We had an interesting weekend. Josh and I had a date night planned Saturday night, which we ended with two hours of grocery shopping (totally necessary, thanks to our conflicting schedules). Then I spent most of yesterday destroying the kitchen with flour and oats. But the good news is we now have delicious scones and whole wheat blueberry bites. Lets just ignore that we had to eat fast food for dinner because I forgot to set out chicken, ‘kay?
Anyway, Josh and I have discovered a new thing that works for our meal planning: shopping at multiple locations. I have a feeling this is nothing new to plenty of people, but then again maybe it isn’t. We do most of our shopping at Target, but I realized that with my Winn Dixie card (which was free, by the way–if you have a Winn Dixie nearby, it’s worth getting a card, even if you don’t plan to use it often), I can get ground turkey for about half the price of Target’s. we also haven’t been impressed with Target’s produce lately (which is weird, since that used to be my go-to store for produce), so we usually go to Publix for that, though I’d love to start giving the farmers market a go once it opens again.
Well, the point of all that was to let you know that if you don’t do this already, shop around. You don’t have to go to one place for all of your groceries. Look for the best quality and the best deals, and choose places that will work for your needs.
Alright. On to this round of meal planning. Josh and I found some really interesting meals, and it seems like most will be super easy to make. Keep in mind this is for two weeks.
- Almond-Crusted Tilapia
- Crockpot Lasagna Soup
- Crockpot Chicken Tacos
- Gluten-Free Chicken Chili with White Beans, Sweet Potato and Lime
- Grilled Fish
- Shepherd’s Pie
- Chicken Tenders (again, without the BBQ marinade)
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Baked Steak Fries
- Steamed Veggies
- Whole Wheat, Dark Chocolate Chip Scones with Oats & Almonds (recipe coming soon)
Notes on the last round of meals:
We tried a gluten-free, yeast-free pizza dough for our Valentine date night pizza, and it was, well, exactly what I expected. I’ve had gluten- and yeast-free rolls from Chebe before, so I figured the tasted would be similar. It was exactly the same. I don’t recommend that pizza dough unless you absolutely have to have it gluten- and yeast-free. (If you need a gluten-free dough but can handle the yeast, this dough from Gluten-Free Goddess looks like it would do the trick.)
The chicken pot roast dinner was everything I hoped it would be. It was so easy and delicious, and it lasted us for two meals each! I made a few changes when I cooked so I could use things I had on hand rather than buying a lot of frozen things I probably wouldn’t reuse. The biggest difference was the gravy: I used fat-free turkey gravy instead of chicken gravy because I couldn’t seem to find pre-made chicken gravy anywhere. I think it changed the flavor, but that definitely wasn’t a bad thing. Instead of frozen small whole onions, I cut about half of a large yellow onion into thin strips and measured out about a cup of it to use (and stored the rest of the cut strips in the fridge). We always have yellow onions, so this was way simpler than buying the bag of small frozen onions. Probably the least effective change was the veggies. I didn’t have a full 1 ¼ cups of peas, nor did I have a full two cups of carrots, so I subbed in the missing ½-cup or so with corn. (Josh loved the addition!) I don’t think it made a major difference in taste, but I’ll probably do it again anyway.
The cheeseburger pasta was okay. I think it’s because we use almond milk, but the texture wasn’t quite right, and we both felt kind of gross after eating it (it was far too much cheese and pasta and not enough good-for-you stuff). Again, I may have just done something wrong (it’s likely, since I threw it together within the hour between work and Josh’s lunch break), but I doubt we’ll be eating it again.
The garlic fries: ohmygosh they were so much better than I imagined! I made them last weekend and paired them with baked chicken tenders, and I invited my sister and her fiance over for lunch. I had a small problem with the fries sticking to the pan, despite that I greased the pan before putting the fries on it. However, it didn’t affect the taste, so I’m not too worried. The biggest problem was that I hadn’t fully read through the instructions before starting, so a 1 p.m. lunch turned into a 4 p.m. early dinner. (So if you make these, give yourself a solid 2 hours for prep–including peeling and cutting the potatoes–and cook time.) But everyone agreed it was totally worth the wait–then they went back for seconds.
The snacky black beans still haven’t happened. I keep forgetting to make them! They’re on the list again for this round of meals, so we’ll have to see how that goes.
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