Simple Meal Plans & Real Life – April 14

It’s been a while since I’ve written a post with how our dinners have gone over the past week.  I started to say that last week was out of the ordinary, but truly, every week is a little different than the one before.

What is true is that I kept things very simple for dinner last week.  The week before I’d created quite a lot of recipes, so maybe I needed a break.  Or maybe I was just being lazy.

We started off Monday by staying up to watch the NCAA Basketball game.  Such a good game, but so sad for those of us here in Kentucky.  And it made us pretty tired the rest of the week too!

Monday night we had Orange Chicken.  I added a fresh pineapple that needed to be used and it was so good!  We love this quick meal.

Tuesday night I created a new recipe for a client.  It will be posted on the blog next month I think.  You’re going to love it!  I know we did.

Wednesday is an evening that has everyone going in different directions.  It was mostly YOYO (you’re on your own).  I did make a skillet of Migas for Jim, Mia and myself.

Thursday night I had book club.  I picked up a rotisserie chicken for everyone else to eat.

Friday night we ate a quick dinner of tacos before driving Isaac to the high school formal dance.  It was held at the castle and we wanted an opportunity to look around a bit.  This place sat empty for years and years before finally being turned into a hotel.

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It’s not the kind of place you expect to see in central Kentucky, is it?

After we dropped Isaac off, we met friends at Graeter’s for ice cream.  The weather was gorgeous and we were able to sit outside to eat.

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

If you’ve been looking for a way to save time on menu planning, you’ll want to look into getting our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the organizing and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Whole Foods Menu

  1. Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
  2. Sweet & Smokey Salmon
  3. Chicken Tacos
  4. Chicken Avocado Lime & Cliantro Soup
  5. Chicken Curry
  6. Veggie Pie
  7. Caramel Apple Pie

Traditional Menu

  1. Chicken, Plantains, and Spinach in Coconut Milk
  2. Steak Burgers
  3. Grilled Fish Sandwich
  4. Ham and Swiss Scalloped Potatoes
  5. Easy Pizza Rice Casserole
  6. Mexican Vegetables over Cornbread
  7. Brownies a la Mode with Wild Berry Sauce

Slow Cooker Menu

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Simple Meal Plans and Freezer Meal Video

I posted the video for the April Slow Cooker Freezer Meals the other day.  This time, I show how to package the meals for a smaller family of 3-4 people.  For the record, I still really, really hate seeing myself on these videos.  I hope that seeing the meals prepped is helpful though.

The freezer week for April is April 21.  The recipes will be previewed on the blog then.  But members get access to the whole month at once for all three of the Weekly Meal Plan options – Traditional, Slow Cooker and the new Whole Foods Plans.

Meal Plan collage

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

If you’ve been looking for a way to save time on menu planning, you’ll want to look into getting our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the organizing and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Whole Foods Menu

  1.  Italian Sausage Skillet
  2. Easy Meatball Subs using homemade meatballs
  3. Homemade Chicken Fingers
  4. Whole Wheat Waffles
  5. Chicken Vegetable Soup
  6. Homemade Pizza (or) Calzone
  7. Amish Oatmeal Cookies

Traditional Menu

  1. Cheesy Chicken Chili Mac
  2. Pizza Steak Sandwiches 
  3. Crab Cakes with Creamy Sauce
  4. Italian Sausage with Bowties
  5. Grilled Chicken
  6. Chicken Cordon Bleu Sliders
  7. Coconut No Bake Cookies

Slow Cooker Menu

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Simple Meal Plans & Real Life – March 31

The new Whole Foods Meal Plan will be posted for members on April 1, along with the Traditional and Slow Cooker meal plans. You can find out more about the Whole Foods Plan here and more about Weekly Meal Plan membership here.

Have I mentioned lately that we’re planning a wedding?  Our oldest daughter, Meredith is getting married May 31.  We’re keeping things simple, but even so, a wedding is a big event!  If you’ve been through marrying off a daughter, I’d love your wedding planning advice :)

We’ve been joking that Meredith thinks we’ve gotten a lot done and I say we’ve gotten nothing done.  I think the reality is somewhere in the middle.  

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Traditional Plan

Slow Cooker Plan

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New! Whole Foods Weekly Meal Plan!

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I am so excited to tell you about the new Whole Foods Weekly Meal Plan option!  This will be available for members beginning with our April plans. (April plans will go up on the member page on April 1.)  The Whole Foods Plan joins our Traditional and All Slow Cooker Weekly Meal Plans.  Members get access to all three options!

