Archive | MEAL PLAN

WEEKLY MEAL PLAN TEMPLATE DOWNLOAD + MARCH WK 3

As promised, I’m sharing my meal plan templates below in both Photoshop and jpgs… will also share on Instagram Stories (and then save to a “meal plan” highlight) if you prefer to take a screen shot and then use. Let me know if you have any other requests.

So excited about our meals this week. With baseball games starting and the sun being out (yay!) I tried to stick to meals that are simple and easy to adjust — so we can all say “YES!” to impromptu outings and get togethers. Also included a very yummy recipe for Magnolia’s banana pudding for all those that made it (or wish they could’ve made it) to the silos this past weekend. Check it all out below!

m | slow cooker moroccan chicken + couscous

tu |beef + avocado quesadillas (might sub ground beef for refried beans tho)

w | chicken tenders + fries (homemade or takeout) + chopped (or costco) salad — we’ll be at a baseball game in Tacoma so plan on bringing a salad and then stopping by our favorite local spot for a few orders!

th | crispy breakfast pita

f | DAD’S CHIOCE + HAPPY HOUR– johan’s pick was kabobs on the grill (lots of ideas HERE!)

sa | spicy mint beef + rice with warm edamame

su | easy turkey lettuce cups

breakkie | muffins are always a welcome change of pace early in the morning or as a snack. we enjoy this recipe! the copycat sausage breakfast sandwiches were a big hit (plus we bought the sausage patties from costco) so we’ll be making more this week. i should’ve written “eggs” since everyone likes theirs differently (not just hardboiled) but eaten in any form with a fruit smoothie strikes a perfect balance anytime of day but especially in the morning!

lunch | chicken salad (make a batch at the beginning of the week) pitas are fun, stuffed or as a dip. homemade lunchables are my favorite to pack and parfaits just seem like a good way to spice things up!

snack | this pudding recipe is so good… perfect for a playdate treat! trying to do more prep work at the beginning of the week to make things run more smoothly with our schedules filling up, including veggies to snack on. these apple monsters are a fun snack too!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD via Dropbox.

If you don’t have a Dropbox account, it’s super easy, doesn’t cost anything and won’t clog up your email with junk either.

Let me know if you have any trouble and don’t forget to share with your friends!

xo, Rae

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WEEKLYMEAL PLAN, MARCH WK 2

We got a little glimpse of spring over the weekend in the form of sunshine and daylight savings (yay!) and spent a ton of time outside (double yay!)! Things are moving a little slowly this morning so we’ll see how I really feel about the time change in a couple hours, lol. Crazy how one hour can mess up your routine… hopefully this meal plan helps get your week going!

M | my mom was the queen of making ramen noodle salad back in the day and will be over for dinner and Ozzie’s first baseball game tonight so it seemed like a good night to make it

TU | slow cooker pork tacos… there are lots of recipes out there but oh so delicioso recipes never disappoint!

W | eat out or leftovers… hoping we’ll have enough pork meat leftover for fun nachos or quesadillas. mexican two nights in a row, yes please!

TH | honey lime salmon bowls — these look so yum and healthy and king salmon is in season (sub other fish or meat if not available where you live) just be sure to buy WILD and not farm raised!

F | breakkie for dinner — this eggs benedict recipe is calling my name!

SA | plan a dinner with friends — daylight savings makes it easier to hang with friends for a happy hour or dinner

SU | shamrock raviolis (costco sells them in the coolers by the cheese and meat — I’ll share a visual on stories today and save under the “eat” highlight so you know what the package looks like!)

BREAKKIE | all the kids’ appetites have been crazy lately so planning on pre-making a bunch of these sausage breakfast sandwiches for a quick but still filling meal or snack, toast is my favorite comfort food (here are some savory options), and overnight oats are sooooo good too… try these recipes if you don’t already have a go-to!

LUNCH | at this point of the school year we’re in need of easy options that still feel special — leftovers, charcuterie and different PB+J combinations seemed to be perfect options!

