5 steps to master family meal planning | lifestyle

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(Family Features) As you and your family embark on a mission to prepare delicious, nutritious meals while saving money, it’s important to remember that meal planning is essential to success. From keeping track of a list of the ingredients you need to jotting down your loved ones’ favorite foods, there are some simple steps you can take to make dinner at home enjoyable and budget-friendly.

To get your own plan off the ground, you can start with these tips from the Healthy Family Project’s Mission for Nutrition, which aims to help families make weekly meals with an internationally inspired e-cookbook of shopping lists, recipe ideas and cooking tricks find successful.

collaborate. Before you head to the store or heat up the oven, sit down with your loved ones and create a list of easy-to-make recipes that you’ll all enjoy. Each time you discover a new favorite, add it to the list so you have a reference guide when it comes time to plan a week’s meals.

Stick to a schedule. Set aside a day and time each week for your family to gather and plan dinner. This also provides an opportunity to surface newly discovered favorites or fresh ideas while also getting everyone in the same space to have quality time together.

Plan time-saving processes. When planning meals, think ahead and consider the equipment you will need. Saving time when cooking can be as simple as sticking to recipes that require manual equipment like a slow cooker or pressure cooker, and using a food processor instead of a knife and cutting board.

Plan a “night left”. When you’re making dinners that require crossover ingredients, it’s easier to turn one meal into two. For example, if you buy sweet onions and chicken breasts to make chicken and apple enchiladas, you’ll have those ingredients on hand for Greek chicken bowls later in the week.

Make a list. Once you’ve decided on the recipes for the week, make a list of all the ingredients you’ll need. When you’re in business, stick to your plan and avoid impulse buying to stay on top of things and get on and off faster.

For more recipes and meal planning tips, download the free e-cookbook at Healthyfamilyproject.com/mission-for-nutrition and join the discussion by following #missionfornutrition on social media.

Greek chicken bowls

Recipe courtesy of Healthy Family Project’s Mission for Nutrition

1 cup cooked white or brown rice

1 grilled chicken breast, sliced

1 RealSweet onion, sliced

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 cucumber, cut into quarters

1/2 cup black olives

1 tablespoon feta cheese

2 tablespoons tzatziki sauce

Place cooked rice and chicken in bowls.

Garnish each bowl with sweet onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and black olives. Sprinkle each with feta cheese. Drizzle each with tzatziki sauce.

Chicken and apple enchiladas

Recipe courtesy of Healthy Family Project’s Mission for Nutrition

1/2 sweet onion, diced

1 jalapeño, diced

1 envy or jazz apple, diced

2 cups cooked shredded chicken

8 flour tortillas

6 ounces shredded mixed Mexican cheese, divided

1 can of red enchilada sauce

coriander (optional)

Heat oven to 350 F.

Sauté onions in pan until translucent. Add jalapeno and apple; Fry for 2-3 minutes.

Add cooked chicken and mix well. Remove from stove.

Lay out tortillas and sprinkle with cheese. Add chicken mixture and roll. Place in a casserole dish and cover with enchilada sauce.

Bake for 20 minutes or until fully heated.

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