I have asked many of you what you find to be the most challenging part of meal planning, and many of you said you get stuck in a rut eating the same things. I hope that my weekly meal plan inspires you to get creative and think outside the box when cooking for your family!
Here is a little bit of an overview on how I meal prep for the week:
Breakfasts: I tend to eat the same type of thing for breakfast. This week, I'm making a batch of pumpkin bagels and rotating those with overnight oats and shakes for Sean and I to have before and after workouts.
Lunches: If I know I am having a very busy day, I try to plan for crockpot meals early in the morning so the meal is ready to go by lunch, or I plan for a quick 15 minute recipe. Having leftovers always makes things easier as I can use it for lunches and dinners later in the week.
Dinners: I tend to make a meal for dinner that Sean and I that will have leftovers for at least one other night in the week. Then I rotate other quick meals in too. This week is Christmas, so I am leaving Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day open since we will be having family events with some special means. I know most families do the same! If you are looking for inspiration for what to bring to or serve at any of your Christmas get-togethers, check out the Dashing Dish Holiday Treats and Holiday Meals for ideas! We have everything you need to plan your full healthy Holiday menu, or to simply find your own favorite healthy version of a recipe to bring to a gathering where it would be appropriate to do so. As always, I didn't include Sunday since we are usually gone most of the day with Church activities and/or eating with family.
Katie's money-saving tip: If you have leftover pumpkin from a recipe, freeze it in ice cube trays, then transfer them to a freezer type Ziploc bag. This you always have pumpkin on hand for recipes like the Pumpkin Pie Milkshake—without having to open a whole can!
Snacks and Desserts: Ideas of things I rotate often are listed at the very bottom, and are always varying based on hunger levels, activity level, etc. Also, please note, I don't meal plan in order to track calories or to stick to a set diet. Meal planning to me is all about having a set plan in place for my meals so that I am prepared, feel organized, and to save time and money during the business of the week. If I am hungry beyond what is listed, I listen to my body and eat intuitively! This is simply a guide for meals that I know I will be making for the week, not necessarily everything I will eat in a day.
That all being said, here's what’s on the menu for me and my family this week…
- Breakfast: Clean Eating Pumpkin Bagels and Almond Joy Protein Shake
- Lunch: Pecan and Cranberry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing with chicken
- Dinner: Christmas Eve Dinner with family
- Christmas Day With Family
- Breakfast: Pumpkin Pie Milkshake and Skinny Latte Overnight Protein Oats
- Lunch: Pecan and Cranberry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing with chicken (Leftovers)
- Dinner: Smothered Chicken with Mushrooms and Spinach and Honey Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash with Feta and Bacon
- Breakfast: Clean Eating Pumpkin Bagels (leftovers) and Red Velvet Cheesecake Protein Shake
- Lunch: Clean Eating Taco Salad with a Baked Taco Bowl Shell
- Dinner: Greek Chicken & Veggie Sheet Pan Dinner (Leftovers)
- Breakfast: Clean Eating Pumpkin Bagels (Leftovers) and Almond Joy Protein Shake
- Lunch: Greek Chicken & Veggie Sheet Pan Dinner (Leftovers)
- Dinner: Smothered Chicken with Mushrooms and Spinach and Honey Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash with Feta and Bacon (Leftovers)
- Breakfast: Clean Eating Pumpkin Bagels (Leftovers) and Red Velvet Cheesecake Protein Shake
- Lunch: Clean Eating Taco Salad with a Baked Taco Bowl Shell (Leftovers)
- Dinner: Date Night- Out to Dinner
- Skinny Peppermint Bark Dip
- Flourless Chocolate PB2 Cookies
- Freeze dried fruit (note: not the same as dried!)
- Plantain chips
- Organic string cheese
- PB 2/nut butter with apple slices or celery sticks
- Hard boiled eggs with salt and pepper or bagel seasoning
- Chopped veggies with hummus or Clean Eating Salad Dressing
- Greek yogurt with fruit
- Almonds/mixed nuts
- Homemade Dashing Dish bar, muffin, no bake balls, etc.
- See this post and this post for more ideas!
The whole process to shop and plan for my week took about 10-15 minutes by using the Dashing Dish Grocery List Builder and Meal Plan Builder. To do so, simply click on the link to the recipe and add the recipe to your meal plan and ingredients you need to your grocery list! It really is that simple! xo Katie