Hey all! I’m Lisa! Nice to meet you all virtually — you know, how we are doing everything these days. As a mother of three busy kids, I haven’t always been the best at meal planning, but a few years ago I turned it from a New Year’s resolution into a huge part of my life, and am now officially an avid meal planner. It saves me so much time, so much money, and I even post the plan on a chalk board in my kitchen so when I get asked “what’s for dinner” I just point at the board.
Right now, meal planning is a bit different than it was pre-COVID. After stocking my pantry and freezer with the essentials two months ago, now I only get groceries ever 10 to 14 days. If you are like me, you may be looking for a few new meals to throw into the mix. while using up some of the items you already have.
So I put together this week’s meal plan using recipes that are super versatile, so you can use up the groceries that you have on hand, or easily swap ingredients based on what you can realistically find in most grocery stores right now.
Hopefully these recipes help you change things up a bit and inspire you to try something new! Especially these days, when anything new feels like a very, very exciting thing.
There are five recipes here, but you can easily stretch this into a 10-day plan by doubling the ingredients and following some simple tips.
So grab a pen and place your online grocery orders (fingers crossed you can get a sweet delivery spot!). Be sure you are signed up to receive our Weekly Meal Plan emails, then just file them all in a separate folder so you can easily find your favorites.
5 great dinner recipes and “double down” tips
to help you enjoy those leftovers
Quinoa bowls are one of my very favorite ways to eat this hearty grain. This Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl from Love and Lemons is an amazing way to use up the chick peas in your pantry and they taste so good with the roasted sweet potatoes. One of my favorite things about this recipe is that you really can use whatever you’ve got on hand – the variations are deliciously endless.
Double Down: Roast up a few extra sweet potatoes to mash up later this week or use in another recipe. Or, just double up your ingredients and layer ingredients in small mason jars so you can easily grab out of the fridge lunches for the week.
The other day my kids told me we eat tacos “like every night”. And…they were right. Because I accidentally ordered too many tortillas last week but hey, they’re tortillas! So to change things up, I am going to put a spin on both Taco Tuesday and BFD (Breakfast For Dinner) with these Breakfast Crunchwraps from Pinch of Yum. It’s a win win win. Or if you’re looking for more plant-based meal options, check out Pinch of Yum’s Vegetarian Crunchwrap Supreme, which we’ve featured in the past.
Double Down: Grab twice the tortillas and cheese you need (intentionally, this time) and you can create dinner crunchwraps adding in some black beans from the pantry, and even the extra roasted sweet potatoes from the quinoa bowls, above. And if you grab extra pork sausage, you can add it to the pizza, below.
There really is something wonderful about roasting a Pork Butt all day long — the pull apart texture, the aroma, the flavor. The silver lining to the stay-at-home situation is that you may actually have the time to do it.
I’m so excited to throw this Roast Pork Butt from Leite’s Culinaria in the oven this week, and then every time my kids ask “what’s for dinner,” I can say “pork butt” we can all laugh. This is my favorite recipe because it’s so simple, but the results are *chef’s kiss* perfect, like all of David’s recipes. Serve it with your favorite BBQ sauce and whatever veggies you have on hand — roast broccoli, mashed up sweet potatoes from earlier this week drizzled with maple syrup, or an easy coleslaw. And don’t forget the cornbread!
Double Down: Double the pork recipe and there’s so much you can do with it! It really is a great base for an easy tray of enchiladas or quesadillas.
Meatballs! Everyone loves meatballs. The best part of this Chicken Parmesan Meatballs recipe from Five Heart Home is that you can use ground chicken or ground turkey — right now grocery stores have limited stock so grab what you can find and it will work. Plus, you can use jarred marinara sauce just fine. Serve with whatever pasta you have in your pantry — or even pair with leftover quinoa from your grain bowl dinner.
Double Down: This is such an easy recipe to make more of. Double the quantity, and serve the meatballs on hoagie rolls with a huge green salad for lunch a day or two later. So good.
I’m not sure why, but the end of the week always calls for pizza. If you have got leftover pork from your Roast Pork Butt, this Southern BBQ Pizza with Pulled Pork from Spicy Southern Kitchen is a must try. It is my family’s very favorite.
Warning: you may find that using BBQ sauce as the pizza base is your new favorite thing and you will never go back to tomato. Also, if you jumped on the breadmaker bandwagon, give making your own pizza dough a whirl. I have found great success with this Bread Machine Pizza Dough from Mom on TimeOut.
And really, nearly any leftover veggies or protein you have from the week can be good on pizza. Like the extra sausage from the breakfast Crunchwraps — may I suggest a pizza topped with sausage, cheese and mushrooms?
Double Down: Make a lot more pizza dough. It freezes perfectly and can the kids ever have too much pizza?
We are heading into strawberry season (yay!), and one of my favorite ways to enjoy this sweet berry, besides eating them by the handful, is to whipping’s them up into a fresh fruit smoothie. Smoothies make a great guiltless dessert, an easy breakfast, or a fun treat in the afternoon.
This Healthy Strawberry Smoothie Recipe by The Recipe Rebel gives you a great base to work with and you can customize with what you have on hand — Greek yogurt, non-fat yogurt, coconut milk — smoothies are so forgiving Your kids can even make these themselves.