You asked for it – you got it! Meal Plan Monday is back. I’ve been making menu plans behind the scenes, but life has been hectic and I just haven’t gotten around to posting them here. It’s time to get these plans rolling again. I find them so helpful and from what you’re telling me, you do too.
Remember that if you’re looking for new plans or perhaps aren’t that fond of the ideas in the current plan, you can simply go through the archives for my previous meal plans. I tend to plan somewhat seasonally, so old January menu plans will likely be a good fit for this January too!
Meal Plan Monday: January 6-12
I have to admit. Last year, I lost a bit of my meal prep steam with the loss of Supperworks. It’s a place that’s all set up for you to go in and quickly do some meal prep. Then, I reminded myself that I can do my own meal prep here at home! Scroll down to the bottom of this post if you’d like to see my top 3 meal prepping tips!
WEEKLY MEAL PLAN
YOUR GUIDE TO THE MEALS IN MY MENU PLANS:
FF = FREEZER FRIENDLY
SC = SLOW COOKER
MF = MEAT FREE
PLO = PLANNED LEFTOVERS
MA – MAKE AHEAD
BBQ – GRILLED FOOD
I’m also planning extra simple meals on Saturdays and Sundays so that we truly can take a Sabbath and spend some time focusing on family and fun!
This Week’s Meals
Maple mustard pork tenderloin (FF), mashed potatoes, corn, Brussels sprouts
Lasagna soup (SC), Caesar salad, garlic bread
Bacon wrapped chicken, roast sweet potatoes, green beans
One Pan Zesty Pork Chops and Rice (my sister-in-law Jerri’s recipe), spinach, carrots
Monte Cristos (basically ham and cheese sandwiches dipped in egg and milk mixture like for French toast), tomato soup, raw veggies and dip
Pierogi casserole, broccoli, carrots
Porcupine Meatballs, Baked Beans, Peas, Carrots
What are you having for dinner this week?
For More Meal Planning Ideas:
Looking for some super quick and easy meals? Check out these delicious 15 minute main dish recipes.
Save time and effort with 20 Easy Meals Using Rotisserie Chicken
You can find more of my menu plans here.
MEAL PREPPING TIPS:
Double Up on Your Cooking:
Over the holidays, I was prepping meals that are freezer friendly. I tripled the recipes so that we could eat one for dinner, pack one away in the freezer for my son-in-law’s grandmother (she lives alone and some premade meals in the freezer can be a big help), and pack a second one away in the freezer for us on a future date.
Cook extra side dishes too. Double the amount of rice or spaghetti you need. It freezes beautifully and can really cut down on the time needed to make dinner.
Batching Your Cooking:
Taking care of as much prep as I can ahead of time can really help! Invest in an hour now and save so much more later. There are a couple of ways to do this.
First of all, if I’m making something for dinner that requires onions, I’ll just go ahead and chop enough onions for all the dishes I’m serving that week. This works for other ingredients too. Just take a quick peek at your meal plan for the week and you can even add yourself a little note about upcoming ingredient needs.
Another great way to prep ahead is by assigning yourself an hour or two on a weekend to create as many batches of food to go into the freezer as you can. For example, I will often have several bags or containers laid out in front of me and I portion out a bunch of chicken.
Then it’s zip, zip, zip to add some herbs and spices, some oil, and some sort of acid (vinegar, wine, or lemon juice are all common choices for me) to each of the containers. Sometimes I add prepared sauces that I stocked up on when they went on sale instead of making a marinade. BBQ sauce, lemon pepper sauce, or even teriyaki sauce work well.
Throw these in the freezer and you’re all set with a main dish. I have found marinating meat in the freezer makes it the most tender and flavorful that I’ve ever had so that’s an added bonus.
Plan for Your Leftovers
When I’m planning out my menu for the week, I always think about what leftovers I’m going to have. If we have roast chicken, I know there is going to be some chicken left. So, I may add chicken fried rice to my plan. Or I may plan to freeze the leftover chicken for the following week’s meal plan.
Some of our leftovers are designated as lunches. Others are frozen for nights when someone has a meeting or other event and we’re eating at different times or on our own. Keeping these in mind for future uses can give you a head start on another meal.