Meal planning can be one of the hardest things to do every week as a mom. Because we are so busy, it really is the only way to successfuly prepare healthy home-made meals. If you are looking for some ready-made meal plans and easy to make recipes, I would love to help you!
This is my meal plan for the week ahead:
Monday: Baked Mac & Cheese
This dish is SO delish, my husband eats 1/2 lb himself (and he is major picky). I use Cabot Extra Sharp paired with an aged cheddar, like Cabot Farmhouse Reserve. We have the Cabot Cheese Factory in Quechee, VT only 45 minutes from us, so we stock up on our favorites during our visit.
- 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- 2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni, cook for 8 – 9 minutes. Strain and set aside.
- 3. In a heavy-bottomed large pot over medium heat, melt the butter.
- 4. Sprinkle the flour, white pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper over the melted butter, whisking until smooth.
- 5. Stir in the milk 1/2 cup at a time ( feel free to eyeball it ), only adding the next half cup once the previous one has been incorporated entirely.
- 6. Add all of the medium cheddar cheese and half of the extra sharp cheddar cheese, stir into the milk/flour sauce until melted. Stir in the macaroni.
- 7. Pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Top with the remaining extra sharp cheddar cheese.
- 8. Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes.
Tuesday: Chicken Quesadillas + Applesauce
This dish is so easy to make, and a real crowd pleaser. I like to pair it with applesauce or sweet potato fries. Tip: for an easier time shredding your chicken, boil it!
2 chicken breasts
10 medium tortilla wraps
Tex-Mex cheese blend (to liking)
Salt, Pepper, Lawry’s Seasoning
1. Boil 2 chicken breasts about 30 mins, then shred
2. Place tortilla in pan, layer cheese then chicken then 2nd tortilla. Flip once tortilla is crispy. Remove once other side is crispy.
Wednesday: Left Overs/Pick Your Own Meal
Once a week, I designate a day that Emma can choose something she wants to eat and make independently. She often chooses chicken patty sandwich with mozz sticks, or hot dogs and that’s fine with me! She is rather picky, and is a really good sport on the other days when she eats healthier options. Curt, Calvin and I will usually eat something from the weekend or earlier in the week to have zero waste.
Thursday: Shrimp Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
With only 20 minutes and 5 ingredients, this dish is one of my favorites to make. I’ll substitute the shrimp for mushrooms once in awhile too!
10 oz baby shrimp
3 tablespoons olive oil (approx)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 tablespoon chopped Parsley
1/4 cup Parm cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
- Boil spaghetti according to box until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water.
- Heat olive oil in a pan and add garlic. Saute the garlic on a low flame till fragrant. Add chilli flakes and add the shrimp. Cook the shrimp for 3-4 minutes. Add pasta water to the pan and bring to a boil.
- When the pasta water has reduced a little and thickened into a sauce (about 2 minutes), add the drained pasta and toss in the sauce. Add the parsley and parmesan and mix everything. Serve immediately.
Friday: Cast Iron Tortilla Pizza
Normally, pizza night involves making dough (or thawing). This recipe takes all of 10 minutes, and is so delicious. Plus, cooking in a cast iron skillet provides a dose of iron!
1 teaspoon olive oil (or oil of your choice)
1 10-inch whole grain tortilla
1/4 cup pizza sauce
1 cup shredded Mozz cheese
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
Pepperoni or toppings of choice to taste
1. Heat oil in cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, remove from heat, add the tortilla. Spread the sauce, add cheese and toppings.
2. Place in broiler for 2-3 mins until cheese melts
Because we are becoming master budgeters – each week, Curt and I treat our family to take-out! This is usually Chinese, Italian, or American food. Whatever we’re in the mood for.
Sunday: Sunday Sauce
This is one is a classic. The aroma that fills my house every Sunday brings me back to Grandma’s house in my childhood. The best way to prepare this is to start around 10-11 because the longer the meats are allowed to melt together, the more savory the sauce will taste. We will have leftover meatballs for sandwiches every Monday for lunch.
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb meatballs
- 2-3 sticks pepperoni
- 1 pound Italian sweet sausage
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint, divided
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil, divided
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, divided
- 2 6-ounce cans tomato paste
- 2 28-ounce cans crushed good quality tomato such as Cento or Pastene
- 5 cups of water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black
- Make raw meatballs and roll into 12 even balls.
- In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat ¼ cup of the olive oil over medium to medium high heat and brown all meat in three batches (except meatballs). Each batch should take about 3-4 minutes on each side. Do not crowd pan. As each batch is browned on both sides, remove to a platter.
- Add the remaining olive oil to the pan drippings and add onions, garlic, half of mint, half of basil and half of the red pepper flakes. Cook about three minutes or until onions are transparent scraping up all brown bits from the bottom.
- Add tomato paste and stir to combine. Add canned tomatoes and the water. Add salt and pepper and stir. Stir in the other half of the mint, basil and pepper flakes.
- Add the cooked meat back in along with any juices collected from the platter and stir into the sauce.
- Gently place the meatballs over the top, spooning a little gravy over them and gently push them into the gravy.
- Get the heat to a medium simmer, cover and cook for one hour, occasionally making sure nothing sticks to the bottom with a large wooden spoon.
- After an hour, spoon out the meatballs and cook the gravy for an additional hour uncovered.
- After the full two hours, collect the fat that pools at the top and discard. Just before the meat is fully cooked, add the meatballs back in. Easier to spoon the fat off the top before placing the meatballs back in.
- Serve over spaghetti with a nice crusty Italian bread and grated Parmesan cheese.
So that’s what we are eating this week! Share in the comments what your favorites are Xoxo