The hardest part of meal planning right now is that I am doing A LOT of it. With no camps, no sports, and cancelled vacations, it feels like I am running a small Bed and Breakfast. And to be perfectly honest, it is easy to get burned out trying to plan meals that will please everyone. So this week, I told the family they had to choose the meals for the week based off of favorites we have had over the past few months.
Smart, right? This way if anyone turns up a nose when it hits the table, I can remind them it was their choice.
Below are the meals they requested and to be honest, I am actually pretty pleased with the selections!
So grab a pen, or open up your AnyList app or other grocery app, and let’s plan out meals for next week.
Start out the week by putting your slow cooker to work. This recipe for Easy Crockpot Carnitas from Pinch of Yum is on heavy rotation in my kitchen. I love how easy and flavorful it is. It is also my go-to meal when I need to bring food to someone who needs a little extra help. I typically serve it with corn tortillas, black beans, avocado and a bit of cotija cheese. But you can also cook some rice and serve up carnitas rice bowls.
Use up the leftover carnitas in the super yummy Carnitas Tamale Pie also from Pinch of Yum. My entire crew devoured this dish and mumbled in between bites that it was the best thing I have ever made. If you can’t find creamed corn (which seems super elusive), you can throw a can of corn into your blender with a splash of milk or milk substitute, which works perfectly. Serve it up with a green salad and of course some guacamole. If you are vegan, you could substitute the carnitas for jackfruit and no one will know the difference.
I LOVE Mexican Street Corn. I mean, really, who doesn’t? So when I came across this recipe for Mexican Street Corn Summer Pasta Salad on Dianne Morrisey’s Instagram, I was downright giddy. (And if you are not following her yet, make sure you do.) I was nervous the kids wouldn’t like the flavors, but they ate seconds and thirds and asked me to make it again this next week. Turns out it’s the perfect combination of everything you love about street corn, but it all fits right on your fork — or in my case, a huge spoon.
For a perfect light protein to accompany the dish I grilled up some halibut. Though it is a hearty salad, so you could easily skip the protein all together and be fully satisfied.
Everyone loves to “make their own” when it comes to food. This Garlic Lime Steak and Noodle Salad from Smitten Kitchen is a fresh summer salad that pleases everyone. The flavorful steak is so good and the combination of fresh veggies and rice noodles keeps it light and fun. Set up a MYO serving station by lining up all the ingredients in separate bowls along a counter or table so the kids can load up a plate and, if they prefer, keep things from “touching.” (Been there!)
Ready for the most requested meal around her? Presenting: Baked Cream Cheese Chicken Taquitos from The Recipe Critic. Honestly, I have no issues with that; they are easy to make and SO delicious. I typically double up the recipe so there are plenty leftover for lunches. I serve these with a huge bowl of guacamole, black beans and a green salad. If I’m in a cheesy mood, I will make some Queso Blanco to dip the taquitos in and we’re all so happy.
Of course, not much goes better with taquitos and guacamole than a Fresh Strawberry Margarita from Gimme Some Oven. Strawberries are so good right now, especially if you are lucky enough to be able to pick your own, so be sure to take advantage of the seasonal bounty. You can also whip up a batch without the alcohol for the kids — just substitute water or coconut water — and have a little backyard party!
I put these weekly meals plans together based on recipes I am actually cooking for my family, and with you in mind. If you have suggestions, tips or recommendations for recipes or other food bloggers I should check out, please comment here, or shoot me a message in our Recipe Rescue group on Facebook. – Lisa