Being a nurse, working shift work, it can be tough making sure you eat appropriately. A few years ago, my husband and I got into a pretty regular routine to offset the nutritional challenges that shift work presents.
This is my second post regarding this topic. Please click here to read the first post explaining some of my keys to meal planning success.
I’m going to outline our weekly routine in addition to a sample menu.
Here we go!
Most Saturdays (or Sundays) John and I sit down and plan a week of meals. We then make our grocery store list and head over to stock up. I like to do this together because it’s more time spent with one another, and we both know what we have and what we need.
To give you some background to our choices, we are meat eaters. John likes to eat low carb, so whenever we have rice, I typically only eat the rice myself or make him quinoa. Our go-to proteins are chicken and ground beef. John doesn’t like pork and I don’t really know how to prepare it, so we never buy pork. We rotate in an additional meat option (chicken sausage, tilapia, etc.) to break things up. I buy chicken and ground beef in bulk and freeze it.
We look at our work schedules to see who will be home when, and then whoever gets home first that day typically makes dinner. I make dinner approximately three days per week, John three days, and we either go out or make a meal together. We write down our dinner list for the week along with who will be preparing it and put it on the fridge.
All of these are linked to the actual recipes on various sites! I try to use natural or organic ingredients when possible (IE for the ketchup in the meatloaf, we use organic).
Sunday: Meatloaf, roasted rosemary potatoes, roasted green beans This is the meal that requires the most prep and longest cooking time, therefore I usually scheduled this for a day when I know I’ll have adequate time.
Monday: Honey-baked chicken I use 2 teaspoons of curry powder, 5 tablespoons melted butter, and 2/3 cup honey), brown rice (just follow directions on bag, I make 1 cup for the two of us and have leftovers), sautéed peppers
Tuesday: Chicken tortilla soup (crock-pot meal!) I chop up fresh tomatoes instead of canned because the BPA (from the canned diced tomatoes that the recipe calls for) leaches out into the food from the can, and because tomatoes are highly acidic it is worse than other canned items. Depending on the size, I’ll get 5-6 smaller tomatoes and add a cup or two of water. I add more liquid to make it into more of a soup, but you could use less and put it over rice.
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Wednesday: Mexican Pile-Ups. This one is super easy. Just make some ground beef with taco seasoning, cook some rice, and get some Fritos (or some other crunchy yummy chip), and grab your favorite taco toppings. I put rice on my plate, top with ground beef, lettuce, tomato (or salsa!), avocado, sour cream, cheese, and put chips on top. DELICIOUS. Easy to prepare (basically just making meat and rice) and everyone can customize their own.
Thursday: Tilapia fish tacos. Really, it’s just sautéing some tilapia and using a fork to break it up and putting your fav taco stuff on top.. or you can make the awesome slaw in this recipe! Super easy. I watch sales and try to get some wild-caught tilapia for a good price.
Friday: Chicken, cheese, broccoli and rice casserole I tried doing the one-pan thing but the rice didn’t turn out so great. So now I just make the rice separately and add it in and it tasted much better.
I like to take leftovers to work for lunch, so when cleaning up I just throw the leftovers into my glass Pyrex lunch containers.
If I know both of us will be busy the next day and am able to do some meal prep the night or morning before, I make sure to do so.
I really enjoy trying new recipes, so if on Saturday I see that I have some more time during one of the days I’ll check Pinterest for a new recipe to try and make sure I put any additional ingredients I’ll need to purchase on my grocery list.
I’m not a super experienced cook by any means, so whenever I’m looking at Pinterest to find something new, I typically am looking for simple meals that require few ingredients. Here is a link to my Pinterest NOMS board for other things I enjoy making and some that are on my to-try list!
What are some of your go-to dinner recipes? What tips and tricks do you have for people who hate to cook or just don’t have the time?