SNACK (and a treat too!) | shared some cake pops for st. patrick’s day in this post, homemade kale chips (good tips here but I like making them with salt and coconut oil) are so good and french fries are everyone’s favorite appetizer to order at a restaurant to tie the kids over so why not serve for after school snack!?

So excited to get my shopping done and eat alllll the food this week! What do you guys think?

xo, Rae

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WEEKLY MEAL PLAN, MARCH WK 1

After a couple week hiatus (courtesy of a crazy week followed by the flu) I’m so ready to jump back into our weekly meal planning and kick March off with some momentum. In addition to getting organized and coming out of our winter hibernation mode, I’m hoping to get a head start on spring cleaning (i.e. purge) so once all the spring sunshine, park dates, and baseball games show up I’ll be ready to play…!

Here’s what’s on the menu this week…

…side note: if you make nothing else from this meal plan, promise you’ll try the Korean steak bowls? I left a few notes next to the link below to help make it more kid friendly.

m | philly cheesesteak, french dip, paninis, tuna melt, grilled cheese (these are so good!), or pick up jersey mikes, jimmy johns, etc.

t | KOREAN STEAK BOWLS we grilled the marinated flank steak and omitted the Korean Sunchang and chile paste to make it little kid (and me) friendly and it was sooooo good you guys have to try this recipe! The entire time I was eating it I was thinking, “I should take a pic and share on stories” but it was too good to put down, lol.

w | eat out or maybe just some good old-fashioned boxed mac and cheese action with a side salad and rotisserie chicken :)

th | baked potato bar (topping ideas: sour cream, cheese, bacon, salami, cooked steak from tuesday night or any leftover meat, broccoli, chopped spinach or arugula, avocado, tomatoes, salsa, chives, butter, salt and pepper…)

f | diy calzones, for a fun twist on pizza night! make or grab dough from papa murphy’s or other restaurant/store and set out all the fillings, sauces, cheese (include ricotta), meat, veggies…

sa | sheet pan chicken fajitas

su | pad thai (or grab takeout)

breakkie | shared a fun way to take smoothies and waffles to go in the “eat” story highlights, so many yummy egg bake options here, add sprinkles to cereal or yogurt for a quick upgrade!

lunch | more simple twist on classics for lunch!

snack | pantry party mix is a great way to use up snacks, and we love making grape caterpillar kabobs (add candy eyes) and energy bites!

Would love to hear from you about these weekly plans! All recipe suggestions and feedback is welcome!

xo, Rae

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WEEKLY MEAL PLAN, FEBRUARY WK 2

(image from our snowman marshmallow recipe from last week!)

We’re still hunkered down and enjoying snow days here in the PNW! The kids went to school one day last week and are home again today after a fresh 4+ inches of snow last night. I’ve said it so many times I’m annoying myself but, you guys this snow situation is unreal! Reminds me of my childhood in Chicago (minus the below zero temps thank God, ha!). Anyways, since I’ve been doing a lot of feeding people (playing in the snow really works up an appetite!) I tried to make this weeks meal plan super simple with easy substitutes.

M | california chicken caesar salad (just add avocado to your favorite recipe or try these: here and here. rotisserie chicken is always a good addition too!)

T | kids pick! (here’s hoping they pick something easy! ha!)

W | quinoa stuffed peppers (the costco version is delicious too!)

TH | hubby picks for Valentine’s Day and then we can cook together… maybe we’ll even feed the kids pizza, tuck them in early and enjoy a date night in!

F |honey mustard chicken (insta pot or scroll to the bottom for a slow cooker option)

S | smokey beef + black bean chili (if we’re home on a sunday I’ll make a pot of chili or soup right when we get home from church so people can eat whenever their tummy growls and I only have to make one meal :)

BREAKKIE | emoji pancakes (we made them last year for Valentine’s Day and the kids loved it!), dreaming of a trip to Paris so also craving croissants (lol), yogurt parfait ideas here

LUNCH | a lunch version of a cutie (charcuterie) platter – sliced baguette, cheese, meat, fruit, nuts, etc., planning a trip to Trader Joe’s this week and will be grabbing tabouleh and california rolls from the coolers (yum!), cookie cutter sandwiches are always fun for Valentine’s day lunches – just ordered this one and love having these for their monogram :)

SNACK | homemade popcorn + strawberry milk (pink for v-day and there are lots of healthy version out there!), bread pretzels are easy to make with pre-made pizza dough – here’s a basic recipe, knead cheese in if desired, shape into hearts and dip in favorite red sauce if desired! Don’t forget to try our marshmallows recipe too!

