9/13/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI’m so tired of it being so humid. Last week we were inside a lot between the heat/humidity and the rain from Tropical Storm Kay. We ate a lot of fruit last week, and the CSA box came yesterday, so we’re going to do it again!

I hit up the grocery store on Sunday. Again this week but we’re eating out of the pantry and our  Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box, which was delivered yesterday afternoon. With the increased cost of groceries, I’m really leaning on cooking meals from our pantry stables and using fresh produce.

I did a bunch of meal prep yesterday afternoon to cut down on cooking time:

  • Marinated Salad (I’ve been using pre-made vinaigrette dressings instead of making my own)
  • Mixed Veggies to roast (I’ll do that later this week)
  • Sliced watermelon
  • Sliced strawberries

I’ll make a fruit salad later in the week when the stone fruit (peaches, plums, nectarines) ripen.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods. I picked up 5 new products to try this week at Sprouts last night using my Social Nature coupons!

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. These snacks make up most of the kid’s lunches during the school week. School lunches are still free, but on most days, they prefer to bring their lunches from home.

Dinner: Now that school is in session and our weekday schedule is cemented, I’m using one weekend morning to do some baking/side dish meal prep, and Monday afternoons after school/work to prep the CSA box goodies.  As the price of groceries goes up, I find myself buying less meat, relying more on sale/clearance prices, and repurposing leftovers.

  • Monday: Home-Made Pizza, Fruit

  • Tuesday:  Mac n’ Cheese, Roasted Veggies

  • Wednesday: Loaded Smashed Potatoes (Recipe coming this week), Salad

  • Thursday:   Grilled Cheese or Quesadillas, Soup, & Salad

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday: Fruit Salad, Funeral Potatoes, Toast

9/5/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgThis past weekend was hot. And humid. We spent most of the weekend indoors, playing games, watching videos, and eating strawberries.

I hit up the grocery store Friday to pick up a few things, but we’re mostly living off the pantry and our  Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box, which was delivered this afternoon.

I did a bunch of meal prep this evening:

  • Green Salad
  • Marinated Salad
  • Mixed Veggies to roast (I’ll do that tomorrow afternoon)
  • Cauliflower to roast
  • Sliced watermelon
  • Sliced strawberries

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods. I received a few more coupons over the weekend, so I’ll visit Sprouts sometime this week to pick up the new foods. I’m focusing on snacks and treats from Social Nature.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. This is really helpful for the summer when for some reason, kids are starving all the time.

Dinner: I’ve got a couple casseroles/freezer meals this week, and other than that we’re eating easy and quick stuff so I can spend time playing, coloring, building legos, and swimming, which is the plan for the week.

  • Monday: Fruit Salad, Protein Shakes

  • Tuesday:  Chef Salad (Using the green salad I made, plus bacon crumbles, hardboiled eggs, and cheese)

  • Wednesday: Crockpot Chili, cheese toast, fruit

  • Thursday:  Spaghetti with red sauce and hot Italian sausage, roasted veggies

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday:  Tamales, Beans, Rice, Salad

Recipe: Lemon Herb Chicken

This recipe has been fine-tuned and constantly evolving for a while.  It originally started as a copycat of the Greek Chicken restaurant near me. This chicken is now a million times better.

Lemon Herb Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken (I use breasts or thighs)
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (I like sweet onions)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons Oil of your choice (I like olive or avocado)
  • 2 Tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Prepare the marinade:

  1. Pat chicken dry and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl juice the lemons, set the lemons aside.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and whisk together.
  4. Chop up juiced lemons, add to marinade.
  5. In a large ziploc bag, pour marinade and add chicken.
  6. Allow chicken to marinate for at minimum 2 hours- I usually let it marinate overnight.

Cooking the chicken:

  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 T. oil or spray pan with spray release.
  2. Cook chicken on each side until brown and internal temp is at minimum 165.

This chicken is also great grilled! I love serving this chicken with a crisp cool green salad, hummus, and pita.

 

8/29/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgThe first week of school was great! The kids are glad to be back on schedule, and seeing their friends has made the beginning of the school year easier.

I went to the grocery store yesterday and got everything for this week plus a few extra things that were on sale for the pantry.

No CSA boxes until the weather cools down and I can be home when the boxes are delivered. With the heat and the lack of shade on my patio, if we aren’t home when it’s delivered, some of the more delicate foods can spoil.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods. I received a few more coupons over the weekend, so I’ll visit Sprouts sometime this week to pick up the new foods. I’m focusing on snacks and treats from Social Nature.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. This is really helpful for the summer when for some reason, kids are starving all the time.

Dinner: I’ve got a couple casseroles/freezer meals this week, and other than that we’re eating easy and quick stuff so I can spend time playing, coloring, building legos, and swimming, which is the plan for the week.

