Meal Planning for Picky Eaters

meal planning for picky eaters

Meal planning for picky eaters can be a nightmare! How do you meal plan when the members of your family have different eating restrictions or preferences? Maybe you have kids who are picky eaters, a family member with a food allergy, or you’re the only vegetarian in your house.  This can create extra work for you, but most of the time it’s not necessary for you to cook two completely different meals.  Here are tips to ease your frustration when you’ve got family members who don’t want to eat the same thing.

4 Tips for Meal Planning for Picky Eaters:

 

  • Focus on the common denominator. Does everyone love pasta, tacos, or baked potatoes but not exactly the same kind?  Set up a pasta, taco, or baked potato bar!  Make several sauces or toppings on the side and let each person customize their own plate.

  • Make the “disputed” ingredient on the side. Since I eat mostly vegetarian, many times I will heat up cooked, diced chicken breast in a separate small skillet for my husband.  I will make our main dish vegetarian (Stir Fried Cashew & Broccoli, Cheese Ravioli with Artichoke Hearts, Veggie & Grain Bowls, etc.) and Nick can add in chicken.

  • If you’ve got kids who only eat 3 or 4 things, meal plan those out on your calendar alongside the adult meals.  See if you can at least correlate some side dishes.  For example, if your kids love hot dogs and mac & cheese, make the adult meal something that will pair well with the mac & cheese. Or make the grown-up version of their meal. In this instance, maybe some gourmet sausages sautéed with green peppers and onions.

  • Use freezer meals for the “odd man out.”  Sometimes there’s a meal that everyone – except one holdout – loves.  In this case, have the odd person out choose a freezer meal that they like and heat it up for them.

 

By using the above tips, meal planning for picky eaters doesn’t have a to be so stressful! What do you do to make mealtime with picky eaters easier for your family?

 

Mindful Meal Planning Book Cover 2

Get more meal planning tips and family friendly recipes with my new e-book,

Mindful Meal Planning: Eat Healthy While Saving Time, Money, & Stress! 

 

7 Fun Ideas for Memorial Day without Breaking the Bank

memorial day

Today’s guest post is by Amy Nickson.

Every year, most of the Americans celebrate the Memorial Day weekend lavishly and regret later after checking their bank account.  This year, think twice before splurging money on the long Memorial Day weekend fun and frolic.  Celebrating a special day doesn’t always require spending a lot of money.

Many Memorial Day activities are absolutely adorable and won’t break your budget. Here you go:

1. Attend a local Memorial Day event

You may never notice but every year, on Memorial Day, some events usually take place near you. This year, don’t miss them. Catch your nearby Memorial Day event to have some great fun with your family. It can be a street fair, a carnival, a beach BBQ, or an open music program. These types of events are usually complementary or come with very low-cost entry fee. So, keep your eyes on the local newspaper or local listing nearby to know about the timing in detail.

2. Consider a day exploring trip

Why do you think enjoyment comes from only a long trip? Why don’t you think about a day trip to your local areas? Considering a hiking or a day trip to local sightseeing can be the best ways to get energized without spending a lot. Find out a place that is only a couple of hours away from your home. It can be fishing, camping, hiking, beach roaming, and exploring places as well. Pack some meals, water, and other supplies to enjoy some fun-filled time with your dear ones.

3. Host a sports event in your backyard

This year, invite your friends and neighbors to join a sports gathering in your backyard. Planning for a sports event can be the most fun-filled idea staying within the budget. To cut the additional food cost, you can make the event BYOF (bring your own food), or can keep only the basic stuff like lemonade and popcorn. Remember, the more games you plan, the more fun. So, keep some great sports like soccer, running with flag, Kan Jam, Cornhole or Bocce Ball. Don’t forget about little guests. Arrange some sports for children (running, baseball, softball, sit and draw) as well.

