The buildup to the holiday break from school is incredible and, oh, that first week of Christmas break is magic with the kids home with plenty of time to play and do projects. But the second week of Christmas break feels long and full of kiddos with insatiable appetites.
Here's my post-holiday game plan for starting the year on a healthy-ish note despite another week of holiday vacation: I'm filling up the week with vegetable dinners that are easy to make and give us lots of leftovers for other meals.
Welcome to This Week's Meal Plan
Planning my weekly meals is a habit I enjoy. Since I'm frequently asked by friends and family what I'm cooking for dinner each week, I thought it'd be useful to share my weekly meal plan here. Whether you're just learning to meal plan and looking for a real-life example of how this works or you're an old pro on the hunt for inspiration, here's a peek at how I'm feeding my family this week.
New to meal planning? Start here.
Here's the deal: We recently relocated from the South to southern Idaho, but we can't give up the tradition of Hoppin' John to ring in the new year well. Since we are feeding a few new friends who aren't familiar with the tradition, this risotto feels like the perfect way to introduce them to this annual ritual.
Tuesday: Thanksgiving Lentil Salad
I fully admit to being obsessed with this salad and I'm sorry I'm not sorry for including it in not one, but two meal plans in the last six weeks. This is what I love about this salad: It is delicious warm (but keeps well all week), my young kids will gobble it up, and it makes a ton. This will make for hearty lunches with some homemade bread this week.
Wednesday: Chickpea Nuggets
I'm making a double batch of these chickpea nuggets to see how well they freeze. This experiment is as much for my benefit as it is for recipe notes. I'll report back.
Thursday: Slow-Cooker Minestrone
This vegetable soup is the request of my 6-year-old. It's another big-batch dinner that will feed us into the weekend and help us gear up for the joyful return to our weekday schedules.
Friday: Farmers Market Pizza
Don't be put off by a farmers market pizza in winter, because a lot of markets still run through the winter, and this pizza formula can be used for any season of vegetables. For ours, I'm planning on using leftover collard green pesto (from Monday's Hoppin John) and leftover bits and bobs of veggies chopped up from Thursday's minestrone.