Category: meal planning

Meal Plan: Pan Seared Pork Tenderloin with Cheesy Garlic Whipped Potatoes and Lemon Roasted Broccoli

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Smithfield®, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #PutPorkontheMenu

meal plan ideas with pork tenderloin and garlic whipped potatoes and roasted broccoliPreparing a meal plan each week saves my sanity as well as time and money. One of our favorite meals is pan seared pork tenderloin with cheesy garlic whipped potatoes and lemon roasted broccoli. Today I’m sharing our simple meal idea with you using a pre-marinated peppercorn and garlic pork tenderloin from Smithfield to make life even easier.


Simple & Healthy Pumpkin Spice Cranberry Cookies {Make Them with Your Kids!}

simple pumpkin spice cranberry cookies

With fall around the corner my thoughts turn to all things pumpkin. These healthy pumpkin spice cranberry cookies are perfect for snacks and quick breakfasts on the go. As part of our home preschool I have the Bear help me in the kitchen, and he is so proud whenever we make these cookies. Best of all, they are super easy to make and only contain healthy ingredients.


Ten Ways a Tablet Can Help You Organize and Simplify {with T-Mobile FREE Data for Life} #TabletTrio

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

#tablettrio #shop #cbias how to get free data for life

We are always looking for ways to organize and simplify life around here, and I love a good deal. When I heard that T-Mobile was offering free data for life on the connected Trio AXS 7.85″ 4G Tablet I knew I had to check it out. T-Mobile 4G has excellent service in our area, so the kids and I headed to Walmart to get the scoop. I’m sharing the details with as well as 10 ways a tablet can help you organize and simplify.


Getting Ready for Preschool and Winning Lunch Battles #DelMonteBTS

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Del Monte, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #DelMonteBTS” 


Summer has been so good to us, but I have to admit I’m ready for school to start. I love getting in to the fall routine, even though we sorely miss having my teacher husband at home with us once school starts. This fall the Bear (age 3) and I will be starting home preschool, and we are both crazy excited. I’ll be sharing more as we get the details figured out, but for now I’ll tell you a little about our game plan. Today I’m also sharing one of my strategies for winning lunch time battles as well as a coupon and offer for a free 5×7 photo print perfect for those back to school prints.


A Fresh Seafood Meal Plan for Your Family Beach Vacation #BareFeetontheBeach


After 30+ years of beach trips, our family knows what we love and we stick to it. We try maybe one new recipe each trip, but we love to make our favorites year after year. I’ve put together our traditional beach meal plan for you to use to gather ideas for your own family beach vacation. One of the best ways to save money while traveling is to cook rather than dine out. This meal plan will help you save money without missing out on the fresh seafood flavors that make beach trips so amazing. Be sure to pin this post so you can find it later for your family beach vacation.


Meal Plan: Kid Friendly Meals with Tyson Panko Chicken Nuggets and Addictive Orange Dipping Sauce Recipe

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. The only way we can stick to our grocery and dining out budgets is by planning out our meals. We are always on the look out for quick, easy meals that the kids will actually eat, and we love to try to recreate our favorite restaurant meals at home. We all love the new Tyson Panko chicken nuggets from Sam’s, and they make a perfect kids’ dinner when paired with healthy fruits and vegetables. The Bear is big on dipping, so we experiment with new dipping sauces for our kid friendly meals. Jed whipped up this fabulous zesty addictive orange sauce to pair with our nuggets. It is quick and easy to make at home and tastes very similar to that of our favorite chicken restaurant. I will warn you – it really is crazy addictive.



Meal Plan: Two Ingredient Two Step Tasty Tomato Basil Soup + A Bonus Week of Meal Ideas

This recipe is so simple and delicious.  My friends Cat and Becky made if for a women’s lunch a few years ago and it has been my favorite ever since.  It is my go-to for lunches during cold weather.  If you’ve ever had the Tomato Basil Soup from La Madeline, this tastes very similar. Ready to make it? You only need two ingredients and a blender.

Meal Plan: Quick and Easy Garlic and Herb Chicken Saute with Cous Cous, Roasted Broccoli and Carrots

I love to meal plan to help our family save money on groceries, so when I was given the opportunity to share a recipe and a meal plan with my readers on behalf of Collective Bias and their client, I jumped at the chance.  If you are new to meal planning or just looking for fresh dinner ideas, I’ve got you covered.  This meal is so easy and delicious, you’ll want to add it to your monthly menu.  The ingredients are simple but combined create a flavorful, veggie filled, quick meal perfect for a busy week night.      
If cooking intimidates you or you are super busy, roasting and sauteing are your best bets for preparing real food fast.  Saute Express Saute Starters take the guess work out of flavoring your meal, and can be used on a variety of proteins and vegetables.  You can find all five flavors in the dairy section at your local Walmart. I want to try the Teriyaki and Italian Herb flavors next.     
Quick and Easy Garlic and Herb Chicken Saute with Cous Cous, Roasted Broccoli and Carrots
(serves 2-3)
The total prep + cooking time should only be about 30 minutes.  
8-10 ounces of chicken breast meat, cubed
2 heads fresh broccoli, cut into small pieces
1 lb baby carrots or 6 large carrots sliced
2 packets of Land O’ Lakes Saute Express Saute Starter in Garlic and Herb flavor
olive oil
sea salt
balsamic vinegar
one package of instant cous cous (I used parmesan cous cous.)

