Weekly Menu Planner Series - Week 1

Are you overwhelmed by meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking healthy meals for your family that will keep you on track AND stuff that your kids will eat?

I know that all of the above can seem like daunting tasks. I get it...especially when a trip to the grocery store with three kids seems like mission impossible. 

That is why I want to help you as much as I can by sharing our family's weekly dinner menu, share some of my favorite recipes, and tips to keep you on track. This can be a cheat sheet for you that you can follow exactly or something to pull ideas from. 

A little planning goes a long way when it comes to healthy eating. If you wait until 2 p.m. to decide what you're having for dinner after your kids activities, you are guaranteed to make a quick go to (pasta anyone?) or order a pizza. 

And trust me, I've been there.

I will post this weekly on Thursdays so you can get your grocery shopping done over the weekend and you are planned and ready to go for your busy week. I've found that when I plan our healthy meals and go grocery shopping once for the week to get everything I need, I am guaranteed to stay on track...and by committing to share this on my blog, it will force me to do it myself :). 

Here is the menu this week:

Sunday - Turkey Chili + Green Beans 

Ingredients:
- 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 5 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1 tbs tomato paste (the remainder of the 4 oz can will be used as well)
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- pinch of red chili pepper flakes (to desired taste)
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 1 Corona Light beer or other light beer (for taste, alcohol will be cooked off)
- 1 can red kidney beans
- 8 oz of grape tomatoes halved
- Shredded cheese, avocado to top your chili 

Directions:
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet, add onion, garlic, chili powder, oregano, and salt and cook for 3 minutes
- Add tbs of tomato paste and red chili flakes and mix to combine
- Add in ground turkey and cook until meat loses its pink color
- Add Corona, bring to a boil and let simmer for 8-10 minutes to let the alcohol cook off (liquid should reduce by half)
- Add tomatoes, kidney beans, and remaining tomato paste. Mix to combine. Simmer on low for 15 minutes. Serve and top with avocado/shredded cheese.

*I steam my green beans on the stove or quickly in the microwave while my chili cooks. 

Monday: Grilled Chicken with Cauliflower "Mac" and Cheese + Spinach

Cauliflower "Mac" and Cheese Recipe:

Ingredients:

- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 cup of milk of your choice (I used 1%)
- 2 oz low fat cream cheese (cut into smaller pieces)
- 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar (divided 2/3 cup for cheese mixture and 1/3 cup to top casserole)
- Panko bread crumbs to sprinkle on top 

Directions:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Steam your cauliflower on the stove in boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove from stove, dry with paper towels and place in 8x8 casserole dish.
- In a medium sauce pan add cup of milk, 2/3 cup of sharp cheddar, and 2 oz cream cheese. Stir until melted. Pour cheese mixture over cauliflower in casserole dish.
- Top with remaining sharp cheddar and sprinkle panko on top.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is bubbling. 

Tuesday: Shrimp Stir Fry with Quinoa (Click here for the recipe).

Wednesday: Sweet Potato, Asparagus, + Ground Beef Hash

Ingredients:
- 2 sweet potatoes cut in 1 inch pieces
- 1 bunch of asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 onion finely chopped
-2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:
- Place veggies on cookie sheet lined with foil. Drizzle olive oil and coat veggies. Add desired salt and a little pepper. Roast at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until done.
- While veggies are in the oven, heat a large skillet on medium high heat with olive oil. Add in onion and garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes. 
- Add in ground beef or turkey. Cook until done. 
- Add in roasted veggies to meat and mix well on low heat. 
- Stir in spices and heat through. 
- Serve immediately and sprinkle a little cheese on top.

Thursday: Instant Pot Salsa Chicken + Brown Rice

Friday: Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash Chicken Marsala

Saturday: Eat Out!

This week's tips:
*I try to make a variety of protein each night of the week (chicken usually twice, fish, lean ground beef, ground turkey). 
*I have my usual go-to recipes that I know everyone likes but I try to add in a new recipe each week to keep it fresh. 
*Make quinoa breakfast parfaits with your leftover quinoa from the shrimp stir fry.
*Cut up veggies in advance when you can so you can grab and go to reduce prep time or purchase them frozen (with no additives) or pre chopped (available in most grocery stores but pricey). 
*Have leftovers when possible for lunch the next day to eliminate finding a healthy option for another meal. 
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Was this helpful? I would love some feedback or anything to further help you plan healthy meals for your entire family! 

I would also appreciate if you share with your friends!