Ok get your spatulas ready,
Here we go! The Meal Plan. You can see each meal is a "theme". This helps your family stay organized. Look at your calendar and plug in a meal into each day depending on your family's schedule each week. If you are wondering how to set this up, please go back to my first post: The Rooted Family Simple Meal Planning so you can see suggestions for getting set up.
Like I said, I am a health coach, but not a chef so I curated the best meals I found on PInterest and then put them into ONE easy board for you. Pinterest can be overwhelming. I narrowed it down to meals and options that ONLY fit in The Rooted Family Meal Plan. This way you don't have to search, just save my board and you will always have them at your fingertips, plus any new ones I add. Link to the board is at the bottom.
Also, a bunch of these recipes can be made "meatless". If you are a family who seldom eats meat, just make them without. The meal theme can still apply and help you with planning.
You can make 2 of these at once and freeze one AND use leftovers for breakfast during the week. I have included one of our favorite oatmeal bakes in the recipe portion but just know you can keep this recipe fresh by changing out the fruit you use (and if you have fruit that is just turning past ripe, dump it in). We have done banana, peaches, pineapple with coconut, pears, blackberries, strawberries, you name it. This is a great recipe to have kids help you with as well. I make this for my dad every time he comes to visit and he likes to warm it in the am with some milk over it. The same is true of the French Toast Bake. Keep it fresh by changing out the fruit you use.
This is the Ground Beef Meal. You can use any kind of ground meat, including bison or buffalo. Both are completely different, yet equally simple and any extras can be used as sides for future meals or wrapped into tortillas and made into enchiladas or tacos on Taco-ish night. If Meal 2 is your second meal of the week, a time-saving hack is to brown enough beef for all the meals that you want to add it to that week and just save it in the fridge. If you want ground beef for Meal 5 or to add it to the top of Meal 6, just make sure to brown enough for those meals as well. You can also cook a bunch, freeze it in baggies labeled with the Meal # and then just pull it out as needed. I often make 2 cheeseburger bakes at once, freeze one for when the rotation starts again AND also brown beef for the next two Taco-ish meals and next week's Asian Skillet Meal. That saves me a step in that recipe since the beef is already done.
Side note: I don't ever have oyster sauce for the Asian Skillet Recipe. It's not something I would use again. It probably adds a bunch of flavors, but my kids are fine with adding a bit of teriyaki sauce, which we usually have on hand.
Easy stir fry? Yes please! If you are doing Cashew Chicken Stir Fry for Meal 3 and Rotisserie chicken for you Meal 4, you can buy two (or if your family is smaller than mine), 1/2 the chicken and use it for each meal. You can also do this one without chicken at all. The Slow Cooker Lo Mein Noodles recipe can be made all on your prep day so all you need to do is throw it all together and heat it up. Both Meal 3 options can be substituted for pork, steak, no meat, tofu, shrimp, etc. For the Cashew Chicken Stir Fry, we never have oyster sauce, so we just substitute teriyaki sauce instead.
Rooted Family Hack: Costco sells a giant bag of frozen stir fry veggies. You don't even have to chop. I throw the stir fry veggies and a bag of frozen broccoli in and I call it a day. Done and done. Easy and cheesy.
Rotisserie Chicken is a favorite hack of mine. I think of it as my once a week splurge easy button. Close to as easy is shredded chicken in the crockpot. Throw some frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot with some broth on your prep morning and 4 hours later, you can shred that chicken for all your meals that week. You can either shred it with a fork and knife or use a hand mixer for a finer shred. You could easily make all your shredded chicken for the entire month and then just portion it out and freeze it for the meals you need. That way you know you have it on hand it and it is ready to go. We call lettuce wraps "garden tacos" and the kids love them. I always try to include some avocado for some healthy fat for brain building. I added the mashed sweet potato as a side because you can serve sweet potato earlier in the week and then have it again mashed as a leftover when it goes from a regular sweet potato to mashed sweet potatoes a few days later, no one complains because the new form makes it new to them. You can always mash the sweet potato and use it tacos on Taco-ish night or use it instead of a mashed banana to make muffins.
The Taco-ish meal. I call it taco-ish because taco can be used loosely. This refers to enchiladas, taco bowls, nachos. Whatever you want to make it easy and yum. I am sharing a Mexican Quinoa Enchilada bake that we love and if you have leftover meat from earlier in the week, all you need are some shells or tortillas and whatever toppings you want and you are good to go. Sometimes I throw some taco seasoning on previous nights leftovers, roll them up, pour some enchilada sauce on top with cheese and avocado and I am done! So simple. Corn is a great side for this one or some beans. This is a great way for kids to create their own meal and help get things in bowls and ready.
Pizza style! Well, you just can't go wrong with some pizza. I try to make them as healthy as possible and have included both a gluten-free option recipe and a veggie zucchini option. Truth be told, the first time I did zucchini, my kids were like: say what? BUT, they tried them and everyone was pleasantly surprised by how good they were and have never balked at them since.
Side note: if you are in the summer/fall season and zucchini is all abound, you can also do zucchini tacos for taco-ish night as well (I included a recipe on the Pinterest board for taco-boats).
Yummy Yet Dinner aka leftovers. If you don't know about Yeti Dinners yet, please read my previous post (The Rooted Family Simple Meal Plans) to find out how to make leftovers exciting instead of eye rolling.
Click the link below to go to all the recipes for this plan (I included a couple variations for you too, just so you can see how easy this can be). Just save the board to your Pinterest account and you will always have all the recipes at your fingertips.
Please leave me a comment and let me know if you have any questions or comments! I love hearing from you! If you liked this post and found it helpful, please let me know.
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