The Plan to Eat Podcast

#32: Plan to Eat Customer Meal Planning Tips - Part 2

September 14, 2022 Plan to Eat Season 1 Episode 32
The Plan to Eat Podcast
#32: Plan to Eat Customer Meal Planning Tips - Part 2
Show Notes Transcript

We're excited to share part two of our customer meal planning tips! In this episode, we talk about batch cooking, meal prep, and planning around what you already have at home. We also share a few miscellaneous tips including a fun way to use your leftovers and best practices for meal-prepping veggies.
Enjoy! 

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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. 

Riley: Hello and welcome to the plan to eat podcast. Today. We are doing part two of our customer meal planning tips.

Roni: Yeah. So we got so many amazing tips from our customers. When we sent out our email asking you for your meal planning tips. So we had to break it up into two parts. If you haven't listened to part one, we highly recommend going and listening to that. It went live last week. So shouldn't have to look very hard to find it in your podcast apps.

So today we are going to ha do the same format that we did last time. We kind of have general themes that we are organizing our tips around. Um, and we're just gonna kind of go through the different tips and give you some of the different ideas that our customers, that you, our customers have come up.[00:01:00] 

Riley: So the first section in today's episode is planning around food on hand, um, which. It might be obvious. It's one of those things that, to me, I forget about kind of easily. And then I'll buy all the ingredients that I need for a recipe and realize that I have duplicate ingredients, which is a big fail.

Like if you're trying to save money, um, using what you've already purchased before is the way to do that. For sure.

Roni: So our first tip is from Kim and Kim. Her tip is really great. Um, because she just makes the note that you wanna look at the things that you have already, because you might already have 50% of the things for a recipe before you go to the grocery store. So she says you might buy halfway to a recipe already.

If you take stock of what you have in your parent pantry, fridge and freezer. So she says that she also buys meat in bulk and keeps her freezer well stocked. Um, so that way she can, you know, look in her freezer before she goes to the grocery store or whatever defrost things that she needs. [00:02:00] but most of the time that's something she doesn't have to buy at the grocery store, which I think is really smart, cuz that's often the most expensive item at the grocery.

Riley: It really is. I find that when I buy in bulk, cuz I I've mentioned this on the podcast before, when I have, weeks where I have more room in the budget, sometimes I'll buy an extra something at the grocery store, and doing that saves me so much money in the long run because the weeks where I'm like tighter on budget, if I look at what I've got and I'm like, okay, well I'm gonna plan around what I have.

So I've already got chicken thighs or I already have ground meat of some kind. Um, it really does bring down the grocery budget substantially. And even if you're not on a budget, I don't think most people are really trying to spend more money at the store. I think if, um, even if you're staying within budget or not trying to be on a budget at all, saving money is great.

Everybody's happy with that. Also I think one thing to note about taking your list down from like, let's say a hundred ingredients that you need. I think, I think it was Kim who said, it'll bring you halfway through a [00:03:00] recipe. If you go shopping in your house, then. Well, you're spending less, but you're also spending less time at the grocery store.

Um, because a 50 item list, or let's say, let's say your list was 50 and you got it down to 25. That is a quick trip to the store. Um, particularly if you're not doing something like pickup or delivery,

Roni: yeah, totally agree with that. So our next tip is from Tim and he said that he's found that meal planning for frozen foods a month in advance is really helpful. So. This is something that we talked about a little bit with, Amy Lee, a few episodes back, she used to plan for a month at a time. We asked her for some of her tips about meal planning for a month at a time, cuz that's not really the style of meal planning that Riley and I do.

I usually plan for either one or two weeks ahead of time. But I really like this idea of creating a meal plan for a month and then figuring out like, what are the things for the whole month that I can buy right now? So, you know, usually it's the non-perishable goods, um, you know, things that you can [00:04:00] just like put in your pantry or that kind of stuff, but thinking about the items that can be frozen ahead for the month is a really good idea.

So I mean, you can do things like, you know, meats and, I don't know what other things can be frozen, uh, vegetables. yeah,

Riley: yep.

Roni: my mind kind of went blank there, but so Tim says that they always have salmon, ground Turkey, chicken breasts, and thighs on hand. And that just makes it so that their recipes come together really easy on nights.

So I really like that. Tip

Riley: Yep. He says also that they follow a weeknight theme, which makes one or two nights easy to try a new recipe. Um, so I love what he's saying. He's not the only person who sent this tip in either. There's another one, a little bit further down in our list. Just the, like the willingness to try a new recipe, but not overdoing it, doing one or two new recipes in a week, , that's much more manageable because to me, a lot of what my family eats and I think a lot of what you eat and based on our customers and the feedback they gave, they're [00:05:00] doing a lot of meals that they love.

Family favorites, ones they're comfortable with. They may not even eat a recipe for them. Um, but branching out one or two nights, that's so much more manageable to try to add in some new favorites, you know, find a new favorite basically. Because if the rest of the night you're following things that are, I mean, potentially simpler because you make them a lot or you know how to make them really easily.

I just love that tip because they're incorporating new recipes, but they're not overdoing it because that's UN unsustainable. I

Roni: Yeah, totally agree. Yeah. And if you're a family that really values variety in your eating, obviously like you just said, like, variety's not always easy to achieve, but you can do it one to two nights a week. And particularly, I think we mentioned this last time, You know, like we always think that like the weekends is a great time to do that.

And so I think one of our tips in the last episode was like to look at what your plan for the weekend is like, look at your calendar for your weekend activities. So that you can plan maybe some of those meals that add a little extra variety in your week on the weekends, instead of trying to figure it out on a weeknight [00:06:00] when you might be a lot busier.

Riley: There's a, we're gonna be recording a podcast soon, um, based on a cookbook that I have, and I'm not trying to give too much away, but one of the recipes in there is a fried chicken recipe. And my first thought was that takes so much time. Like that's a, that's one of those meals in my mind taking, cooking, fried chicken.

I feel like I'll be at the stove forever. It needs to be a cooler night, like, um, but like you just said, looking at a weekend where I have the time to make a more special or time consuming meal. That's a great tip in and of itself.

Roni: mm-hmm

Riley: Yeah. Doing it when you've got the time.

Roni: All right next up Eve says that when she notices things in her pantry are getting close to the expiration date, she puts a post-it note on them to remind her, to use them up soon. And I thought this was a genius tip. I love, I love the idea of giving yourself a visual cue. So when you open your pantry, you go, oh yes.

This thing needs to get used because otherwise it's gonna go bad. I, I really loved this tip. I am a, I'm a visual person. And so I thought that this was awesome.

