Friday, February 28, 2020

A Practical Weekly Dinner Menu For A Busy Family

I feel good about myself if I prepare a nice, well balanced meal for my family every night. It feels as if it's my duty as a wife and mom. A pressure, I am the first to admit, I should not put on myself. But my mom always provided us a perfect, home cooked meal every night (and still does when we visit her house or if she comes to my house) so I guess I just feel like I should follow suit. However, I'm tired. I have three small kids and when the time comes around that it's time to start cooking dinner, it's honestly the last thing I want to do. By 4:30 I've hit my mid-afternoon crash and I just want to sit and do nothing. Unfortunately I have four other people in my home that rely on me to provide them a meal (except in the summer---my husband grills therefore does all of the cooking, bless him!) so I do my best to put good food in their bellies.
We are pretty simple in our house when it comes to our weekly dinner menu. We tend to eat the same meals over and over. Once upon a time I loved to spend an hour or more making a fancy recipe from a magazine that I grabbed at the supermarket and listen to Michael Buble on Pandora while I had a glass of Savignon Blanc. This was obviously pre-kids and those days are long gone. Now I need a meal with a quick turn around time, short prep, and as few dishes as possible. And I've gotten pretty good at finding meals that do just that.
Today I'm going to share a sample weekly dinner menu and hopefully it will help you feed your family with a little more ease and a lot less cleanup! This weekly menu is practical and probably not Pinterest worthy but definitely relatable and realistic.

*For most people, Sundays are a day where they have quite a bit of time on their hands. Take this opportunity to throw in 2 lbs of chicken in your slow cooker and season with salt and pepper. When it's done cooking later that evening, shred the chicken, put it in ziplocks and save it for meals later in the week.

Sunday - Use your shredded chicken to make chicken quesadillas!

Monday--Mondays are crazy so I like to do a slow cooker meal. Prep time for slow cooker meals are typically pretty quick. You basically just dump a bunch of stuff into your pot and set your heat on low. You can save some time by chopping veggies the night before and putting them in a ziplock in your fridge, so when you wake up in the morning you can quickly throw everything in before heading out the door. This White Chicken Chili recipe is super delicious. Don't forget your slow cooker bags for an easier clean up!

Tuesday--Taco Tuesday. Because you can never eat enough Mexican in a week.

Wednesday--We eat the meatloaf from Fresh Market every Wednesday. It's on sale for $5.99 and comes in a pan, all ready to go. All you have to do is cook it in the oven for an hour. We roast fresh veggies in the oven to go with it or do a side salad. Check your favorite super market for something like this to make life easy mid week!

Thursday--Use that chicken you made earlier in the week to make these Chicken and Avocado Burrito Wraps. It's one of my favorites and it's so easy to prep and cook (like, 10 minutes tops). I love pairing with quinoa and a salad.

Friday--Pizza night. Get your favorite pizza and have a movie night with your family! Our very favorite pizza is from Newks. There isn't a single pizza of theirs that I don't love but the Newks Q is my very favorite!

Saturday--End your week with a delicious and nice meal. I made this Balsamic Steak Sheet Pan Dinner for my family over the holidays and it got rave reviews. The meal was delicious and I did it all on my own. Normally Scott would handle a steak meal but I took the reigns and this was super easy and SO delicious!! 10 minutes prep time and the oven does the rest for you.

Most of the meals I make my kids will eat something of. It's not uncommon for me to make a box of rice during the week and save the leftovers for them to eat as a side dish to something. They all like chicken so if I make chicken early in the week I can save some and they will eat it as an entrée. They don't love taco meat but they love cheese tacos. They won't eat meatloaf so I'll put leftover chicken on their plate that night. I prefer to not make two entirely separate meals so I try to make it easy on myself and plan ahead.
I hope this was a helpful and practical dinner menu for you!

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