This is Paleo in real life – our real life… with three hungry boys and a very busy schedule!
Welcome to “What we ate Wednesday!” When we posted our weekly family meal plan a couple weeks ago on social media, we were blown away by the response and desire for more weekly family meal ideas. And we’re happy to share! For the last few weeks the boys and I have been sitting down with a different cookbooks and online resources, and planning food for the week. It helps us to use up what we have in the fridge and freezer (and not waste food), plus we have been making new and interesting things instead of getting stuck in a rut with the same old stuff. We hope to make this a regular share on the blog- so look for more meal plans in the future, which we will keep under the ‘Real Life Paleo Meal Planning’ label.
Planning ahead, shopping for real food, and having recipes we love has been ESSENTIAL in maintaining a Paleo lifestyle! While previously we did this more in our head, we’ve found that coming up with a more structured approach (and really, it’s just dinner so it’s still very informal) has allowed us to waste less – both in food itself as well as money. We were notorious for not eating food before it went bad, which has a lot of implications on the earth (and our wallets).
Plus, we LOVE that the boys get to pick out what nutrient-dense foods they want – which makes them that much more excited about real food, PLUS it teaches them how to put together a balanced meal. Aaaand we get to have incredible food every night! Oh, and one more helpful note: we always have fresh salad greens and a few healthy dressings in the fridge for when we need another green side dish. We often have a side salad with our dinner on most nights!
We look at approaching meals plans in three ways: (1) when we can, we pick out seasonal, local produce and let that spark inspiration for our meals; other times, (2) we’ll take guidance from what we already have in the fridge and need to use up; or (3) we crave a recipe and then ensure we grab the ingredients for it when we do our weekly shopping. Frankly, each week is usually a combo of those things. We’ve eliminated a number of additional stops at the grocery store with this method, saving us both time and money. Who doesn’t love that?!
For example, since Thanksgiving is fast approaching, the theme for the past couple weeks was to clean out the fridge and eat lots of leftovers in preparation for the big feast on Thursday. And next week our meal plan will use up lots of leftover turkey… because leftover turkey is one of the best things in life!
Monday: Juicy Pot Roast with Cauli-mash
An all-time family favorite – I could eat this every week. So filling, comforting, and full of good stuff for you!
—> Juicy Pot Roast Recipe from our blog
—> Cauli-mash from Real Life Paleo
Tuesday: Pizza Spaghetti Squash Boats with Cauli-Breadsticks
Such a simple and great dinner – we make this one quite often. And it’s actually very simple to prepare!
—> Pizza Spaghetti Squash Boats from Healthy Maven with Urban Poser’s No-Mato Sauce since we avoid nightshades because Stacy & Finn are sensitive to them
—> Cauli-Breadsticks from Real Life Paleo
Wedensday: Beef Stroganoff with Noodles and a Kale Salad
Cole and Finian helped make this one, and I must add, Cole is an impressive onion chopper!
—> Beef Stroganoff Recipe from Meals Made Simple
—> Capello’s Noodles
—> Kale Salad from Costco
Thursday: Eggs in Purgatory with a side of Cornbread
We used up the rest of the No-Mato Sauce, which is incredible and you’d never know it didn’t have a lick of tomato in it, with this super yummy dish!
—> Eggs in Purgatory from Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans
—> Cornbread from Our Paleo Life
Friday: Walnut Prawns with Goyza Bites and Japchae
This meal was for a crowd after open gym at our house, and thanks to Matt it was out of this world!
—> Walnut Prawns from Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans
—> Goyza Bites and Japchae from Paleo Take Out
♥ Cauli and Parsnip Soup with Caramelized Onion and Apples
This was my breakfasts this week. I love bone-broth based soups loaded with veggies for breakfast – also known as the perfect way to start the day because of how a balanced, nourishing meal regulates blood sugar and kicks-off your body’s temp just right.
—> Cauli and Parsnip Soup from Foraged Dish
♥ Bacon & Guacamole Sammies and Gummy Snacks
Wesley insisted these be packed in his lunch for the week. I mean, obvs.
—> Bacon & Guacamole Sammies from Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans
—-> Gummy Snacks Recipe from our blog
♥ Nut-Free Banana Bread
We also planed a few treats into our meal plan so that an effort to try to reduce waste doesn’t end up having us feel restricted. We love this banana bread recipe from Merit + Fork, it’s SO good and helps us use up our browning bananas – it’s often something we make each week (and only lasts about a day with all 6 of us having a piece or two). Since it’s nut-free with Otto’s Cassava Flour, the boys can take a piece to school.
—> Nut-Free Banana Bread from Merit + Fork Recipe
Monday: Epic Bacon Meatloaf with Cornbread and Roasted Carrots
Our meatloaf recipe is one of the best ways to incorporate liver into the family’s diet- it disappears under all the other great flavors!
—> Epic Bacon Meatloaf from Real Life Paleo
—> Cornbread from Our Paleo Life
—> Roasted Carrots from Real Life Paleo
Wednesday: Crab Balls on Greens with Perfect Oven Fries
One of our favorite recipes from our cookbook, we often double the recipe because the boys love the crab balls in their lunches!
—> Crab Balls Recipe from Real Life Paleo
—> Perfect Oven Fries from Paleo Take Out
Friday: Chicken Fingers, Waffles and Onion Rings
We eat like kings on Friday nights after Open Gym, but admittedly Matt ran out of cooking fat after making the fried chicken tenders and we ended up skipping the onion rings. I anticipate them on a future menu plan paired with bunless burgers!
—> Chicken Fingers Recipes from Paleo Take Out
—> Waffles Recipe from our blog
—> Onion Rings Recipe from Paleo Take Out
♥ Paleo Candy Corn Gummies & Snickerdoodle Whoopie Pies
Seriously genius, these gummies were so good. Kudos to Finn for asking to add them to the meal plan for this week! Made with Vital Proteins gelatin, carrot juice, and turmeric. Healthy, fun and delicious! The boys completely forgot about their original request for whoopie pies, and we never brought it back up – just goes to show how saying yes and making a plan can really lead to even further healthier choices!
—> Paleo Candy Corn Gummies from Plaid and Paleo
—> Snickerdoodle Whoopie Pies recipe from our blog and Real Life Paleo
♥Egg Salad and Egg Pizzas
The boys love eggs in all forms – especially these! Both of these egg preparations will last in the fridge for days and are great to have around for quick breakfasts and snacks.
—> Egg Salad from Eat Like a Dinosaur
—> Egg Pizzas from Eat Like a Dinosaur
Books featured in our meal plans are among our favorites and ones we actually use ourselves.
We highly recommend you check them out (just click the image below)!
Let us know if this gives you some meal planning ideas for your real paleo life!