Menu Plan Monday Plus Cheater Lasagna Recipe

New Year, back on the meal planning wagon! Last week I participated in a Clean Eating group hosted by my favorite Team Beachbody coach, Jenny, (follow her page and get in on her next one, it is free and I got some delicious, real food tips for feeding my whole family!) This week, I am back to my faithful BFF, eMeals. I have recently switched meal plans (which is super easy and can be done once a month) from the Clean Eating plan to the Budget Friendly Family Plan.


Easy Budget Meals Your Family Will Love

I really liked the Clean Eating plan, but it was expensive, and not as family friendly as I would desire. I was leery of trying the Budget Friendly plan, as I feared that it would be a lot of mixes and convenience foods. But, I was pleasantly surprised! In the words of the eMeals website: “We maximize your savings without cutting corners on flavor or nutrition. No leftovers here! Our plan serves up a family-friendly mix of weeknight favorites, pantry meals, hearty soups and stews, and meatless dinners.”. I was able to pick up everything for seven dinners and sides, plus some breakfast lunch and snack staples for our family of 7 for $160.  And, since meals are planned. . .we won’t need takeout!

The food this week is super real too! And, I learned from Coach Jenny that weekend prep is the key to success! So, I boiled my chicken thighs for the “Cheater Chicken and Dumplings” along with chicken breasts for some chicken salad for my lunches and for the “Bow Tie Tomato Cream Sauce with Chicken”. I also cooked up the from scratch Spanish Rice for the “Baked Beef and Rice Tacos” which also takes advantage of leftovers from the “Slow Cooked Roast Beef”. I feel like we are set up for a week of success!

So, here is what is on the menu!

  • Sunday (yesterday): Creamy  Ham Peas and Ranch Pasta (super tasty!)
  • Monday: Cheater Chicken and Dumplings
  • Tuesday: Slow Cooked Roast Beef, mashed potatoes, steamed green beans
  • Wednesday: Bow-Tie Tomato Cream Sauce with Chicken, steamed broccoli
  • Thursday: Skillet Balsamic Chicken, homemade rice pilaf and peas and corn.
  • Friday: Baked Beef and Rice Tacos. with sauteed Zucchini, corn and black beans.
  • Saturday: Winter Red beans and Sausage soup and corn bread.

I love that i can leave instructions with the teen, or with my husband and they can have dinner on the table in no time if I have to work late.

So far, so good. I’ll keep you all posted! I am always glad to have healthy food, that fits my budget. With this plan, someone has done the work to make sure I use up the whole package of whatever I bought, or can creatively use leftovers.

Want to try a recipe that you are likely to find on the Budget Friendly Family Plan? Try this Cheater Lasagna!

cheaterslasagna-emeals cheaters-lasagna-recipe-card1-emeals

Have you tried eMeals? How do you meal plan? Has it saved you time? Money? Share your Meal Planning Tips in the comments!

Meal Planning for Sanity, Health, and Savings


Meal Planning Made Simple

I am a huge advocate for meal planning. I am not always the most consistent meal planner, but when I do plan ahead, we eat better and spend less.

For several years now I have been a happy subscriber to eMeals. Some weeks I follow the meal plans to the letter. Other weeks I look to the plan for inspiration or to get out of a rut. I am currently subscribed to the eMeals Clean Eating Meal Plans, and while I have been happy with the meals, they have not been as much of a hit with the younger members of the family.

It is easy enough to switch plans, and I will likely switch back to either the Classic meal plan or I may try out the brand new Budget Friendly plan!

Some of the benefits of meal planning are:

  • Meal Planning saves Money: Not only does planning meals in advance give the opportunity to shop sales. meal planning takes the guesswork out of “What’s for dinner?” and avoids last minute (and expensive) take-out.
  • Meal planning encourages variety: If I am left to my own devices, I will make the same four meals week after week after week. This will be a great thing for my child who ONLY likes chili, however, everyone else begins to grumble about dinner.
  • Meal planning encourages teamwork: If I plan meals in advance, I can assign cooking tasks to family members much more easily. Rather than just ask my husband or a teen to prepare dinner, I can ask them to cook and give them the step by step instructions and guarantee that all of the needed ingredients are on hand!

I like taking the weekly plans from eMeals and then weave in our family favorites. There is usually at least one meal planned a week that just does not suit our family palate, and it is easy for me to sub in  a family favorite. If you take advantage of the eMeals iOS app there is even a new functionality that allows you to switch meals between menus.

Chime in! Do you meal plan? What is your favorite tool to make it easier? What meal is your go-to  for meal planning?

Healthy Meal Plans to Match your Active Lifestyle

Back To School Menu Planning

Back to School Meal Ideas

Back to School Meal Ideas

 

With the kids heading back to school, and one fewer kid at the table (sniff), it is time to buckle back down with meal planning.

Summer can be fun with lazy days and no bedtimes. We tend to not even start thinking about dinner until after I get home from work, and then work together to get something on the table–which often includes a last minute trip to the grocery store. Summer dinners are later (sometimes as late as 7:30!)

But, with school starting and homework, and sports and choir practices, we need to be more consistent about meals in our house.

As a working mom I’m blessed with a husband with a flexible work schedule who handles the after school rush. He is also willing to at least start cooking dinner–with one requirement: I have to leave him a recipe. And it can’t be a recipe like we women share (throw some chicken and some rice in a pot, etc.). My husband has a masters degree in engineering. He values precision. So, I have to leave him with a real recipe. . .and I need to make sure that all of the ingredients are actually in the house.

This transition can be softened with the help of one of my favorite organizational tools, eMeals! eMeals provides you simple breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert meal plans to help you easily and effectively plan meals for your family.

One of the new favorites is their kid-friendly meal plan. Each meal plan comes with a ready-made shopping list to help you get through the grocery store in no time flat! Sign up for eMeals now and you can get 2 bonuses:

 

  1. Save 20% with code SCHOOL on any eMeals Meal Plan
  2. A FREE Back to School Survival Guide filled with fun back to school recipes including 3 Power Breakfast Recipes, 2 Lunch Box Recipes, 2 Weeknight Dinners, 2 After School Snacks, and 1 Yummy Dessert!

You can see an example of one of the recipes from the Back to School kit below to enjoy with your kids.

Turkey-Bacon Tortilla Roll-ups

  • 8 slices bacon
  • Mayonnaise
  • 1 (8-oz) package store-bought guacamole
  • 4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1/4 lb thinly sliced deli turkey
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (or any shredded cheese)
  • 1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce (optional)

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp; drain.

Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise and guacamole over each tortilla.

Layer turkey, bacon and cheese on each tortilla.

Add lettuce, if desired.

Roll up tortillas,and cut in half.

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 5 minutes
  • Total time: 15 minutes

Getting Our Dinners Back on Track With emeals

Loaded Potato Soup Recipe


eMeals Meal Plans

I’ve been an eMeals.com subscriber for about a year now. I’m a pretty good cook, and I have stacks and stacks of cookbooks, but I was getting bogged down with meal planning. And by bogged down, I mean that I stopped doing it.

I went through a stage of just making our family favorites, but then we all got tired of spaghetti and chili. I went through a cookbook phase where everyday featured a new recipe. That worked about half the time.

Then, I hopped onto the career track. Everything changed. Continue reading “Getting Our Dinners Back on Track With emeals”