Back to School MEAL PREP for the whole fam [Feat. MUSTARD]

PHOTOGRAPHY: PAULINE BOLDT

It’s that time of year again! The kids are decked out in new gear, the books are packed, and the teachers are all ready to go, but what about you? Getting back into the swing of things after a summer of sun and relaxation can be tough, and we all know those first few weeks back at school can be challenging for everyone. Thankfully, we can help!

Wrapping your brain around meals for the week is daunting, and frankly EXHAUSTING. However, it doesn’t have to be. With a little bit of organization and preparation you will be set up and ready to take on the week ahead. Meal planning is all about making ‘extra’ for supper and utilizing the leftovers in a clever way the next day for lunch. The best part? It’s much easier than you might think and will save you loads of time and money. It just involves a little bit of planning, a tiny bit of prep, and a-lot less stress!

Salmon Cakes with Dilly Tartar Sauce

Salmon Cakes with Dilly Tartar Sauce

But first, let’s talk about grocery shopping. Your list will change from week to week, but here is a basic guide on the essentials to have on hand. With these basics, the combinations you’ll be able to create are endless!


SHOPPING LIST

  • Fresh - Veggies- such as cucumbers, peppers, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, snow peas, avocado (ones that can be eaten raw or great chopped up in salads for crunch)

  • Greens - spring mix, spinach, romaine, arugula or butter lettuce

  • Herbs - choose 1-2 per week; dill, parsley, tarragon, etc (these will all depend on your recipes you make that week)

  • Eggs

  • Starches - potatoes (sweet, white or baby), bread/wraps, grains (quinoa, orzo, brown rice, soba noodles)

  • Pantry - Olive oil, cooking oil, vinegars (a variety is good!) nuts, mayonnaise, pickles, mustard (obviously!) honey, maple syrup, variety of dried pastas, flour (gluten free or all purpose) canned beans (such as chickpeas, navy beans, black beans) salt and pepper

  • Dairy - cheese (I like to have 2-3 varieties in my fridge at all time, for salads, snacking, pizza or pasta) sour cream, butter, milk or non-dairy milk (unsweetened almond, soy or oat milk)

  • Frozen - green beans, peas, corn, edamame (great high protein snack!)

  • Meat - will all depend on your menu that week! Remember, meat has a short shelf life, keep an eye on expiration dates for freshness.

Below, we have created A WHOLE WEEK of different scenarios where dinner can we re-purposed into delicious lunches for both you and your kids the next day!

 ** Very important note: For all the ‘SUPPER’ menu suggestions below, plan to cook extra than what you will need to feed your family **


PREP TO HELP START THE WEEK:

  • Dips- Honey Mustard Dill (recipe below)

  • Dressings/Sauces- Balsamic Vinaigrette, Pesto (homemade or you could always grab a store-bought brand), Dilly Ranch

  • Hard Boiled Eggs- always good idea for a snack or salads

  • Fresh Goods- wash and chop vegetables and greens and have them ready to eat in containers

  • Hummus- whether you buy a tub from the store of whip up your own, it’s a miracle high protein snack!

  • Prep Meat Loaf (recipe below) and put into loaf pan

  • Steam edamame


Maple Mustard Roasted Salmon

Maple Mustard Roasted Salmon

Okay, finally… Here’s your week!

SATURDAY: SUPPER

Maple Mustard Roasted Salmon with

-       Brown rice

-       Broccoli + Cheese Sauce

-       Roasted Brussels Sprouts


SUNDAY: SUPPER 

Roasted Whole Chicken (and gravy, if you’d like) with

-       Steamed vegetables (beans, peas, carrots, corn, etc)

-       Boiled potatoes

-       Green salad with chopped fresh veggies and dressing

 

** OPTIONAL PREP- While chicken is roasting, make the Salmon Cakes (recipe below) using leftover salmon from night before (for Tuesday night’s supper) Store in the refrigerator formed into patties, so cooking later is a breeze**


