For the past few weeks, we’ve created a new food system in our house. We’ve been meal planning!
I did it a year ago for a couple weeks and found it to be very helpful because I don’t have to think about what to eat, but the hard thing is committing to sitting down at the beginning of the week to figure it all out.
Now I’m totally into meal planning since I found out how much money, time and brain power we’re saving by doing this! We only buy what we need (most of the time) and we save time by going to the store once instead of a few times!
I even made a visual board of our meals with pictures so the kids can see what we’re eating for the week.
Yes, I’ll share it with you in a blog post later because I think you’ll find it helpful too. In the meantime, we’re fine-tuning the system and building an inventory of meals we can make. Stay tuned, it’ll probably include some printables too =)
Some of the food ideas we kept going back to were the 5-ingredient pairings we created a month back. I find these are really fast to make and we always have the ingredients on hand so they are really good items to have on our meal board.
Easy 5-Ingredient Recipes
To add to our repertoire, below are a few more very easy five-ingredient recipes for the fall.
I included pairings with cinnamon, apples and beans. In Vancouver, we get beans up to the end of October!
Cinnamon Peach Chia Pudding
- 1 ½ cup milk (2% or unsweetened soy/almond/coconut milk)
- 2 tablespoons peach jam
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup chia seeds
- In a 4 cup mason jar, add milk, jam, pumpkin spice and vanilla extract. Whisk until jam is broken up.
- Add chia seeds and stir until combined. You could shake your jar too, that’s more fun =)
- Close lid and put in fridge overnight.
- To make it pretty, you could serve this with fresh peaches and sprinkle on some coconut flakes.
Peach Quinoa Salad
Quinoa is one of my favourite dishes to make since it is nutritious and so easy.
This pairing is great for those last-minute potlucks when you haven’t had time to buy groceries so you have to use whatever is in your pantry and fridge. We seem to always have peppers in our house so that’s what I used here but you can chop up any veggies in your fridge.
- 1 cup Quinoa
- 1 cup diced peppers in different colours
- 1/4 cup peach jam (we used Smucker’s Pure Peach Jam)
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons oil
- Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Let cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together jam, rice vinegar and oil.
- Add in quinoa and peppers and toss until everything is evenly coated.
Chicken and Green Bean Stir Fry With Sweet Hoisin Sauce
In Vancouver, we get green beans up till the end of October!
This is a great dish to make when our childless friends invite themselves over for dinner last minute (Emily, I’m talking to you). All I would have to do is pick more beans and make more quinoa for the extra people =)
And let me bring your attention to the sauce: it’s so, so, so yummy! The orange marmalade makes it a little tangy and so flavorful. Really, when I say serve it on a bed of rice, it’s really a vehicle for the sauce =)
- 1 chicken breast, cubed
- 1 tablespoon orange marmalade
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 pound green beans cut into 1” pieces
- In a pan, brown chicken breast and beans until almost done.
- Add jam, hoisin sauce and ketchup. Simmer on low until sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute.
- Serve over brown rice or quinoa.
No Cook Apricot Apple Sauce
I really think this no cook apple sauce is better for you than traditional recipes. It’s raw, the apple peel is still attached to the fruit and it takes 2 minutes to make! The apricot jam adds a bit more flavour and I threw in some chia seeds to thicken it up.
The kids go crazy for this stuff! Easy + healthy + fast + kids love it = win!
- 2 large Granny Smith apples (or other varieties), cored and quartered
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon apricot jam
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- Add all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Spoon into jars and put in the fridge. Use within one week.
Smucker’s Pairings for Fall Entertaining are a simple, easy way to create delicious food combinations with jam and other ingredients, designed help you discover how Fall flavours mingle together for mouthwatering results. Each pairing has 5 ingredients or less, and is ready in less than 15 minutes. Because with a name like Smucker’s, it has to be good. For specific information on our jam flavours and varieties, please visit www.smuckers.ca