Meal Plan collage

There’s a whole spectrum of how people eat at home.  What people consider healthy varies widely.  No matter what you choose to eat, there’s someone who will cite research to say that it isn’t healthy.

With this Whole Foods Plan, we want to avoid all judgement and encourage healthy eating.  This plan seeks to incorporate a wide variety of healthy foods.  If you are following a paleo diet or vegetarian/vegan diet or raw diet, this is not the plan for you.

But if you’re interested in eating more whole grains, vegetables and fruits, along with a variety of meats then you’ll like this meal plan.  The recipes are Eat at Home favorites, with changes made to add whole foods where needed.

Our goal at Eat at Home is to help you make healthy choices for your family.

When you think of Whole Foods think FRESH, UNPROCESSED, & REAL. Whole Foods are fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, real cheese and whole grains. We will stay away from refined sugars and highly processed foods. You will find that you will recognize the ingredients.

The Whole Foods Meal Plan will encourage you to use fresh food when possible because it has the most nutrients and vitamins. You’ll be encouraged to make things from scratch, and we will give you all the encouragement we can to help you gain confidence as a healthy cook! We know that many of you want to eat as healthy as possible, and we want to be a resource for you as you make highly nutritious meals for your family!

Just like our other meal plans, the Whole Foods Plan includes 6 dinners and 1 dessert.  We aim to make the dessert as healthy as possible too.  Honestly, we debated whether or not to include dessert.  In the end we decided that one dessert a week provides a nice treat.  And it’s good to see how even dessert can be made more nutritious.

Introducing our new Whole Foods Plan writer

I have wanted to introduce a Whole Foods Plan for a while now, but I knew I needed a special writer for it.  While my family does eat healthy, we also eat a wide variety of foods, including those that are not whole foods (pasta and white flour, I’m looking at you!).

I wanted to bring on a writer who could take Eat at Home favorite recipes and adapt them where needed.  I also wanted someone who could add a new dimension of options specifically for the Whole Foods Plan.  And the new meal plan writer would need to be able to keep things simple and convenient as much as possible too.

Enter Sarah!  I’m going to let her tell about herself and her family’s journey to whole foods:

“After my husband and I had been married for one month we hopped on the industrial scale at his family pecan farm only to discover we each had gained 15 pounds. 15 pounds in one month! That was not ok! We read the Makers Diet by Jordan Rubin, and consulted a few nutrition experts that we knew. We decided we were going to focus on eating Whole Foods. (*Not to be confused with the organic grocery store Whole Foods.) I started creating a weekly meal plan, so we knew what we were going to eat each evening. After one month of eating whole, unprocessed food, we had both lost the extra honeymoon weight and we both started feeling great.

Over the years our meal plan has changed. I’ve learned a lot about what “healthy” food is, and what things to avoid, and what foods to enjoy. It has been a process. I did not make huge changes overnight. The small changes we have made have become part of a healthy lifestyle. We still eat French fries on occasion, and of course we enjoy birthday cake at family celebrations too, but we’ve made such great lasting changes that my children ask for Carrot Cake* for their birthdays, and green applesauce* for lunch. (Carrot Cake has 1 pound of carrots in it & green applesauce has spinach in it….and I know you’re thinking ‘yuck’, but they both taste great! And yes, my kids are normal!)

It is my hope that as the Whole Foods Meal Plan writer I can encourage you to make nourishing food that your family will enjoy, just like I am doing for mine. Oh, and you might like to know that we live on a really tight budget, and still eat GREAT! I cook 5 days out of a week, and we eat left overs 2 days. I enjoy cooking, but let me be honest… I need some down-time too!

I have a knack for being able to recreate recipes I’ve had at restaurants. I’m especially good at identifying ingredients based on taste. I am a firm believer that homemade food ALWAYS tastes better & is usually better for you too! All the women in my family are wonderful cooks, so I guess you could say good cooking is in my genes. I grew up eating colorful meals, which were typically meat and veggies. As I discovered my own style of cooking I realized I liked eating REAL food. I also realized that food is connected to many special relationships, and those relationships grow and blossom around meals. There is much to be said for sharing a meal with one another. When food tastes good you want to savor it, and you want to share it with those you love. It is my genuine hope that I can encourage you to learn the benefits of eating WHOLE FOODS, and help you to provide the most nourishing, live giving food you can provide for your family!”

If you aren’t a member of the Weekly Meal Plans yet, you can find out more by clicking here.

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Simple Weekly Meal Plans (Slow Cooker Freezer Meals Plan) – March 24

I’m really excited to announce that this is coming to the Weekly Meal Plans starting in April!

