September 08, 2013

School’s back in session, my white shoes are put away, and my family of 4 is back in full-on fall scheduling chaos. I can’t let my favorite moment of the day—sitting down to dinner with my family—get sidetracked, and a meal plan set out on Sunday night for the coming week is what keeps me in check. So, here’s another week’s worth of fast, healthy, and tasty menus. I’ve done the planning for you based on some tricks that work for me. Each night’s menu will be on the table in less than 45 minutes.

The PlanMonday:

Tuesday: At my house, if it’s Tuesday, it’s Taco Tuesday. I like to stick to themes on certain nights to give myself a starting place with dinner ideas. Plus, the kids seem more eager to try something new when I put it in a taco (shrimp, fish, veggies…the possibilities are endless). This week try Ancho Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Slaw and Avocado Cream. Adjust the spices to suit your taste, and serve with a simple bowl of black beans. You get 2 filling tacos for just over 300 calories!

Wednesday: Shrimp Cobb Salad meets my requirements for a dinner salad: It fills me up and doesn’t make me heading for the cereal bowl at bedtime. This riff on the classic Cobb replaces chicken and hard-cooked eggs with shrimp and corn. At our house, my kids don’t love the idea of “a salad,” but when I break up the components on the plate, they gobble it up (and it doesn’t hurt that this recipe includes bacon).

Thursday: I try to fit salmon into the plan at least once a week for its amazing heart-health benefits, and Maple-Glazed Salmon is a consistent winner for me. I can buy everything in this meal plan ahead of time, but I usually buy the salmon on the way home from work. Serve with Tomato-Dill Couscous and grilled vegetables (on the grill pan…I don’t have time to heat up the grill).

Friday: Ready for another theme? It’s a Friday pizza party at our house every week, and the high point for the kids is helping roll out the dough. I buy refrigerated fresh pizza dough from my grocery store’s bakery and do variations. Try Bacon, Tomato, and Arugula Pizza, pour yourself a glass of wine, and take an end-of-week deep breath. And I get it, serve the arugula salad on the side if greens on their pizza won’t work for the kids.

Dessert bonus: Chocolate Chip Cookies. I like to make homemade treats on the weekend with my kids. This recipe makes 4 dozen cookies, so I save out enough for the week (for school lunch boxes in my case) and freeze the rest in weekly portions. Each cookie is just 88 calories—less than those unfulfilling 100-calorie packs.

Ready to start shopping? View this week’s menu, which includes every recipe you see mentioned here. From there, you can add all the ingredients to your shopping list in one click when you sign into your MyRecipes account.

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