Meal Planning

Over the past couple of weeks we have been experimenting with meal plans from The Fresh 20. We got a yearly subscription for $24 with a groupon. Each week they provide a new menu with 5 dinners. One meal is seafood and one meal is vegetarian.

What I love about the menu is you are provided a grocery list of 20 items (plus pantry staples), so there is no list to make for the grocery store. They also provide a list of things that can be made ahead for the week. That means over the weekend I can get vegetables cut, rice cooked, meat prepared and have less to do on the nights I am too busy. They also utilize all of the vegetables you buy, so there is no waste. Last week we used one head of cabbage in 3 of the meals. I love that!

In addition to the weekly menus, you receive access to their archives. This worked out great this week when I received their current menu and knew I would have a hard time with the kids eating most of the items.

Instead of the menu they provided, I selected another menu, which consisted of Chicken Milanese, Shrimp Scampi, Chicken and Broccoli Casserole, Tuscan Bean and Chicken Stew and Potato Frittata.

My favorite of the week was the Shrimp Scampi. I broke out my pasta maker for the meal.

pastamaker1

This machine makes quick work of turning sheets into pasta shapes:

pastamaker2

I thought the addition of baby arugula would be a problem for the kids, but everyone ate everything on their plate.

scampi

The broccoli and cheese casserole would have been so simple if I had everything prepped ahead. I had the chicken cooked and broccoli chopped from the night we ate the Milanese, but we did the rest of the prep on cooking night.

brocchicking

Belle has gotten very good at cutting veggies. She loves doing this right now because no one else in her class is allowed to use big knives (or so she tells me).

bellecutting

I thought the chicken and broccoli casserole was pretty good, but not very flavorful. AJ picked through the rice and broccoli and only ate the chicken. Belle said it was alright.

brocchicken

The only downside so far is the meals seem a little uneven. Sometimes there is a lot of food and others there isn’t anything left for lunch the next day. We had fish sticks last week, and it just wasn’t enough food. We were all still hungry.

So far I feel like The Fresh 20 was worth the money for us. We were in a major meal rut and now we are eating something brand new every night. There are so many veggies in their meals and they always seem to find the healthiest way to prepare the food.

Today is Friday, so the latest menu will be hitting my inbox at any minute. I can’t wait to see what we’ll be eating next week!

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2 Comments

Filed under Food

2 responses to “Meal Planning

  1. Lisa

    Sounds like a great way to get out of the dinner rut. I would be fine with it….your father not so much, lol. He likes about the same 12 meals over and over.

    Ella looks like a great little helper:)

    Are there a lot of seasonings in each meal? Maybe you could spice up the chx casserole.

    • AJ is the same way. He is not liking a lot of the vegetables.

      Usually the meals are very flavorful. They seem to love using lemons and herbes de provence. The chicken and broccoli didn’t have much seasoning, so I should have known, but I thought the cheese sauce would be enough. It wasn’t.

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