I make breakfast and dinner for my family most every day. I have a 45 minute commute each way, and teach an hour long gym class 4 days a week. Both of my littles play sports and my husband works a crazy shift which means he is only there to help about 25% of the time. If I can cook most of the time, I bet anyone can if they plan accordingly.
Why do I cook most nights? There are actually several reasons for this:
- My husband is in law enforcement, so when you go out to eat in a small town- chances are the he has arrested someone along the food line... trust no person. Sad but true.
- I can control what goes into what I am eating so it is easier to manage calories and contents.
- It is cheaper than eating out, and actually faster most of the time.
I have two littles that are somewhat picky- but the older they are getting, the more accustomed they are to eating what my husband and I eat.
Get ready for a tangent here....I think that is a HUGE mistake that many parents do- thinking young children need to eat something different that the rest of the family because they will not eat what you serve. I will admit that I am guilty in the past! My husband and I would have chicken breasts, sweet potatoes, and broccoli at dinner for example, and I would cook my kids chicken nuggets and fries. WHY DID I DO THAT?! They need to eat healthy too! But instead of getting their palates accustomed to what we were eating- nutritious whole foods, I got their palates used to eating junk! And now it has taken several years to get them accustomed to a better diet. Kids will come around though, just continue having them take a "no, thank you" bite and eating what they like on their plate. They do not have to eat it all. Rant over.
I plan out my menu for the week, then shop on Sunday afternoon for the whole week.
BreakfastMost mornings the kids have
- cereal with almond milk or
- a quick breakfast burrito (2 eggs and some cheese zapped in a baggie for 1 min then throw in a tortilla) or
- PB sandwich (I like the Arnold Healthfull bread and JIF natural PB).
LunchLunch is leftovers from the night before. The kids eat at school or take a lunch.
SnackThe kids usually have a granola bar and a banana. My husband and I usually have a Pure Protein Bar (I like Chocolate Deluxe and he likes the Chocolate Peanut Butter)
Here are some ideas of what I cook on a weekly rotating basis for dinner-
- Sunday-Buffalo burgers on Arnold sandwich thins with fresh veggies dipped in Ranch (made out of Greek yogurt and a packet of Ranch dip)
- Monday- Broiled mustard tilapia with roasted Brussels sprouts and red potatoes (Frozen tilapia with spicy or regular mustard and a little Greek yogurt or sour cream on top broiled until done)
- Tuesday- Slow Cooked Tex Mex Shredded Chicken (I like mine over salad, my husband likes his on tortillas, and my kids like theirs with refried beans on tortilla chips)
- Wednesday- Honey Lime Salmon with roasted lemon ginger asparagus and brown rice
- Thursday- Breakfast for dinner- Omeletes and turkey bacon (We pick out our own fillings and cutsomize them! The kids both like cheese, my husband likes mushroom and cheese, I like lots o' veggies like broccoli, peppers, and onions! My kids omeletes are made out of whole eggs only, I make mine out of egg whites only, my husband gets a mix! I like to do them in the oven broiler.)
- Friday- Steak and/or chicken Texas Oven Fajitas (So easy just broil or grill with onion and bell peppers, I love Claude's fajita marinade or I make my own... I like my fajitas over lettuce with black beans, the rest of the fam likes theirs on tortillas)
- Saturday- Slow roasted pork loin in the crock pot with carrots, onions, and red potatoes (throw it all in there on low for about 8 hours and season! EASY!)
Other easy meals that go into the rotation:
- Chipotle Lime Fish tacos with Creamy slaw (sub Greek yogurt for mayo) and roasted zucchini
- Steak with Roasted Cauli and Sweet Potatoes
- Chicken, Beef, or Shrimp Stirfry with lots of veggies and brown rice
- Brown Sugar and Balsamic Pork Loin (sub splenda for brown sugar) with Roasted Winter Vegetables and spinach salad
DessertMost nights, I have some "Greek cheesecake" AKA Greek yogurt topped with fresh fruit for dessert, and the kids have a flavored yogurt or some frozen yogurt. My husband does coffee usually- he is not much for sweets of any kind!
As I have time, I will make a blog post on each of these recipes with pictures....since we make them often and all :)