A one-week meal plan that your whole family will enjoy. Includes meal ideas that are simple, satisfying, healthy, require just a few groceries, and are quick and easy to prepare. Printable shopping list at the bottom.
As I sit and write this post, the world is in the middle of a Pandemic. Covid-19. This nasty virus has created many challenges that we are all trying to figure out and cope with. But, I have faith, that in time, things will improve. In the meantime, we all just need to try and stay safe and healthy.
If you’re the one responsible for feeding your family, you may find it even more challenging now, since just going to the grocery store can cause anxiety. That’s why it’s even more crucial to be prepared and know exactly what you need (make a list), so you can get in and out fast.
I’ve always been a huge proponent of Meal Planning (check out my Meal Planning Resources). Planning ahead makes life much easier in the long run. So, to be helpful, I’ve put together an easy plan with 7 days of Meal Ideas that you can use now or in the future! These are some of the exact meals that my family of 4 have enjoyed during our self-quarantine.
About The Meal Plan
- To make life even easier, my family and I follow a Rotation for Breakfast, Lunch and Snacks. I’m trying to keep my kitchen stocked with the basics I need to cover these meals. (See my Master Grocery List). The focus of this post is to share ideas for just dinner (or lunch, if you want).
- These meals are simple, family-friendly favorites. Nothing fancy, elaborate, or mind-blowing.
- Pick and choose the meals that sound good to you and your family, or follow the entire plan. Be ready to improvise if you find the grocery store is out of stock of certain items you need. (It’s better now, but in the beginning, I couldn’t even find eggs or bread… never mind toilet paper!)
- I’ve included ideas for simple sides and desserts, but feel free to change them to anything you like or already have in your kitchen.
- We’ve been using our Grill a lot lately, but if you don’t have access to a grill, the oven or stove-top can take its place!
- These meals are really simple, therefore, the directions are really simple. Often no recipe required! Some meals do include a Post that you can refer to.
- Each meal includes a list of ingredients that will help you make a shopping list. (I have also provided a complete printable shopping list that can be found at the bottom of the post.) You may already have some of the items. If not, write down what you need on a piece of scrap paper, add whatever else you need for breakfast, lunch, and snacks and you’re ready to head to the grocery store, or order online for delivery (such as from instacart.com).
- The amount of each ingredient is based on feeding 4 people. Adjust the amount you need to cover the number of people you are serving and if you want leftovers.
- Take-Out: Whether you choose delivery or pick-up, you can feel good about supporting your local restaurants while also giving yourself a break from cooking. Lately, we’ve been ordering take-out 1-2 times a week, so I’ve included that as part of the plan. #TakeOutTuesday
7-Day Meal Plan for Dinner
1. Sweet & Sour Chicken Stir Fry served with Brown Rice
See the Post: Easy Dinner Favorite: Sweet & Sour Chicken Stir Fry
Ingredients: -1-1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts -2 tsp avocado or olive oil, or cooking spray -1 bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables, thawed or fresh cut-up vegetables (such as 1 bell pepper and 1 onion) -1 cup sweet and sour sauce (or any other stir-fry sauce) -1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks, drained -1 package of quick-cooking brown rice
Directions: Use kitchen shears to cut-up chicken breasts into bite-size pieces. Heat a large skillet or wok on medium-high, coat with 1 tsp of oil and add vegetables. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly tender (about 5-6 minutes). Transfer to a plate. Add 1 tsp of oil to the wok and add chicken. Cook chicken (approx. 5-8 minutes) stirring occasionally. Return vegetables to the wok, add pineapple and sauce, and simmer on low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare rice according to package directions. Serve chicken mixture on top of rice.
Dessert Idea: Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt
2. Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu served with sweet potatoes and peas
Ingredients: -4 boneless skinless chicken breasts -4 deli slices ham -4 deli slices Swiss or Gruyere cheese -1 cup Panko breadcrumbs -cooking spray -4 small sweet potatoes -1 pkg frozen or fresh microwaveable peas
Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place chicken breasts in a foil-lined 13×9-inch baking dish. Top each chicken breast with 1 slice of ham and 1 slice of cheese (cut each cheese slice in half to make it cover the chicken breast better). Sprinkle with breadcrumbs to evenly cover the chicken breasts. Carefully spritz crumbs with cooking spray (I like to use Avocado Oil Spray), trying to keep crumbs in place. Bake 15-25 minutes or until tops are golden brown and chicken is fully cooked (165 F).
Meanwhile, cook sweet potatoes in the microwave (poke several times with a fork, put on a plate, and use potato setting). Cook peas according to package directions, pour into a bowl, and season as desired. Serve chicken with peas and sweet potatoes (split open, add a bit of butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon).
