Each week I look forward writing and posting a Real Food Meal Plan. I enjoy the process from start to finish; from reviewing potential recipes to selecting the final five. I spend a lot of time thinking about you guys in the process. What do you want to eat this week? Can I add something new, a little exciting and unexpected? Will your kids go for it? Can you handle making this on a busy weeknight? Thinking about the answers to these questions drives me to come up with a plan that is both appetizing and attainable. After posting a Real Food Meal Plan I check the blog analytics throughout the week to see which recipes are most popular. The analytics help me to know what you're loving, what you're coming back for, and also what you're less exciting about. (Salmon always seems to bomb. But I'm not giving up. I'll find a salmon recipe you like yet!). I get particularly giddy when I hear from you that the meal plans are helping you and taking some of the work out of healthy eating. That is such a huge win. Seeing your healthy dinner posts and meal plans on social media makes my day.
As I get ready to publish this week's Real Food Meal Plan, I want to share some exciting blog-related news. This month I will be partnering with a beyond fabulous graphic- and web-designer (she's also a well-known blogger in her own right) to rebrand and redesign Real Food Whole Life. I'll have more details regarding who she is and process details throughout the month, but in the meantime here's what that means. Sometime toward the end of April or beginning of May you'll come here and Real Food Whole Life will look completely different. There will be a new logo, new colors, and the design and layout will be different. It is going to be amazing.
After the relaunch you can still expect the same content from Real Food Whole Life, including weekly meal plans. The entire site should be more functional, streamlined, and easier to navigate. Some posts prior to January of this year will not migrate over, however, so if there is a recipe you love from a Real Food Meal Plan in 2014 take some time to bookmark that particular recipe in the next few weeks. Also, if there is a RFWL post you are particularly fond of that was published prior to January let me know and I'll make sure it comes along to the new site. And, if there's something you'd like to see on the new site, let me know in the comments or via email. Send me your questions, too. I always love hearing from you.
Okay, now onto the recipes. Cheers! xxoo, Robyn
vg: vegan | v: vegetarian | gf: gluten-free | df: dairy-free | p: paleo | ff: freezer-friendly
Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken from 100 Days of Real Food (gf, df, ff)
- This recipe could not be easier. Simply chop an onion, open a few cans, stir some spices together and dinner is prepped and ready to simmer away until you're ready for dinner.
- Serve the chicken and chickpeas over any whole grain you like, or skip the grains and ladle it on top of baby spinach.
15-Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta from Oh She Glows (v, vg, gf, df)
- I'm warning you now; this recipe is dangerously good. I don't make it very often because I have a little problem with this recipe and self-control. The struggle is real. Strands of pasta coated in this avocado-ey, basil-rich sauce will require a second serving. You have now been warned.
- Be sure to use gluten-free pasta if that's an issue for you. I've made this with brown rice pasta and it comes out perfectly.
Chicken Power Bowls with Crispy Baked Garbanzo Beans from Iowa Girl Eats (gf, df)
- The beauty of a bowl recipe like this is how ordinary, everyday ingredients come together to make a lovely, filling meal. Bowl recipes are kid friendly, too, because you can serve each part separately to appease picky eaters.
- Leave off the goat cheese to make this dairy-free. Not a goat cheese fan? Swap in feta for a tangy alternative. And if you're feeling less than inspired, skip roasting the chickpeas and just give them a rinse from the can before adding to the bowls.
Enchilada Sweet Potatoes from Against All Grain (gf, df, p)
- Okay, this one may be a bit involved for a weeknight, but it's such a great base recipe I had to include it in this week's meal plan. Most canned enchilada sauces contain all kinds of weird artificial ingredients. This homemade enchilada sauce is delicious, gluten-free, and easy to make.
- With a little weekend prep this meal comes together in minutes. Roast some whole sweet potatoes and make the enchilada sauce when you have a pocket of time. The night you want to serve, reheat the potatoes, sauté the meat and veggies, and drizzle with the sauce. Dang, now I'm hungry.
White Chickpea Chili from Two Peas and Their Pod (vg, v, gf, df, ff)
- This one is another chop and dump wonder recipe. Plus it's filling and makes great lunch leftovers the next day. Most of the ingredients are pantry staples, too, so keep everything on hand and make this any night of the week.
- Double check the ingredients in your salsa verde to make sure there aren't any preservatives or artificial ingredients lurking. Trader Joes carries a good option, and I've had luck with many brands found in the refrigerator aisle of the grocery store.