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Lots more info will be coming later this week with all the specifics on the new Whole Foods Plan.

I shopped on Saturday with the grocery list for the Slow Cooker Freezer Meals plan for April.  I love shopping with these lists. It’s so easy  to be ready to walk out the door, since I just have to print the list.  No thinking.  No decisions.  (Am I the only one who feels like I’m on decision overload sometimes?)

I made all 6 meals in about an hour of time.  I even shot another video, which will be uploaded soon, to show how to pack up the meals for a smaller family.  Doing that yielded 12 meals!  Not bad for just an hour of time.

And this is the week for the Slow Cooker Freezer Meals for March!  If you’d like the grocery list and instructions to go with this, check out the Weekly Meal Plans.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Traditional Plan

5. Tuna Patties and Oven Fried Potatoes

Slow Cooker Plan

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Simple Meal Plans & Real Life – March 17

After a few weeks of a bad case of the cooking blues, I finally feel full of ideas for new recipes.  I’ve been playing with slow cooker desserts, have several ideas for ice creams and I’ve been using the pressure cooker too.

After all that cooking though, the week ended with a touch of the virus that Mia had last weekend.  Thankfully, it was short lived and I’m feeling better now.  It did keep me from posting weekend links yesterday.  And I didn’t get this post written ahead of time, so I’m knocking it out Sunday afternoon while watching While You Were Sleeping on Netflix and sitting by the fire.  A pretty good way to spend the day, especially since winter decided to make a come back today.

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

If your life is filled to the brim and you feel like you can’t do just one more thing, you’ll want to look into getting our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the planning and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Traditional Plan

Slow Cooker Plan

6. Corned Beef and Cabbage
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Simple Meal Plans & Real Life – March 10

We’ve been working behind the scenes on some exciting new additions to the Weekly Meal Plans.  I can’t wait to share with you, but I’m not quite ready yet.  I will say, I think you’re going to love it!

Last week started off with snow and ice and ended with highs in the upper 50s.  Crazy Kentucky weather!  Our dinners ranged from newly created recipes to simple things like pancakes and sausage.  We also had grilled cheese and tomato soup for one meal, which tasted great on a snowy day.

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

If you’ve been looking for a way to save time on menu planning, you’ll want to look into getting our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the organizing and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Traditional Plan

Slow Cooker Plan

1. Maple Apple Chicken 
2. Refried Beans without the Refry ( For bean and beef burritos)
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Simple Meal Plans & Real Life — March 3

It’s a new month, with new Weekly Meal Plans!

And we are edging closer to spring, even if the weather doesn’t quite feel like it yet.

Last week was my week to cook for lots of different company.  We had planned to have dinner with a family from church on Sunday, but they ended up having to cancel Saturday night because of sick kids.  I had already made a lot of food though, so  the seven of us feasted on pulled pork, hash brown casserole and Texas sheet cake.  And we had plenty for leftovers on Monday night too.

On Tuesday night, we had one of the slow cooker freezer meals I had stashed in the deep freeze.  This time it was Hawaiian Meatballs.  I am officially in love with slow cooker freezer meals!

Wednesday night I hosted book club.  I cooked a big pot of Velma’s Chili and a batch of Goat Cheese Biscuits.  For dessert we had Brownies with ice cream and wild berry sauce.  So good!  And that made enough to have again on Friday for lunch when my parents and uncle came to bring the new pantry.

Thursday night I tested a recipe for a client.  Unfortunately, it was a huge flop.  I hate it when that happens, but when you’re trying new ideas and recipes, you’re going to have the occasional flop.  Back to the drawing board for that one.

This week, I think things will be more normal for our dinners.  I’m hoping to test some more new recipes though.  Fingers crossed that I have better luck!

Look for the full story with lots of pictures of our new pantry coming early next week.  I’m in love with it!

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Simple Weekly Meal Plans

The beginning of the month is a great time to try our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the planning and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Traditional Plan

3. Rotisserie Chicken

Slow Cooker Plan

1. Philly Cheese Steak Soup in the Slow Cooker
2. Complete BBQ Chicken Dinner
3. Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole
4. Smoky Chipotle Chicken Tacos
5. Honey Hoisin Chicken
6. Ham Caribbean
7. Pear Tart with Cream Cheese Icing

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Simple Weekly Meal Plans & Real Life – February 24

Last week included a lot of recipe creation.  On Monday I made Slow Cooker Chicken Alfredo Soup.   This is such an easy recipe to make.  Which was a good thing, because I felt like I was playing catch-up from being gone the week before.