Do you guys have plans for Valentine’s Day?

Johan almost always works so we usually celebrate on a different night. This year he’s home but I think we’ll stick to our tradish and avoid the dinner crowds slash overwhelmed staff.

xo, Rae

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WEEKLY MEAL PLAN, FEBRUARY WK 1

Ohhhh, I have a good and easy week of meals for you guys! Planned everything with busy evenings, snow days (yay!), big flavors and healthy immune systems in mind. Hope it makes your week a little easier and a lot more delicious.

Here’s whats on the menu…

TU | carne asada street tacos (simplify by using the carne asada steak at costco… it does not disappoint!)

W | poke bowls (optional, buy fish from local sushi restaurant or sub for other seafood/meat)

TH | slow cooker bbq chicken sandwiches

F | bbq chicken flatbread pizza

SU |mini muffin tin turkey meatloaves

BREAKKIE, LUNCH, SNACK | chunky monkey protein shake, after school fondu, immune boost smoothie (lots to choose from here! Also found this to be a good reminder for keeping the fam bam healthy as there’s been a nasty stomach bug going around the kids’ schools)

Would love to know if you’ve been following along with meal plans or have any feedback for me… let’s chat in comments!

xo, Rae

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WEEKLY MEAL PLAN JANUARY, WEEK 4

Please tell me you guys tried the mozzarella chicken meatballs from last week’s menu? If not, swap them out for one of the dinners this week! They’re that good.

Here’s what’s on the menu this week…

M | BLTA + favorite soup

W | sheet pan crispy parm garlic chicken

TH | slow cooker beef + broccoli

F | fish taco bowls (so many options out there… we’re going to try this one!) + margaritas (if you have a fave margarita recipe please share in the comments)

SU | slow cooker black bean chili for the super bowl (or your favorite meat filled chili!)

BREAKKIE | mini veggie frittatas, peanut butter breakfast cookies

LUNCH | spring rolls (an oldie but a goodie from my armommy days!)

SNACK | cheese cake cookie bars, pantry party mix

Hope you had a wonderful and restful weekend!

XO, Rae

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MEAL PLAN: JANUARY WEEK 3

Excited to share this weeks meal plan. Be prepared for lots of delicious leftover lunches and make sure to add these oreo penguins to your to do list!

LINKS BELOW.

tu | chicken parm meat balls

w | slow cooker apricot chicken over rice

th | sweet green copycat kale harvest bowl

sa | creamy tortellini and sausage soup

breakkie | we still make this protein shake on repeat, here’s some savory toast inspiration, and in case you needed an excuse to eat ice cream for breakfast try this recipe!

lunch | here’s a good example of flatbread and dippers but would add black olives for a couple of my kids (use leftover flatbread for pizza snacks after school)

snack | we’ve been meaning to make these cute snowmen!

Let me know what you think of the meal plans so far (is there something I’m missing or doing too much of, etc?) and please share your favorite recipes in the comments too!

xo, Rae

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WEEKLY SPREADS ON INSTAGRAM STORIES

You guys, I have a couple new things planned for this year but my favorite might just be bringing back some weekly meal plan inspiration! I was initially just going to share on Instagram Stories every Sunday and then save them to highlights (behind today because we haven’t had power the last couple days!) but don’t want to leave anyone out… also wanted to make sure it was easy to find links while I wait to hit that coveted 10K on Instagram, HA!

m | 30 min. chicken in coconut mango verde sauce — so sad we won’t actually be making this tonight because of a power outage, but I can’t wait to swap it out for one of our takeout nights!

th | slow cooker white chicken chili… so easy and my go to when feeding a crowd

f | this arugula salad is still my favorite plus it’s easy to make and goes with just about anything adult or kid friendly!

su | we might opt for an easy store-bought french dip sandwich but if not, you really can’t go wrong with the pioneer woman’s version

BREAKKIE | protein pancakes, freezable breakfast taquitos

LUNCH | copycat bistro box

SNACK | no bake energy balls, yogurt parfaits (these are so good too!)

