How to Create Healthy Weekly Meal Plans (with Grocery List!)
Struggling to get healthy dinners on the table for your family? We have the solution with this easy and healthy weekly meal plans template, complete with grocery list! This veggie-forward, simple yet effective Nourish 1-2-3 framework will be a game-changer for your weeknight meals–say goodbye to decision fatigue and wasted vegetables!
This guest post is by Lia Huber. Lia thinks, writes, and speaks about nourishing body, mind, and spirit, and creates programs to make it possible to live a nourished life. She is the author of NOURISHED: A Memoir of Food, Faith, and Enduring Love (with Recipes), the founder of NOURISH Evolution, and the creator of the innovative online meal planning program, Cook the Seasons. Over to you, Lia!
Tell me if this sounds familiar … you start out the week with visions of veggies piled high on your plate every night (because you know how incredibly beneficial plant-based foods are for your health).
And then 5:30pm rolls around on a Tuesday after you’ve been putting out fires all day (plus, you’ve got kiddos hanging off of each leg) and you open the fridge and stare down at a drawer full of raw broccoli and kale and think, “there is no way.”
We’ve all been there. And we’ve all tossed lots of rubbery veggies in the trash because they never made it to the plate 😉.
Even as a professional recipe developer for over ten years, once I became a Mom, I couldn’t pull off no
Forget the time it took… just the effort of figuring out what to make was overwhelming.
So I threw myself into experimenting and took notes on what worked and what didn’t.
❌ When I’d come home from the Farmers Market on a Saturday and stuff the fridge with a slew of awesome veggies–but had no plan for them–odds are 10 to 1 they’d end up mush by Friday.
❌ When I’d stock my fridge with veggies and have a plan written down–with made-from-scratch dishes every night–8 times out of 10 those veggies would still end up mush by Friday (remember the defeat in the raw broccoli stare-down?).
✅ What did work was when I’d invest an hour or so cooking a handful of simple dishes over the weekend that I could both serve together as a mix-and-match meal and strategically stash away leftovers to use throughout the week.
Once my fridge was stocked with containers of these “Core” recipes, I could quickly “reinvent” them into easy meals throughout the week.
That is what I found worked week after week, month after month.
It worked so well, in fact, that I refined it into a meal planning approach I call NOURISH 1-2-3. (Spoiler alert… I’ve got a free Core and Reinvention recipe for you–along with a shopping list–so you can give NOURISH 1-2-3 a try for yourself… so keep reading!).
Done For You Healthy Weekly Meal Plans with Grocery List
Here’s how NOURISH 1-2-3 works:
PICK YOUR VEGGIE
1) Start by picking a seasonal vegetable (or whole grain or protein… but I like to start with seasonal vegetables.)
COOK YOUR CORES
2) Cook a double batch of a simple “Core Recipe” to mix and match with 1-2 other Core Recipes for a meal, and stash leftovers of each away in the fridge.
3) Use leftovers of those Core Recipes as the done-for-you foundation for easy “Reinvention Recipes” that come together in a flash later in the week.
Here’s what your week looks like with NOURISH 1-2-3:
Because you’re not starting from scratch each night, you’ll have those weeknight meals on the table in–literally–minutes, which makes evenings a lot less overwhelming.
Another beautiful thing about NOURISH 1-2-3 is that it subtly shifts your thinking to “veggie first” over time, which has a huge positive impact on your health. (It also saves you money… because you’re only buying what you need, and eating everything you make–so there’s no waste. 😊)
Just stop and think for a second… how good would it feel to effortlessly double or even triple the amount of veggies you normally eat (while loving them) in less time than you normally spend in the kitchen, while saving money and having no waste?
Pretty freaking awesome, right? Are you ready to try it out for yourself?
Terrific! I’ve got four different veggies for you to choose from (remember … that’s step ONE of NOURISH 1-2-3), with a Core Recipe and a Reinvention recipe for each (along with a shopping list).
- Click on the veggie you want to cook with this week.
- Print out the PDF pack. You’ll find a recipe for one Core recipe–that you’ll double–and one Reinvention recipe that you’ll make with leftovers, plus a handy shopping list.
Once you’ve downloaded the PDF, I’ll be in your inbox with instructions and tips.
I’ll be the first to admit that cooking with real food–especially veggies–takes a lot more time, effort and energy than opening a box or heating up a frozen meal. That’s why so many people get frustrated and give up when trying to commit to eating real food.
But when you have a meal planning approach that strategically leverages all your efforts in the kitchen while subtly reinforcing “veggies first,” healthy, home-cooked meals are possible–even with a busy schedule–where they just weren’t before.
So give those a Core and Reinvention recipe a try this week and see how NOURISH 1-2-3 can work for you.
And if you’d like to learn more about NOURISH 1-2-3–along with the number one thing that will torpedo your good intentions (and what you can do about it)–I invite you to register for my Easy Weeknight Meals webinar here.
Have fun cooking… and be nourished!
Photo Credit: Heidi Geldhauser
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