Way back in 2017 when I was a newlywed, I began really planning out our meals to take some of the thinking off of my plate each evening. I started out making a monthly menu and would plan an entire month at a time. Those pages became the BEST reference when I was planning a new menu and needed an idea.
The past couple of years, I haven’t been as good at planning an entire month at a time, but I do plan a week at a time. Something else I have always done that helps me plan is to make theme nights. The idea came to me from my husband actually. They ALWAYS ate tacos on Thursday nights when he was growing up. So guess what we usually eat on Thursday?
Having one night that had a theme worked out wonderfully for us, so I decided to give each night a theme.
Sunday night: snack/easy
Tuesday: Protein & veggie combo (think grilled chicken + veggies or even a protein packed bowl like Chipotle)
Wednesday: easy meal (think sheet pan supper, crock pot dinner, sandwiches, etc.)
Friday: Eat out or leftovers
I also plan out one lunch for the week and healthy snacks to have on hand. I’ve found that one designated lunch is just enough because there are always leftovers available, but sometimes you just want something different. And now that I’m working from home, having healthy snacks readily available are going to become a necessity.
Otherwise, I’m grabbing Extra Toasty Cheez-Its or White Cheddar baked Cheetos every single time.
Something to note: I never cook on Saturday or Sunday afternoons. Those days are reserved for family time. We are so lucky and live within a few miles of everyone in Reagan’s immediate family and we typically get together on those days to hang out and eat. If we don’t get together on a Saturday, I usually make some sort of dip (because I decided YEARS ago that we love dips, so I wasn’t limiting myself to only having them around the holidays) and if we don’t get together on a Sunday afternoon, we’ll go out for lunch. I also know that this menu schedule is meant to work for me and my family. Nobody is stuck to it – it is just there to help guide me as I look for meals and filter through hundreds of recipes. I will gladly swap one of those themes out for a soup day if the temperature drops below 60 in Texas. GLADLY.
So, what’s on the menu this week?
I’m not really good at playing the lets-use-what-we-already-have game, but this week I desperately needed to play. There are meals in my freezer from when I meal prepped before baby that I still haven’t used and need to get them out of the freezer before they go bad.
If you want to know all about the big meal prep I do to stock up the freezer, you can click here to read my blog post and get some recipes!
Week of January 9, 2022:
Sunday night: Buffalo chicken wraps
- I just winged this one (winged lol get it?)
- Air fry some Tyson buffalo strips and then cut into bites (or keep as strips, totally a preference thing). On a burrito sized tortilla add ranch dressing, romaine lettuce, Tyson chicken, shredded cheese (we used sharp cheddar), and shredded carrots. Serve with celery and ranch on the side!
Monday: Chicken Parmesan with spaghetti and garlic bread
- This chicken parm recipe is a freezer favorite over here. For spaghetti, I’m keeping it simple and just using a jar of my favorite marinara that has some hidden veggies in it.
Tuesday: Beef enchiladas with Spanish rice, avocado on the side
- Y’ALL THESE ENCHILADAS. Holy yum. I double the recipe and it makes about 2 1/2 dozen which is enough for us to eat 3 times – the day I make them we eat a pan and then I freeze the rest in two separate pans for dinners later.
Wednesday: King Ranch Chicken
- We may eat this on Wednesday, we may just freeze it since we’re having Mexican on Tuesday & Thursday. I already have the ingredients and need to use them before they go bad, so I’m putting this meal here and will decide on Wednesday what we’re going to do. Backup plan (if we don’t want KRC) is something simple like a grilled cheese + tomato soup night. TBD.
Thursday: tacos & tostadas
- Every other week I cook anywhere from 3-5 pounds of ground beef. We eat half of it that night (some is saved for leftovers to make taco bowls) and the other half I freeze to use the next time we eat tacos.
- I don’t really follow a recipe when making my own taco seasoning. I choose my favorite seasonings (chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, cumin, salt and then whatever else I’m feeling) and eyeball how much.
Friday: take out/leftovers
Lunches: Chicken Spaghetti
- This is also hanging out in the freezer and Reagan doesn’t really love it, so he’s eating leftovers + a salad for lunches and I’m eating this instead of saving it for a dinner.
Snacks: leftover celery from Sunday night with peanut butter, apples, strawberries, cheese snacks
That’s it! Super simple week ahead of us and I love that for me because my to-do list feels endless and I’ve had a sick baby for a few days now. Let me know if you make any of the recipes!
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