So excited to be better at meal planning this year and heard from several of you who are wanting to do the same… Let me know in the comments if you have any questions!

xo, Rae

 

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THEME NIGHTS FOR OCTOBER DINNERS

(PICTURED | latte bowls and spoon (old) from anthropologie, enamel tray from amazon (came with dings/character), soup is white bean and chicken chili)

I have a love hate relationship with themes. On one hand they help limit the possibilities so decisions are easier to make and options are easier to find. On the other hand, they can also feel limiting. So in any given situation it all comes down to what is needed the most – structure or freedom – and this month for dinners I’m definitely feeling a need for a little more of the first. Which is kinda shocking considering the rest of our life is so structured lately, you’d think I’d be craving a little more creativity and endless possibilities. However, 30 days isn’t very much of a commitment and will also get us through most of soccer, football and track season on a much better diet than where my creativity would lead me, lol.

Here’s the breakdown of the theme night dinners I picked, but would be easy to switch for your family.

SALAD OR SOUP + SANDWICH MONDAY |

TACO TUESDAY | PSA, national taco day is on Friday!

BREAKKIE FOR DINNER WEDNESDAY | aside from pancakes, waffles or baked french toast

ASIAN FUSION THURSDAYthink spring rolls, curry, anything with coconut, rice noodles, etc. Here’s a few favorites!

FREE DAY FRIDAY | whatever your little heart desires. pizza, pasta (must make this ASAP), grilled cheese (the best combos here!), takeout, eat out, game day food, cereal, ice cream… (see how I’m progressively going downhill, lol.)… it all goes.

CROCKPOT SATURDAY | it’s pretty slim pickings around here when it comes to crock pot dishes but here are a few goodies.

  • this is a good make ahead dish and could work for Thursday dinner too!
  • making a batch of shredded chicken and then adding to dinners and lunches all week!
  • this apricot chicken is so good.
  • most of the soups above can be made in the crockpot too!

SHEET PAN SUNDAY | this isn’t something I’ve done a lot of but the fewer the dishes the better and I could eat roasted veggies for any meal so let’s do this sheet pan thang!

Ok, now I’m just supper hungry. And need to make a shopping list.

Let me know if you are going to join us for theme night dinners for October!!! Even if it’s not the same themes, it would still be fun. Will try and share on Instagram stories too.

XO, Rae

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MAY MEALS, TAKEOUT TIPS + SNACK IDEAS

We’ve been making these fun apple-almond (or peanut) butter monster mouths a lot lately, after my friend suggested it, and they are so, so good and fun to make! Although I found peanut butter smeared in random-ish places, the kids were able to put them together themselves for the most part and were completely occupied which is always a bonus. Just thought I’d pass the idea along if you’re looking for something creative to snack on.

Dinners, on the other hand, have looked a lot less creative which is why I didn’t share a menu last month. But with the start of May has come sunshine, a less hectic baseball schedule (no rainouts!), and less needy kids (yay outside playtime!). All of which are game changers, but lets be honest, whether your kids are little and needing hands-on attention, or older and in evening activities, there is no amount of sunshine or meal planning that will make dinnertime easy, so I’m still going to keep things pretty simple this month. Keep scrolling to find my best tips for getting takeout, picnic ideas, a list of v. easy dinners and our go-to filling snacks!

MONSTER MOUTHS | Spread favorite nut butter on one side of your apple slices. Line one apple slice with a row of marshmallows. Top with other slice. Use peanut butter to add candy eyes and eat!

