My menu planning looks more or less like this: I sit down on Sunday night, open up Pinterest and any favorite recipe blogs/cookbooks, and make some choices for what sounds good for the week. I usually try a few new recipes each week, as well as a few repeat recipes that I know we enjoy. I plan out one or two sides for each dinner (usually quick, simple stuff, like bagged salad or frozen veggies), and jot down a shopping list for the week. I plan out 5 days of dinners -- the two extra nights are usually leftovers, eating out, or scraping something really fast and simple together (like pancakes and scrambled eggs).
Monday: Italian Sausage Soup with breadsticks and salad. Not the world's prettiest soup, but filling, delicious, and healthy. One of my long-time favorites!
Tuesday: Green Chile Breakfast Quesadillas with fruit salad. Super fast and simple. I've made these quite a few times, and they make an awesome breakfast or lunch, too.
Wednesday: Avocado Chicken Pitas with salad and apple slices. A really quick, light meal. I ignore the guac instructions and just mash my avocado up with salt and lime juice to taste. Really yummy.
Thursday: Teriyaki Turkey Rice Bowl with green beans and grapes. A repeat favorite -- don't be intimidated by the longish ingredient list. This is good stuff.
Friday: Parmesan Crusted Tilapia with rolls and broccoli. I've tricked my children into thinking this is chicken. Suckers!
Monday: Chicken Fajita Salad Wraps with sweet potato fries. An awesome lunch or dinner that you can easily prep ahead of time. I love it.
Tuesday: Shepherd's Pie with rolls and salad. Mel's recipes are always good. This one was a bit of a longer prep time than I usually spend, but totally worth it, plus leftovers for days.
Wednesday: Alfredo Tortellini with salad and grapes. This one was yummy, but much spicier than I expected. Start slow with the red pepper flakes and add as necessary.
Thursday: Chicken Noodle Stew with salad and rolls. Tasty and satisfying, but I had to add tons of salt to my bowl. Not sure if I just love salt too much, or if the recipe needs a bit of tinkering.
Friday: Chicken Ranch Tacos with Mexican rice and apple slices. One of those rare recipes that we all like, both kids and adults.
Monday: BBQ Turkey Quesadillas with grapes and green beans. A great way to use up leftover turkey or (more often for me) chicken. I love this recipe!
Tuesday: Greek Style Pita Sandwiches with chips and baby carrots. Another long-time favorite of mine. Fresh and delicious.
Wednesday: Sausage, Potato, and Spinach Soup with breadsticks. I honestly can't remember this one, but it's very similar to my favorite copycat Zuppa Toscana recipe, so I'm guessing I liked it!
Thursday: Homemade Pizza with salad. I don't really follow a recipe for the pizza, but I like to make my own dough -- my favorite recipe is THIS one. I've been using it for years! We like to set out a few toppings and let everyone make their own personal pizza.
Friday: Baked Honey Mustard Chicken with mashed potatoes and broccoli. I don't care much for mustard, but still enjoyed this chicken. I added some rosemary and thought it was great.
Monday: Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Pancakes with scrambled eggs and fruit smoothies. A favorite of ours, and one of the only ways to sneak a vegetable into Forrest's diet.
Tuesday: Oven Baked Ranch Chicken Tenders with rolls and corn. A good chicken tender, but didn't really taste any different to me than a typical chicken tender without ranch.
Wednesday: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Creamy Tomato Soup and peas. Gotta love a good comfort meal like this one. But I did add quite a bit of seasoning to the soup -- tasted a bit bland to me as written.
Thursday: Easy Quiche with baby carrots and apple slices. I haven't made a quiche in quite a while, and was very happy to rediscover them with this dinner.