2018 Winter Meal Plan
What is a Seasonal Meal Plan, and how is it different from any other meal planning method you've tried? A Seasonal Meal Plan is a list of 16-20 tried and true dinner recipes that you choose at the beginning of the season to rotate through for the 3 months of the season. This eliminates wasted time each week scouring Pinterest for the next cool meal to make your family, and streamlines the whole meal planning process down to about 15 minutes a week.
If you often find yourself bored of the food you cook, or are frustrated week in and week out with how long it takes and how overwhelming it is to plan your meals, then the Seasonal Meal Planner is for you. The SMP is special because it not only allows you a space to keep everything food related organized; but it actually prompts you weekly, monthly and seasonally on each step you need to take to keep meal times simple so you never have to be overwhelmed again. You'll also find that the thread of hospitality runs through it, encouraging you to make inviting others into your home an ongoing rhythm and priority of life.
WINTER MEAL PLAN
want to see how I prep and put these meals together all season? Make sure you’re following on insta for behind the scenes!
1. Paleo Clam Chowder with focaccia bread (H)
This is a great soup to be doubled and frozen - I love doing this to have something on hand for crazy days or when a friend is in need!
We love the Simple Mills brand of focaccia bread. I make the full loaf or the flat bread and mix in chopped rosemary, and sprinkle some more rosemary and coarse sea salt on top before baking - yum!
Double or triple the cashew cream called for in this recipe and freeze in batches to use all season long in this and other recipes (see below).
2. Salmon, roasted broccoli, salad and quinoa
No matter what season, I need some fresh seafood and vegetables in my life. This is just such a fresh, easy meal. The salmon can even be made ahead of time and reheated or even eaten cold and added to salads or as a part of an egg-free breakfast!
I omit the dairy and use coconut milk or the cashew cream called for in the clam chowder recipe (linked above) to thicken this up and make it creamy.
I make this on the stove even though it calls for a slow cooker, still takes no time at all!
4. Fish Cakes, salad, roasted brussles sprouts
Okay, I just have to say, when I was a kid, fish sticks were all the rave for kids. Yet my kids wont touch these…why?! Either way, they are SO good and really easy.
If you don’t have the cookbook, Dinner A Love Story yet, you must invest in it - everything is SO YUMMY! Had to yell there, because it’s true. Ask for it for Christmas!
Sounds fancy but it’s not that difficult. I like to make mine in a big dutch oven and bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for around 2 hours, give or take (until the meat is fork tender). You’re already browning the meat in a big pot, so might as well not dirty up the slow cooker too and cook it all in the same vessel. Plus the flavor cannot be duplicated when slow cooked in the oven. Of course if you’re pressed for time, go the slow cooker route!!
6. Slow Cooker Basil Chicken with Coconut Curry Sauce, cauliflower rice
I like to sauté my cauliflower rice in some olive oil with garlic, a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper and even some bone broth to make it really tender.
Again, I will be subbing the heavy cream for coconut milk or the cashew cream sauce from the clam chowder recipe linked above. See why it’ll be good to make a big batch and stash away in the freezer for the season?
8. Whole30 Chicken Marsala, sautéed collards, boiled potatoes
Boiled potatoes are very Portuguese and Puerto Rican so it came to mind for our winter meal plan. We live in a city with a large Portuguese population, and recently had the best salmon with boiled potatoes at a hole in the wall restaurant recently! Add some olive oil or butter plus salt and pepper.
9. Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs, roasted kohlrabi (H)
10. Stuffed Acorn Squash, salad (H)
I’m taking the filling of my stuffed peppers recipe and using it in acorn squash for a wintery take on an easy meal. The filling is perfect for doubling and freezing half for another time!
The stuffed spaghetti squash recipe can be found in my free cookbook, Nourished.
When we were living with my in-laws before moving to MA, my mother-in-law always had popcorn for dinner on Sunday evenings. This allowed the rest of us to grab leftovers or often times, make a big snack plate. So I added a list of several ideas for what to use in our Sunday charcuterie board (ideas listed below) and will be stocking up for easy fun dinners on Sundays.
13. Creamy Bacon Mushroom Thyme chicken, roasted root veggies
14. Whole Roasted Greek Chicken, roasted potatoes or root veggies
I love having a roasted chicken on almost every season’s meal plan so I can use the leftover shredded chicken in other dishes throughout the week (chicken salad for lunches, topping creamy soups, adding to the beet and carrot salad below, etc.) This is a great way to make ingredients stretch into multiple meals.
15. Pork Loin with Wine and Herb Gravy, sautéed collard greens or swiss chard (H)
16. Chicken Pot Pie, salad
I’ll be using the crust from the Celebrations cookbook by Danielle Walker, omitting the sugar
The chicken pot pie recipe can be found in my free cookbook, Nourished.
17. Colorful Beet, Carrot and Quinoa Salad with shredded chicken
Make sure not to throw away the bones of the whole chicken you roast or buy from the store. They can be used to make stock or bone broth, which in turn can be used in future soups!
18. Greek Style Lamb Burger, roasted cauliflower (H)
I’m not a huge fan of the bun in this recipe, and think bun-less burgers are just as good. We’ll probably layer some lettuce and tomatoes for a little more veg on our plates
19. Meatloaf, roasted brussles or green beans, roasted plantains
The meatloaf recipe can be found in my free cookbook, Nourished.
20. Rosemary Sausage Quiche, salad
I’ll be using the same crust recipe from Celebrations as in the Chicken Pot Pie.
The rosemary sausage quiche recipe can be found in my free cookbook, Nourished.
H = hospitality (meals that are good for company)
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A note about kids meals: I get asked a lot if our kids eat the healthy meals we make. The answer is yes and no. Our philosophy is that we don’t plan dinners around the kids desires. If they request something specific, I’ll make sure to add it to the following weeks meal plan in some way, but over the years I have just noticed that their preferences change way too much for me to map out meals around them. For instance, they may LOVE meatballs and brussels sprouts one week, so I happily serve it up the following week only to hear whines and complaints. This makes it very hard and more disappointing for me. We also don’t want to make our kids separate meals either, so except for occasionally, we don’t serve them something completely different. I have some customers who do this, and I think that’s totally fine. We just want to teach our kids that they need to eat what mommy prepares for them. It’s both respectful to me and teaches them that meal times don’t revolve around them. We are also hoping that the constant exposure to new and healthy options will yield good fruit in the long run as their taste buds change and they naturally get less picky (children are developmentally more opposed to certain foods from ages 2-6).
Whole30 compliant Charcuterie Board Ideas:
okay, any fruit ;)
corrot sticks and ranch
crackers (simple mills for grain free option)
rxbar or chocolate cut in chunks
nuts and seeds
cheese (not whole30, but our kids can eat it)
avocado or guacamole
Chicken ceasar salads
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