I recently decided to jump back on the meal planning train, and it’s been so helpful! I’m not as frantic trying to figure out what to make, I’m actually sticking to/under the budget I set for myself every week, and there’s less waste in our house. And this what I’m seeing in a little over a week of planning more.

I thought I would share a weekly post showing what I planned vs. what we ate. This serves a couple of purposes – 1. gives you ideas as you think about what to make every week, 2. keeps me accountable to this who meal planning thing and 2. serves as an archive for our meals so I can go back and easily references as needed. Wins all around!

A few things to note: I’m not too particular when it comes to plugging meals into specific days. I try to stay agile because…well, kids! Also, I always plan for 1-2 pantry type meals that don’t require too many fresh/refrigerated ingredients. This helps reduce waste. And finally, I try to stay super flexible on weekends. I rely on sandwiches, meals out, frozen things, or my mom’s food to get us through. Learning as I go as to what works for us!

Here’s what I planned to make last week, including what was actually ate (and enjoyed):

Grilled cheese and soup

This meal is almost always a guaranteed hit. Kaiden is super into soups right now, and loves the low sodium tomato + red pepper/tomato one from Trader Joes. Mila also loved this meal, and I paired it with some cooked veggies for her.

Chickpea noodle lasagna

My masi gave me a package of Banza lasagna noodles to take home with me when I visited California a couple of months ago. I planned to use them this week, but never got around to it. So this was a pantry meal I planned for but never made.

Hawaiian tofu and rice

This is another popular meal in our home. I’ve been making it for years and started out following it to a tee. I’ve made it my own now and don’t use an Instant Pot or follow it exactly, but regardless it’s a good one. The kids happily ate this deconstructed.

Mexican – tacos/quesadillas

This was a broad category for me obviously! But I went the quesadillas route for the kids and made bowls for me and V. I made black bean burgers as the main protein source and everyone loved them! Seriously, you’ve got to try this easy recipe. Definitely putting it in my regular rotation!

Coconut chole and rice

I’m trying to include at least one Indian meal every week. I figure that plus whatever my mom makes and drops off is a good balance for us and the kids. This chole recipe is DELISH! This was my second time making it, and again, it’s super easy! I love how Sonal recommends really cooking the onions down with the spices until they resembled a jam.

Creamy cajun pasta + roasted broccoli

I’ve made this pasta a couple of times in the past, and it’s always a hit. The flavors are unique, and I love that it gets my kids to eat kale! I paired it with some broccoli for added veggies.

And that’s our week of eats! I hope this helps you as you plan (or live on the edge and plan as you go!) your meals out for the coming week.

P.S. For Mila (and sometimes Kaiden), I’ll put aside her portions before adding salt/spice.

By Parita

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