Riley: [00:07:00] Well, it doesn't, it's not making your house look cluttered, you know, it's not like it's not doing anything. Um, that's even that much like off the beaten path, you know, it's like, oh, this is about to expire. When you add a little sticky note, you could keep the sticky notes in your pantry. Um, then when you open 'em up, I tend to get tunnel vision.

When I'm going to my pantry, I need the can of chickpeas, or I need the bag of rice or whatever it is that I'm going for. But if I were to see a flag of some kind, it would remind me, you know, it's just that little tiny visual reminder that I love, because it's so easy to have tunnel vision when you're going there for the item that you need.

But just to remind yourself, I love it. I think it's, I think it's fantastic. And so how have I never thought about this before?

Roni: Yeah, well, yeah. And even just, like you mentioned at the beginning that it, it's not something that clutters the rest of your house, because I tend to, when things are getting closer to expiration day, I'll like, put 'em on the counter or something, you know? So that way I'm like, okay, I definitely need to use this, but then you end up with your cut, your counter, all cluttered with stuff. So this is just a way better idea for something [00:08:00] like that.

Riley: yeah, absolutely. I, I tend to do the same thing if I'm gonna make a meal. If I get home from the grocery store, even I'll leave those oh, those ingredients just out on the counter. Um, cuz I'm like, well I'm gonna make it I'm sure. Or I'm gonna make it tonight or whatever. Um, and it, it can end up being a little cluttered if I do that.

So I love that. Love it.

Roni: Yeah. So she also has a tip for how she does this in plan to eat as well. So she uses her sticky notes in, you know, the physical world, but then as far as plan to eat, she'll go in and she'll add notes into her plan to eat calendar, um, for the ingredients, like close to their expiration date. So she says that even if it's something that's like six weeks ahead of time, she'll go and add a little note into the calendar to say like, use up whatever the item name, use up the pesto or whatever.

So that way, even if she, you know, doesn't, if she plans ahead, she can then look at that and be like, oh yeah, okay. I need a pesto recipe for this night, cuz that cuz that's gonna go bad. And so then it's an extra, you know, reminder and a little bit helpful for her to plan a recipe around those specific [00:09:00] items.

Riley: well, this actually ties into Kim and Tim's their, their tips. Because if I were to go in and say, let's say I planned for two weeks and in that big planning, you know, like I sat down and I did all the work of planning. I thought to myself, or looked in my freezer and said, oh, I've got ground Turkey, but I plan a recipe.

That's got ground beef in it.

Roni: mm-hmm

Riley: And, but if I made a note, Hey, use up the ground Turkey here. Um, to me that's a really helpful way to use those notes because when that day I go to cook it, I may just have, again, tunnel vision of like, I'm just gonna make this recipe. Maybe I bought ground beef for it. Cuz I wasn't thinking cuz I didn't make the note.

But if I make the note, I'm doing my future self a favor. Geez. We say that so much. Um, and saying, okay, use up this thing cuz I've already gotten the freezer and it needs to be used. It needs to be cooked. Um, I think that's a really helpful way to use nodes. And then when you're doing the work of planning, it's sometimes it's easy to forget when you're gonna make a swap like that.

But if you make a note, an ingredient note or I'm sorry, just a regular [00:10:00] note on your planner, it helps you remember.

Roni: yep.

Riley: Our next tip is from a customer named Lynn. Um, and they say that I plan four to five meals per week and two to three nights for leftovers.

And this has been the meal planning strategy since the kids were little and, and she worked full time, 10 years of homeschooling, and now as empty nesters, it's always worked and has been a stress reliever for me. I love that. She said that

Roni: Yeah.

Riley: got into this habit. She always did this this way. And it's been a huge stress reliever for her.

We believe that meal planning is a stress reliever, but it's so, encouraging to hear somebody say that, doing it this way and doing it consistently this way in a system that works well for them and their family, because they say I chose, I choose slow cooker recipe on, when I have a busy day or late appointment, Saturdays are for soups or sandwiches, leftovers over Sunday, suppers.

Like they have a system that they're working within. and clearly they've done it for quite a while. It's just so it's on repeat in their mind. It's just like a system that they're working within. Uh, I love that they say it's been a stress reliever for them.

Roni: I think we had a [00:11:00] similar tip last week, too, actually, where, um, one of our customers said that, they've been, they found their system and it just has allowed them to meal plan successfully for years and years. And so I think that that's great, you know, particularly, Particularly if you're somebody who is like you, you wish for change, or you wish for something to be different, like realizing that it's really okay to do the same thing the same way over and over again, if it gets you good results, why not keep doing it the same way?

Right.

Riley: Yep.

Roni: okay. Next we have Carlin who she is actually a professional chef, but we want to talk here a little bit about how she, when she emailed us, she told us a little bit about both of her meal planning strategies. So both as her work for, at, in, as a chef, but then also for herself. So she gets, meet from a. Box subscription. And then she, and then she does that on a quarterly basis. She also shops at Costco. And so her thing is that she relies heavily on her freezer. So [00:12:00] she gets all of these things where she stocks up through her box subscription and through Costco. And then, so she always has those kinds of things stocked up at her house.

She usually plans four nights a week and knows that they'll gonna, they're gonna have leftovers at least once. And then one night she says the night where they forage in the fridge for dinner, which

Riley: I love that. I loved that. Um, we just did an awesome episode with Orion, Aon about foraging. And so I think that, that it just really connects in my mind cuz that was such a great conversation. But I love forage in the fridge.

Roni: yeah. Really cute.

Riley: That's even a thing you could add to your meal plan, like it's forage night and my husband, you know, sometimes every once in a while we will have a night like that and he's like, oh, I'll just figure it out.

I'll just rummage. He

Roni: Yeah.

Riley: Um, but I think forage is a lovely way to put it and also a real great visual, for what you do. You just go through, you find some things, put 'em together, make yourself a little something or other, maybe a quesadilla, maybe a breakfast omelet of some kind, and that's dinner.

And that's a that you planned that.

Roni: Yep. You plan for foraging.[00:13:00] 

Riley: it's great.

Roni: Yeah. One more thing that Carlin mentions is that she uses, utilizes the staples list for her Costco trips. Um, which I really like. And so she says that, uh, she uses her staples list for Costco, and then she, it's just easy to make her regular shopping list for Costco, cuz she can just go through and peruse her staples list and make sure, they remember to get the things that they like to get at Costco from that list.

So just a that's a little Plan to Eat specific tip there.

Riley: well, if you're on a system like she is, cuz she mentions that they're doing quarterly, the meat and quarterly at Costco, um, to meet, I mean, by the time you're back, you probably are in a really good system of knowing like you've got this list. You don't even probably have to add that much to it because you know, these are the things you always need.

Um, and you're probably out if you're only doing that as a quarterly situation. So

Roni: Yep.

