If I had to describe this meal plan in one word, it would be “easy.”
As I look at the meals on the menu, I must have been feeling overwhelmed and in need of nourishing meals that didn’t require tons of work.
I see “one pot” meals, “dump it in a skillet” meals and several slow cooker meals strewn throughout – enough to make the few days of homemade tortillas and homemade bread worth the effort.
But, as always, feel free to take/leave the meals you like, or re-arrange as you need to fit your schedule. Remember that while this is a plan, it’s not written in stone – that’s the beauty of meal planning. There’s a method to fit everyone!
Real Food Meal Planner: February 2016
Notes on this Real Food Meal Planner:
- This meal plan is for the average family of four, costing approximately $330. You might need to change portion sizes according to your own family size and budget.
- Meals are based around 2 whole chickens, 1 beef roast, 1 steak, Italian sausage, ground turkey and bacon.
- The meals within this plan were designed to build off of each other, using leftovers when possible and allowing opportunities for batch cooking (i.e. making one big batch of tortillas instead of making “just enough” on two separate days. Take advantage of this to really lower your budget and reduce time spent in the kitchen.
Real Food Meal Planner: Week 1
(S) Vegetable Chickpea Curry
(M) Delicata Squash Salad with Herbed Man Bread
(T) One-Pot Creamy Sundried Tomato Pasta
(W) Creamy Potato & Spinach Soup with Dinner Biscuits
(T) Mediterranean Grilled Cheese
(F) Spinach & Chickpea Rice Pilaf
(S) Mexican Carnitas with Cabbage Slaw, Black Bean & Corn Salsa
Real Food Meal Planner: Week 2
(S) BBQ Pork Sandwiches with Slaw and Crash Hot Sweet Potatoes
(M) Well Salad with Artisan Bread
(T) Family Favorite Lasagna
(W) Kung Fu Panda Soup
(T) BBQ Pork Pizza
(F) Stuffed Pumpkin
(S) Northern Beans & Ham Soup
Real Food Meal Planner: Week 3
(S) Kung Pao Chicken with Vegetables
(M) Honey Mustard Tuna Salad
(T) Savory Pasta with Onions, Bacon & Greens
(W) Italian Chicken Meatball Soup
(T) Cast Iron Skillet Pizza
(F) with Roasted Potato Wedges
(S) Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
Real Food Meal Planner: Week 4
(S) Pork & Spinach Enchilada Casserole
(M) Buffalo Chicken Ranch Salad with Dinner Biscuits
(T) Creamy Squash Pasta Bake
(W) Red Lentil Vegetable Soup with Rosemary Olive Oil Bread
(T) Shredded Pork Nachos
(F) Chicken Shepherd’s Pie
(S) Baked BBQ Potato Skins
Breakfasts are usually a variety of meals, based largely on what we have in the kitchen and almost always served with fresh fruit. These are a few basic meal ideas, plus some recommended recipes that should align with the ingredients being purchased for the dinners above. Simple meals like breakfast porridge and baked oatmeal can be flavored based on what you have in your own kitchen.
Similar to breakfast, lunches are usually a variety of meals based on what’s in the fridge and pantry and come with a side of fresh fruit. My first suggestion for lunch is always leftovers (unless the leftovers are already slated for another meal), but here are a few additional lunch ideas that are simple and easy to prepare. As a bonus, all of them can be tailored according to what you currently have on hand, and packed either for school or a picnic lunch on the go.
Since the goal is to not consume too much sugar, let’s keep the options minimal. Still, you’ll be able to enjoy either one of these treats.
Looking for more delicious and frugal inspiration? Get more real food meal plans here.