Healthy Meal Plans: Week 13 (And Our New Pantry First Approach)

This week we are focusing on pantry and freezer meals to make a healthy, easy meal plan packed with family friendly meals.

It's hard to know exactly what to write this week as we head into unprecedented times and a lot of unknown. Life has changed significantly in just a few days and we are all grappling to figure out how to navigate these tricky times. Things are just different than they were a few short days ago.

Just like all of you, we are trying to figure out how to adjust here at Slender Kitchen in a way that will be the most helpful and supportive for you, our readers. Knowing that we will all be spending more time at home, cooking more meals, and relying on less fresh ingredients - we want to help you continue to eat healthy and feel as good as possible during this time. We want to help make meal time easier, we want to provide resources and recipes you need, and we want to be a place you can turn to for help.

More importantly, we want to try and bring a little joy into your homes. Mealtime is a time to connect, decompress from a stressful day, and focus on the good things. We want to make that time easier for you - so please let us know what you want to see on the website and how we can make mealtime just a little easier and hopefully more joyful.

We are already planning on lots of easy and quick pantry/freezer recipes but I want to make sure we are providing you with the types of recipes and content you need.

Now let's move onto this week's meal plan. As with all weeks, this week's meal plan is packed with lots of yummy and healthy recipes but with a special focus on providing meals that are made with pantry items and freezer items.  We are also repeating items a little more than normal so grocery shopping is easier and meal prep doesn't take up as much time.

I am also going to do my very best to provide lots of substitutions and tips below to help you adjust depending on what's available in your area and what you have at home. Please don't hesitate to reach out with questions about how to adjust recipes or ways to make it work for you. We will be really active in our Facebook group, sharing ideas daily ideas for how to adjust recipes.  So keep an eye there for ideas, support, and to get answers to your questions. 

So here goes! Let's talk about some of the meals in this week's meal plan as well as all kinds of ideas for adjusting them to work for you. Remember, we have this healthy version as well as a low carb and vegetarian option. All plans have nutritional information and WW points in all three colors. 

  • Broccoli and Cheese Frittata: Make it with any frozen veggie you like and leave out the fresh onion if you are low or don't have any on hand.  You can add a dash of onion powder instead. If you don't have ricotta cheese, you could add cottage cheese. If you don't have either, use a 1/2 cup of milk. To use less eggs, use 4 whole eggs instead of the eggs and egg whites.
  • Microwave Oatmeal: To keep this interesting, play around with different toppings daily using frozen fruit, fresh fruit, canned fruit, nuts, seeds, nut butter, or chocolate chips.
  • Healthy Pumpkin Pancakes: If you don't have canned pumpkin, you can use mashed bananas or applesauce instead. Any flour will work.
  • Healthy Tuna Salad: You can use canned tuna, canned salmon, canned chicken, or even mashed chickpeas.  Use all mayonnaise or all yogurt depending on what you have at home.
  • Easy Greek Chicken: Use chicken thighs, chicken breasts, or pork shoulder. If you don't have fresh lemon, just leave it out. If you don't have onions or garlic, add onion powder (1 tbsp for 1 onion)  and garlic powder (1/2 tsp for one clove)
  • One Pot Creamy Mushroom Pasta: Use canned or frozen mushrooms if you don't have fresh. If you don't have any mushrooms, just use a different vegetable. If you don't have half and half, just use milk, sour cream, or yogurt. Also same for the onion and garlic, use powders if needed.
  • Pork Fried Rice: Leave out the eggs if you are running low. Use any cooked grain you like, it doesn't have to be rice. Double up on frozen mixed vegetables instead of using the fresh cabbage, red pepper, and green onions. Use ground ginger and garlic powder in place of fresh.
  • Spicy Turkey and Ground Bean Stir Fry: Use frozen or canned green beans in place of fresh if needed. Use any protein you like and have on hand. Use ground or prepared ginger and garlic in place of fresh. Use red pepper flakes or Sriracha in place of the Asian garlic chili paste.
  • Quick and Easy Black Bean Tacos: Use any beans you have on hand and a prepared taco seasoning instead of the list of spices. You can use garlic powder and onion powder in place of fresh and use any tortillas you have.
  • Crispy Shrimp Burgers: These are perfect with defrosted frozen shrimp. You could also use any type of defrosted fish, canned salmon, canned tuna, or canned chicken. Make the fries with any veggie you have on hand or serve with store bought frozen fries.
  • Easy Honey Mustard Chicken: Make with chicken thighs or chicken breast. Substitute a fresh or frozen veggie for the carrots (adjust cooking time) depending on what you have on hand.
  • Sides: Just use what you have!

Be kind to yourself!  Everyone is in a different place right now, so do what makes sense for you and your family. If having kids at home all day and trying to work has you stressed (me, me, me!), substitute an easy frozen pizza night or hot dog night or pasta night as often as needed. Get takeout one night to support a local restaurant. Do what you need to make this work! 

Love the idea of having meal planning but don’t have time to find recipes, create shopping lists, and make meal plans?

Since I know that many people simply don’t have the time to create their own healthy meal plans, we provide delicious and healthy meal plans at Slender Kitchen that you can customize to meet your needs. Right now these meal plans will be focused on using pantry and freezer items as much as possible to make things work for this difficult time. Also, if you are interested in a meal plan and have fallen upon hard financial times, please don't hesitate to reach out. We will work something out. 

Each healthy weekly meal plan comes full of delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The meal plans come in regular, vegetarian, and low carb options. All feature complete nutritional information, Weight Watchers Green, Blue, or Purple SmartPoints, and categorized shopping lists! There are also two bonus fallback recipes weekly and the option for either a complete meal plan or a Dinner Only plan.

This includes our interactive meal planning option where you can customize the number of servings for each meal, swap in new recipes if you don't like something, or build your own meal plan from scratch. All that for less the cost of one cup of coffee per month with the yearly plan.


Healthy Meal Plans: Week 13 (And Our New Pantry First Approach)
On Healthy Meal Plans: Week 13 (And Our New Pantry First Approach)
user image
user image
Jeanne Cafferata
March 21, 2020 - 13:42
Rate this Post
Thank you so much for doing this! I am so grateful for the thought put into this. I was really stressing about how to plan for my family through this and you have made it so much easier! I hope everyone stays safe and heathy!
user image
Mary Jo Lord
March 20, 2020 - 14:56
Rate this Post
Thank you for being so kind! Stay safe and well!
user image
Amy Kemp
March 20, 2020 - 14:04
Rate this Post
You are amazing and thank you so much for this! So true about this week! My husband and I are working from home and all I have wanted is comfort food. This will help!! Be safe and stay healthy!
user image
Theresa Munyan
March 20, 2020 - 10:08
Rate this Post
I'm tearing up in gratitude for this weeks plan. And it's simplicity.
Thank you so much!♥️