The Plan to Eat Podcast

#13: Meal Planning Basics with The Plan to Eat Experts

April 06, 2022 Plan to Eat Season 1 Episode 13
The Plan to Eat Podcast
#13: Meal Planning Basics with The Plan to Eat Experts
Show Notes Transcript

We're breaking down the basics of meal planning! This week, Riley and Roni go over the steps to create a successful meal plan, why meal planning is important at all, and some practical tips for how to plan ahead. We love talking about planning and this episode is full of advice for beginners and expert meal planners alike. We hope you enjoy!

Find the recipes Riley and Roni talk about in this episode:
Winter Crunch Salad
Skinnytaste Lasagna Soup

Connect with all the PTE Podcast recipes here: https://app.plantoeat.com/hi/PTEPod

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[00:00:00] 

I'm Riley and I'm Roni. And this is the plan to eat podcast, where we have conversations about meal planning, food, and wellness. To help you answer the question what's for dinner. 

Roni: Hello, and welcome to the Plan to Eat podcast! Today. It's just me and Riley here, and we are going to be talking about meal planning. How you do it. We're going to be talking a little bit about Plan to eat and, uh, most importantly, why it's important to know what's for dinner. So Riley, why do you think it is important to know what's for dinner every night? 

Riley: There are a lot of reasons I think for why it's important. Um, I think some of the biggest ones are. That you spend less money when you know, what's for dinner, because you're not perusing the grocery store and just grabbing random things, which automatically makes you spend more money because you don't have a plan.

It's, you're just buying stuff and hoping it goes together. Or you're not going to take out because you didn't know what was for dinner. And so you said, let's go, let's go get [00:01:00] something from somewhere. it helps you stick to your goals. If you've got related goals. 

I think my favorite reason for why answering that question is so important is that it is so stressful when you don't know what's for dinner. And so it is just so much easier and it reduces stress when you know what you're feeding you or your family for dinner.

Roni: Yeah, absolutely. We all have. Uh, this chronic low grade stress in our lives that come from all of these different avenues. And we really don't like it. that dinner is one of those things. So knowing what for dinner what's for dinner just immediately takes one of those things of your stress plate, 

stress plate. 

Riley: I am a list person through and through. And so if I have too many things going on in my brain, I get out a piece of paper or I pull up a on my computer or my phone and I just write it all down and instantly and less stressed. The same thing applies when I meal plan. Get it off of my plate.

I get it out of my mind and I make the plan. I get the grocery [00:02:00] list. I know what's happening for dinner. And then automatically that little stress level goes down for me. So it's a huge reason to know what's for dinner.

Roni: Resonate with that 100%, uh, because goes a thousand miles a minute all the time. It seems like. if I don't get those things someplace else, besides my brain, there's No. way I can focus on.

Riley: No. Yeah. And so if you've got kids or if you work all day, or if you work all day with your kids, or if you get home late or whatever your stressors are, you've got soccer practice or you've got your band practice or like, whatever it is that you have going on in your life. Knowing what's for dinner and just helps you do all of those things in a more enjoyable way.

Roni: Amen. I like the idea of having it help you stick to your goals because there's so many things like it's not just one goal, the goal, isn't just, just know what's for dinner. Knowing what's for dinner helps you eat out less. Like you said it helps you save money. Uh, if you have a goal of losing weight, it can help with that.

How can I help [00:03:00] you eat healthier food? Um, Hey, can help you spend more time with your family, which I think is a goal that maybe a lot of us don't realize that we have. Like, it's probably not the thing that we write down on our new year's resolutions, like, know, if you love your family, which I hope you do, you want to be able to spend more time with them and.

Reducing the amount of time that you're spending planning or reducing the amount of time that you're spending worrying about dinner. That's more time that you can devote to your family and the people that you love. I'm all about using meal planning for goals, for sure. 

Riley: We're all about Plan to Eat. I mean, one of our goals is to help you listener, spend more time with your family. It's a huge priority for all of us, that you get to do that. And so we, that's a huge goal for us. So getting you out of planning and out of the stress of knowing what's for dinner, um, and just being able to eat and enjoy your time with your people is a hundred percent what we're striving for over here.

