Our First Meal Plan: Review

Hey guys! I wanted to pop on here and write a review of the first meal plan that I posted a little while ago. True confession, I only ended up making 5 of the 6 meals, the chicken florentine got nixed in favor of chicken Spedie sandwiches. I’ll share my thoughts on the other 5 meals below.

Grocery Shopping

Not super thrilled with the cost of this meal plan. It was one of the most expensive shopping trips I’ve had in a while. You can expect future meal plans to take cost into consideration and keep it as low as possible. I don’t know if it was all of the fresh herbs or fancy cheeses, but yikes, I was a little frazzled in the check-out line. The layout of the grocery list worked well for me, but I designed it based on the store I shop in. Feel free to give me any suggestions for future grocery list designs.

The Meals

Let’s talk about the meals! For starters, I titled this meal plan “Simple Summer Meals” and a lot of the meals didn’t feel simple. Summer, yes. Simple, no. I will try to find even easier recipes for the next meal plan because I don’t know about you, but cooking in a hot kitchen is the last thing I want to do in the summer. Maybe we can step up our cooking game when the weather gets cold, but for now we’ll try to keep things as quick and easy as possible.

Spicy Southern Style Shrimp with Lemon Basil Orzo. This is the meal where my mom and I made versions that looked totally different. I’m a little jealous that hers actually included shrimp. I ended up subbing salmon for the shrimp because my husband isn’t a shrimp fan. It wasn’t my favorite meal, but Josiah liked it a lot and so did my parents. I think it was the cajun seasoning for me. I’ll eat Italian flavors all day long, but cajun…ehh. This recipe felt like a lot of work, or maybe I was feeling lazy that night πŸ˜‰ Would I eat it again? Not anytime soon.

Hello totally unphotogenic quesadillas! Chipotle black bean, brown rice, and mango quesadillas, to be exact. My first question for these quesadillas, where was the mango? It got sucked up by all of the other flavors in the quesadilla, and I put A LOT of mango in there. That was a little disappointing. The salsa that was served on the side, blah. If you’re a fan of black beans and rice, these are a winner because that’s about all you could taste. I actually like rice and beans a lot, but speaking on behalf of my husband, these were a no-go for him.

I had to include a photo of James’s tiny portion of this meal…that he didn’t touch. This was the Skillet Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Chicken and we really liked it, minus James. The prepping and cooking aspects of this meal weren’t that bad either. I overcooked the chicken a bit in the oven so parts of it were a little dry. The recipe says to bake for 10 minutes and I thought for sure that wasn’t long enough. Oh well. Don’t be alarmed if you make this meal and it looks like a hot mess, ours was too. The photo above is a miracle.

Baked Cheddar Pesto Egg Boats, I like you. Simple and satisfying breakfast for dinner type of meal. I appreciated the fact that this was an egg dish that didn’t taste like a full blown breakfast. I don’t know why, but sometimes the whole breakfast for dinner concept just isn’t satisfying enough. This was a good one though. The pesto helped to boost the flavor and there was a lot of bread involved πŸ™‚

Let’s end with a winner! Garlic Herb Corn Carbonara, yes please! Yes to all of the pasta, yes to the fresh summer herbs and corn, and yes to bacon. James was hilarious eating this meal too. I didn’t bother to cut up his spaghetti like I probably should have, so he kept grabbing a huge handful (AKA his whole serving) and of course it would all fall into his bib and I would have to retrieve it and put it back on his plate. Dinner is fun with a toddler. But yes, we all enjoyed this meal. I’m not sure how it will heat up as leftovers, it seems like it might dry out over time. Maybe I’ll just add a little olive oil? We’ll definitely be eating this meal again this summer!

Overall, not my favorite week of meals, but a couple of good ones. There is room for improvement with this whole meal planning idea. I’m excited to give it another try and I hope to put together an even simpler (and cheaper) week of meals next time! Let me know if you tried any of these meals and what you thought of them!

Happy Eating πŸ™‚

Our First Meal Plan!

I’m so excited to share my first meal plan with you guys! When I was brainstorming menu ideas for this meal plan I was all over the place searching meals from favorite food blogs of mine. It started to feel overwhelming and unorganized. In an effort to simplify things for all of us, I decided to feature one food blog this week and settled on Half Baked Harvest, written by Tieghan. I just recently discovered this food blog, and it seems very popular these days. She has such a great assortment of recipes and beautiful photos. You can even make an account on her website and save your favorite recipes for future reference. I can’t wait to try this week’s meals with all of you! Below are the logistics followed by printable copies of the meal plan and grocery list.

Theme: Simple Summer Meals from Half Baked Harvest

The Menu: I chose 6 meals from the website Half Baked Harvest as well as an additional “no recipe necessary” meal. It looks like a lot but almost all of the recipes are 30 minutes or less. We usually have at least one buffer meal a week, where we get takeout, eat at a friends house, leftovers, etc. But I wanted to write a full 7 day meal plan so that you can decide which dinners from the meal plan you want to make, and then just cross off the others. Or if you want to give all of them a try, go for it!

The Grocery List: The grocery list is organized by category. Since this is the first meal plan, there is certainly room for improvement in terms of simplifying the grocery list so that it is super easy for all of us to follow. In an effort to make things as effortless as possible, I put in parenthesis the recipe number next to each grocery item listed. If you decide not to make recipe number 6 for example, all you need to do is cross off or delete all of the items with a number 6 next to them.

Disclosure: I’m calling this week a test run. I have not made any of these meals myself, so I really don’t know if they will end up being favorites or not. I chose meals that seemed doable for busy weeknights and weekends, and looked yummy. I tried to include a variety of seasonal meals throughout the week featuring fresh summer produce. I am going to be following this meal plan right alongside of you so let’s hope for the best!

Let me know if you give it a try and we’ll be in touch about our thoughts on the menu design, grocery list, and execution of this meal plan!

Happy Eating πŸ™‚

**I wanted to save these documents as PDF format, but the translation was a mess. I left them as Word documents for now, but if you are having problems with downloading them let me know.