I’m so excited to post what I hope will be the first of many weekly dinner menu plans! This is something my Facebook followers requested and I so appreciate their input!
I made this a week’s worth of meals. To keep things simple around my house, I typically loosely follow these guidelines:
1 Tex/Mex dish
1 pasta dish
1 meatless dish
1 night for leftovers
I also try to use my slow cooker at least one meal per week and if it is good weather, I also try to ask my husband to grill at least once per week.
To keep it easy, I repeat meals every 4-6 weeks.
**I do not use original recipes very often. I frequently borrow recipes and am happy to link to the original or give credit where due.**
***I only planned 6 nights as we usually have enough food leftover for another day of leftovers or we are at an event or go out to eat. I suspect you are the same way.***
I am trying to design the meals so you could prep everything on Sunday for your entire week. A printable version of the plan is at the bottom of this post.
Meal #1—Taco Pie –I serve this with packaged yellow rice (Aldi and Vigo both make a packaged yellow rice with no MSG) and a side salad. (I have tried it several times with homemade dough, but haven’t found one that works as great as Pillsbury Crescent Rolls.) This recipe makes enough meat mixture for 2 pies. Right now, 1 is enough for my family, so I stick the extra meat mixture in the freezer for another meal. And voila! You have 1 meal in your freezer with no extra effort.
Meal #2–GRILL-Hamburgers–I serve with frozen Oreida french fries or these homemade potatoes. We also like to grill corn on the cob for a side. You could easily make double the amount of hamburgers and freeze the extra.
Meal #3–SLOW COOKER–Greek inspired chicken (don’t forget the olives and feta cheese)–I serve this over rotini noodles or rice with a side salad. You could easily make double the amount and freeze the extra.
Meal #4—Pizza Pasta–I make this garlic bread as a side and add a salad. This makes an awesome meal to deliver when someone has had a baby or a surgery and you need to take a meal. Again, it takes very little effort to make 2 pans of this pasta dish, eat one and freeze one.
Meal #5—Breakfast for dinner-scrambled eggs, biscuits, fruit, bacon (I discovered some bacon at Aldi that contains no nitrates. However, I can’t find the picture now! It had great flavor.)
Meal #6—Leftovers–My kids actually LOVE leftover nights. I have several picky eaters. Getting to choose their dinner is a nice change for them. I just pull out all the containers of leftovers and place them on the counter. Everyone fills and heats up their own plate.
–To prep main dishes on Sunday:
- Use at least a 5 lb. package of ground beef. Brown 1 pound for the taco pie and assemble the meat mixture (see recipe). Depending on your family size, make the remaining 4 pounds into hamburger patties. If you don’t want that many hamburger patties, then use 2 pounds for hamburger patties and then brown the other 2 pounds and freeze in 1 pound packages.
- If only making 1 taco pie for the week, place half your meat mixture (see recipe) in a container with lid and refrigerate for use later in the week and place half meat mixture in a labeled quart size freezer bag and stick in the freezer. If making 2 taco pies, then just place all the meat mixture in a container with lid and refrigerate until cooking day.
- Make desired amount of hamburger patties (see recipe) and place in a dish with lid for refrigeration. I like to put them in a Pyrex 9 x 13 with a lid. If you have more than one layer of hamburger patties, place wax paper or foil between layers. If you make extra hamburger patties for the freezer, I like to wrap each one individually in aluminum foil and then place all the foil packages in a labeled gallon Ziploc freezer bag. This way, I can just pull out what I need later and not have to thaw all of them at once.
- Make marinade for Greek-inspired chicken. Place chicken and marinade in a labeled Ziploc freezer bag. That’s it for this one, see how easy it would be to do 2 of these at once? On cooking day, open the freezer bag and dump contents into slow cooker…easy peasy!
- Assemble pizza pasta according to the recipe. Except do not cook. To make it easy, again, I would assemble in a 9 x 13 Pyrex with a lid. Stick it into the fridge. Then on cooking day, I would take lid off and bake according to the recipe. Go ahead and do yourself a favor, make two of these and freeze one for another day or for a gift to someone who needs it.
- At this point, you could be done for the week as all the main dishes are prepped and in the fridge. If you want to do a few extra steps to make the week easier, go ahead and mix up the garlic butter for your garlic bread and mix together the dry ingredients for the biscuits. Or better yet, make a batch of freezer biscuits so you only have to pull out what you need on cooking day.
Can you imagine how easy dinner would be on a week where you prepped all of this on Sunday? Or how simple it would be to double one of these recipes this week to have something to pop in your freezer for later? It really is that simple! My goal in showing you some meal plans is to help you see and experience how easy and fearless it is to make filling your freezer a way of life.
Happy Weekend to You!
August 26, 2016 Meal Plan – Google Docs
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