TAKEOUT IDEAS

  • Tired of pizza and sandwiches for takeout? Try ordering from your favorite Thai, Sushi, Indian restaurant or that cute little Italian place down the street…
  • Look for specials on certain nights of the week — for instance, Monday’s are double points at Jersey Mike’s so that’s been our go-to… every other visit our order is half priced!
  • Do 1/2 and 1/2 — for example, make a big salad at home and order your favorite crab fritters (or whatever) to go!
  • Grab some grocery store takeout from the deli/coolers — Trader Joe’s has yummy stuff, but most places offer more than jo-jos and corndogs these days :)

PICNIC DINNERS

  • Copycat Starbucks Bistro Boxes
  • This caprese sandwich looks delish and very packable
  • Mediterranean chicken pasta salad (I use rotisserie chicken or salami in a pinch!)
  • Charcuterie platter
  • Sandwich or antipasto skewers
  • Any chopped salad (my fave), Goddess bowl or quinoa salad (this one looks yum) in a mason jar
  • Chicken fried rice is a picnic win for us. This recipe is similar to the one we use, but I usually swap out the peas for chopped broccoli or whatever else is in the fridge. It’s also a great way to use up leftover chicken breast or a rotisserie.
  • Favorite pizza
  • TIP: I usually pack things up in tupperware, but when I want to avoid them getting left at the field or in the car for too many days, THESE are handy, compostable containers. We’ve gotten THESE for parties before too and enjoy when we have extras to use. Definitely nice to have options!

REALLY EASY DINNERS

  • Anything in a bowl — goddess bowls, burrito bowls, etc.
  • French bread pizza
  • Tuna melts
  • Egg and sausage breakfast sandwiches — add pesto, avocado, basil, fancy cheeses (like the coconut gouda at TJ’s) to spice things up!
  • French dip sandwiches
  • These enchiladas are the best! Although they aren’t the easiest or fastest, they are easy to make ahead and the bake time helps with clean up.
  • Tomato pesto spaghetti florentine
  • Store-bought, ready to grill, kabobs
  • Quesadillas with black beans, avocado, etc.
  • The stuffed bell peppers from Costco
  • Baked potatoes
  • Nachos
  • Crockpot shredded chicken or pork for throwing together tacos, salads, soups, etc.

FILLING SNACKS

Yesterday while looking for meal ideas, I stumbled upon a few recipe cards given to me by a family friend during my kitchen themed bridal shower. They read:

 

“AH-SO ON THE GO”

1) enter your favorite chinese takeout phone number here _____________.

2) Call.

“DOUGH ON A ROLL”

1) Enter favorite pizza joint phone number here _____________.

2) Call.

and

“IF YOU MUST, CHICKEN BUST”

1) Chicken breasts.

2) Favorite bottle of BBQ sauce, put on chicken

3) BBQ until done.

I loved finding these cards among all the trusted, handed down and detailed recipes. It reminded me not to be so “all or nothing” when it comes to feeding the fam and that on those nights or seasons when life is crazy or I just don’t want to cook, there are other options and no need to feel guilty about it. Just hope all the lists above help a little!

XO, Rae

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COSTCO HAUL… (OUR FAVORITE THINGS TO BUY AT COSTCO)

You guys know I’m all about a good meal plan and shopping list but there are certain times, months and weeks during the year when simply having a stocked kitchen and a generous list of easy, fun and mostly healthy meals and snacks is the best option. To do this, it’s more about the shopping than it is the plan and I think we would all agree Costco and Trader Joe’s are the best places to accomplish this. Since I’m still a newbie at Trader Joe’s, thought I’d start by sharing our Costco must-haves. Because we all know the way to a happy home is through everyones bellies. Case in point, below.

A Pocky little Poppy :)

Feed me mama! Ha! Yet her half of the hot dog, minus the mustard, is sitting on the table. I swear my kids always assume that whatever I’m eating is somehow better than what they have?

There’s my little birdie again, waiting for a bite!

Now for a loooong list of things we mostly keep stocked from Costco… Some of my pics didn’t turn out (sorry) so there is a lot of stuff listed that isn’t pictured, but hopefully it still helps!