MONDAY: LUNCH (using leftover chicken from Sunday)

Dilly Ranch Dip

Dilly Ranch Dip

Kids:

Chicken salad sandwich or wrap

Raw veggies and/or pita chips with Dilly Ranch, Honey Mustard Dill Dip or Hummus

Cheese

Adults:

Chopped Chicken Salad with avocado, cheese, lettuce and nuts with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Raw veggies and/or pita chips with Dilly Ranch, Honey Mustard Dill Dip or Hummus

Edamame

 

SUPPER

Meatloaf with:

-       Roasted/Fried potatoes (leftover from Sunday)

-       Steamed carrots and peas

-       Green salad with chopped fresh veggies and dressing

Classic Meatloaf

Classic Meatloaf

CLASSIC MEATLOAF

  • 2lbs regular or lean ground beef

  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs

  • 2 eggs

  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped

  • 3 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp pepper

  • ¼ cup BBQ sauce

  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 tbsp SMAK DAB Mustard (any flavour will do!)


TOPPINGS:

  • ¼ cup ketchup

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar (or 3 tbsp maple syrup or honey)

  • ¼ cup SMAK DAB Mustard (any flavour will do!)


 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or spray with non-stick.

 In a large bowl, combine all the meatloaf ingredients and mix with clean hands until well combined. Place into the loaf pan and lightly pack. Bake for 45 minutes.

 Remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 400 degrees F. Whisk together the topping ingredients and pour over the top of the meatloaf. Bake another 10-15 minutes or until the meat reaches 160 degrees in the center.


Allow to cool 10 minutes before cutting into slices!


TUESDAY: LUNCH

Kids + Adults:

Meatloaf sandwich with mustard + cheese

Raw veggies and/or pita chips with Dilly Ranch, Honey Mustard Dill Dip or Hummus

Edamame

SUPPER

 Salmon Cakes

-       Tartar Sauce (recipe below)

-       Buttered Pasta with Parmesan

-       Steamed green beans

Salmon Cakes with Dilly Tartar Sauce

Salmon Cakes with Dilly Tartar Sauce

SALMON CAKES WITH DILLY TARTAR SAUCE

  • 2 cups of cooked, flaked fish (such as salmon, trout, pickerel)

  • 1 egg, beaten well (depending on how moist the fish is, you can add an extra egg if you need extra binding)

  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs, plus extra for coating

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 2 tbsp finely chopped white onion, shallot or green onion

  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dil

  • 1 tbsp SMAK DAB Mustard (any flavour will do!)

  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

  • Olive oil, for cooking

     

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients above and fold together lightly. Once mixed, portion about 6 large patties (or 8 smaller ones) into disks, almost like a hockey puck. 

 On a plate, sprinkle some panko bread crumbs and one at a time, add the disks and lightly pat with the bread crumbs so they’re lightly coated.

 Preheat a frying pan on medium high-heat and add about 3 tbsp of oil. Once the oil is hot, add the cakes and gently fry one side at a time until a deep golden brown. (About 3-4 minutes) Flip and repeat on the other side.

 Serve warm with Dilly Tartar Sauce.

 

DILLY TARTAR SAUCE

Combine in a bowl and serve with fish cakes.


WEDNESDAY: LUNCH 

Kids + Adults:

Pasta Salad with chickpeas, veggies (leftover cooked or raw), green beans and cheese with Balsamic Vinaigrette and/or Pesto (option to leave plain)

Hard-boiled egg with mustard

Raw veggies or pita chips + Dilly Ranch, Honey Mustard Dill Dip or Hummus

Nana’s Potato Salad

Nana’s Potato Salad

SUPPER

Baked Farmers Sausage with BBQ sauce, and

-       Buns

-       Coleslaw

-       Grilled veggies

-       Bonus: Potato Salad (the last of the potatoes from Sunday, if any)


