This month I am participating in a “No Spend” challenge whereby I’m only spending money on essentials. One thing I’ve really appreciated about participating in the challenge is that it’s forced me to be more intentional with my meal planning. No eating on the run has made me want to organize our meals at home better which is healthier, less stressful, and cheaper – a win win win.
This week I purchased snacks and most ingredients for 5 meals at No Frills. 2 more meals will round out the week of the leftovers. I have included some of our current favourite meals and for most of the meals the prep work involved is very simple. This week I am sharing them both here and on Instagram. It was pretty fun putting this post together and if there is interest I will share our plan with you weekly. I love finding practical family meal inspiration so I hope you’ll get that here!
Our first meal is salmon and asparagus. I always like us to eat fish as our first meal after our shop so we get the benefit of it’s freshness. I get the wild sockeye salmon and pair it with asparagus and brown basmati rice from Costco (in our pantry). I season the fish with lemon juice, salt and pepper, olive oil and fresh dill. For my plate I add a huge spoonful of Trader Joes insanely good tartar sauce (w/ dill and jalapeno). Surprisingly, my four year old and 11 month old love this meal too (minus the spicy tartar), especially if I crisp up the asparagus a little when I steam/pan fry it with olive oil, s & p and lemon.
Our second meal is taco bowls. I love doing some kind of taco night because it’s so customizable. My husband usually makes a big salad. We get different shells to mix it up and make a big plate of nachos with the leftovers. Our 11 month old loves to munch on ground beef and shredded cheese, same with our little guy. Sometimes we bulk it up with brown rice to make it more of a burrito bowl. This week we’ll add black beans from Costco, Old El Pasa salsa and Tex Mex seasoning (all from our pantry) and then a little olive oil to pan fry the ground beef. I top this off with organic greek yogurt to sub sour cream, green onions, and diced grape tomatoes, all which we have on hand. P.S. If you haven’t tried these taco bowls, you’re missing out!
This meal is so easy and everyone likes it. Before baking, I season the wings with Trader Joes “21 Season Salute” no-salt spice and a drizzle of olive oil. I put them in the oven at 375 degrees for 40 minutes and then broil for 10. I like them a little crispy. We eat them with celery, carrots and hummus (all on hand). Unlike the typical pub-style serving of this meal, most of our plate is veg so we split this pack into 2 meals. I will also add Annie’s mac and cheese for my 11 month old as she won’t eat the raw veg, although her teething gums love to bite on cold celery. I personally load the wings with Franks Red Hot and dip them into caesar dressing (on hand).
Trying something new this week: these lasagna roll ups for both a dinner meal and Ted’s lunches. I will let you know if they’re any good! The recipe I’m going for looks delicious and is here: https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/make-ahead-cheesy-turkey-spinach-lasagna-roll-ups/452dfed1-a2c5-449f-8d27-b9d55ca8c440
We have half a pork roast in our freezer so I plan to make use of it by throwing it in the slow cooker with bbq sauce and then slapping it on toasted buns. So easy and so tasty. I will also make a cucumber salad with the fresh dill left over from the fish meal and, a bit of sliced onion, salt, oil and vinegar (on hand). I like a cold, fresh salad with the pulled pork sammies and I usually do coleslaw but they were fresh out at No Frills so cucumber salad it is.
Finally, here are our snacks for the week! In last week’s vlog I talk about my dilemma with snacks v. treats. So you’ll note no soda, sparkling water or candy here this week! Not pretending that I’ve chosen the healthiest of all snack options here but I’m big on variety and moderation for the kids. I’m fortunate that my son prefers veggies as a snack and goes for the sweet stuff as an occasional after thought. He seems to be able to tolerate yogurt now (we suspect he’s growing out of his lactose intolerance) so it’s exciting for him to have these yogurt drinks and the minigos. As our fresh fruit runs low at the end of the week, I love having canned stuff on hand for our 11 month old. Even though it’s packed in water, I do rinse the fruit before cutting and serving as there is sucralose added to the can, but that’s easy enough to do.
Hope you enjoy guys! I don’t pretend to make perfect meals at all (progress over perfection is my new motto) but I wanted to share these with you in any event. Let me know if you’d like me to keep it up!