This cold weather has me in hibernation mode.  I’m doing everything that needs to be done, but feeling like what I really want to do is surround myself in warmth (blankets, multiple layers, my fuzziest slippers) and go under cover.  Meals have been simpler and quicker, which works out just fine because I’m spending less time on dinner prep and (more importantly) the clean up.  I’ve been keeping up with meal planning, though, to keep afternoons running smoothly.  Join me for this week’s edition, and may it inspire you to minimize stress and maximize your time cuddled under blankets!

A week of healthy, simple, gluten-free meals

Lazy chicken (I had a jar of orange marmalade I needed to use up, but most sauces or marinades will do) which I served over rice, with steamed vegetables


Crustless spinach quiche, homemade fries, fruit salad (The recipe calls for a shredded potato crust, but I skipped it since we were having fries; also, I don’t use chili powder on the fries, as my kids find it too spicy)

Spaghetti, meatballs, salad (confession- my freezer stash of homemade meatballs were used up, so these were purchased gluten-free turkey meatballs, because sometimes, that’s all there’s time for)

Taco night (tip for a busy day- we browned the meat the night before, making double so we could freeze half for another meal)

Crockpot minestrone soup (Perfect hearty meal for a super busy and chilly Friday)

I was pleased with the week’s meals, as I fit in two vegetarian meals, was able to use the crockpot on two busy days, and turn on the oven twice, which made the house even toastier.  There were lots of opportunities for the kids to help (chopping fruits and vegetables for soups and salads).  Quiche and soups are great way to include extra vegetables, as both get gobbled up in our house. Starting the year off with healthy, streamlined, well-planned meals keeps a flow going that I really appreciate.  Share your favorite weeknight meal ideas with our readers below.  To see what’s happening in our kitchen, or to share what’s going on in yours, stop by, or become a fan on Facebook.