An Easy, No-Oven Weekly Meal Plan
Back-to-school season means back-to-routine season. Healthy dinners at home are the first place to start. And an easy weekly meal plan is just what I need to tackle the schedule of dentist appointments, ortho appointments, haircuts and errands we have on deck. My kids won’t be allowed back to school if I don’t get their health forms turned in! Major mom fail: they were due in June.
It’s HOT in Houston in August, so I’m all about keeping the oven off. The slow cooker and Instant Pot are your friend. Slow cooker coconut red curry sounds perfect — I’ll leave out the chicken thighs and add red peppers, carrots, yellow squash and maybe sweet potatoes. Cook all day on low and serve with coconut lime cauliflower rice or steamed jasmine or sushi rice. Trader Joe’s sells frozen pre-cooked jasmine rice that’s perfect for a quick side dish.
Chicken tinga in the Instant Pot with all the fixings! You can stuff the flavorful chicken filling in roasted peppers or make taco bowls. We’ll warm up Siete tortillas, and top with chicken, guacamole and cilantro and call it a night. Toss up a salad of chopped romaine topped with radish, black beans, corn and tomatoes. A batch of jalapeño ranch would be ideal.
My kids have been asking for meat sauce, so I’ll make my weeknight bolognese with grass-fed beef. It’s full of hidden veggies and you can serve it over zoodles or spaghetti squash to keep it super healthy. It makes a large batch, so freeze half for another dinner down the road! To cook a spaghetti squash in the microwave, prick the skin all over with a fork and place it in a microwave safe container. Cook for 7 minutes on high, carefully use tongs to rotate the spaghetti squash to the other side and cook for another 7 minutes. Check doneness with a fork. If it easily pierces the squash, bingo! If not, cook for another couple minutes and try again. It will keep cooking as it rests, so don’t wait until the skin is soft to the touch.
Sheet pan sausage and peppers with broccoli on the side. This is super fast and easy, but the only issue in August is the residual heat from your oven. You could opt to grill the sausages, peppers and onion wedges (put them on a skewer to keep them together) and steam some broccoli on the side. I like to serve this with Bubbie’s sauerkraut and grainy German mustard on the side.
Date night! One of my favorite easy dinners for kids to make themselves is pizzadillas. You can use grain-free or gluten-free tortillas if you prefer, top with a little Rao’s original marinara (not too much or it gets soggy!), and let them use with their favorite toppings. Grated mozzarella and fresh basil is our typical topping of choice. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until cheese melts and is bubbly. I also like Outer Aisle cauliflower pizza crusts in the refrigerated section at Whole Foods and Central Market. Clean ingredients and delicious!
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