I am by no means an expert in this subject, but I thought it might be helpful to share how I go about planning our meals for the week.
1. If I come across a recipe on a blog or pinterest, etc., I go ahead and print it out and set it aside.
2. On Thursday or Friday I look at the recipes I have collected and decide which ones I want to make. Then I fill in the gaps with any meals I have been craving or think that the kids would actually eat.
3. I plan for 4 dinners. This leaves leftovers for one night during the week. We usually eat out on Friday and Saturday night.
4. I list a few snack ideas for school and after school.
5. I have been trying to make one batch of soup each week for an easy lunch. I try to make this on Sunday.
6. I have also been making a healthy-ish treat to have on hand for the kids. The kids feel like they are getting something special and I don't feel guilty about giving it to them. I also try to make this on Saturday or Sunday.
7. I plan for easier meals on the days I know we have an activity like Tae Kwon Do. If possible I go ahead and make an extra meal on a night I am not as busy, so we can just grab and go or warm it up and eat.
8. Once I have my plan, I make a grocery list.
I will admit that this is a ton of work, but so far it has been so worth it. It is so nice to come home from work and not think about what I am going to make.
Here are some of our favorite recipes from the last few weeks:
Orange Slow Cooker Chicken- Mitch added hot sauce to it to off set the sweetness. The kids ate it so I am calling it a success.
Nut Butter Brownies- not necessarily healthy, but definitely yummy
White Bean and Kale Stew from The Vegan Slow Cooker
Totally Addictive Cornbread- Yummy and gluten free and dairy free
Spicy Lentil Collard Wraps- I used brown rice instead of bulgar wheat because it is what I had on hand.
Blueberry Banana Pie Vegan Overnight Oats- We all love these oats. I have made 2 batches now. I was skeptical about cold oats, but let me tell you these are REALLY good. The batch lasts for a few days, so you can have breakfast for several mornings.
I am sure there are more, but these are the ones that are standing out.