Tuesday and Wednesday I tested two more new recipes for a client.  One recipe involved chicken legs and the other used thin cut boneless pork chops.  Both turned out great.

On Thursday, I decided to use one of our slow cooker freezer meals (Taco Beef).  We’ve got a small deep freeze in the garage and the freezer in the house.  Both are bulging and I really need to use up some of the food stored there.  Of course, it might also help to clear out things we don’t need.  Such as the icicles someone decided to store.  Does anyone else have icicles or snow balls in their freezer?

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It’s Friday morning as I write this post and I have to admit that I don’t know what we’ll be having for dinner.  I suspect that I’ll hit up the freezer again.  It’s time to make the March batch of slow cooker freezer meals and I need a place to put them!

Next week, we’ve got company coming on three different days.  And if the weather holds, my parents will come next weekend so Dad can install the new pantry he built for us.  I can’t wait to see it!  Of course, this means I’m going to have to empty the pantry so I may keep my shopping trip light again this week.

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

Here’s a sneak peek at our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the planning and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Slow Cooker Plan

1. Slow Cooker Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

2. Slow Cooker Pasta Sauce with Sausage and Eggplant

3. Tangy Sweet Pork Chops in the Slow Cooker

4. Calico Bean Soup with Smoked Sausage

5. Angel Chicken

6. Teriyaki Pork Chops with Red Pepper and Pineapple

7. Streusel Cake

Traditional Plan

1. Cheesy Hamburger Soup

2. South of the Border Skillet

3. Pesto Tomato Pizza

4. Steak and Mashed Cauliflower

5. Italian Chicken and Rice Casserole

6. Swiss Mac n’ Cheese with Smoked Sausage

7. Low Carb Peanut Butter Fudge

 

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Simple Weekly Meal Plans & Real Life – February 17

It’s slow cooker freezer week!  In case you missed the video and want to see it, here’s the link.  It does cut off part way through. I’m sorry about that.  Obviously, I’m not a video pro.   And I still hate seeing myself on there!  I may never get past that feeling.

Last week was the third week in a row that Jim has been gone.  He’s been at Harvard Business School for the OPM program.  You’ve likely never heard of that (neither had I), but you may have heard that Tyra Banks graduated from Harvard.  She actually graduated from the OPM program and not the regular Harvard Business School, which caused a bit of a scuffle, because apparently she tries to pass it off as an MBA.

Anyway, Jim has been gone for three weeks for this program.  He works for a non-profit housing organization and a foundation sponsored him to go.  This is the third year in a row he’s gone and now he’ll be done.  As part of that, they have a graduation ceremony and a few other events.  I met Jim in Boston on Wednesday – Saturday to attend those with him.

I left several slow cooker freezer meals for the kids to have while we were gone (recipes at the bottom of this post).  But Jim and I basically ate our way through Boston.  We started with an Italian dinner at a restaurant near our hotel.

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This was one of the best meals I’ve ever had.  It helped that this was also the first meal I’d shared with Jim in nearly three weeks!  The restaurant was perfect.  It was quiet with red checked table clothes and Frank Sinatra playing in the background.  And the food was outstanding.

One day we went to Mike and Patty’s for lunch.  We chose this spot because it had great reviews on Yelp, but we didn’t expect it to be such a tiny restaurant.  There was only one table that customers shared.  It turned out to be perfect though.  I had migas, which tasted warm and comforting.  A nice contrast to the snowy day outside.

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It was a cozy, relaxing lunch in a friendly place.  Perfect!

Other highlights included cannolis at Quincy Market followed by an ill-advised attempt at walking to a bookstore in the middle of a snow storm.

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Jim and I had a great time in Boston, but I think we’re both ready for home cooked food again.  Time to head to the grocery store!

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

If your life is filled to the brim and you feel like you can’t do just one more thing, you’ll want to look into getting our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the planning and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Traditional Plan

1. Baked Potato Soup

2. Sweet n’ Sour Meatballs over Rice

3. Apple BBQ Pork Chops

4. Shrimp Tacos

5. French Dip Sandwiches 

6. Cheesy Chicken Rice Bake

7. Simple Coffee Cake

Slow Cooker Plan

1. Slow Cooker Hawaiian Luau Meatballs

2. Pork and Gravy Sandwiches

3. Honey Dijon Pork Chops and Apples

4. Pesto Tomato Ravioli

5. Chicken Enchilada Soup in the Slow Cooker

6. Easy Crockpot Beef Fajitas

7. Nutella Rice Krispie Treats

 

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