4. Have fun with kids at the nearby park

Free activities like cycling, see swaying, and swinging are full of fun for the kids. For working parents, Memorial Day weekend is the ultimate time to visit the local park with kids to experience boundless joy. Flying the kite, Frisbee, soccer ball are also great outdoor fun activities.

Family at the Beach

5. Visit the local beach

People who live in the coastal area are blessed. They can visit the local beach on every occasion for playing with salty water and sand. Enjoying a beach day doesn’t require a huge amount for having fun. You just need swimming gear, towels, and sunscreen with some snacks like sandwiches and coconut water.  However, if you want some floating fun, you can rent a paddle boat, canoe or kayak. You usually need to spend about $10 an hour for renting.

6. Enjoy a movie day on the Memorial Day weekend

The idea of catching up the latest movie with family and having costly snacks is meaningless when you can arrange an in-home movie day. By doing so , you can watch a number of your favorite movies at a cheaper rate. Rent movie from Redbox and stock up your favorite candy to enjoy some good time. You can also order your favorite pizza to say “good bye” to the kitchen for the whole day.

7. Don’t miss the parade

If catching the National Memorial Day parade in Washington DC can’t be possible for you, then check the parades scheduled in your area. At least, you can watch the parade show on TV or online while sitting with your family. Feel the vibes of the Memorial Day in your heart.

You need a break, you deserve a break. it is nearly halfway through the year, and you are busy with work, deadlines, financially stretched, puzzled with overwork; so figure out what to do, where to go and what you can actually afford. Thus you can enjoy a best ever Memorial Day without wasting your hard-earned money.

 

amy nickson

Amy Nickson is a web enthusiast. She completed her graduation from Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, Georgia. She works as a financial writer and she shares her expertise through her crisp and well researched articles based on money management, money saving ideas, debt, and so on. You can follow her on Oak View Law Group where she shares her expertise on personal finance field.

 

How Meal Planning Saves You Time, Money & Stress

Meal Planning Saves Time Money and Stress

I started meal planning over five years ago when I was coupon queen.  At the time my sole motivation to start planning my meals was saving money.  I wanted to make better use of the food that I was buying at a fraction of the cost with my couponing strategies. I instinctively knew meal planning would cut down on the amount of food I threw away, and my family would eat out less. 

However, I quickly realized that the benefits of meal planning went far beyond just saving money.  I was saving time in the kitchen, which meant I was less stressed out at dinner time. These days, I’m lucky if I remember to load my digital coupons to my Kroger app!  Meal planning, on the other hand, is one habit I’m sticking with because it never fails to save me time, money, and stress. 

Meal Planning Benefit #1: Save Money

The average American family throws away up to $30 of every $100 they spend on food.  It’s just like throwing dollar bills into the trash can every time we scrape off our plates or throw away leftovers!  Planning your meals in advance allows you to manage your food resources wisely so there’s less waste and more money in your pockets.

Meal Planning Benefit #2: Save Time 

Everyone has jam-packed schedules and cooking dinner can feel like another time consuming chore to check off your list.  For many of us, it seems easier to just pick up carry out or order a pizza.  However, with a small amount of time invested up front, you can ensure that you’ll have everything ready to go for a delicious, nutritious dinner in 30 minutes or less. 

Meal Planning Benefit #3: Reduce Stress

Think about it: the last thing you want to do when you get home after a long day is stress out over what to make for dinner! Wouldn’t it be great to come home to the wonderful smell of dinner in the crock pot, ready to eat?  This way, you can actually enjoy connecting with your family over a nice relaxing dinner.  The only thing you’ll have to stress over is who’s going to the dishes!

Meal Planning Bonus: Healthier Eating

As a bonus, you’ll also eat healthier when you meal plan.  Just by reducing your restaurant meals, you’ll slash your calorie intake by about 30%.  You’re also more likely to stick to a healthy eating plan if your meals are prepped and ready to go.

