This week we are focusing on pantry and freezer meals to make a healthy, easy meal plan packed with family friendly meals. We also now offer grocery delivery to help make it easier to stay at home.
As we head into a new week, I know many of us continue to navigate uncharted territory learning what it looks like to stay at home. Honestly, it's hard not to focus on all the things that are changing and all the new challenges that we face. This is tough.
With that said, this week I am trying my best to focus the things that I enjoy in this new normal - more time with my kids (even though it's HARD), more time spent as a family, and more time to cook and spend in the kitchen. As a food blogger, it may seem like that's something I would do all the time but I actually spend a ton of time on the business side of this. It's nice to just get in my kitchen, experiment with recipes, and cook for my family. It brings me a lot of peace and joy.
So this week, as hard as it may feel, I encourage everyone to take a minute to focus on one positive thing you have found during this time. I know this may not be possible for everyone, but at least for me, spending some time being grateful has helped shift my perspective.
Grocery delivery: We are extremely excited to let you know that we are now offering Grocery Delivery through most local providers as part of the meal plans. We are hoping this new feature makes it easier to plan your weekly meals and stay safe at home. This has been a feature we have wanted to add for a long time, but we wanted to get it added as quickly as possible to do what we can to help everyone stay safe and minimize grocery store trips.
At the bottom of the shopping list, you will find a "Get Ingredients" button that connects to local stores offering delivery. Make sure to always double-check the list to make sure it's accurate and the items are in stock.
Also, just like last week, we are focusing on a pantry/freezer focused menu with lots of options based on what you have and what's in stock. I am going to do my very best to provide lots of substitutions and tips below to help you adjust the recipes 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 for how to adjust recipes, so keep an eye there for ideas, support, and to get answers to your questions.
So here goes!
- Banana Quinoa Chia Muffins: These can be made with canned pumpkin or applesauce if needed. You can use frozen bananas, just defrost them and then mash.
- Overnight Blueberry Chia Oats: Use any fresh or frozen berries (or fruit actually) for these overnight oats.
- Baked Eggs with Tomatoes and Parmesan: You can use any type of tomatoes for this recipe - diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, mashed whole tomatoes, or spaghetti sauce. You could also use salsa for a spicy version. Top with any cheese you have on hand. Leave of the fresh basil or sprinkle with some dried basil or Italian seasoning.
- Stuffed Sweet Potatoes: This recipe is extremely versatile. You can use sweet or regular potatoes. You can use any canned beans and any canned diced tomatoes/salsa/pico de gallo. Leave out the fresh vegetables and scallions if you don't have them on hand. Top with any cheese you like.
- Slow Cooker Beef Machaca: There are so many different ways to make this dish. You can use beef, chicken breast (cook 4 hours), chicken thigh, pork tenderloin (cook 4 hours), pork shoulder, or any cut of beef that works for stewing. Instead of serrano peppers, use jalapenos. You could also use red pepper flakes or chili powder. Leave out the red bell pepper if you don't have one and use 1 tbsp. of onion powder in place of the fresh onion. Any broth will work or you could use beer.
- One Pot Creamy Vegetable Pasta: This recipe works with any vegetables you have on hand (fresh or frozen) and any pasta. Use any type of canned tomatoes or jarred pasta sauce. If you don't have cream cheese, you can use ricotta or leave it out.
- Lemon Thyme Chicken Thighs: Replace the thyme with any dried spice you like. This works with chicken breast or pork chops as well.
- Egg Roll Bowls: Again you can use any ground meat here or replace it with thinly sliced chicken, pork, or beef. You could also use tofu, tempeh, and it even tastes great with chickpeas. If you can't find coleslaw mix, use fresh cabbage. If you can't find either, just use another thinly sliced veggie or stir fry mix.
- Mediterranean Pork: Use chicken breast, chicken thighs, a different cut of pork, or even slices of eggplant or tofu with the same spice blend.
- Honey Garlic Broiled Salmon: If you don't have salmon, make it with another firm fish. It will work with any white fish, defrost from frozen before cooking. It will also work with shrimp (cook less time) and could be used for chicken.
- Green Chile Turkey Burgers: Make these with any ground meat you have at home.
- 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!
One more note: If you find yourself in need of a meal plan but financially it isn't feasible based on what's happening, please don't hesitate to reach out. We are here to help.
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.