Wednesday, May 6, 2015

What's For Dinner?

I know it seems innocuous enough. But it is loaded  question. And no matter what my answer is, it will inevitably be followed by a groan of disapproval from at least one of my darling offspring. The question was also one that used to fill me with dread because I often didn't know the answer! For years I had a list of "go to" meals that I would consult when dinner time rolled around. Or I'd stick my head in the fridge just searching for inspiration. Back in 2011, I KNEW I needed to start meal planning. I tried, but it didn't stick and the question of "What's for dinner?" continued to strike terror in my heart.

Until I discovered Plan To Eat.  I can't even remember how I found the website, but I'll make it easy for you. The link below the video leads directly to their free 30 day trial sign up.  Or you can click the Plan To Eat icon on the right bar of my blog post and if you sign up, I'll get credit for referring you. After the free trial, it is $4.95 a month or $39.00 a year (that's only 75 cents a week for a wonderful time saving device!).

Plan to Eat

Plan to Eat allows you to choose recipes and drag them onto a calendar to plan meals for a day, week, month... then it takes all the ingredients of those recipes and exports them into a shopping list. You can remove items from the list that you already have in stock (salt, pepper, pasta) and you can add items that aren't part of a specific recipe but that you need on hand each week (milk, bread, bananas) and then print the grocery list to take along to the store - keeps you from forgetting the odd ingredient for a planned meal! And for those of you far more tech savvy than me, yes there is an APP for that!

A few other nifty features:
  • With a button on your browser bar, you can add recipes from anywhere on the web. Or you can manually input your own family recipes
  • PlanToEat tells you how many times you've added a particular recipe to your planner. 
  • You can print the recipes. I see the basis for a recipe album here!
  • You can export your recipes for sharing (see below!)

Print Recipe

Chicken Scallopini with Capers

Course: Main Course
Serves: 4


  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons cold water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cold butter cut in small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)


  1. In a small bowl, combine the wine or broth, broth, capers and set aside.

  2. Season the chicken with the salt, pepper, and sage. Lightly coat with the flour, patting off the excess.

  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat and add olive oil. Add chicken and cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and turn the chicken. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear, about 2 minutes. Remove to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.

  4. In a small cup, combine the cornstarch and water.

  5. Pour the caper mixture into the skillet and heat over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Cook, whisking until thickened, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the butter and spoon the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with the parsley (if using).

  6. NOTE: You can make this dish in bulk then freeze and reheat. To reheat, arrange the scallopini in a baking dish, cover, and bake at 350°F until heated through, about 15 minutes. Drizzle with a little olive oil to replace lost moisture.
Powered by
Plan To Eat

I used the 30 day free trial to add my own family recipes. If you add just one or two recipes a day, you'll have quite the cookbook by the time you are done the free trial! I now consult Plan to Eat each Sunday, choose my meals for the week, and print my grocery list before I go grocery shopping. It has made life so much easier! I'm cooking at home more and making healthier meals. And the question of "What's for dinner?" no longer worries me.


quiltingfool said...

Sounds like a good plan for some. Personally, I hate everything to do with meals. Think about it. You spend probably 3/4 of your life feeding yourself and your family. You have to decide what you want, make a list, buy the food, put it all away, drag it out again to "prepare", cook it, eat it, then clean up after it. It's a wonder we have time for anything else. I truly wish there was a pill you could take that would give you all the necessary nutrients to be healthy, not overweight, and maybe would taste like your favorite things. I'd be on that in a heatbeat. Meanwhile, today is grocery buying day...sigh!

debs14 said...

What an interesting post! I've never heard of that website but it sounds great.

scrappyjacky said...

It sounds really interesting....I know I repeat my 'go to' meals far too often!!

Karen said...

Yum to Chicken Scallopini! I actually like meal planning now that there are just the two of us to please. Plan to Eat does many of the same things my favorite app, Paprika, does. I download recipes, then choose a recipe for a meal. It pops the ingredients in the grocery list, I add anything else needed to the list, and use my phone to shop. It's transformed the grocery shopping even more than the meal planning.

Melissa said...

That definitely looks like a good system! I need to make some changes here but have resisted anything this organized . . . which isn't working well for me. :( I just might have to try this after our next big trip.

Maria Ontiveros said...

Can I come over for dinner?
My daughter is a total PITB right now about eating, so I totally know the dread in your question.

Barbara Eads said...

I would have loved this when I still had children at home. But the truth is---I don't cook that much these days. I usually only cook once or twice a week. With leftovers, it's enough.