I started a tradition at Budget for Health by sharing various meals I’ve made and loved each month. This has been a fun post to write and it’s been a form of accountability because I want to lead by example when it comes to meal planning that is easy, budget friendly, and healthy. Be sure to check out what we ate in prior months.
Another round, shall we?Kid-themed potluck
I’ll just start with this and get it out of the way: chicken nuggets, pigs in a blanket, ants on a log, mac and cheese. Not the best night nutritionally but it was a lot of fun. Also, as a dietitian I’ll chime in and add that I don’t think kids need to eat “kid” food and can eat the same as adults. Here’s a list of ideas for kid-friendly snacks if you’re curious. For example, Nora’s got salmon (protein), avocado (fat), and sweet potatoes (carbs) for a balanced meal in the photo above. She doesn’t have to like it (not a fan of the salmon some days, other days she asks for more) but she does have to try it.
We’ve been staying the night at my parents once a week to give Dave an extra night of studying for an engineering exam coming up in April and we also visit on weekends occasionally. My mom makes the best food and never has a recipe written down. This month we had corned beef, turkey legs, ribs, stir fry, homemade meatballs, and grilled BBQ chicken. Sides are always veggies &/or a salad and I find some way to throw a lot of butter on something to round out a balanced meal. I didn’t realize how often I eat dinner at my parents until I wrote that all out. She always has the best homemade chocolate chips waiting for Nora too. Thanks, mom!
Crockpot Rotisserie Chicken, etc.
I say etc because I thaw a whole organic chicken on Thursday, make it on Monday, and it stretches into multiple meals for the week. We had the legs & wings with sides Monday & Tuesday, burrito bowls Wednesday, and I used the carcass to make overnight chicken stock which led to Thursday and Friday’s meal- zuppa toscana (Olive garden inspiration with spicy Italian sausage, kale, & potatoes). We did this again later in the month but the soup I made was just a mix of veggies like kale, bell peppers, and spiralized sweet potatoes instead of noodles.
Dave’s coworkers graciously put together a meal for us to give us a night off from cooking. It was like a Greek salad- chicken, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, olives, feta, and some muffins that had bran, flax seed, raisins, and dark chocolate in them.
Per usual, we had breakfast for dinner twice a week this month. It’s a cheap option and we love it. We always have eggs and alternate between making a skillet with shredded sweet potatoes, homemade hashbrowns, or homemade protein pancakes.
Pan-fried Cod or Salmon
I stocked up on fish when I found a great deal on wild-caught varieties. I’ve made black bean salmon or just pan fry some kind of fish to serve alongside asparagus & sweet potato coins/fries or as a burrito bowl.
Mock Chipotle burrito bowl
I marinated 5 pounds of chicken in a Thai marinade and another that just had a mix of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, rosemary and garlic. I cooked, diced, and froze them in a ziploc so we could throw them in a salad for our lunch or in a burrito bowl for dinner. I even mixed the rice with cilantro, salt, and lime 😉 We did the same with ground beef and homemade taco seasoning another night.
We ate the last cut of our beef share this month. It was a roast and it was a delicious one. Frank was a great cow and we look forward to our next bovine friend that makes it’s home in our deep freezer.
I mixed rice with some spicy pork sausage, diced peppers, onions.
A favorite choice, especially when we have a BOGO coupon.
What were some favorite meals you enjoyed this month?