Roni: I would say another benefit of knowing what's for dinner is that you don't do. So, [00:04:00] okay. is that right now? I am doing, a couple of months of eating, no sugar and drinking, no alcohol. This is a decision conscious decision that me and my husband have made for the next little while. And, um, when you don't know what's for dinner, it's so much easier to go in the kitchen and be like, while I'm figuring it out, I'll just grab the gummy bears from the cabinet or, you know, I'll just make myself a cocktail while I'm trying to figure out what's for dinner.

And instead I can just go into the kitchen. I already have all of my ingredients. I know it's going to make for dinner. I can make those things. I don't have to wait until I'm hangry and you know, stressed out about what's for dinner. It's just, everything's already planned and prepared for, and I can just get it done and not think about all of those other temptations. 

Riley: Oh, yeah, totally. Even today, just my personal meal, planning, stress story. a meal plan made. I just haven't gone to the grocery store yet. And so tonight we've got kind of a busy day. Pretty grumpy kid today and being honest with that, and [00:05:00] I needed to make dinner today in the middle of the day, so that it's ready tonight because I need to not be worrying about it later.

Um, the day's been going downhill. I imagine it'll go downhill more. We've got some errands to run, and starting with a grumpy kid, you know, We're getting to bedtime tonight. That's what we're doing. And so need to know what was for dinner. I needed to have something made and I was a little frustrated with myself because I hadn't gone to the grocery store yet, even though my meal plan is made, haven't been to the store.

So I'm looking all over my house. What can I just throw together? it took me a while to get to the point of realizing, oh, I've got food in the freezer. Let me just pull something out of the fridge. I should have gone there first and I didn't. Um, but even that 10 to 15 minutes of just stressing out about, okay, I've got to get this done because I've got the time right now.

And I know that they needs this. I need dinner to be made for me already. Uh, otherwise I'm gonna just get something in town. I'm going to spend more money on it and I wasn't planning to get it, and I'm gonna spend more time in town having to pick it up. All of those kinds of things. So it took me a while, but I remembered I had something in the freezer, pulled it out.

It's sawing out. We're going to have it for [00:06:00] dinner. Man, just that little, like it's already made for me so helpful. Um, I made it for myself months a month ago. You know, I made it for myself, for a day like today when it is a stressful busy day. and I needed to, to have something easy. And so thanking my past self for thinking of me in the future.

But I know what's for dinner now. And I'm not stressed about. Even though I was for a little bit of time, but I love that we were talking about this today because I thought, man, I can tell the story when Roni and I are talking about why it's important to know what's for dinner. Cause it's such a real situation.

And I know there are other people who are in that situation all the time. Um, yeah. So just being, just being less stressed about it, having been stressed and then remembering, oh man, this is why it's important to know what's for dinner. Cause then I wouldn't be stressed. And then having the answer for me, so helpful.

Roni: Yeah, I think accidentally having to, well, accidentally not having something for dinner is awful. And that then like accidentally having to go through the drive-through. [00:07:00] Take out or something like that that can often feel really bad. You know, like if your goal is to make more homemade food or like be intentional about what you're feeding your family.

then you're like, oops, I totally like dropped the ball on this. Like, I don't know. There can be a lot of guilt associated with that, which really sucks. 

Riley: Yup. And in figures, trying to stick to a budget or something like that, and your default is to go have to get takeout all the time. It's really hard to stick to your budget. What a lot of your money is going. That way it's automatically saves you money to have a plan and know what's.

Um, because you're buying exactly what you need. You're not buying extra and food at a restaurant it's more expensive than food that you make at home. It just is. I mean, maybe not always, maybe there are some restaurants out there that do make it easier. But I would argue that maybe that's not the healthiest choice all the time.

And so if you're trying to be intentional, if you're trying to make good choices, like you just said, Roni , and save money and stick to your budget, meal planning is just, it's just part of it. It's just gotta be.

So knowing what's for dinner is super important. [00:08:00] If you don't know how to meal plan, you're not going to know what's for dinner and you're not going to be able to reduce that little stress load for yourself. So we just want to spend a little bit of time talking about the basics of meal planning, how to do it, tips that we have things that we do in our own lives, to just get you guys started on the road of meal planning and reducing your stress load and making your life so much easier.

