Design a menu for the week – Typically the work week (Mon – Thurs). Use up items you already have and check the calendar to see how many days/nights you will realistically eat at home. Consolidate or toss the army of takeout containers from the weekend. Start the week with a clean slate!
Use this formula: (3:3:2) 3 Mains; 3 Sides/Salads, 2 Snacks/Breakfast Items
Plan 3 meals (including lunches). Keeping it simple will reduce time in the kitchen and waste at the end of the week. I like 2 lean proteins + 1 vegetarian dish. Simple proteins can be mixed and matched with sides and salads and are easy to prep.
3 Functional Side Dishes – Hearty salads with lots of veggies, beans, nuts and seeds (like hemp seeds, a staple in my kitchen). Grain salads are a great way to get your complex carbs in for the week and summer pasta salads for the kids (like a BLT macaroni toss) are always a hit. These can be eaten as a side or double as lunch. Mini egg frittatas baked in muffin tins are a great way to use up extra veggies and cheese for breakfast on the go.
My fave are spiralized veggie noodle salads like the zucchini noodle pesto pictured here.