Every week, our family has a rotating dinner menu that keeps meals predictable and nutritious... and keeps us from driving through Chick-fil-A every day. I aim for meals I know my family will enjoy, that don't take too much time, and that incorporate healthy ingredients. This season with four little ones, homeschooling, church activities and running a small business is not one that allows for a lot of culinary creativity. But that's ok! The fact that my family is well fed is the most important thing. I have to eat gluten free, and we limit dairy for some of us. We also don't cook with refined sugar and aim to eat as many organic ingredients as possible.
This schedule isn't rigid. If we feel like making a roast or an Asian dish, those can easily replace something on our list. But having a general outline helps me to know what to purchase from the grocery store each week and eliminates extra decision-making.
For breakfasts: We make scrambled eggs, whole milk yogurt with honey and frozen berries for the kids, toast, and fruit for breakfast each morning. We focus on protein and limit sugar, especially at this meal.
We stick to a general lunch plan as well. You can find more about that here: Homeschool lunches
+ Monday: Pasta.
I typically make a meat sauce with ground beef, add gluten free pasta (Jovial brand gluten free pasta
is my favorite!), and make green salad or a vegetable.
+ Tuesday: Tacos.
Sometimes we make tacos with hard or soft shells, sometimes we make burrito bowls with black beans and rice, sometimes we have taco salads. It's never quite the same, but I always have frozen ground beef, black beans, salsa, and tortillas on hand as a base for this very simple meal. My favorite part of this meal is making baked chips in the oven! Here's a great recipe for it: Baked Tortilla Chips
. I use avocado oil in place of the olive oil and it's delicious every time.+ Wednesday: Eat out.
My husband is a worship pastor, so he has rehearsal at church every Wednesday night. So on Wednesdays, the kids and I have a little date night (which we all really look forward to!). We grab Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, or Hat Creek and then go to the library or the park and come home to a clean kitchen before bedtime. It's a win on all fronts.
+ Thursday: Breakfast foods.
We make pancakes on an electric griddle
(that can be frozen and heated up for breakfasts throughout the week), frozen hashbrowns in the air fryer
, bacon, and green smoothies to balance it all out.
+ Friday: Pizza.
I've fallen in love with homemade pizza night by investing in the right tools (and finding the best recipes!). On Thursday night, I make the pizza dough and let it bubble and ferment overnight so it's ready to go on Friday. Here's the recipe I use: King Arthur Pizza Crust
. I also make a gluten free sourdough pizza dough. Here's that recipe: Gluten Free Sourdough Pizza Dough
. We invested in a pizza steel
and a pizza peel
, and I use these handy high temperature parchment sheets
to bake the pizzas on. The pizzas bake at 500 degrees, which means they only take 5-7 minutes in the oven and come out crispy and bubbly and so delicious! + Saturday: Soup/stew.
I love making a big pot of soup or stew that can be frozen into smaller portions and eaten later in the week for lunches. I use these Souper Cubes
to freeze soup into 1-cup portions for later. My kids' current favorite soup is white chicken chili
and my current fave is kale sausage stew with black-eyed peas
.+ Sunday: Roasted chicken. This recipe for the Instant Pot
is my go-to because the gravy is delicious! I add roasted potatoes or rice and a roasted vegetable and it's a wonderful, filling meal. After we're finished, I pull off the extra meat to save for future soups or tacos and place the carcass (with some carrots, garlic, onions, spices and apple cider vinegar) back into the Instant Pot to make bone broth. I loosely use this recipe: Instant Pot Bone Broth
. I love using this Instant Pot steamer basket
to contain all of the bones and vegetables, which makes straining it a breeze.
: After looking at my list for the week, I write down all the ingredients we'll need and add a vegetable, salad, and/or fruit as a side to each meal. I use this magnetic list
that hangs on my fridge for grocery lists. To be honest, grocery shopping in this season is one of my least favorite homemaking tasks. We buy a lot of our staple items in bulk from Azure Standard and fill in with produce and other fresh items we need from Aldi or Walmart. I typically order online and have groceries delivered or pick them up. With all that's on my plate as a homeschool mom, this is one of those luxuries I really appreciate. It saves me so much time and stress.
A little side note: I make bread in the bread machine every day. It takes me 5 minutes to add the ingredients to the machine and press a button, and 3 hours later - we have fresh bread! This has completely eliminated our need to buy sliced bread, and we know what ingredients are going in. I also make sourdough bread and gluten-free bread, but less often. This is the bread machine I use and love
and this is my favorite basic sandwich bread recipe
(I use coconut sugar in place of white sugar and avocado oil instead of vegetable oil).
A meal plan will look different for every family, but I really encourage you to write down the types of meals you already make on a weekly basis and put them into a weekly slot!
I've painted a printable schedule for you that you can edit with your own family's favorites and hang on the side of your fridge. I hope it's helpful!