For all of you out there who struggle with what to make for dinner each night, I have a gift: 1 week’s worth of meals, including recipes! I know what it’s like to wonder all day what we are going to have for dinner. I wait for an idea to magically appear, or for someone to call & say they are bringing dinner over (this has basically never happened.) But on the weeks where I take some time to plan out each dinner, make the shopping list, & shop for it, I have such relief & excitement to make dinner. I happen to love food, and don’t like to eat the same stuff each week. With the exception of Mexican… this is the food genre that I could eat nearly every day. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy chips & salsa, guacamole, tacos, spicy meats, lime, cilantro…. maybe that’s what we need tonight!!!
Anyway, I’ve put together several recipes that my family of 5 thinks are delicious, don’t take tons of time to make, and are fairly inexpensive. You should know that we do have our children (8, 4, & 2) eat whatever I’ve made for all of us. I put onions in our food, I make vegetables, & sometimes add spice to dishes. I am careful not to make it too spicy, but for example, each of the kids eats chili now & loves it. If they absolutely don’t like something, they can choose to not eat dinner, but they don’t get dessert or anything after dinner. I don’t portion out too much on their plates, but just enough that they can try a few bites of each thing. They all love asparagus, broccoli, meats, etc. One thing I’ve noticed, if they are hungry enough (i.e. haven’t snacked too much!), they will eat!
One other thing that I learned from my parents: everyone says thank you for dinner and everyone puts their dishes on the counter by the sink. It may seem strange to tell your kids to tell you “thank you,” but if we don’t teach them to say it to us, it’s not likely they will say it to other people. I want it to be such a habit, that they remember to do these things even when we are not around. I also have the kids put away their folded clothes about once a week, but not every time. It gets a little messy when the 2 year jams his clothes in his drawers, so I don’t always have him put his clothes away. But the occasional practice helps them see what I do for them, and shows them how to do it themselves.
Okay…enough of the “lessons.” Now, to the menu!!
Beef Barley Soup – I buy the beef round meat in larger chunks then at the end of the 2 hours, shred the chunks into smaller pieces. I also add ~ 2 tsp of beef bouillon to give it more depth. This is a perfect thing to make before church, leave on low while you’re gone, then throw in the barley for 30 minutes when you get home. Easy!!
Packaged Crescent Rolls
Chicken Asparagus Pasta – easy, quick, and always tasty!
Chips & Salsa – You’ll never buy another salsa again!
Broccoli – I buy in bulk a frozen organic bag from Costco. The large bag contains 4 smaller bags- easy to boil or bake.
Sour Cream Noodle Bake – This also comes from The Pioneer Woman. SO delicious & everyone loves it!
Order a pizza & make this Spinach Artichoke Dip as an appetizer. Serve with tortilla chips, pita chips, carrots, or cucumbers. Honestly, I’ve made this dip & we’ve had as a whole meal before. The kids love it!
Slow Cooker Chicken Chili Tacos Shredded chicken in a tortilla with all the toppings…yum!
Serve with rice, beans, or sweet plantains (you can find frozen plantains at the store that you just bake for 25 minutes or so. Easy!)
Hope this helps give you ideas! Let me know which recipes you try.