If you asked me the one thing that I would be totally lost without during my week, I would unequivocally tell you that meal planning is #1 on my list. I have been sitting down on a Sunday for years now, figuring out what I am going to feed my family of five, and when I don’t, well, lookout. It’s when bad things happen, like ordering in pizza, Chinese and Sushi all in one week.
My food is way too important to fall victim to that.
We all have different family/life circumstances – you might live alone and work the night shift, or it might just be you and a partner who both work full time. Or you might be like me, a mom with a career and three really busy, hungry teenagers. It’s a priority to get healthy food on the table most nights of the week, and most days.
Whatever your situation, do these five things during your week so you know at the end of the day you can open your refrigerator and assemble something quick and easy (with recipe links for inspiration!):
A Pot of Whole Grains. What’s your favorite right now? In my family brown rice and quinoa usually reign supreme. Make a big pot and use it to make a bowl (like this Quinoa Cashew Tofu Bowl) or as the basis for side dish.
A Salad Dressing. Are you still buying store bought dressings? Stop right there and promise to make your own from now on. Store bought dressings are loaded with sugar, thickeners and other ingredients that do not belong in there. Make a quantity for the week and leave it in your refrigerator, use as a salad dressing, a marinade for chicken or a drizzle over grilled or roasted vegetables (quick, try this one).
Roasted or Grilled Vegetables. What’s your favorite vegetable? Right now I am crazy for sweet potatoes (grilled or roasted) and gearing up for all the seasonal veggies that are going to come out of my garden. Pick what you love and cook up a pan. This becomes another layer for your dinner plate.
A Perfect Protein. My whole family likes chicken and I usually roast at least one organic bird a week. I use the bones in a bone broth and the chicken becomes chicken salad or as another layer for lunches or dinners. Try this Roasted Lemon Chicken recipe as well, a great way to use up extra citrus and herbs.
A Delicious Dollop. What are dollops? Dollops are what brings it all together. Without these delicious sauces, pestos, condiments and salsas, your meal would be just something ordinary. A dollop adds extra nutrition and makes your food taste great. Try one of these when you plan your meals next week.
There you have it. Dinner and lunch ideas that are simple, satisfying and healthy. Now, get planning!