10/3/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgWoo! Halloween is in less than 30 days! Time to start planning and sewing my friends.

With the surprising increase in the price of gas over the past 10 or so days, I decided to inventory the pantry really well yesterday and plan meals based on what we already have, or that require not too many additional items.

For my lunches this week, I’m making a pasta salad using up marinated artichoke hearts, jarred roasted peppers, bow tie noodles, and some leftover veggies from the fridge. I may also add cubed cheese too.

I hit up the grocery store and picked up milk, bread, and a few veggies (onions and strawberries), and our meal plan for the week is ready to go.

No CSA box this week, we got a jumbo box last week and we are still munching through it.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods. I received 5 coupons last week, and I need to hit up Sprouts this morning before work to redeem them.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. This is really helpful for the summer when for some reason, kids are starving all the time.

Dinner: I’ve got a couple casseroles/freezer meals this week, and other than that we’re eating easy and quick stuff so I can spend time playing, coloring, building legos, and swimming, which is the plan for the week.

  • Monday: Protein shakes or smoothies (We’re going to a special advanced screening of Lyle Lyle Crocodile)

  • Tuesday: Chick’n nuggets, Buttered noodles, fruit, cheese & crackers

  • Wednesday: Dream Dinners Pesto Tortellini bake, green salad, garlic bread

  • Thursday:   Dream Dinners Lucky Dragon Pork Tenderloin with Jasmine Rice, stir-fried veggies

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday:  Soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, fruit

Recipe: The Best Salad Ever

This salad is dead simple. And delicious. And I could probably eat it every day for the rest of my life. I had one last night, and this morning for breakfast.

YES- breakfast salad is a thing.

Let’s get this out of the way: This salad is vegetarian, but it is not vegan. To my knowledge, there is no goat cheese vegan substitute.

The Best Salad Ever

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups of greens (I like Romaine, arugula, endive, radicchio, and a fistful of spinach)
  • 1 cup strawberries, de-stemmed and sliced
  • 1 English cucumber, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple, cut into bite-size pieces (leave the skin on)
  • 1/4 c candied pecans, roughly chopped
  • 4-ounces of goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Directions:

  1. Toss all ingredients in a large chilled salad bowl- serve ASAP.

This recipe serves 4-6 as a side dish or 2-3 as a main dish. None of these ingredients are hard to find- I picked everything up at Target (I ordered on the app of course, and I did drive up pick up with the kids after school!).

It is really tasty with grilled chicken breast on top.

Meal Kit Round Up and Deals- Updated for 2022!

In my 12+ years as a blogger, I have reviewed a fair number of meal kits on the market. With the seemingly never-ending quarantine and the new normal being social distancing, something different is now more appreciated than ever.

I love trying out meal kits, they are a great way to try new recipes with new ingredients that I may not already have on hand. Here are a few of the meal kits that I’ve tried, links to reviews, and any deals or coupon codes I could find.

My number one local Meal Plan company is Dream Dinners (a review can be found here). There are locations all over the US, and my go-to location in La Mesa.

If you’ve never checked out Dream Dinners, Check out this great deal!

Learn how to meal prep with Dream Dinners. Available at our local stores, the Meal Prep Starter Pack will help you get dinner on the table with up to 4 family-style dinners for just $79.00.

  • Chef-created, family-friendly recipes are prepped in our local assembly kitchens.
  • Ready-to-cook frozen dinners leave you prepared for dinner.
  • Easy to follow instructions making both cooking and clean up simple and stress-free.
  • 20 years of experience.

Overall, my favorite mail order/delivery meal kit company is Dinnerly.

They have a nice mix of kid-friendly dishes and stuff that is decidedly more “grown-up food”. I wrote a review here. In addition to having a nice mix of dishes to choose from, the other thing I like is that Dinnerly is the first subscription meal kit service to offer $4.49 per serving. My big qualm with meal kits is that the meals can sometimes be upwards of $8-$10/per serving. At that point, you might as well go out for dinner!

