5 Day Meal Plan
One of my biggest struggles as a Mom right now is …. dinner.
With 5 kids, all having their own separate schedules day and night and weekends – and also with their own food preferences, this feels impossible sometimes! I also have these filters for recipes:
1. Fast and easy
2. Tastes good and kid approved
3. Healthy (no sugar added and whole food ingredients)
4. I have to work around gluten free and dairy free
I have my go-to’s but my older kids are tired of them and some of the younger ones would be happy with quesadillas or Ramen noodles morning, noon and night! 😑
I’ve learned that my active kids stay HEALTHY and less run down when I make food that is not out of a box or bag, made with pounds of cheese and grease or cream of anything… they need fuel! And same goes for Kent and me as well. Plus when you take all of those things out, cooking is so much more SIMPLE and it’s easier to cater to the pickier eaters.
I use my crock pot as much as I can (if I’m planning ahead) and yes, I have an IP but we are not the best of friends…. 😬
I also take as many short cuts as possible – anytime I need to dice, I try to find it already done for me, just to keep things quick. (I LOVE frozen diced onions and pre-diced frozen chicken!)
So, here’s what I’ve got for this week!
1. SLOW COOKER CHICKEN TACOS
2. ZUCCHINI, RED PEPPER AND SWEET POTATO FRITTATA
3. SAUSAGE AND BROWN RICE STUFFED ACORN SQUASH
4. WHITE CHICKEN CHILI
5. GLUTEN FREE MEATLOAF AND CAULIFLOWER MASH
I’ve spent the last 5 years finding such recipes and tweaking them to fit what we like, so there’s nothing complicated about these! Plus, they’ll be easy to throw together around our crazy schedule. I’m happy to share if you’d like one
How about you? If can relate, let’s do a recipe swap and help each other out!
Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (16 oz) jar of salsa (no sugar listed in ingredients)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (10 oz.) bag of frozen corn
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes (no sugar added in ingredients)
10 whole wheat or corn tortillas
sour cream (sparingly)
shredded lettuce (romaine or spinach)
fresh avocado or guacamole
To Cook Immediately:
Place first 6 ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on low 6 hours or on high 4 hours. Shred chicken and serve in tortillas with optional toppings
Place first 6 ingredients in large zip-top plastic bag. Freeze.
To cook after freezing, add frozen meal to a slow cooker. Cook on low 8 hours or on high 6 hours. Shred chicken and serve in tortillas with optional toppings.
Zucchini, Red Pepper and Sweet Potato Frittata
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 3 medium zucchini thinly sliced (can be subbed for any seasonal veggies)
- 1 medium medium red bell pepper chopped
- ½ medium medium onion chopped (I buy frozen, pre-chopped)
- 1 small cooked sweet potatoes cut into 1-inch cubes (can sometimes find pre-diced)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil (reserve a small amount for garnish, but I don’t take time for that!)
- ¼ tsp sea salt or Himalayan salt
- 6 large eggs lightly beaten
Heat oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Add zucchini, bell pepper, and onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes, or until zucchini is tender.
Add sweet potato, basil, and salt. Increase heat to medium-high; cook, stirring frequently, for about 30 to 60 seconds, or until the moisture has evaporated. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Add eggs. Mix well; cook, without stirring, for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bottom is light golden. As it cooks, lift the edges and tilt skillet so uncooked eggs flow to the edges.
Reduce heat to low; continue cooking, covered, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. OR I like to throw mine in a 500 degree oven for 5-7 minutes.
Garnish with reserved basil; serve immediately.
Sausage and Brown Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
Author: the Busy Baker
- 1 large acorn squash
- lean Italian sausage (I like chicken sausage)
- 1 large onion diced (I buy frozen)
- 2 cloves garlic minced (I like pre-minced in a jar)
- 1 medium green bell pepper chopped (I buy frozen)
- 1 tsp thyme leaves fresh
- 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice (can get this in a pouch, I like using my rice cooker)
- 1/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
You’ll be roasting the acorn squash first, so cut it in half and scoop out all the stringy bits and the seeds from the core of the squash.
Since acorn squash have those beautiful rounded ridges on the outside you’ll probably find it’s difficult to get them to lie flat on the baking sheet with the inside of the squash facing up. To remedy this, use a large knife to slice off a little of the skin on the outside, creating a small flat surface on the underside of the squash. This works perfectly every time, and it will ensure the squash doesn’t fall to one side while it’s roasting or even worse, after it’s been stuffed, spilling the contents all over the baking sheet.
Once the oven has preheated, place the squash halves on the baking sheet (inside facing up!) and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes.
While the squash is roasting, cook your brown rice according to the package directions. You’ll need about 1 1/2 cups of cooked brown rice for this recipe.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the lean Italian sausage, making sure to remove the casings so you’ll end up with small chunks of meat. Once the sausage just begins to brown, add the diced onion, minced garlic and the chopped bell pepper and continue to saute until the sausage is cooked through the the vegetables are soft.
Add the cooked rice and the fresh thyme leaves to the pan with the sausage mixture, stirring it around to let the rice absorb the flavors of the sausage and the vegetables.
Once the squash has roasted for 40 minutes, remove it from the oven. Divide the sausage and rice mixture in half and spoon it into each of the squash halves. Fill the squash halves until they’re overflowing, and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly over each half.
Return the squash to the oven after it’s been stuffed and roast for another 15-20 minutes until the cheese browns slightly. The filling will settle in to the squash, making it easier to slice and serve!
White Chicken Chili
Author: 90/10 Nutrition
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
2 tsp. bottled minced garlic
24 oz. can green chilis
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground oregano
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 cups chicken broth
2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
2 green bell peppers, diced (I buy frozen)
shredded Monterey Jack cheese and/or chopped fresh cilantro
To cook immediately, combine all ingredients in the crock of a slow cooker. Cook on low 8 hours or on high 4 hours.
Combine all ingredients in a large zip-top bag. Double bag, label and freeze.
To cook after freezing, place frozen block in crockpot. Cook on low 8 hours, or high for 6 hours.
Gluten Free Meatloaf and Cauliflower Mash
Author: Gluten-Free Palate
1 lb. lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 cup gluten-free ketchup
1/4 cup mustard
1/2 small onion, diced
1/2 small zucchini, shredded
1 medium carrot, shredded (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
In a large mixing bowl, blend all ingredients.
Press the meatloaf mixture into a loaf pan, or 8×8 square pan.
If desired, brush the top with ketchup half way through baking.
Bake 1 hour.
Let cool for ten minutes. Serve hot.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- You can use gluten-free breadcrumbs in place of the gluten-free oats
- Make sure all your ingredients are gluten-free
- You can leave out the veggies if you like, but they add flavor and moisture to the recipe
1 (2-lb.) cauliflower, cut into small florets, discard stem
1 Tbsp. +1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
¼ tsp granulated garlic (optional)
2 Tbsp. low-sodium organic vegetable broth