(Family Features) As you and your family embark on a mission to create delicious, nutritious meals all while saving money, it’s key to remember meal planning is essential for success. From tracking a list of ingredients you’ll need to noting your loved ones’ favorite foods, there are some easy steps you can take to make dinners at home enjoyable and budget friendly.
Getting on track with your own plan can start with these tips from Healthy Family Project’s Mission for Nutrition, which aims to help families find weekly meal success with an internationally inspired e-cookbook including grocery lists, recipe ideas and cooking hacks.
Work together. Before heading to the store or heating up the oven, sit down with your loved ones and make a list of easy-to-make recipes you all enjoy. Each time you discover a new favorite, add it to the list so you’ll have a reference guide when it’s time to plan a week’s worth of meals.
Stick to a schedule. Set a day and time each week your family can meet and plan out dinners. This also offers an opportunity to bring to light any newfound favorites or fresh ideas while bringing everyone to the same room for quality time together.
Plan time-saving processes. Think ahead while planning meals and consider the equipment you’ll need. Saving time while cooking can be as easy as sticking to recipes that call for hands-off appliances like a slow cooker or pressure cooker and using a food processor rather than a knife and cutting board.
Schedule a “leftovers night.” When you prep dinners that call for crossover ingredients, it’s easier to turn one meal into two. For example, buying sweet onions and chicken breast to make Chicken Apple Enchiladas means you’ll have those ingredients on hand for Greek Chicken Bowls later in the week.
Make a list. Once you’ve decided on recipes for the week, create a list of all the ingredients you’ll need. While you’re at the store, stick to your plan and avoid impulse buys to help stay on track while getting in and out quicker.
Find more recipes and meal planning tips by downloading the free e-cookbook at healthyfamilyproject.com/mission-for-nutrition and join the conversation by following #missionfornutrition on social media.
Chicken Apple Enchiladas
Recipe courtesy of Healthy Family Project's Mission for Nutrition
- 1/2 sweet onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- 1 Envy or Jazz apple, diced
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 8 flour tortillas
- 6 ounces shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided
- 1 can red enchilada sauce
- cilantro (optional)
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- In skillet, cook onions until translucent. Add jalapeno and apple; saute 2-3 minutes.
- Add cooked chicken and mix well. Remove from heat.
- Lay out tortillas and sprinkle cheese on each. Add chicken mixture and roll. Place in baking dish and cover with enchilada sauce.
- Bake 20 minutes, or until heated throughout.
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.
- Top each bowl with sweet onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and black olives. Sprinkle each with feta cheese. Drizzle each with tzatziki sauce.
Source: Healthy Family Project
(Culinary.net) If your family is looking for a simple way to serve up a south-of-the-border classic, this Enchilada Casserole can be your ticket to a warm, filling meal.
Find more meal ideas at Culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 12 ounces ground beef
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 15 ounces pinto beans, drained
- 20 ounces diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 12 corn tortillas, 6 inches
- 20 ounces enchilada sauce
- 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
- Heat oven to 350° F. Spray baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In large skillet, cook onion and ground beef until cooked through. Drain, if necessary.
- Stir in chili powder and cumin. Stir in pinto beans and diced tomatoes; set aside.
- In small bowl, combine sour cream, flour and garlic powder.
- Place six tortillas in bottom of baking dish, overlapping as needed. Top tortillas with beef mixture and sour cream mixture. Top with 10 ounces enchilada sauce. Repeat layers.
- Bake 35-40 minutes.
- Sprinkle shredded cheese and green onion over casserole. Bake 5 minutes, or until cheese melts.
Food, family and holiday traditions
(Family Features) A tamalada, or tamale-making party, is a Mexican holiday tradition that occurs during Las Posadas and combines two of the season’s most important ingredients – quality family time and flavorful food.
Consider these tips from Sylvia Garza of Qué Mami Organics to help make your tamalada fun and easy.
- Food: Before your tamalada, prepare the ingredients that require extra time and work. For example, if you are using roasted chilies, roast them the day before and have them peeled, seeded and cut up for seamless assembly the next day.
- Family: When hosting a tamalada, have food or snacks ready to share with your guests. Making dozens of tamales can take most of the day, so you’ll want to keep your helpers well-fed.