New to Meal Planning?  Check out my FREE Mindful Meal Planning course inside of Vigoroom!  (Find it inside of the Money Wellness Room on the home page once you’ve registered.)

Hello Again, Aldi

This week’s post is by Christine Luken.

This past Friday, I made a trip to my local Aldi store for the first time in a LONG time – as in over 15 years.  Why have I avoided Aldi for so long?  Back then, I had to shop at Aldi because I was flat broke.  So when I finally got to a place in my finances when I didn’t have to shop at Aldi, I left it behind.  When I’d drive by the store, I would remember how it felt to be broke, shudder, and keep on going.  (This is the same reason I rarely eat at Taco Bell.  It reminds me of the days of rolling change in college to go buy bean burritos for dinner.)

But it really wasn’t Aldi’s fault that I had that negative association.  So why did I decide to give it another shot?  Several ladies in my Facebook recipe group were raving about the great deals on spices, snacks, organic food, and gourmet cheeses.  Wait… organic food and gourmet cheeses?  That’s not the Aldi that I remember!  Because I’m trying to eat more organic food, I was definitely intrigued.  Especially when my friend Heather Tenney of In God’s Economy told me that Aldi and Trader Joe’s were owned by the same parent company!

So, here is what I discovered on my Aldi’s field trip on Friday.  First, you need a quarter for the cart – not 25 cents, but a quarter.  The quarter releases the cart from the corral and you get it back when you return the cart.  Aldi does NOT take credit cards!  (Another reason for me to like them.)  You can pay with cash, debit card, or EBT.  You need to bring your own reusable bags and you’ll be doing the bagging yourself after paying for your groceries.  Aldi does not accept manufacturer’s coupons.

I didn’t purchase any produce or meat on my shopping trip, since I was already stocked up from the co-op and Sam’s.  However, the meat and produce at the Erlanger, Kentucky store looked good and prices were reasonable.  The only fresh food I bought was hummus for $1.99, which is definitely less than what I would pay at my local Kroger.  Most of my purchases were in the snack and baking aisles.  Here are some of the deals I found:

  • Huge 4 oz. containers of various spices for $0.99 (Onion powder and steak seasoning made it into my cart on this trip.)
  • Canned beans (garbanzo, kidney, cannellini, etc.) for $0.65
  • 12-pack of granola bars for $1.79
  • Organic Animal Crackers 8 oz. for $0.99 – Very tasty!
  • Natural creamy peanut butter for $1.69
  • Organic Salsa $1.89
  • Capers $1.49
  • 16 oz. of Virgin Olive Oil for $2.99
  • 10 oz. whole roasted cashews $4.29
  • 12 oz. whole raw almonds $5.49

I was super excited about the great deals on the nuts because I love to have those on hand for a healthy snack.  I’m going to use the almonds to make Roasted Rosemary Almonds today, since I’m snowed in.  (Recipe below.)  The Aldi store in Erlanger is small, so you may not find everything you’re looking for on your grocery list.  The store is clean, well lit, and the staff was friendly.  There aren’t many name brand products on the shelf, but so far everything that hubby and I have tried has been tasty.  Nick gives Aldi’s yogurt covered raisins two big thumbs up, so I’ll be stocking up next time I’m there.

Hello again, Aldi!  Looks like you’ll be seeing a lot more of me in the future.

Roasted Rosemary Almonds

  • 2 cups whole raw almonds
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. rosemary
  • 1 tsp. sea salt

Toss all ingredients in a bowl and stir to coat almonds thoroughly.  Roast on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Let cool and enjoy.  Store leftovers in an airtight container.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save Money on Meat

This week’s post is by Christine Luken.

I know from personal experience that eating a diet rich in protein helps to keep me strong and slim.  However, you don’t have to be a “meat-atarian” to get the slimming results of protein.  According to Robert Ferguson, creator of Diet Free Life (the healthy eating plan that I’ve followed for over three years), if you’re getting 15 to 30 grams of protein with each meal, you’re on track.

