That ever-present question looms week in and week out…”What’s for dinner?” It can be a frustrating venture trying to feed your family healthy, homemade foods and pleasing everyone’s palettes, both big and small. I have found that meal planning is especially challenging in the beginning of the week. After coming off the weekend it can be difficult to get revved up for the week ahead. To help with this, I have started doing themed meals at our house. It helps to get our week off to the right start and make meal planning a little easier.
Sunday is Soup Night, Monday is Meatloaf Night or sometimes homemade Mac & Cheese (my little one’s favorite…and yes Dietitians eat Mac & Cheese on occasion!), Tuesday is Taco Night, and Wednesday is Wacky Wednesday where we get to choose whatever we want. That usually leaves ample for leftovers on Thursday and before we know it the week of meal planning is done. I vary the kind of soup from week to week and whatever I make it usually makes enough for lunch leftovers too.
We also vary our tacos, having fish tacos alternating with tacos made with ground turkey breast alongside tomatoes and avocado and organic refried beans – look for them on the bottom shelf on the Mexican food aisle. After a little trial and error, I have found the La Banderita whole grain tortillas are the best. For a long time I just bought the packaged taco seasoning, but now I make my own. Not only is it healthier, with less sodium and preservatives, we prefer the flavor and taste. Try it out and see what you think.
Homemade Taco Seasoning
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 pinch red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional)
Mix all ingredients. Brown 1 – 1.5 pounds ground turkey breast, chicken, or lean ground beef. Add Taco Seasoning. Stir in 2/3 cup water. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Planning ahead and having healthy ingredients on hand is critical when trying to make improvements in the way you eat. Try doing themed meals in your house a couple of nights a week to make figuring out “What’s for dinner?” a breeze!