Riley: yeah, it's really helpful. Uh, so Laura, um, is another person who sent in tip and I find this tip really helpful. So I'm gonna read the whole thing because she plans [00:14:00] for a small two person household. Um, and so we always say that planning is for any size of household. And so this is just a great tip if this is your household and you're feeling like a lot of these tips are for people with large families or for more people that they're cooking for know that this is still something that can be helpful for you and your situation.

So for meal planning for my small two person household. I just try to have all pantry essentials for the basics and everything. I'd cook, never be without a shallot, all kinds of mustard and vinegar, Asian sauces, anything that they'd use. Then I buy enough ingredients to make a week's worth of recipes, stretching them out as long as I want, depending on how much takeout or last minute meal changes we make.

I'm all about flexibility. If I have a week's worth of ingredients, I know we won't make a last minute decision to eat something that's not good. I don't do advanced meal prep because as a two person household, I just don't have to, and I want it to be fresh. I love it.

Roni: Yeah, I love it.

Riley: Yeah.

Roni: I love this tip. It's honestly really similar to the way that I do [00:15:00] my own meal planning and cooking. Uh, we are really flexible here at my house and yeah, like I'll buy a week's worth of food, but a lot of times that week's worth of food actually goes, you know, stretches longer than a week because we will, you know, eat over at our friend's house or go out to dinner or something like that.

And so I feel like I'm in a similar situation to Laura

Riley: I'm not, um, I'm not a super spontaneous person. but we do have that happen to us too, where we get invited to last minute to go to dinner or to the lake or something like that. Or maybe we're just in town too late. And it's just becomes a necessity of like, let's just eat dinner here because by the time we get home, it's eight 30 or something crazy like that.

So I love that she mentions the flexibility because that really is something where Plan to Eat really shines because you're not locked in. Ingredients can go bad. So, you know, you can be locked into situations with a, you know, an ingredient that might wilt, or meat that might go bad. But just, if, you know, I love just that you can switch things around or move things further in the week.[00:16:00] 

Uh, and then, you know, you don't have to buy dinner for Sunday or Monday because you had takeout on Thursday. You just move that little meal over. You already bought the ingredients and you're good to go.

Roni: Well, and one of the, uh, tips that we had last week was, from somebody saying that they planned their most delicate ingredients earlier in the week. And so I feel like that would work really well with this flexible style of meal planning. And I should, I should try to be more intentional about that is like, yeah.

When you have things like lettuces or, um, I don't know, like snap peas or something that like

Riley: basil even

Roni: Yeah. Like things that are yeah. Things that are gonna wilt faster or lose their flavor faster, you know, like intentionally using those earlier in the week. So that way if other events happen, you know, later in the week or in the middle of the week, I don't have to worry about like, cabbage going bad, you know?

Riley: Oh, for sure. You know, I try to do that with fish. If I ever cook fish particularly fresh and not frozen fish, um, it is almost always like I buy it and we have it that night because that is not something I want sitting in my fridge [00:17:00] um, so I do that with that kind of recipe, but I think it's lovely to think about, you know, love that word, delicate, like the items that are the most delicate need to go first.

So I tend to do my meal planning based on flavor. Sometimes I'll have an ingredient that will go in more than one thing, particularly an item, um, like ahead of cabbage, ahead of cabbage for two adults. And one, two year old, that is way too much cabbage , um, for us to eat in one meal. And so I'll buy something like a cabbage and then I'll, maybe I'll shred it depending on what the recipe calls for.

And then it's ready for more than one meal. So I'll try to plan more than one recipe that uses that kind of ingredient. But you know, for weeks where there are more delicate items, I love that just to make sure you plan them early in the week. It's a super helpful tip.

Roni: I love it, that kind of segues into our next topic, which is to do meal prep and bulk cooking.

Riley: Ah, yeah,

Roni: So our first tip is from another Laura, a different Laura, um, who is a single person. She says she works full time and [00:18:00] she wants to eat healthily efficiently and economically. So that's why she meal preps. So she says on Sunday or Monday, I prepare one to two breakfast options, one soup, and one salad for lunches that I have that have two to three servings each and two dinners that have two to four servings each.

Then I portion those out for the week and freeze a portion size containers of what I don't want this week for some time later on when I haven't planned as well. So this is a really great idea. She obviously has a really good system for how she does her meal prepping. She knows the kinds of foods that she likes to eat for breakfast, for lunch and for dinner.

And then I really like the idea that she takes some of the extra leftovers and freezes 'em. So that way, like maybe she doesn't. Get bored with the, her current, whether the things that she has for her current week, and then a couple weeks later, she'd be like, oh yeah, I loved that recipe. Let's eat this again.

Cuz it's already frozen and ready. So great tips really like it. And yeah, if you're somebody who, you know, if you have time on the, on the weekend, whatever to, you know, take part of your day to make a whole bunch of food, it really to save you so much time later in [00:19:00] the week.

Riley: Yeah. You know, the thing that stuck out to me with this that's so helpful is that often when we eat leftovers, I do not mind leftovers. I'm one of those weirdos who doesn't mind doing the same thing every day for lunch for a week. You know, I'm not talking for like two months straight, but, people I know are gonna laugh at me saying that because they know I've done that before too.

Can I just get into these ruts? And I should really like what I like anyways. Um, I feel like I had to make that little note because everybody I, that knows me listening to this is like Riley eye rolls. Okay. Um, but what I love about this is that. Laura takes the initiative to freeze a portion of it. Um, before she gets tired of it, you know, before she, cuz sometimes I'll get to the end of a batch of food and think it's too late to freeze this.

Like I didn't need to eat it or chunk it. And so, and so I love, it's just that aspect of a reminder of like, Hey, free in advance. Like it's a little bit of a light bulb for me. Uh, freeze it in advance and you don't have to worry about that last serving going bad. You're actually [00:20:00] probably saving a lot of money that way.

Cause you're not throwing things in the trash because you couldn't get to 'em in time.

Roni: Absolutely. Yeah. If you're going through the process of pre portioning your food. So I'm guessing like, Laura sounds to me like somebody who probably has, like, she takes her lunch with her to work. Right. And so it's like if she's going through the process of pre portioning her things into her Tupperware containers, so she can just grab it out and take it to work with her.

Well, if you're setting up four containers, put the third, put the fourth one, you know, in the freezer right at that time. So that way by the time Thursday comes around, you're not like, oh, I don't really wanna eat this again. And it's probably too late to put it in the freezer. Like if you do it ahead of time, then it's already there and done.

And if you wanna take it out on Wednesday night, cuz you still wanna eat that recipe, you can.

