As moms, we can’t do everything. Our kids come first, and our sanity and everything else follows. Some of us focus on keeping the house clean and the laundry in check, others might pride themselves on a tidy car (if you’ve seen mine this is comical), and others might make their own naptime a priority. For me, my day revolves around what we’re having for dinner. I plan my meals for the week on Saturday mornings, write out my list, and head to the grocery store crossing my fingers that I won’t have to go back the rest of the week. I never thought much about my process, it’s just what I do to stay organized and keep the heathens fed, but over time I have realized that not all moms operate this way. Some of you are going to the store on a daily basis once you figure out what’s the meal that night, others are swinging through the drive through in a last-minute effort, and others are throwing together everything they have in their pantry and fridge to come up with a meal. While the idea of meal planning may seem daunting, it really makes life so much simpler.
In an effort to motivate and guide you I’m sharing what we’ve eaten the last 2 weeks—I try to follow a simple plan in my head: a main dish (if it leans to the less-healthy side, then I just have a smaller portion), a veggie, and a healthy grain; bonus points if it seems kid friendly.
Chicken Tacos With Farro & Roasted Cauliflower
See? I eat like a normal person, I just am conscious of getting my fruits and veggies in. Rudi’s Spelt Tortillas are my favorite, clean tortilla, but they’re hard to find. I used flour tortillas here because we had them in the house. Using lettuce as a wrap is an even healthier option. I used this recipe & instead used chicken breast and cut the time down. I roast my cauliflower in olive oil and salt/pepper until tender at 400 degrees. I made an olive oil/lime dressing for the farro and added veggies. The tacos were a win with the babes, the farro, not so much.
Sloppy Joes are a family favorite, and I make them as clean as I can. I did cucumber orzo (which was whole-wheat) on the side with broccoli. We were short on veggies in the house so my portions are smaller than I would have preferred veggie wise. A wheat bun would be optimal, but I don’t dare taint my son’s favorite meal.
This meal is one of my favorites: because it comes from a jar and takes about 10 minutes. I have yet to find Garam Masala at the store so instead of searching high and low, I am comfortable using my jar of Tikka Masala which is as clean as they come and tastes delicious. My portion looks HUGE, but I only had about 1/2 cup of rice and went wild on the chicken, making up for it with lots of asparagus. Balance, remember?
Naan Steak Pizza with Brussel Sprouts & Grapes
This was a hit with the husband & it was super basic. I spread goat cheese on Naan, and topped it with sautéed steak and peppers. Naan is not a whole grain, but it is a rare treat for us and was the perfect bottom for this “pizza”. I like that I can make cheese pizza for the kids using the same idea. Please note I did not eat the whole piece of Naan and you shouldn’t either. I was very full after half. Roasted brussel sprouts and grapes on the side balanced this dish out.
Honey Mustard Chicken Sub with Roasted Cauliflower & a Veggie Topped Sweet Potato
Combine honey (the good stuff aka the expensive jar on the shelf) with Dijon mustard and “waa-lah” you have homemade honey mustard. I grilled the chicken and topped with the honey mustard and made a little sandwich. I had planned on making a spinach salad with the chicken instead of a sub, but our spinach had gone bad from the week before. I wasn’t digging the sub so I just ate the chicken solo after the pic. Sweet potatoes are carbs, too, so keep that in mind when you use potatoes as a side.
Lazy Lasagna & Salad
You can google “lazy lasagna” and find lots of different options. I had homemade pizza sauce leftover from those Naan cheese pizzas for my kids that I used to make a sauce with. I cooked some ground turkey and added it to the sauce, then mixed with broken up lasagna noodles and put in a casserole dish and topped with some mozz. It was easy and yummy and the salad on the side sealed the deal. Salads should have rich greens or at the very least romaine or green leaf lettuce. Iceberg is not your friend.
I was over cooking for the week, and said to my husband, it’s LO’s and cereal for you guys. I made myself a sweet potato and called it a night. Everyone needs a break, right?
White Chili with Asparagus
This is yum with a capital Y! The recipe seems to require big quantities, but it goes fast & it’s filled with fiber. I top mine with avocado and my husbands with plain Greek yogurt (a sneaky sour cream substitute that he has no idea about). We had asparagus on the side because the soup does not have any veggies.
I made chili hot dogs for the man & kids, and a chili sweet potato for me. This chili is so good & is quick to conjure up. It might seem strange topped on a sweet potato, but it’s way better for you than a hot dog & the salty, sweet combo is a good one.
You’ve seen this on Pinterest on repeat I am sure. It’s the easy one pan recipe where you basically roast tons of veggies and chicken sausage. I think the recipe calls for red or white potatoes, but change it to sweet and you’ve just upped the ante. And it’s versatile, use whatever veggies you want! Make sure your sausage is clean-no nitrates or added preservatives, use brown rice or quinoa underneath, and you’ve just made yourself an easy, healthy dinner. Get ready for lots of chopping.
I hope this offers you a starting point to moving forward with meal planning and considering balance in your dinners (and all meals, really). It might seem timely at first, but the more you do it, the easier it will be. I have a cupboard full of cookbooks, but Pinterest is usually my go-to. Keep in mind, what you don’t see here, is the night we went out to dinner & I had my favorite nachos for an appetizer which are filled with all the guilt–instead of choosing a burger (because that’s what this place is known for, but their nachos are even better), I got a salad for my meal. Life is about balance and so is what you’re eating. You got this mama.