With that being said, I’m going to give you some strategies to save money on your protein purchases.  The price of meat is definitely NOT getting any cheaper and eating grass-fed and organic is downright expensive!  Three things to keep in mind: buy on sale, eat less meat, and occasionally go meatless.

Buy on Sale

I have a tendency to create my monthly meal plans around what I’ve recently scored on sale at the grocery store.  I also check out what’s marked down in the meat department.  If it’s something that looks fine but has an imminent expiration date, I’ll either cook it up right away or freeze it.  The crock pot is definitely a good friend of mine because it makes cheaper cuts of meat taste delicious and fall right off the bone.  I purchase the vast majority of my chicken with the bone in because I get more for my money.  I frequently cook a whole chicken in the crock pot and make several meals out of it.  For example, tonight Nick and I are going to have rosemary chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy with broccoli.  I’ll shred the leftover dark meat and mix it with BBQ sauce and send Nick to work with BBQ sandwiches and sweet potato fries for lunch.  As for the remaining white meat, I’ll use it later in the week for my Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup.  Also, ask if there’s a discount if you buy in bulk.  I recently bought chicken thighs from a local farm and they gave me a discount since I purchased 10 pounds (and froze most of it).

Eat Less Meat

Most Americans eat larger servings of meat than their bodies actually need.  You can painlessly cut the amount of meat in a dish without sacrificing taste or feeling hungry.  For example, when I make spaghetti and meat sauce, I can easily cut back on the amount of ground turkey (or beef) and add a package of fresh mushrooms (washed and sliced) to the meat while it’s cooking.  Mushrooms have a meaty taste and are rich in protein, so it’s not really noticeable that the amount of turkey has been decreased. If you don’t like mushrooms, you can sub in your choice of zucchini, onions, bell peppers, or eggplant.  You can also do this with black beans or leftover brown rice when making tacos or burritos.  This will allow you to stretch a pound of ground meat over two meals instead of just one.  Be creative!  You also add corn, pinto and other beans, quinoa, barley, and other grains or vegetables to stretch your meat.

Occasionally Go Meatless

Yes, you can get enough protein from non-meat sources!  It seems there’s been a surge in the popularity of “Meatless Mondays.”  Don’t believe me?  Just search “Meatless Monday” on Pinterest and see the thousands upon thousands of recipes that pop up!  With delicious sounding recipes like Lentil Chili, Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchiladas, Mushroom Fajitas, and Spinach & Ricotta Pasta, you won’t feel like you’re missing out on anything at all!  Some of my personal vegetarian favorites are Black Bean Chili and Easy Cheesy Casserole.  I also can’t wait to try this Sweet Potato Salad recipe!

If you have any other tips for saving money on your meat purchases, I’d love to hear them!

 

 

How to Save Money on Your Children’s Easter Clothes

Today’s post is by Aimee Heckel of ShopAtHome.com.

I’m not going to say my favorite part about being a mom is dressing up my daughter in bows, sparkles and satin ribbons, but I’m not going to say it’s not, either.  I know I’m working against the clock. This Easter, she’ll be freshly 4. And I know the time bomb has already started ticking for the day my kid is mortified by everything about me, especially the clothes I pick out for her.  Moms don’t know anything, you know. Until every child turns 22.

 I’m a seize-the-day kind of mom, so this year my munchkin is going to Easter service dressed up fluffier than a stick of cotton candy dipped in clouds dipped in Dolly Parton’s hair. After all, it may very well be my last chance.  But my desire — nay, motherly need – to swathe my child in the most beauteous and impractical garb possible directly conflicts with my practicality. I know it’s financially irresponsible to drop big bucks on a dress she’ll only wear once, probably for only 13 minutes of the service.

But — sparkles!  My solution: lots of pictures up front and smart shopping.

