Friday, January 7, 2011

Meal Planning - Emealz

I don’t cook. There I said it. But now I have a gourmet kitchen, a limited budget, and some deep down desire to nest in this new house. So – now I am trying to cook. Guys like it when you cook, something about they think with their stomach right? Finding somewhere to start though can be intimidating! I work full time(plus more), I travel, I volunteer, and I like to have a life ( that whole making the moment matter concept!) I I need simplicity, and something that can be made quick. I hardly cooked growing up and I have lived an existence of eating out and the same 5 meals over and over again. I do not have a repatroire of ideas what to make each week. I know, people tell me just follow the recipe. And I have done that a few times, but generally it is a one off attempt and then go back to the rut. Here is my cookbook collection, does not seem to have helped me. I have a bad habit of collecting pretty cookbooks with the best intentions to use them.

For the last several months B has been cooking as he is home right now and doing the dishes (yeah!!), but I know that will end soon as he goes back to work so we need to figure something for meals rather than take out. Now, those 5 meals repetitive meals are rather healthy. We shop at Whole Foods, so there is some redeeming nutritional value. I am lucky that B grew up on organic (albeit southern) cooking so he really likes going to healthy stores. Here is the conversation that usually happens on a day:

B : What do you want tonight? Fish sticks, chili, Pizza, or crock pot chicken? I’ll go to the store and get the items.

Can you say fallen into a rut? I am sure most of you can relate at some point. In the past I had tried some other ways to make meals including those frozen meal plans but did not like them. Plus, going to the store without a plan meant that we were generally throwing out produce each week that we did not eat – waste!!! For the past few of weeks I have tried a new system that seems to be working for me – Emealz. They create the meal plans for you and fit in on to one nice page with a grocery list!
 Fits the bill – not the same thing everyweek, quick easy meals, and a grocery list – and cheap! $5 a month. Having everything on one page means either of us can made dinner that night depending on schedules (score!). They have several different plans to choose from that are store specific or diet plan specific. I choose the weight watchers plan so that we have healthy meals.

Here are some examples of the meals:

Glazed Pork Chops and Green Bean Bake

Picnic Burgers

Cheesy Enchiladas

Italian Spaghetti Soup

Lemon Herb Turkey

Steamed Shrimp

Walnut Crusted Chicken

Chicken Orzo

Orange Baked Catfish

Almond Crusted Tilapia

Still means we have to cook, but made much easier with really simple directions. Case in point with this conversation:

B: Wow corn on the cob for dinner! Never made that before.

S: Neither have I! I read the directions, said to boil for 6 minutes!

Just giving perspective where I am starting. Sometimes simple is really good! I still pick and choose which meals we like, and I am making notes of ones we like for repetition. People always say that having a plan helps to save money, and it really does! It even inspired me to get out a cookbook and try a healthy brownie recipe! Note to self – things with chocolate in them are rarely meant to be healthy . Oh well, you win some you lose some! It is just the process of starting somewhere. :)


  1. Haha! So funny! Go over to my blog. I was just trying to figure out how to use and organize my recipes!!! Good Luck!

  2. Thanks so much for blogging about us. We hope you continue to enjoy you E-Mealz menus!
    Heather Brown


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