Ever since I started cooking for myself, I found it almost impossible for me to be productive at the grocery store without a list and at least a small idea of meals I wanted to make for the week. About a third of my way through freshman year of college I decided to take time every Sunday to sit down and write out a list of meals for the week and then all of the ingredients I would need for each meal. I know like it seems like a ton of work to make time to do that, but it actually saves you time (and money) at the store.
With a list in hand, I stopped throwing things in my cart that I didn’t need for that week and in turn saved money and stopped throwing out a whole lot of food that went bad in our fridge.
I enjoy cooking, actually I love to cook (most of the time) but I really don’t enjoy deciding what meals to make. I actually dread coming up with these ideas each week because I always feel like I have the same recipes that seem to keep rotating through the list. So, in light of this I want to start a new segment of my blog. At the beginning of each week I want to share with you my meal plan for the upcoming week and all the items that get thrown into my grocery cart. This will include recipes from some of my favorite bloggers, cookbooks and sometimes maybe just Pinterest. I will include the recipes on here, so if you’re interested you can print them right off and use them with me! Stay tuned for week 1 of meal planning and make sure to follow along on Instagram for lots of stories about what’s in my cart.
This week I decided to only plan 4 meals, because we already have plans with Ben’s mom to have dinner out on either Friday or Saturday.
I have been trying to have more light meals thrown into our mix. So for meal #1 toss together a salad and slide some sweet potatoes into the oven. I love salads because it’s a good way to use things up in your fridge. You could do a spinach salad with strawberries, candied pecans and a balsamic dressing, a southwest salad with black beans, corn, tortilla chips and cheese or a classic salad with tomatoes, croutons, onions, cheese with a French or ranch dressing.
If you’re new to sweet potatoes you could add some brown sugar on top or (my mom’s classic) a few mini marshmallows to make them sweet and delicious. If you know you like sweet potatoes I suggest keeping it simple with just some olive oil and a little sea salt.
This recipe is from one of my favorite blogs, Life is but a Dish. It’s specifically for a instant pot so if you have one, great. If not, then I’m right along with you and modified it to fit a dutch oven/crockpot.
If you have a crockpot then add about 1-2 cups of chicken broth and the chicken into your crockpot and cook on high until cooked through. Shred the chicken and put to side. Drizzle some olive oil into your dutch oven or normal skillet and cook onions and carrots about half way. Add in all ingredients into your dutch oven or normal soup pot and simmer until veggies are cooked all the way through.
You can throw together a salad with this soup or serve some fresh bread on the side ( like Italian, French or sourdough).
Homemade pizza is an easy way to cook with your significant other or kids and make something that everyone loves. Occasionally, we like to mix it up and make a taco pizza instead of the classic pepperoni or sausage. This recipe includes a recipe for homemade pizza dough, but I would suggest either Betty Crocker mix or pre-made crusts from Trader Joe’s.
This recipe is also from Life is but a Dish. Chicken pot pie is one of Ben’s favorites and with the weather getting cooler I knew it was time to start cooking it again.
That’s it for week #1. If these recipes seem like too much work or too time consuming, you can always prep when you do have time to make the actual meal time preparation shorter. Make sure to follow me on Instagram for more on meal prepping this week.