A month of meals: winter edition

7 February 2017

Hi, friends! Thank you SO much to everyone who has taken my 2017 survey! I have loved hearing from more than 140 of you so far. The polls are open until Friday (when I’ll draw the $50 gift card winner!), so go leave your feedback here if you haven’t already. Looking forward to sharing some of the results, too!

In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to share what we ate in January. It can be hard to get inspired to cook in the winter, when it’s cold and produce is a little lame, so I’m supplying you with 31 options :) A few notes:

— I’ve linked to recipes where I have them, which is most places – we are not the type of cooks who can just throw things together in the kitchen!!
— I’ve marked with an asterisk any recipe we were making for the first time.

Peppercorn-and-Garlic-Roasted-Pork-Tenderloin-8

Photo from Design Mom

Week 1:
Sunday, January 1: homemade ramen (John uses only the ramen noodles from the $.20 packets and adds frozen peas, soy sauce, an egg, cashews, etc.)
Monday, January 2: roasted butternut squash soup, salad, and baguette (Whole30 people, I’m pretty sure this is approved, and it is delicious and so easy!!)*
Tuesday, January 3: burrito bowls (we do quinoa rice, pinto and black beans, sauteed green bell peppers and onions, canned diced green chiles, salsa, and Greek yogurt)
Wednesday, January 4: kielbasa, crispy smashed potatoes with avocado aioli, and salad
Thursday, January 5: chana masala, rice, and naan
Friday, January 6: three pepper pizza and salad (we use Whole Foods dough (in the refrigerated/prepared foods section), jarred sauce, Monterey Jack cheese, and chopped up red bell pepper, poblano pepper, pepperoncinis, and red onion)
Saturday, January 7: lasagna, salad, and garlic bread (the absolute BEST lasagna, in my opinion!)

Week 2:
Sunday, January 8: easy chicken pot pie*
Monday, January 9: leftovers
Tuesday, January 10: leftovers
Wednesday, January 11: chili mac and cheese*
Thursday, January 12: BBQ takeout
Friday, January 13: three pepper pizza and salad
Saturday, January 14: kale sausage chick pea pasta (this is a recipe from our friends the Henrys that has become a staple in our house. I may share it in a separate post sometime because it is delicious!)

Week 3:
Sunday, January 15: sheet pan tenderloin and roasted veggies*
Monday, January 16: taco soup
Tuesday, January 17: Articles Club! Homemade ramen for John
Wednesday, January 18: leftovers
Thursday, January 19: butter chicken, rice, and naan
Friday, January 20: Chick-fil-a :)
Saturday, January 21: veggie burgers and frozen sweet potato fries

Week 4:
Sunday, January 22: zucchini meatballs, Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce, spaghetti, and salad
Monday, January 23: Chipotle (we had meetings at church)
Tuesday, January 24: quesadillas on the grill (we do pinto beans and sauteed peppers and onions)
Wednesday, January 25: pork lettuce wraps
Thursday, January 26: farfalle with pancetta and peas
Friday, January 27: buffalo chicken pizza (we do Whole Foods dough, frozen buffalo chicken, chopped red onion, shredded cheese, and Whole Foods 365 blue cheese sauce) and Asian charred broccoli
Saturday, January 28: Chinese takeout for Lunar New Year!

Week 5:
Sunday, January 29: chicken noodle soup
Monday, January 30: chickpea shawarma pitas
Tuesday, January 31: chicken and broccoli stir fry

If this was helpful, I’d love to do posts for other seasons, since our go-to meals change a lot with the weather! Let me know what you think, and I’d also love to hear if you have a favorite recipe for the winter!

P.S. I wrote a post a few years ago about how we meal plan – considering writing a follow-up since our process has changed a bit!

17 Responses to “A month of meals: winter edition”

  1. Abigail

    Love this post, and all your posts about meals/meal planning! I am fresh out of college and loving exploring meal planning/cooking and love hearing your input!

  2. Natalie

    I love this!!! Wow I’m impressed by all your home cooked meals! I definitely want to try some of these. Can I get more details on the homemade ramen too? That sounds so yummy and good!

  3. Kelly

    Thanks for posting Em! This just gave me so much inspiration as I’ve kinda ran out of ideas now that we’re into February.

  4. Kelly Strawberry

    Tempted to try that lasagna recipe. I always use the Pioneer Woman’s “Best Lasagna Ever” and it is so good, but that fresh mozzarella looks amazing!

    Em

    I know lasagna is one of those things where most people have their favorite, but this one truly is SO good. It manages to be light while still being incredibly comforting and flavorful!

  5. Bethany

    I love this post! I am always looking for new recipes, especially because my husband and I try not to eat out that much (or at all – eating out in DC is expensive)!

  6. jenna

    would love to see you do another! i am in a dinner rut.

  7. Guys, I’m so impressed by all of the variety in your meals. We go through phases where we have something we love once every week or two. I have yet to try the Chickpea Pasta that Pax and Bea are always requesting. I’ll ask MacKenzie to share it and maybe keep an eye out for it here sometime!

    Em

    Sometimes it’s our downfall! At the beginning of the year we tried instituting a few “days” into every week (Mexican on Tuesdays, Asian on Thursdays, and pizza on Fridays) to cut down on the mental effort of planning and prepping. We have loosely stuck to it, but still like a lot of variety! :)

  8. Oh man, please come cook for us ok? Being sick for four weeks in 2017 so far has made meal planning and just eating in general really hard. This gives me hope though!

    Em

    There was a month last summer when we were all sick, and it’s crazy how much it threw off EVERYTHING – like our life just completely went off the rails. Glad y’all are feeling better!

  9. Kensington

    Meal planning ruts are the worst…this has given me some big inspiration! Would love to see one for each season! And that easy homemade ramen? Life changing!

  10. Sarah

    I am super impressed with the variety of delicious meals you all make! We probably have half as many go-to recipes, but this is inspiring me to expand our repertoire!

    Since I see you guys like homemade pizza, I wanted to share this tip that someone shared with me for veggie pizza: In addition to the pre-made dough, buy your toppings at the grocery store salad bar. Everything is pre-chopped, there’s so much variety, and there’s zero waste since you are getting exactly the amount you need! I find it’s a bit cheaper this way as well, plus it is SO easy, when you get home you literally just roll the dough and dump everything on top with some cheese (which you can also get at the salad bar, if you just want a tiny bit of feta or fresh mozzarella!). I affectionately call this “Lazy Girl’s Pizza”.

    Em

    Love that idea, Sarah!! I am definitely going to check out the Whole Foods salad bar on my next trip!

  11. kayla

    this is so awesome! so many good ideas. and i appreciate that you guys don’t eat out much. my husband & i are currently living in a tiny (!) town of 2500 people so, really our only option is to eat at home and it’s been so good for us. always looking for new recipes and ideas!

    Em

    Our goal is to not eat out more than once a week for dinner. One of the main ways we save money!

  12. This blows my mind–I am so impressed by the variety and the fact that you only ate dinner out four times! Please share more about how on earth y’all are so successful at this :)