Welcome back! Thanks for checking out this week's meal plan. For those of you who are new, the next few paragraphs are about my plans and some friendly reminders. You may want to check those out along with my tips for Pinterest meal planning and list-making on Google Keep.  For those who have already read these reminders, scroll down for week twelve's fabulous recipes and grocery list! 

You'll notice that many of my plans will include recipes that have similar ingredients or, better yet, make creative use of leftovers to help minimize your grocery list  (aka save you money) and the amount of time you need to spend in the kitchen on those busy weeknights. 

You'll also notice that I only have dinners planned for Monday through Friday. I'm a realist. I know that we're all busy and the chances of you actually getting to a home-cooked meal every weeknight are low. So feel free to rearrange plans and postpone as needed to fit your busy life. Go pick up take-out when you need to save your sanity and save one of these for the weekend. Managed to actually make each of these throughout the week? Great job! When you're at a loss for what to make over the weekend, go treat yourself to a dinner out - you earned it! 

Final note. I don't know how big your family is. You're going to want to look through the recipes and adjust amounts as needed - make sure you adjust your grocery list accordingly. Keep in mind that for plans that call for leftovers, you'll want to make sure to make more than enough of the original recipe to create leftovers. Essentially, any time I'm doing something in a crock pot, I'm making at least twice what I need so I have leftovers. 

Meal Planning on Pinterest

I typically plan out the menu for my week on Pinterest. I have a board called "This Week's Menu" and I update it over the weekend or sometime before I plan on doing my grocery shopping.  By pinning all of the recipes in one place for the week, it's just a few clicks to get the ingredients added to my grocery list (I use Google Keep), and a quick click each day to find my dinner recipe. 

 Loaded with fresh ingredients and packed with health, this week's meal plan is one you can feel good about this holiday season! 

Loaded with fresh ingredients and packed with health, this week's meal plan is one you can feel good about this holiday season! 

In the spirit of full disclosure, melaniewinters.com is a compensated affiliate meaning we may make a small commission when you click on/purchase something through the ad links in this post. It doesn't change the cost for you, but does help us keep on keepin' on...


For those who are subscribed to my newsletter or following me on facebook and twitter, you already know about my latest blog series, My RA Story. If you have not subscribed or aren't yet following me on social - you totally should (links below). You'll get the latest on my posts but also super awesome posts and videos from some of my favorite sites and bloggers! You'll also be the first to know about an upcoming free accountability group on Facebook which is perfect heading into the new year! 

The reason I bring up My RA Story is because, now that I'm almost five months postpartum, my rheumatoid arthritis symptoms seem to be making a comeback. My gut reaction (pun intended) is to take care of my gut and get my eating habits back in check. This means limiting gluten (or going gluten free once I'm done breast feeding), and loading up on nutritious and anti-inflammatory foods. This week's menu plan is focused on getting loads of fresh fruits and veggies so I can up my energy and keep up with my baby who is becoming more and more active by the day! 

The Menu

Monday: Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad

 Start your week off on a healthy note with this deliciously fresh salad from What's Gaby Cooking. Photo credit & permissions from  What's Gaby Cooking

Start your week off on a healthy note with this deliciously fresh salad from What's Gaby Cooking. Photo credit & permissions from What's Gaby Cooking

Super simple yet packed with flavor. Gaby's Brussels Sprouts salad is the perfect way to start off your week and beat the Monday blues! Oh, and if Meatless Monday is your jam, then this one's DEFINITELY for you!

Tuesday: Caramelized Pork Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

 Lindsay at Pinch of Yum knows how to do Taco Tuesday right. Photo credit & permissions from  Pinch of Yum

Lindsay at Pinch of Yum knows how to do Taco Tuesday right. Photo credit & permissions from Pinch of Yum

Never was a Taco Tuesday more glorious... Lindsay over at Pinch of Yum knocks it out of the park with this super quick and easy pork taco recipe! YUM is right.  Make up some extra pork (or chicken on Thursday) and save it to load up Friday's sweet potatoes! 

Wednesday: Kale & Pork Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

 A simple and delicious easy weeknight meal is a great way to get your veggies in! 

A simple and delicious easy weeknight meal is a great way to get your veggies in! 

Make use of some leftover kale from earlier in the week and make these easy stuffed cabbage rolls! This hearty comfort dish is perfect for hump day! Check it out now in our recipe section!

Thursday: Cajun Chicken with Mardi Gras Salsa 

 Limit food waste by keeping ingredients consistent throughout the week! This easy and delicious Cajun Chicken with Mardi Gras Salsa is the perfect way to use up some of the ingredients from earlier in the week! Photo credit & permissions from Kristin at  Iowa Girl Eats . 

Limit food waste by keeping ingredients consistent throughout the week! This easy and delicious Cajun Chicken with Mardi Gras Salsa is the perfect way to use up some of the ingredients from earlier in the week! Photo credit & permissions from Kristin at Iowa Girl Eats

With practically the same ingredient list as Tuesday's Tacos - this is a great way to use up all of those goodies and not let any go to waste! Kristin at Iowa Girl Eats never disappoints. Don't forget to do up some extra chicken if you're planning on using it to load up tomorrow's sweet potatoes! 

Friday: Loaded Sweet Potatoes

 Easy, delicious and packed full of sweet potato and kale nutrients! The perfect end to a healthy week! 

Easy, delicious and packed full of sweet potato and kale nutrients! The perfect end to a healthy week! 

Enjoy a nutrient-rich end to your week with sweet potato and (more) kale! Seriously, I can never get sick of kale or spinach because it's so easy to mix these greens into practically anything and get a totally different dining experience every single time! 

Take some leftover pork from Tuesday or chicken from Thursday and use it to load up these filling sweet potatoes! Another bit of dinner inspo from our recipe section

The Grocery List

Staples (items you should always have on hand)

  • Olive Oil
  • Yellow Onions
  • Garlic
  • Fish Sauce
  • Sugar
  • Lime Juice
  • lemon juice
  • red wine vinegar
  • Salt
  • black pepper
  • garlic powder
  • Cajun Seasoning
  • parmesan cheese
  • cream cheese
  • sour cream
  • shredded cheddar
  • sweet relish
  • Jimmy Dean Hot Sausage
  • bacon
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Prego Three Cheese Pasta Sauce

Additional Items

  • shallots 
  • red onions
  • jalapenos
  • sweet potatoes
  • Rotisserie Chicken (or leftover chicken or pork from earlier in the week) 
  • Boneless Pork Loin
  • Pineapple
  • Cucumber
  • Cilantro
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Tuscan kale
  • Head of Cabbage
  • pomegranate seeds
  • avocado 
  • Pepperoncinis
  • Tortillas
  • Chili Sauce
  • candied walnuts

Comment