals right to your door; all you have to do is sign up and select the plan and meals your family wants. I’m sharing about one of the meals we tried from Fresh Prep plus giving OHP readers the chance to enjoy a week’s worth of meals for free! (see discount code at end of post).

If you’re looking for some options to take a little bit of the pressure off with busy schedules, a meal delivery service is a great option and much more affordable than you may think (meals start at just $10- click here to learn more). When you factor in the time it takes to go grocery shopping, prep and cook everything, and the expense of the ingredients, meal delivery services are a much more budget conscious option than you might think. They’re also a great way to try eating a little bit healthier when you’re feeling pressed for time. Sometimes it’s hard to fit everything into a day and preparing fresh healthy meals can get sidetracked and substituted with more convenient/ less healthy options.

I’ve been trying to get back into a meal planning routine but this was my first time trying a meal delivery service. What first got my attention when I checked out the Fresh Prep website is the attention to quality ingredients and offering full- flavoured, healthy options. We took this as a chance to try some meals we haven’t made at home before and Fresh Prep offers a great variety of meals to choose from.

We opted for the Indonesian Gado Gado with Peanut Dressing and Hot Bombay Chicken Salad with Roasted Cauliflower and Mint Yogurt Sauce. When the meals were delivered we were impressed by how simple Fresh Prep makes everything, from how the ingredients were pre- measured to the straight- forward recipes. Added bonus: all of the ingredients are organic/ non- GMO, meaning you’re not just simplifying meals, you’re making them with the best ingredients possible. It couldn’t have been easier to create a healthy meal in under half an hour, and everyone loved it (how often does that happen?!). Even if you’re only looking for a few meals a week rather than a full week’s worth, a meal delivery service like Fresh Prep can help take the pressure off.

Here’s how the Indonesian Gado Gado turned out- yummmmmmm!

How it works:  

Go to the Fresh Prep website and select the meal plan you’d like (choose from 2- person meals and family plans for 4 people) and how many recipes you’d like delivered each week (choose from 2, 3, or 4). You can also add info if you have dietary requests such as vegan or vegetarian meals and if you’d like to skip a week.

Select the recipes you would like delivered and place your order.

Everything comes delivered in cooler bags in ensure freshness, so all you have to do is pop the ingredients into your fridge when they arrive. When it’s time to cook, simply follow the instructions on the recipe card provided and enjoy a delicious and healthy meal in 30 minutes or less.

Want to try Fresh Prep with your family? Use code OurHappyPlace  to enjoy your first week of meals for free! Code valid until September 31, 2017.

Amazing Mom: Renee Schuck, Epicure

One of my goals is to eat as clean as possible. Am I perfect at it? Absolutely not, but I do my best. One of the challenges of removing ingredients such as salt and processed sauces and flavour mixes is replacing the flavour. It can be dang frustrating! Enter today’s Amazing Mom, Renee. As a member of the Epicure team, she offers up yummy spices and other delicious ingredients that are gluten free, Kosher friendly, and made from non GMO sources; they’re also low in sodium or sodium free. Youza! That checks a lot of my criteria for what I like to feed the fam. Plus, Epicure is based in Saanich, right here in BC- I love that such an awesome company is local too! 
But before I get carried away with my new love for Epicure, let me introduce you to Renee (she can tell you more about how to make yummy meals in no time! Check out her suggestions below)…
Hi, I’m Renee…
I live in North Delta with my husband, 3 year old daughter, 2 year old son, a Sheltie, and two cats.
I became an Epicure Selections Consultant in 2008 because I was interested in making healthier food choices and I loved the products and wanted to share them with others. I work full-time as an office manager and do Epicure Tasting Parties on evenings and weekends. I also run “Pantry Clubs” for people who love getting the host benefits but don’t want to host parties in their home. I’ve also done fundraisers for several sports teams, a TOPS group, and BC Children’s Hospital ChildRun.

Why I Love What I Do…
A lot of my customers are mothers like me looking for healthy, convenient foods to serve their families. Epicure’s spices and dip mixes quickly and easily add lots of flavour to my favourite dishes, and I know that they contain ingredients that I’m comfortable serving my own children. Our What’s For Dinner Packs are perfect for busy weeknight dinners when you need to get dinner on the table quickly

One of the first products that I fell in love with was our Vegetable Bouillon. For $10 a jar it makes 32 cups of Bouillon and there are only 40mg of sodium per cup! Compare that to the grocery-store brand that has 970mg (and ingredients that include MSG, sulphites, hydrogenated oils, and disodium inosinate). I add Epicure’s Vegetable Bouillon to rice and quinoa dishes, stir fries, and it even makes a nice vegetable dip if you mix it with Greek yogurt.

