Thursday, February 7, 2019

February Dinner Roundup

I cannot believe it is already February. Wow! I am feeling a whole lot of feelings about the NYs resolutions I never officially made and how I've done a whole lot of nothing for them. Ok, maybe not nothing. I have thought about all of them and even taken action on at least one, which is why we're here talking about eating better on less.

I don't know about you, but I enjoy meal planning, prepping, and shopping. I even like walking the aisles with my calculator open to make sure I stay under budget. Then, at the end of the month, if we have any "extra" grocery money, I can splurge on fancy vegan coffee creamer.

Over the years I've learned what ingredients are healthy and cheap so I look for recipes that include them. For instance, most recipes we're having for the month of February have canned tomatoes and/or canned or dried beans in them. I feel like I do pretty good on the spending side of meal planning but one of my goals this year is to save time, too. My husband and I both have full-time jobs, so time is priceless for us, and probably so many families out there! So this month I decided to try something new.

We're having the same 6 meals every week for the month of February. 

We're about a week in and I'm loving it! Like for real LOVING it! 

All of the recipes are either slow-cooker or one-pot friendly. We haven't spent more than 15 minutes a day prepping or cooking dinner this month. We've stuck pretty true to each recipe and they've all turned out delicious.

Monday Spanish Chickpeas and Rice from Budget Bytes
This is one of our absolute favorite vegan meals! We usually add sour cream and cheese so it's really vegetarian by the time we're done.

Tuesday One Pot Thai Peanut Pasta from Your Cup of Cake
I made this for my husband in the first 6 months we were married and it is the meal he requests the most. I have definitely made it my own over the years- the biggest change I've made is that I use rice noodles instead of linguini. This is a great vegan meal but we sometimes add chicken for a little more protein.

Wednesday Lentil Chili from Budget Bytes
When I went to the doctor for PPA and PPD one of the suggestions he made diet wise was to introduce lentils into our meals. This was one of the first recipes I tried. Honestly, if I don't tell people it vegan, they have no idea! We turn this one vegetarian by adding cheese and sour cream. What can I say? We love our dairy.

Thursday Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls from kitchn
We've been making burrito bowls for years but this is the first time I tried to do it in the slow cooker. I'm not sure why I didn't try this sooner. My husband added the last of the fresh spinach we had to get some veggies in there, too. I'm guessing you could really use any frozen or fresh veggie you wanted.

Friday Healthy Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole from Sweet Phi
Breakfast is my favorite meal! I used tater tots because that's what I found in bulk and maple sausage because my husband doesn't love true breakfast sausage. The result was worth repeating. I think I'm going to try it with soyrizo (vegan chorizo) instead of sausage next time just to change things up.

Saturday Vegetable Alfredo Pasta Bake from Budget Bytes
I made this in one big batch and froze the meals for the other days this month. It was a bit more work, but I'm looking forward to those no-cook days. I had never made this before but was confident enough to serve it to my parents who are pretty traditional eaters. They loved it and were sad I wasn't leaving the extra meals in their freezer.

This plan has saved us money, time, and headspace. It has also come in handy on the days I forget to throw dinner in the slow cooker- I just send my husband the recipe and he takes care of it. He's a real awesome man.

How do you save money and time when it comes to cooking dinner? I'd love to hear about tips and tricks and I'm always looking for new recipes.

Happy cooking,

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