Roni: Yeah. So I think the number one thing that you need to do when you're getting started meal planning, whether you use Plan to Eat, whether you do it, pen and paper, whether you even used some other is to look at your schedule. Uh, the most important thing about meal planning is looking at your schedule because if you do have one of these nights, like Riley is having tonight where you are busy and you don't get don't necessarily have to, you know, make an hour long a meal, that's going to take an hour long to cook and you need to have it done earlier.

Or you just need to throw something in the Crock-Pot. You need to know that. So you can plan around those things. if you do use plan to eat, you can add any. Notes into your Plan to Eat calendar. And then [00:09:00] you have that visual reminder there of things that you can plan around you know, like we've got soccer practice tonight.

I need to have something in the Crock-Pot earlier in the day, or like I have, know, a meeting tonight at five o'clock. So I need to be able to I'd have something that's, know, done so that when I'm done with the meeting, we can all just sit down and eat together. You know, even if you have like older children and they like to help in the kitchen, like plan something, that's easy for them to prepare while you're busy doing something else or, know, whatever the case may be looking at your schedule.

Number one key thing to do.

Riley: Once you look at your calendar you've added those notes and you know what you're doing and you know, your schedule and you know what nights you need to have easy meals, what nights you can spend a little bit more time in the kitchen or what nights you actually need to plan to go out. are not anti eating out.

We love, you know, that restaurant experience or picking up yummy takeout. But I think the most important key to it is just planning it and knowing when you're doing it, then it's budgeted and it's planned. There's no guilt and there's no extra money spent. [00:10:00] So once, you know, your plan and you know what you're doing, you can choose your meals, start with your family's favorites.

If you're really struggling to know what, okay, what are we gonna eat this week? Oh, that's one of the hardest parts of meal planning, right? What am I going to be craving on Thursday? What am I going to be creating on Friday? When I'm planning on Sunday, I don't always know. Um, but I just go and I say, okay, my family loves this.

It's a go-to, we're going to have it on Tuesday. Plan that meal one down.

Roni: And then I think the next thing to do would be after you find your family favorites, you know, those nights that you are busy, just, you know, either increase the serving size on some of those family favorites that you have leftover seat on those pieces. Um, or plan a Crock-Pot meal, Panish sheet, pan meal, you know, plan a 30 minute dinner, kind of a thing so that you have things that are easy work with your schedule.

Those might be the same things as your family favorites, which is a win-win. But if you are struggling after you put in some of the family favorites, uh, personally my go to is always a crockpot meal because [00:11:00] even if I have time, it is just really nice to not have to put in the work at the end of the day and just.

You know, my husband gets home and I'm just like, we can eat whenever you want. 

Riley: Because it's already ready. 

Roni: Yeah. 

Riley: I love that too. I, I think that the thing about meal planning is, maybe a misconception is that, um, like you need to be making these crazy outrageous one hour long meals. But it's totally, doesn't have to be that way. Make the crockpot meal that took you 15 minutes to make at 8:00 AM.

Make the recipe, uh, make double it and then have the leftovers the next night. Then you're not cooking when you made the Crock-Pot meal. Cause you really didn't have to cook much and you're not cooking when you eat the leftovers, you're just reheating them. That's tremendous cut down on time. Another thing that I do when I know I'm having a, a night, that's going to be a bit busier or that I just need something fast.

Is I planned? I pick up a rotisserie chicken. Roni and I, we both do this. I know she's going to speak to this a little bit more, but, um, maybe I've got some pre cooked [00:12:00] rice or I have a canned green bean or something like that. And I just throw that meal together. My family likes it. It's really good.

And it just took 10 minutes and I actually plan it. I write on my, write on my planner, chicken, green beans, rice, super easy. Takes ten minutes maybe. so just think about those kinds of things too. What's a protein, what's some sides, what's a vegetable. What can I just throw together really fast?

Just make something really easy. You have permission from us to plan easy meals, and plan meals where you don't have to cook all the time. The Crock-Pot the freezer meal. Um, just your stew yourself a favor to your future self, a favor like I did for myself tonight just do some, this make plans that are easy.