Freshly is the next up on our highly received Meal companies. I reviewed Freshly in 2016, and it’s a little different that most of the other meal companies in that all of the food comes already cooked. All you do is heat and eat.

The portions are big, so if you wanted to stretch them, all you would need is an additional side, like a green salad.

Right now when you use Promo Code: LAUNCH15 you will save $60.00 on your first 4 orders($15 per order).

Gobble has a really great deal. Choose your meals and receive Gobble box for $36 for 6 meals. I recently ordered this, so we’ll see how it turns out! Here is why I decided to try it:

    • Choose your meals from our diverse weekly menu. Gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, & vegetarian options are available.
    • Their team of chefs does all the tedious prep work for you — no more chopping, measuring, or sink full of dishes
  • Your freshly made 15-minute dinner kits will arrive in a refrigerated box to your doorstep. No commitment. Adjustable to your schedule.

 

Talk Back: I’d love to hear about Meal Kits that you have tried and which ones have worked for you and your family!

9/26/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI skipped meal planning last week. It was very busy, and there have been some kiddo-related issues that I’ve been dealing with, as well as working extra hours in the morning at my day job.

I hit up the grocery store on Sunday for milk, bread, and a couple things for school lunches. Again this week but we’re eating out of the pantry and our  Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box, which will be delivered this afternoon.

I did a mini bundle at Dream Dinners this month, and we’ll be enjoying a few of those meals as well.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods. I picked up 5 new products to try this week at Sprouts last night using my Social Nature coupons!

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. These snacks make up most of the kid’s lunches during the school week. School lunches are still free, but on most days, they prefer to bring their lunches from home.

Dinner: Now that school is in session and our weekday schedule is cemented, I’m using one weekend morning to do some baking/side dish meal prep, and Monday afternoons after school/work to prep the CSA box goodies.  As the price of groceries goes up, I find myself buying less meat, relying more on sale/clearance prices, and repurposing leftovers.

  • Monday: Dream Dinners Jambalaya (no shrimp for me), roasted veggies

  • Tuesday:  Breakfast for dinner (bagels, fresh fruit salad, protein shakes)

  • Wednesday: Loaded Smashed Potatoes – we didn’t have them last week, Salad

  • Thursday:   Chef Salad, garlic cheese toast

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday: Dream Dinners Central Park Chicken with Creamed Peas, fruit salad

Dream Dinners: 8 Meals in The September Mini Bundle

It’s that time again! La Mesa Dream Dinners mini order is perfect if 12 is too many meals this month. By Friday, September 16th at 9am, you can order this mini bundle for just $189 for 8 medium-size meals. You can cross grocery shopping and meal prep off your to-do list, giving you more time to savor time with your family and friends!

The September Dinner Bundle includes:

  1. Arroz con Pollo
  2. Outlaw Chicken Burgers with Crispy Shoestring Fries
  3. Chateau Chicken with Almond Butter Sauce
  4. Meatball Marinara Stuffed French Bread
  5. Creamy Pesto Tortellini
  6. New Orleans Jambalaya
  7. Central Park Garlic Chicken with Creamy Herbed Peas
  8. Lucky Dragon Pork Tenderloin with Jasmine Rice

This limited-time offer ends on Friday, September 16th at 9am! Call or Text 619-460-6800 or email lamesaca@dreamdinners.com to reserve yours.

9/13/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI’m so tired of it being so humid. Last week we were inside a lot between the heat/humidity and the rain from Tropical Storm Kay. We ate a lot of fruit last week, and the CSA box came yesterday, so we’re going to do it again!

I hit up the grocery store on Sunday. Again this week but we’re eating out of the pantry and our  Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box, which was delivered yesterday afternoon. With the increased cost of groceries, I’m really leaning on cooking meals from our pantry stables and using fresh produce.

I did a bunch of meal prep yesterday afternoon to cut down on cooking time:

  • Marinated Salad (I’ve been using pre-made vinaigrette dressings instead of making my own)
  • Mixed Veggies to roast (I’ll do that later this week)
  • Sliced watermelon
  • Sliced strawberries

I’ll make a fruit salad later in the week when the stone fruit (peaches, plums, nectarines) ripen.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods. I picked up 5 new products to try this week at Sprouts last night using my Social Nature coupons!