  • Monday: Chicken nuggets, Buttered noodles, fruit, cheese & crackers

  • Tuesday:  Marinated Salad, Rice-a-roni, crescent rolls

  • Wednesday: Lemon herbed chicken, salad, pita, hummus

  • Thursday:  Ravioli with pesto sauce, roasted vegetables

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday:  Omelets, sourdough toast, fruit

8/15/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgThis is our last full week of Summer Break. We have zoo, beach, swimming with friends, and a few other things to do before we start school.

I went to the grocery store on Saturday and picked up milk and bread, other than that we should be good. I re-organized the freezer and found a few things I forgot we had (and were not on the freezer inventory).

No CSA boxes until the weather cools down and I can be home when the boxes are delivered. With the heat and the lack of shade on my patio, if we aren’t home when it’s delivered, some of the more delicate foods can spoil.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods. I received a few more coupons over the weekend, so I’ll visit Sprouts sometime this week to pick up the new foods. I’m focusing on snacks and treats from Social Nature.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. This is really helpful for the summer when for some reason, kids are starving all the time.

Dinner: I’ve got a couple casseroles/freezer meals this week, and other than that we’re eating easy and quick stuff so I can spend time playing, coloring, building legos, and swimming, which is the plan for the week.

  • Monday: Chicken nuggets, Buttered noodles, fruit, cheese & crackers

  • Tuesday: pollo asada tacos, grilled veggies, rice, refried beans

  • Wednesday: Chef Salad, quesadillas

  • Thursday: Protein shakes and bagels

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday: Breakfast for dinner (eggs, hashbrowns, crescent rolls, fruit)

8/8/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgThis week is going to be a hot one. We’ve been super cooling the house, and running fans as much as we can. In addition to the heat, it’s been humid- overall I’m not a fan of this weather.

As a result of this weather forecast, we’ll be eating a lot of food that doesn’t require the oven.

Summer break is wrapping up, however, we’ve got all sorts of adventures planned, you can check out some of our adventures here.

I didn’t do much meal prep for this week, just some grocery shopping for produce ($25 worth of salad kits, and fruit), and cutting up fruit yesterday. When it’s hot, the kids don’t eat much beyond popsicles and snacks during the day.

No CSA boxes until the weather cools down and I can be home when the boxes are delivered. With the heat and the lack of shade on my patio, if we aren’t home when it’s delivered, some of the more delicate foods can spoil.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. This is really helpful for the summer when for some reason, kids are starving all the time.

Dinner: I’m planning for a week of cool foods, with very little being cooked in the oven. I may use the toaster oven as needed.

  • Monday: Chicken nuggets, Buttered noodles, fruit, cheese & crackers

  • Tuesday: Salad, hummus & flatbread, fruit

  • Wednesday: Corn dogs, fruit, salad

  • Thursday: Protein Shakes, fruit

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday: Salad, quesadillas, fruit

8/1/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgThis weekend was a busy 48 hours. Martial arts, mental health appointment, birthday party, tie dye prep, and I got up early yesterday (thanks to the kids) and spent a few hours prepping and roasting veggies, making sweet rolls, and reorganizing the fridge and freezer.

Summer break is here! We’ve got all sorts of adventures planned, you can check out some of our adventures here.

This week is going to be leaning a lot on the prep I did yesterday and a few casseroles in the freezer. I’m hitting up the grocery store for just a few things we need, and I should be able to stay out of the store the rest of the week.

No CSA boxes until the weather cools down and I can be home when the boxes are delivered. With the heat and the lack of shade on my patio, if we aren’t home when it’s delivered, some of the more delicate foods can spoil.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods. I received a few more coupons over the weekend, so I’ll visit Sprouts sometime this week to pick up the new foods. I’m focusing on snacks and treats from Social Nature.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. This is really helpful for the summer when for some reason, kids are starving all the time.

Dinner: I’ve got a couple casseroles/freezer meals this week, and other than that we’re eating easy and quick stuff so I can spend time playing, coloring, building legos, and swimming, which is the plan for the week.

  • Monday: Chicken nuggets, Buttered noodles, fruit, cheese & crackers

  • Tuesday: Chicken Alfredo bake, roasted veggies, salad

  • Wednesday: Salad, quesadillas, fruit

  • Thursday: Chicken Pesto Lasagna, fruit, salad

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday: Baked mac n’ cheese, salad, fruit

Dream Dinners: Save Time & Savor Summer with a July Mini Bundle!

It’s that time again! Time for a Dream Dinners Bundle Sale!

Summer is all about making memories, so we’ve put together a bundle of under-30-minute meals to maximize your time in the sun.
Order in the next 72 hours to get eight medium-size meals from our July menu for just $180*. Spend more time by the pool and less time grocery shopping and meal prepping this summer!

The July Mini Bundle includes:

  • Kentucky Pork Chops with Sweet Potato Fries
  • Grilled Chicken Caesar Sandwiches with Onion Rings
  • Coconut Shrimp with Tropical Chili Sauce
  • Orange Asian Chicken with Garden Vegetable Rice
  • Turkey Florentine Burgers
  • Charred Honey Lime Grilled Chicken
  • Backyard BBQ Chicken with Corn Medley
  • Creamy Tortellini with Bacon and Peas

A Medium Meal feeds 2-3 adults (honestly, it’s usually 3+ in our house), so you’ll be getting 16-24 restaurant-quality meals for $180!

