Des Moines Moms Blog is excited to bring you a series of posts this month meant to inspire and equip you in your meal planning and cooking endeavors! Throughout the month, four of our team members will each share a post with five great dinner recipes. Use these posts in their entirety as new weekly menus, or incorporate into your own menus those select recipes which suit your tastes. Either way, we hope you will find DMMB’s Month of Meal Plans series to be a helpful (and tasty!) resource!
If you are like me, dinner can be a real drain! With everything else going on in life, I can tend to put meal planning on the back burner. HOWEVER, as soon as I have a meal plan in place, I always feel like dinner is a cinch. Or at least less hectic!
Today I want to share with you an idea we are trying at our house this fall/winter: we have given each night a theme! I think it’s kind of fun and it makes thinking about what I am making way easier! Most of these recipes are SUPER easy, too! So, here it goes!!
*Meal ideas: Any meat or meatless Enchiladas, Tortilla Soup, Chicken Enchilada Soup, Fajitas, any meat Tacos, Taco Pie, Taco Soup, Quesadillas, Taco Salad
My recipe to try: Pioneer Woman’s Beef Fajitas
I love, love, love the Pioneer Woman’s recipes! She always makes delicious meals, and she’s not a rule follower! I never feel like I have to do everything just right when I follow her recipes. I like a little freedom, so her cooking style really works well for me!
*Meal ideas: Blackened Tilapia with rice and beans and broccoli; Lemon Pepper (I love Penzeys spice) Tilapia with roasted red potatoes and green beans; Fish Tacos, Tilapia Salad; Grilled Tilapia with quinoa and veggie stir fry
My recipe to try: Lemon Pepper Tilapia with Roasted Red Potatoes and Broccoli
Tilapia (fresh or frozen), thawed
Lemon pepper seasoning (I use Penzeys)
Petite Red Potatoes
Fresh broccoli, cut into pieces
Salt and Pepper
This is such an easy, easy meal and it’s soooo tasty! Sprinkle your fish with lemon pepper seasoning on both sides. Place in pan and bake at 425° for 10-12 minutes. (You can also grill the fish!)
For the red potatoes: Cut in half OR if you can’t find small red potatoes cut them into quarters. Place in a bag or Tupperware and coat with olive oil. Shake them up so they are thoroughly coated. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, onion flakes and fresh grated garlic. Place in pan. Drizzle butter over the top to help them brown (optional). Cook at 425° for 30-40 minutes turning at halfway. As long as they are soft they are done but I like mine “well done” or fairly brown so I cook them longer if necessary. Also, sprinkle with fresh Parmesan cheese if you have it on hand!
For the broccoli: Coat with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté on the stove for 20-30 minutes OR until desired texture.
Crock Pot Wednesday:
We are always on the run on Wednesday nights because of church and gymnastics! So, Wednesday seems like the best day for me to do something in the Crock Pot!
*Meal ideas: Chili, any soup, Roast and mash potatoes, BBQ Pork/Beef/Chicken Sliders, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Cavetelli
My recipe to try: Baked Potato Soup
8 slices of bacon
1 – 8 oz cream cheese
1 – 49 oz or 3 lb chicken broth
1 can cream of mushroom
1 can cream of chicken
1/4 c white onion, chopped
pepper, to taste
Chop potatoes. Cook and crumble bacon (set aside some bacon to garnish). Soften cream cheese and beat into broth. Mix all ingredients together. Cook on low all day. Top with green onion, cheese, bacon crumbles and sour cream!
*Meal ideas: Kabobs (my all-time favorite), Any meat paired with grilled veggies, Burgers, Brats, Grilled Pizza
My recipe to try: Kabobs
The great thing about Kabobs is you can literally make your entire meal on a stick. 🙂 This marinade is sooo yummy…. It was passed to me by my mother-in-law.
1/4 c vinegar
3 T soy sauce
2 T olive oil
2 T ketchup
1 garlic clove
Pour over meat (chicken or steak) and marinate all day or even overnight!
Cut up veggies of your choice… onion, peppers, mushrooms, potatoes. Stack the veggies and meat on skewers. Grill at medium heat until your meat is done!
*Meal ideas: Burgers, Pizza, Spaghetti, any easy wrap… I think Fridays should be easy and maybe a little less nutritious! We often pick up Papa Murphy’s on Friday nights or I cook American staples… but rarely do I do anything gourmet or challenging on Fridays! However, I am leaving you with another FAVORITE (not necessarily a Freedom Friday choice)! BUT it can be super easy, too, if you use rotisserie chicken instead of grilled chicken!
My recipe to try: Oriental Chicken Wraps
1/3 c vinegar
1/2 c sugar
1 T soy sauce
1/4 c sweet and sour sauce
1/2 c mayo
1/4 t garlic powder
1 1/2 T sesame seeds
1 1/2 T poppy seeds
Heat sugar and vinegar until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the rest of the ingredients.
Grill chicken or cook chicken as desired and cut up into slices. Fill a tortilla with chicken, lettuce, chow mien noodles and toasted almonds! Pour dressing on. Roll it up and ENJOY! I promise this will not disappoint! Also, if your kiddos won’t eat the dressing, substitute ranch! 🙂