Sooo, if you have read this blog for any amount of time you are well aware of the fact that I am all about simple whole food dinners.
Today is the 2nd post in my month long "Weekly Whole Food Meal Plan: Healthy Made Easy" series. If you missed the first post you can find it HERE.
In a nutshell, spend 90 minutes prepping on Sunday afternoon (or whatever time is convenient for you) prepping and 15-20 minutes/night cooking and you can feed your family of 4 whole-food breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Sound to good to be true.. well, maybe a little. Making this plan work requires a little repetition on the meal calendar. My theory, doubling the recipe means half the time in the kitchen.
Each week I plan 1 breakfast item (to be eaten daily), 2 lunch options (which will be alternated), and 3 whole-food family dinners (served 2x each).
I should probably note that my whole family doesn't eat the lunches that I prepare daily. Most days Joe eats at the hospital and Campbell (my 2 year old) usually chooses to forego my culinary skills for "simpler" options.. aka cheese and chicken. If you have a family of 4, and anticipate that EVERYONE will eat the lunches you prepare daily, you should double the lunch recipes. (NOTE: the grocery list provided does not account for doubling lunch recipes. You will need to add the extra ingredients to the list).
- 4 32 oz. containers of plain yogurt make with whole milk
- 5 16 oz bags of frozen mixed berries, organic recommended
- 7 cups of your favorite granola (make sure to check for funky ingredients and sugar content)
- Honey (optional_
- Each morning, in a small cup add ½ cup of yogurt, 3 oz of berries (about ⅕ of a bag), and top with ¼ cup of granola. If the plain yogurt and berries isn't sweet enough, mix in a bit of honey.
- NOTE: You need to make sure to thaw out some berries the night before for use in the morning. Just remove them from the freezer and place in a large bowl in the refrigerator. They will be good to go by morning! If you want to premake the parfaits in mason jars, go for it! You can top the yogurt with frozen berries. They will thaw in the fridge. Don't add the granola until just prior to eating if you don't want it to be soggy.
- Make your own chicken salad
- Pesto Chicken Salad Wraps
- Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup - Pinch of Yum
- Mexican Twice Bake Sweet Potatoes
- 4 Ingredient Chicken Pesto Bake
- Garlic Smashed Potatoes - Damn Delicious
90 MINUTE PREP GUIDE:
1 ½ hours isn't a ton of time to do so much cooking. You are going to have to be REALLY organized. Make sure that you have all ingredients available. I like to wash veggies when I get home from the grocery so that I am ready to go! If the prep instructions tell you to double a recipe, that has been reflected in the grocery list. There is no need to double any ingredients unless you make a change to the meal plan. Ingredients for all side dishes are included on the shopping list.
- 4 Ingredient Chicken Pesto Bake (serve with garlic smashed potatoes) - Get 2 Gallon sized Ziplock bags. Add half the chicken and 1 jar of pesto to each bag. Use your hands to ensure that the pesto is coating all surface area of the chicken. Seal the bag, ensuring that all the air has been removed. Store in the refrigerator. This recipe is SO simple that you can make it fresh each of the 2 nights that it's on the menu. When ready to serve, simply remove the chicken/pesto from 1 of the Ziplocks and place it in a baking dish. Top with tomatoes and mozzarella and bake. You will prepare the garlic smashed potatoes the first night that you serve this recipe. It's super simple. Make sure to set ½ aside for when you eat pesto chicken bake later in the week.
- Mexican Twice Baked Potatoes (serve with fruit of choice and a side salad): YOU WILL NEED TO DOUBLE THIS RECIPE. Make the filling for the potatoes. Store in a ziplock bag or airtight container in the refrigerator. On the night that you are serving, simply bake the potatoes in the oven (this take about an hour, so make sure you leave yourself plenty of time), warm up the filling on the stove and combine the 2 to serve! You can fully assemble and bake all of the Mexican stuffed potatoes. Reserve half in a covered dish in the refrigerator to be served later in the week. They will only need to be warmed up in the oven prior to serving. Night off for you!
- Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup (serve with 100% whole wheat crusty bread) - YOU WILL NEED TO DOUBLE THIS RECIPE. Go ahead and get it going! It will keep in the fridge until you need it. When it is time to serve, add a little milk and pop it back into the slow cooker over low heat until warm! Make sure to reserve half for later in the week. Note: If your crockpot is not huge, you may need to make this recipe twice instead of doubling the original. I know it stinks.. but so does cleaning up an overflowed crockpot!
- Creamy Pesto Chicken Wraps: DO NOT DOUBLE RECIPE. Follow recipe. Store creamy pesto chicken in the refrigerator in an airtight container or ziplock bag.
- Make Your Own Shredded Chicken Salad: The idea of this is just to prep A LOT of lettuce, chopped veggies, and shredded chicken. Use a purchased rotisserie chicken (organic recommended). Shred chicken and place it in an airtight container. Chop lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes and store in individual ziplock bags. If you are feeling ambitious (and have lots of storage containers) you can pre-assemble salads so that they are "grab n' go" ready.
- Simple Berry and Yogurt Parfaits: I used to pre-assemble these for my guys but I have found that they are so easy to throw together that it isn't necessary. I just keep the tubs of yogurt in the refrigerator and assemble as needed. Since berries are not in season I like to buy them frozen (its WAY cheaper.) At the beginning of the week I empty one of the bags of frozen berries into a container and allow them to thaw in the refrigerator. When the bowl is empty, I just refresh. It is ok that the berries are "soupy." It adds flavor to the yogurt. If you want your parfaits to be a little sweeter you can mix in a little honey.
THE GROCERY LIST:
Just click on the image below to have the grocery list emailed straight to your inbox!
As always, if you try out this meal plan let me know what you think! Feedback and comments are always appreciated! Make sure to use #SimplySissom so I don’t miss it! If you are looking for more meal prepping advice, tips, tricks and recipes follow Simply Sissom on Instagram for #mealprepmonday.
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