PRODUCE: 

  • mini cucumbers (so yummy and convenient. easy to pack up and dip in hummus too!)
  • mini bell peppers (also so good and easy for packing and dipping)
  • the salad kits (i’m a sucker for just about any “chopped” salad, and we only use half of the dressing on each one. top with chicken, steak or sandwich meat and you have an easy dinner)
  • spinach or power greens (great with fried eggs or in smoothies!)
  • berries (for snacking, adding to yogurt, oatmeal or protein pancakes in the morning or packing up for a dinner side)
  • kiwis
  • grapefruit
  • limes/lemons
  • watermelon (when in season)
  • apples, bananas, grapes, cuties :)

FRIDGE:

  • carne asada (pictured below & it’s soooo good. thank you to our friends for introducing it to us!)
  • organic chicken breast
  • flautas (usually served as a hearty snack or if someone needs to leave for a game/practice and dinner isn’t quite done.)
  • chicken meatballs (the kids aren’t crazy about them but Johan and I love them and they are already cooked so make dinner prep quick!)
  • pesto (for pasta night, breakfast sandwiches – that we often serve for dinner – paninis and THIS SALAD)
  • jack’s organic salsa (my personal favorite but i don’t like the spicy stuff. aside from snack and taco/quesadilla/nacho/burrito bowl night, i add it to my eggs in the morning.)
  • guacamole cups
  • hummus and hummus cups
  • half + half + milk
  • eggs (organic free range)
  • string cheese or babybel’s
  • almond milk
  • ground turkey

FREEZER:

  • pot stickers
  • mango chunks (for smoothies)
  • blueberries (for smoothies)
  • berry mix (for smoothies)
  • edamame
  • french fries
  • spinach raviolis

DRINKS:

  • la croix
  • honest juice
  • izze sodas (every once in awhile)
  • bai juices (also every once in awhile)
  • beeeeer :) (also every once in awhile, but especially in the summer)
  • stumptown cold brew coffee (was available the last time i went but they don’t usually have it)

PANTRY:

  • quinoa and brown rice packets by seeds of change (these pouches will change your life. warm up in the microwave and add to a burrito bowl, goddess bowl, breakfast burrito or THIS SALAD
  • cans of black beans
  • canned chicken for salad, chicken melts or to eat with crackers/cucumber slices
  • canned diced tomatos (for pasta al fresco, soups or chilis)
  • chicken stock
  • corn + flour tortillas
  • mike’s killer or good seed bread
  • coconut oil
  • olive oil
  • raw almonds
  • organic spaghetti
  • mixed berry or raspberry jam
  • ALL THE NUT BUTTERS – adams peanutbutter, organic creamy peanut butter, almond butter
  • kodiak protein pancake mix
  • pretzels
  • late july sea salt multi-grain chips
  • pirate booty
  • organic tortilla chips
  • pocky biscuit sticks (bought these on a whim just before valentine’s day so now the kids request them every time i go — oops — but i think they are less expensive at winco)
  • Kirkland coffee pods
  • fruit leathers
  • applesauce or go-go squeeze fruit pouches
  • chia seed pouches
  • fig bars
  • zbars
  • baobab superfruit powder (for smoothies)
  • ground flaxseed and chia seeds OR antioxidant blend with flax, coconut, acerola, açaí, and camu-camu (for smoothies, energy bites and oatmeal)
  • gold standard protein powder (our favorite kind because it’s not chalky tasting. costco doesn’t always carry it but last time it was there the price was $15 less than amazon)

BAKERY:

  • muffins (ftw, always. perfect for busy mornings because the kids love them as much as crepes so they hurry down for breakfast, but i don’t have to cook :) — we usually serve them with scrambled eggs or a protein shake and fruit)
  • dinner rolls (sometimes we grab them for sliders, meatball subs or pulled pork sandwiches and then use the rest for lunches. they are the perfect size for the kids… but is also white bread so feels like a treat to the kids.)
  • pretzel buns (if we plan on feeding chili to a crowd!)

Is there anything sexier than a trunk filled with Costco goods? I think not! ha! When Johan and I first got married, our weekly grocery budget was approx. $50 so you better believe I feel so incredibly blessed every time I get to stock up on food for my family.

Do you guys geek out as much as I do over groceries and stores? Please say yes (lol) and tell me what your favorite part or place is!?

XO, Rae

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