Here are my favorite ways to save money on gorgeous Easter clothing for the kiddos. Because a good bargain has been known to keep me out of the confession booth.

1. Shop online. I know it seems fun to touch and try on clothes at the store, but, reality check, shopping with kids is actually Dante’s 10th Circle of Hell. Save the gray hairs and do your browsing in your PJs after they go to bed.  Best of all, you can save money by shopping online. Many stores offer online-only specials and coupons.

2. Use coupons. I know you’re busy. But this does not have to be a time-consuming, stressful thing involving scissors, binders, folders, tabs and the Dewey Decimal System. My favorite place to find all the best coupons for babies and kids stuff in one organized place is www.shopathome.com/savings/babies-and-kids-coupons. Browse by store (I’m pretty sure every online store in the vast Interwebs is on here) or by category (hint: Go straight to “kids clothing”).  Here, you can find pages of coupons for stores like Macy’s, Gap, The Children’s Place, JC Penney and more.

3. Pair coupons with Cash Back. Oh no, another step, right? Nope.  The only “work” you have to endure is the 15 seconds it takes to sign up for an account on ShopAtHome.com (you can even log in with Facebook). Once you’re logged in, simply find the store you want to shop, pick the coupon you want to use and click.  You’ll be redirected to the store’s website, just like Google would redirect you, and your purchase is tracked. ShopAtHome will automatically bank the Cash Back in your account and send you a check once you’ve reached $20 (trust me, this happens quickly).

Cash Back seriously adds up. I’ve seen it higher than 10 percent. Right now, JCP is offering 9 percent Cash Back. So take that $40 dress you are wincing to buy for your daughter’s Easter dress. Pick your favorite of more than 250 coupons, like an exclusive deal for 10 percent off your entire purchase and save $4. Then, get another 9 percent Cash Back off that price – nearly $3 more savings – and that dress is suddenly marked down low enough to feel like you’re shopping your own personal sales rack.

Not a total sin. Which frees up your conscience to steal a handful of those jelly beans, right?

Aimee Heckel writes for ShopAtHome.com. Follow the site on Instagram @shopathome.

Meal Planning Monday ~ Resolutions Worth Making

This week’s post is by Christine Luken.

By now, you’ve hopefully recovered from your New Year’s celebration – and now the real work begins: implementing those resolutions you’ve made.  We all want 2014 to be our best year yet, but achieving those goals won’t be a piece of cake.  Did you know that investing some time in Meal Planning this year will help you achieve some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions?  Here are three of the most popular goals that people set – and how meal planning can help you reach them.

The #1 New Year’s resolution that Americans make is to lose weight/ eat healthier/ get in shape.  In 2013, thanks to Diet Free Life’s Carb Stepping tool and some High Intensity Interval Training, I’ve achieved my strongest and leanest body ever (pretty good for someone who just turned 40!)  There is NO WAY I would have achieved this goal without meal planning.  When you’re trying to eat healthy, having a plan is your greatest weapon against temptation.  Knowing that I have my dinner ingredients thawed out and ready to go makes it so much easier to pass by the drive thru and go home to a healthy, home-cooked meal.  I even plan my snacks and keep handy options like granola bars, apples, and nuts in my purse, briefcase, and car.  Restaurant meals contain an average of 30% more calories and fat than the same meal prepared at home.  This is because you control what goes into the food and you can make smart substitutions that will save fat and calories without sacrificing flavor.

Another popular New Year’s resolution is to become financially healthy (start budgeting, spend less, save more, pay off credit card debt.)  It might strike you as strange that meal planning can help you with this one, but I promise you’ll spend less money on food if you plan your meals.  The money you save can help you pay off your debt and save for the future.  I’m sure you’ve noticed that the price of groceries keeps going up, so it’s smart to manage your food resources wisely.  I was shocked to learn a few years ago that Americans throw away about one-third of the food that they purchase!  If a family of four spends $600 on food each month, they are throwing $200 in the trash can every month!  That’s $2,400 per year that could be saved for a vacation or paid down on the mortgage.  Creating a monthly meal plan helps you better manage the food you have so less of it goes to waste.  People who consistently meal plan also eat out less, which means even more money saved.

