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This past week was very busy for us, especially this weekend! Lots of fun, but not a lot of time to cook. The key to menu planning is to make it flexible - don't feel stressed if you cannot hold yourself to it! Planning saves you time and money at the grocery store and assures you that you will find time in the day to get a nutritious meal on the table for your family. That being said, if you have to skip a meal, just make sure that you prep and freeze the ingredients as soon as you are able to (fresh veggies, meat, etc.) in order to enter that meal into the next week's plan quickly and easily without wasting food.
One week from tomorrow is my little guy's second birthday. I cannot believe it! This last year has been a whirlwind for us to say the least, but compared to one year ago he is in such a good place health-wise! I am so grateful for the "team" of people I have around me (family and friends for encouragement and knowledge, health experts for support and expertise). Without them, I don't even want to think about were we might be in our journey. It probably would not be pretty, that's for sure. This birthday marks many celebrations for my little one and our family.
Because the next two weeks will be especially busy, I am laying out a two week menu plan here to decrease stress and assure that, although we may be off our normal routine a bit, that my little guy is getting all the nutrition he needs to keep his immune system cranking in high gear and his tummy happy. :)
Monday: Whole chicken with squash and broccoli (from last week!)
Tuesday: Mom's group playdate with dinner - the mom who is hosting is doing a Mexican potluck, I will bring tortillas, black beans (just warm black beans with organic salsa (very yummy and easy) and guacamole).
Tip: Lately, the price of avocados has been high than usual (even for non-organic, which is the route I go because they are on the "safe list" according to the EWG. Plus, you never know if an avocado will be good until you cut into it. I save money and time by buying Wholly Guacamole at Costco - 5 packets in a box. I freeze it and take each packet out as needed. Defrost in cold water or 15 minutes or just take it out the night before.
Wednesday: Breakfast for dinner - Oatmeal Bake with breakfast sausage
Tip: To make this allergy friendly, I sub in Ener-G egg replacer, plain coconut milk for milk and coconut oil for the butter. I do not add any nuts.
Thursday: Out (we have a 5:15 appointment so we'll eat out. Our go-to meal is Chipotle.)
Tip (Chipotle): For allergy kids, order the Taco Kit with our without tortilla depending on allergies, and ask for the cafeteria tray - they have little trays and can split up the fixings into the different compartments! Comes with a tiny bag of corn chips and organic milk or juice. Brilliant!
Friday: Out (pizza night?) (my family comes into town for the birthday celebration!)
Saturday: Birthday party! On the menu: Ham and turkey sandwiches (Crock Pot turkey recipe here - so easy!), Italian potato salad (I'll post this family recipe later - it's a vinegar and oil base, so yummy!), Green Salad, Fruit and an allergy-friendly apple spice cake (I'll post this recipe soon, too!)
Sunday: Grilled chicken, squash, green beans
Tip: Buy more chicken breasts than you need one week and split them up into Ziploc bags. Pick a favorite homemade marinade and pour into bags with chicken. Marinate overnight and then stick the bags in the freezer for quick meals - just defrost for 24 hours and bake!
Monday: Black Bean Sweet Potato Quesadillas with the fixings (this recipe looks amazing!)
Tip: Cook the filling on Sunday night so all you have to do is put make the quesadillas!
Tuesday: Slow cooker beef tips (from Cooking Traditional Foods, this is a must-have recipe, I am going to try to get permission to post ASAP) with rice and green beans.
Wednesday: I am out, so the boys will be winging it with leftovers, etc. :)
Thursday: Easy Chicken with Wild Rice Dinner (another new recipe that looks easy and kid-friendly!)
Friday-Saturday: Andrew and I are going out of town for a getaway (thanks to Andrew's parents!)
Sunday: Leftover meatloaf burgers (see recipe and my tip from last week here!) with green salad (or something else green on the side!)
For more menu planning inspiration, visit Orgjunkie's blog!