Since I started working out and watching what I eat, my husband and I had to revolutionize our take on weekday meals. We used to eat out a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean more often than not. Now, we have a pretty set schedule. We eat at my mother-in-law’s house every Monday night, and we usually go out to eat once a week. That leaves us five days to cook up some good-tasting, healthy-for-you meals.
We started meal planning on Sundays—something we never did before—and cutting coupons before our shopping trips. I started using my Taste of Home Guilt-Free Cookbook which I adore, and I joined a “What’s For Dinner” group on Facebook to get some inspiration. Something I also did? Finally opened the rice cooker my mother-in-law bought us two Christmases ago. Life saver!
When it comes to cooking, I’m a total loser. The kind who forgets ingredients and steps completely. The kind who burns her whole forearm taking a pan out of the oven. So, for me, the best working mom meal is not only healthy, but is also easy to make with few ingredients or ingredients I can use for multiple meals. I know many of you probably want your Working Mom Meals to be kid-friendly, as well. I will say that many of my choices are dishes my son will eat—part of, if not all—but some, we add sides or fruits/veggies for him or substitute another meal completely. He only has 12 teeth and is learning about new foods so you know, we accommodate.
Anyway, my husband and I had the blessing of a few weeks off in the summer to get into the groove, and we’ve started cycling through our favorite low calorie meals ever since. Here’s a typical work-week meal plan for us:
Honey Chicken Stir Fry
-1 cup of stir fry over ½ cup white rice equals 313 calories
Apron’s Simple Meals Broccoli/Cheese Stuffed Chicken
-440 calories per serving
Baked Eggplant Parmesan—a great alternative to fried, even though fried is much tastier.
-223 calories per serving
Chicken and Pepper Fajitas
-2 fajitas equals 398 calories (Shhh, I add sour cream to this so it’s not so dry).
And, my personal childhood favorite, English muffin pizzas. For this? 100 calorie English muffins, 1-2 tablespoons of tomato sauce (I like to use Ragu Pizza Sauce because it’s thicker and because it’s a smaller jar so it doesn’t go to waste) on each muffin half and shredded mozzarella. I always brush the muffins with olive oil and broil them before I put the ingredients on and bake them for 10-15 minutes at 350. It’s probably not the healthiest and you might want to make a salad or veggie if you’re eating with the kiddos, but 3 English muffin pizzas equals 390 calories!
There’s plenty more where that came from, but I would LOVE to hear about your meal planning! How do you meal plan? What are your favorite easy weekday meals? Do you pay attention to calories, carbs, protein and the like in your meals each day?