Each Monday I share my weekly meal plan with you guys. I have spent the last four months or so really encouraging you guys to begin the meal planning journey if you have not yet. I believe it is key for staying out of the drive thru lines and it saves you time and money.
I have this process that I repeat over and over again all week long. It is this very process, in conjunction with following my five step of meal planning, that allows me to get dinner on the table.
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I have shared many, many times that easy recipes are totally key for me when it comes to meal planning.
Tonight I want to share some of my meal planning secrets with you. I discuss this in my How to Meal Plan eBook, but I want to walk you through it and give you a look inside my dinner preparation process.
About half of the recipes I prepare for my family each week are chicken recipes. Then we generally have a fish recipe and a beef recipe. I always try to also utilize our leftovers.
About two years ago we were introduced to Schwans Home Delivery. It was not intentional. I was actually doing Nutrisystem and Schwans delivered my order each month. I really thought that Schwans mostly carried ice cream. I had no idea.
Soon we gave some of their products a try. We started with their chicken breasts and salmon. We were hooked. Still to this day the Schwans truck comes to our house every two weeks and I cannot say enough about their fish, chicken, pre-cooked bacon, breakfast items, frozen veggies etc.
The chicken and salmon are obviously two of my arsenals for meal planning success.
I love the individually sealed chicken breasts. I often toss them in the crockpot still frozen.
Now, everyday is not a crockpot meal for me, but we do use our crockpot multiple times per week. What I love about the crockpot is that I can get dinner going at 10:00 am., or 1:00 pm., and walk away and forget about it until the cook time is up.
About noon today I tossed chicken breasts (still frozen), fresh basil, fire roasted tomatoes, olives, garbanzo beans and feta into the crockpot. The timer was set for 6 hours. I walked away. I homeschooled my boys, we ran errands, we made a fun afternoon snack, we did some laundry, etc.
Dinner was cooking and I carried on with my day.
About 30 minutes before it was time to eat, I started a pot of water on the stove to boil for the rice.
You will notice from my weekly meal plan that we generally have a meat, a starch, a veggie or fruit and bread. This is my basic method.
I preheated the oven for the dinner rolls.
Once the rice was going, I popped our favorite biscuits in the oven. These probably look familiar if you’ve followed my recipe posts. We eat these all the time- Schwans Cheese and Herb Biscuits.
I do purchased bagged salad. Shhhh, don’t tell my mother.
While the rice and rolls were finishing up, I toss the salad in the bowl.
This salad was Caesar, which is a treat for us. Generally I just do a simple green salad and maybe add tomato and cucumber.
The rolls and the rice were done right about the same time.
If we were having pasta, I would time it the same way so that the pasta and bread are done cooking about the same time.
If I am making frozen veggies, I start them when I start the water for the rice or the pasta. Then they are done when the bread is done.
If we are serving fresh fruit or applesauce, that can be cut up when I grab the bagged salad- you get the idea.
Kids wash their hands, make their drinks and grab utensils.
I plate up the food.
And dinner is done.
And this my friend is my routine and method all week long for getting dinner on the table. It is manageable for me. It works for me.
I want you guys to have the same meal planning success. I firmly believe that meal planning is the best place to start when making the commitment to eat dinner at home as a family.
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Feel free to read my disclosure statement.