Today I’m sharing our family’s menu plan for the week ahead.
I love when I can start a new week with the meals planned, grocery shopping done and some food prep accomplished. After church today, we went grocery shopping and then during the boys’ nap/quiet time, I was able to get three meals prepped for the upcoming week. It’s a pretty fantastic feeling…especially when my days are so busy juggling two jobs with only one day of child care.
I know meal planning can be a stressor for many of us, so I thought I’d start a new blog series sharing our family’s menu plan each Sunday night. What do you think? Is this a blog series you would be interested in… Is this helpful to you? If it is, I’m happy to keep sharing our weekly menu plan!
Quick note before I dive into our menu plan for the week. If you’re struggling to figure out a good meal planning system, I’d love to suggest this simple magnetic notepad (in yellow or blue) you can keep on your refrigerator. I’ve used this for YEARS (it’s always in stock on Amazon.com). I love the simplicity of this product and that’s it right on my fridge – easy to see and use! (Bonus: it’s less than $10)
Also worth noting: I try to make meals that my whole family can eat together, at least that’s the ideal. I know some parents are strict about having their kids eat what’s on their plate and other parents might only feed their children “kid-friendly” foods like chicken nuggets and mac ‘n cheese. I think we fall in the middle here and I definitely believe each family has to figure out what works best for their kids. (Especially when food allergies, sensory issues or other hurdles are in place). Fortunately, we do not have any serious food allergies, but Everson does eat a gluten and dairy free diet for health reasons so that adds a layer of complexity. Also, my kids threshold for spicy food is super low, while I love a kick to my food. All that to say, some of this week’s meals are planned more for Nick and me, than for the whole family. For instance, on Thursday night I’ll give the boys some steak and veggies, but I know they won’t eat an entree steak salad for dinner (yet).
Sunday: White Chicken Chili, loosely based on Shauna Niequist’s book Bread and Wine (which is a MUST-READ book by the way!)
I added canned corn and black beans, diced red onion and lots of fresh garlic. I made the chicken ahead of time and threw all the ingredients in the slow cooker before we went to a corn maze at a local farm this afternoon. It was SOO nice to have this ready when we returned. We ate the chili with tortillas chips and salsa on the side and loaded it up with shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro, chives and sour cream.
Monday: Slow Cooker Pork Roast with Roasted Redskin Potatoes and Broccoli.
The pork roast was majorly on sale at Aldi today, so we are going to do pork roast twice this week (see Saturday) and I’m not complaining one bit. I put the roast in my small slow cooker with half a box of chicken broth and threw in a ton of herbs and spices (kosher salt, peppercorns, powdered onion, dried sage, paprika and garlic powder). Honestly, it doesn’t really matter what herbs/seasonings you use, I don’t think. Simply pair your favorite savory spices along with some salt + pepper and you should be good to go. When cooking a pork roast the key to a tender final product is cooking it “low and slow” – whether you’re cooking the roast in the oven or a slow cooker. Definitely cook this on low in the crock-pot for around 8 hours.
(Taco) Tuesday: Although we change up the type of tacos we eat, you’ll find us enjoying tacos almost every Tuesday night at casa de Theobald.
This week we are going with the old standby of ground turkey tacos – lean and high in protein. I prepped the ground turkey tonight, so it will be a breeze to reheat on Tuesday night.
For a side, I made Skinnytaste’s fiesta bean salad, it’s super easy to prep, healthy and delish. Definitely give that recipe a try!
Wednesday: We are doing a family birthday dinner for my precious niece on Wednesday night at my parent’s. No dinner duty for me this #HumpDay!
Thursday: Steak Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing from Dr. David Ludwig’s book Always Hungry.
You can find this recipe at the bottom of this page here along with other recipes from the Always Hungry book. This is definitely a favorite in our house.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
Makes 2 servings
- 8 ounces beef tenderloin steak
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more for garnish
- 2 to 3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1/2 cup cooked cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup shredded carrots (about 1 large carrot)
- 2 small tomatoes, diced, or any raw vegetables of your choice
- 6 to 8 tablespoons Blue Cheese Dressing
Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Rub the steak with the oil and season with the salt and pepper. Place the steak in the hot pan and cook until browned on one side, about 90 seconds or longer for steak thicker than 1 inch. Flip the steak and cook for 90 seconds more, or until the meat is cooked to your desired doneness. Remove the meat from the pan and let rest on a cutting board.
