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Free Meal Plan: 5 Easy To-Go Meals

Everyone is getting run down, catching spring colds, tired of school and ready for summer holidays. This week is going to be simple, comforting, low-stress and easy to eat – nothing complex if at all possible. I’m hoping for some happy, relaxed mealtimes with minimal prep that will rejuvenate tired kids (and parents!) so that we can focus on resting and reconnecting, taking dinner to soccer or eating at the park. Nothing some bare feet in the grass won’t cure.

MONDAY

free meal plan quinoa salad apples walnutsLight, fluffy quinoa is easy to digest, and quinoa salads are always a hit at our house – since there isn’t much in season yet, apples are still a standby in our fruit bowl, and go perfectly with crunchy walnuts and aged cheddar. For a more substantial meal, serve with simply roasted chicken or salmon, or top with a poached egg.

Quinoa Salad with Apples, Walnuts and Aged Cheddar

Photo credit: Jan of Family Bites

TUESDAY

free meal plan quick calzones recipeAimee of Simple Bites has a great round-up of ten minutes meals – I know they will come in handy this week. These calzones are brilliant – cheese, sauce and other pizza fixins stuffed into pitas and quickly broiled. Add a bagged salad and dinner’s done, and perfect when you need to take it to go.

Quick Calzones

Photo credit: Aimee of Simple Bites

WEDNESDAY

free meal plan Ranch Chicken Salad Jar recipeThere’s no better salve for a stressful day than dinner in the park, barefoot in the grass. My glut of mason jars in the basement will be put to good use with these layered chunky chicken salads – perfect for transporting, and for eating. Environmentally-friendly, too!

Ranch Chicken Salad in a Jar

Photo credit: Shaina of Food for my Family

THURSDAY

free meal plan Beef Fajitas Mango SalsaBeef fajitas are quick to put together, and everyone will be happy to assemble their own. Drippy things like fajitas are perfect for eating in the back yard – in flip-flops.

Beef Fajitas with Mango Salsa

Photo credit: Lori of Recipe Girl

FRIDAY

free meal plan Chipotle Pulled Pork bbqEasy Chipotle Pulled Pork for a Backyard Barbecue

When the apple tree begins to blossom, I want to invite people over for dinner in the back yard. A big batch of pulled pork is perfect for feeding a crowd – get everyone to bring a side or salad and everyone will be able to enjoy an interesting meal, with friends, for minimal effort.

About the Author:

Julie Van Rosendaal is the food and nutrition columnist on the Calgary Eyeopener on CBC Radio One, the author of five best-selling cookbooks, with a sixth - Alice Eats, the Wonderland Cookbook having just been released in October. She's the food editor of Parents Canada magazine and a freelance writer, contributing to local, national and international publications including Swerve, Avenue, Western Living and Readers Digest. She is also co-host of It’s Just Food on the OWN television network, and writes and is the photographer for her award-winning food blog, www.DinnerwithJulie.com, which documents real life in her home kitchen in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her husband, Mike, and 8 year old son, Willem.

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