Winter Meal Planning

If you are new to meal planning you definitely need to consider creating a ‘theme’ for every night of the week.  Even though I’m just cooking for two, every week I create a meal plan and write it on the Menu Board so there’s no question of “what’s for dinner tonight?”.  Meal planning helps me create my grocery list and keeps me from buying unnecessary items.  It also prevents us from eating out too often.

While creating meal plans I realized every day became some sort of a theme depending on the season/weather, so I thought it would be fun to share with you.  Having a theme for every day of the week definitely makes meal planning easier, even though I don’t always follow it exactly.

Here are some healthy ideas for each night:

Monday:  I usually cook boneless skinless chicken breasts with a combination of spices, herbs, and condiments/oils/vinegars.  You can use any ‘grill’ recipe and just spray a glass pan with cooking spray and bake the chicken instead at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the juices run clear. On Monday I bake extra chicken for dinner so I can put the extra on my salads for lunch.

My favorite healthy baked chicken is just a combination of 4  small chicken breasts, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt, 3 cloves garlic, juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, and salt and paper.  (Spray a glass pan and bake, if grilling add a little EVOO.)  Baking with yogurt sounds so weird but it keeps the chicken from getting dry.  I serve this with a vegetable and brown rice, quinoa, or couscous.

Tuesday:  TACO TUESDAY!  My favorite day of the week.  Make Taco Tuesday healthy by making your own taco seasoning or enchilada sauce.  See my recipe for Taco Seasoning and Turkey Tacos Here.  For a healthier ‘taco’ use corn or whole wheat tortillas or skip the tortilla and make brown rice or quinoa bowls.

Wednesday:  Brinner is such an easy dinner to make.  We usually do omelets with two eggs and 1 egg white each.  I have a veggie omelet with whatever veggies we have on hand (usually red pepper, tomato, and spinach) with a little parmesan cheese.  I usually make my husband an omelet with canadian bacon, onion, red pepper, and cheddar cheese.

Thursday:  So the reason this is either fish or Italian is because my husband is not the biggest fan of fish.  He eats it and enjoys it, but not enough to have every week.  If we’re doing fish I typically cook fresh salmon.  My favorite simple recipe is baked salmon with just honey, garlic, and ginger.

If we’re doing Italian I usually have leftover sauce in the freezer or quickly whip up a batch.  Find the marinara sauce recipe I use here.  Then I serve it with quinoa pasta and/or zucchini noodles.  I used to make spaghetti squash but lately I’ve been obsessed with zucchini noodles.  Then I bake or fry some chicken in a pan to go with it.

Friday:  For Pizza night we usually buy a frozen dough, I have not mastered making my own yet.  I let it thaw out while we’re at work so it’s ready to go for dinner.  Pizza night is always something different, we have done BBQ Chicken, Buffalo Chicken, Thai Chili Chicken, Banana Pepper, Margherita, and White Garlic Spinach.  I hope to share some of these recipes with you soon.

If you want a healthier option make your favorite pizza on a corn our whole wheat tortilla and bake until the cheese melts.

Saturday:  For a great Saturday crockpot meal I highly suggest doing some slider sandwiches with chicken or pork.  They are great when you are entertaining on the weekend.

Sunday:  I love doing Soup or Stew on Sunday because it’s usually just a one pot meal and you don’t need to make a mess in the kitchen.  I usually look at Pinterest to find a good soup or stew recipe.  Lately we have been doing chili or a beef stew.  Helps you keep warm and snuggly in the harsh winter months.

I know Winter is almost over, but I hope some of you can find this useful until it feels like Spring when we can open the windows and grill every night.  I will definitely get a ‘Spring/Summer’ Meal Theme out to you soon!

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