Dessert Idea: Brownies (store-bought, from a box, or homemade – Almond Flour Brownies)
3. Spaghetti served with a salad and garlic bread
Ingredients: -box of angel hair or spaghetti pasta (use about 1/2 to serve 4) -1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce -shredded Parmesan cheese -salad (lettuce plus your favorite add-ins such as cucumber, tomato, carrots, etc.) -salad dressing (store-bought or homemade) -frozen garlic bread, garlic toast, breadsticks, or fresh garlic bread *Optional: meatballs
Directions: Prepare salad and set aside until ready to serve. Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Add spaghetti sauce (as much as desired) to a medium-size saucepan and heat on medium until hot, then simmer on low to keep warm. Meanwhile, heat garlic bread according to package directions. Drain cooked pasta and add to a large bowl. Add sauce and combine until noodles are coated. *Optional: add cooked meatballs if desired. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese (freshly grated or pre-grated). Serve spaghetti with salad, salad dressing, and garlic bread.
Dessert Idea: Leftover Brownies
4. Hot Dogs served with sauerkraut, or slaw mix, and fruit
Ingredients: -1 to 2 pkg. hot dogs -1 pkg. hot dog buns -ketchup, mustard, relish, etc. -1 pkg. refrigerated sauerkraut and/or slaw mix -watermelon, or other fruit
Directions: Cook hot dogs on the stove-top or grill, according to package directions. Prepare packaged slaw mix, if using. Cut up fruit. Serve hot dogs in buns with condiments and/or topped with sauerkraut. Serve slaw and watermelon slices on the side.
Dessert Idea: S’mores
5. Grilled Chicken Breasts served with tomato slices and broccoli
Ingredients: -4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts -2 tbs avocado or olive oil -1/4 cup balsamic vinegar -juice from 1/2 a lemon (about 1 tbs) -1/2 tsp seasoning blend of choice -1 large tomato -1 pkg. frozen or fresh microwaveable broccoli
Directions: In a small bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and seasoning blend (or just use salt and pepper). Place chicken breasts in a bowl or resealable plastic bag; add oil mixture and coat chicken. Allow the chicken to marinate, in the refrigerator, for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Heat greased grill to Medium-High heat, remove chicken from bowl or bag, discard extra marinade, and place chicken on the grill. With the cover closed, grill chicken 6-8 minutes each side, or until no longer pink, and thermometer in thickest part reaches 165 F. Allow chicken to rest 5 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile, slice tomato and cook broccoli; season as desired.
*Baked Chicken: Heat oven to 350 F. Place marinated chicken on a foil-lined baking pan and bake 15-25 minutes, or until fully cooked. Serve chicken with broccoli and tomato slices.
Dessert Idea: Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt
Enjoy your favorite pizza from your favorite local pizza place. Or, pick up a couple of frozen pizzas.
Try a Family Bundle Meal from Bonefish Grill! The Family Bundles serve up to 5 people and include your choice of an entree, a side, a salad, bread, and cookies. We dined, from the comfort of our home, on Grilled Shrimp, Garlic Whipped Potatoes, Caesar Salad, Bread, and Chocolate Chip Cookies.
SHOPPING LIST FOR 7-DAY FAMILY MEAL PLAN: DURING QUARANTINE, VOL. 1
Print any section of this post by clicking the purple, round PRINT Icon (found on the left side or bottom of the page). The ? indicates you have a choice. Remember to check on what you already have in your kitchen; cross off the items you don’t need.
PRODUCE: -bell pepper ? -onion ? -4 small sweet potatoes -1 large tomato -lettuce, etc. for Salad -Slaw mix ? -watermelon -1 lemon
DELI/ BAKERY: -ham deli slices -Swiss or Gruyere cheese deli slices -Parmesan cheese, whole or shredded -fresh garlic bread ? -hot dog buns
PANTRY: -avocado or olive oil -cooking spray -Balsamic vinegar -seasoning blend -bottle or pouch of sweet and sour sauce -20 oz can pineapple chunks, in 100% juice -1 pkg. quick-cooking brown rice -Panko bread crumbs -angel hair pasta -spaghetti sauce -salad dressing ? -condiments (ketchup, mustard, relish)
REFRIGERATED: -sauerkraut ?
MEAT/POULTRY/FISH: -1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast -8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4-5 oz each) -hot dogs
FROZEN: -1 bag stir-fry vegetables ? -peas -broccoli -garlic bread, toast, or breadsticks ? -frozen pizza ?
OPTIONAL DESSERTS: -ice cream or frozen yogurt -brownies (mix, store-bought, or recipe) -S’mores (graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate bars)