so you know how bloggers always say “since a lot of you asked about (fill in the blank), i thought i’d share.” okay well, THREE people asked me about how i plan my family’s meals and since i’m not cool like the rest of those bloggers, that was a totally sufficient number of people to entice me to share on this space. so here we go.
over the past few years, i’ve come up with a way to meal plan that works really well for us. i should add that we have no allergies or necessary dietary restrictions and not a single member of the morris family is a picky eater whatsoever, so that makes my job really simple. my heart goes out to anyone whose child (or husband) demands nothing but dinosaur chicken nuggets with a side of ketchup. if that’s you, hang in there. if it’s not, keep reading. every week, i pick a quick recipe, a recipe of my choice, a slow cooker recipe, and a vegetarian recipe. that leaves one day for leftovers, one for eating out, and one for sunday dinner at my grandparents house. this is the outline i follow that works best for our weekly schedule but depending on yours, could easily be switched around.
before i write a grocery list i do two things:
- check the cabinets + refrigerator to see what i already have on hand. this week i had a can of black beans, some arugula and some brown rice in the freezer.
- flip through my cookbook collection (or search the internet!) for seasonal, healthy meals that fit my criteria above. bonus point if it includes one of the ingredients already at home.
after checking my inventory and looking through my cookbooks i came up with a menu for the week. i’ll share the basics of each recipe if you’re interested in using any of this sample menu in your home this week.
monday: make-your-own cauliflower pizza
i found premade cauliflower pizza crusts in the freezer section of trader joe’s. for me: fig jam, mozzarella cheese, prosciutto + arugula. for the boys, pizza sauce, cheese + pepperoni and black olives.
tuesday: thai rice bowls
(trader joe’s also has organic brown rice in their freezer section that steams in the bag, but any brown rice would work just fine. cook some chicken breasts with your preferred method. steam some broccoli, carrots and cauliflower. top rice with chicken + vegetables and top with a store bought or homemade thai peanut sauce. if you’re feelin’ like making your own, this is a really good one: whitneybond.com/thai-peanut-sauce
thursday: salsa verde chicken sweet potatoes with black beans
in a slow cooker, add organic chicken thighs, a block of cream cheese + a jar of green salsa. use the chicken mixture on top of cooked sweet potatoes with black beans on the side. you could also use the chicken for tacos, on top of rice, or just eat it from the bowl all by itself.
friday: dinner out
saturday: zucchini noodles with homemade marinara sauce
in the vegetable section at whole foods, there are pre-packaged spiraled vegetables. i’ve only ever bought the zucchini kind but i’ve seen carrots and beets as well. to add more calories for my toddler, i add some whole wheat noodles to his. again, a store bought sauce would work just fine but if you’re ambitious enough, i recommend the pioneer woman’s marinara recipe!
sunday: dinner at my grandparents house
easy enough, right? for the three of you that asked, i hope this answers all your meal planning questions. for everyone else, i hope i didn’t bore you too bad! thanks for reading along- i’d love to learn more meal planning tips, so please share if you’d like!