The Family Meal Made Easy :: A Meal Plan & Recipes to Ease Your Week


Honey, What’s For Dinner?

Whether you enjoy cooking or loath the very thought, meal planning takes time and energy.

Some moms choose to plan out their meals and others take it day-by-day, but no matter how you handle dinnertime, our Dallas Moms Blog contributors want to help lighten your load. After all, you deserve a little break!

We encourage you to put your cookbooks down this week and let us do the planning for you. Below are a list of meals for the week from some of our favorite cookbooks and bloggers that have all been tested and reviewed by some of our toughest critics–our kids. Most of these meals won’t have you standing over a counter chopping and dicing for hours and only need simple sides to compliment them. Our goal is to make meals as easy as possible this week while also surprising your family with some new eats.

And as much as we wish we could jump through the screen and do the grocery shopping for you, we’ve done the next best thing and created a printable grocery list for you too — Aisle by Aisle — Located at the very bottom of this post.

From our home to yours, we hope you enjoy!


Monday :: Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos – What’s Cookin’ Chicago

{Recipe Approved by Bethany} Using a simple Cilantro Lime Pesto sauce, this recipe turns your basic chicken tacos into a delicious meal that all ages will love. We also love that it’s incredibly easy to make into a Freezer Meal for a future lunch or dinner.

Tuesday :: Cauliflower & Kale Orzo – I Think. . .

{An Original Recipe by Becky} While this recipe might be a little sophisticated for most children’s tastes, so you have two options. 1) It’s an easy meal to make for a Date Night At Home after the kids go to bed, or 2) add a little chicken, serve to your kids, and see what happens!

Wednesday :: Baked Ziti – Desperate Housewives of Prestonwood Cookbook

{Recipe Approved by Sally} This recipe won’t be found online, but in the Prestonwood neighborhood of Dallas’s cookbook**. An easy recipe from moms who know what it’s like to have limited time in the kitchen while toddlers pull on your pant legs.

Ingredients Needed:

12 ounces of uncooked ziti

2 lbs of ground beef

1 jar spaghetti sauce

2 eggs

1 carton (15 oz) ricotta cheese

2 1/2 cups(20 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Cook pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce.  In a bowl, combine the eggs, ricotta cheese, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.

Drain pasta; add to cheese mixture and toss to coat.  Spoon a third of the meat sauce into a greased 13in x 9 in baking dish; top with half of the pasta mixture. Repeat layers.  Top with remaining meat sauce.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 40 min.  Uncover; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted.  Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Serves 6-8 people.

Thursday :: Zesty Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken –

{Recipe Approved by Amanda H.} Although this was Amanda’s recommended recipe, several contributors have tried this from various sources and it’s a favorite across the board! You can throw the chicken breasts into the slow cooker frozen, shred it in your mixer 6 hours later, and throw onto some hoogie rolls. Bam! Dinner is done!

Friday :: Cherry Almond Chicken Salad – The Flies Blend

{Recipe Approved by Krystal} The heat wave has begun which means meals need to get a little lighter. This recipe makes an easy dinner–with leftovers for a yummy lunch the next day!

Saturday :: Grilled Steakhouse Pizza – The Pioneer Woman

{Recipe Approved by Stephanie F. – City Moms Blog Network Founder & Steph’s Menu Creator} Instead of trying to fight the crowds at a restaurant, spend your Saturday evening at home. This recipe is both a unique meal and a fun, family-friendly activity! **Pizza crust can also be store bought to save additional time**

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BONUS :: Gooey Butter Cake – Paula Deen

{Recipe Idea from Steph’s Menu***} WARNING: This dessert is beyond words and we’re not responsible for consuming the entire 13″ x 9″ cake. Simply forget this deliciousness has 16 ounces of butter and 8 ounces of cream cheese prior to consumption and it’ll taste that much sweeter. It’s definitely worth breaking a diet for.

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Printable Grocery List


Let us know what you think about these recipes by leaving a comment below or take a photo of your creation using #DMBFamilyMeal.

Do you have any favorite recipes we should try?


**Want to see more recipes from the Desperate Housewives of Prestonwood? See Sally’s previous post on how you can create a neighborhood cookbook along with two other recipes to try. 

***Curious about Steph’s Menu? Visit her site for more meal plans that will come directly to your inbox. Her meal plans aren’t fancy or over the top, but simple, family-tested recipes to help make your meal planning easier! 


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