Meal Planning Made Easy :: One Month of Family Approved Recipes


I recently embarked on a DIY adventure to create a functional and decorative Command Center for my kitchen. As I was working on it, I realized I wanted to revamp my meal planning process too! I’m not really a ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ kinda girl; organization and planning are my lifeblood. Generally, I plan out a week’s worth of dinners even preparing extra for weekday leftover lunches and then I have a few staple lunches I do each week.

Meal Planning Made Easy

  • This is a VERY basic meal planning sheet that I use to jot down ideas for the following week (Microsoft Word version HERE).
  • As I pick meals from my list below, I add items to my grocery list.
  • My goal each week is to have my meal planning completed by Friday, so that Saturday I can get my butt to the store first thing in the morning and get the shopping over with!

Crock-Pot Recipes 

Crock-Pot recipes = Time saving LIFESAVERS

  • Crock-Pot Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers 
  • Crock-Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
  • Crock-Pot Salsa Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (makes 4+ servings of chicken)
    • Throw 3-4 frozen chicken breasts in the Crock-Pot with a jar of salsa for 6-8 hours, shred, then pile on top of a baked sweet potato with a little cheese, chopped tomato, cilantro and hot sauce.
    • Leftovers are great over another sweet potato, or you can switch it up and make a wrap or salad.
  • Crock-Pot BBQ Chicken Sammies and Coleslaw (makes 4+ servings)
    • Throw 3-4 frozen chicken breasts in the Crock-Pot with about half a jar of BBQ sauce for 6-8 hours, shred, then pile on hamburger buns with this tasty Greek yogurt slaw – YUM! 
    • Again, leftovers are great the same way, or you can switch it up and make a wrap or salad.
  • Crock-Pot Beef Tips with Mushrooms (makes 3-4 servings)
    • Mix 1 can (or about 1.5 cups) low sodium beef broth, 1 packet Onion Soup Mix, 1 carton or can cream of mushroom soup mix (I like this one by Pacific Foods). Add in 2 lbs beef tips, mix and let cook for 6-8 hours.
    • About an hour before serving, throw in one container fresh sliced mushrooms.
    • Serve over egg noodles or rice, and I like to add a steamed green veggie on the side.

One-Pot/Pan Recipes

I am OBSESSED with these ridiculously easy recipes

Salads & Vegetarian Options

Who says salads have to be boring?! I try to do one meal a week that’s vegetarian; it helps save a little money and gives me the illusion that I’m super healthy. These recipes are all delicious, filling and a snap to throw together.

On the Grill Recipes

  • Chicken and Veggie Packets with Ginger Rice (makes 2-3 servings)
    • Season 2 chicken breasts to your liking (I like to do a combo of Mrs Dash Garlic and Herb & Lemon Pepper)
    • Chop up 1 zucchini, 1 yellow squash, 1 bell pepper and about 1/2 red onion.
    • Spray two sheets of tinfoil with Pam, add chopped veggies and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, wrap up the ends of tinfoil to make closed packets. *TIP – put the onions on the bottom, they’ll caramalize a little and give amazing flavor to the rest of the veggies.
    • Grill chicken over medium heat (around 350 degrees) and place the packets just off to the side so they aren’t on the full flame but close. Then when the chicken is done, the veggies should be perfect!
    •  Cook 2 servings of rice and set aside on a plate.
    •  In same pan/pot, heat 1-2 tbs olive oil over med-low, add 1 tbs chopped garlic and 1 tbs chopped ginger (you can do more or less depending on your fondness of the flavors) *TIP – you can usually find dehydrated pre-chopped ginger in the produce section – it’s awesome!
    • Heat over medium heat until fragrant, about 2-5 minutes – don’t let it burn!
    •  Add rice back in and mix well, top with chopped green onion.
  • “Shrimp Boil” Packets (Makes 3-4 servings)
    • Thaw 1-2 lbs frozen precooked shrimp.
    • Cut 1 package turkey kielbasa into  1/2″ slices. 
    • Chop 1 bell pepper and 1/4 red onion.
    • Optional add ins: sliced jalapeno or green chilies, corn or (cooked) black beans.
    • Spray two sheets of tinfoil with Pam and add all of the above. *TIP – put the onions on the bottom, they’ll caramalize a little and give amazing flavor to the rest of the veggies.
    • Season with chopped garlic, lime zest, salt and pepper (or you could use Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime Seasoning, sooo yummy)
    • Grill for about 20 minutes over medium heat (about 350 degrees). Could opt to saute in large pan on the stove top too if you don’t want to step outside.
    • I usually serve over steamed brown rice or egg noodles.

Hoping these family approved recipes and the user-friendly meal planning template help you map out meals for a long time coming!  These are tried and true, and are totally workable for busy moms!  

What are your favorite go-to recipes?  I’d love to hear them so I can add some recipes to my list!


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