1) Preheat your oven to 400 F.
2) Start with your broccoli.  Toss all of it into a bowl and sprinkle with olive oil and sea salt.  Lay it out on a baking pan you previously sprayed with cooking spray or greased.  Do not put it in the oven yet.
3) Use the same bowl to toss your carrots with olive oil and sea salt.  Then add a little bit of balsamic vinegar, just enough for a light coating.  Spread your carrots out on another greased baking sheet.  Put the carrots in the oven, but hold off on the broccoli until the carrots have been in for 5 minutes.  The carrots take a little longer, but I wanted to spare you washing two bowls.  You’re welcome.   

 4) The carrots need to cook at 400 F for 20 minutes, and the broccoli for about 15.  Flip them with a spatula half way through for even roasting.

5) While your vegetables are roasting, grab 2 packets of your Land O’ Lakes Saute Express Saute Starter and place the unwrapped starter in pan on medium heat.  Let it melt fully, coating the pan.  To expedite this process you can swirl the starter around with your spatula.  I used two packets instead of the recommended one because I had a little more than half a pound (10 ounces) and I wanted a little bit of extra sauce for the cous cous.  

6) Once your starter is melted completely and bubbling, enjoy the aroma and add your cubed chicken.  Let it cook for 10-15 minutes, flipping it occasionally for even cooking.
7) While your chicken is cooking, prep your cous cous according to the package directions and set aside.  It should only take a few minutes to cook.  

8) Temp your chicken with a meat thermometor and make sure it has reached an internal temperature of at least 165 F.  Once fully cooked, serve your chicken on a bed of cous cous with a side of your beautiful roasted vegetables and enjoy.

You don’t have to be Julia Child or Martha Stewart to make fresh, delicious dinners for your family.  You just need a few ingredients and maybe an episode of Daniel Tiger to entertain your little people.  Meal planning is not just for families.  When I was single, and before we had kids, we were the WORST at planning our meals and spent way to much money dining out and grabbing fast food because of a lack of planning and a multitude of excuses.  Sometimes it can be hard to feel like it is worth cooking a whole meal for just you.  You are worth it.  Your body and your budget will thank you.  It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does have to be intentional.  

Now that Monday is taken care of, here’s a meal plan for the rest of the week.
Tuesday: Chicken Fajita Tacos from Simply Organized Mama
Wednesday: Spinach Quiche from Coco and Cocoa
Thursday: Quick and Easy Chunky Texas Chili from Mom Prepares
Friday: Crock Pot Spicy Pulled Pork from Three 31 with Green Beans and Mashed Potatoes
Saturday: Lasagna Bites from Hooked on the Howards with Caesar Salad
Sunday: King Ranch Chicken Casserole from Yesterfood with Sauteed Zucchini and Squash (Use 1-2 Saute Express packets with veggie slices for a delicious side dish.)

What’s on your meal plan this week?

Meal Plan: Killer Cheesy Garlic Bread {Tasty Sides}

I am not a food blogger.
Not by a long shot.
But, I do love to eat. 
It’s one of my favorite hobbies.
In order for us to eat delicious meals and stay on track with our grocery budget, we’ve been pretty serious about our meal planning lately.  I’m loving it.  Planning out our meals means I’m not in a panic at 5 pm when I have hungry people expecting to be fed.  This Killer Cheesy Garlic Bread is a favorite side for just about any meal, but we try not to have it too often because it isn’t exactly healthy.  Oh, but it is tasty my friends.  
Jed has declared the making of cheesy garlic bread one of my spiritual gifts.  I guess I’ll take it.  This is really more of a process than an actual recipe, but hopefully it will be clear enough for you to recreate it in your own kitchen should you so choose.  It is so easy, and definitely a crowd pleaser and MUCH better than the premade variety.  
1 loaf french bread – I love a good crusty baguette.
Butter or Buttery Spread (It doesn’t really matter.  Pick your poison.)
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Shredded Parmesan Cheese (It tastes best if shredded fresh for both, but bagged is fine.)
Minced Garlic
Garlic Salt
I’m going to warn you now as I have before that I like garlic more than the average bear.  It probably stems from my childhood fear of vampires, but I’ll work that out in therapy.  
Slice your french bread.  Lay it out on your baking sheet.  Butter both sides.  Just do it.  Sprinkle garlic salt liberally on both sides.  Don’t question it.  With a butter knife, scoop out minced garlic and spread liberally on the top side of each slice of bread.  Don’t be afraid.  Grab a handful of your shredded mozzarella and sprinkle liberally on each slice, then follow with the parmesan.  If you aren’t in the mood to shred your cheese, big slices of fresh mozzarella are delightful on top of the bread.  Go back and add more cheese.  Stick it all in the oven on 400 for about 5 minutes.  Watch it, because it will burn fast and then everyone will cry.  I know this from experience.  Enjoy your cheesy garlic goodness.
Last week we had Killer Cheesy Garlic Bread with my Creamy Garden Veggie Spaghetti.  
What’s your go-to side dish?
Read more about our meal planning adventures here.