[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] T[/dropcap]his time last year I did something I wasn’t sure would work.
It all started when my friend Caroline was telling me about her experience with one of those weight loss programs that comes with an exercise schedule and detailed meal plans.
With her new, more slender figure Caroline was looking amazing.
What surprised me was her insistence that the thing she had found most helpful was the meal plans. They made it so easy to eat really healthfully day in and day out.
Each week she’d print out the shopping list and buy what was on it. Or better yet, get her husband to do the shopping.
Then at meal times she’d walk into the kitchen, look at her notes and just start cooking. No having to ‘think’ at the end of a long day.
She told me,
“Jules you really should offer a meal planning service. Some of the recipes in the plan I was following were pretty time consuming. It would be even better to have healthy meal plans using your quick, easy Stonesoup recipes.”
That got me thinking. I wasn’t sure it would work.
But I decided to give it a shot. So this time last year, ‘Soupstones Meal Plans’ was born.
Since then there have been 917 people who have used the meal plans to eat well and be well.
And today I wanted to share the stories of how Soupstones has helped change the lives of some of its members…
Daunine, Soupstones Meal Plans Member.
Daunine lives in the US and has a family of 4 to cook for. Here’s how her life has changed since joining Soupstones Meal Plans…
Daunine, Soupstones Member.
Daunine loves the variations included for the meal plans and recipes. She loves that the meal plans focus on whole foods and ingredients she can get at the store. Since starting to use the meal plans Daunine only does one shop a week so she’s saving time.
She also finds that she’s saving money because she’s not running to the store as often and she’s wasting less because she is using what she buys. Both Daunine and her husband are food lovers and they often find themselves saying ‘I can’t believe how good this is and it’s only got a few ingredients. It’s amazing that it’s so simple and so good!
Crystal, Soupstones Meal Plans Member.
Crystal is a Canadian living in Colombia. Here’s how her life has changed since joining Soupstones Meal Plans…
Crystal, Soupstones Member.
“It was so revolutionary for me as a cook. I could not boil water, and now I make all three meals for my boyfriend and me, with confidence. I actually, GASP, go off the recipe and add my own flair with what I have in my fridge or my spice rack… something that I could have never done without your meal plans holding my hand and helping me through the hard stuff – decision making. Fun bonus, all the recipes are delish!”
Nyssa, Soupstones Meal Plans Member.
Nyssa is a student living in Melbourne. Here’s how her life has changed since joining Soupstones Meal Plans…
Nyssa, Soupstones Member.
Nyssa is in remission for an eating disorder and was encouraged by her dietician to try out Soupstones meal plans. She was hesitant at first but she loves fresh healthy food so she decided to give it a try. Before using the meal plans Nyssa had a lot of anxiety about shopping for food so she found herself eating out or relying on meal replacement smoothies. Now she finds the Soupstones shopping list fantastic for getting her shopping done quickly without fuss. She’s eating at home much more and usually uses the second serving of each meal for lunch at uni the next day.
Sherrill, Soupstones Meal Plans Member.
Sherrill recently turned 65 and moved from New York to Philadelphia. Here’s how her life has changed since joining Soupstones Meal Plans…
Sherrill, Soupstones Member.
“My “relationship” with Jules Clancy and Soupstones is as old as Soupstones…one year.
Prior to joining Soupstones I had determined that …once again… something needed to be done about my weight. Other than chubby, I’m quite healthy with much thanks given to the genetics that have pretty much overridden my self-abuse. And, seeing as how I recently became a member of the 65-year old community, figured this is a last hurrah to really enjoy feeling, being and looking well.
Intrigued by Soupstones and Jules’s ever-growing, non-preachy beliefs about eating [honey IS good], I initially purchased one of her e-cookbooks, eventually becoming a member of the Weekly Meal Plan “club”. Jules’s recipes, philosophy, research, weekly e-mails and general chattiness continually feed and stoke the fires of my becoming more mindful, educated/questioning and cooking creatively.
In addition, shopping with the Meal Plan lists makes cooking sooooo much easier while at the same time helping cut food and money waste way back. As a single person, I am particularly happy to move from the 20-ingredient, calorie-laden, 4-to-6 servings meal to a 5-items-or less, healthy plant-based meal for two. Having always considered myself to be a good food eater [while eating too much of that good thing!] even some of the small changes [Cauliflower Rice or Zucchini Pasta] are really satisfying substitutes.
Combining Soupstones Meal Plans and Recipes with a new, regular exercise program has had the extra added benefit of making me even healthier — and 25 pounds [1.78 stone] lighter!!! Happy Birthday Soupstones!!!”
Sound like something you’d like to try? Well now is a brilliant time to join!
For all the details go to:
Spanish Meatballs with Zucchini ‘Noodles’
I’m a big fan of meatballs in all their forms but my favourites are ones like these that you pop in the oven to bake in their sauce because they’re super low maintenance and you can do other things while dinner is cooking itself. If you don’t have an oven, they can easily be simmered on the stove top, you’ll just need to be prepared to stir more frequently.
enough for: 2-3
takes: 30-40 minutes
1 jar tomato passata or puree (700g / 24oz / 2.5 cups)
1 red capsicum (bell pepper), chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
450g (1lb) chicken mince
150g (5oz) almond meal
2-3 small zucchini
ricotta, to serve
1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F). Place tomato passata, capsicum, butter and paprika in a baking dish and pop in the oven to get cooking.
2. While the sauce is warming, combine chicken and almond in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and form into your preferred meatball size. Smaller ones take longer to make but will cook quicker!
3. Add the balls to the sauce and return to the oven uncovered for 15 minutes.
4. Turn and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
5. While the meatballs are cooking, slice zucchini into fine ribbons using a mandoline or vegetable peeler. Stack them up and slice into linguine shaped ‘noodles’ with a knife. Pop in a strainer and sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and allow to stand for 10 minutes or so.
6. When the meatballs are cooked. Rinse the salt from the zucchini and pat dry with paper towel. Serve meatballs and sauce on a bed of the raw zucchini ‘noodles’ with a dollop of ricotta on top.
vegetarian – use the recipe for these lentil balls to replace the chicken and almond meal.
vegan – replace chicken and almond meal with 2 drained cans of chickpeas. Simmer the chickpeas in the sauce until hot. Serve chickpeas and sauce with the zucchini noodles and replace ricotta with roasted sliced almonds or pine nuts.
dairy-free – replace ricotta with roasted sliced almonds or pine nuts.
carb-lovers / more substantial – serve with steamed rice, cooked couscous or cooked quinoa. Or some crusty bread and butter.
more veg – feel free to add more than just the capsicum (bell pepper) to the sauce. Mushrooms, onion, diced eggplant, sweet potato or even frozen peas will all work, you may need to adjust the cooking time to get the veg cooked through.
not-spanish – skip the capsicum and smoked paprika.
italian meatballs – skip the smoked paprika and serve with grated parmesan and basil instead of the ricotta.
See also: 16 Tasty Ideas for Zucchini.
ps. Not sure if you would enjoy following a meal plan?
Here’s what Dyann said about her experience:
“I am so glad I signed up for this, but I think my husband is even happier! Every night I’m hearing comments like, “I have been eating so good lately,” “This tastes like it came from a [Thai, Indian, etc] restaurant!” “That looks like a picture in a magazine” and “The house smells soooo gooooood.”
Dyann, Soupstones Member.
For more details use the link below: