The magic of rhythms is in the process, not the particulars.
-Kim John Payne, M.ED
Do you find it stressful and chaotic when it comes to cooking dinner?
Streamline your cooking routine by making it less complicated to get dinner on the table for you and your family. DESIGNATED MEAL NIGHTS have been a true time saver for me and my family.
I'm grateful to come home to a non-stressful situation when it comes to dinner because I already know ahead of time what's on the menu.
DESIGNATED MEAL NIGHTS basically means each night of the week is assigned a specific type of meal. For example, Monday nights are when we eat pasta. I don't serve the same pasta meal each week. Each week we change components of the pasta dish. One week we might have goat cheese and beet ravioli with a grass-fed beef tomato sauce and a salad, and the next week we might have lentil penne with a ground turkey tomato sauce with chopped kale.
This makes each week exciting and fresh so no one dies of food boredom.
I think it's very important to include your family when deciding on meals for the week. This way everyone's voice is heard and both adults and kids can feel important by contributing to the family's routines. This also helps young children to build and sustain healthy eating habits in the future.
My family has decided on the following designated meal nights (see below). This has been our weekly meal plan way for about 6 months now, and we are always open for change when when we want to spice up the week with something new.
Every week is not perfect, and we aren't striving to be. We enjoy being spontaneous every now and then and making decisions that best fit our needs for that specific week or day.
DESIGNATED MEAL NIGHT PLAN
Thursday: Brinner (Breakfast for dinner)
Friday: TBD (Date night; or order out; or last minute decision)
Saturday: TBD (Date night; or order carry out; or last minute decision)
Sunday: We decide as a family in the morning what to cook before going to the grocery store to buy food for the week.
If you are interested in finding some simple ideas for cooking pasta, tacos, pizza and more then feel free to check out my Balanced Meals for quick recipes!
When mixing up your meal nights try to make small changes so it doesn't get overwhelming when it comes time to cook. Remember, we want to keep things simple! Swap or change the protein, vegetable, or carbohydrate choice every week or every other week in that meal.
Here's an example of swapping options to change Taco Night each week:
Protein: ground beef, ground chicken, ground turkey, ground chorizo, fish, chicken, black beans
Veggies: chopped spinach, arugula, kale, radishes, chopped broccoli, romaine lettuce wraps
Carbs: rice, whole grain tortillas, sweet potato
Toppings: cheese, guacamole, salsa, Greek yogurt or sour cream
Remember, there is no need to overwhelm yourself every week with the many choices of dinner meals you could cook. Keep your eating habits clean and simple, but add your personality and taste to it as well. Design a simple meal plan that excites you, your family, and keeps your stress levels on the down low.
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