eMeals Update


{DISCLAIMER: I did not get paid to over advertise eMeals.  I just believe in it THAT much.}  

 Those of you who have actually come to my blog may have noticed the eMeals banner at the top  {recommended by the wonderful Dave Ramsey}.  eMeals is a pretty spiffy website/program/whatever that helps you plan meals on a weekly basis.  By help, I mean they send you a list of recipes AND shopping lists for the week.  The best part, these meals are based around sales for the grocery store that you choose for the week.  On average, you spend about $55/week if you buy everything.  We average about $30/week because 1) we usually have most of the stuff {especially the meat!} and 2) we don't cook all seven meals.  There's always a few that we're not wanting to try, but we have tried a lot and they are pretty amazing!  Another upside, you can set it for how many people are in your family!  No more crazy amounts of left overs {unless we choose to make more} that we're throwing out all the time!

Let me back up a bit.  Michael is the cook of the house.  He does AMAZING things with spices and garlic.  He's really dang good!  The problem is, we would generally cook for about 4, leaving us with leftovers.  For me, leftovers are great.  It means I don't have to figure out what to do for lunch the next day.  For Michael, most {and I reiterate most} leftovers illicit a gag reflex.  Growing up, leftovers lasted a week.  So he's not fond of them.  Anyway, we'd cook a lot and would generally have to clear the fridge once a week and throw out about 75% of what was in it.  What a WASTE!  So I said, "no more!"

One day, I was doing who-knows-what on the internet during my down time at work and I came across eMeals from someone's blog.  I'm pretty sure it was a blog about cutting spending.  I decided to check it out.  I printed out the sample menu and showed the hubby and we decided to purchase the 3 month plan.  Okay, yes, it does cost.  Everything can't be free.  I managed to find a coupon code and got a 3 month plan for about $17.  Now to me, that's not a bad deal.  We get planned out meals every Wednesday that are catered to our household size and some of the recipes are really great!  It's worth the cost to us.

So how is it going?  So far, pretty awesome!  No, we don't cook every single recipe.  There are some days we eat at his or my parents' houses or there's just some days that we want something easy and simple.  The average cook time on most that we've done {not counting putting a pot roast in the crock pot for 8 hours} is around 30-45 minutes.  There are some that are even shorter.  We have found a handful of recipes that we have cooked more than once because we loved them so much and some double because Michael loves them so much. 

Here's a few things that we've fallen in love with!  I'll even include some notes.  Enjoy!!


Shredded Pork Tacos with Roasted Corn & Peppers and Corn Chips

{We LOVED the roasted corn and peppers.  Such a great idea!  It sticks to your teeth, but it's delicious!  We also tried it once just cooking in a pan.  Not quite as crispy, still just as yummy, and no sticking to your teeth!  We've also tried this recipe with shredded chicken...oh DELISH!!}

(1 T chili powder, 1 t cumin, 1 t salt)
(½ t coriander, ½ t pepper)
½ lb pork tenderloin, trimmed
Flour tortillas
1 c shredded pepper Jack cheese
Sour cream
2 c frozen corn, thawed
1 green bell pepper, seeded & thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, seeded & thinly sliced
(½ t salt, 1 T veg oil)
Corn chips

Combine chili powder, cumin, salt, coriander and pepper. Rub
over pork. Bake at 400° for 20-30 minutes, or to desired doneness.
Shred pork. Serve in tortillas, topped with cheese, salsa and sour
On a rimmed baking sheet, combine corn, peppers and salt. Toss
with vegetable oil. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes, or until parts of
vegetables are charred. Serve with tacos and chips.

General Tso’s Chicken with White Rice 

{This is Michael's favorite.  We usually double this recipe and make a few substitutions.  Lawry's marinade makes a szechwan chicken with soy sauce that's really good, but really spicy for me.  We have used that instead of soy sauce and we've also split the soy sauce and did 1/2 Tbsp of soy and 1/2 Tbsp of the marinade.  Both were very good, but I usually can't finish because it's too much for me.  Funny thing, Michael hate's Chinese.  Ü }
(2 T cornstarch - divided, ¼ c cold water)
8 oz bag frozen snow peas, thawed
(2 t minced garlic, 1 t ginger)
(1½ T brown sugar)
(1 T soy sauce, ½ t red pepper flakes)
(2 egg whites)
(Salt & pepper to taste)
½ lb chicken breasts, cubed (2 T oil)
White rice, enough for your family

Stir together 2 t cornstarch and ¼ c cold water, until smooth. Add
peas, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, & red pepper flakes.
Toss and set aside. Wisk together egg whites, remaining
cornstarch and salt and pepper in medium bowl. Add chicken and
toss to coat. Heat 2 T oil in a skillet; sauté chicken 6-8 minutes. Set
aside. Add pea/spices mixture to pan, cover and cook 5 minutes.
Return chicken to pan; toss and serve over rice.

Lime Sauced Chicken with Ranch Potatoes and Side Salad

{This one is probably my favorite but we've only made it once.  So yummy!  We added a LOT more lime juice than it called for it was just mouth watering!}

1 lb boneless chicken breast fillets, cut in ½
(¼ t salt, ¼ t pepper, 1 T olive oil)
¾ c chicken broth
(1 T brown sugar)
(3 T lime juice - divided)
(2 t Dijon mustard)
(2 t water, 1 t cornstarch)
(1 T butter)
2 - 3 lbs red potatoes, quartered (olive oil)
1 pkt Ranch dressing mix (aluminum foil)
½ bag salad (salad dressing)

Flatten each breast to ¼″. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat oil
in skillet; add chicken, cook 4 minutes on each side. Remove from
pan; keep warm. Add broth, sugar, 2 T lime juice and mustard to
pan. Cook over medium heat, scraping pan to loosen bits. Mix
water and cornstarch in small bowl; add to pan, cook 1 minute to
thicken sauce. Whisk in remaining lime juice and butter. Return
chicken to pan; simmer until chicken is thoroughly heated.
Toss potatoes with olive oil until coated. Sprinkle with Ranch mix
and toss to coat. Spread potatoes evenly on lined baking sheet.
Bake at 425o until tender and browned, about 20-25 minutes.
Toss salad with dressing and serve.




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