Meal planning 101

Plan your meals. You don’t need to have an endless repertoire of recipes. Kids actually crave repetition.  Come up with a handful of recipes that you LOVE and make them OFTEN. These should be meals that are easy to prepare full of foods you crave and can eat again and again. If you’re suffering from recipe fatigue try something new until you find 5 or 6 recipes that you actually look forward to eating and don’t mind cooking! We usually plan our meals for the week on Sunday. Having a weekly framework can be helpful, such as:

Meatball Monday Meatballs are a timeless classic. They make a great first food for the tiny humans in your life because they’re easy to grab with little hands. You can take meatballs in so many different directions. Classic with pasta and sauce. Moroccan with roast veggies. Simply changing up your protein is a great way to get some variety without reinventing the whole meal. We usually use organic ground turkey or grass-fed beef, but pretty much any quality ground meat will do. We’ve also tried bison & ostrich just to mix it up!

Taco Tuesday Tacos are so versatile and fun. Some nights we do short rib, chicken, veggie. The possibilities are endless. The great thing about taco night is that it offers so much flexibility with the leftovers. You can serve your taco filling over greens, rice, or in a tortilla / lettuce cup. Tacos never get boring or old and the best part is obviously the GAUC!

Roast Chicken Wednesday  Hump day can be difficult even at the best of times. We like to plan our easiest dish to help beat those middle of the week blues. Whether we pick up a roast chicken from Whole Foods and make a bunch of sides or cook up an easy chicken dish. The secret to finding simple recipes is to consider the prep time, not the actual cooking time. Once the chicken is roasting in the oven you can build towers, clean or deal with whatever life demands!

Seafood & Sides on Thursday We are suckers for salmon. Joel loves the skin and covers the salmon in Everything Bagel Seasoning from TJs. Whatever gets him eating those Omega 3s. Am I right? We usually make salmon with roasted sweet potato and superfood salad (recipe coming soon! it’s a winner)

Frittata Friday  Mark is a wizard when it comes to eggs. Scrambled, poached, hard boiled or baked – they always taste magical. His frittata is pretty basic – 10 eggs, onion, rainbow chard. It always disappears like magic too!

Super Saturday Experiments We’ll be the first to admit that we’re very boring and cook the same meals over and over again. We switch up our menu somewhat seasonally and often revisit old favorites. When we’re not feeling creative it’s usually BURGERS! When we do experiment with new recipes it’s never on a “school night” and almost always with a nice bottle of wine and some groovy tunes.

Sunday Night Sausages Ah the humble sausage! Bangers and mash is a favorite from our London days. Pre-Joel we used to cook them on the stovetop, but these days Mark just bangs them in the oven and roasts them for about 35 mins at 400F. We mix up the sides, but maple roasted brussel sprouts are a standard favorite!

There’s no need to be militant about your meal plan. All hell doesn’t break loose ff we decide to have meatballs on a Tuesday instead of a Monday. The point is to have a handful of recipes that you rotate regularly.  You’ll get really good at cooking those specific dishes and find creative ways to mix it up!

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