The work-week hustle is on. Life just has a way of sneaking up on us, and so does supper. That’s when you’re stymied that dinnertime is already here, even though it shows up at the same time each day.
So now comes the big question: What to make for supper?
Maybe you’re meal planning has fallen by the wayside. It’s not surprising given the 10,000 events that seem to fill our days each week. Or maybe you let it slide because you were checking off your fall bucket list and enjoying every minute of it. Now that’s a reason we can get behind. Regardless of where you find yourself in the get-things-done camp, everyone can use a few new supper ideas, especially the simple and realistic ones that you don’t have to over-plan or over-think.
The Dinnertime Dilemma
We realize the struggle that goes along with putting dinner on the table every night. Not to mention, appeasing the hangry kids (and yourself!) who can’t stop whining as you mentally compile the list of things to get done in those few hours of after work/school/night-time. Having a list of recipes is a great start, but there’s more to solving the what’s-for-dinner dilemma and providing a healthy and delicious meal on the table as quick as you can with the least amount of effort.
These three steps below can change your weeknight dinner game. Let’s go.
1. Meal Planning
Does the repeated praise of meal planning sound like a broken record? Well, it’s only because it works! We all know that meal planning is a critical component to put to rest the endless weeknight dinner battle. But it doesn’t always work out the way we plan. In many cases, you’ve either overly-planned—and purchased way more groceries than you need—or under-planned—and thought you could just finish up last weeks meals but lost all excitement for that idea come Monday. Both are common reasons why meal planning tends to waver, especially as the year progresses. But it’s never too late to dive back into your Nourished Planner and jot down recipe ideas to give you have a head start and a loose plan, even if you didn’t begin to think about prepping anything.
Then, stock the fridge and pantry with a realistic amount of ingredients to make 2-3 meals per week. Be sure to allow for leftovers and if you get that whim to go out to eat or order in because wasting food is just the worst, don’t you think? And if you’re finding yourself lacking the energy to even think about meal planning, scan back through your planner and check out what you planned in previous weeks. Who knows, maybe there’s a winner in there?
QUICK TIP “Marking meal prep ideas in my Nourished Planner with a sticky note worked really well. Keep these and recycle them to create a scheduled meal cycle you can repeat throughout the year.” ~ Alexa
2. Go To Your Go-To Meal List
Your go-to meal list is literally just a list of meals, recipes, and foods your family loves. They’re easy for you to prep and cook, and you know they’ll be winners all around. In your Nourished Planner, we’ve provided you space to track your go-to meal list and add to it as the year progresses. Keep track of your favorite taco bowls, your mom’s spaghetti recipe, or that breakfast for supper recipe everyone loved because it was a little bit different. Fall back on this list and if you haven’t had a chance to start, simply write out five of your family’s all-time favorite meals.
Some ideas on our go-to meal list:
- 5-Ingredient Blender Protein Pancakes (add bacon and fried eggs)
- Homemade One-Pot Sloppy Joes
- 30-Minute Baked Fajitas
- Cast Iron Skillet Roasted Chicken with Potatoes
- 20-Minute Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese (only takes 5 minutes cooking time!)
QUICK TIP “My mom keeps a list of new and favorite recipes taped to the inside of her kitchen cupboard so she remembers where the recipe came from and any changes she may have made.” ~ Heidi
3. Batch Cooking
Have you tried our favorite meal planning hack of all time — batch cooking? Trust us, we wouldn’t lie to you about this step. It really can change your meal game, not just for dinner, but for breakfast and lunch as well. It is truly the simplest strategy and doesn’t mean you need to give up an entire day on your precious weekend to be a slave to your meal prepping kitchen. Well friend, we have something totally exciting for you that is about to turn everything about meal planning and batch cooking on its head.
Batch cooking isn’t just about making and prepping a meal in its entirety, but more about picking staple ingredients, prepping only them, and then layering them to create new meals with the same base recipes. Think of choosing and cooking one simple grain, a shredded meat, and some roasted vegetables then adding a unique sauce to give it a different flavor each day of the week. It really can be as easy as that.
Want a FREE Guide?
Speaking of Batch Cooking, you can get all of the genius secrets to prepping five ingredients to turn them into 20+ meals inside our new Batch Cooking Guide! It’s set to release soon, so jump on over and check it out.
Oh and did we mention, it’s FREE ($24.99 value) with the investment of your very own 2018 Nourished Planner? To see a quick run-down of what you can expect in this year’s version of the 2018 planner, click here.
Make sure you check out this podcast to get more tips and tricks on what to cook when you don’t feel like cooking!
Thank you for following Nourished Planner, and see more on Instagram and Facebook. Sign up for our FREE Weekly Meal Plans and Shopping Lists emailed to your inbox here, and sign up for the Nourished Life Challenge here. Head on over and leave us a comment on social media and let us know your tips on what you cook when you don’t feel like cooking! How do you get out of the slump?