Our Sansels (Lemon Pepper, Red Garlic, and Chili Lime) add delicious flavour to vegetables, chicken, egg dishes, and fish with no added salt! This time of year my favourite is Chili Lime Sansel on corn on the cob. Yum!
Some Ideas For Busy Families On The Go!
One of my “go-to” products is our silicone waffle mould. It makes 6 waffles at a time. I make a double batch of batter and freeze the leftovers. They can easily be heated in the toaster or toaster oven – perfect for busy mornings, and healthier, too! You can use your favourite waffle batter – I love adding pumpkin puree, ground flax seeds, and Epicure’s Apple Pie Spice to my waffles to boost the flavour and nutrients.

Our dip mixes taste awesome and are so versatile! I usually substitute plain Greek yogurt for the mayo and sour cream when I make my dips so that they have less fat and a lot more protein. I also use them in my cooking. Our Herb and Garlic Dip Mix makes a wonderful garlic bread and is delicious in mashed potatoes and pasta dishes. Lemon Dilly Dip Mix is wonderful sprinkled on chicken, fish, carrots (with a little bit of butter and honey), and also tastes great added to potato and pasta salads.

Get in More Greens!
I can’t say enough good things about our salad dressings! They have so much flavour without the chemicals that you find in most store brands. My favourites are the Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing Seasoning (delicious on pasta with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese) and Sesame Ginger Dressing Seasoning, which is amazing in noodle salads and is one of my favourite chicken and salmon marinades. In June if you spend $50 you can get a salad dressing seasoning for only $5!

About Epicure…

Epicure Selections is a 100% Canadian-owned company, based on Vancouver Island, that sells healthy spice blends, salad dressings, dip mixes, cookware, and pantry basics that are 100% Gluten Free, Nut Free, and many are low or no sodium. Epicure Selections was the first direct-selling company of it’s kind in Canada to enroll in the non-GMO project – we have 104 products to date that are certified Non-GMO and more products are being added all the time!  Epicure’s products are free of added MSG, fillers, and preservatives. 

If you would like to hear about Epicure’s specials I send out a monthly email newsletter. I also have a Facebook Page where I post recipes, contests, and sales. The Epicure Selections website is also an excellent resource, with hundreds of recipes and meal ideas. If you would like more information about Epicure Selections products, fundraising with Epicure, becoming a consultant, or hosting your own Epicure Selections Tasting Party I would love to hear from you!

Links: 
Shop anytime!
Renee’s Epicure Facebook Page
Epicure’s Non-GMO Products List

If you’re interested in getting some yummy healthy ingredients into your kitchen you can enter to win a $25 credit from Renee towards an Epicure purchase (redeemable through Renee online and in person). To enter, go to our Contests page for the details! Bon appetit!!!
Amazing Mom Renee with her two cuties!

Image Sources: Top image courtesy of Renee Schuck, Epicure Selctions; centre image photo credit: Katherine Petrunia; bottom image photo credit: Lisa Porter Photography

June posts sponsored by Cute Pie Boutique

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Cabbage Soup

Last night my in- laws loaded us up with a ton of goodies from their veggie garden. Amongst all this edible goodness was a massive green cabbage (It was the size of a basketball!) , and some other yummy root vegetables. Being that we’re approaching the end of Summer, my cooking style is starting to shift away from lighter meals to hardier comfort food.

With this in mind I decided to whip up a batch of cabbage soup while the lil one napped. (Who says cabbage soup is just for people on diets?!) Here we go…

Yummy Mummy Cabbage Soup
Prep Time: Approx. 30 min Cook Time: 1 hour
Makes approx. 10 servings

For this rendition, I used:

1/2 a very large green cabbage = to one whole regular cabbage, sliced thin & centre removed
3 white onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 turnip, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
10 cups water
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp olive oil and/ or butter
Optional: 100g bacon or ham (adds extra flavour)

Directions:

Start by warming some olive oil and/ or butter in large pot. Add diced onion & garlic.

Cook until onion is translucent; add 1 cup water, followed by turnip, carrots & celery

Once carrots & celery have softened, add bouillon cubes, remaining water & cabbage

Add salt & pepper to taste

Bring to a boil for 5- 10 minutes; cover & reduce heat for approx. 45 minutes to an hour

I let mine stand & cool on the stovetop for a while before transferring. With this batch I put some aside to eat right away, and portioned out the rest to freeze. This way, when the hubby has to work in the cold Fall & Winter weather, I can pull a bag to thaw overnight & send with him in a thermos.

I love when I get the chance to plan ahead!!! Any way to make life a little easier when you get the chance is a golden opportunity.

I hope you enjoy 🙂

Image Source: Simply Recipes

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