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Make It Simple Mommy

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Make It Simple Mommy: This Weeks Meal Plan (5/15-5/21)…

In my post Six Tips To Revolutionize Your Family Dinner I made a point to mention the importance of a meal plan. So, to keep myself accountable, and to hopefully inspire you, I am posting our meal plan each week.

This week, swim team practice begins…in the evening…right during our normal dinner time. I usually like to grill a lot this time of year, but with swim practice I will be relying on make ahead meals and my slow cooker. I’m keeping it pretty simple this week as we are limping along toward the end of school, and we are all pretty burned out.

Monday: Meatless Monday – pasta spirals, marinara sauce, parmesan and mozzarella cheese in the crock pot. In order to make this work, and have the pasta cook you need to add a cup (or so) of water (or beef/chicken broth). I’ll also serve a tossed garden salad with vinaigrette dressing.

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday!! Taco Salads: crumbled tortilla chips topped with seasoned ground beef (or shredded chicken), lettuce, black olives, sliced avocado/guacamole, shredded cheese, plain Greek yogurt (in place of sour cream) and Pico de Gallo from our favorite local Mexican restaurant. I love this salad because everyone can modify as they see fit.

Wednesday: Ranch Chicken (chicken tenderloins rolled in ranch dressing or ranch spices to lighten it up a bit then rolled in panko style breadcrumbs and baked) with greenbeans and roasted potatoes ( I will do mac&cheese with peas for the kiddos, as their like/dislike for green beans and potatoes seems to vary daily). I’ll make this all ahead and put it in the crock pot to stay warm.

Thursday: Sloppy cheese burgers (brown ground beef, make a cheese sauce with butter, flour, a little broth, a bit of mustard and cheese) add pickles and sauted mushrooms. Serve on a bun (or not) with fries, and a salad. (This can be made on the stove or slow cook)

Friday: Pizza and antipasto salad from our favorite local pizzeria.

I shopped prior to doing my meal plan this week, but I did have an idea of what I wanted to make prior to going to the store.

If you want to know any more specifics on any of our dinners (or need a specific recipe) drop a comment below, I would be happy to share or point you in the right direction to find a specific recipe. I get a lot of ideas from Pinterest and adapt them to work fro our family. If you would like to follow me on Pinterest click here.

Have a great week and make it simple mommy!

Cathleen

Make It Simple Mommy: 6 Tips to Revolutionize Your Family Dinner

Isn’t it funny how a perfectly delightful day can turn into sheer chaos resulting in tears and frustration between the hours of 4 – 6:30? I was well aware of “the witching hour” from our baby days, and it appears that this will continue for the foreseeable future. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have started to make dinner and instead thrown my hands up into the air and ordered takeout. This is frustrating for two reasons: first, we have unnecessarily spent on two dinners, and second, I always end up consuming many more calories with takeout food than I would have if I cooked at home. I don’t know how things work around your house, but around here all too often dinner time meltdowns turn into bedtime meltdowns resulting in an overall unhappy ending to the day.

Easy dinner! Quesadillas with lettuce, salsa, guacamole, and black olives on the side.

I have started using these 6 easy steps to simplify dinner, and (as long as I stick to them) our meal times are down right enjoyable, pleasant, and we even talk about all the stuff and ask all the questions parents are supposed to ask at the dinner table!

 

Six Ways To Simplify Your Dinners

1. Meal Plan – This can be done 1 of 2 ways: plan your meals then shop or shop and plan meals based on what you bought. 10 -15 minutes of planning can save you from hours of frustration.

2. Keep your meals simple with as few steps as possible – Try to keep your recipes to 5 ingredients or less. Use ingredients you routinely have on hand, so unplanned grocery store runs are not needed. Making intricate dishes with a multitude of steps and ingredients is both challenging and stressful (even more so when your child announces at the dinner table they are no longer eating one of the key ingredients of the dish). Save these recipes for at home date nights.

3. Plan ahead – Making a chicken dish? Remember to thaw your chicken the night before. There is little more stressful than realizing at noon, the meat you want for dinner is hanging out in the deep freeze (or worse, trying to do a “quick thaw” and creating questionable poultry). This is especially easy if you have done your meal planning, you know exactly what you need and when you will need it.

From pot to plate, with a little planning dinner can be simple AND enjoyable!

4. If at all possible put together you dinner in the morning or early afternoon – Evenings tend to be so crazy, having this step out of the way and just being able to pop dinner in the oven/instant pot, or out of the crock pot makes life so much easier.

5. Create An Easy Dinners Recipe File – Whether it is on your computer, tablet, or a good old fashioned index card, these are helpful when you are stuck in your meal planning and sick of the same old dinners.

6. If you have picky eaters, make sure your meal includes 1 thing that they are willing to eat – This may be something as simple as peas or macaroni and cheese, but it keeps the please eat SOMETHING, or just 1 bite frustration to a minimum. It may not be the most nutritious meal your child eats all day, but a full tummy at bed time counts for something right? Simple Tip: Try a Fred & Friends Dinner Winner Plate to encourage your kiddo to eat to the sweet treat at the finish line.

Picky Eater? Try this fun plate!

I’ll be sharing our meal plans along and along. With a bit of luck, it will keep me on task and hopefully help you come up with some quick, easy and simple dinner ideas. In the mean time, if you have any simple dinner ideas to share, please leave a comment below, I would love to hear your tips, simple recipes, or suggestions for picky eaters.

Thanks for reading, and make it simple!

Cathleen

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