Three weeks of week-night menus

3-week-menu
Note: These days, I use my sort-of meal plan (explained in my ebook “The meal plan for people who hate to meal plan“), but in a different season of life, this three-week plan was a life-saver.
When my kids were still living at home and evenings were crazy-busy, I used a three-week rotation to save me the trouble of having to figure out day-by-day what we were having for dinner. And I created a grocery list for each week that I kept on the computer. I resisted this level of planning for a long time (I’m an artist, man!), but once I started using it, it freed up SO much brain-space and simplified life so much, I loved it.

Here’s kinda what three weeks looked like for us, but for you, I’ve chosen recipes that are less carb-heavy than what we were eating when our kids were small, and dishes that I think most people would like.

(Later note: they pre-date my Paleo days, so they’re not all wheat-, sugar-, or dairy-free. But they are pretty whole-food focused.)

A few notes to make it easier:

Every Monday is a salmon dish; I try to eat salmon at least once a week for health reasons. I like to do it on Monday, because I’m usually not on top of things most Mondays, I always keep individual portions of salmon in the freezer, and it cooks in 10 minutes! If fish on Friday is part of your routine, feel free to switch it up.

Every Tuesday, you make extra chicken to be used later in the week.

Once you’ve tested these recipes and decided which are keepers, you can make up the seasoning mixes in bulk to streamline that part of weeknight cooking.

Note that some recipes can have part of the prep work done the night before, or earlier in the day, to further simplify your evening prep time.

Many of my recipes incorporate vegetables so I don’t have to make a side dish, but for those that do need one, my side dish usually consists of this: pulling a bag of frozen vegetables (green beans, cauliflower, mixed veggies) or pre-sliced carrots out of the fridge, steaming them, and adding some butter and salt. Other possible additions: cheese, for broccoli or cauliflower; pine-nuts, almonds or pecans for green beans; orange marmalade or cinnamon for carrots.

Week 1:

paleo whole30 real food main dishes, entrees, meat

Tues: Super easy shredded chicken tacos  (start early; uses a slow-cooker. make extra for tomorrow’s salad)

Wed: Tex-Mex salad 

Thurs: 10-Minute French dip (Or freezer burritos. Gluten-free option included.)

Fri: Asian lettuce wraps

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Week 2:

Almost-Panera's Asian Chicken Salad

Mon: Ancho-crusted salmon (Substitute an off-the-shelf BBQ dry rub if you don’t want to make your own. But I highly recommend this one!)

Tues: Honey-mustard grilled chicken * (make extra for tomorrow’s salad)

Wed: Almost-Panera’s Asian salad

Thurs: Chipotle pork tacos

Fri: Salsa verde chicken

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Week 3:

curry-chicken-salad-be2-500

Mon: Herb-crusted salmon

Tues: Easy roasted chicken breasts (make extra for tomorrow’s and Friday’s salad)

Wed: Caesar salad with leftover chicken; here’s a recipe for easy homemade Caesar dressing without raw or coddled eggs.

Thurs: Herb-roasted pork tenderloin

Fri: Orange-cranberry chicken salad

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For Fall and Winter meals, I would substitute the following soups for the Wednesday night salads:

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*These recipes have not been tested by me, but they’re highly rated on AllRecipes.com.

Jana

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