If your like me, I come home from work exhausted. I don’t mind cooking, but after a long day of work I would rather just lay on the couch and snuggle up with my babies.

I want more of that time and less time in the kitchen.

But, I also want to feed my kids a healthy dinner and not spend a fortune. That’s what I aimed for when I made this meal plan below.

You won’t find processed dinners here. This meal plan is full of veggies, whole grains, and foods that are actually good for you.

Yes, you can have it all. Inexpensive, quick, and most importantly, healthy dinners for your family.

So, who is this menu plan good for?

For someone who…

  • Is on a tight grocery budget
  • Wants to save money on groceries
  • Wants to eat healthy
  • Works long hours during the week
  • Has a family with kids
  • Wants to eat a balanced meal loaded with nutritional foods

Here is the plan…

Menu Plan (serves approximately 4)

Monday: Grilled El Pollo Loco Chicken with brown rice and broccoli

Tuesday: Al Fresco Roasted Pepper and Asiago Chicken Hot Dogs with sauteed bell pepper and onion with steamed cauliflower

Wednesday: Shrimp Fried Rice

Thursday: Eggs and Hash browns with grapes

Friday: Chicken Caesar Salad with wheat toast

Saturday: Veggie quesadillas with black beans and salad

Sunday: Crockpot Shredded Chicken Fajitas w/refried beans

How to make the meal plan fast

The Sunday before the meal plan starts, you will prep portions of the meals. This will make actually cooking the dinner so much easier and faster. I find that doing these few things a head of time makes coming home after work to cook dinner less of a hassle after a long day. It also helps to create a minimal amount of dishes. That is a win win in my book!

You will also notice that this week you will cook all the rice you need in one day and all the bell pepper/onion mix one day then split it in half and save the rest for another day. Again, this saves time while still getting a home cooked healthy meal.

Cut Vegetables

Here is what you need to Prep Ahead on Sunday

  • Boil 6 medium potatoes (approximately 15 minutes)
  • Pollo Loco Chicken marinade- Click here for the recipe, make marinade and split evenly between two ziploc freezer bags, slice chicken breasts in halfs, put approximately two pounds of chicken in each freezer bag. Label and date freezer bag with sharpie. Put in freezer until use.
  • Wash and slice 3 bell peppers and 3 onions, put in a container
  • Wash and chop romaine lettuce, put in a container
  • Wash, peel, and slice cucumbers, put in a container
  • Shred cheddar cheese, put in a container

Directions for Each Day

Monday: Grilled El Pollo Loco Chicken with Brown Rice and Broccoli
*Remember to thaw out chicken in the fridge so the chicken has time to marinade. This can even be done the night before if you would like the chicken extra tender and flavorful
Ingredients: Pre-prepped pollo loco chicken, 2.5 cups of Brown rice, 2 lbs. Broccoli, salt and pepper
Directions:

  1. Take out El Pollo Loco Chicken out of the freezer and let it thaw/marinade. 
  2. Boil the brown rice in a large pot like you would pasta, cook until tender, then drain with a colander and put half back into the pan and half into a container to use for the shrimp fried rice (20-25 minutes)
  3. Heat the grill on high then turn to low, put chicken on the grill, grill each side for 6-7 minutes depending on thickness
  4. Lastly, heat a pan with a light amount of olive oil and sautee broccoli. Add about a ¼ cup of water 3 minutes into cooking, continue cooking until the water has evaporated and the broccoli is crisp but tender.
  5. Season with garlic salt or salt and pepper.

Tuesday: Al Fresco Roasted Pepper and Asiago Chicken Hot Dogs with Sauteed Bell Pepper and Onion with Steamed Cauliflower

Ingredients: 2 packs of Al Fresco Roasted Pepper and Asiago Chicken Hot Dogs, 8 whole wheat hot dog buns, half of the cut up bell pepper and onions, cauliflower, salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Sautee the pre-prepped bell pepper and onion (put half aside for veggie quesadillas)
  2. Turn on grill and add hot dogs, grill for 5-10 minutes, in the last 2 minutes add your hot dog buns
  3. Steam cauliflower and season with salt and pepper
  4. Place the hot dogs in bun, add bell pepper and onions
  5. Serve with side of cauliflower.

Wednesday: Shrimp Fried Rice

Ingredients: Shrimp, brown rice, chopped onion, peas and carrots, any extra veggies in the fridge you want to add, garlic, soy sauce, eggs

Directions:

  1. Peel and clean 1 lb. of shrimp
  2. In a large skillet or wok, heat a small amount of olive oil. Add garlic and shrimp. Cook shrimp until it is curled up and pink in color Place aside.
  3. Sautee onions, then add peas and carrots and any other veggies
  4. Scramble the eggs, push veggies to the outside of the pan, and scramble the eggs until done
  5. Add shrimp, brown rice, and soy sauce. Fry up for about 5 minutes.

