What a Dietitian Really Eats, Part 4: Dinner
Dinner is the most hectic meal of the day at our house and I'm guessing it's the same at yours. No matter how busy it is, we always sit together at the dining room table and attempt to have a pleasant (and healthy) family dinner! In reality, this doesn't always happen between the roller-coaster eating habits of a 3-year old, a fussy 10-month old who went on strike recently during afternoon naptime, and urgent work phone calls coincidently always coming in at 6 p.m..
A weekly dinner meal plan, leftovers, and a few convenient items like 90-second microwave grain blends, pre-made salad, frozen veggies, and grilling extra protein on the weekends are my saving grace. I don't purposely set aside extra time for meal prep, but instead cook extra or cook two different things at the same time to save one for later in the week. This way we get plenty of variety without adding extra prep and cook time!
Here's what our dinner meal plan (for our whole family — I refuse to cook different food for the kiddos) was for the past week:
And these are the things I prepped either over the weekend or in the morning before leaving the house for the day:
- Grilled extra elk on Saturday to use on Monday; Sliced peppers, onion, and meat on Monday morning.
- Grilled extra burgers and chicken thighs on Sunday for Tuesday and Wednesday.
- Made a large salad on Sunday for the rest of the week.
- Steamed broccoli and carrots on Tuesday to give my 3-year old options for vegetables and saved leftovers for Wednesday dinner.
- On Fridays, I try to do a healthier version of a typically unhealthy dish and pair it with plenty of vegetables to balance it out.