The key, in my opinion, is to match your plan with your lifestyle. We work long hours, go to school a couple of nights a week and are generally tired on the nights we are home. Therefore, simply planning our meals in advanced wasn't enough - we would come home and have no energy to cook.What does work, is preparing all our meals for the week on Sunday afternoon. Not only have we been successful at sticking with the plan, I am actually starting to enjoy my time in the kitchen.
Another reason I think we were not great at eating at home before was that we didn't really feel like it was cost effective. As there are only two of us, if we order something cheap and get water to drink we can get out of a restaurant without a huge bill.
So, to make our plan cost beneficial, I make sure that each meal provides left overs. As a result, we get a meal to share together along with several portions that we can enjoy for lunch or dinner on class nights.
What have we eaten over the last month? Here are some of our favorites.
Southwest Taco Pie
1 deep dish pie crust
1 lbs ground beef
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 can refried beans
1/3 cup taco sauce
cook the pie crust. brown the ground beef, add taco seasoning. layer beans (mix taco sauce in with the beans), meat, cheese - repeat. cook on 350 for 20 minutes.
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup chicken broth
2 to 3 lbs chicken (boiled) - shredded
1 lbs grated cheese
mix soup, broth and chicken. layer in a 9 x13 pan: tortillas, chicken mixture, cheese - repeat. cook on 350 for 30 minutes.
Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole (healthy tips)
4 chicken breasts
3/4 cup rice (brown rice)
1 can cream of chicken soup (reduced fat)
2 cups fresh veggies
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 cup shredded cheese (skip the cheese)
mix soup, water, veggies, onion powder in a 9x13 pan. top with chicken, season as desired and sprinkle on cheese. cover and bake for 45 min on 375.
Not all of it has been good, I'll admit. I tried some new things and they were not as successful as I would have hoped. I found a recipe for crock pot chicken cordon bleu that I was very excited about. It was not good. However, it wasn't a total loss. I was able to turn my would be left overs into shredded chicken to be used in soup...the soup was good.