Thursday: Eggs and Hash browns with Grapes

Ingredients: eggs, boiled potatoes, grapes, butter, salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat butter in a large pan, grate the boiled potatoes over the pan and distribute the grated pieces evenly on the pan, salt and pepper. Flip when the potatoes are golden brown. Add a small amount of butter.
  2. In another pan, scramble eggs and season. Or, my favorite way, eggs over easy and placed over the hashbrowns. Yum!
  3. Serve with a side of grapes.

Friday: Chicken Caesar Salad with Wheat Toast

Ingredients: Pre-chopped salad, Pre-prepped El Pollo Loco Chicken, caesar dressing, Parmesan cheese, croutons, wheat toast, butter, garlic salt

Directions:

  1. Heat the grill on high then turn to low, put chicken on the grill, grill each side for 7 minutes depending on thickness.
  2. Toss the pre-chopped salad with a small amount of caesar dressing, add grated parmesan, and croutons
  3. Toast the wheat bread and add a small amount of garlic toast.

Saturday: Veggie Quesadillas with Black Beans and Salad

Ingredients: wheat quesadillas, pre-shredded cheddar cheese, pre-cooked bell pepper and onions, drained black beans, chopped romaine, cucumbers, tomatoes, dressing of your choice

Directions:

  1. Warm up the bell pepper and onions on a pan
  2. Heat a wheat tortilla on a griddle, flipping it halfway (about 30 seconds each side)
  3. Add about a ¼ cup of cheese, sprinkle ⅛ cup of black beans and add bell peppers and onions, Add another ¼ cup of cheese to cover toppings
  4. Fold the tortilla in half and flip to heat other side.
  5. Let the tortilla cook until it is a light golden brown.
  6. Let the tortilla cool for a minute, then cut into 3 pieces.
    Salad: 1. Put pre-chopped romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, and salad dressing of choice into salad, and toss.

Sunday: Crockpot Shredded Chicken Fajitas w/Refried Beans

Ingredients: 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, bell pepper, onion, garlic, 2 ½ tsp chili powder, 2 tsp. Cumin, 1 tsp paprika, ¾ ground coriander, 1 tsp salt, and pepper, wheat tortillas, shredded cheddar Optional: chopped cilantro, light sour cream, and limes

Directions:

  1. Mix the seasonings together
  2. Place chicken in the crockpot and sprinkle it with the seasonings
  3. Cook on low for about 6 hours
  4. Last 35 minutes add in onions and bell peppers
  5. Remove chicken and shred
  6. Warm up the refried beans in a pan
  7. Put chicken back into crockpot and mix.
  8. Warm tortillas on a griddle, flipping them halfway (about 30 seconds each side)
  9. Add fajitas, cheese, and other toppings of your choice.

Ingredient List and Pricing

6 lbs. Boneless Chicken Breast $1.88/lb. X 6 lb = $11.28
1 lb. Easy Peel Shrimp $5.98
2 packs Al Fresco Chicken Sausage- roasted pepper and asiago $3.98 x 2 = $7.98
1 dozen eggs $1.18
1 lb. Cheddar cheese $2.88
Parmesan cheese $2.85
Ken’s Light Caesar dressing $2.68
Croutons $1.50
Canned Black beans $0.78
2x Cans refried beans $1.98
Canned Pineapple $0.88
Wheat tortillas (Mission) $2.55
Wheat hotdog buns (Nature’s Own) $3.15
Wheat bread (Winco brand) $1.78
Brown rice 1.3 lbs @ $0.70/lb= $0.91
5 lb. Potatoes $1.68
3 Onions $0.48/lb x 0.64/lb = $0.31
3 Bell peppers $0.68 x 3 = $2.04
2 Romaine lettuce $1.48 x 2= $2.96
*Grapes 2 lbs x $0.99/lb= $2
2 Cucumbers 0.25/each x 2= $0.50
2 Tomatoes $0.48/lb x 0.4/lb. =$ 0.20
Peas and Carrots $1.00
*Broccoli $1.50/lb x 2 lb = $3
*Cauliflower $1.50/lb x 1.25 lb = $1.88
2 Limes $0.33 each x 2 = $0.66

*Can be switched out for other vegetable/fruit side dishes for whatever is on sale

A few things the ingredient list above assumes your kitchen already has…

Your favorite salad dressing
White vinegar
Fresh garlic (garlic powder can also be substituted)
Salt
Pepper
Oregano
Canola Oil
Butter

If you have any questions about the meal plan above, feel free to contact me! I am always happy to help!