When I think of meal planning I think of all the hours that go into looking through cookbooks, Pinterest, navigating apps and various websites to find meals that are tasty, yet simple and enjoyable for the whole family. I have tried everything from writing down our menu in my calendar to various apps that organize menus, shopping lists, ingredients, etc. to the simplest of simple…a list on our fridge.
What I have discovered for our family is K.I.S.S. Keep it simple stupid! Yes, I have to remind myself that I don’t have endless hours to cook anymore. A gourmet menu looks amazing on paper, but equals major failure to execute because I just don’t have the time for labor intensive recipes anymore. To fix our barely there weekly menu plan and out of control food budget, I decided to kick my inner Martha out the door and get real! 🙂
Getting back to K.I.S.S., I have been using a preprinted menu notepad I found on Amazon.com. It’s 60 sheets for under $8 and if you save the sheets you can reuse the menus instead of planning all over again in another two months. My goal has been to create very simple menus that allow for busy days, easy clean up, healthy eating and leftovers for some lunches.
With those thoughts in mind I wanted to share my weekly menu with you. I hope you find it to be one less thing you have on your TODO list along with eating some deliciously healthy, easy to make food!
One thing you won’t find here is a gorgeous gallery of food pics. Again, I have a toddler and my time is limited so what I will be sharing are the recipes I am making for the week either from cookbooks, my own personal recipes on my blog or the oh so amazing world of Pinterest/food bloggers.
My weekly menu plan will have links you can easily click on to get you to that recipe or if it’s in a cookbook you don’t have I will link to a similar recipe that is online. I will also list some ridiculously easy dinners that don’t require a recipe like sammies and soup or homemade pizza. Next to those dinner ideas I will list suggestions or ingredients links, but I encourage you to keep it simple. My mantra lately has been, “You can’t do it all, you can’t do it all”. 😉
Without further ado here is my first weekly menu. I hope you enjoy and would love to hear feedback on what you like, dislike or suggestions.
Kate’s Weekly Menu for June 1, 2015
**NOTE** click hyperlinks (peach color text) to access online recipes and view the cookbooks I use. Bookmark or Pin my weekly menu post & reference when you’re cooking. Eventually I will have a grocery list you can download.
- Kate’s Menu: Chicken Verde from Meals Made Simple by Danielle Walker
- Cumin-Garlic Summer Squash side dish from the same cookbook.
- Online Option: Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde from Tasty Yummies
- Kate’s Menu: Portobello Red Pepper Sandwich from Eat To Live by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. **NOTE** I am gluten free so I eat this over spinach with a squeeze of lemon & EVOO
- Side of pickles and sweet potato chips
- Online Option: Portobello Mushroom Burger from Simply Recipes. **NOTE** I could not find a simple online portobello red pepper burger recipe, but this one looks awesome! If you don’t like sun dried tomatoes substitute roasted red peppers or a regular old fashioned tomato.
- Side of pickles and sweet potato chips or fries
- Kate’s Menu: Hot Dogs, Baked Beans and Sautéed Green Beans. I will be out Weds night so this is a daddy, son dinner. 🙂
- The hot dogs I buy are 100% grass-fed from either the farmers market or local health food market. Click HERE for an example of the type of hot dogs I would buy.
- Baked beans can be a slippery slope of sugars and added preservative. I have found Pacific Organic (not GF) and Eden Foods Baked Beans (GF) to be the best in both flavor and wholesome, healthy ingredients.
- Sautéed Green Beans are so simple in our house. I thaw out frozen organic French style green beans, sautée with a little EVOO, garlic, himalayan sea salt and pepper. That’s it and its a favorite of both my hubby and toddler.
- Kate’s Menu: Tex-Mex Chipotle Sloppy Joes
- Serve with store bought taco shells or tostada to keep it simple
- Look for store bought, but fresh made mango salsa and combine it with a can of low sodium black beans for a side dish. Make sure to rinse the beans! If you can’t find fresh look for a jar of mango salsa and just add a smaller amount to the black beans to give them some flavor.
- Kate’s Menu: Homemade Pizza Night – We try to make homemade pizza every Friday thanks to a tradition we learned from my hubby’s previous boss.
- Store bought pizza dough, fresh or frozen makes this dinner SUPER easy. (GF options are almost everywhere now)
- Don’t forget the pizza sauce and cheese or cheeses
- Get creative with your toppings…caramelized onions, kalamata olives and sautéed mushrooms or Canadian bacon and pineapple for a Hawaiian theme, basil, fresh mozz and sliced tomatoes for a margarita pizza. The options are endless and it’s a really fun family activity!
- Online Option:
- If you’re feeling less than creative check out these 15 Healthy Homemade Pizza Recipes from Skinny Mom.
**CHEAT OPTION** If it’s been a rough day don’t stress. Pop an organic frozen pizza or two in the oven and call it a night! It’s A OK to eat absolutely nothing homemade here and there. 🙂
- Kate’s Menu: Marinated Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce – My Dad will be in town, so I will have extra time to cook while C is hanging with his Bumpa. (Grandpa)
- Kate’s Menu: Sausage and Peppers Arrabbiata from Meals Made Simple
- Kitchen Sink Salad – That is exactly what it is…throw in whatever you have left in the fridge that looks good to you for a salad that compliments a spicy pasta dish. Don’t over think it and keep it simple!
- Online Option: Penne Arrabiata from Feeling Foodish
- Add a side of the Kitchen Sink Salad and you’ll be all set
- Carb craving…add a baguette of Italian bread
Whew, are you hungry yet? I sure am after reading about all this yummy food! I hope you find this post a useful resource to take the time and effort out of meal planning so you can just enjoy the cooking and eating. 🙂
I will check back next Sunday with an update on how we did with this weeks menu and a whole new delish, yet realistic meal plan for busy families.
Mangia, Mangia | Kate