Finally, many folks resolve to reduce stress and spend more time with loved ones in the New Year.  Meal planning ensures that most nights you’ll be able to put a healthy, home cooked meal on the table for dinner and be able to enjoy quality time with your family.  When you’re not stressed out over what’s for dinner, you’re a happier and more present parent and spouse.

Not sure how to get started with your meal planning?  Pick up my e-book on Amazon.com, The Coupon Sisters Get Cooking: Discover the Magic of Meal Planning for just $7.95.  I promise it will pay for itself many times over the first month you begin to meal plan!

 

 

How to Score A+ Savings on Back to School Supplies

Today’s Post is Written by Brittany Anas

 

Not to sound all “old codger” on you, but back in the day, school supply lists were short, right? Some No. 2 pencils, a box of tissues to share with the classroom and a few carefully selected Lisa Frank folders. (Oh, the anguish of deciding whether the colorful kitten and rainbows style should hold your math homework or your language arts assignments).  But, today, the lists have gotten longer and the supplies, in many cases, are more technological (read: expensive).  The National Retail Federation predicts you’ll spend $634.78 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics during this back-to-school season.  I predict you can come in under that number.  Here’s how you can save on school supplies and new school clothes without dipping into your kids’ college funds.

Shop online for school supplies. Not ready to wade through the school supply aisles when you could be enjoying a few more days at the pool? We hear ya. Use ShopAtHome.com to buy online at stores like Office Depot, Target, Wal-Mart and Best Buy. Not only will you be able to find what’s in stores, but you’ll get Cash Back offers and save time, too. Once you reach $20 in Cash Back, you’ll get a check mailed to you.

Plan for next year. Just like you can find wrapping paper for cheap after Christmas, look for deep discounts on school supplies in September. Stock up for next year. There are the “regulars” on your kids’ school supply lists — like pens, loose-leaf paper, markers, tape and glue — that you’ll have a need for again next year. But, also try looking online at the shopping list for the next grade up to see what you can save on for next year.

Invest in quality. Backpacks can take a battering. Some brands really stand behind their products and offer lifetime warranties. Among them? The North Face and JanSport. Also, avoid cheap supplies like pens and flimsy notebooks — spending a little more now will save you in the long run.

Shop the back-to-school sales. You’ll be able to find everything from $10 jeans at Old Navy to discounts up to 50 percent at Macy’s. Now is a great time to find deals on school uniforms, too. Even if your kid isn’t required to wear a uniform, shop the  “uniform shop” sales — you’ll find great deals on basics like polos, khakis and jumpers. Remember, you don’t have to buy clothes for the entire school year.

Pick a color scheme. For younger kids, buy clothes in two or three colors. Let your kids tell you what their favorite colors are so they can be a part of the shopping process. I promise it will make mixing and matching outfits much easier and you’ll be able to wash the clothes in the same laundry cycle, saving you time, as well.

Look in unexpected places. For some of the expensive school supply items (we’re looking at you, graphing calculators), check first with a friend or family member who might have one that’s going unused. If not, do a quick search at a local thrift store or on eBay.

 

Brittany Anas writes for ShopAtHome.com. (www.ShopAtHome.com)

 Photo credit: Used with permission from Creative Commons

$ave a Bundle by Renting Your College Textbooks!

Attention college students and parents of college students!  How would you like to save a bundle – up to 90% – on your text books?  Sounds too good to be true, right?  Well, if you are renting your college text books from Campus Book Rentals, you KNOW these discounts are for real!

I SO wish I would have had this option in college!  I remember my parents’ shell shock over the price of my text books.  The interesting thing is, I only remember using one of those text books after I graduated.  What a waste!

