Let’s talk about meal planning today! Something that I always struggle with, getting meals on the table day after day for dinner and now that I’m newly married, I’m cooking more than ever, so I will probably be sharing more recipes with y’all that I find along the way.
I’d love to hear how you meal plan and what shortcuts or tips you use to make the meal planning and meal cooking a little easier and smoother. My man isn’t demanding at all about what I cook or how often I cook, but it’s way more economical to eat at home than it is to eat out all the time. We did a lot of eating out while we were dating, but with a house and more expenses, we are more aware of how much we go out now. The fact is, eating out costs more $$ than cooking at home, plus you can be more mindful of ingredients if you eat at home.
I’m not on any diet bandwagon these days. I’ve tried Paleo and couldn’t stick to it. The no bread or grains got me, not that I eat bread every day, it was just hard to cut out those things completely. So at this point I don’t have one way of eating that I always follow, I just try to cook “fairly” healthy most of the time and eat real foods. I’m not that mindful of calories or fat, we need a certain amount of both in our diets, so I just try to eat real food and not a lot of boxed things. I don’t always adhere to that, but it’s been a good rule of thumb. I still use some shortcut items, like some mixes and things, but overall I try to just eat real food. I’m not an expert at all though, but sharing some of the recipes I’ve tried and we liked is something I thought y’all might enjoy too.
My friend Debbie, told me about a Panko chicken thigh recipe that she makes for her family and I decided I’d try it too and this one is so easy and we really loved the flavors. I’m not sure that Panko bread crumbs are all that healthy (probably not, unfortunately good tasting things are usually bad for us!), but it really did taste good and a bit like fried chicken, which I definitely don’t ever make. Oven fried is better for us. I used skin on chicken thighs.
It just takes 3 ingredients to make this one. I picked up Panko bread crumbs and buttermilk. Debbie soaks hers overnight in buttermilk, but I hardly ever plan that far in advance. Am I the only one? I soaked mine about an hour and then dipped into the Panko. She added Cajun seasoning to the Panko, so I did that too to jazz up the flavor a bit.
After dipping in the Panko, they look like this. Debbie cooks hers on parchment paper, but I didn’t have any and I did find that they tend to get soggy on the bottom and not crispy on that side, so I’ll have to keep working with it to figure that out. I even heated up my pizza stone in the oven and then added the chicken on top of the hot stone, but that didn’t completely crisp it up on the bottom. But that being said, it tasted great!
Cook them on 400° for 1 hour and they will get crispy and brown. They could have gotten a little more brown than this, but this was after an hour, so they are definitely cooked through.
I served them with oven sweet potatoes and broccoli.
It was a delicious meal and Mark loved it too. Anytime I can find something that he loves, I’ll definitely add it to the rotation. He’s not a super picky eater, but he doesn’t love a lot of veggies, so I try to find things he will eat and love. The chicken was a big hit and we both loved it. He’s a meat and rice kind of guy.
The crispy Panko was so tasty and I loved picking at the crust and eating all those brown favorful bits. This is just a little something different to do with chicken, so I’m always on the lookout for more chicken recipes.
I’d love to hear some of your tried and true favorite recipes and how do you figure out what to meal plan each week? It’s hard isn’t it?? I’m going to start a list of our favorite meals and start them on rotation. I already have a few going and need to get more that we both love so add to the rotation. I’ll share them with you when I find more. I have another one that I’ll share soon that we both fell in love with too. Another one that I’ve shared before is Lemon Garlic Shrimp pasta, I shared that one over a year ago after I saw it on Facebook and it has become one of our go-to’s and Mark asks for that one. I love how easy it is to put together too. I tweaked it from the original recipe and added a few more ingredients to suit us. The last time I made this one I added some half and half to the tomatoes to make it a little bit creamy and it was delish.
We all have to eat every single day, so what do you do to shake it up and make good healthy meals? I’d love to hear!