Monday, July 1, 2013

It Only Took Me 15 Years to Make DInner

**UPDATE**  comments fixed.  Leave a comment for your chance to win a Fresh 20 Cookbook

Well, FRESH, healthy and great dinners.   I have always struggled with meals.   I did do the freezer meals  (1 day cooking 28 meals frozen), a few times.  I liked them but I would not do them every month.

My mother in law has taught me a lot about cooking; I could do a large meal for a large family.  I have found great recipe’s for when we had friends or family join us.  I just could not climb the “wonderful dinner every night” wall. 

I knew I was not up to the mustard as a cook is when I had my Young Woman Class over for a “how to prepare the meal activity”, I handed Whitney a box of scalloped potatoes.  She held the box and blinked, she said “I have never made anything out of a box before.”  WHAT?  When its made in your kitchen its home made right?  

Yeah that day I learned I was falling short in the cooker department.  (Charlee calls chefs cookers.  So now it is in my vocabulary).

6 months ago the heavens parted, the angels sang and I discovered
The Fresh 20 Meal Plan.
 I was listening to the For Crying Out Loud Podcast and Melissa Lanz was sharing about her Meal Plan The Fresh 20. 
feeds 4 PEOPLE ,
meal plan,
emailed weekly with SHOPPING LIST,
For $5 a MONTH.  
You can choose between CLASSIC, GLUTTEN FREE or VEGETARIAN.
Click the Link to get all the details.

I have tested this for 6 MONTHS, (that’s 24 weeks, or 120 dinners) and I am never going back.  It has seriously changed my life.  I am not exaggerating.  Along with great recipes, and shopping lists, my favorite part is the step-by-step guide.  I have learned how to cook, how to sweat the veggies and why that is different then sauté.  Cooking without the box is better when you are walked step by step.  Karst, has liked most of the meals and he is eating a lot more veggies.

The first few weeks before going to the grocery store I would google image some of the items I did not recognize to know what I was looking for at the store.   But after awhile I have the hang of it.  

3 weeks after starting the menu plan I went through my cupboards and gave all my boxed and processed food to the food bank.  Knowing the Fresh 20 Recipes are designed for 4 people, I use the suggested serving size for portion control.  We usually have the leftovers for lunch the next day.

Over the last 6 months I have been replacing my old kitchen tools for newer, more appropriate versions.    By the way Harmons Grocery Store here in Utah has had all of  THE FRESH 20 ingredients, plus a lot of kitchen gadgets that make prep work easier.  My pantry now holds items like Barley, Orzo, Brown Rice, Couscous, Grape Seed Oil, Kosher Salt (it is NOT the same as table salt), and Quinoa.

We have not loved everything we have tried.  But I learn about different foods and recipes’ with each one I try.  Just last week I made pancakes – from scratch!  I have made homemade Humus, Chicken Milanese, Shrimp Scampi, and Tuscan Soup all from scratch.  I liked some of these recipes enough to make again to share with friends or family.  The first month we would sit down to eat and I would ask Karst to guess how many bottles or cans I opened to prepare this meal, and the answer was usually 0 or maybe 1 (black beans).  (my instgram "wyomingmade" has more pictures of what I have made #thefresh20)

There is a prep guide, what you can prepare a few days before to help with meal prep time.  For the most part, I am able to get the meals from, ingredients to the table in 30-40 minutes.  

One of my favorite things about making dinner now is, Charlee is by my side, both of us in our aprons, her stirring me cutting and chatting away.  And someday when someone hands her a box, she can look confused because WE DO NOT COOK FROM BOXES!

In April Melissa Lanz released her first cookbook: The Fresh 20 Cookbook.  Of course you can buy it on Amazon and Barns and Noble.  The cookbook has a seasonal meal plan, 16 meal plans, 150 dinners. I however will be picking up my copy in the next week at The Kings English.  I will pick up a 2nd copy to give away.  

Want my second copy? 
1) leave a comment about the last boxed meal you made 
2) convince me why you deserve the book (ie you have ate cold cereal for dinner more than once in the last month).

I paid for my menu plan with my hard earned; money and I will be buying the books with my own hard earned money.   I want to share with you what has changed my life and not because I was bribed or "encouraged." 

Your welcome to join my family any night for dinner . . . just remember if I cook you get to clean up after me and us cookers know how to make a mess, be ware.

Thanks Melissa Lanz and The Fresh20 team, you have changed my life!


Anonymous said...

Yay ! comments are back !!

Anonymous said...

Yay ! comments are back !!

Kim Hatch said...

another test

Tara Gailey said...

Kim this is amazing! I think this week we have already had cold cereal and frozen pizza for dinner- and it's only Tuesday! I know you work and to see a working mom prepare fresh dinners in a short amount of time is an inspiration! I honestly despise cooking, but I want to make sure my family is healthy. I would LOVE a copy of that cookbook!

vanessa shannon said...

Yeah, I pretty much feel like you did... Being a single mom who works full time, Hamburger Helper or Little Caesars pizza graces our table way too much. Frozen veggies, if they are lucky and pretty much anything that doesnt require a lot of time and energy. I dont even know if this cookbook can help me Kim...unless it will cook the food for me too?? LOL!!

Jenn Hatch said...

This sounds like exactly what I need!! We have been eating fairly healthy but I am running out of ideas and time to come up with more! Especially with summer here. I am sad to say we had "whole grain" hamburger helper last night. I am not liking cooking from a box either but am trying to use up some of my boxed "crap" that I bought cheap with coupons. HELP KIM HELP!!!!!! I think we should come over for one of these awesome dinners!!! ;)

Susan said...

I am just so excited for a different meal plan! I have been trying for months not to cook out of any boxes but it is hard to find recipes and to meal plan so I am so excited for this plan! Thanks for the tip and I am going to go order it now. THe best part is that it is heathly which is something we need at our house also. Thanks Kim for sharing a real downhome tip.