Some of the perks of renting your books with Campus Book Rentals include:

  • Save 40-90% off of bookstore prices!  Still don’t believe me?  Click here to see an example!
  • Free shipping both ways
  • You can highlight in the textbooks
  • Flexible renting periods
  • Campus Book Rentals donates to Operation Smile with each textbook rented

To me, this seems like a no-brainer!  If you’re heading back to campus for a new semester in January, I highly recommend checking out Campus Book Rentals before buying your books.   If  you still have some questions, you can check out this informative – and hilarious – video.

CampusBookRentals.com FAQ’s:

Meal Planning Monday ~ Breakfast for Dinner

 

          April Fool’s Day was yesterday and it’s a fun time to play a practical joke or shake up your usual routine.  Some families I know will have dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner on April Fool’s Day, which is especially fun for kids.  However, having breakfast for dinner isn’t something that should be a once-a-year occasion!  Having breakfast for dinner once a month (or even once a week) is a great way to have a quick, inexpensive, satisfying meal.

            Because Easter is just around the corner, eggs seem to be on sale everywhere right now.  Eggs will keep a few weeks past the “Sell By” date stamped on them, so it’s a good time to stock up on a few dozen.  And even without a sale, eggs are still a cheap source of protein.  Pancakes and waffles are also a great breakfast-for-dinner option.  Recently, my Uncle John Phetteplace gave me his coveted homemade pancake recipe.  They are the most delicious, fluffiest pancakes I’ve ever had!  Fortunately, he’s agreed to let me share the recipe with you.  Once you’ve tried them, you’ll have a hard time going back to a boxed mix.

            This week, I’m going to give you seven different ideas for making a great breakfast dinner for your family.

1.  Omelets ~ Make a “build-your-own-omelet” station.  Set out several types of cheeses, chopped veggies, diced ham, and bacon or sausage crumbles.  Let each family member whip up their own omelet masterpiece!

2.  Pancakes ~ Mix it up and try different add-ins in your pancake batter, such as chocolate chips, pureed ripe banana, nuts, or berries.  Do you like pineapple upside down cake?  Put a pineapple ring with a cherry in the middle on the skillet and ladle the pancake batter on top for a real treat!

 3.  Breakfast Casserole ~ The great thing about breakfast casseroles is that they taste better when they have been refrigerated for at least a few hours or overnight.  You could whip one up and put it in the fridge on a Sunday night so that on Monday after work, you’ll just need to pop it in the oven.  If you don’t already have a recipe for a great breakfast casserole, you can find one here.

 4.     Egg Sandwiches ~ Just like regular sandwiches, you can jazz up your egg sandwiches however you’d like!  Think beyond the stand-by toppings of bacon, sausage, and cheese.  My favorite egg sandwich is an egg and cheese panini with pesto, sundried tomatoes, and fresh spinach leaves – yum!  Experiment with different types of breads, English muffins, and bagels, too.

 5.     Waffles ~ Sure, waffles are great with butter and syrup, but why not try topping your waffles with yogurt, fruit, and nuts for a change?  Top two waffles with vanilla yogurt, pineapple tidbits, and chopped macadamia nuts for a tropical treat!

 6.     Breakfast Burritos ~ Stuff your burritos with scrambled eggs, sausage, cheese, and your favorite veggies for a satisfying meal.

 7.     Cereal ~ When you’re just too tired for anything else, there’s nothing wrong with having a bowl of cereal and milk for dinner.

 

Uncle John’s Pancakes

  • 1 cup of vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup of melted butter

 Mix together the first four ingredients.

  •  2 cups flour (I use 1 cup white and 1 cup whole wheat)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt

 Blend dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.  Add yogurt, milk, egg, and butter mixture to the blended dry ingredients.  (Add blueberries or other add-ins of your choice.)  Fry in a non-stick pan over medium heat.