Weekly Meal Planning

Weekly Meal Planning

Meal planning–which is different than meal prepping, has changed my life completely and has made it better both physically and financially. Rather than cooking all of my meals for the week on Sunday and then putting them into containers to eat throughout the week, I just plan what I’m going to make throughout the week and make a concise grocery list. By being organized about what I’m going to eat and buy, I rarely waste food and save a lot of money.

Every Sunday I meal plan for our family. I start by pulling out my cookbooks to get inspiration for the meals I will cook during the week, then I take a look at what I already have in the pantry, refrigerator and freezer and finally, I make my list. I usually only plan meals Monday-Thursday because by the end of the week I’m tired and want to go out for dinner or we might have plans.

Once I’ve decided on what I’ll be cooking for the week, I make my list and try to organize it by where each item is located in the store. For example, I put all vegetables together, all meats and fish together, etc. By doing this, I can clearly see what I need from each area so I don’t end up at the register and realize I have forgotten the zucchini I need for my meal one night.

Make your list and check it twice! My sister-in-law got me these grocery notecards from Katie & Co. in Houston and I am so in love with them!

I started getting passionate about meal planning when I moved to Houston seven years ago. First and foremost, I had gained 15 lbs. from eating out too much and I was also looking to save money because I pretty much made no money at my first job in Houston, Neiman Marcus. Through meal planning, I actually learned to cook pretty well and it has become a hobby and passion of mine. Meal planning really saved us during the first months of the pandemic because I was able to get creative with what food we did have and make really delicious meals.

I live for the produce section at Central Market…my happy place.

I think it’s essential to have a plan when you go to the store. I don’t have a lot of free time so I don’t want to have to go to the store multiple times a week. By making a well-thought out list, you can save yourself a ton of time and money by not buying things you don’t need or forgetting things you really do need.

Voila! All done with grocery shopping for the week!

The best part of meal planning is that once you’re done with the shopping, all of your hard work is over for the week (in terms of food.) There’s no last-minute stress about what you’re going to make or do for the family because that’s all done…you just have to cook it!

Happy cooking, friends! I hope you all have a happy and healthy week ahead of you!

XO,

Brit

Chicken Night at Home

Chicken Night at Home

Chicken Night has become a staple in the McAshan household during quarantine. I originally got the idea from our country club in Houston–every Thursday night, the club had “Chicken Night” where they would have a buffet of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, Mac and cheese, fried okra and gravy. When we moved to Austin at the beginning of quarantine, I decided to make a *somewhat* healthier version of Chicken Night at home.

I make two versions of chicken for our Chicken Nights–Honey Chipotle Chicken and Honey Garlic Chicken. I serve both our favorite salad from HEB. When I make the Honey Chipotle Chicken, I serve it with Mac and cheese and when I make the Honey Garlic Chicken, I serve it with Basmati rice.

Although these aren’t the healthiest meals ever, they are comfort foods that my husband enjoys and having a staple each week for dinner makes my meal planning a lot easier.

Since I know I’ll be making a version of Chicken Night each week, I always have Panko, HEB Basmati Rice, Annie’s Mac and Cheese, honey, San Marcos Chipotle Peppers, Crystal Hot Sauce, ketchup, liquid aminos, corn starch, chicken tenders and HEB Cracked Pepper Caesar salad stocked in my house.

The chicken recipes are pretty much the same other than the flour mixtures and sauces. To prep my tenders, I set up an assembly line starting with the pounded tenders, buttered sheet pan and three bowls for dipping the chicken in–starting with the flour mixture, the lightly beaten eggs and finally the panko.

Voila!

Happy cooking friends, I hope you enjoy Chicken Night as much as we do!

XO,

Brit