Riley: mm-hmm , you know, I saw Stacher bags, did little YouTube or, uh, Instagram reel, where they did a bunch of freezer portions. So that's a really great option for like a little thing to toss in the freezer. That's a one serving kind of bag. And I think they had some kind of special marker, maybe a chalk marker.

I don't remember exactly what kind of marker they were using to write [00:21:00] directly on the bag, but it surely washes off because that's something you're reusing forever. So finding some kind of option like that for you in this situation would work really.

Roni: Yep.

Riley: I don't do a ton of meal prep. Um, but when I do, I always am grateful that I did it.

This past week I made a breakfast casserolle for us to eat all week. And you know, we are not people who only eat breakfast food at breakfast. Um, my husband has had the breakfast casserole for lunch. He had it for lunch yesterday. So it's one of those things that like, I made it it's there. It's easy to grab, easy to go.

I work from home. And so having something like that in the fridge ready to roll is so helpful. Um, and I just made one, you know, I didn't make like 10 meals for us this week. But just having one meal taken care of is really helpful. I wish I, I should do it more often. I don't know why I don't.

Roni: I would say mostly my meal prepping that I do and is just leftovers. Right. Like I just make sure that I have leftovers for most things,

Riley: But that's what works for you, you know, like that's, that's just a system that works really well for you. Um, So I think that's great. And then like for Laura, that [00:22:00] this is a system that works really well for her. She doesn't have to cook the whole week. That's incredible.

Roni: Yeah.

Riley: cause she does it all on Sunday or Monday.

Roni: All right. So moving on to Nancy. Nancy says she cooks in bulk whenever possible. She'll cook five, Chuck roasts at a time and then eat one of them for supper tonight. Put one, make one of them for shredded beef, enchiladas, another one for cold beef. And then she'll freeze two of the roast after removing the fat for, uh, quick meals in the future.

She'll do the same with ground beef. She'll cook up to 10 pounds at a time. Use some for tacos, use some for a tater tot hot dish or goulash . I thought this was really great, particularly if you are somebody who has a big family, like this might, to me, this seems like a ton of food to be cooking, but like, I mean, if you have a family of five or six, like probably five Chuck roast, isn't gonna last, you actually all that long, you know?

So I thought this was a great idea. I like her idea of taking this one main ingredient and using it for multiple recipes as well.

Riley: This reminds me of our conversation [00:23:00] with Amy Lee and just the idea of doing something. In super bulk and then freezing, freezing full meals or just freezing. Pre-cooked like the Chuck roast or the ground beef it's cooked. Then once that part is done, one, you don't have to heat up your kitchen that much to like, throw that into a casserole.

I mean, obviously you put that in the oven or something like that, but if you're just reheating it for tacos or something like that, it's a, that saves a ton of time to have done all of that prep work. So while it does sound like a tremendous amount of food, I'm not feeding four teenagers. And I, you know, like , I am one of four, I know my mom had to cook a whole lot of food to feed all of us.

And so, this kind of thing, particularly for a busy individual who probably is feeding quite a few people, uh, it's a really helpful tip. So, and if you shop somewhere like Costco, getting it all, cooking it while it's fresh, it's a really helpful way to utilize.

Roni: Yep.

Riley: Another tip that Nancy gives that is not on the bulk and meal prep, you know, topic, um, is just a reminder to cook seasonally because it gets boring eating and [00:24:00] cooking. The same thing over and over and seasonal cooking helps alleviate the burden. I love this tip because well, one, we love seasonal eating, seasonal cooking.

Um, but another thing about it is it can really help you stay out of ruts and potentially help you stay on track with meal planning, if you are moving season to season to season, because it's not one of those habits that gets really dull . Um, so you know, a couple of months of eating foods that are kind of in the same ballpark and then you move to summer and it's fresh foods and you get excited about it again, that kind of, uh, that little reward essentially of moving from season to season with your cooking can help you stay on track because keeps things interest. She gives another tip that she says, try not to tr do not try too many new recipes in a week. Even if the recipe is easy, it takes more time than your use your recipes just cook only one or two a week. So this connects so beautifully with, I think our tip from Tim earlier in the episode, um, it's the exact same thing. It's just this reminder of like, not biting off more than you can chew. She says, even if it's easy, don't do it. Because it's still [00:25:00] more work essentially.

Roni: yeah. I love this. We talked about this a little bit in the, in, um, creating your meal planning habit episode, um, because like the idea of like cooking a recipe that you already know, like you can cook that recipe just basically on autopilot, you know, like you can just go through the steps and you don't have to be consistently like referencing a recipe, uh, for every single step.

Whereas it's a new recipe. It's gonna take you more time because you have to learn how to cook that recipe. So I thought this was a really great tip and she like hits the nail on the head with why, you really shouldn't O overwhelm yourself with multiple new recipes all the time.

Riley: absolutely. another two tips, Nancy sent us some great tips. I'm gonna read them, even though they're a bit outside of the meal planning section or meal prep section, keep ingredients for at least two backup meals in the house. For the nights that meetings run late, or someone is sick. I keep a list of them on the fridge.

So everyone knows what can be made in a short amount of time. It helps if they have access to the recipe also, which means like give 'em access to your plan, to eat account. Maybe you print the recipe, [00:26:00] something along those lines. Um, and then that, that tip, it hits home to me because that's something I talk about all the time I live a long way from town take out is not an option most nights.

But so having a recipe on hand that I can just throw together or that even everybody in the house knows how to make cuz it's such a family staple. Um, I find that so helpful. Um, and it's like a fallback meal 

Roni: Yeah. 

Riley: um, this is a night where something came up, we just need something to eat. And it still keeps us eating something that's helpful.

Without, you know, like we're not just like throwing a pizza in the oven, which is an option sometimes, you know, but without throwing a frozen pizza in the option, it's a meal that can come together really quickly. It tastes great. Everybody loves it. And it's something that I can keep in my pantry.

Roni: When we talked about this with Rosemarie, when she was talking about like teaching people, how to become meal planners, this is one of her tips is like, keep a backup meal on hand that you really love and really enjoy. So that way it's, it's more tempting to cook that meal because you're like, oh, that meal sounds so yummy.

And it [00:27:00] less tempting to just like, leave the house and go get takeout or whatever, because actually news slash getting takeout, doesn't really save you that much time. Cuz you gotta load up in the car. You gotta go get the thing. You gotta wait in line. You know like sometimes just cooking that really easy meal at home is actually a big time saver.

So.

Riley: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And then the next one we love because we love getting kids in the kitchen and she says to delegate tasks, kids and spouses can help. Even if they can't cook. My kids have had kitchen chores since they could be in the kitchen with me, start with washing fruit and vegetables. This is a great time to talk about their day and spend time together.

