It is well known, and often suggested, that meal planning will help you stay on track budget wise AND health wise. It can seem like a daunting task and to be honest, at first, it is. There is a lot to sift through and it can also be a lot of trial and error. However, it is very much worth the effort! Your health is worth it and it is so satisfying to be telling your money where to go rather than being held hostage by the almighty dollar--always trying to make more which just leads to stress and more stress!
In order to have LESS stress and chaos in our lives, we might have to put up with a temporary increase while we get things more organized and regain some control. So, roll up those sleeves, my friends and make your health, your budget and your time a priority! Once you get this going, it becomes a lot easier AND you end up with more time for other things, dinner time is less stressful and your health improves which means you, and your whole family, feel better!
Here is what we are having this week:
*Some of these are recipes I've pulled from other sites and some are classic favorites of my family. I'll link recipes I've gotten from other sites and for my own ideas, I'll list out the ingredients I purchased. I feed eight every week so adjust your amounts accordingly. If a linked recipes has fewer servings listed, I just adjust my amounts.
**I also don't assign my meals to certain days of the week. I make a plan for a week and then buy the ingredients, knowing that I have everything I need on hand to make those 6 meals during the week. I only plan 6 meals because we always have 1-2 leftover nights. This is another budget saver because that means most of my leftovers get eaten instead of thrown out. I'm finding that my consistency in doing this pays off, because I often have more meals planned that I need, so I just carry it over to the next week. By not assigning them a specific night, this allows me to be flexible, if we have a busier day than normal, I can choose one of the really super easy meals to fix that night or if I'm going to be gone I can make sure that it's something easy my kids can make or I can prepare ahead of time. My stress and frustration with meals times has drastically reduced by being intentional with meal planning.
***You will find that my meals are chosen because they are gluten free and low grains. I have food allergies/sensitivities as do most of my kids. So, while we don't live a strictly Keto lifestyle, I find a lot of meal ideas and inspiration from those types of sites featuring meals for that lifestyle. I will sometimes sub Cauli-Rice for Rice, or add potatoes, maybe use a GF Pasta in a meal. You can adjust accordingly.
MEAL #1 Low-Carb BBQ Meatballs from That Low Carb Life and buttered Mashed Cauliflower
I'm really looking forward to this meal! I will most likely cook these in my Instant Pot along with the Mashed Cauliflower which will make this meal super quick, easy and less mess to clean up too!
For the buttered mashed cauliflower, you want to steam it first, drain off any excess water, place back in your pot, mashed it, adding butter, salt, pepper and heavy cream. It is SO good!
MEAL #2 Egg Roll In a Bowl from Whole New Mom
This is something I've made before, but I've not used this recipe before and it sounds delicious! I love to use "bowl" recipes because they are not only quick, easy and cheap but they are packed full of veggies and are filling! These take about 30 minutes to make--seriously, you won't regret trying this!
MEAL #3 Loaded Cauliflower from Low Carb Maven (I'm adding some shredded chick to this too! I'll cook and cut up 4 Organic Frozen Chicken Breast from Costco after thawing.) A bag is only $17.99 and I can get 2 meals from it or one large meal!
I look for family pleasing casseroles, one dish meals when I'm searching for things to try. One because they are easy and I can usually modify easily to suit my family's health and allergies. Two, because they are less costly, usually, and also less stressful to make. I want to eat healthy but I'm not into spending hours and hours in my kitchen. I reserve that for special occasions like Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc..
MEAL #4 Low Carb/Keto Beef Stroganoff from Head Bangers Kitchen (don't you love the name of this site?!?)
I chose this one because I loved the combination of seasonings. I will use ground beef to make this meal a bit cheaper for my family and offer the option of GF pasta and also have some Zucchini Noodles, or Zoodles, as well to serve this with when we have it this coming week. Stroganoff is a family fave--yummy comfort food--and it can be thrown together pretty easily if you use ground beef instead of steak or another cut of meat. I'll probably try it sometime exactly as described but for a week night meal, I want quick and easy!
MEAL #5 Salsa Chicken (with Cauli-Rice or White Rice) from My Natural Family
This is so easy! I will use the Organic Salsa from Costco--you get two BIG jars for less than $8!!! I also made this in my Instant Pot. I set it and forget it! I added the jar of Salsa, some salt, pepper, chili blend spice, a large can of green chilies and a can of coconut milk (also from Costco!) It helps beef up the flavor and keep the chicken nice and moist plus you get a fantastic "broth" to pour over that rice or Cauli-Rice! YUM!!!!
MEAL #6 BLT Avocado Salad from Simple Living Wellness!
I LOVE BLT's! and I love Avocadoes! I decided to combine some of my favorites into a very delicious and easy to make meal! You have to make this one with Iceberg Lettuce so you get that CRUNCH! I do get organic because lettuce is heavily sprayed with pesticides--YUCK!! My tomatoes come from Cecil Farms which a local CSA. Check them out and if you're local and want to sign up, use this link (affiliate link). They deliver! The quality is excellent and it's all so delicious!
Now, back to the salad! You need about 2-3# of good, quality, thick bacon for this meal--choose one free of nitrites and nitrates. You can learn some other ingredients to avoid in food here. You will also need 6 cage free eggs, 4-6 avocados depending on size, onion and your favorite dressing!
Cook your bacon and let it cool. Cook your eggs and let them cool. While both of these are cooling, chop up your lettuce, slice and dice those tomatoes, get your avocados ready! Once the eggs and bacon are cool you're ready to go! I put my chopped lettuce in a big bowl for each person to add to their plate or bowl. Then they get to add all the yummy toppings! Chopped bacon, sliced hard boiled egg, tomatoes, avocado, onion and their favorite dressing.
This salad is so filling AND it comes together very quickly and easily too! I cook my eggs in my Instant Pot (you can find a post on my IG here on how to do this in FOUR minutes!) I cook my bacon in the oven--so much easier and less messy!
It's a perfect meal on a hot summer night!
I hope this helps you to organize meal time more effectively! Come back and tell me what you loved!