Roni: Yeah. I think that that's a really important note to make is I'm meal planning. Isn't necessarily about being fancy. If you want to be fancy. That's great. You go ahead and be fancy. Yeah. But it doesn't have to be fancy. It just has to be about having a plan and reducing that stress. Like Riley said, like [00:13:00] giving your future self a pat on the back and being like, look, girl, I got a plan for you already.

You don't have to be stressed out on Thursday night.

Riley: Yeah. Yeah. I love that.

Roni: Yeah, I guess. Uh, So to piggyback off of your idea about the rotisserie chicken, something that I've been doing recently is, you know, I usually make my meal plan on Sundays and then either go grocery shopping on Sunday or on Monday, and I'll buy usually two rotisserie chickens while I'm at the grocery store.

And then, you know, if it's on a Sunday, then I usually have time on Sunday. Pull everything apart. And, I will just put, I will just put the chicken in a baggie and either put it in the refrigerator or put it in the freezer depending on which day that chicken is happening in my meal plan. Um, and then it's. My meal is already more than halfway prepared at that point. Like, I don't have to then cook that meat to then put in a recipe. It's just, it's already cooked. I can just add it in and like warm it in a pan or something. or like this week, one of the things we're going to have is chicken burritos. So it's like, all I have to do is just like, get some beans and make some [00:14:00] rice and put the chicken together and we put some salsa on it.

It's like, Bing, bang, boom. It's 

Riley: So.

easy. Yeah. So. 

Roni: things like that where you're able to do a little bit of the prep ahead of time is always super helpful for getting dinner done faster. And thinking about those kinds of things, when you're, um, putting recipes on your meal plan, it's just really important to like, if you put something on a meal plan where you're like, normally this takes A little bit longer time, but it is a family favorite.

how can I look at the recipe and make some of the steps in here a little bit easier?

Riley: A hundred percent. I was going to say some of the exact same things. A couple of episodes ago, I mentioned a copycat chicken and gnocchi soup. Um, and that recipe calls for you to cook the chicken. In like you boil them in chicken broth and then you shred them. I will buy that rotisserie chicken and then I'll plan that soup.

So we might eat the rotisserie chicken one night and then the leftovers of that chicken go into that soup. Um, so I kind of plan my meals around, like what you're saying, like you're piggybacking one meal off of it. Um, [00:15:00] it cuts down that recipe time by at least 30 minutes. And I think it only probably takes about 15 minutes that chicken's already done.

I just throw everything in a pot. I heat it up. It's delicious. So just highly recommend kind of trying to think in those terms, like I've got this thing that's really easy. What can I do with the leftovers or do I freeze them and use them later? Or do I use them later in the week? And then piggybacking off of that easy thing to make the other meals in your week, really easy.

Roni: Absolutely. 

Riley: Ronnie, do you have any other tips for how people could make their meal planning a little bit easier? What kind of things do you do?

Roni: So actually we talked, I think it was in our very last episode. We talked with joy Manning. Who's a food journalist. And one of the things, a couple of things that she does to make her meal planning a little easier. She will just roast a tray of veggies. I'm on like a one or two trays of veggies on the weekends.

So then she has veggies that she can just easily heat up for a side dish or, you know, mixing to make like a veggie bowl kind of a thing. And then the tip that I really liked from her is that she makes a sauce every week. So she'll make like a pesto or [00:16:00] salad dressing, or maybe like a, you know, like a tahini sauce or something.

And, uh, I thought that that was a great idea because it's so versatile and you can just add it. You know, pretty much anything that you're making, particularly if you're the type of person who likes to just, know, take some ingredients and, you know, make a recipe, like do like a protein plus a side, plus a grain.

And like that's the majority of your meal plan. Then having a yummy sauce to put on top of everything. Like awesome. And it helps kind of like vary , that the flavors that you're having. Um, so I thought that was a really awesome idea. I think we've talked about a lot of the things that I already do.

Like I said, I love Crock-Pot meals um, I just try to do as much of the prep work ahead of time as possible. 

Riley: Yeah, I love that because that one, the sauce really elevates something, you know, like roasted veggies and a pita. I think that was one of her ideas is just throwing them in a pita with some hummus or something like that. It's such an easy lunch or the next day. And you did all that work for yourself already.

