I have been following a minimalist meal plan the past few months (I got the idea from Miranda at Live Free Creative!) and it has been such a game changer for how I feel about feeding my family every day. I love to cook, but the task of menu planning, grocery shopping, and keeping up with differing dietary needs has been draining me this past year. Now I pick 7 meals for the month and we essentially eat the same thing every week.
At first I thought this would be boring, but changing it up monthly helps us all from getting sick of any of the recipes. Also, on days I have a wild hair and want to try something new, I actually get excited about cooking and have a lot of fun in the kitchen. The monthly plan just saves me so much energy in the long run and has made me not dread meal time.
This month’s meals are:
Monday: Manicotti. I will share my recipe for this later this month! It’s really easy and a great family meal!
Tuesday: Chicken tacos. I plan on cooking the chicken in the instant pot with some seasonings and shredding it up to use throughout the week (Sam loves shredded chicken!). I also always have beans and rice and lots of veggies so everyone can build their own taco.
Wednesday: Greek Pita Pizzas from the Well Plated Cookbook
Thursday: Sheet Pan Sticky Ginger Sesame Chicken and Crispy Brussels Sprouts from Half Baked Harvest. I plan to add some other veggies for my vegetarian and serve it all over rice.
Friday: Pizza night! I love to make my own pizzas. The kids’ usually just want cheese on theirs but I play around and make different ones for Chris and me!
Saturday: This no knead bread and stew. Saturdays are usually ski days so I make the stew the night before (basically using whatever I have in my fridge!) and warm it up Saturday night.
Sunday: On toast! Basically leftover night, except with yummy bread from the night before to put things on.
Do you have any tips and tricks for how you meal plan? I’ll be using Tuesdays to share cooking and food here on the blog this month and will be reporting back on any recipes from this month that become our favorite!
Raise your hand if your tired of feeding your family three meals a day. Me! Me! Me! I’m raising my hand! Why does everyone eat so much? More than anything I’m tired of thinking about food and prepping the food. So I thought I would share this easy dip. It makes a ton and I was able to use it a number of ways throughout the week. I love when I can cook once and enjoy again and again!
Artichoke Spinach Hummus Dip
3 cups cooked chickpeas (2 15 oz cans drained, but I’ve been making my own during lockdown and they are really easy to do in the instant pot and you can buy them in bulk!)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup Tahini
3 garlic cloves (or more! I like it super garlicky)
1 teaspoon cumin
1teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
salt and pepper to taste
Stop right here and you have a yummy hummus!
3 cups packed spinach (or kale or whatever leafy green you have on hand)
one can of artichoke hearts quartered
Combine all the ingredients until the spinach (so basically hummus!) until smooth. Taste for flavor and add more garlic/salt/lemon juice as needed. Then add the greens and artichokes and pulse until it’s as chunky or smooth as you like. Add in a glug of olive oil if things seem too dry. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and then enjoy it these three ways.
Eat it as Dip! Ok, this one might kind of be cheating but this is a great snack. I put it out with pita chips and veggies one afternoon and it was a hit.
Put it on a wrap! Wraps are my new favorite way to use up leftovers. This spread gives a lot of flavor and makes whatever leftovers you use (we had roasted veggies) taste a little more special. It would be good on a sandwich too!
Toss veggies in it and throw them on the grill! Lately, every time we grill I chop up a variety of veggies and season them and throw them in the wok. Roasted veggies are delicious on their own and then are easy to use throughout the week in different ways. I tossed these veggies with the last of the dip and it was a great seasoning!
I have had the hardest time getting enthusiastic about meal planning and cooking. Normally I love to cook, but lately I’ve been annoyed that people in my family keep expecting food! For meals! The nerve!
I recently checked out this cookbook from the library and after making a few dishes from it that were huge hits, decided to buy it. It’s now my go to cookbook so I thought I’d share it!
It’s the Skinny Taste One and Done Cookbook and it’s full of one pot recipes. What makes it unique is that it’s grouped by the type of pot you use. There’s a section for Instant Pots, Slow Cookers, Air Fryers, Sheet Pans, Skillets, and Dutch Ovens. There are also directions given for each recipe on how to modify the recipe if you don’t have that specific piece of equipment. (For example I don’t have an air fryer but there are directions on how to cook the same recipe in your oven.)
All the recipes I’ve made have been fairly simple, not too many ingredients that I don’t already keep on hand, and most importantly, have been hits with everyone in the family. Skinny Taste also gives all the caloric, ingredient info (hence the name) and I know that’s important to people too. I also like that the portions aren’t massive. Each recipe seems to comfortably feed my family of four (Sam’s not quite at table food yet!) with maybe one portion left over, if that.
Anyway, I plan on using this cookbook a lot this summer to keep life simple and thought I’d share it with you! Let me know if you have any favorite cookbooks for this time of year. I prefer a hard cover cookbook, Pinterest gets too overwhelming for me! Plus sometimes flipping through the pages gets me inspired and not hate meal planning quite so much.