One of the most effective ways to save time and money in your kitchen is to get into the habit of meal planning. For some, meal planning seems to come naturally, and for others, it is a blank calendar staring at them.
Let’s get you past that blank calendar, and take the intimidation factor out of meal planning!
Tonight I had the whole crew plus one of the young adults home for dinner. I wanted something quick and hearty.
One of my favorite meal planning tools is Plan to Eat. This handy website subscription enables me to store all of my recipes, and schedule them into a handy calendar interface AND generates a shopping list for me.
I often will plan out my meals for the week knowing that I may switch around the order that I prepare meals, but it also ensures I have all of the ingredients on hand to prepare any of the meals.
This is BY FAR one of my favorite working mom systems. (and trust me–I have worked through so many meal prep and planning systems–email me if you want me to help you find the system just right for YOU!)
I wanted to be able to cook something quick, lest our “bonus guest” would try to escape before dinner time, and I wanted to make sure it would be a meal that he would enjoy.
Thankfully, Taco Soup was the meal I had selected for today. Pretty much any meal I have cooked from the SkinnyTaste website or cookbooks has been a total win for our family, and I can feel good about my quest for healthier eating as well.
I was intrigued by one of the ingredients to what seemed like a run of the mill chili (and run of the mill is exactly what my family wants–no suprises, yo!). This recipe called for a can of refried beans. This simple addition is EXACTLY what was needed to kick this recipe from good to pretty awesome.
I added a can of black beans to the mix, since we were adding a hearty eater to our usual family dinner of six–and we love our beans!
This meal generated seven clean plates–which is a clean sweep!
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