I love this tip. I love it because it's not just about cooking. It's about family togetherness, which is high priority item here at plan to eat. And trusting your kids with a task like PA it is so easy to let you know, even up to a two year. I mean, as young as a two year old, potentially like put some fruit in a sink of water and let 'em mush, you know, like, you know, stir it around with their hand, that's helping. So I love that tip a lot.

Roni: Yeah. I like that one a lot.[00:28:00] All right. So we'll move on to Sarah. Sarah says that she has actually always been intimidated by meal planning, but the thing that currently works for her is B batch prepping food. So she cooks chicken, she shreds it and then she freezes it in one, in one pound, zip block bags, Tuesdays, she has tacos. She has meatloaf or meatless Mondays.

And then she eats chicken two other nights. During the week, one night she has leftovers. Their weekends are for dining out. She likes to be flexible and try a new recipe. But she likes to have this starting point of some, you know, things already prepared. So I really liked this, because I, and I like that she was just honest, that like meal planning is a little bit intimidating for, because, potentially if you're not, if it doesn't come intuitively to you, it might, you might feel like I have no idea where to start.

So I really like this thing of like, get some food cooked act. Maybe the meal prepping is actually the thing that leads you into meal planning.

Riley: Totally. Yeah. I loved her vulnerability because it's real, it is genuine. And I know we have listeners and sometimes I feel that way [00:29:00] because it's overwhelming sometimes. Um, so I just love that that connects with so many people. This is, uh, not a tip on the list, but something I learned yesterday, , uh, you can take pulled pork and use a hand mixer to shred it.

Roni: Oh, I think I've seen that on the internet.

Riley: I don't know if like the pulled pork police are gonna be like, absolutely not. You do not use a hand mixer to shred it. You shred it by hand or whatever. The pulled pork police. What is that? You know, just like people who are like pulled pork experts. Right. Anyways, I learned that and, uh, I saw it, you know, happen and I was really impressed.

So I, you know, her tip made me think of it. Cuz she batch preps, chicken and shreds. It I'm guessing you could do that with chicken too. Just use a hand mixer, particularly if it's hot, you don't have to get your hands in there or anything like that or you use two forks or something.

Roni: Yeah. I mean, as long as your meat is cooked, actually thoroughly, so that it's like fall off the bone tender. I I'm just imagining in my head taking your [00:30:00] hand mixer and like putting it on like a, like a undercooked brisket or something that's like still hard. And then you're like, uh, that's like you break your mixer.

Cause it doesn't

Riley: Obviously I meant start with a, like a fully cooked

Roni: well, just saying like, I, I have cooked things before that the intention was to shred them and they didn't turn out as tender as I wanted them to. So

Riley: Oh, I love this rabbit trail. Okay. okay. So one of my favorite tips, is coming from Jennifer. She has so many tips, so let me just read it to you, cuz I, I love what she has to say. I'm a meal planner and a meal prepper. I have all of my meals for the next week. Laid out by Thursday, Friday night. I shop my freezer Saturday and Sunday.

I hit local farms or farmer's market before my day's activities. I have everything else set on grocery delivery or store pickup so that I'm not wasting time walking around the store or money on impulse buys. I feel Jennifer feel ya, uh, Sunday is a cooking day and I make everything that I need for the week.

Sunday night is around [00:31:00] of my favorite game. Fridge Jenga.

Roni: I love that. I

Riley: one. I feel like Jennifer and I would be friends because she is so. So scheduled. Um, but look, life is like that sometimes where you have to say, I do this today. I do that tomorrow, Thursday, I do this. And this happens then. And I know that game all too.

Well, the all fridge Jen goes oh man, I laughed. And I hope that listeners are laughing because it's so real. If I meal prep, I'm like, oh no, where do I put this?

Roni: Totally.

Riley: um, even that casserole, I mentioned that breakfast casserole that I mentioned, I made, by the time it cooled down, it was kind of late in the evening.

And I was like, Hey husband, can you go find somewhere for that to live? And he was like, you're giving me the job you don't wanna do. And it's like, because I had just gone grocery shopping. So our fridge was kind of full. Um, and I did not know where to put it, but he found a spot for it. he always does.

Roni: Oh, that's so awesome. Yeah. I, I really like her process here as well. I like you Riley. [00:32:00] I like that. She, like, she plans this out alre like Thursday. She's already thinking about the next week on Thursday and I, that's the type of person that I am, you know, like right now I'm already thinking about next week.

And so I like that. That's how her, her brain works, I guess like that's how her week works as well. Is that she just, um, This is actually really similar to a tip that we had last week where, I can't remember who said it, but, um, where, like they have a process for like day one. I do this thing day two.

I do this thing day three. I do this thing. Like Jennifer's process is really similar where, um, it's a multi-step process and I like that because it's not doing all of those things in one day. Like it, it really alleviates any kind of O overwhelm you could have with meal planning by making it a multi-day process.

Riley: it's that same idea of not biting off more than you can chew by planning recipes. You can't cook because you've never made 'em before or, or not that you can't, but just that they're a process you've never done before. It's the same idea. It's like I'm taking this [00:33:00] overwhelming task. Of running to all the stores, making the plan, getting a grocery list, um, all the things, shopping her freezer, you know, all those tasks and breaking it down and saying today I do this five minute task.

So a 45 minute task becomes five minute increments, which I think is so helpful.

Roni: Yep.

Riley: Um, she has some really great tips. So I'm actually gonna read a little bit more, lately. I've been really leaning on the grill to cook up batches of grilled chicken vegetable shrimp.

This will make an easy taco or fajita filling pita filling for lunch or toppings for a salad leftover grilled veggies can be tossed with pasta, garlic, cheese, and olive oil at the end of the week for an easy Friday night meal. I love that

Roni: Yep.

Riley: and it's a tad different than, you know, than some of the tips we've given before with, you know, like with batch cooking vegetables or other things.

I love that she just is like, I'm gonna throw this all with these simple ingredients that probably I have on hand, and makes a delicious, probably incredibly delicious Friday night meal. I think I would look forward to that all week. I'd probably save vegetables for it.

Roni: Yeah. So she also mentions that her [00:34:00] husband, her daughter, they are all very active. They have busy schedules, but they like to have home cooked meals that are ready to eat. And she says it saves them a lot of money because they shop sales at the grocery store. They shop at lo local farms. And they're also not relying on fast food or pizza when they get hungry.

And like, she, she even says if they get hungry without a plan. So like, even if she didn't even really meal plan that much for the week, but she went through the process of doing this meal prep and putting this stuff on the grill. Like, she seems like a pretty intuitive cook and she can just be like, cool, we're just gonna throw these things together.