This offer is only available for a limited time

Contact your store by Friday, July 22nd at 9am to place your order.

Our local store here in East County is La Mesa, run by Marsi and her friendly staff! Store Email: lamesaca@dreamdinners.com  Store Phone Number: 619-460-6800.

7/19/2022 Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgSummer break is here! We’ve got all sorts of adventures planned, you can check out some of our adventures here.

This week’s post is a little different. In addition to the usual info and links, I wanted to address something that’s been very in our faces a lot lately: inflation and the struggle to purchase enough groceries on a budget.  In the city I live in there are two large major chain grocery stores: Vons, and Food 4 Less. There’s also a Grocery Outlet, Sprouts, and a target which has some food but honestly, I probably couldn’t shop there for everything (their produce selection leaves a lot to be desired),

Because of this, I have to shop at more than one store to get everything on our list and stay within our budget.

Saturday I went to Vons, because I had a $10/$10 coupon that was expiring soon. And I will always take $10 in free groceries. I decided to spend it on produce because we’re not getting our CSA box right now. I figured $10 probably wouldn’t go too far, so I checked all of my apps to see if there were any deals or sales or cashback on products. There were a couple deals within the Vons App (free bell pepper, salad kit personalized price) that I took advantage of. 

So here is what I got: 

  • 2 lb box of Strawberries 
  • 4 Bananas 
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 large bag Kale Salad 
  • Eclipse Dairy Free dessert

I had a coupon from social nature for Eclipse dairy-free dessert, and there was an Ibotta offer as well. So, not only was it free, but I got $3.50 back

Overall, this trip to the grocery store cost me $.89 after the Ibotta rebate, $10/$10 coupon, and coupons/deals in the app. 

I am trying to be more cost-conscious when it comes to going to the grocery store. And if you know me in real life or follow me for any amount of time you know that I’m already pretty frugal. We will be primarily eating out of the pantry/freezer this week, I have a few dream dinners left that we will be making for this week, and I will also be taking advantage of the few cupboard meals that we keep on hand. I made chicken soup in the crockpot over the weekend, and that will be good for at least two or three meals for the whole family- probably lunches.

No CSA boxes until the weather cools down and I can be home when the boxes are delivered. With the heat and the lack of shade on my patio, if we aren’t home when it’s delivered, some of the more delicate foods can spoil.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. This is really helpful for the summer when for some reason, kids are starving all the time. The kids get free lunch at summer school too!

Dinner: We finished our last Dream Dinner last week! I’ll be ordering more next month once the new menu comes out. I’m trying to get us to eat together as a family more often and get the kids into eating more fruits and veg, so you’ll notice that our meals are pretty simple this week.

  • Monday: Nuggets, fruit, cheese & crackers

  • Tuesday: Buffalo Chicken quesadillas, veggies, fruit, chips

  • Wednesday: Chicken Corn Chowder, Sourdough bread and butter

  • Thursday: Peach Bourbon Chicken, Green Beans, Noodles or Rice

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday:   Salsa Chicken, Rice, Beans, Salad

7/11/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgSummer break is here! We’ve got all sorts of adventures planned, you can check out some of our adventures here.

Summer school started, and I’m back on campus helping teachers and kiddos for the next two weeks. Then the big kid is going to equestrian camp for a week- he’s stoked.

This weekend we delved deep into our summer to-do list. I cleaned the garage, and pictures were posted on Instagram.  We also washed, dried, and put away ALL of the laundry, it was an insane undertaking.

The kids and I went to Costco late last week for our quarterly stock-up trip- Trash bags, toilet paper, paper towels, and of course we got a rotisserie chicken. It’s featured a bit in this week’s meal planning.

No CSA boxes until the weather cools down and I can be home when the boxes are delivered. With the heat and the lack of shade on my patio, if we aren’t home when it’s delivered, some of the more delicate foods can spoil.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods. I received a few more coupons over the weekend, so I’ll visit Sprouts sometime this week to pick up the new foods. I’m focusing on snacks and treats from Social Nature.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. This is really helpful for the summer when for some reason, kids are starving all the time. The kids get free lunch at summer school too!

Dinner: We finished our last Dream Dinner last week! I’ll be ordering more next month once the new menu comes out. I’m trying to get us to eat together as a family more often and get the kids into eating more fruits and veg, so you’ll notice that our meals are pretty simple this week.

  • Monday: Buttered noodles, fruit, cheese & crackers

  • Tuesday: Beef kebabs (from Costco), rice, salad, pita bread

  • Wednesday: Chicken broccoli casserole 

  • Thursday: homemade chicken soup, grilled cheese

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday:  Breakfast for dinner, I’m hoping for waffles or omlettes.