One simple strategy I have seen many parents use for meal planning is to have a set dish they make for each day of the week. Then, no matter where you are in your day, whether at work, picking up children from school or wiping noses, you always know that if it is Wednesday, for example, you will have burritos for dinner.
Having a plan that stays pretty much the same every week makes grocery shopping simple, too. It’s easy to always have a stash of tortillas in the freezer and to know that Tuesday night you will need to soak your beans. Or, you pull a jar of already cooked ones from the freezer because every other week you make double.
Having a set plan for each day doesn’t automatically mean there is no variation week to week, either. Monday night may be polenta or pasta, but there are a lot of variations within those categories.
Here are some ideas for different days of the week:
1. Nori Rolls or Hand Rolls
2. Soup/Stew with a crusty sourdough bread and green salad (try Simple Barley Soup)
3. Nabe-super yummy, relaxing and great in cold winter weather
5. Stir-Fry Vegetables
6. Make your own burritos or Baked Burritos
9. Baked grain dish (like Baked Quinoa with Lentils and Squash and Baked Lentils and Rice with Root Vegetables
10. Veggie burgers/Grain and Bean Patties (like White Bean and Carrot Patties or Brown Rice and Pinto Bean Patties)
What are some of your favorite quick and easy mid-week meals?
I wish I was organized enough to meal plan for a week, but I love your suggestions. Also, I wish my handwriting was anywhere as nice as yours – it looks like font!
Thank you for the compliment! I will be doing another post about how to use leftovers. Maybe that will be more helpful for you. 🙂
Looks great! I’ve thought about doing this type of weekly meal plan, but never did – thinking I would hate so much structure. So, two questions – do you implement and use this type of weekly meal planning? and if so, how do you like it (and why?)?
With this plan there’s the structure, but then room for a lot of variety within, so that helps. I don’t use this system, but have known quite a few families who use it for dinners during their work week and love it. It’s easier to get into a routine. They like not having to think about what they are going to make for dinner and everyone in the family is on the same page. I plan to write more posts about meal planning and will include one about the system I use which I think is a combination of strategies. Let me know if you have any questions as you think about what might work best for you.