Dream Dinners: 8 Meals in The September Mini Bundle

It’s that time again! La Mesa Dream Dinners mini order is perfect if 12 is too many meals this month. By Friday, September 16th at 9am, you can order this mini bundle for just $189 for 8 medium-size meals. You can cross grocery shopping and meal prep off your to-do list, giving you more time to savor time with your family and friends!

The September Dinner Bundle includes:

  1. Arroz con Pollo
  2. Outlaw Chicken Burgers with Crispy Shoestring Fries
  3. Chateau Chicken with Almond Butter Sauce
  4. Meatball Marinara Stuffed French Bread
  5. Creamy Pesto Tortellini
  6. New Orleans Jambalaya
  7. Central Park Garlic Chicken with Creamy Herbed Peas
  8. Lucky Dragon Pork Tenderloin with Jasmine Rice

This limited-time offer ends on Friday, September 16th at 9am! Call or Text 619-460-6800 or email lamesaca@dreamdinners.com to reserve yours.

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

8/23/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgYesterday was pretty busy, I didn’t get around to posting our meal plan for the week. We went to the beach and had in-home therapy.

I hit the grocery store last night but I forgot bagels, so I’ll be going back this morning.

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’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: Pancakes and fruit

  • Tuesday: Chef Salad (It was popular last week!)

  • Wednesday:  Frittata, toast, fruit

  • Thursday:  Baked pasta, roasted veggies

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday:  Bean, rice, and cheese bowls

Cream Dinners: Flash Sale! Don’t Miss Their Kid Picks Mini Bundle!

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

Kid-Approved Meal Special

Don’t forget to stock your freezer as you do your back-to-school shopping! The Dream Dinners August kid-picks meal bundle is perfect for this season of busy weeknights, homework, and new class schedules. Order in the next 72 hours to get eight medium-size meals from the August menu for just $185*. You can cross grocery shopping and meal prep off your to-do list, giving you more time to savor the last days of summer!

The August Mini Bundle includes:
  1. Pub Style Chicken with Mashed Potatoes
  2. Sizzling Sirloin Fried Rice
  3. Chicken Enchiladas
  4. Backyard BBQ Chicken with Corn Medley
  5. Bacon Popper Chicken with Summer Grilled Vegetables
  6. Family Pizza Night – Grill Edition
  7. Crunchy Oven Fried Chicken Tenders with Cheesy Stovetop Cauliflower
  8. Homemade Turkey Parmesan Meatballs with Cavatappi

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 $185!

This offer is only available for a limited time

Contact your store by Friday, August 19, 2022 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.

Recipe: Meaty Baked Pasta!

We eat a lot of veggies in this house, but recently I picked up a few pounds of bulk hot Italian sausage and I was jonesing for a meaty baked pasta dish. We don’t eat a lot of meat, so 1 pound for this recipe is a lot for us. If you are a big meat eater, you can add up to an extra pound of sausage to make it extra meaty.

This recipe makes a lot, but, it keeps well for leftovers and you can freeze leftovers as well.

Meaty Baked Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 box pasta (whatever variety you like best), cooked per package directions
  • 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
  • 2 T. butter or oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium-sized zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 32 oz of your favorite red pasta sauce
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups mozzarella, divided
  • 1 cup parmesan/romano blend cheese, divided

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cook pasta per directions, drain off the water, reserving 2-3 Tablespoons.
  3. In a large pan, cook and crumble Italian sausage. After it is cooked, drain it on a paper towel.
  4. Using the same pan, saute onion and pepper for 10-15 minutes, until the onions are clear and have started to caramelize.
  5. Add in garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add in zucchini, sauce, and tomato paste- cook until sauce comes to a simmer.
  7. Add meat back in, and stir to combine.
  8. Add reserved pasta water to the sauce and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  9. In a baking dish layer sauce, pasta, cheese, and sauce. Repeat until the baking dish is full and top with the remaining cheese.
  10. Cover the baking dish with a lid or tented foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  11. Remove the lid/foil and cook another 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  12. Serve with a green salad and garlic bread!

This recipe made a 9×13 baking dish, which will serve 6-8 people a hearty portion.

If you need more veggies in your life, add carrots, drained diced petite tomatoes, more peppers, and even a few handfuls of spinach!

This meal was so satisfying. I’ve had leftovers for lunch twice now.

I ended up with extra sauce, and I plan on making calzones with it.

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