#MomsDinnerHacks #MomsSavingTime #KidFriendlyFood
I shared my ‘weekly dinner blueprint’, explaining the ‘daily dinner hack’ I’ve used for over a year to save at least one or two hours of time each week cooking family dinners and I’ve received several requests for more sample menus and recipes.
I’m delighted to share more, because after all, food is my favorite hobby!
The menu below is what I’ve been cooking this week. Once you learn the basics of the plan—what to keep in your pantry and freezer, what sized meals to make on the weekend vs. weeknights, you’ll find it surprisingly easy to ‘cook this way’ instinctively. I’ve documented my steps, but now I rarely cook with recipes, unless I’m experimenting with something new.
Most of the recipes are my personal recipes, however, there are a couple of dishes where I’ve linked to excellent recipes online from sources I trust that mirror the cooking processes I follow.
I like to ‘start’ the week of meals on a Saturday when I have more time to cook a ‘2X – feed my family twice’ meal and also grocery shop if I haven’t had time during the week (which happens often).
What we’re eating for dinner this week:
- Saturday (2X ‘feeds your family twice’ meal)
- Lemon & Rosemary Roast Chicken (stuffed with garlic, lemons & herbs)
- Mashed Sweet Potato with Rosemary
- Sautéed Peas & Baby Spinach. (Toss with a little extra olive oil and 3 or 4 thinly sliced basil leaves for the grown-up servings)
- Sunday (Another 2 X ‘feeds your family twice’ meal)
- Lasagna with spinach, sausage & basil
- Steamed Sugar Snap Peas (in the oven)
- Monday (Saturday meal part 2 – leftover roasted chicken + bonus use for some of the chicken stock, if you made some from Saturday’s roast chicken).
- Sweet potato & corn soup (with bone broth from the chicken you roasted Saturday if you’ve made it…no judgment if you haven’t). Served as soup for the grown-ups, the veggies are skimmed using a slotted spoon and presented ‘on the side’ for the kids/non-soup eaters in your home).
- Roast chicken pieces – warmed in the soup for a few minutes (easy, no extra dish needed), skimmed from the soup with a slotted spoon, cut into chunks and served ‘on the side’ for the kids. Serve chicken in the soup for the grown ups or over a simple salad (spinach leaves, tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette and capers).
- Tuesday – (Sunday meal, take 2)
- Lasagna redux
- Cut grape tomatoes, cucumbers (I’m in love with the little organic Persian cucumbers at Trader Joe’s right now) and carrots served ‘on the side’ for the kids (serve the same veggies over baby spinach leaves w/balsamic vinaigrette & a few pitted Kalamata olives thrown on top for the grown-ups)
- Wednesday – Quick 1X meal (serves your family one time)
- If there’s still more chicken from Saturday, use the remaining leftover chicken for burritos for grown-ups & serve cheese/hummus quesadillas + chicken & veg on the side for the kids.
- If there’s no more chicken, use sautéed ground turkey to stuff the burritos (warm olive oil in a wide saucepan over medium high heat, add ground turkey and season with cumin, a dash of paprika, turmeric, a little orange juice, salt, pepper, garlic. Stir until it’s cooked all of the way through, about 8 – 12 minutes.)
- Thursday – Quick 1X meal (serves your family one time)
- Pork tenderloin over cous cous, with sautéed-frozen corn & frozen peas on the side (dressed up with a handful of baby spinach leaves, and rinsed grape tomatoes — drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil & salt/pepper to taste at the last minute).
- Friday – (1X weeknight quick meal – feeds your family once.)
- Roasted whole fish – with potatoes, lemon and zucchini.
- Wheat bread toasted and spread with hummus for the kids.
- Warm pea and zucchini salad.
I’d love your thoughts. Do you typically cook with recipes or from memory? Again, the goal here is to make home made, healthy meals you feel happy about while also streamlining the amount of time you spend preparing, shopping, cooking and cleaning up the aftermath.
If you try anything from this menu, please let me know in the comments how it worked out for you or if you have any questions.
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