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A Week of Meal Planning Made Easy

One of the most common New Years resolutions for many Americans is to lose weight or otherwise improve their health. I’m sure this is true for mamas, too! However, many people tend to lose their momentum in keeping up with this resolutions by the time February rolls around. It’s easy to feel motivated and fired up at the beginning of a new year, but it’s difficult to keep up that strong desire to change when life gets busy and it’s easier to fall into your old habits.

In the spirit of keeping up with our New Years resolutions for the entirety of 2018, I thought I’d share 5 days worth of my favorite easy, healthy-ish dinner recipes that my whole family enjoys. For me, one of the hardest parts of staying on track throughout the week with a healthy diet is finding the time on the weekends to meal plan, so I’m here to take the guess work out of it for you! I tend to meal plan for Sunday through Thursday because Friday night is typically pizza night in our house (because let’s face it, who really has the energy to cook on Friday night?) and then we usually eat leftovers or go out on Saturday. I hope you enjoy–please let me know what you think if you decide to try out any of these dishes!

Sunday: Instant Pot Turkey Stuffed Peppers. When I’m doing my meal planning for the week, I try to choose one of my more time-intensive recipes to make on Sunday when I don’t have to fight the after work/daycare pick up rush before I can get dinner going. These stuffed peppers take a little prep work, but then you throw them in the Instant Pot and they are totally hands off until dinner is ready. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, the recipe also includes instructions for a Dutch oven. As a side note, I make these with extra lean ground beef because my husband refuses to eat ground turkey. Such a shame.

Mom Hack: I enjoyed one of my leftover peppers with 2 fried eggs for breakfast the next day. My Whole 30 experience taught me that you can think of breakfast as “first meal” and eat non-traditional foods at breakfast time. This was SO great with an egg on top.

Monday: Buffalo Chicken N’ Rice What’s not to love about this dish? It’s so simple to throw together (the rice cooks in the casserole, which is so much better than having to cook it beforehand) and it’s full of comfort food flavor–but it’s relatively low calorie. Serve this up with a side salad and you’re good to go. 

Mom Hack: Prep this the night before and just store it in the fridge until it’s time to cook. This recipe calls for pre-cooked chicken, so I throw some in the crockpot in the morning and let it cook on low all day when I know I’m making this dish

Tuesday: Sloppy Joes! I’m all about quick and easy on week nights, and these sandwiches fit the bill! We love to put a tiny bit of Tabasco sauce in ours just before serving. We go ahead and dish out servings for the kids, and then spice up the remainder for ourselves!

Mom Hack: You can lighten up this recipe a bit by using ground turkey or extra lean ground beef. Consider choosing whole wheat buns or bypass the bun altogether and eat these on a baked potato or sweet potato.  Bonus–Sloppy Joes make great leftovers for lunch the next day!

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls. I try to plan at least one crockpot meal during the week because I know it gives me a reprieve from having to cook when I get home from a busy day at work. This recipe is the best kind of crockpot meal–just dump and go, no pre-cooking required.

Mom Hack: My 3-year-old loves to eat this with tortilla chips on the side. I taught her to use the chips to scoop her burrito bowl and she thinks that is the coolest thing ever. Whatever it takes to get the main dish into my pick little eater works for me!

Thursday: Cashew Chicken. If you are anything like me, by Thursday night your mind is on the weekend and you are craving junk food. This recipe is good enough that it can help curb a craving for Chinese takeout without blowing your diet goals. Serve it up with some rice and we love to put Dole’s Asian Chopped Salad (available in a bag at most groceries) on the side as well. 

Mom Hack: If you take the time to chop your chicken and veggies the night before, this will come together much more quickly on Thursday night. Since Wednesday night’s dinner is a crockpot meal with no evening prep required, you’ll have extra time to start getting things ready for Thursday.

I hope you and your family enjoy these healthy and delicious recipes! If you have a favorite family-friendly recipe, please share in the comments–we are always looking for new things to try!



One Response to A Week of Meal Planning Made Easy

  1. Leslie
    Leslie February 14, 2018 at 1:54 pm #

    These are all great ideas! That mom-hack for the turkey stuffed peppers with fried egg sounds AH-MAZING!!