Tuesday, January 7, 2019

I like cooking!  I really do!  I don’t even mind the grocery shopping if I can do it early in the morning when it isn’t too crowded. 

When I get really busy this month I may go back to grocery pick up, but they screwed up so royally last time that it took me about three times the amount of time in the waiting for my order, making a phone call about all of my missing items, going back to get rest of order, and losing the prep time to cook the dinner I had planned.  I think I even had to buy take out that night!  Who has time for that? 

So, for the immediate future I plan on doing a very early Saturday or Sunday morning run.  Here is where I struggle the most – the ideas!  I simply forget what meals I have in my repertoire!  Are you like that?  I hope to make a comprehensive list of what I regularly make that I know my family of four will eat.  Adapt this to your family as you see fit and if you only get one new idea then I hope this post will be helpful.  This will serve as my list, too!

I have toyed with themes in the past:  Monday pasta, Tuesday Tacos or Mexican, Wednesday chicken, Thursday fish, Friday pizza.  I use routines in my classroom and here on the blog and think they can be helpful for meal planning, too!

*One of my goals for the year 2020 is less food waste.  I plan to do a better job with making us eat leftovers or freezing them and maybe also buying less food at a time at the store.  

These are all my own photos so don’t think they are stock photos just because of how professional they look, o.k.? Ha!  

Double decker BLT for hub’s birthday

Sandwiches: (We will often have a sandwich meal on the weekend and I will serve these with soup, frozen fries, salad, broccoli)

BLTS or BLATS (add avocado – yum!)

Grilled cheese

Hot subs

Ham and Swiss on Hawaiian rolls 


Bowls:  (This is kind of a riff off of the Qdoba naked burrito)

Southwest bowl (go to Momfessionals for the yummy aioli she has but I do shortcuts using rotisserie chicken, frozen corn, frozen rice from Trader Joe’s) and add her aioli with guacamole, beans, cheese, salsa.  Your family can make their own, too

Greek Bowl – rice, cucumbers, tomatoes, lemon juice, tzatziki sauce, olives, feta



Tacos, rice, beans

Quesadillas with side salad


Mexican lasagna (use tortillas instead of noodles and do a mixture of beans, corn, salsa, sour cream, chicken and cheese – so good!)

Taco Salad with Doritos 

Fish Tacos 

Easy penne and turkey sausage – make a cream sauce or simply EVOO , salt, and pepper



Spinach, cheddar, green apple, red onion, with oil and vinegar from Polka Dotty Place Blog (shown above – my husband and I love this! – you could add a protein

Taco Salad 

Greek Salad

Cobb Salad

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Feta, Avocado, Cucumber, lemon juice salad from Lisa at Coast to Coast Blog 


Italian:  (garlic bread and ceasar pre made salad is easy)

Penne with turkey sausage and olive oil in photo above


Baked Ziti

Fettucine Alfredo

Bacon Alfredo bake from Grace and Love Blog

Open Face BBQ tostadas with red onion, pickles and slaw with a side of loaded mashed potatoes
Low Country Boil on a sheet pan
Mexican Lasagna with the Avocado, Feta, cucumber salad


Quiche and side salad

Roasted vegetables on sheet pan – baby carrots, onion, red potatoes and a rotisserie chicken 

Chicken and Noodles 


Baked Fish with cajun seasoning and panko bread crumbs

Pioneer Woman Perfect Salmon

Brats, macaroni and cheese and green beans

Ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, and rolls 

Lunch for dinner (something you would typically make for lunch)

Breakfast for dinner (my family won’t do this!)


What are your go to meals or methods of meal planning and cooking?  




12 thoughts on “Meal Ideas – Not Recipes

  1. I just told my husband last night that I had NO idea what we used to eat before the holidays! I wasn’t even exaggerating – I got nothin’! I’m so used to having a fridge full of left-overs from all the holiday cooking. This was a great post topic. Not trying to set the world on fire with a sudden diet or anything but we do need to slow our roll for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! It is really hard to remember what we ate before Thanksgiving because it’s been lots of ham and turkey and leftovers. Also the weather hasn’t been as cold for the typical winter comfort foods. I think having a list is so helpful and I can rotate through the meals. I hope to add more to my list.


  2. I made a list of all our Typical meals and add it in a few items we want to try and taped it inside one of my cupboards. Every time I make something I write the date next to it so I can see when I made it and try something else before I repeat items over and over. I also take a picture of my list so I have it with me when I go to the store to double check that I have ingredients on hand.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So many great ideas, thanks! Well, I cook dinner almost every night and have the bad habit of going to the food store every single day… I guess it’s because it’s easy when you live in the middle of a city. We eat a lot of pasta and pork chops, alway with a mixed green salad. But it can be really hard to decide what to eat for dinner!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I only want to go to the store once a week! I think people in Europe go almost daily to but just a few things but I don’t want to do that. Deciding is the worst part!


  4. I just bought a recipe notebook to start compiling meal ideas and go to recipes. I’m trying to eat a little healthier and add more salads and veggies and less processed foods. Going to add the burrito bowl and your spinach salad to my list!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I always have TJ’s or Costco orange chicken in my freezer- so easy to toss in the oven, sauté some veggies, and make some rice for a quick dinner. We love breakfast for dinner and probably have it every other week. Husband doesn’t eat any pasta so it always seems hard to make quick, easy dinners! I love going to the grocery early Sunday morning before the church crowds get there.

    Liked by 1 person

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