What’s on the Menu Wednesday – How to Stay on Track with Meal Planning

I’m happy to report that we’ve gotten back into clean eating in the past two weeks, now that the craziness of house hunting is done. It feels so good to eat well, and the results are incredible if you stick to a plan. Here are my top 3 tips on living a healthy lifestyle:

  1. Pair eating healthy with working out. For me, the two just go together. If I’m eating well, I have energy and motivation to work out. If I’m seeing physical results, I’m more likely to resist my cravings and eat healthy!
  2. Meal plan weekly and cook your own food! It never fails; if I don’t plan out our meals and have healthy food in the house, we end up ordering out. If I buy healthy and somewhat more expensive food, I cook it and eat it! Simple.
  3. Give yourself a break. This is not a diet. This is a lifestyle. If you cut out the foods that make you happy (like the ice-cream I’m eating right now) you will right back into bad habits. It’s all about moderation and never starving yourself.

This week I’ll share with you our nightly meals plus two recipes we enjoyed! 🙂

This is what our week looks like:

Monday- Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas (recipe below)

Tuesday- Baked Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce (recipe below)

Wednesday- Baked Haddock with Spinach and Mushrooms

Thursday- family dinner

Friday- getting together with friends!

Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas

One of the best parts about becoming comfortable in the kitchen is realizing that all recipes can be adapted based on your needs and tastes! I always bake according to recipe of course, but when it comes to cooking I love to put a few recipes together and add and adjust where I want to.

One afternoon a few weeks ago, we stopped by my sister-in-law’s house and I smelled the most amazing aroma! She told me that she was cooking chicken fajitas in the crock pot and that she found the recipe online. I knew I had to try it!

If you know me, you know I cook Mexican themed dishes a lot, and we tend to use spice when we can because sometimes healthier food can be a bit bland. I love spicy! So this recipe is similar to the pulled pork wraps I often make but it uses chicken and taco seasoning. You can find versions of it online but here’s how I made it:

Ingredients

3 boneless chicken breasts

3 different colored peppers, thinly sliced

1/2 of a yellow onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic

1/2 packet of taco seasoning

1 small can of Rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles

Whole wheat wraps or brown rice

1 avocado and plain greek yogurt for toppings

Steps

Place half of the can of tomatoes in the bottom of a crock pot. Spread half of the peppers and onion on top of the tomatoes. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle the taco seasoning packet over the top of the chicken. Spread the rest of the peppers and tomatoes on top of the chicken. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Strain some of the liquid out of the crock pot before serving. Chicken should pull apart! Enjoy in a wrap or over brown rice and top with a scoop of plain greek yogurt and a few slices of avocado.

If you like a bit more spice, you can always add spicy salsa or jalapenos to the recipe too!

SO easy, SO delicious! 😉

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce 

I followed this recipe for this amazing meal, so I wont take the time to write it out here but I will add the things I changed. I’ve made spaghetti squash many times before, but I’ve never baked anything in the squash itself. Spaghetti squash is so great because it has the texture of macaroni, is low carb, and contains a wide range of vitamins such as vitamin C, A, B-6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid and vitamin K. It’s also available year-round in most grocery stores! Here is what it looked like when I was cooking:

While cooking the squash, I sautéed garlic and onions and then added ground turkey. When they were done cooking I added the tomatoes plus about 1/2 cup of marinara sauce for extra flavor.

I used a fork to create “spaghetti” when the squash was done cooking, then added the ground turkey mixture to the squash. All you have to do next is add the mozzarella cheese to the top and bake for a few minutes! I actually broiled it on HIGH for about 5 minutes instead of baking it.

Here’s the finished product! I bought a huge squash so this half would be enough for two people to share easily. I would love enjoying this meal family style too. It was so flavorful, very filling, and hard to believe it was healthy too! You have to try it 😉

 So, here I am again preaching about meal planning and eating healthy, but if I can do it, so can you! It’s not easy to prepare a meal every night for my family with two babies under two, including one toddler who rarely likes what I make. The one thing that is saving me right now is that the baby usually naps during dinner prep! But because it is important to us, we meal prep every Sunday and make it a priority every night. Our goal is usually 3-4 home cooked, healthy meals a week, and we do splurge a bit on the weekends! One thing that has really helped us lately is to add spice and to make up our own recipes based on what we have.

This simple meal is just chicken breasts with sautéed veggies and a ton of spices, including garlic! It includes tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, onions and mushrooms. We ate it over quinoa.

It doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive or a chore. Meal planning is key!

Happy Wednesday and enjoy the rest of your week!

9 thoughts on “What’s on the Menu Wednesday – How to Stay on Track with Meal Planning

    • betterwithbabies says:

      That’s a great idea! We often buy the same veggies each week and use them for multiple recipes too.

  1. Diana says:

    I need to work on meal planning. My current method is to take some form of meat out of the freezer and toss it in the fridge, then try and make something out of it haha! Planning a meal for each day in advance might be more beneficial as I sometimes forget to defrost something and we end up with frozen pizza, haha!

    • betterwithbabies says:

      That requires some kind of planning at least! 😉 It’s ok to have an easy night once in a while!

  2. Stephanie Lowry says:

    I absolutely love peppers! I find myself throwing them in most meals. Last week I tossed some in the skillet with pork chops and the other night I created a “whats in the kitchen” meal with peppers. Now you have me craving fajitas!

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