We all experience it from time to time — that dread of trying to create a weekly menu that satisfies every palate in the house. Even as a dietitian I suffer from lack of inspiration in this area at times. (And I only have three mouths to feed!) Then the other day as I was researching new recipes to try, I came across some of the meal plans created by Maryann at Raise Healthy Eaters. In her home, she assigns dinner or food themes to certain days of the week to simplify the meal planning process.
I decided to give it a go, so here are the food themes we’re going to try:
- Soup/Slow-cooker Sundays - Between church services and lunches at the in-laws, Sunday meals need to be simple. If I’m on top of things, I’ll usually try to get most of the prep done on Saturday.
- Mexican Mondays - We love Mexican food in our house so naturally we need a themed dinner night especially for it!
- Italian Tuesdays - My husband is partially Italian, so I couldn’t leave this food category out.
- Whatever Wednesdays - This allows for flexibility in menu options as well as room for leftovers in the weekly cycle.
- Husband’s Choice Thursdays - In the future I might consider a “Kid’s Choice” night… but if I did that now it would always consist of eggs, yogurt, meat, and cheese (currently my toddler’s favourite foods to name). I think I’ll wait with that one.
- Fish Fridays - We try to get at least two servings of fish each week and this takes care of one of them!
- Pizza (or Date Night) Saturdays - This one we have already been doing for a few years. Either I make homemade pizza (carrying on the tradition using my dad’s “secret” recipe), or we go out somewhere for a date.
- Meatless Mondays or Vegetarian Night
- Taco Tuesdays
- Sandwich Night
- Breakfast for Dinner
- Leftovers Night
- Chili or Soup Night
- Stir-Fry Saturday
- Pasta Night
- Grilling or BBQ Night
- Beans & Rice Night
- Kid’s Choice
Monday: Chicken & Black Bean Enchilada Casserole
Tuesday: Spaghetti + Homemade Meatballs with Garden Salad
Wednesday: French Toast with fruit + Scrambled Eggs
Thursday: Still waiting on this one…!
Friday: Lemon Pepper Salmon + Broccoli + Brown Rice
Saturday: Pesto, Roasted Tomato Pizza + Caesar Salad
Sunday: Tomato Tortellini Soup
What do you think? Have you ever tried this method of meal planning using food themes? What worked and what didn’t work? Let me know in the comment section below!