As a busy Mom, I know how difficult it can be to get a home cooked meal on the table. If you’re like me, you’re busy but you also take pride in fixing a nice dinner for your family. No matter who cooks dinner (Mom or Dad), a little preparation goes a long way. To avoid frustration and cutdown on the “afternoon meltdown” (“What’s for dinner?, When will it be ready?, I’m hungry”) madness, one process that has helped me a ton is meal planning.
I actually do this process one week at a time. (I’ve tried to meal plan for more than one week but have chosen to stick with one week.) Listen – it allows me to stay on budget and start cooking right away in the evenings. Occasionally, I forget things and have to go (or send my husband) to the grocery store but overall meal planning is a lifesaver. So, what’s for dinner this week? Well, here are a few dinner ideas that are in the works for us this week. Check them out below!
Chicken Noodle Soup
I wish I had an awesome, revolutionary, recipe to share with you but I don’t. Chicken noodle soup is very easy to make and very comforting. I like to add in carrots, celery, garlic, chicken breasts, and egg noodles to mine. Chicken broth gives the soup a great flavor. Add a dash of salt and peeper to taste. One thing I love about chicken noodle soup is the comfort you get when you’re sick. But this is a great mid-week meal too. Make a side salad and fresh bread and the whole family will be full. Here’s a chicken noodle soup shortcut recipe option if you’re looking for a fresh recipe.
For some time I haven’t fixed beef stew. When my husband and I first got married I fixed this dish more often. But once we had kids (picky eater kids) I stopped making this dish as much. When looking for meal inspiration over the weekend, I came across a beef stew recipe and thought maybe it was time to put this meal back into rotation. Here’s the Paula Deen beef stew recipe that I’ve used many times over. Pretty much the only ingredient I add to this recipe is potatoes. Also, make a fresh pot of hot rice to soak up all the juices and for starch. You can definitely serve with hot bread if you’d like too.
Roasted Chicken + Macaroni & Cheese
The family has been requesting macaroni and cheese for a while now so I thought this might be a good week to cook it. This is also the week I decided to start new health supplements and watch what I eat – HA! Anyways, my husband and daughter will be doing most of the eating of the macaroni and cheese. To go along with that, I’ll be roasting some leg quarters. Ever since I tried Katie Workman’s roasted chicken recipe, it’s been a hit! The recipe works with any chicken you might have or like better. I personally like white meat but leg quarters are budget friendly. These days I’m all into whatever fits the budget. Do what works best for you and your family.
Fried Catfish + French Fries + Salad
We don’t eat fried food on a weekly basis but occasionally something fried is on the menu. My son has been loving fried catfish lately and since he’s the pickiest eater (it’s a 5 year old thing) I try to look for ways to work in his favorites. Though frying food is messy, there isn’t much I won’t cook to make my family happy. Like my step-mom always says, “You have to put the love in it.” I’ll probably broil or bake my fish (healthier for you option) and add lots of salad to my plate. Fried fish is not complete with french fries – we like crinkle cut best. If you’d like to skip the fries, then make a fresh veggie.
With a new school year starting, this is a great time to start new routines. If you have no idea where to start with meal planning, then download my FREE 5 page E-book on how to get started. By putting in a little time before the week starts, you can manage dinner time successfully. It won’t be easy to get started but as you repeat the process every week or even every month, you’ll find the best routine to get it done. Also, it’s never to late in the week to start meal planning. Email me if you need me help!