Tag Archives: homemade meals

Two-Week Minimalist Meal Plan

Have a poke around Pinterest or a scroll through YouTube and you’ll soon find that there are a million and a half ways to meal plan.

Today, I’d like to talk about just one of them. This rather minimalist approach to meal planning involves selecting “default meals” for each dinner of the week. That way, when the 5 o’clock, “I’m too tired to think about what’s for dinner rolls around,” you’re already sorted. And because rotating through JUST seven dinners can feel a bit limiting for some, I thought it might be fun to explore the possibilities of a TWO-WEEK minimalist meal plan.

A few breakfast, snack, and lunch options for each week. 14 dinners. Sounds easy enough right? There are plenty of opportunities for substitutions and mild modifications to keep things interesting. And the best part? If you’re out for the night and won’t be preparing dinner — just skip that night’s dinner. You can pick it back up the next time the day rolls around.

Here’s what I came up with…

Week One –

Breakfast

At home (think-weekends): Greek yogurt bowls with banana, berries, and granola

On the run (think-week days): Green smoothies or toast with nut butter and fruit

 

Lunch

At home: Black bean quesadillas with avocado and fruit

Packed: Salad in a jar with whole wheat crackers

 

Snacks

Ants on a log, veggies with hummus, and “energy” date balls

 

Dinner

Monday: Chili and cornbread

Tuesday: Deconstructed cabbage rolls and steamed broccoli

Wednesday: Roast chicken (or rotisserie) and root veggies

Thursday: Pasta and salad

Friday: Tacos (or taco bowl) and corn (or corn chips with guac)

Saturday: Soup and garlic bread and salad

Sunday: Breakfast for dinner

 

Dessert

Daily treat: a couple squares from a bar of dark chocolate

Special treat: Banana “nice” cream

 

Week Two-

Breakfast

At home: Pancakes

On the run: Egg cups with fruit or apple cinnamon steel cut oats

 

Lunch

At home: Chicken salad over greens with fruit

Packed: Leftovers

 

Snacks

Fruit, roasted chickpeas, air-popped popcorn

 

Dinner

Monday: Thai food

Tuesday: Hummus tuna melt and steamed broccoli

Wednesday: Buffalo chicken nuggets and sweet potato tots

Thursday: Steak and roasted potatoes

Friday: Black bean burgers and fries and kale salad

Saturday: Homemade pizza

Sunday: Shop the pantry/fridge and throw something together!

 

Dessert

Daily treat: a couple squares from a bar of dark chocolate

Special treat: chocolate chip cookies

The above is an example of a Two-Week Minimalist Meal Plan that would work for me and my family. To create your own, think about the types of dinners you turn to time and time again. Which do you enjoy cooking? Which ones taste delicious at the end of a busy day? Happy meal planning!

Do any of you meal plan? Would you consider this minimalist approach?

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Recipe: Greek Quinoa Salad

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Now that I live in South Florida, my taste buds always seem to be after Mediterranean and/or tropical flavors. Fresh and crunchy vegetables, tangy tastes of citrus or vinegar, that sort of thing. With that in mind, I thought I’d give ya a peek at my dinner plate from last night….

Thin pork-chop marinated in mojo sauce (cut into strips because I am a child),

Fluffy pita bread and hummus,

Creamy slices of avocado (which I topped with a ton of salt and pepper if we’re being honest),

And a heaping helping of Greek Quinoa Salad!

It super fit the bill and satisfied my cravings for a summertime-is-upon-us feast. Wanna know how to whip up your own Greek Quinoa Salad? Of course you do! It would be a perfect dish to make this weekend for work-week lunch prep or to pack along for a picnic pot-luck.

greek quinoa salad

What you’ll need:

– 1 cup quinoa

– 1 1/2 cups water

– 1 red bell pepper

– 1 green bell pepper

– 1 cucumber

– 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled

– 1/4 cup olive oil

– 3 Tbsps apple cider vinegar

– salt and pepper to taste

And how it all comes together:

– Rinse quinoa and then place it in a saucepan on medium heat to toast for a few minutes and get rid of any excess moisture.

– Add water to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and cover the pot with the lid slightly off kilter (so as to allow some steam to escape). Let this simmer for 12-14 minutes.

– While quinoa is simmering, chop bell peppers and cucumber.

– Fluff quinoa with a fork, take it off heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

– Once quinoa is cooled, add it to a large bowl along with chopped vegetables and feta cheese. Note: To make this salad vegan you could replace the feta with olives as they both provide a salty flavor. Also, non-vegans who like olives (aka NOT ME) could have BOTH!

– To create the dressing: whisk together oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Then add this mixture to your salad.

– Serve room temperature or place in the refrigerator to chill.

– Enjoy!

greek dinner

Have any recipe ideas that might keep my cravings satisfied for the months of sky-rocketing temperatures ahead here in Miami? What have YOUR dinner plates been lookin’ like lately? Share below! 

Recipe: Cincinnati Chili

cincinnati chili

Growing up in Central Kentucky, with two sets of grandparents one state up in Ohio, I learned to love the joys of serving chili with a dash of cinnamon and a plate of slippery spaghetti noodles. I can remember slurping up this beloved regional concoction as a kid, whipped up at home and on family day trips to visit the Cincinnati malls. A few years ago, a Goldstar Chili opened up just blocks away from my mom’s house and our whole family greeted it with open arms. (Even the vegans among us…they’ve got that plant-based hook up at Goldstar, y’all.) In fact, a couple days ago when my mom texted our family group chat to say she didn’t feel like cooking dinner my sister and I BOTH responded she should hit up that Goldstar. But then that got ME craving the stuff…and since I no longer live by any Skylines or Goldstars…I headed to my kitchen instead!

What you’ll need:

– small onion, chopped

– 1 lb. ground turkey

– red bell pepper, chopped

– 2 cups chicken broth

– 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

– 2 6 oz cans tomato paste

– 1 1/2 tsps apple cider vinegar

– 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

– 2 Tbsps chili powder

– 2 tsps ground cumin

– 1 1/2 tsps salt

– 1 tsp cayenne

– 1 tsp cinnamon

– 1 tsp paprika

– 1 Tbsp cocoa powder

– 1/2 tsp garlic powder

– 1 can of beans (red kidney, black, whatever you have on hand)

And how it all comes together: 

– Heat the chopped onion in a pan with some olive oil until the edges start to caramelize.

– Add the ground turkey and separate it with a spoon. Cook until browned.

– Transfer turkey and onions to a crockpot. Then add all of the remaining ingredients listed above except for the beans.

– Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 5-6 hours.

– Add a drained can of beans to the crockpot for the last hour of cooking time.

– Serve chili over spaghetti or angel hair pasta noodles. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and oyster crackers!

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What’s your favorite type of chili? SHARE BELOW!