Menu Plan Monday: September 11, 2017

September 11, 2017

Dealing with chaos (and how meal planning helps), this week’s menu plan, and link love!

Menu Plan Monday week of September 11, 2017 including Three Bean Vegetarian Chili, Apple Cranberry Tuna Salad, Soynut butter sandwich skewers, and Veggie & Bean Quinoa Bites. Get the menu @jlevinsonrd.

Latest Happenings:

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve shared my Menu Plan Monday here and I’m glad to be back. The past few weeks have been craaazy! The end of the summer and weeks leading up to school are always hectic, but they were even more so this year as we prepared our girls for Kindergarten. On top of that, my grandfather passed away and I needed to spend as much time as possible with my family.

Despite all the chaos, I did manage to stick to a meal plan most days of the week, even if I didn’t get a chance to post it here to share with you all. Last week my stress level rose high as I was trying to navigate getting my girls to their first day of kindergarten (picture of them below) at the same time that I needed to be at my grandfather’s funeral, making sure they were well-cared for throughout the week while I spent time with my father and grandmother, and all the emotions from these various life changes.

My girls ready for their first day of Kindergarten

My girls ready for their first day of Kindergarten

I’m admittedly not the best at dealing with stress, and I would have been happy to have a bowl of cereal for dinner every night as a result. But as a mom, my responsibility to feed my children, even during the busiest of weeks, came first. And so, I spent last Monday cooking and preparing ingredients for the week, to ensure my girls – and my husband and me – had healthy, nourishing food to get us through the chaos.

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to snap a pin-worthy photo of what I made, but my fridge was filled with containers or roasted veggies – sweet potatoes, multi-colored carrots, zucchini, and broccoli; cooked quinoa, which I used to make quinoa salads and a batch of my Veggie & Bean Quinoa Bites; burgers and chicken I defrosted from prior meal prep occasions; and a batch of oatmeal muffins for quick we-need-to-get-out-the-door breakfasts (the girls have a 7:34 am bus to catch 😲).

It may not seem like that much stuff, but it saved us from ordering pizza and eating frozen meals all week long. Have you had a similar experience?

If the idea of meal prep and menu planning is new to you, be sure to check out my Top 10 Meal Planning Tips for Busy Families e-book, which includes a one week menu with recipes.

Now it’s time to get back to work! Below is some link love from the past few weeks. I also hope to share my back-to-school link love post soon – I know most kids are already back, some for over a month, but hopefully those links will help you no matter what time of year! Also, you’ll notice lunch is back on the menu now that school has started, and this year I also have to send a snack, so as often as possible I’ll include that as well.

Have a great week!

Link Love Articles:

Got Picky Eaters? 10 Tasty Tips for Turning the Tide @ Liz Weiss, MS, RDN for Today’s Dietitian

I recently shared one of the ways I’m dealing with my increasingly selective eaters, and here are 10 more – from real moms themselves.

Dealing with Downtime @ My Uncommon Everyday

⇒ The opening line of this post made me laugh out loud, yet also cry a little too. I’m sure I’m not alone. I hope to be more successful at finding some downtime in the coming weeks.

Weeknight Rescue @ Mom’s Kitchen Handbook

⇒ Love this new series from my friend Katie. Anything that helps you meal plan gets an A+ in my book!

Facts, Not Fears – Demystifying The Produce Aisle @ Shaw’s Simple Swaps

⇒ You may know I love myth busting, especially when it’s about food. Love Liz’s POV.

6 Ways to Stress Less About What Your Kids Eat @ Healthy Made Easy

⇒ I’ve mentioned that my daughters’ eating habits have changed some and I have been trying some different tactics to keep myself from getting stressed about it. Some are the same as what Amelia suggests here, including family style meals.

Link Love Recipes:

5 Crave-Worthy Buddha Bowl Recipes @ Grateful Grazer (includes one of your recipes)

⇒ Bowls have become my go to lunch and often dinner these days, especially when I have food prepped like I described above. Want to get on the bowl train? Steph shares a basic 6-step how-to for making bowls and five delicious ones to try (including my Asian-Style Farro Buddha Bowl).

Ginger Peach Turkey Tenderloin @ The Lean Green Bean

⇒ The fresh peaches this summer were amazing, but now that we’re moving onto oranges and apples I’m going to give this recipe a try with frozen peaches instead.

Waffle Maker Peanut Butter Cookies @ Joy Food Sunshine

⇒ OK, I think now I really need to get a waffle maker!

Menu Plan Monday is designed to inspire you to create your own menu plan for the whole family each week of the year. 

Menu Plan Monday: Week of September 11, 2017


Snack: Clementine & cheese stick

Lunch: Veggie & Bean Quinoa Bites, veggies, and watermelon (for C)/banana (for S)

Dinner: Tofu with Cilantro Avocado Sauce, Roasted Broccoli, Carrots, and Portobello Mushrooms


Snack: Roasted fava beans and apple slices

Lunch: Soynut butter and berry sandwich skewers, edamame, and veggies

Dinner: Sheet pan salmon with roasted zucchini, corn, and tomatoes + side of rice


Snack: Popcorn and dried fruit

Lunch: Leftover salmon and veggies

Dinner: Three Bean Vegetarian Chili (from the freezer) and cornbread


Snack: Greek Yogurt pouch

Lunch: Veggie chili leftovers and fruit

Dinner: Corn & Black Bean Feta Frittata


Snack: Pea chips and berries

Lunch: Apple Cranberry Tuna Salad with crackers, beets, and orange smiles

Dinner: Something from the freezer

What’s on your menu plan this week?

Please share with me below or on social media!
Tweet me or tag me on Instagram with #DinnerTonight
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  1. Thanks so much for the shout out! I knew you’d like that one! I admire your strength and passion to continue to put the home cooked meals on the table. I hate to admit but we’ve had a lot of cereal and milk these days :(… all in due time right?!

    1. You’re most welcome Liz. And Thank you – that is so kind of you to say. It’s not easy and there have been plenty of times when I have just had cereal and milk for dinner as well!