This fall, our daughter is headed to the sweetest little Pre-K program 5 days a week. I am so excited to see her grow, learn and thrive in a new environment. But admittedly, I’m a bit nervous for the “routine” of it all. Our collective schedules are already a bit packed between work, life and toddler joys. And I’m not the best at punctuality….consistency….and like, general life things that require adulting. Cooking falls in this category, and while I used to love it, feeding an entire family began to feel unexpectedly overwhelming. This was (entirely) due to the fact that I attempted previous recipes requiring 1.5-2 hours and multiple courses. Not feasible for this mama! The other part about “back-to-school,” even before I had a kiddo, that felt daunting, was my personal emphasis on healthier eating as summer came to a close. Between summer barbecues and spontaneous outings with friends, I tend to fully ditch a routine meal plan but, begin to crave the stability of it as fall rounds the corner.

I figured, I couldn’t be the only one evaluating my calendar and preparing for that “back-to-school” mindset. Even for those of us without kiddos in school, there is something about coming out of summer and resetting for the Fall I find exhilarating….and a bit daunting. To ease the transition, I’m starting a six week series of healthy recipes for back-to-school prep. Ideally, each of these will have a sliver of leftovers for our girl’s next day lunch.

To get back to the joys of cooking and bring some consistency to our week, we loosely meal plan for the week by sketching out favorite dishes and compiling a grocery list. (I then pick the recipe I most “feel” like day of!) . We’ve gotten into a bit of a rut, cooking the same things fairly consistently. So recently, we began searching for healthier versions of our favorite comfort foods.

Give me anything that includes bacon and buffalo sauce, and I’m right back in my southern, college game day, tailgating roots. Throw in a healthier version of my favorite combination? Yes, please. All over it. When I read about Mary’s Whole Life and her approach to one of my favorite dishes, I knew I had to try it. I kept the recipe as is, opting for the mild version of New Primal’s (incredible) buffalo sauce. When my sister makes this for her family, she adds red onion. Want even more kick? Throw in a jalapeño!

Loaded Potato & Buffalo Chicken Casserole {Whole30}

Hatton loved the Loaded Potato & Buffalo Chicken Casserole

Do you have a recipe you’d like featured during this series? Comment below with either a link or your recipe, and we will include our favorites!


Happy cooking,


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