Hey Hey! It is my birthday week, which also means it is officially one year since I started Veggies & Virtue LLC! So since nothing says "Happy Birthday" like a meal I don't have to make, we are going back to some of these tried-and-true Costco favorites for this week's EASY, EFFORTLESS meal plan!
Veggies & Virtue Meal Plan: Week of April 22
STEP 1: PLAN
Knowing that we would be out of town visiting my mom and stepdad in Florida this week and into next, I wanted something EASY to come home to. For us, that means a Costco-run with lots of ready-made favorites. All I have to do is shop for the menu below, unload the groceries, and then reheat and/or assemble each night's dinner. This is exactly my kind of plan after returning home from a week away!
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STEP 2: PICK
Each ready-made item is available at Costco and included as a free download here.
1 ǁ Seafood Sunday: Smoked salmon Caesar salad (with added spinach), gluten-free rolls, and apple slices
2 ǁ Meatless Monday: Quinoa salad with hummus cups, healthy dippers, and grapes
3 ǁ Taco Tuesday: Southwest salad with nacho bar and corn on the cob
4 ǁ Asian Night: Teriyaki chicken meatballs with brown rice noodles, broccoli, edamame, and pineapple
5 ǁ Breakfast for Dinner: Superhero scrambled eggs with all-natural sausage, toast, and a pomegranate chia smoothie
6 ǁ Italian Night: Pasta salad with cherry tomatoes, marinated mozzarella balls, broccoli, cucumbers, and berries
7 ǁ Burger Night: Chicken burgers with sweet potato fries and satsumas
STEP 3: PAIR
One Meal, Two Ways!
LOVE IT: Brazi Bites, Honey Smoked Salmon, apple slices, water
LIKE IT: croutons
LEARNING IT: Caesar salad
My Plate: Smoked salmon Caesar salad (with added spinach and no croutons), gluten-free rolls, and apple slices
A lot of parents may assume there kids wouldn't eat "salmon salad ceasar salads" for dinner. But break it down in kid-friendly way by making preferred foods stand out with non-preferred foods, and this is a great family-friendly option with something everyone can enjoy!
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My newsletter subscribers benefit from seeing how EACH meal plan menu item is broken down with "Love it, Like it, Learning it" suggestions (based on my children's preferences). This is free for subscribers and removes the guesswork with what (or how!) to serve each of the weekly menu items.
STEP 4: PURCHASE
What I Buy and Why: Block Cheese
I get asked A LOT about what items I buy at Costco versus elsewhere, so I am going to share one I get asked about a lot: block cheese!
It is so much more cost-effective to buy a large block of cheddar cheese and then to self-shred it. They have several varieties and brands at Costco; most coming in 2-pound loaves but all less-expensive in unit prices than what the equivalent cheese costs at the store. Shredding this cheese technically adds a prep-step to this week's meal plan, but I find that the result is such fresh, flavorful cheese compared to pre-shredded cheese bought in a bag (since often in that cheese, there are added fillers that act as anti-caking agents so the cheese appears nice and shredded vs as one big clump).
What I do is shred one-quarter to one-half of the block at a time. I use our grater attachment on the food processor for this, so it keeps it super easy to grate up. Then, I usually store with a paper towel (just to be safe in case there is any moisture in the bag) in a bag with the shredded cheese. This allows us to have fresh shredded cheese on hand that's less expensive and tastes (and melts!) better! I find it stays fresh once shredded for easily a week in the fridge, allowing us to buy about one block a month instead of a smaller block at the standard grocer each week.
For more ideas on What I Buy and Why - Costco edition,
get your copy of this free Costco dinner ideas download here!
STEP 5: PREP
None! This week's meal plan is intended to be nearly effortless outside of making a trip to Costco in and of itself! Also, by stocking some of these staples at your home, you will have them on hand for future nights when you need easy meal ideas.
So be sure to put these items on your grocery list, or better yet - use either the free download or magnetic grocery list below to color-code which items you will pick up from Costco next time you go! I find it to be so helpful to use these to help organize which grocery items I need to buy where.