I have been trying to introduce cooking into our homeschool curriculum for years but I have always been hesitant because it is so much work! I’m exhausted just from the shopping, washing the veggies, chopping the veggies, thawing the meat, browning (or sauteing) the meat, and then (finally!) cooking everything. It takes hours with just me doing it and now I’m adding an inexperienced tween to the mix? No, thank you! Then Thrive Life introduced their new meal kits called Simple Plate and it’s like the heavens opened and my prayers were answered! I will admit that even though I love Thrive foods and use them a lot in my kitchen, I was absolutely skeptical of these new kits in the beginning. It did not seem like there would be enough food in these meal boxes for a kid’s tea party let alone enough to feed my family of five but I was wrong. These kits cook up a lot of food! I was very impressed.
So tonight my daughter and I had the rare opportunity to be the only ones home for dinner (seriously, this never happens!). We were both EXHAUSTED from our first CC Community Day of the new school year but I didn’t want to miss this golden opportunity with my girl. I figured she would have a lot of fun cooking dinner and it seemed like the perfect night to test out the Simple Plate that I had purchased a few weeks ago. You guys! This was the easiest thing ever to cook!
The kit had been delivered to my door (with free shipping!) so that was one hassle down. All of the veggies were prewashed and prechopped so I didn’t have to stress for an hour in the kitchen watching my nine year old wield a sharp knife.
The recipe was easy to follow and all of the ingredients came in color coded, numbered pouches so my daughter could easily follow the directions on her own. We spent about 30 minutes together actually cooking! She was on cloud nine that she got to cook dinner by herself (with just a little stove/oven supervision from mom) and has already requested making another meal next Friday. This had to be the easiest cooking experience I have ever had with any of my children so we’re definitely signing up for the delivery service. I can’t wait to try out the other kits!
color coded, numbered pouches for an easy dinner that even a nine year old can cook
Awesome meal kit for kids! My 9 year old loved cooking this one
I took a ridiculous number of pictures since I didn’t need to do anything other than stand there.
My daughter decided that a special night deserved special table adornments (hence the candles and fake flowers, lol).
This Simple Plate is the two person Garden Veggie Lasagna but we didn’t even eat a third of it (even though it was so yummy I could eat the entire pan). It would definitely feed at least three people. The four person version should feed about 5-6 people.
You need to purchase a minimum of three meal kits for an initial order but can add more kits to the box once the minimum is met. There are eight different kits available right now but the company has promised more to be added each month (including Gluten Free and dairy free kits).
Our latest food upgrade efforts are to rescue the children from sad, boring, unhealthy (but expensive!) lunches. Like many overworked moms, I have gotten into the habit of giving the kids quick and easy lunches that usually consist of a processed meat sandwich and chips or something that can be easily nuked like chicken patties or frozen meatballs. Our mini jar meals have saved the day on plenty of occasions but we were looking for other options.
Thanks to the Pulled Pork Starter Box I have finally gotten around to trying the Thrive pulled pork. It is AMAZING! I can’t believe it took me so long to try it! I made this yummy BBQ sandwich last week in about 10 minutes so I will definitely be ordering more cans to stock in my home store.
I was able to get most of the Thrive ingredients for this lunch either free or half off due to the incredible host benefits that Thrive offers so it was definitely cheaper (and healthier!) than the sad bologna sandwiches my kids were previously eating.
I just kind of tossed this one together so I do not have any measurements or “official recipe” but it’s super easy to throw together. The ingredients (including the pork) are already cooked so you are just rehydrating and heating. Enjoy!
I am frequently asked how I use Thrive products so I thought I would share one way we use them so you can see how easy it is. In addition to our jar meals we use Thrive as a “toss & cook” dinner. Dinner is ready in 4 easy steps
Scoop: I have a shelf of “go to” veggies (corn, peas, onions, spinach, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, etc). I randomly scoop whatever we feel like having that night into a bowl.
Soak: I add water to the bowl (usually just enough to cover the veggies) and let it soak for about 5 minutes while I get everything else ready. Then I drain the excess water
Saute: Add a little bit of oil to a hot pan and saute the veggies for a few minutes (everything is already cooked so I’m just heating them up). I usually add some seasoning like Chef’s Choice.
Serve!: Serve it up as a delicious side dish or add rice & left over chicken/pork pieces for a full dinner. We’ll sometimes have something cooking in the crockpot.
There are so many variations on what you can cook with Thrive. You can have dinner on the table in 15-20 minutes & the best part is that you aren’t throwing away rotten vegetables all of the time!
In June 2015, Thrive Life announced that they were opening their own freeze drying facility in American Fork, Utah. Since that time they have been steadily changing their product line over to the new facility. If you receive a can from Thrive Life that has the new white label, it is being produced at that new facility.
I’ll be honest, some of the new products were a little underwhelming to me (here’s lookin’ at you sausage crumbles) but I was amazed at the new and improved tomato dices. I thought the dices were fine before but I was pleasantly surprised when I opened my first “white label can” yesterday. The color is a deeper red and the fresh tomato smell wafting out of the can was amazing! I can tell the new tomato dices are going to add a richer, more intense flavor to my jar meals. I hope Thrive Life continues to knock it out of the park with their future product updates.
We use tomato dices in a lot of our jar meal recipes. Check out some of our favorites below
Baby it’s cold outside! This is the perfect soup to warm the cold, dark days of winter. It’s full of veggie goodness and a breeze to cook- great for those nights when you’d rather snuggle under a fuzzy blanket and binge on Netflix than make dinner.
Ingredients to have on hand
1 TBSP butter
1/4 TBSP balsamic vinegar
4 cups water
To assemble jar meal
Add ingredients to a quart sized mason jar in the order listed. Place a moisture absorber in the jar, seal tight, and store in a cool dry place.
Directions to cook
Add 4 cups of water to pot and bring to a boil. Take out the moisture absorber and add the contents of the jar plus the butter and vinegar. Return to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.
Meal inspired by Todd Leonard, Chef for Thrive Life
Photo credit: Todd Leonard, Chef for Thrive Life
To assemble the jar meal:
Layer ingredients into a quart size jar, seal tightly and store in a dark, dry place (like a pantry). I usually cook my mixes within a few weeks of assembling them but if you would like to store them for more than a few months you can store them in a vacuum sealed container or add an oxygen absorber.
Bring 4 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Pour contents of jar into the water and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 12-15 minutes (or when noodles are done). Cover and set for 8-10 minutes.
I’m going to try and do better about posting the specials earlier in the month. Here are my personal top choices for the October Specials.
#1. Peach slices– the monthly Q-pons are always the best deal around and the peaches are an immensely popular item. This is definitely a “stockpile” price.
#2. Green Peas– these are delicious straight out of the can! I never would have imagined snacking on freeze dried peas but they make a great crunchy sweet treat. We also like to toss these into a bowl with Thrive Life chopped onions, sweet corn, red peppers, and green peppers for a tasty veggie mix to add to our Kielbasa and rice meal.
#3. Potato Chunks– I have used these mostly in soups like the Sausage Zuppa Toscana Soup. I love being able to toss potatoes into a dish without the hassle of prepping and peeling them. Super easy and delicious!