MealPlanRescue.com was founded by two food enthusiasts, both wanting to eat healthier while trying to save a buck.

Andi Blackwell. Andi’s first moment of personal independence corresponded directly to the first peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich she made. The fleeting thought hit, “If I can feed myself, do I need parents?” which is ill-advised for a 4-year-old to consider. Food and family meals continued to play a rich part in her life to this day. You can still find her cooking her great-grandmother’s matzo ball soup every winter, and she still bakes bread just like she did with her mother (although now she needs to find her own child labor for the kneading).

Since her mother never fed her canned or processed foods, her family eats as healthfully as possible too. Andi’s mission is to prove that cooking from scratch isn’t as hard as people think; it can even be fun. Once you’ve had her tomato soup, you’ll throw your can opener in the garbage.

When she’s not compiling recipes for MealPlanRescue.com or reveling in the delicacies of Portland, Oregon’s food scene, Andi enjoys relaxing at home with her food geek husband and completely un-finicky dog.

Al Hulaton. Al has absolutely no formal training in cooking. While in college he subsisted on daily Quarter Pounders, Super-sized fries and large Cokes. Really. After noticing a few extra pounds appear out of nowhere, he decided to start paying attention more to healthy eating. Although constrained with a college student budget, his grandmother and mother taught him to shop for bargains while still serving healthy, inexpensive meals. He ended up losing the extra weight he’d gained and acquired an insatiable love of cooking that’s lasted for over 20 years.

Al works on MealPlanRescue’s vegetarian menus. He and his family eat mostly vegetarian meals with the exception of organic, free-range chicken about once a month and fish once or twice a week. When he’s not trying new foods he can be found working as a consultant, gardening or roaming the aisles of his favorite Asian and Hispanic markets, looking for new produce and spices to experiment with.

“Rye Bread” Photo by katerha “Flan Dog?” Photo by misocrazy