Um, adding another sauce to it. Just kind of add some more flavor profile, really delicious. Something that [00:17:00] I do is. When I'm really struggling. It's like, I'll just plan breakfast for dinner. We love that. It's so easy. It usually comes together really fast. It's just another one of those like quick meals that we love around here at my house.

And like you said, I've already talked about a lot of mine freezing, freezing leftovers or freezing parts of recipes to go in them. Don't be afraid to use canned ingredients from time to time. Uh, they can be really delicious or like even a freezer, like steamable bag, you get the freezer, give yourself permission to give, just make it easier.

So I have some of those around the house sometimes. So on days like today, when I had my little panic of like, oh no, what are we having for dinner? There were some things that I was thinking through. I've got this, I've got that. What can I do with it? So just, just having some items on hand for those nights, when you do get a little bit stressed and you didn't have a meal plan made just having some things on hand is always helpful.

Roni: I love it. Okay. So we've talked about looking at your schedule. We've talked about picking your recipes. Um, the next thing to do in your meal planning process is to create your shopping list. [00:18:00] in Plan to Eat. Easy peasy because your meal planner and your shopping list are connected. So all you have to do is go to your shopping list and adjust the date range that you're on.

And then it just magically aggregates all of the ingredients that you need for your recipes and creates a beautiful list for you. one thing that I like to do is after my, list is made for my meal plan, I'll go through and look around my. And quote unquote, shop at home to be like, okay, I already have, you know, these spices already have milk.

I already have bread or whatever. All the things are Just take them off of my list. First thing. And in that process, I'll also look at things of like, uh, do we need some toilet paper? Do we need soap? Like, what are the staples items that we also need? So it's a little like. Uh, double job there where I come, where I go and I take off the things that I don't need to buy.

So I'm not spending money on things we already have. And then I will go into my staples list and Plan to Eat and also just add in bulk the items that we have run out of, or we still need in [00:19:00] our weekly shopping list. 

Riley: That's exactly what I do, except the only. Uh, during the week, I just opened up the plain teat app. If I noticed that we're out of something, the last of the baking powder or, oh no, we're on the last roll of toilet paper or trash bags, kind of those, those items that you said that don't come in but there are things that we obviously are going to buy from a store. So I'll go in during the week and just add them to my list so that they're already. And then I love shopping at home. I ate buying ingredients. It's also pretty amazing when you do that, you can take a shopping list.

That's like a hundred ingredients long and pair it down till like, at least half of that. because so many of the things that we buy at the store, like the seasonings, like the. Flour or like the baking powder, all of those kinds of things. We already have those. And so just being able to, or if you have a stocked pantry with some different canned items, coconut milk and green beans and things along those lines, when you pair it down, you are spending significantly less at the store.

You're not buying duplicates. Um, and I [00:20:00] just love having a really quick list. I love to be able to pair it down from a hundred to 50 and be like, cool, I got 50 things I've got to get. And then, then this is it. You know?

Roni: Yeah. And if you are somebody who likes to have, you know, like a stock pantry or, um, you like to stock up your freezer or whatever, uh, you know, you can always then just go and peruse those places. And, you know, add an extra, you know, after you've taken all the things off your list, you're like, oh, well, I, it said I had a hundred things that I needed to buy, but now I only have 50 things that I needed to buy and like have the margins to spend a little extra money here.

So like maybe I will add a couple more cans of something or, you know, like a couple more pounds of ground beef or something, to kind of like replenish your stock, on those weeks, when you have a little bit of that, like a wiggle room, if you're, if you're focused on budget, which I think a lot of us are.

Riley: Yeah. And then those items that you're buying kind of on those extra weeks, I know we've talked about this previously, but that's the thing you pull out of the freezer and you're like, okay, we've got ground beef. We're going to have some hamburgers tonight. Perfect. Done. Um, you've already got it. You'd have to shop for it.

And it's pretty easy meal that comes together fast. 

Roni: And [00:21:00] then with Plan to Eat, you can either print out your shopping list or you have your shopping list to there on your app. more than likely you've been using your app to go around your kitchen and just tap things off of your list. but that just makes the shopping experience that much easier.

because the last step of meal planning is to go grocery shopping. The thing that I love, I think it's probably one of the main features that everybody who works for Plan to Eat loves is just the shopping list. In general. They like amount of customization that you can have with your shopping list, not only can you, you know, have it automatically make your list for you, you can add and subtract anything that you need to.

You can merge items. You can do of the things with the items that you have, but you can also create custom stores custom categories that you can match to the aisles of your grocery store. that makes shopping in person at the grocery store. So much more simple because you're not like scrolling up and down on your list.

If you have a paper list, you know, you're not. Looking around all over the page to try and figure out where [00:22:00] things are, it's certain sections. Um, so, you know, like I just have my shopping list organized by the aisles of the grocery store. And so I can just kind of shop in a circle and then make my way to the checkout.

And it's so much easier than, you know, having like a, a handwritten list that I scribbled a bunch of things on. And then I'm like, oh, need toilet paper. And now I'm all the way in produce, which is the totally opposite side of the store. Our, our grocery store that we go to is pretty large. So like walking all the way to the other side of the grocery store can be a feat sometimes when it's really busy. 

It's just nice to have everything organized and you can just, you know, get the things all in one place and then move onto the next place in the grocery store. 

Riley: In the app. You can open and close your stores. So when you're in a store shopping, you're only viewing the items that you need to pick up there. I know in the past, when I have used paperless, I can get really confused about what I'm buying, where if it's not super organized, it's the thing I love about the Plan to Eat app.

Super organized. You can close and open a store. You're only viewing what you need to buy. It helps your trips just cut down on time. Cause cutting down [00:23:00] on time, which we all need more time. And so if you can save yourself some time, I'm all about it.

Roni: Yeah, And why don't we say. Your most favorite feature of Plan to Eat and grocery shopping, because, uh, it goes along with, you know, making your trip to the grocery store quicker and easier.

Riley: Yeah, I I'm, it's getting redundant at this point. How much I love this feature? Um, maybe it's not, but, the Plan to Eat app has a grocery delivery option. So once your list is. You click on grocery delivery, you type in your zip code. Uh, it sends you a list of stores where you might shop in your area. You click on the store where you shop.

It sends that list to that store. Probably have a log-in for that store. If you have any. And then you, it populates those ingredients into your store's list. You can place it for pickup or delivery. So fast, so easy saved me so much money. I'll speak on those things. Saves me a lot of time because I'm not wandering a grocery store.

And then the pickup usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes. So instead of a 40 minute trip to the store, I'm going, and I'm doing the pickup option, or it's [00:24:00] delivered. I live too far from town for the delivery option to work for me. But that delivery feature within Plan to eat, you can switch it to a pickup if your store offers that.

So it can be pickup or delivery. So delivery, man, you're saving so much time and you get your groceries delivered and I'm pretty jealous because that's such a handy feature, particularly for busy people. Um, and then you save a ton of money because I don't know about you, but when. Perusing the grocery store, even with a list, there are things that will catch my eye and I'm like, Ooh, that looks really good.

I'm going to get that and make this or whatever. And so by just having a really focused list that I send that I'm not cruising a store, I save a ton of money cause I'm not buying those extraneous items that I didn't really need. So it's a super helpful feature it's tied into plan to eat. So it's all easy, easy.

yeah, I love it.

Roni: So those are the main steps for meal planning. Just as a quick review, you want to look at your schedule first, then you're going to pick your recipes. Then you're going to create your shopping list. And finally, you're just going to go shopping. Um, but what do you do when you get home?

When you finally have [00:25:00] all your stuff? Obviously, we talked a little bit about the like meal prepping. If you do your grocery shopping on the weekend, sometimes it can be easy before you just take everything out and put it away. It can be easier to just like, maybe like leave your veggies out or something so that you can just chop them up right away.

If you're doing that kind of meal prep ahead of time, or like, for me with the rotisserie chickens, like I'm not going to go put those in the refrigerator or anything right away. Cause I'm just going to pull them apart. And then put them in baggies separately. So. You know, immediately doing some of that meal prep stuff can be really helpful. 

Riley: talked to Mackenzie Koppa a few months ago. And one thing that she does is she actually organizes her pantry by recipe. So she'll put, um, you know, like the seasoning packet and the canned green beans and the bag of rice that she's going to cook or what. You know, whatever those ingredients are, that don't live in our fridge.

