Meal Planning

6 Week Meal Planner & Products

Danielle has recently created a 6 week meal planner, along with recipes, shopping lists and templates.  This is available as a PDF download that you can print off, and a printed version in a ring binder that you can add to with your own recipes. Order here: http://modernpioneer.highwire.com/product/6-week-meal-planner

Along with the planner, we wanted to share some of our favorite kitchen products! These combine good quality with efficiency. I don't like gadgets for the sake of having them - they have to save me time or money so they earn their space in the cabinets!
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000N501BK/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000N501BK&linkCode=as2&tag=mealplanner-20
6 Qt Dutch Oven
Lodge Color EC6D43 Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, Island Spice Red, 6-Quart
I like this for one pot stove top and oven cooking. Nowhere near the cost of the Le Crueset versions. I've been using for several years and so far it's definitely worth it.

For a larger non-enameled one, we like this one from Lodge:
Lodge Deep Camp Dutch Oven, 8 or 10 Qt

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00851TPAM/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00851TPAM&linkCode=as2&tag=mealplanner-20
Great for smoothies and soups
VERSA 1400-watt Professional Performance Blender I wanted a good blender for green smoothies but I couldn't justify $400 for a Vitamix. I tried this on a recommendation of a friend who owns an ice cream store and uses it commercially for smoothies. I think it's great and though not cheap, it's not crazy priced either and handles ice much better than my old $40 blender ever could.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004QM8SLG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B004QM8SLG&linkCode=as2&tag=mealplanner-20

US Made cast iron skillets

Lodge 5-Piece Cast Iron Cookware Set, Black
These are great pre-seasoned cast iron skillets and dutch oven. Made in USA too. Jason loves these but it took me a while to come round. They are heavy!! I was a 'teflon' non-stick fan for too long, and finally decided no more to the dangerous chemicals and I switched. Now I use these all the time. And yes, many foods DO taste better when you cook in cast iron.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003JA7KWE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B003JA7KWE&linkCode=as2&tag=mealplanner-20
Stop the tears from chopping onions!
Black & Decker EHC650B Ergo 3-Cup Food Chopper
I don't like chopping onions, especially the really strong home-grown ones that Jason brings in from the garden, so I use a chopper. It just eliminates all those airborne juices that sting my eyes. Plus, I really don't like knives so I chop slowly. A chopped speeds things up!

This one is a little fancier than the one I have, mine is manual but this is easier with a pulse button. It has great reviews.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004P2NG0K/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B004P2NG0K&linkCode=as2&tag=mealplanner-20
Large family slow cooker
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005D6XZ4O/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B005D6XZ4O&linkCode=as2&tag=mealplanner-20
Steam veggies quickly
Sistema Large Microwave Steamer - I like our vegetables to be steamed instead of boiled. They maintain more nutrients and keep some of their bite. This makes it easy - put the veg inside, a little water then put into the microwave.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0057XGM5W/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0057XGM5W&linkCode=as2&tag=mealplanner-20Multi-functional steamer

Aroma Arc-743-1Ngr 3-Cup (Uncooked) 6-Cup (Cooked) Rice Cooker and Food Steamer, Red
Another product I use a lot and have used for years. There are digital versions and larger versions but this one has suited me.
Cooks rice, steams veg and keeps food warm (soups, chili etc) when the crockpot is in use.
They make a stainless version if you don't want the non-stick. Unlike pans though, I have found the non-stick coating doesn't get damaged so I have not been concerned by it.

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