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What’s for Dinner? Meal Plan Sunday # 1

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This is my first week posting my menu plan.  I am linking up with Laura from Mommy Run Fast and Jill from Fitness Health and Happiness.  If you head to their blogs, you will find others posting dinner menu and recipe ideas.  It’s a great resource and I highly recommend you check it out!

We have some challenges when it comes to dinner in the Newman house.  Here are some of the challenges I face with planning:

  1. We all eat differently! Yes, each one of us.  I eat meat.  John will only eat fish or eggs.  The A Team only wants starchy, white carbs which I am loathe to make them or I get “we want kid food.”  I have tried the “you get what you get approach”. it doesn’t work for my family.  As someone who has a real life experience with eating disorders, I am reluctant to turn food into a battleground for control.
  2. We are busy.  Dinner during the week is not a sit down affair with all family members at the table.  Ever.
  3. John gets home between 6:30 and 7:00.  This is right in the midst of getting the kids showered and settled for bed at 7:30.
  4. By the time I can sit and think about digesting food, it is 7:45 at the earliest.  At this point, I think “why bother?”

Having a good understanding of my challenges helps me with menu planning.  In other words, K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple Sally!).

Without further ado, here is MY menu plan for the week.  John will substitute extra veggies, fish, or eggs where you see meat.  We will have to tackle what the kids eat in another post.

Sunday – Steak, Green Beans, and Butternut Squash.  (This meal we eat together and it’s the one day a week I insist the kids eat “adult food.”)

MondayCauliflower Crust Pizza.  (The kids will pick at this and eat most of it.)

TuesdaySpaghetti Squash and Chili.  I make an adaptation of this chili.  I puree a can of beans to add thickness to it.  Also makes the beans undetectable to children.  (The kids like chili but I have yet to make a version they will eat.)

Wednesday – Salmon, Sauteed Spinach, and Cauliflower Mash. (The kids will eat the Salmon but not the sides.)

Thursday – Turkey Kielbasa (Trader Joe’s), Sauerkraut, and Sweet Potatoes (The kids won’t touch this.)

Friday – Left overs or Sushi

Here are some of my easy to make ahead favorites for a busy family:

Spicy Corn Cakes and Black Beans

Indian Spiced Chili

Lentil Bean Chili

Readers are confiding in me “What’s for Dinner” is their biggest challenge during the week.  No surprise since it is mine too.  What are some of your “go to” meals for busy weeknights?

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  1. I totally understand the struggle of weeknight dinner and craziness, especially if there are extra-curricular or sports activities after school.
    I really want to try the cauliflower crust pizza, I’ve seen a few different recipes and love roasted cauliflower.
    Sami recently posted…Stop Eating Like Buddy the Elf and Get Some Nutrients in Your Diet!My Profile

    December 1, 2013
    • Tara Newman #

      The Cauliflower Crust Pizza is good but when I made it the crust wasn’t like you could pick it up…more like eat with fork and knife. I used an adaptation of a few recipes I have found. It was good either way. Thanks for stopping by Sami!

      December 1, 2013
  2. I just recently tried butternut squash for the first time…yummy!! Looks like you’ve got a delicious menu planned for the week!
    Maria @ Lil Mys Ninja recently posted…SC Oyster Festival, Market Trip & Meal PlanningMy Profile

    December 1, 2013
    • Tara Newman #

      Hi Maria. Thanks for stopping by! LOVE roasted butternut squash. We sprinkle ours with salt, pepper, cinnamon and some balsamic vinegar!

      December 1, 2013
  3. I keep wanting to try the cauliflower pizza crust! I’ve suggested it to some of my gluten-free families, but haven’t heard back about how it is!
    Danielle @ Green is the New Black recently posted…Five Friday Things: Thanksgiving EditionMy Profile

    December 1, 2013
    • Tara Newman #

      Danielle, I like the cauliflower crust. It isn’t lift up and eat like “real” pizza but a sacrifice I am willing to make for a calmer stomach.

      December 1, 2013
  4. I love that you shared the whole story with all the challenges… we’re heading more and more into that territory, and I know you’re not alone with the crazy evening schedule, too! The sausage and sauerkraut sounds delicious!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted…Post Thanksgiving Meal plan Link upMy Profile

    December 1, 2013
    • Tara Newman #

      Hi Laura! As my kids get older, they are definitely more picky. It is getting better now that they are 8 and 5. Thanks so much for hosting. I look forward to next week.

      December 1, 2013
  5. We have some of the same challenges, busy and different food preferences. I have the pickiest kids ever. Ugh!
    Jill @ Fitness, Health and Happiness recently posted…Holiday Season. Menu Planning. Nutrition.My Profile

    December 1, 2013
    • Tara Newman #

      Hi Jill, thanks for stopping by. I know they know what healthy looks like. They could write a blog post about it :-) So, I just wait…

      December 1, 2013
  6. As someone who grew up extremely picky, I have vivid memories of being forced to sit at the table to finish my dinner even though I didn’t like it. I’m trying hard not to be that way with my kids but it’s so frustrating. Right now they are in the liking a food one day and not the next or they don’t want to make the time to sit still to eat. Dinner time is not relaxing!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…Meal Planning: Week of December 1My Profile

    December 1, 2013
    • Tara Newman #

      Angela! My kids take a bite and like it but then don’t like it after the second bite. I think it is more frustrating since we have worked hard at becoming healthy. I try to remind myself of how I ate as a kid (steakums and coke) and how far I have come as an eater. It gives me hope :-)

      December 1, 2013
  7. I admire that you got a menu plan together, I rarely do. Stir-fries are a fall-back for me with rice in the rice cooker and stir-fried veggies with tofu, tempeh, or even garbanzo beans thrown in for protein. Another even quicker dinner is canned black beans, frozen corn, chopped bell peppers, and salsa and other spices. Luckily my kids were not too picky, though mushrooms, onions, eggplant, and broccoli were or are problematic for some in our family.
    Mary @ Fit and Fed recently posted…Maple Roasted Brussels SproutsMy Profile

    December 2, 2013
    • Tara Newman #

      Mary, thanks for stopping by. The meal plan really keeps me on track and let’s me know what my priority is when I walk through the door at night.

      December 2, 2013

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