- Flavor: Add an ingredient like Tabasco Chipotle Sauce to your masa when making tamales. Not only can the sauce add smoky flavor, but it also gives the dough an appetizing golden color. You can also mix the sauce into your filling for a brighter flavor and a kick of heat.
Find more flavorful recipes at Tabasco.com.
Zucchini and Corn Tamales
Recipe courtesy of Sylvia Garza of Qué Mami Organics
Yield: 16 tamales
- 30 large, softened corn husks
- 3 cups masa harina (corn flour)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 1/3 cups vegetable broth, warmed
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 small red onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, finely diced
- 3 cups zucchini, cubed small
- 1 tomato, cubed small
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup sweet white corn
- 4 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
- 5 ounces Qué Mami Organics Red Enchilada Sauce
- 2 1/2 tablespoons Tabasco Pepper Sauce
- 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 1/2-ounce strips
- To prep husks: Soak corn husks in hot water. Place heavy pot on top of husks to keep submerged at least 1 hour. Once pliable, rinse each corn husk.
- To make dough: In large bowl, mix corn flour, baking powder and sea salt. Using hands, mix in warm vegetable broth to make firm dough. In mixer, cream butter and shortening until fluffy then add dough in small amounts until well mixed. Continue mixing at low-medium speed 5 minutes, scraping dough off sides of bowl. Reserve dough.
- To make filling: In large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil; saute red onion and garlic until translucent. Add zucchini and mix 1 minute. Add tomato, dried oregano and sea salt; continue mixing 1 minute. Add corn and chopped cilantro. Stir and continue cooking about 2 minutes more; zucchini should be cooked but al dente. Remove filling to heat-resistant bowl.
- In small bowl, combine enchilada sauce and Tabasco pepper sauce. Add half of sauce mixture to filling; mix well. Reserve remaining sauce.
- To assemble tamales, spread 2 tablespoons dough onto wide end of each corn husk. Dough should extend across corn husks, except 1 inch on sides and about 3 inches from narrow end.
- Scoop about 1 tablespoon zucchini and corn filling into middle of dough. Add 1 teaspoon reserved sauce over filling and one strip cheese on top. Fold right side of corn husk over filling and seal closed with dough. Fold over left side of corn husk tightly and fold narrow end of corn husk up. Cut strips from extra corn husks and tie around each tamale to secure.
- Place tamales vertically, filling-side up, in steam pot with enough water to steam 40-45 minutes. Cover tamales with extra corn husks to trap in steam; place lid on pot. Tamales are ready when masa dough separates easily from husks. Add water to pot, as necessary, for longer steaming.
- Let tamales rest 10 minutes before unwrapping. Remove corn husks before serving.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cans (10 ounces each) mild enchilada sauce
- 8 small corn tortillas (6-inch diameter)
- 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded jalapeño pepper cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- Dairy sour cream (optional)
- Heat oven to 350°F. In large nonstick skillet, brown ground beef, onion and garlic over medium heat 6 minutes or until outside surface of beef is no longer pink, breaking beef up into 1/2-inch crumbles. Pour off drippings. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup enchilada sauce from one can. Set aside remaining sauce from that can.
- Pour second can enchilada sauce into shallow dish. Dip tortillas, one at a time, into sauce to coat both sides. Spoon beef mixture evenly down centers of each tortilla; roll up. Place seam-side down in 12- x 8-inch baking dish.
- Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in 350°F oven 15 minutes. Remove aluminum foil. Spoon reserved enchilada sauce over enchiladas; sprinkle with cheese. Continue baking, uncovered, 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with sour cream, if desired.
Preparation and Cooking Time
Makes 4 servings (serving size: 1/4 of recipe)
Zesty enchilada sauce and diced green chiles give these chicken enchiladas their kick. Serve them with Mexican rice and spicy black beans.
- 2 cans (10 ounces each) Las Palmas Enchilada Sauce, divided
- 2 cups cooked, shredded boneless, skinless chicken breast meat
- 1 cup Mexican blend or Monterey Jack cheese, divided
- 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chiles, drained
- 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
- PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Grease 11- by 7-inch baking dish.
- SPREAD 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on bottom of prepared baking dish. Combine chicken, 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, 1/2 cup cheese and chiles in medium bowl. Spoon chicken mixture evenly down center of each tortilla; roll up. Place seam-side down in baking dish. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.
- BAKE 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.
- Top with sour cream and chives, if desired.