eMeals: save money, time, and your health by cooking at home - Our Daily Green

Monday, November 18, 2013

eMeals: save money, time, and your health by cooking at home

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Our Daily Green was recently invited to review the eMeals menu planning and recipe service. With our continual encouragement for our readers to cook more at home and eat healthier, this was a perfect fit. In order to properly review this service, Our Daily Green received an entire year's worth of eMeal plans, courtesy of the company. One of the things that struck us most was how easy it is to customize and subscribe to meals based around not just your family size, but also your food preferences and lifestyle.

eMeals offers 12 different meal plans, including Low Carb, Low Fat, Slow Cooker, Simple Gourmet, Gluten Free, and Vegetarian to cite a few. There is a menu for every eating style. We chose the Natural and Organic menu plan.

What really stood out to us was the comprehensive meal planning service, including shopping lists and coupon links. Armed with our list, we headed to the grocery store, after checking for items already in our pantry. Following our list was easy and we shopped for exactly what we needed, avoiding the temptation of picking up something "in case" we needed it. eMeals told us what we needed, removing the guess work to menu planning. Shopping went quickly and painlessly and our bill was approximately 10% less, simply by following the list. This confirms advice of financial planning experts, such as TV show host, Dave Ramsey, who endorses eMeals, suggesting it will help families save around $1,000/year.

We really appreciated the simple and quick meals. So many times, families think fast food is the answer to a harried lifestyle. Instead, a little pre-planning and system is the true answer. Our Daily Green's family generally eats at home and we have a few "go-to" quick dinners. eMeals gave us several more options. Here is a new, quick, one-pot favorite:

Vermicelli with Sausage and Spinach

2 teaspoons olive oil
12 oz package smoked sausage, cut in half
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
32 oz carton reduced-sodium chicken broth
8 oz uncooked vermicelli, broken in half
15 oz package fresh baby spinach
¼ teaspoon pepper
⅓ cup heavy cream

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Cut sausage into ½-inch thick slices. Add sausage to oil with onion and garlic. 

Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until onion is tender.

Add broth and ¼ cup water; bring to a boil. Add pasta; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
 Add spinach, stirring in a little at a time until wilted, and pepper; cook 1 minute.

Stir in cream and cook until thoroughly heated.

 It was that simple! Not to mention tasty and healthy. One pot, 30 minutes, dinner is ready. 

disclosure: Our Daily Green was compensated for this post, including 1 year of eMeals for free. 
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