She puts them together in her pantry so that when she goes to cook, she just pulls out that little section of her shelf and it's all there. I loved that idea. You could even throw in like your bulbs of garlic, [00:26:00] things along those lines to like, just stay all in one place. So when you pull it all out and you just cook it, um, I love that idea and it could help some of you guys, once you get home, organize your pantry that way it just cuts down on your cook time.

Roni: Yeah, I think that's a really great idea too. She's an excellent time-saver lady. But one of the features that we wanted to talk about with plan to eat, uh, if you're not familiar with it is the cooking view. So the cooking view is, uh, in plan to eat, it will open up the recipe that you're cooking kind of into own.

It's its own kind of window that we call the cooking view. And, when you enable the cooking view, you are having your screen on your phone. Stay. For the whole time so that you don't have to like, keep tapping your phone to at the ingredients or look at the directions. Um, so that is a super helpful feature It is available on the website and the app, on the app, you do also have the option with the cooking view Cook multiple recipes at one time. So the recipes just have to be planned within the same meal time. [00:27:00] then, you'll see that when you enter the cooking, you have, there'll be a little next button up in the upper right-hand corner.

and that will enable you to toggle between recipes. So if you're cooking like a main dish and a side, and you want to be able to cook them simultaneously, this is the easiest way to do that. then, like I said, you don't have to worry about your screen turning off or anything. and you can just go through the steps while you're.

Riley: Yeah, that's a super helpful feature for a lot of people. You don't have to keep your, you know, your dirty hands when you're cooking or mixing something together. You're not having to touch your screen. Naan on and just allows you to cook real easily.

Roni: Okay. well, that's kind of our basics of meal planning and why we think meal planning is why we know meal planning is important really. And hopefully you guys got some helpful tips and tricks from here before we go. We obviously want to talk about a couple of recipes. So Riley, tell us about your favorite recipe recently.

Riley: Okay. So I'll actually talk about the recipe I'm making tonight. because it, while it is something that's frozen, I am making some modifications and I'm [00:28:00] actually turning it into a recipe from skinny taste called lasagna soup. So I had, uh, made a huge batch of like a, like a tomato. And like meat mixed in all cook together.

Like I was going to have it with spaghetti, just made a huge batch about a week ago. so I just froze the rest of it. And so tonight I saw that in there and I know that her recipe for skinny taste from skinny taste is like it's tomato sauce. It's chicken broth. Um, it's I think it's chicken sausage and it's lasagna noodles, broken up or you could use regular noodles.

So I had noodles on hand. I saw. So all I had to do was add some chicken broth or liquid some kind, um, heated altogether and let those noodles cook and it's in the crock pot. So it's done. so I kind of like repurpose something into to make it into something else. We'll have salad and bread with it. so easy and it smells amazing.

Roni: That, that sounds really yummy. So mine is, um, well, we are recording this . A little earlier than what actually comes out. So my recipe is [00:29:00] actually kind of a wintery recipe. But I've been making it, I've actually been making It kind of as part of my meal prep for the week, for the last couple of weeks.

And it's a sweet crunch, winter salad from budget bites. And so it's you make your own. Tahini salad dressing that goes on it. And that has like maple syrup and lemon juice and tahini, and like a couple of spices in with it. And then the salad itself is chopped cabbage, shredded carrots, chopped broccoli, green onions, sunflower seeds, and cranberry.

So it's, I love salads that are crunchy. I'm not really always a fan of just like leafy greens. So my salad, like, I want a salad that has come some variety and some crunch, and this is really nice because it just, all of the flavors really compliment each other really well. They're like sweet in the dressing with the cranberries in that you put in the salad.

It's just really. nice. Like I said, kind of a, more like a side dish, like I've been making it on Sundays and then we've been eating. Like part of our dinners most nights of the week. Um, [00:30:00] but I really love it and definitely recommend it. 

Riley: Thank you so much for listening. We hope you enjoyed it. We hope you learned something and we hope that it helps you answer the question. What's for dinner.

Roni: And if you liked this episode, if you feel like, you know, people in your life who need to learn more about meal planning, you want to help them become meal planners. Please share this episode with them. That is the best way for us to get new listeners is for you guys to share it and tell people that you think we're awesome. Okay, bye.