With a sharp knife, thinly slice the steak. In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, white beans, carrots, tomatoes, and steak. Toss with the Blue Cheese Dressing. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper.
Blue Cheese Dressing
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Total time: 5 minutes
Makes about ½ cup
- 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh chives or scallions
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise with no added sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- Dash of salt, if needed
- Dash of ground black pepper
Place 1 ounce of the blue cheese, the chives, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, water, salt, and pepper in a wide-mouthed mason jar or cup that will ﬁt an immersion blender without splashing. Blend with the immersion blender until combined. Stir in the remaining 1 ounce blue cheese, as this dressing is best if it remains a bit chunky. Place a lid on the jar. Allow the flavors to develop for 1 hour or more in the refrigerator. The dressing will keep for 1 to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Friday: Homemade Pizza Night
Similar to Tuesday nights, we have a weekly tradition of having pizza on (most) Friday nights. Before adopting these weekly meal traditions, I was always scrambling to figure out creative new meal ideas each week. Nick was the one who suggested we make certain meals our go-to dinners on set nights of the week. I think the boys look forward to these traditions and it certainly has simplified my life.
Nick’s parents are visiting us this weekend, so we decided to up our pizza game and go a bit more gourmet this week adding in pesto as a “sauce” option this week. We like to buy the pre-made thin pizza crusts from D&W or Aldi, but we also love the fresh dough at Trader Joe’s. For Everson, we often make him a GF/DF pizza using a GF bagel bun or wrap and his Daiya (vegan) shredded cheese. Recently, however, I discovered that D&W carries a 2-pack of GF small pizza crusts, so if I make it to D&W this week I’ll pick a package up for him.
If I have my act together, I prep a salad before Nick gets home on Fridays and I prepare all the pizza toppings for our crew. That way the boys can easily “help” make their own pizzas. Since they are still pretty young this is often far more work for us than it is helpful…but I really like to get them involved in preparing our food, so we keep at it.
Saturday: Oven-Roasted Pork w/ Quick Zucchini Sauté
My husband’s absolute favorite thing I make is my oven-roasted pork. It’s cooked “low and slow” (can you detect a pattern here?) with a super yummy, homemade dry rub. Check out the recipe below and let me know you give it a try!
Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl, then rub spice blend all over the pork roast. Let this marinate for at least one hour, but the longer the better.
- 2 T. paprika
- 1 T. garlic powder
- 1 T. brown sugar
- 1 T. dry mustard
- 3 T. Kosher salt
(Note: purchase a Boston butt pork roast for the best results. Look for one that’s 5-7 pounds for plenty of leftovers or to feed a group).
Preheat the oven to 300 °F. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil and spray with oil. Put the pork (that has been covered with the dry rub) in the roasting pan and bake for about 6 hours or until fork tender (the thickest park of the roast should read 170 °F).
I’m planing to make Smitten Kitchen’s quick zucchini sauté as a side dish for this meal. My sister-in-law Kristin introduced me to this SK side dish this summer and it was love at first bite. I do NOT typically like zucchini, so if you don’t like zucchini don’t let this stop you from giving this quick and easy recipe a try!
Last but not least….
For breakfast we often give the boys PB & J toast or cereal, but I do have this delicious looking Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal recipe from The Lemon Bowl cooking in my kitchen right now. Fingers crossed the boys will like it. I imagine it will be a win for all four of us. I’m looking forward to trying it in the morning! Otherwise, I’m still going strong with my perfect, power smoothie for breakfast. It is super filling and I can’t complain starting my day with a dose of chocolate!
For lunches, we do a lot of sandwiches, salads, wraps – and I’ll admit – black bean and cheese nachos. If I eat nachos for lunch, I try to load them up with veggies to make myself feel a bit better about that choice. (Is their a Nachos Anonymous group, because I really need to join if there is!?) I also love when I have leftovers that I can heat up for a quick lunch.
What’s on your menu for the week?
Share some of your favorite recipes or food bloggers below in the comments. I’d LOVE to hear what you’re cookin’!
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