So this week, seems I got my second wind, y’all. After struggling through a bit of a cooking slump last week (Thanksgiving tends to do that to me), I finally turned a corner and got inspired to test a few new recipes to add into my rotation.

After some very honest feedback — nothing is quite as honest as a 16-year-old boy when it comes to food – these five recipes all met my family’s approval. Like, they literally licked their bowls and plates clean before requesting that I make these dinners again next week. I”ll call that a win for all of us!

I’m so excited to share them all with you this week. So, grab your pen and paper, or open up that AnyList app and make a shopping list for these plate-licking good recipes for the week ahead.

At Top: Sesame Chicken Bowls from Damn Delicious and Tomato Tortellini Soup from Baker By Nature 


I was genuinely surprised by how much my family loved this Tomato Tortellini Soup from Baker By Nature. Personally, I could survive on tomato soup alone, but my kids have never shared my enthusiasm. This recipe, however, is a tomato soup game-changer.

It’s a delicious combination of flavors and comes together in a snap. I subbed vegetable broth for chicken broth to honor Meatless Monday. And if you have an immersion blender (which I strongly recommend if you don’t already), use that to puree the soup right in the pot. A crusty loaf of bread is not necessary, but you will be glad you have it, homemade or store-bought,  to scrape every last bit out of your bowl.

Related: 7 Healthy Soup Recipes to Keep You Warm


StackedBeefEnchiladas from OnceUponAChef

Taco Tuesday is the one night theme night I fully embrace, though it doesn’t always have to be tacos. (It does, however, always have to include guacamole). To change things up a bit, I decided to try out this recipe for Mexican Beef Enchiladas by Jenn Segal at Once Upon A Chef, because it includes all of our favorite taco ingredients in one casserole dish.

I’m so glad I tried it out — It’s crazy good! And don’t be afraid of making the sauce, which is actually very simple. My suggestion is to roast and blend up the veggies earlier in the day then set aside, to save a bit of time when you are prepping. Serve with a bright green salad — and guacamole of course.


SesameChickenBowls from DamnDelicious

Ever since I discovered I am allergic to garlic and onions (I know, weep for me), I don’t do take-out Chinese any more. It’s a bummer for my kids, so when I get a chance, I try to recreate what I can at home. These Sesame Chicken Bowls from Damn Delicious actually are damn delicious, and I think so much better than take-out.

Of course, I made it without the garlic and no one missed it, but if you keep it in then I’m sure it’s delicious. The only downside to this dinner is that there were no leftovers, because everyone ate every last bit. So if you like leftovers for lunch the next day, I suggest doubling the recipe.

Related: Our Favorite Chinese Food Blogs for deliciously authentic Chinese food at home


Sheetpan Mini Meatloaf with Vegetables from RealFoodRDs

I often sing the praises of sheet pan dinners and this recipe for Sheetpan Mini Meatloaf with Vegetables from The Real Food Rds has me singing even louder. The only suggestion I have regarding this recipe is to double it; I did, because I know how much my kids eat, and the ingredients all still fit on one pan, no problem.

If your family doesn’t finish it all in one night, or you have younger (or less hungry) kids than mine, it makes terrific leftovers for lunch the next day.

Also see these 7 easy sheet pan dinner recipes


Chicken Enchilada Soup from TheShaySpence

I’m rounding out the week with soup night again,  because soup is perfect. If you don’t follow Shay Spence on Instagram yet (@theshayspence), I’ll wait for a minute while you go do that. I unapologetically live vicariously through his feed, which is how I found his recipe for Chicken Enchilada Soup.

It brought me right back to my childhood in Texas and the times we got to eat out at Chili’s. My kids  have never eaten at a Chili’s though, so they didn’t feel the nostalgia the same way, but they did love this soup. And, like the other recipes here, they’ve  already asked for me to make it again next week.

One note: Masa Harina is not the same as cornmeal. Look for it in the Hispanic foods section of your grocery store.

Follow our Weekly Meal Plan Ideas for Families board on Pinterest @CoolMomEats for even more ideas!


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