It's gonna make a yummy meal and we didn't have to rely on fast food instead. So I really like that.

Riley: Yeah, I love that too. And the last thing from her, um, is she says that she'll take pictures of her menus or her lists and to inspire others and people will comment. I don't know how you do it. And she says, if I can do it, anyone can a few hours on a Sunday saves me endless time, money and frustration during the week when I am frazzled from work tired from the gym and hungry, those are the times [00:35:00] when you fall back on things like takeout or meals that you weren't, whatever you weren't planning to make them or something, that you're, you know, it's maybe not like what you want.

Like you're trying, you know, like she says that that eating healthy food is a high priority. Eating home, cooked, healthy food is high priority for them. And so when you are frazzled from work tired from the gym and hungry, it's so easy to make choices that are outside of like really your values. and so I just love that she says this because she puts in the effort on the front end to save her during the week.

It's an incredible tip. I love it.

Roni: Yep.

Okay. Our final two, customers that send in tips, their, suggestions kind of fall under a miscellaneous category. We didn't really have a very specific area to put these two. They both give amazing tips. They are very like well rounded. And so, we're gonna talk about Nancy real quick. Nancy has used Plan to Eat since 2013, which is amazing. We love that. Similar to some of the meal, prepping ideas, Nancy, uh, utilizes leftovers a lot. So [00:36:00] when she makes dinners, she also makes sure that she has leftovers for different days of the week.

She has this system that works really well for her as far as like what types of lunches and leftovers she likes to have for different days of the week. But one of the things that we thought we liked the most was actually is that on Fridays they make a homemade pizza. One thing that she does is she stuffs string cheese into the crust of the pizza, which I think is awesome. I'm sure that's probably how, you know, a pizza hut or whatever makes their stuff crust pizza as well.

Um, but I just think it's a really great tip and she says that it actually is super quick. The recipe that she has for pizza is super quick. It takes less than 30 minutes. Um, and it's one of their go-to meals. So I really liked that. She also mentions that when they have a week where all of their meals work really well together, they save it as a menu, so that they can reuse all of her hard work later.

So she says a few weeks worth of meal menus already done, and so that she can reuse them in a pinch. If she doesn't have time to meal plan, we [00:37:00] talked about menus a little bit last week as well, but I just thought this was really she, the way that she emphasizes menus and talks about 'em I think is really good.

Just realizing that it's another thing that helps your future self to be able to save menus so that when you have a crazy week and you don't have time to meal plan, you already have it done.

Riley: Absolutely. Yeah. One of the reasons why we are sharing these tips is because we, you know, we're not an endless resource of tips because we, you know, we do things a certain way. And while we talk to customers all the time, it can be easy for us to feel like we're not, giving enough tips to you guys and we always wanna be sharing tips.

And so we reached out to our customers to get tips, about how they meal plan, because we want you guys to meal plan. And if you connect with someone's process, and it helps you, like, that's what we're here for. We're about helping you do that. So Nancy's, you know, her system is incredibly specific.

She plans on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, and then those meals make Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday lunches, um, Fridays, she doesn't need anything. So she doesn't [00:38:00] plan anything for that day. And then Thur, um, let's see, cold lunches on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She she's so specific with her meal plan. Um, and I think one thing that I love about it and it sticks out is that she's built this system that works incredibly well for them.

And I think we've said this so many times in the meal planning tip podcast, but, finding a system that works for you, even if it's funky, you know, like even if it's a bit off the beaten path or something, we're about to talk about Kylie and she has an incredible process. And a really delicious one too.

I might add. Um, but just finding the system that works for you, even if it's not, you know, it's outside the norm, it's not, maybe you're not, you know, like maybe you're like Amy Lee and you're planning for a month at a time. You're not planning for a week at a time with four dinners, like this little perfect little system, doing the thing that works for you is incredibly important.

And so that's why we're sharing all these tips and hopefully they connect with you.

Let's go to Kylie because I think. Her tip might be the most delicious of, of them all. Alright. So Kylie [00:39:00] says she only cooks every other night except for pizza night. And as a result, we are guaranteed to have leftovers several times a month to get around the monotony of eating the same thing two nights in a row.

I use slightly different sides between the nights, for the, so for Spanish rice, I'll serve tortilla chips with it the first night and maybe put in a, in a tortilla with a little cheese the next night. If I make Curry, I serve it over potatoes the first night and rice. The second, whenever I make rice, I always make an extra portion to freeze.

So it only takes a little bit of time and water in the microwave to have it rice, to have rice ready and a pinch switching up frozen bags of veggies from one night to the next helps a lot. This is a really great tip because she's doing minimal work, but making amazing dinners. Um, and it's also very, it's just really real life.

If you ask me, you know, she's got frozen bags of veggie, she's probably steaming those in the microwave. She's making rice and then freezing that. So it's ready anywhere she can. It sounds like she's doing things to save herself time. And I think that that is incredibly helpful. I mean, all of these tips are built that way.[00:40:00] 

But her, her phrasing and the way she puts it together, I really appreciate cuz it's just so genuine. it is all about saving time and saving monotony because I think that's one thing that leftovers can really bring to everyone's life is monotony. And I think it's the reason why my husband doesn't really like leftovers, cuz he's just like, well, I wanna eat something different.

But she's changing them up enough that it's kind of the same idea from a few tips to go, with Jennifer where she's, you know, she's cooking a, you know, she's cooking shrimp, vegetables, and chicken on the smoker or grill, but then she's making them into different dishes the whole week.

It's a really, that's so helpful.

Roni: Yeah, it's the kind of, that idea of the cook once eat all week where you're just, you're, you're prepping things ahead of time and then you're like assembling them into different recipes throughout the week. It sounds like both of these ladies are really good at making that happen for themselves. Um, so her amazing, yummy tip is that if she has a recipe that ends up making more than she needs, she'll turn it into some type of a bun recipe.

So she has [00:41:00] these like quick dough recipes that she makes and she takes the leftover food and makes it as a filling. For this bun. So she basically creates like homemade hot pockets for her family. So she says that, you know, you can make a bunch of hot pockets and have 'em ready to go. You can vacuum seal em, and they'll last in the freezer for several months.

She said they just recently finished off all the ones that she made 10 months ago before she had her baby. She says she made 250 hand pies before she had her baby. And they had been eating them consistently for the last 10 months. I thought this was so cool. She said she has multiple, dough recipes that she uses.

Sometimes she'll use a pie crest sometimes she'll use a roll. Um, sometimes she'll use like a, some type of bun recipe or a pizza dough. Yeah. She just say pizza dough as well. So she's filled them with all kinds of things. She said she made one with macaroni and cheese and pulled pork, uh, chicken Parmesan, Curry, sweet potato hash she's made mini calzones with pizza toppings.

