I have a confession. I have never really "planned" my meals for the week. How awful is that?! As a wife & mama two little boys, you'd think I would spend more time planning out our meals, and at the very least, our dinners. Ugh. There are some things I really enjoy planning, but other things, like meals? Nope. I'm not sure what it is about it. I guess it's that I don't really enjoy cooking that much, unless it's something I've made a trillion times, then it's just second nature. If I'm being honest, I think part of me is nervous to try new recipes. Weird, right? And I think the other part of it, is that I don't like budgeting out my grocery list. Oh and the last part? I don't like cleaning up the kitchen. Who does? But for me, it's just so much easier to go out to eat.
Well regardless of my dislike for meal planning and budgeting, I think it's something that's important, and something I need to spend a little bit more time on. Not only will it save us money, but it will help us to sit down and have more dinners together, which is super important to me.
So here is my goal.
1) Plan at least 2 meals per week. Easy, right?
I think the hardest thing for me will be finding recipes that we can all eat. Both myself & Bennett are fairly picky eaters, and my Husband is on a super low carb diet, err, lifestyle. I'm also looking for recipes that are pretty quick & easy to prepare. 30 minutes or less is my goal. Ideally, they need to contain a good amount of meat (for my hubby), veggies, and preferable some sort of pasta (for me). Luckily, we've found a low-card option pasta that will work well with our meals.
This week? I was sifting through the Hillshire Farm recipes and found like 83 recipes I want to add to my meal plan for this month. But here's the first one I made. I tweaked the recipe just slightly, and this is what I came up with.
This had all of the elements that I was looking for. Meats, veggies & pasta. Plus? It was delicious!! And prep time was amazingly short. Here's your ingredients & directions. And also a coupon for you. Keep reading... :)
- 1 package of Hillshire Farm Angus Rope Smoked Sausage
- 8oz of Penne
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 small onion
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons beef broth
- 1/2 (2 ounces) shredded Parmesan cheese
- Cut sausage into 1/2" slices. Cook penne according to package directions.
- Add olive oil into a large non-stick skillet. Add sausage, mushrooms and onion. Stir frequently for 4-5 minutes or until sausage is lightly browned and vegetable are tender.
- Stir in spinach, sun dried tomatoes and beef broth; heat through.
Finally, toss with cooked penne and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese!!
And done. This took about 10 minutes of prep and about 10 minutes to cook. And I'm not kidding you when I tell you that this recipe is UH-mazing. I will admit, that it was the smoked sausage that completely made this recipe. It was so flavorful and yummy.
Safeway shoppers! Be sure to sign up for the "Just For U" program, you will get the Buy 3, Save $3 offer on participating Hillshire Farm Products.
When I have a painless, successful meal prep -- it makes me a little more hopeful that I can perhaps tackle this whole meal planning thing. Honestly, don't know what I would do without the internet, it makes it so much easier to plan & prepare for the week.
What are some of your favorite recipes to make??