Meal Plan Monday…and Something New!

Hi Friends!  I hope you had a nice, restful weekend!  We got out of the house and walked around our sweet little local downtown area, and went to the most precious new children’s bookstore that is pretty much the best children’s bookstore ever.  But more about that later this week.  Today, as I do each Monday, I’m sharing our meal plan for the week!

If you’re not familiar with my blog, I LOVE meal planning for our family and post our plan for the week every Monday.  I am totally a planner, and so meal planning is right up my alley, but more importantly, meal planning helps me save money at the grocery store (I shop for the week each Sunday) by having a real plan and not just buying on impulse or without a good idea of the meals I want to make for dinner each week.  Also, I meal plan, so, duh, I know what we’re going to eat for dinner each night!  At all costs I try to avoid opening the fridge at 6pm and not knowing what we’re going to eat for dinner.  That is just too much stress at an already stressful time of day!  I buy 6 meals for the week (I leave one night open for leftovers, or eating out, or sending Scott to the store for steaks or something special and spontaneous), but don’t assign each meal to a specific night (for the most part- I do decide on easy meals like pizza or crockpot meals for busy nights that we have activities), so we can still kinda of choose which meal we feel like on each night.

So that’s how and why I typically do my meal planning.  But this week, I have added something new!  Since I am a stay at home/work from home mama, I am home during lunchtime pretty much every day.  I have noticed that I do that one thing every day at lunchtime that my dinner meal planning helps me avoid at 6pm every night– I open the fridge, stare inside, and have no idea what I want to make/eat for lunch!  Every day!  I am sick of not having some good, healthy lunch options, so I am going to add lunches to my weekly meal plan.  I have decided that I am going to add one large salad recipe, and one soup recipe to my weekly meal plan to make for my lunches.  So I made this week’s lunch recipes last night, before I cooked dinner, and portioned them out for lunches throughout the week.  I already make Brantley and Grayson’s lunches for the week all on Sunday afternoon (I loathe making lunches in the morning while trying to make breakfasts too and get everyone out the door, and don’t mind making them at all when I am not under a time restraint!) and it works out so very well (I’m also going to start premaking Ben’s as well!), so why not go ahead and make my lunches too.  That way, each day I’m home during the week, I’ll grab my soup or salad, have a quick and easy lunch, and no digging through the produce drawer trying to piece a salad together, or setting for a peanut butter sandwich again.

SO!  With all that being said…here’s what we’re eating for dinner this week:

Crock Pot Smothered Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, and Green Beans

Sometimes you just need a little warm comfort food.  A friend of mine posted these pork chops on Facebook last week, and I just thought they sounded so good.  Plus, I think Scott will really like them, and mashed potatoes and green beans are favorites of the kids.  I think this meal is going to be a real winner.

Pepperoni Pizza Spaghetti Squash Bowls and Caesar Salad

So, I told you last week about my obsession with squash.  I know, however, that my kids (and Scott too, TBH) will need a bit of convincing to give spaghetti squash a try.  I am thinking that if I top it with marinara, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni, that I’ll have some converts!  Worst case– they all like Caesar salads. 🙂

Blackened Tilapia, Rice, Broccoli, and Squash

Tilapia is super, super easy to make when you just sprinkle it with blackening seasoning and bake it in the oven for 15-20 minutes.  While it bakes, I’ll make the rice, steam the broccoli, and saute the squash, and dinner will be ready in less than 30 minutes.  And BONUS- it’s healthy!

Chicken Taco Salad

The Pioneer Woman never lets me down.  I have a lot of leftovers that will be added into this salad.  Leftover roasted chicken, corn and tomatoes will all find their way into this dinner salad that I am really excited about.  I think the kids will love the salsa-ranch dressing!

Cabbage and Kielbasa Skillet with Honey Butter Roasted Carrots

Sauteed cabbage and sausage is an easy and cheap dinner, and for as simple as it is, it is SO GOOD.  And this recipe for roasted carrots is pretty much the only way my family will eat cooked carrots now.  They are sweet and savory, and a great side dish.

Zuppa Tuscana and Garlic Bread

This Olive Garden copy-cat soup recipe just screams fall to me.  Sausage, kale, and potatoes, and a hunk of garlic bread?  I can’t wait to try this out.

So that covers what we’ll be eating for dinners this week!  And these are the recipes I’ll be whipping up for myself, for lunches:

Cauliflower Soup 

I am a huge fan of cauliflower soup, and am excited about having it for lunch this week!  I was able to portion out about 4 bowls-worth of soup!

Brussels Sprouts, Quinoa, and Cranberry Salad

I made this as a side dish a while back and loved it.  I used my Apple Cider Vinaigrette that was leftover from my Chicken, Kale, and Butternut Squash Salad last week, and it’s the perfect dressing for all the flavors in the salad.

That about covers it!  What will you be eating this week?!

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