Mealboard and Brown Bananas

So here is an update on my meal planning quest :)I’m very happy with the Mealboard app (here is the link again: http://www.mealboard.com/), its not free (thumbs down) but it only costs 3$, and its worth every penny. The app already has a fair amount of recipes to start with and it is linked to several popular recipe sites (allrecipes, food network, whole foods and more), but I already have a pretty large amount of recipes that I have collected over time so I decided to start from zero.

Over the weekend I was able to enter all of our favorite recipes into the app on my iphone, entering the recipes was pretty easy. Some recipes I know by heart but still entered the ingredients so they would be added to the grocery list that is included in the app. One really nice feature is that you can set specific notifications for certain recipes. For example, I can set a notification to remind me to take out some chicken from the freezer the night before so it will be thawed out in time to make supper. I’m one of those people who don’t function really well in the morning and it’s a challenge just to get ready and make it to work in time. So I usually forget to grab something out of the freezer before heading out for the day, and then when supper time rolls around I have no clue what to make and anything worth making is a miserable frozen brick. Needless to say, I love this little added notification feature!

To continue, once the recipes and ingredients are added you can then start to make your meal plan. You can actually be quite detailed with this if you chose to do so. I decided to strictly make a supper meal plan (I know some of you might call it dinner but I’m french), but you can plan every meal of the day since they include a breakfast and lunch option as well. I always grab a quick breakfast at home before work and try to pack a lunch, so supper time is the most challenging and fun for me. I wrote down all of our favorite recipes on a sheet of paper (I asked my fiance if he wanted to add or remove anything from the list) and then started entering recipes into the meal plan one at a time. I decided that on Sundays I would make a big meal that requires more time since I’m home most of the day, and that Mondays would be a left over day (you can chose left overs as an option in the plan). I then picked a quick or easy recipe for Tuesdays and a fish dish for Wednesdays since I work that night and my fiance is way better at cooking seafood than I am. Thursdays and Fridays are quick or easy recipes again, and Saturdays are reserved for take out or restaurant since that is our “cheat day” (have to shed a few pounds before the BIG day). I was able to work it out so that I have a different meal for almost every day, and it will be very easy to add new recipes to the rotation in the future. Can’t wait for the warm weather so we can BBQ again!

The next step will be to plan out the grocery shopping part, I’m going to try and make a detailed list of what I need (with the help of Mealboard of course) and I will also be keeping an eye on the flyers to see what will be on sale this coming week. Because we live in the sticks we don’t receive flyers, but most stores have them to view online which is very useful and eco-friendly. My goal will be to do one shopping trip and get everything we need for a 2 week period. I came across another blog that has lots of great tips on how to save money on your monthly grocery bill without clipping coupons, here is the link: http://applevalleygirl.blogspot.ca/2012/01/10-best-ways-to-save-money-on-groceries.html.

Now on to the recipe part! I like to think there are others out there like me, people that buy a bunch of bananas and rarely manage to consume them before they turn brown and mushy. Luckily those brown mushy bananas can be turned into some pretty tasty stuff! Banana bread is pretty popular (it also make the BEST french toast ever, try it!) and so are banana muffins, and that is what I made last night with a bit of a twist πŸ™‚

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

– 1/2 cup butter (softened)
– 3/4 cup sugar (I used brown sugar)
– 1 egg
– 2 or 3 ripe bananas (mashed)
– 1/2 cup peanut butter
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 1/2 cup flour (I used half whole wheat and all purpose)
– 1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add egg, bananas, vanilla and then peanut butter, mix well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt, slowly stir into the to banana mix. Throw in the chocolate chips and mix. Place muffin liners in your pan and fill them 2/3 of the way (I use a cookie dough scoop). Bake for 20-25 minutes depending on the size of your muffins, they are done once the tops are golden and a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool on a rack for a little while and enjoy!

These muffins are very moist, but if your batter is a little dry or too thick try adding a little splash of milk. I love these because its almost like eating a peanut butter and banana sandwich πŸ™‚ You still get the stronger banana taste mixed in with the peanut butter and well, chocolate chips make everything better right?!

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