For most of us, the pace of life moves almost faster than we feel we can go. You must get ready, work, clean, do laundry, clean kids and their laundry, take kids to basketball baseball soccer dance cheerleading piano lessons… And you must also eat. In your spare time, right?
This is why I’m a big fan of meal planning. Even though I don’t always stick to it, it gives me a feeling of security that I know what we can eat for dinner each night of the week. Right now, I do this on a weekly basis, but you can also expand it to cover several weeks at a time.
Let’s say you’d like to plan for 6 weeks. I’m going to automatically assume 5 days a week, and plan on eating out or eating leftovers on the other two nights. So 5 days times 6 weeks…30 meals.
To think of 30 recipes seems a daunting task. So let’s break it down into categories. If we can think of five categories – one for each day – then we only need to come up with 6 recipes per category. Use one recipe from each category every week for six weeks.
In the upcoming weeks, I’ll give you a series of categories and sample meals for each. I’ve tried to keep them mostly healthy, though there are a few splurges. I also use the same veggie side dish (when there aren’t a lot of veggies in the main dish) for each category to keep it simple. You should mix and match as you like, and adapt them to fit the likes and dislikes of your own family.
Monday – Boiling
- Spaghetti with tomato sauce, salad and garlic bread
- Chili, with chips and avacados
- Potato Soup, salad
- Farfalle and broccoli with pesto, salad, italian bread
- Chicken noodle soup, salad
- Linguine with olive oil, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes, salad
Tuesday – Grilling (grill sandwiches on the stovetop and use the real grill for the other stuff. Or a grill pan if it’s too cold out)
- Grilled ham and swiss sandwich, roasted carrots
- Burgers, roasted carrots
- Grilled cheese with bacon sandwich, roasted carrots
- Steak (get a bigger cut, like NY strip and serve 1/2 per person. It will be plenty), roasted carrots
- Grilled salami and mozzarella sandwich, roasted carrots
- Pork chops, roasted carrots
Wednesday – Oven roasted or Crockpot
- Pork roast, apple/sweet potato sauce
- Beef Stew, apple/sweet potato sauce
- Pintos, apple/sweet potato sauce
- Beef brisket, apple/sweet potato sauce
- Lentils, apple/sweet potato sauce
- Whole roasted chicken, , apple/sweet potato sauce
Thursday – Baking
- Meatloaf with mashed potatoes
- Pepperoni Pizza
- Potatoes au gratin, with beef
- Southwest Chicken Casserole
- Mexican pizzas
- Macaroni and cheese
Friday – Sauteeing