For this week’s weekly meal plan, I’m going to be honest — I’ve lost a bit of my passion for being in the kitchen over the last year. I know a lot of us are in the same boat. There have been no long, leisurely dinners in restaurants to break up the cooking. But I’ve found that meal planning is the best strategy I have, to make sure we actually cook and eat our dinners together, rather than just grabbing whatever we want or ordering pizza instead.
Not that there’s anything wrong with pizza night!
We’ve shared lots of ideas for those of you feeling the burnout right now including super easy dinners if you’re a little tired of all the cooking, 5 kid-friendly dinners that are easy to whip up, and plenty of 30-minute meals to save dinner when you just can’t. So here are a few more to add to that “I’m so done!” repertoire. This is what my family will be eating throughout next week.
In other words, if you don’t have it in you to meal plan, just steal mine. We’re all in this together.
At top: Firecracker Tofu at Vegan Travel Eats; “Everything but the Kitchen Sink” pasta salad at Halfbaked Harvest
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For #MeatlessMonday, I’m going to make this delicious Crock Pot Red Beans and Rice at Gimme Some Oven — it’s a favorite of ours. Her recipe calls for kielbasa, which my kids love so much. I cook it separately on the stovetop, though, so that the main dish in my slow cooker is meatless. That way my vegan husband can enjoy his dinner, and the kids can make theirs the way they like it too.
These Greek Chicken Gyros from Creme de la Crumb are one of my favorite dinner recipes, and not just because my teenage son has claimed it as the dinner he loves to cook himself. (Pro tip: Getting your kids to cook is another tip when you’re tired of cooking.)
We sear the chicken on my grill pan indoors, which is super easy and tasty. but if you’re serving vegetarians or vegans, you can substitute chickpeas or tofu. I plan to serve this with a Greek salad on the side and double the chicken, so we can have salads with chicken for lunch the next day. Less cooking for me.
When it starts to feel like spring, I crave cold pasta salads. This “Everything but the Kitchen Sink” pasta salad at Halfbaked Harvest is a favorite. It’s hearty enough to be your meatless main dish, chock full of veggies, tomatoes, and seeds to give it lots of nutrients. Or, you could serve it as a side dish with some grilled fish or steak to go a little easier on the calories.
DIY bowl dinners are always popular in my house, because my kids like options. This week I’ll do an Asian twist, by making this Firecracker Tofu at Vegan Travel Eats. My kids happen to love tofu cooked this way, where it’s crispy with a sweet and tangy sauce. The trick is getting all the moisture out, which you can do easily with a tofu press, or just use (a lot of) paper towels. If you’re not so sure you’re ready to try tofu, you could easily substitute chicken or pork instead.
Sometimes I like to focus on a labor-intensive side that’s totally worth it, then keep my main course super easy. This week I’m doing that with this delicious Asian Slaw with Ginger Peanut Dressing recipe at Once Upon a Chef.
I’ll make a big bowl of it early in the day on Friday to serve with burgers or maybe a DIY sandwich bar on the back porch for dinner. Yay for grilling season! We’ll all get tons of veggies in our bellies, and my kids won’t complain because that ginger peanut dressing is just the right amount of sweet and nutty to tempt them.