Welcome to How I Eat: Meal Planning for Normal People. (If you missed it, click over to read more about this series on The Pajama Chef.) This series is meant to inspire readers (and myself!) with tips and tricks for meal planning and getting dinner on the table. Whether you’re cooking for one or a crowd, I firmly believe that good food shouldn’t be sacrificed just because life is busy.
Today’s feature on How I Eat is Kelly of Kelly Lynn’s Sweets and Treats. Kelly describes the kitchen as her happy place, and she loves baking from scratch as well as incorporating new products or ingredients into recipes. She also loves sharing her cooking and baking with family, friends and coworkers. 🙂 Me too, girl! As you probably gleaned from the title, Kelly is a police officer by day–that’s awesome! Thank you for all you do.
Tell us about yourself. Who are you cooking for? What else influences how you get meals on the table?
I work 10-12 hour days so I have to meal prep for the week before I go back to work. When I get home from work, I need something I can just re-heat because I do not have the energy to cook a full meal. I cook only for myself and live alone. I cook and eat clean and dairy-free.
What meals do you plan?
In a typical week, approximately how many meals per week do you plan to eat at home or prepare to take with you (e.g., to work or school)? No shame… curious minds want to know! For this, I would include any food purchased at the grocery store (e.g., rotisserie chicken, bagged salad mix, etc.) but not takeout.
- 19-20: I eat out once or twice a week.
What is your basic meal planning method?
Grilling chicken for dinners for the week, making soup and pre-portioning it out in servings.
What are your favorite weeknight meals?
Marinated and seasoned grilled chicken breasts, so full of flavor, you won’t even notice they are healthy! This marinade recipe I am sharing today is the recipe I use to marinate and season the chicken breasts I grill every week for meal prep. Because after working 10-plus hour work days, who wants to come home and make dinner? I’ve even included several side dish ideas to go with these grilled chicken breasts too, so you are covered for dinner for the whole week!
If you know me then you know that I eat grilled chicken salads for dinner. Every night. And I never get tired of it. And I HATE salad dressing (it’s a texture thing for me), so my salad consists of a mix of butter lettuces and romaine lettuce, a few croutons and a grilled chicken breast. With how flavorful this chicken is, you don’t even need salad dressing anyways!
Who says you need red meat to have a yummy steak house dinner? Not me!!
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, smothered in chunky salsa, seasoned with your desired spices and cooked in the Crockpot. Makes for a versatile, yummy and healthy dinner that is too easy not to try! This is an amazing recipe that I know you will fall in love with. Besides the recipe, I am also including some ideas on meal plans using this Salsa Chicken, so make sure you read this whole post!
What are your “no-brainer” meals? Or what meals do you make when there’s “nothing” to eat?
Breakfast for dinner!
Do you use any tools to help you create your meal plan and/or execute it?
Freezer or batch cooking.
What is your best advice for someone who is just starting to meal plan?
Be organized and make a grocery shopping list. Having plenty of single serving containers are also helpful. After grocery shopping, spend time cleaning and prepping veggies and fruits, so snacks are easy and ready to be eaten.
Anything else you want to add?
Meal prep saves me from hitting a drive thru or making poor nutritional dinner choices on those late nights I get home from work when I am too tired to cook.
Thank you, Kelly, for sharing your meal planning expertise with us! I love how you make sure a protein is available for your dinners after a long day at work. Having some pre-cooked meat on hand is always useful for adding to a salad or wrap. It sounds like being organized with your grocery list, time, and even containers is a lifesaver for you! That’s great advice for anyone, actually, regardless of whether they cook for one or six.