I love this tip so much. And [00:42:00] I feel like I really need to try and take advantage of this myself.

Riley: Yeah, well, one, it sounds incredibly delicious, but two, it is an incredible way to use up leftovers. I don't think I would ever consider putting macaroni and cheese and pulled pork inside of a pizza dough. Now my husband would, that's totally up his alley, but I do the majority of the cooking at our house.

And man, like, it just sounds delicious. It's an amazing way to use up leftovers. I'll say that again. And they're really a high, high variety. I mean she says Curry chicken Parmesan, sweet potato hash, um, cottage pie, pop pie, like anything she's made, she's putting inside of a filling or it as a filling inside of a bun.

I think that's so yummy.

Roni: Yeah. Well, and you've talked about before, you know, before you had your first child and we've talked about it with other people of, you know, doing this, you know, like, you know, batch, cooking day before you, before you have a kid so that you have some frozen foods on hand for those crazy nights, when you don't have the energy or the brain space or whatever, [00:43:00] to cook dinner, you know, 250 hand pies is certainly a lot of hand pies.

However, if you're spending, if you're trying to spend all day cooking lasagna or whatever to put in the freezer anyway, it's probably the same amount of time to make these hand pies, particularly if the things that you're filling them with are the leftovers from the week anyways.

Riley: Well, I feel like this would be a really unique thing to coordinate on your planner because you can buy or make a dough at the beginning of the week and then plan a meal every night. That is something that you would find delicious inside of that dough. And then for the whole week, every night, maybe you make 10.

Um, you're gonna get to two 50 pretty quickly. And that's something that I will just add, like her in particular, she said before I had each of my kids, I made them. And so it's just something I will add for somebody who is, you know, maybe having a baby or, or just likes freezer foods, is just like starting a month or two before the baby is due maybe even three months before, because that three months before is what you can have right after baby is born.

But just, you know, kind [00:44:00] of putting it in advance on your meal planner saying. Hey start making your freezer meals now. And 250 is not overwhelming when you've got three months to like break it down into like different batches of foods and things like that. So, um, that's, you know, it's an add on to what Kylie said, but hopefully that's really helpful for somebody who's maybe in that phase of life.

Um, I love it. I thought this tip was really good.

Roni: Yeah. I liked a lot too. Uh, and I think that if I implemented something like this, my husband would be very happy.

Riley: yeah, yeah. Uh, yep. Definitely. That would be happy over here too. Yeah.

Roni: Okay. So we wanted to end today's episode, um, answering a question that we, that we got from one of our customers. So Andrew says I'm able to successfully plan the main course for meals. However, the vegetable dishes are difficult because of my commute and a toddler. Most of the meal prep needs to be done beforehand, which vegetables can be prepared or cooked beforehand.

And which vegetables must sorry. And which [00:45:00] vegetables must be chopped right before cooking. Is there a way to meal prep, vegetables a few times a week? And if so, what's the best way to organize this. So we did a little research on this because I would, I'll have to admit that as far as specific vegetable prepping, I'm not an expert.

So I went to the Google machine.

Riley: We're here for we're here to help you.

Roni: we're here to help. I, I found some resources online and some of the best vegetables for meal meal prepping multiple days in advance are generally what you would think. They're the heartier vegetables. A lot of them are root vegetables, things like carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, green, beans, onions, um, eggplant, squash, brussel sprouts, celery, beets, all of those can be prepped, you know, probably on Sunday for the week ahead.

Um, you can, you could simply chop these things. So if you don't have to chop them the day of, and then store them in containers, you can also roast all of these things.[00:46:00] Or, you know, you could chop pre chop them and then put them in the freezer, that kind of stuff. Some of the there's a few vegetables that are better to be chopped one only one to two days ahead of time, which are a little more delicate things like cucumbers, bell peppers, mushrooms, and then the worst things for meal prepping, um, or better to prep the day of rather are things like herbs, tomatoes, potatoes, and sweet potatoes and avocados.

So herbs, tomatoes, and avocados, those all kind of make sense. But one of the things that I found really interesting here is that potatoes contain an E contain an enzyme that makes them brown and hardened when they're chopped ahead of time. So, I think potential, I think there's ways that you can, like, I think you can put potatoes potentially in like a little bit of liquid or something to potentially help that Browning.

But I think as far as crapping potatoes and sweet potatoes, you want to chop them and cook them and then store them because that prevents this heartening aspect from this enzyme that they.

Riley: Uh, so a couple things that [00:47:00] I, I just wanna add to this list, um, things like a salad spinner is probably super helpful for that meal prepping in advance of something like a leafy green, a a romaine or a iceberg lettuce. Uh, the thing I think about is like the higher, the water content, the kind of weirder they'll get the later in the week if I've prepped them in advance.

So that makes sense with tomatoes. That makes sense with lettuce. I, I often don't, I'll often buy, um, like leafy greens, you know, like the spinach and like the, spring mixes of veggies. Those are, those are great. Those hold up really great all week, but something like an iceberg lettuce, it's so much liquid.

It can, unless it's really dry. If you've really dried it out, it can get kind of weird. Um, I think that's probably why herbs are probably like, let's hold off on chopping those. And then another thing about potatoes is that if you do soak 'em in water, Roni, they will get very starchy, um, or gummy. So like if you're gonna mash 'em, if you're gonna chop 'em cuz you know, you're gonna mash 'em later on.

Um, if you soak 'em in water for too long, they can [00:48:00] get really gummy. Um, so those are, I think that's why those are really helpful for being a day of prep. So I don't know. So water content to me is something that dictates that I wouldn't chop tomatoes in advance cuz they're so water heavy, So that's how I think about it.

I think this list is great. And like you said, using the word Hardy, Hardy is an excellent word. Like if it's a Hardy veggie that's so it, yes. Carrots, broccoli, brussel sprouts, those really Hardy vegetables are amazing to prep in advance. One thing just for the person who's submitted this, uh, don't be afraid to like buy pre chopped veggies.

If they're pre chopped and you buy 'em like, I, I often buy pre chopped broccoli. And it's, you know, it's just fresh broccoli. That's been chopped for me. But I find that to be really helpful because I also have a toddler and just being able to like cut the top off, rinse it, whatever I need to do with it and like cook it, it does help.

It eliminates that sometimes we have issues with knives at our [00:49:00] house because my toddler likes to be at the counter and helping. So if I can eliminate the use of a knife , from some part of my meal prep, that's really helpful. And like you can buy a lot of these things. Pre chopped brussel sprouts, broccoli, zucchini, squashes, like a, what is that squash called the red hard, like the red orangey hard one. Oh, a butternut squash. That's one that I often find pre chopped in our grocery store. Anyway, these are, those are helpfully. That's helpful, but I think like a salad spinner would be a really helpful thing if you are doing veggies in advance because those get 'em really dry.

