Merry Christmas Y’all! I so love this time of year with candles in all the windows, reconnecting with old friends through visits, calls, and cards, and the overall feeling of hope and joy in the air. That being said, my to do list is LONG and planning meals at the last minute really adds to my stress level. So one of my big secrets to staying sane this season is meal planning 7-9 days in advance and having everything on hand for the week. That way I can conquer my to-do list without the added stress of figuring out dinner too. I have listed some of my go-to meals below and truly ALL of these have been or will be on my table in the month of December. Hope this helps! May the peace and love of the season fill all of your hearts and homes this Christmas season.
1. Black Beans and Yellow Rice
There are so many things I love about this dish! First, it doesn’t take long to put together, 20-30 minutes max. It does need to cook for a couple hours though, and really the longer it sits the better. So the second thing I love about this recipe is that I can make it up in the morning and all I have to do at the end of the day is cook the rice and dinner is served. It also makes a lot (original recipe says it serves 8), and we easily get 2 to 3 meals out of one pot (2 nights on the meal plan-check!). Lastly, this is even delicious for breakfast. Seriously, I absolutely love a bowl leftover with a fried egg on top, yum!
2. Spaghetti and Meatballs
I actually have a double batch of this spaghetti sauce on the stove right now. I made it for Eggplant Stacks earlier in the week, but will be making meatballs tonight to have with spaghetti. Having a big batch like this on hand adds the following to my meal plan: meatball subs, baked spaghetti, and homemade pizza (4 more nights of dinners, yes!). Make some up this weekend and your whole week will be easier.
3. Baked Potatoes
I haven’t actually done a blog post for this, but baked potatoes are always on my menu when time is short. I roll mine in olive oil and coarse seas salt before baking at 350 degrees for an hour to an hour and half depending on the size of your potatoes. Since I’m all about making one meal that can be customized to serve everyone, I put out a topping bar of steamed broccoli, chopped turkey bacon, shredded cheddar, sour cream, and chopped green onions. Obviously theres lots of options here. If you can tolerate dairy, try making my Potato Soup in the morning and it will be ready when you come home at the end of the day.
4. All American Turkey Meatloaf
This is definitely one of the most popular posts on the blog and with good reason. This recipe is easy, quick, and always delicious. Made with turkey, my guys say they don’t even miss the beef here. I love that it makes 2 loaves. We either get one more night out of it, or my hubby has meatloaf sandwiches for lunch all week!
5. Bean and Salsa Tortillas
This is one of my husband’s favorite meals. I love that these are quick from start to table (about 45 minutes), and the recipe makes a lot so we usually have leftovers. Not everything is good reheated, but these hold up amazingly well and never go to waste around here. The bean mixture would also make a great party dip!. Add some salsa and green onions, if desired, and serve warm with some tortilla chips. It’s always nice to have an AG friendly option amidst all the cheese and bacon these days.
6. Egg Cups
When all else fails, breakfast for dinner is ALWAYS the answer! These made to order egg cups fit the bill perfectly and can be adapted to suit almost anyone’s needs. They are delicious and filling and can get you through even the longest of shopping and wrapping days.
Ho, ho, ho … hope that helps. I’m off to finish my shopping, Merry Christmas!
All good recipes……..hope to taste it