Our goal at Simple Life Celebrations is to do exactly that – help you simplify your life so that you have time to celebrate the important things!
We have been working really hard to get you an efficient meal plan because we understand what it can be like trying to juggle jobs, kids, committee work and also try and eat a balanced meal without running to the store every single day! Next week we will be bringing you a meal plan to get you through a months worth of meals. This not only includes the meal list but it also will include your grocery list (print it and go!), your recipes (in a cute and simple printable format), PLUS a pantry staples printable so you can keep track of what you have in your pantry! Sound good? That is not even everything! We also have the recipes (that we have tested and made many a time) rated from Simple to Simpler, to Simplest. There will be ingredients that you can find easily at the grocery store and nothing too tedious to make. And there is always the option of switching meal days to suit your needs!
Why do we meal plan?
First of all it is a huge time saver! Saweet right?
If we didn’t plan then we would be running to the grocery store daily and frantically trying to figure out what we are going to have to eat (sometimes just knowing what to have is half the battle!) Not only that but then we would not be sale shopping; which I love to do! Who doesn’t like saving some of their hard earned money?!
So what other benefits does meal planning have?
What are the benefits of meal planning?
- you will eat out less
- with a plan you will eat less pre-packaged meals
- you will always have the groceries that you need
- less food waste because every food on your list will have a purpose
- you will save money
- you will eat a good variety of meals
- you will be eating healthier
- your family can participate in the meal plan
- you won’t have the stress of trying to figure out what’s for dinner
- less time wasted figuring out what to eat and grocery shopping
- less trips to the store means less impulse shopping and temptations
- you will have less impulse purchases
Once you get the hang of meal planning and make it habit to set aside time once a week/month to plan your meals then you will be well on your way to a happier, healthier mealtime.
In just 3 short days we will be providing you with the ideas and taking the stress out of meal time. We really want to help people eat good meals and save some money at the same time! To us it is much more important spending more time with those that we love than running to the grocery store, spending excessive money and stressing about what to have for supper!
This is where you can find our Bad Ass Meal Plan!
Enjoy the process, savor the food and live life to the absolute fullest.
This is a really quick, yummy recipe that is very easy to make. My hubby & I really liked it, but to be honest my kids didn’t. My teenagers don’t like too each much of anything I make unless it’s pizza. It’s been a difficult year dealing with their sudden teenager independence. They can eat a sandwich at this point or scrounge for whatever. I’m not making two meals, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. If they refuse to eat it, that’s their problem.
On to the recipe!
Chick Peas & Veggies with Coconut Peanut Sauce
This makes a lot. I don’t know if it would freeze well, Likely, but I haven’t tried it. I just had this for lunch for a few days.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/2 chopped onion
- 1 whole bell pepper (I used two kinds, so 1/2 of each – it’s prettier!)
- 3-5 cloves garlic (I like lots)
- 1 tbsp curry powder (I used a mild one and it wasn’t enough zing – use a spicier one if you like spice)
- 2 tbsp natural peanut butter (not the sugary Krap – I mean Kraft – kind)
- 1 can (398mL or so) coconut milk (found in the International section of the grocery store in case you’re wondering 😛 )
- 2 cans (398mL or so) chick peas (make sure you drain and RINSE these or you’ll be farting up a gas cloud)
- 1 can (398mL or so) diced tomatoes (I save $ and buy the big can & use 1/2 for this and 1/2 for a chili later in the week)
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach (I used super greens – use whatever you have in the fridge. You have greens in the fridge, right?)
- salt & pepper
- peanuts to sprinkle on top
- Get your rice cooking while you make this – I don’t want you to forget in case you’re one of those people who don’t read through a recipe BEFORE you start cooking. (Shut up! It was just that one time 😛 )
- Cook the onion & bell peppers in the coconut oil in a large sauce pan (like the one in my pic above) for 8-10 minutes (until soft)
- Add the garlic & curry powder, stirring to mix
- Add the peanut butter
- Gradually stir in the coconut milk until everything is smooth
- Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, and spinach & mix for about 5 minutes
- Add salt & pepper to taste & simmer everything for about 7 minutes – long enough for you to tidy up the prep mess!
- Serve over rice with peanuts sprinkled on top.
Less than 1/2 hour and your done. Very easy cleanup – the hardest part is chopping up the onion, cry baby! This isn’t a really strong flavor (that’s why I’d use more curry). However, your kids might like it better with less spice (mine wouldn’t eat it anyways because god forbid it has color in it; but yours are likely better behaved). It’s really quite a simple meal and very filling. There’s lots of protein to keep anyone going for a while.
This literally takes about 20 minutes to make and less than 10 to cleanup. Your claim that it takes too long to make something healthier for dinner is moot when making something this simple. Yes, it could be even healthier if you avoid the canned options here and go for adding your own cooked chick peas & tomatoes and coconut cream from raw powder instead. I’m going for a compromise (and I use organic whenever I can afford/fit it in).
As I mentioned, there is a lot of food here, so not only do you have a supper ready; put the leftovers together in a container and you’re done for lunch the next day. Don’t be a goof and push it to the back of the fridge. Put it right in front of your coffee cream so that you have to move it in the morning to get to it and then you’ll remember what’s for lunch.