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. These snacks make up most of the kid’s lunches during the school week. School lunches are still free, but on most days, they prefer to bring their lunches from home.

Dinner: Now that school is in session and our weekday schedule is cemented, I’m using one weekend morning to do some baking/side dish meal prep, and Monday afternoons after school/work to prep the CSA box goodies.  As the price of groceries goes up, I find myself buying less meat, relying more on sale/clearance prices, and repurposing leftovers.

  • Monday: Home-Made Pizza, Fruit

  • Tuesday:  Mac n’ Cheese, Roasted Veggies

  • Wednesday: Loaded Smashed Potatoes (Recipe coming this week), Salad

  • Thursday:   Grilled Cheese or Quesadillas, Soup, & Salad

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday: Fruit Salad, Funeral Potatoes, Toast

Large Free Classic Pizza from Little Caesar’s!

Looking for some pizza for the next NFL game? Every Monday, Thursday, and Sunday in September when you spend $20 or more at Little Caesar’s you can score a FREE Large Classic Pizza with Coupon Code CLASSICPLAY6 at checkout in the Little Caesar’s App!

For those of you looking for pizza on a budget, this is a great deal. The boy kid loves pizza, and Little Caesar’s is usually requested.

9/5/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgThis past weekend was hot. And humid. We spent most of the weekend indoors, playing games, watching videos, and eating strawberries.

I hit up the grocery store Friday to pick up a few things, but we’re mostly living off the pantry and our  Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box, which was delivered this afternoon.

I did a bunch of meal prep this evening:

  • Green Salad
  • Marinated Salad
  • Mixed Veggies to roast (I’ll do that tomorrow afternoon)
  • Cauliflower to roast
  • Sliced watermelon
  • Sliced strawberries

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods. I received a few more coupons over the weekend, so I’ll visit Sprouts sometime this week to pick up the new foods. I’m focusing on snacks and treats from Social Nature.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. This is really helpful for the summer when for some reason, kids are starving all the time.

Dinner: I’ve got a couple casseroles/freezer meals this week, and other than that we’re eating easy and quick stuff so I can spend time playing, coloring, building legos, and swimming, which is the plan for the week.

  • Monday: Fruit Salad, Protein Shakes

  • Tuesday:  Chef Salad (Using the green salad I made, plus bacon crumbles, hardboiled eggs, and cheese)

  • Wednesday: Crockpot Chili, cheese toast, fruit

  • Thursday:  Spaghetti with red sauce and hot Italian sausage, roasted veggies

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday:  Tamales, Beans, Rice, Salad

NEW Rubio’s Rewards

Introducing the NEW Rubio’s Rewards program, where you can earn points with every purchase and redeem them for free food.

  • $5 off your first order
  • 10 points for every $1 spent in the restaurant, in the app or online
  • Earn bonus points throughout the year
  • Special birthday surprises
  • Insider access to new products
  • Fast grab-and-go ordering

Recipe: Lemon Herb Chicken

This recipe has been fine-tuned and constantly evolving for a while.  It originally started as a copycat of the Greek Chicken restaurant near me. This chicken is now a million times better.

Lemon Herb Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken (I use breasts or thighs)
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (I like sweet onions)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons Oil of your choice (I like olive or avocado)
  • 2 Tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Prepare the marinade:

  1. Pat chicken dry and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl juice the lemons, set the lemons aside.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and whisk together.
  4. Chop up juiced lemons, add to marinade.
  5. In a large ziploc bag, pour marinade and add chicken.
  6. Allow chicken to marinate for at minimum 2 hours- I usually let it marinate overnight.

Cooking the chicken:

  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 T. oil or spray pan with spray release.
  2. Cook chicken on each side until brown and internal temp is at minimum 165.

This chicken is also great grilled! I love serving this chicken with a crisp cool green salad, hummus, and pita.