Happy Wednesday guys! Today I’m teaming up with one of our favorites: Nurture Life to share how my family meal plans during the week as well as a few of our favorite weeknight dinners. Everything is quick and easy because when you’re dealing with a toddler, it has to be!


I usually start the meal planning process on Sunday and make a list of the recipes I plan to make and everything I need. When it comes to grocery shopping, I like to go either on Sunday and/or Monday to stock up for the week. My two favorite stores that we always like to shop at are Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Each provide different staples that I’ll go into more detail about below.

When it comes to making dinner, I love simple recipes that are both nutritious and delicious. I also sometimes think about making extra so that we have them for quick + easy lunches throughout the week. When I don’t have the time or energy, I love turning to Nurture Life to help me out. If you’ve followed this blog for awhile then you know I’m already a huge fan and even shared about them in this post (Elle was so tiny!) and this post.

Nurture Life is a nutritious meal delivery service for babies, toddlers, and kids. They use fresh organic ingredients {which I love!} and create healthy versions of kids favorites.  All meals are made-to-order and crafted to fit your child’s nutritional needs based on his or her stage of development. Their menu is constantly changing each week and you can easily pick and choose to customize your order.

I tend to use these Nurture Life meals when I need to prepare a quick toddler dinner, or if my daughter doesn’t like what we’re having, or if my husband and I are going out. They’re fresh, easy to make, and also freeze well if you don’t use them all up in a week. Elle’s current favorite is the macaroni and cheese {she is honestly OBSESSED}, and I love giving it to her at lunch too with a fruit and/or vegetable. The menus are always changing, but below are a few of our current favorite Nurture Life meals:

1. Minestrone Stew {served with carrots + string beans}
2. Cheese Tortellini & Peas {served with broccoli + blueberries}
3. Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower {served with blueberries + carrots}
4. Chicken Bites wit Mashed Yams & Green Beans
5. Chicken Meatballs with Pasta & Veggies
6. Pot Roast with Mashed Potatoes {served with peas}

Besides Nurture Life meals, I have a few go-to week night recipes that are super easy and always make great leftovers throughout the week. I find that it’s hard to follow complicated recipes {especially when you’re chasing after a toddler} so these are all quick and simple to follow:


We love Greek food and usually make this at least once a week. I get most of the ingredients from Trader Joe’s and it takes literally 10 minutes max to make. It’s more prepping and less cooking. Let’s break it down:

Ingredients: Trader Joe’s Gyro Slices (found in fridge section), pita bread, tomatoes, lettuce of choice, garbanzo beans, red onion (not pictured), and tzatziki sauce. We also get the Trader Joe’s giant baked beans in tomato sauce to serve as the side and also sometimes rice.

1. For the gyro: heat a skillet on medium to high heat. Once the pan is hot, put each slice of gyro into the pan and heat through for about 2-4 minutes each side. I usually cook 4 slices at a time, but this all depends on the size of the pan you choose to use.
2. While the gyro is cooking, prepare all the sides on a platter: lettuce, sliced tomatoes, garbanzo beans, sliced red onion, etc. You can even add feta cheese crumbles if you want.
3. Toast pita and serve immediately.

*I also like to eat this meal more as a salad (instead of a pita sandwich) with the tzatiki as the dressing. It’s always super easy and delicious!


Every kid loves pasta night and this one is SUPER EASY. You also can switch it up by choosing your favorite sauce and other veggies. We love Rao’s marinara sauce, which can be found at Whole Foods. Let’s break it down:

Ingredients: Rao’s marinara sauce (or your favorite pasta sauce), penne pasta, fresh mozzarella (diced), frozen peas, and also parmesan cheese to top.

1. Boil a pot of water and cook pasta per the package directions.
2. Chop up the fresh mozzarella into small pieces.
3. Cook the peas in a separate pot.
4. Drain the pasta, add the sauce, peas, and fresh mozzarella. Top with parmesan cheese and serve.

*If you aren’t into carbs, you can substitute the noodles with spaghetti squash or another spiralized veggie that can be found at the grocery store.


I try to make Salmon at least once a week because it’s healthy. Elle doesn’t love it, but usually tries a bit of it. I get most of the ingredients for this one at Whole Foods. Let’s break it down:

Ingredients: 1 lb of Salmon (I usually have the butcher cut it in half so it cooks quicker), your favorite pesto, lemons, broccoli, rice (I like the 365 Whole Foods brand), and olive oil.

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Wash the salmon and put on a sheet pan (I usually cover mine with parchment paper). Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel. Spread pesto over each piece with the back of a spoon and add a touch of salt.
3. Place the broccoli on another sheet pan with parchment paper and sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
4. Place both baking sheets in the oven for 20 minutes. I usually like the remove the broccoli after 15 minutes and then broil the salmon for the final 5 minutes.
5. Sprinkle both the salmon and broccoli with fresh lemon juice. Cook the rice according to the package and serve.


We love Mexican food in this house and try to make this dish often. It makes amazing leftovers and is great for not only for burritos, but burrito bowls, tacos, nachos, and quesadillas. Let’s break it down:

Ingredients: Rotisserie Chicken (we like to get ours at Whole Foods), tortillas, shredded cheese (Whole Foods has a good Mexican blend), jar of your favorite salsa, can of black beans, frozen corn, rice, and a chopped onion.

1. Heat a large skillet with olive oil. Add the chopped onion and cook for 4 minutes on medium heat. Then add the can of drained black beans and frozen corn. Cook for 5 more minutes.
2. While that is cooking, make the rice in a separate pot. Once the rice is done, add the rice to the larger skillet as well as 3/4 of the jarred salsa. Mix together.
3. Shred the rotisserie chicken and add to the large skillet. Mix together.
4. Once you have your chicken mixture, you can make burritos by adding it to a tortilla with some shredded cheese. I usually like to heat mine up in a pan again and press it down with a pot top.
5. Serve with sliced avocado and more salsa.

*Elle usually loves to eat the chicken mixture by itself or as a quesadilla.

So there you have it. How we meal plan and a few weekly dinner ideas. Here are a few more photos of Elle eating her favorite Nurture Life meal which happens to be the Mac & Cheese. They even sneak veggies in it! Also we’re still trying to master our fork skills so it’s been a total work in progress haha.

Hopefully this post was helpful in giving you some easy weeknight dinner ideas to share with your family and test out at home. Also, for all those busy parents out there who could use a little extra help in the kitchen, make sure to try out Nurture Life and use  code SAMANTHA for $30 OFF your first order.

This post is in partnership with Nurture Life, a company that both Elle and I love. As always, all opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting brands that make GCG possible!