How about you? Do your teenagers eat what you make or do they bitch and moan like mine do? Tell us your story in the comments!
It was CRAZY hot here on Tuesday night. The usual 20+ weather became a muggy 35+! It was waaay too hot to cook, but Bruce and I figured out a great way to quickly use up some leftovers! This is another simple, budget-savvy and very fast weeknight meal. No need to turn on the oven or even the BBQ again! Just a quick warm up on the stove! Grab your team and get this done FAST!
- 2 tbsp olive or camelina oil
- juice of one whole lime
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
- sea salt & pepper
- leftover steak – about two – sliced in strips, about 1 1/2 inches long
- 1/2 cup chopped onion – we used white
- 1 sliced and diced bell pepper – we used the last bit of orange & yellow & that we had in the fridge!
- 4 tortillas
- grated cheese
- Mix the oil, lime juice & spices together in a bowl.
- Heat this mixture on medium temp in a pan
- Add steak and peppers and stir until heated through and peppers/onion are cooked to your tastes – we did about 5-7 minutes
- Serve warm on tortillas with salsa, cheese and/or fresh guacamole (I basically mash an avocado, add some lime juice & salsa & voila, that’s the quickest fresh and good for you!)
This is really easy and doesn’t use those salty, chemically-laden spice “mixes” from the store. Use whatever “Mexican” spices you have to jazz up the sauce. I would have added fresh cilantro if I had any. It’s also a great way to use that leftover steak. You do not want to waste those expensive cuts that you always BBQ too much of!
Meal Planning and using up leftovers is what we do! Get our meal plans delivered straight to your email and eliminate the “What’s for supper?” question! Click on the badasses below to find out more!
Here’s another really quick and simple meal for those busy summer time nights. This takes only a few minutes to prepare in the morning. It’s then ready to eat when you get home!
- 4-6 lean, boneless pork loin chops
- 4-5 organic carrots (chopped bite size)
- 2-3 parsnips (or other root veggie like potato or sweet potato, chopped bite size)
- 1/4 chopped white onion
- 3-5 cloves garlic, minced or whole (we like whole)
- 1/2 cup regular BBQ sauce (we use a sugar free one)
- 1/2 cup water
- Place thawed pork chops in bottom of crock pot
- Add veggies & garlic
- Pour BBQ sauce & water over all
- Cook on low for 7-9 hours.
Serve with a green salad. I sometimes do individual salads so that each person gets the veggies & dressing they like. This keeps the peace on a busy night and the kids are more likely to just eat. The kids can even build these themselves while you’re dishing up the hot stuff. Have lots of varieties of veggies to choose from. Mine is simple baby mixed greens, some tomato, feta, cuke and some tamari dressing that I had on hand.
My first experiment with this pancake recipe was just sugar and white flour free. It has now evolved to include dairy free (yep, even the chocolate chips are dairy free!!) and gluten free. These are a hit in our house; topped with real AMAZING maple syrup straight from a farm in Quebec (we have it at Health Street!). These are so simple & easy that you CAN whip them up on a weekday morning! Really! I’m a Simple Life Celebrations Gal – it has to be simple and few dishes!
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk – the kids can’t tell, believe me. Unsweetened vanilla almond milk would be fun to try
- 2 tbsp liquid coconut oil (we don’t use canola oil at our house anymore)
- 1 tbsp agave syrup
- 1 tbsp gluten free baking powder
- sprinkle Himalayan or sea salt
- 1 1/4 cups buckwheat flour (yes, buckwheat flour is not wheat and is gluten free)
- Enjoy Life Mini-Chips – dairy, nut & soy free
- solid coconut oil for the pan
- Beat eggs in a bowl big enough for all the pancake mix
- Add milk & coconut oil & agave and whisk together
- Add the baking powder & salt and whisk to blend well
- Add the flour and whisk. You can add more almond milk at this point if the batter is too thick. It depends on the size of your eggs
- Melt a little of the solid coconut in the pan
- Pour by the spoonful into pan to make individual pancakes
- Sprinkle a few chocolate chips into the wet side of the pancake
- Use the solid coconut oil between batches to keep the pancakes from sticking. I only use about 1 tsp per batch.
I use just one bowl to mix everything in. I know that the “rule” is to mix the dry ingredients together first, THEN add them to the wet. It’s just quicker to do it this way and mixes well; so there is no need for two bowls in my opinion. I prefer coconut oil in the pan simply because it is WAAAYY better for you (yes, it’s a fat – it’s a good fat and actually helps reduce cholesterol among other health benefits). This adds to the “staying power” of the pancake as well. These are filling and actually good for you and the kids! As I mentioned, these are simple enough to make on a weekday morning – feed the kids as you pull off each batch. The Enjoy Life Mini Chips are sweetened with a little bit of brown sugar and only have 3 ingredients. It is still “sugar” – but less refined and being “Mini Chips” the kids only have a few of them to get that “chocolate chip” treat! Skip them if you want completely sugar-free.
