5 Week-Night Dinner Inspirations

Since becoming a new Mama last April, I have learned that preparation is the key to success– in everything from business to raising babies to nourishing our bodies. When I have spent some time planning and preparing for the following day I always accomplish goals and usually do so with a free-flowing feeling of ease. On the other hand, the days that I am scrambling to “get it together” are usually not productive and a bit stressful.

As the primary householder for our family, I’m really trying to excel at feeding my family healthy, fresh and balanced meals every night. I do LOVE to cook and I am very passionate about eating whole foods, but without planning ahead I’ve realized that dinner isn’t always the picture of health. I am not inherently organized so meal planning in the traditional sense doesn’t seem like something that would come easy for me (or something that I would like doing)….  But regardless of how naturally organized or unorganized I may be, I can appreciate the sense of calm and happiness that comes from order. Being organized is the simple product of PLANNING which is the result of preparation. I’m training myself to invest the small amount of time it takes to plan meals to ensure a successful outcome. I’ve discovered that taking just 5 min at the beginning of the week to think about what I’m going to feed my family can make a huge difference.

When it comes to providing healthy food for my family my new mantra is this: plan ahead + provide fresh, tasty whole foods every night. As mamas, time is not always on our side. It seems like we never have enough of it or the time we do have is fragmented into — start something… distraction… try to pickup where we left off… distraction… take care of someone else’s needs… what we we doing again? But we can claim 5-10 min to prepare so when the distractions come throughout the week, we at least have a framework to follow for the food!

Here’s what is on the menu this week:

Monday Chicken-orzo salad with goat cheese from Cooking Light

  • This light dish is quick and easy to make and you can eat the leftovers for lunch!
  • Use a base of orzo (or quinoa) add fresh arugula, chopped tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, and basil. Sprinkle in some goat cheese and add chopped grilled chicken.

Tuesday Honey Ginger Veggie Stir Fry with Tofu from Pinch of Yum

  • This dish can be made with or without a grain base
  • Great for”meat-less” dinner

Wednesday Slow Cooker Peach Chicken with Basil from Real Food Whole Life

  • Slow cookers are not just a winter cooking method! Bust out the crock-pot and try this deliciously fresh recipe for sweet summer chicken

Thursday Grilled Steak, Basil-Tomato pasta and grilled corn from New Mama Wellness

  • This is a summer staple at our house
  • Shuck the corn and wrap in foil, throw them on the grill for at least 25-30min
  • Get a nice piece of grass-fed beef and marinate in your favorite sauces + spices, then grill
  • Add fresh basil and chopped tomatoes to cooked pasta (bowties, shells, ziti) and add olive oil, pepper to taste

Friday Baked Fish, Spinach, and Tomatoes in Foil Packets from The Kitchn

  • Fresh and easy for your Friday night meal, you can use leftover veggies + greens from the week and pop it into a foil packet with your fish

Quick Shopping List:

Meat & Fish (and non-meat alternatives):

  • Grass fed beef
  • Organic chicken breasts
  • Fish fillets fresh (cod, halibut, tilapia)
  • Extra Firm tofu (2 packs)

Fruits & Veggies:

  • 6 peaches
  • Bunch of basil leaves
  • Vine ripe tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Spinach or other dark leafy greens
  • Red & Orange bell peppers
  • Red & Yellow onions
  • Carrots
  • Asparagus

Cheese:

  • Goat cheese

Misc:

  • Honey
  • Rice vinegar
  • Garlic cloves
  • Ginger (fresh or spice)
  • Canola Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Pasta (ziti or bowties)
  • Orzo (or quinoa)

Let me know how it goes, did these recipes turn out yummy? Do you have a meal planning method that works well? Cheers!

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