Happy almost September! As we are all shifting from summering at home to schooling at home, things can feel a bit overwhelming for parents. (Not just me right?!). With so much that feels out of control in the world right now, I find that having a meal plan ready, and my shopping done ahead, can really help me manage some of the craziness of the week and help me take back a little control.

So this week, I’m pulling out a few tried and true family-friendly recipes to keep things easy and help get me back into a routine even for a bit.

My tip: Give the kids an audiobook to listen to, pour yourself an iced coffee, and grab a pen and paper (or open up your favorite grocery app) and let’s plan out meals for next week.

And breathe. We can do this.

Top: Beef Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps from What’s Gaby Cooking and Cornmeal Cheddar Bacon Pancakes with Fried Egg, Avo and Salsa from Diane Morrisey

Crispy pickle-marinated tofu sandwich from The New York Times with photo by andreaschwalmstolz on InstagramPhoto: @andreaschwamstolz on Instagram

Last week, Christina shared more than 12 creative ideas for how to use up leftover pickle juice, all based on suggestions from members in our Recipe Rescue Facebook group. (If you are not a member yet, join the conversation! It’s a super fun group that makes me laugh out loud at least one a day). I am so excited to give the The New York Times’ recipe for Crispy Fried Tofu Sandwich that uses pickle juice as the tofu marinade a whirl for Meatless Monday.You can see how her friend Andrea made it successfully, above.

I plan to grab some fresh corn on the cob to serve as a side if it’s still available, and if not, sliced watermelon would be a perfect accompaniment as we make the most of what’s left of summer produce.

Weekly Meal Plan: Sarah's Tacos from EverydayFood at MarthaStewart.com

Did anyone else absolutely love getting the Everyday Food publication? I really miss this little book of happiness and still have about two dozen issues stashed on my bookshelf. Sarah’s Tacos by Sarah Carey, the editor of Everyday Food, can be found on MarthaStewart.com these days and my kids ask for it weekly. Making your own taco shells is so easy (really!) and they are delicious. My kids call them “fluffy tacos.”


Weekly Meal Plan: Poached Cod in Tomato Sauce from NomNomPaleo

I am trying to work more fish into our diets and we can not live on fish sticks alone. This recipe for Poached Cod in Tomato Sauce from Nom Nom Paleo is so easy and it’s crazy delicious. Everyone snarfed it down and asked for seconds so this week, I plan to double the recipe.

If fresh cod is available, I highly suggest taking advantage of it, but if not, frozen works just fine. Using store-bought sauce is a huge time-saver and will help you rotate some of your pantry items. If you are swimming in fresh tomatoes, whip up a batch of simple tomato sauce to top it. Easy.


Weekly Meal Plan: Beef Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps from What's Gaby Cooking

On the first day of school, our tradition is for the kids to request their favorite meal.  This week, my college sophomore will start her classes online here at home (sniff), and her dinner request is for Beef Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps from What’s Gaby Cooking. It’s so simple and dang good, I will happily oblige!

If you can’t find hanger steak, just ask your butcher what would be a good substitute. I like serving it buffet style in the middle of table, with make-your-own toppings, which also means you don’t need any additional sides. My only suggestion is to double the recipe if you are feeding teenagers.


WeeklyMealPlan: Cornmeal Cheddar Bacon Pancakes with Fried Egg, Avo and Salsa from Diane Morrisey

Diane Morrisey inspires me daily on Instagram, and her recipe for Cornmeal Cheddar Bacon Pancakes with Fried Egg, Avo and Salsa is the breakfast-for-dinner recipe I never knew I needed. And now, I can’t live without it. I mean ALL of the good things in the world — bacon, cheddar, avocado — are right here on one plate. I like to think of it as the culinary mic drop at the end of the week.

And hey, moms: I know you are doing a lot for so many people, so be sure to make some time to care for yourself this week – whether it be enjoying a DIY Frosé and a new book, treating yourself to a new houseplant, or just ordering takeout one night and giving yourself a break from the kitchen. You deserve it.

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