My Family Dinner Menus – Week beginning April 15, 2017

#MomsDinnerHacks #MomsSavingTime #LessDishesForMommy #KidFriendlyFood

You’ve come to expect relatively easy, fast, budget and kid-friendly dinner menus from me.  However, this week’s menu isn’t quite that.   It took on a life of it’s own due to the Easter holiday and Shad Roe season.

Typically, even on the weekends I cook main dishes that are pretty healthy, wallet and kid-palate friendly (i.e. Chicken and Pork versus Lamb and Shad Roe).  Still, despite the switch up from our normal routine, I managed to make one meal for the family each night!

If you haven’t read my previous posts about the whole system, here’s a quick review of where the time savings comes in:

  • Basic, flexible formula for a healthy meal each night.
  • A set of quick turnaround ‘go-to’ proteins, grains and veggies that work during the week (30 minutes or less).
  • Always have a set of plan B staples in the pantry and freezer.
  • Smart use of leftovers and weekend meals that feed my family at least twice.

Although this menu requires more effort, my family enjoyed the special holiday meals and my children especially loved the addition of cake to our weekend line up.

If you try any of these recipes or the whole menu, please leave a comment and let me know!

Normally, I start off the weekends with a 2X (feeds the family twice meal) however, my husband had a schedule change and the Shad Roe I bought to surprise him with on Friday night had to wait until Saturday.

Shad Roe has a very short season (a few weeks each year) and is a very strange looking yet delicious delicacy. So, I kicked off the weekend with Shad Roe grain bowls for the grown ups and a ‘deconstructed’ vegetarian grain bowl for the kids.

Saturday (1X meal – feeds your family one time)

  • Shad roe ‘grain bowls’ with lemon, capers and garlic sauce, over ver cous cous, arugula & zucchini.
  • Plus carrots & grape tomatoes for the kids
Shad Roe Grain Bowls plus Veggie Kids Meal
Shad Roe grain bowls + veggie plates for the kids.

Sunday (Easter Menu) – (3 – 4X, feeds your family 3 to 4 times meal)

Easter and most holidays I typically will go ‘all out’ with a menu that everyone will enjoy and remember.  This year, we didn’t host guests so I was able to take things at an easier pace.

Easy Cream Biscuits!
Spiced, butterflied leg of lamb


  • Spiced roast leg of lamb:  I’ve made an incredible ‘special occasion’ butterflied leg of lamb for many years now and have varied how I cook and present it quite a bit.  The original recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated and you can find it online here.
  • Roasted mashed sweet potato
  • Oven-baked sugar snap peas with mushrooms.   Follow my basic recipe, which takes about 3 – 5 minutes and add about a 1/2 a cup of sliced mushrooms with the snap peas.
  • Plus cut carrots & cucumbers for the kids.
  • Easy Cream Biscuits.  I happened to have them in the freezer ready to go.  Seriously I didn’t make the batter over the weekend when I had a lot of other baking to do.  This recipe, however, is incredibly easy and fast — not to mention freezer friendly.  I have the Baking Illustrated cookbook, by America’s Test Kitchen.  You can also find this recipe online here.
  • Chocolate & Vanilla Layer Cake for dessert.

Again not my typical weekend treat making, however I asked my children what they wanted for holiday dessert and this was it.  My son became fixated on this combination of having both a chocolate and vanilla cake, at the same time, covered with chocolate frosting a couple of years ago and it’s become the standard for his birthday cake.  My youngest, well she (mostly) wants what her brother wants so both kids were happy.

I bake twice most weekends, bread for my oldest’s lunches and pancakes on Sunday. I love to bake, however it’s time consuming and I make exceptions only when I’m really in a baking mood (often) or we’re stuck in the house, or it’s a holiday.

Monday (2X feeds your family twice meal)

Normally I would have made this on Saturday, but my husband shifted the schedule.   I had already prepped this over the weekend and just kept it marinating in the fridge until Monday.  It’s super easy – about 10 minutes of prep ahead of time and then just roasts in the oven.

Make Ahead, Lemony Harissa Chicken
Love this super-quick to pull together make ahead chicken dish.

Tuesday – Lamb redux (1X serves your family one time).

This time, served over Cous Cous (leftover from Saturday night) or you could pair this nicely with pasta.

With Tomato, Cucumber & Carrot Salad

Wednesday (1X serves your family one time).

  • You guessed it, Part 2 of Monday’s Lemony Harissa Chicken. This time served as just cut up chicken for the kids with fresh vegetables (cucumber, carrots and tomatoes) with same vegetables served over an arugula salad for us.

Thursday (2X feeds your family twice)

  • Brazilian stye chicken & rice.  One of my weekday staples.  This recipe is flexible (i.e. can vary the veggies included or used with the leftovers), fast (from the time I start to when it’s ready is usually 25 minutes) and satisfying for the whole family.  I keep chicken thighs as one of my staples in the freezer and always have ingredients on hand to make this at any time.
Picture of Brazilian chicken & yellow rice plated.
Brazilian chicken & rice plated.

Friday (1X feeds your family twice)

Enjoy the menus!  I hope your holidays were fabulous. If you hosted, what did you cook? Please leave a comment!

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