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As you know, we love, LOVE to simplify! We are all busy, and it’s very easy to resort to eating out or eating something that doesn’t make us feel good. We’ve all done it. It’s time we get over our mistakes; understand that we’re not alone and then try again another day. I decided that I was going to make something good for us and quick and easy for a busy Thursday night last night.
I didn’t want to resort to the highly processed “Hamburger Helper” like I used to! Instead, I came up with my own that was just as easily prepared and was gluten-free! It took less than 1/2 hour to get it on the table. We ate it so fast that I forgot to take a photo!
Here’s my simple recipe:
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup Tinkyada Penne (or other gluten-free pasta)
- 1 cup salsa
- 2 cups frozen corn
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 green onion (optional), chopped
Brown beef. Add water, penne, salsa & corn. Simmer for 15-18 minutes (rice pasta takes a little longer than regular pasta noodles). Remove from heat and stir in mozzarella cheese until melted through. Serve immediately with green onion sprinkled on top.
We like to add more “spice” to ours, so we added Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (or you could use a spicier salsa.) You could also top with a dab of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream. Serves 4 (You could also add some black beans to make it “go further” and serve 5 or so). Make it even faster by browning the beef ahead of time (when you buy a big package of beef at the grocery store, brown it up and freeze it individually, ready to use for these kinds of recipes! That’s planning ahead! Plus, only one mess to clean up!)
Let us know how it worked for you and any variations you made. We love your feedback!
Did you know: We have created a meal plan just for YOU! It was created to help you find that balance between healthy (mostly!) and simple recipes with ingredients that you can actually find at the grocery store. It is called Bad Ass Meal Planning.
We teach Meal Planning Classes? Yep! Get your group of gals together and let’s learn how to eat healthier AND save money!! Contact us to set up your custom class!
I love, LOVE hot spinach artichoke dip. To the point where I would eat the entire thing if my hubby would let me get a cracker in edgewise! The only trouble is that the original recipe has a TON of cheese in it: an entire block of Philly cream cheese + 1/4 cup parmesan + 1/4 cup romano + 1/4 cup mozzarella melting and gooey on the top! The health benefits of spinach and artichoke is completely lost in all of that dairy! Not to mention what all that dairy does to the pipes…just sayin’…plus it has mayo which just isn’t something I want to eat anymore (are there any “real” ingredients left in today’s mayo??)
So…I was determined to figure out a way to make it healthier yet still delicious. No cheese and no mayo (so vegan) yet still devour-this-now-it-is-awesome good. Well….I did it!!
The primary ingredient is a separate recipe (at the bottom of this post) of a cashew “soft cheese”. This is a little expensive to make, but Philly cream cheese isn’t cheap either. I also always like extra garlic in anything I can put extra garlic in, so I add chopped garlic pieces to the dip just before putting it in the oven. My recipe uses nutritional yeast which is an excellent source of vitamin B12 (and makes everything cheesy good without the cheese!) It also uses avocado which is a good-for-you-fat instead of all that cheese (the cashews are good fats too).
Here’s a quick Simple Life Gal trick too: I mix the entire thing up in a Pyrex bowl so that I can just put it in the oven after it’s mixed. This way, only one dish! Simplify, Simplify!!
If you’re in the mood for more recipes, Krystal created a great eBook “Spicing Up School Lunches” – add your email address to our list (up there in the top right corner of this page) and get access to it for free! And don’t forget that our other ebooks (Click the Products page) are full of Simple Life Gal tricks and tips! Get all three for just $9.99 (regular price $14.97). And if you like this Simple Life Gal recipe, you will LOVE the amazing (yet simple) Filet Mignon dinner we share for your “Date Night In” in our Simply Sexy Date Night Package ($19.99 for the entire package that includes recipes, ideas and workbooks to bring that spark back to your marriage!)
Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip
- 1 cup cashew “soft cheese” (see below for my recipe for that)
- 1/2 avocado, mashed
- 1 tbsp olive oil (I would rather use coconut oil because of the high temperature, but it is a short cooking time so olive oil is OK here)
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast (if you don’t know what this is or where you can get it, visit me at Health Street)
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tsp dried basil (or fresh if you have it)
- sea salt & pepper to taste
- 1-14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
- 3/4 cup chopped spinach (if using frozen, thaw & drain first)
Mix all ingredients together. Transfer to oven-ready baking dish. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes until bubbly & slightly brown.
Cashew Soft Cheese
This is a vegan “cheese” replacement. It isn’t cheese, but I don’t know what else to call it. There are a ton of recipes out there using nuts to make “cheese”. This is how I made mine this week:
- 2 cups raw (or at least unroasted) cashews
- 1/2 cup alkaline water (we have a special Santevia water system that alkalizes our water. You can use regular water too)
- 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (yes, REAL lemon juice! not the stuff in a green bottle!)
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar – this is so good for you! (if you don’t know what this is or where you can get it, visit me at Health Street for this too!)
- 1 tsp chopped onion (or onion flakes)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
Place all ingredients in food processor and blend (you’ll have to stop and scrape down the sides as you go) until creamy. You won’t need all of this for the artichoke dip, but you can use this on pizza, as a “cheese” dip or wherever you’d like! Use within 2 days.
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