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Busy Week, Easy Eats: 5 Meals for Hectic Schedules

Busy Week, Easy Eats: 5 Meals for Hectic Schedules

In this blog, @kristen.carli guides us through making five quick and straightforward meals perfect for the entire family, especially during those extra busy and chaotic weeks.

As a parent, navigating through a busy week with young children can be challenging, especially when it comes to mealtime. On these weeks, the slow cooker, sheet pan meals, and preparing (or freezing) meals in advance can be your saving grace. These methods not only save time but also ensure that your family enjoys nutritious and delicious meals without the stress of cooking every day. This meal plan is designed to help you breeze through the week, with recipes that are easy to prepare and loved by both kids and adults.

Grocery List

This grocery list for the week's meals, all sourced from Trader Joe's, is designed to streamline your shopping experience and ensure you have everything you need to whip up delicious and stress-free meals for your family.

🛒 16 oz cottage cheese x 2
🛒 Roasted tomato focaccia
🛒 16 oz greek yogurt
🛒 Almond milk 1/2 gallon
🛒 32 oz rolled oats
🛒 16 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
🛒 24 oz tomato basil marinara x 2
🛒 8 oz pappardelle pasta x 2
🛒 1 bunch bananas (6-8)
🛒 8 oz Mozzarella log
🛒 6.7 oz basil pesto
🛒 Balsamic glaze
🛒 16 oz Heirloom cherry tomatoes x 2
🛒 6 oz Baby spinach
🛒 4 oz Basil leaves
🛒 32 oz chicken breasts
🛒 Butter lettuce
🛒 Peanut butter
🛒 Carton of eggs
🛒 Pantry Staples: Baking powder, cinnamon, salt, vanilla extract

Click here for our printable grocery list!


Banana Yogurt Waffles (GF)

Ingredients: rolled oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, bananas, greek yogurt, eggs, vanilla extract

These banana yogurt waffles are a game-changer for busy mornings! With just a few simple ingredients and a blender, you can whip up a batch of delicious, wholesome waffles that are sure to please the whole family. The oats and bananas give these waffles a hearty texture and natural sweetness, making them a nutritious and satisfying breakfast option. Plus, they're freezer-friendly, so you can make a big batch and reheat them whenever you need a quick and easy breakfast.

Yield: 4 large waffles
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes


🧇 4 cups gluten free oats
🧇 1 tablespoon baking powder
🧇 1 teaspoon cinnamon
🧇 ½ teaspoon salt
🧇 2 bananas
🧇 1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
🧇 ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
🧇 4 eggs
🧇 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. In a blender, combine all ingredients.

  2. Blend until smooth.

  3. Heat up waffle iron. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.

  4. Using a ladle, scoop batter into waffle iron, close and rotate. Cook for 4 minutes.

  5. Carefully remove waffle from waffle iron.

  6. Enjoy!


Vegetarian Crockpot Lasagna

Ingredients: tomato sauce, cottage cheese, pesto, spinach, pappardelle pasta, shredded mozzarella cheese.

This vegetarian crockpot lasagna is a delicious twist on a classic favorite. Packed with nutritious ingredients and bursting with flavor, it's a perfect meal for busy weeknights. This lasagna is packed with protein, thanks to the addition of creamy cottage cheese, making it a satisfying and nutritious dish. Plus, using the slow cooker makes it incredibly easy to prepare, allowing you to enjoy a wholesome homemade meal with minimal effort.

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours


🍅 (2) 24 ounce jars tomato & basil marinara sauce
🍅 32 ounces cottage cheese
🍅 6.7 ounce jar of basil pesto
🍅 6 ounces sautéed spinach
🍅 12 ounces parpadelle pasta
🍅 ¾ cup shredded mozzarella

  1. In a 6 qt slow cooker, pour ½ jar of sauce.

  2. Top with several dollops of cottage cheese.

  3. Then, add several dollops of pesto.

  4. Top with a layer of pasta noodles, spinach and ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese.

  5. Repeat with another layer of sauce, cottage cheese, pesto, noodles, spinach, and mozzarella cheese.

  6. Finally, add one more layer of noodles, sauce, and mozzarella cheese. Make sure noodles are fully immersed in the sauce.

  7. Close the lid and cook on high for 3 hours.


Sheet Pan Caprese Chicken

Ingredients: chicken breasts, mini heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil, balsamic vinaigrette, tomato focaccia bread

This sheet pan Caprese Chicken recipe is a delightful twist on a classic favorite, combining the fresh flavors of tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella with tender chicken breasts. Served alongside homemade tomato focaccia bread, this dish is not only bursting with flavor but also incredibly easy to prepare, making it the perfect choice for a quick and delicious weeknight dinner.

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes


🍗 2 pounds chicken breast
🍗 8 ounce mozzarella cheese log
🍗 32 ounces cherry heirloom tomatoes
🍗 1 tablespoon olive oil
🍗 1 teaspoon salt
🍗 ½ teaspoon pepper
🍗 ¼ cup julienned basil leaves
🍗 Drizzle balsamic glaze
🍗 Tomato parmesan focaccia bread, for serving

  1. Slice mozzarella cheese and halve cherry tomatoes. Store in Silicone Reusable Bag in the fridge until ready to cook.

  2. Preheat oven to 400F.

  3. On a large baking sheet, add chicken breast and halved cherry tomatoes.

  4. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until internal temperature reaches 140F.

  6. Remove from oven and top chicken with sliced cheese. Return to oven and cook for 10 more minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165F.

  7. Drizzle chicken with balsamic glaze and basil. Serve with tomato bread.


PB & Banana Waffle Sandwiches

Ingredients: leftover blender banana greek yogurt waffles, banana, peanut butter

Looking for a delicious way to use up leftover banana yogurt waffles? This simple yet satisfying recipe combines the goodness of protein-rich waffles with the classic flavor combination of peanut butter and banana. It's a perfect treat for breakfast or snack time, and a great way to make the most out of your waffle leftovers.


🥪 Leftover Banana Yogurt Waffles
🥪 Banana
🥪 Peanut Butter
🥪 Any other toppings you choose

  1. Take two of your leftover banana yogurt waffles from recipe #1. If they are frozen, be sure to thaw or defrost before assembling.

  2. Spread peanut butter on one side of both waffles.

  3. Slice a banana into 1/2" slices.

  4. Sandwich your banana slices between each peanut butter side of the waffle. Feel free to add honey, cinnamon, or any other fun topping you prefer.

  5. Enjoy your waffle sandwich!


Lettuce Wrap Caprese Chicken

Ingredients: leftover caprese chicken, butter lettuce

Turn that leftover caprese chicken into a whole new meal! This recipe is a refreshing twist on the classic caprese salad, using tender chicken, juicy tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil, all wrapped up in crisp lettuce leaves. It's a light and flavorful dish that's perfect for a quick lunch or a light dinner.


🥬 Leftover caprese chicken
🥬 Head butter lettuce
🥬 Any seasoning or drizzle you choose

  1. Take your leftover caprese chicken from recipe #3. Be sure to warm up before using.

  2. Wash and dry your butter lettuce.

  3. Take a single lettuce leaf and place a few tablespoons of leftover caprese chicken on your leaf. Can adjust filling depending on your leaf size. Tuck in the sides of the leaf and roll into a cylinder, or keep your leaf open like a taco shell.

  4. Top with any additional spices or seasonings you prefer.

  5. Enjoy!

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