THURSDAY: LUNCH

Kids:

Chopped sausage with cheese and crackers

Raw veggies and/or pita chips with Dilly Ranch, Honey Mustard Dill Dip or Hummus

Hard-boiled egg with mustard

 

Adults:

Southwest Bowl with rice (leftover from Saturday), chopped sausage, grilled veggies, cheese, lettuce or coleslaw and Dilly Ranch or Balsamic Dressing

Raw veggies and/or pita chips with Dilly Ranch, Honey Mustard Dill Dip or Hummus

Edamame

 

SUPPER

Homemade Chicken Fingers with

-       Honey Mustard Dill Dip (recipe below) or Dilly Ranch Dip

-       Sweet potato fries (or regular potato fries)

-       Green salad with chopped fresh veggies and dressing

-       OR Broccoli Salad

Homemade Chicken Fingers with Honey Dill Sauce

Homemade Chicken Fingers with Honey Dill Sauce

HOMEMADE CHICKEN FINGERS WITH HONEY DILL SAUCE

  • Roughly 2 lbs chicken breasts, cut into strips

  • 2 tbsp soya sauce (or tamari)

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup or melted honey

  • 1 tbsp SMAK DAB Hot Honey Jalapeno Mustard

  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • 3 tsp garlic powder

  • 2 tsp onion powder

  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 2½ cups panko bread crumbs

  • Good pinch of kosher salt

  • Non-stick cooking spray

 

In a bowl, add the chicken strips, soya sauce, maple syrup and mustard. Mix well and marinade for 1-4 hours in the fridge (or overnight for best flavour)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and mist with non-stick spray.

On a plate, sprinkle flour and add spices; mix well. Add the beaten eggs to a bowl, and on another plate, sprinkle the bread crumbs and add a good pinch of salt; mix well.

Using one hand, grab a piece of chicken and coat with flour, place into the bowl with beaten eggs and toss lightly to coat, use the same hand and place the chicken onto the bread crumb plate. Using your other hand, toss the chicken with breadcrumbs until well coated, and place onto the baking sheet. Continue with all the pieces of chicken until they are all arranged on the baking sheet (be sure that they aren’t overlapping and overcrowded or they won’t get crispy). Lightly mist with non-stick cooking spray.

Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, flipping halfway or until they are golden and crispy on the outside and cooked through on the inside. Serve with Honey Mustard Dill Sauce.

 

HONEY MUSTARD DILL SAUCE

  • 4 tbsp Hellman’s mayo

  • 2-3 tbsp melted honey (depending on how sweet you like it!)

  • 2 tbsp SMAK DAB White Wine Herb Mustard

  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill (or ½ tsp dried dill)

 

Combine all the ingredients above in a bowl. Makes just over a ½ cup.


FRIDAY: LUNCH

Kids:

Chicken wrap with cheese and Dilly Ranch or Honey Mustard Dill Dip

Raw veggies and/or pita chips with Hummus

Hardboiled egg with mustard

 

Adult:

Pasta salad with chicken, hardboiled egg, pesto, green beans and chopped veggies

OR Chop Salad with chicken, eggs, avocado, cheese and Dilly Ranch or Balsamic Vinaigrette

OR Pasta salad with chopped roasted veggies and pesto and hardboiled egg

Hardboiled egg with mustard

Edamame

 

SUPPER

 Flatbread pizza with

-       Salad

-       Raw veggies or pita chips with dip

*** Pizza is a great way to use up any leftovers from the week: sausage, chicken, roasted/grilled veggies, cheese, pesto, etc. Premade crusts can be purchased at grocery stores in the bakery section. All you need to do is add toppings and bake! ***

Classic Meatloaf

Classic Meatloaf


 SATURDAY: LUNCH

Kids + Adult:

Leftover Pizza and whatever veggies or salad greens you have left.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do! Happy meal planning, friends!

Cheers!

Carly Minish