This week I am sharing my exact meal plan that I put together this past week. Why? Because my daughter told me that “I totally crushed dinner this week” when I served up Friday night’s meal. That is about the highest compliment you can get from a teenager. So after doing a bit of a celebratory dance, I decided that I needed to share my dinner wins with all of you.
So grab your pen, paper or open the AnyList app and and let’s do this.
At top: Potato Leek Soup from Once Upon A Chef and Baked Potato Skins at Small Town Woman
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Monday was so rainy and cold here, that the only meal on my mind was a cozy, warm soup, so I quickly threw together this Potato Leek Soup from Once Upon A Chef along with some toasted cheese breads for a comforting #MeatllessMonday. This recipe is so easy and delicious, you will find yourself working it into your weekly rotations often. Be sure to follow Jenn’s tips on cleaning the leeks – nothing ruins a soup more than sand and silt.
Related: 10 easy five ingredient soups to warm your belly
If you don’t already own a sturdy dutch oven, it is one of those “must haves” – especially with the soup/holiday season that is quickly approaching. Staub is one of my favorite brands because they do not cut any corners. This Staub Enameled Cast Iron Essential French Oven (3 3/4-Qt) with a Snowflake Lid is a lovely addition to your holiday kitchen, and if you order now it will be here in plenty of time to decorate your stove top. Don’t be shocked at the price tag. It is worth every penny.
I stumbled across this recipe for Sheetpan Mac and Cheese with Pumpkin and Brown Butter from Food52 on Instagram and my first thought was “get in my belly right now” and the second thought was “why haven’t I heard of sheetpan mac and cheese before?” (and also this is the actual picture of my sheetpan right when it came out of the oven). This was the most delicious mac and cheese I have ever made, and I don’t think I can ever go back to “regular pan” mac and cheese. My kids devoured it (as did I). This is a fabulous #MeatlessMonday meal served with a crisp green salad. Because I have growing teenagers (including a large teen boy), I grilled up some pork chops to accompany the pasta.
Related: 5 fabulous sheetpan meals
These Meatball Sub Sandwiches from Modern Proper are the perfect mid week meal. They are so easy to prep and cook, and you can keep them warm on the stove so that kids who trickle in at different times from after school practice can easily dish up dinner for themselves. I absolutely love that you do not need to brown the meatballs in the oven or on the stove top, but can just cook them in store bought marinara sauce at a low simmer.
Just a side note, I have an allergy to garlic and onion (I know it’s very sad). For anyone else who may be in the same boat, or can’t tolerate garlic and onion, I discovered the most amazing marinara sauce that is gut friendly. Look for this Fody’s sauce in your local markets, or you can order it on Amazon.
My husband and I were lucky enough to go on a fishing trip and brought back a ton of fresh Coho salmon. I am always on the lookout for a good salmon recipe that goes beyond just grilling or pan frying. This recipe for Cider Brined Coho Salmon with Dijon Cream from Midwest Living was just so so so good – even my fish adverse child asked for seconds. In my opinion, tarragon is an underrated herb that adds so much flavor. If you can’t get Coho Salmon, look for another fresh salmon option in your fish counter (when in doubt, you can always ask the butcher/fish counter what they recommend).
Related: Tips to cook salmon perfectly
I had a half a bag of russet potatoes that needed to get used up, so I decided to do a Friday night DIY potato skin party. This recipe for Baked Potato Skins at Small Town Woman provides a solid base, and then you can do what I did and clean out your fridge with all of the random things that collect over the week (deli ham, bacon, cheese, beans, etc). Set all of the toppings in to little bowls and let your kids fill their own skins with their preferred toppings (Step 5 in the recipe). It was actually a super fun end of week family dinner.
Related: Creative DIY family dinners
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
Fody is great! Rau also makes a “sensitive” sauce that does not contain onion or garlic. (My son is okay with onion but not garlic, wheat, and lactose.)