No Brainer (real food) Meals

I am not a natural planner.

If you knew me when I was younger (as in 4 years ago), I was fly by the seat of my pants, last minute, procrastinator kind of personality. I am sill all of those things by nature, but have had to fight big time against it now that I’m in charge of little people. We’ve all suffered the consequences of not planning—no one eats, drinks, has clean clothes (or diapers) and there's a good amount of whining that comes along with it.

This summer we’ve been all over the place and come 6pm most nights, I’m scrambling to find something to feed our family—usually resulting in eggs or Chickfila. Again. I think we’re all ready to get back into a rhythm, and I've GOT to get back on the meal planning wagon. My meals are not planned out months in advance and my freezer is not packed to the gills with crock-pot meals till January. I SO wish it was though.

After a conversation at the gym with other struggling mamas needing some meal ideas, I wanted to post a few go-tos we rotate. Every blue moon, I do like to prepare an involved dish I found on Pinterest with some type of fancy gravy or reduction—requiring lots of skill and chopping and pots and pans. But for now we're sticking with a few no-brainer, not fancy, sort of boring recipes to just make sure everyone gets fed.

Here’s whats been rotating in our house lately: 

  • Breakfast for dinner (obviously a win in all aspects)
  • QUINOA DISH (We make a ton and eat throughout week. Recipe below)
  • HASH (recipe)
  • BAKED SWEET POTATO+ Crock Pot Chicken Thighs + SALAD
  • TUNA or EGG SALAD (great for weekends)
  • CHICKEN PESTO PASTA (Whole Foods Hack: rice pasta + tomato + red onion + spinach. Mix together with pesto. Use tortellini if you want to get fancy. Picture below)
  • PINTO BEANS + RICE (crock pot style: we add cilantro, onions and shredded jack after cooked. Great to make quesadillas the next day)
(a few other no-brainer recipes here)

Prepare Quinoa per Instruction (it cooks like rice: rinse till water is clear, and cook 2 parts chicken stock or water to grain)
Some olive oil
Sea salt and pepper
Fresh lemon juice
Add whatever veggies you have (corn, asparagus heads, tomatoes, red onion, peppers)
Add a splash of white wine and/or splash of red wine vinegar
Toasted sliced/chopped almonds (put them in oven for a few minutes)
and LOTS of chopped CILANTRO- makes everything yummy
Top with Avocado
Add Chicken if you want.  

I stole this idea from the Whole Foods salad bar

I do want to add one thing. As much as I am pro-Real Food and want to feed my family nourishing things, I am learning that the stress that can sometimes come from running ragged and trying to do it all can be less nourishing than just calling it when the day gets hairy and everyones tanks are running dry. 

Plan. Be prudent. But gosh, give yourself grace and order the pizza sometimes. 

ALSO, my friend has a super helpful new Instagram she started— @RealFoodForLess. She's got some great, easy ideas!

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