Whereas I feel like I can never get my salads dry enough. To like, to, to hold up in the fridge really well.

Roni: Yeah. So as far as some actual, um, Recipe side ideas go. Some things that I thought of are once again, roasting a big batch of vegetables that you could then can reheat with the meal. So pretty much everything on that initial list of like the hardier vegetables, those are all great things to roast. And then they will stay [00:50:00] good in the fridge for pretty much the whole five days of the week, the work week.

You could also make zoodles if you happen to have like a little zoodle machine, you could make oodles and prep those ahead. So that way you could just like quickly blanch 'em and then eat 'em with your recipe. And then also this idea of frozen vegetables or pre top vegetables, particularly things that you're just going to pull out of the freezer and use the same day, you know, like Russell sprouts and like that kind of stuff.

Um, if you're just, if you're just gonna roast it, like, if you wanna roast it the day of you might as well just buy something that's frozen. So then you can just take it out and put it on your sheet pan and put it in the, the oven. So. I think that's something that's a good time saver.

Riley: I love your idea of roasting a big batch of veggies, um, because it's something you could also do, uh, on a night, maybe when you're already grilling, you could make a bunch of veggie skewers, just grill.

'em all up together. Have a few that night save the rest of them for the week ahead. My niece recently made pesto mashed potatoes, and she froze them in individual servings in [00:51:00] bags and put 'em in the freezer. And let me tell you, you couldn't, you, there was no knowledge that they were previously frozen.

They were incredible. I'm gonna try to get the recipe from her now that I've mentioned it on the show. But they were amazing and they held up super well. Like we, um, reheated 'em to have 'em with a dinner, ended up having leftovers, kept them in the fridge, for a couple days and we ate 'em. So that's another thing that you could probably prep in advance, even though that sounds like something strange to prep in advance.

Cuz I wouldn't normally, when she told me she froze, I was kind of surprised and was pleasantly surprised when we went to eat them. Cuz you would never have known that they were frozen. Um, but that's something that you could do in advance and then have for a few meals a week. Um, you could even do, baked potatoes might be something that could be done in a advance.

Cuz that's something that's pretty easy to reheat. But not a lot of prep work. You just wrap and foil, throw it in the oven for, you know, 45 minutes to an hour. And then you could even have that for a couple of, you know, a meal or two. So

Roni: Yeah, well, and honestly, a bake potato would be really versatile because if you ate a bake potato one night, you could potentially like chop [00:52:00] chop it up a different night and saute it or something.

Riley: yeah, absolutely.

Roni: yeah. So there's multiple options there. I did wanna give a few general guidelines for storing your vegetables.

Just so you have an idea of how long these can actually stay good in the refrigerator. So chopped UN uncooked vegetables in the fridge can last for five to seven days, depending on what kind of vegetable it is. Some vegetables do store better. Um, you know, like in a little cup of water or in, you know, they make those really cool, containers that have like air release, whatever lids.

Um, so if you're really interested in keeping UN uncooked vegetables in your fridge, you might. Potentially invest in some of those, cooked vegetables will stay good in the fridge for four to five days and in the freezer for up to three months for the best flavor quality.

Riley: Yeah, that's great.

Roni: All right. Well, do you wanna talk about quick recipe before we go?

Riley: Sure.

Roni: Okay. What, um, are you loving recently?

Riley: I've been a bit on a pasta kick and I haven't even started like this this [00:53:00] week ahead. I accidentally planned like four pasta dishes and I had to back it off, but they all looked so good. I, we haven't eaten pasta in a long time around here. And so I, you know, I was down in this like rabbit hole of recipes of like this lemon chicken pasta that looked incredible.

And then we have a Tuscan chicken pasta that's coming up. Uh, I think the Tuscan chicken pasta actually found on Instagram and it was one of those, uh, semi-homemade kind of recipes throwing dinner together really quickly. We haven't had it yet, but I will tell you about it because it sounds really delicious and we're having it tonight.

So you take chicken thighs, you put 'em in a pan and you put salt and pepper on. In another pot, you take an Alfred Alfredo sauce. Pre-made you add in spinach, Sund, dried tomatoes, herbs, like Italian herbs. You mix all that together. So it kind of comes together, cooks a little bit, you pour it over the chicken and you bake it in the oven.

So it just like all bakes together and then you serve it over pasta. And it looked delicious. And it's one of those things that it's a semi-homemade kind of meal, some of it's premade, but, you, [00:54:00] you know, you, it, up enough that it's unique, I'll report back on how good it is, but, um, it looked really good to me, so hopefully it's great.

Roni: Yummy. Yeah, it sounds.

Well, so we have been eating some breakfast for dinner recently. So I wanna talk about, uh, chroizo and sweet potato breakfast bowl that we've been eating. This is a great recipe actually for this meal prep idea or prepping ahead because, I usually, so it's sweet potatoes chorizo, you saute some greens and then you top it with a fried against some avocado.

So like, what I usually do is I will just cook like a whole sheet pan of sweet potatoes, you know, like on Sunday or Monday. And then we can kind of like incorporate it into multiple recipes and this being one of them. Yeah, after you roast your sweet potatoes, saute some or, um, cook the chroizo and then you, you can use basically any kind of leafy green.

We've used both, uh, Swiss, charred and kale, cuz those are two things we have in our garden right now. And yeah, just like, kind [00:55:00] of like lightly season everything, top it with a over medium fried egg and some avocado, and it makes a really yummy bowl. It would be great for breakfast as well, but we've mostly been eating it for dinner

Riley: That sounds really good. And I love how easy that comes together, too. Two.

Roni: Yeah, it does. Yeah. Obviously like if you're cooking all of it in the same night, it's a little time consuming because the sweet potatoes take a little while to roast, but also it's hands off cooking. So if you did it all in the same night, it's not that big of a deal. So it's really yummy. Yeah, And it is easy. 

Riley: This sounds like a recipe that I used to make. When we would go camping, I would precook this sweet potatoes just a bit and then cook the rest of it and make it like a little breakfast bowl, um, while camping.

And so you're bringing me back to that recipe I used to make when we were camping. So it sounds really good.

Roni: Yeah. It's yummy.

Riley: Thank you so much for joining us. Uh, for this episode of the plan to eat podcast, we hope that these customer tips were incredibly helpful for you. I know I got a lot of tips out of it. So we hope it was helpful for you. And maybe if you love it, [00:56:00] we'll do another episode like this in the future on a different topic.

Roni: Thanks again for listening and we will talk to you next week.