Meal plan for a busy week

Where the magic happens. The normal view of my kitchen table on meal planning day.

Mr. W and I have taken to switching off weeks for cooking dinner. At first it seemed like it might be overwhelming, but it’s proved to be a brilliant plan. We might have to spend 7 days in a row cooking every single night, but the next 7 nights we get to be blissfully served dinner while the other cooks. By getting a full week off, we’re both eager to be more creative when it is our turn to cook. And we’ve both had fun experimenting with the meals to see what kids like and don’t like, and try out new recipes. Plus, it’s easier to plan on leftovers when you’re the one who’s cooking.

Another thing we’ve done for the past year is plan out our meals every week. Since our weekly cooking menus are Sunday to Saturday, we plan it on the Saturday before and then write out our shopping list from the items we need on the menu. I love that we never have to worry about what’s for dinner! And the kids refer to it constantly to know what we’ll be eating.

Unfortunately, sometimes our weeks land on a highly scheduled week. This is the case this week. It’s my turn to cook, and I have a very busy schedule ahead of me. But rather than ask Mr. W to take over my week of cooking (thus giving him two weeks in a row), this week I’m improvising the meal plan to fit our schedule.

Note: Many of these meals are not considered Paleo when eaten as a whole. I generally skip the parts that aren’t considered part of the plan, eat around them, or just implement the 80/20 rule and enjoy something not on the plan for once.

Meal Plan for June 3-9

Miso cod and miso salad with rice.

Sunday
(Adult softball from 5:30-6:30)
~ Miso Cod
~ Miso Salad
~ White rice
Miso hungry!  Sorry, forgot to warn you that there was a bad joke up ahead.  For this meal, the salad dressing will be made early and set aside. The cod will marinate while we’re gone and then broils for 10 minutes max. And the rice only takes 20 minutes or less in the slow cooker. We’ll be eating by 7pm. This meal was discovered last week in The Mom 100 Cookbook, and our family couldn’t eat it fast enough. I promise I’ll include a recipe post on this one soon so you can copy it.

Monday
(Taz’ baseball game till 7:30pm)
~ Shrimp Louie Salad
~ French Bread
I chose a light dinner for this night because the weather has been so warm. Warmer weather just calls for lighter fare, you know? I will make this meal the night before so that anyone who is at the house can just serve themselves, and the Taz and I will eat when we get home.

Tuesday
(Taz’ baseball game till 7:30pm, Mr. W’s church group till 8:30pm)
~ Baked Gnocchi/Roasted Eggplant/Mozzarella casserole
~ Cranberry/Pecan/Apple Salad
~ Leftover french bread
The recipe for the casserole came out of a cookbook called The Naptime Chef, my latest favorite recipe collection of easy gourmet meals for busy moms. I love this book! For this meal, I will prep it the night before, and then depend on my daughter to throw it the casserole in the oven at dinner time so that Mr. W and the older kids can eat before his meeting, and Taz and I can eat when we get home. Because I have french bread thieves in the house, I will hide the bread under a rock until it’s time to eat.

Wednesday
(Hair appt until 7pm)
~ Chicken Sausage & Tortellini Soup
~ Buttermilk biscuits
Hey, a girl has to get her hair did, right? Unfortunately this appointment was made before I knew just hoe hectic this week was. But no worries. I can make this meal easily on Tuesday night, and it will be ready for everyone just to heat up on their own when it’s dinnertime.

Thursday
(Meeting till 7pm)
~ Teriyaki chicken bowls
DQ’s cooking night! My daughter figured out that if she cooks, she doesn’t have to do any of the clean-up chores. As a result, she is now perusing my cookbooks every week and taking over one of the nights to cook us all a meal. It gives Mr. W and me a break in cooking, and she’s learning how to cook for a family of 5. This one is easy since it’s just stir fry simmered in teriyaki, and then set over rice from the rice cooker.

Friday
(Taz’ picture day for hip-hop)
~ Polenta/Marinara/Mozzarella
~ Grilled Prawns
~ Simple salad
This meal is really easy. I’ll be home by 6pm so very little prep is needed the day before. I get the polenta in a tube at Trader Joes and slice it into 1/2 inch pieces. I fry them in coconut oil on each side, then cover it with warmed marinara, sprinkling it with cheese. For the prawns, I will skewer them the night before, and then marinate them in olive oil, garlic, lemon, cayenne pepper, and a little kosher salt. These can be cooked on the grill, on the stove, or under the broiler. I’m using the broiler this time. For the salad, whatever veggies are left in the fridge from last Saturday’s shop will get thrown in.

Saturday
(DQ with friends, Taz with his dad)
~ Sushi night!
We usually choose one day a week where little to no cooking is necessary. Most weeks we have leftovers. Sometimes we have breakfast for dinner. Since there’s just the three of us, we’ll be indulging in a little raw fish decadence. Yum!

What’s on your plate this week?

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