Budget Meal Planning

Last week’s blog covered online grocery shopping and so I thought it would be fun to continue. Our food budgets have certainly taken a hit the last few months. With summer in full swing some areas are allowing small farmers makets to open. Check your local neighborhood and stock up on fresh fruit and veggies now in season. The restaurant “Dish Society” has been selling boxes of fresh produce, check them out as a source. Be careful though, if you’re single you may need to find someone to split the box with as they’re quite larege.

What are two words people don’t think go together? Cheap and healthy. We already know the easiest place to go over budget is the groceries. If you’re trying to navigage a more healthier route it can be especially tough. This is when meal planning is crucial. Corn on the cob on special this week? Plan a couple of meals and take advantage of the sale. Meal planning and grocery shopping online really helps in this area. You can take your time and double check your pantry before you fill up the cart. Also, as I mentioned before it helps with staying on budet.

A couple of inexpensive and healthy recipes for you this week to get started. Add a loaf of French bread and voila, dinner is served.

Chicken One Sheet Pan Meal

Serves 4 Calories per serving: 200

The best thing, swap out the veggies (check the sales) to keep things interesting. White or Sweet Potatoes, carrots, onion and celery are usually a safe bet!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 chicken breasts (boneless)
  • 2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
  • Chopped fresh veggies (enough to cover the sheet pan)
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh Thyme to taste (Italian or Mexican seasonings for a different flavor)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Coat the chicken in stone-ground mustard.
  2. Chop up the veggies, coat them in olive oil, and place them on a baking sheet. 
  3. Sprinkle the salt, pepper and thyme (or special seasoning of choice) on the veggie mixture.
  4. Place the chicken on top of the veggies.
  5. Pop the pan into the oven and bake at 350 degrees F – 30 minutes.

Chicken Parmesan Zucchini Boats

Serves 4 Calories per serving: 400

A zucchini boat?? This is a great gluten-free and low-carb option when you feel like eating chicken parm without the guilt. Think of it as a lighter version. I made this with ground turkey and was pleasantly surprised how good it is. My little chicken! Everyone thought it was chicken!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 zucchini
  • 1 pound ground chicken or ground turkey (whatever you find on sale!)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup of your favorite pasta sauce (Prego, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1. Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Then use a small spoon to scoop out the inside of the zucchini to create the “boats.”

2. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray and place the zucchini in the dish, with the cut side facing up.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

4. Cook the ground chicken (turkey) in a pan over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until fully cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste. Also, you can add any other Italian seasonings you like.

5. Turn the heat down to low, add the garlic and pasta sauce. Cook the mixture for another 5 minutes.

6. Remove the chicken mixture from the heat and add to your zucchini boats. Be sure to press the mixture down into the boats using a spoon.

7. Sprinkle parmesan and mozzarella cheese on the top of each zucchini boat.

8. Cover the entire baking dish with foil and cook for 30–35 minutes or until the zucchini is soft and the cheese is melted. Check them after 15 – 20 minutes.

Want more information and recipes for healthy and stay in the budget meals? Click here and I’ll email a helpful meal plan calendar along with more recipes!

Published by Financial Coach - Roxanne Langley

I understand how it feels to wonder where your money goes each month. Or feel frustrated by the idea of planning for a stable financial future when today is still so uncertain. It doesn’t have to be that way, and I can show you how by helping you build a budget, get out of debt, and begin to save for the future of your dreams. As a trained Money Mindset Coach on your side, "You’re not alone in the journey!"

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