I Make the Same 8 Meals on Repeat (and I Never Get Bored)

meal planning ideas
Photo Credit: Jovo Jovanovic

May 5, 2021

by Ariel Knutson

When most people think of meal planning, they think of multi-hour regimented planning sessions that map out every single meal of the week, perhaps combined with all-day Sunday meal prepping. And that’s certainly one version of meal planning, but it’s not the only one. For Clean Plates founder Jared Koch, it’s more about meal planning ideas: He makes sure his kitchen is always stocked with ingredients to make a handful of meals, which are more like templates than actual recipes. There’s a list on the fridge with mains and sides and he and his family pick what they are doing for the day a few days to a week in advance. And that’s it.

Want to know what’s on his regular rotation? Here are the 8 meals he and his family have been eating since the pandemic started. And they’re not tired of them yet.

1. Pancakes

Specifically Birch Benders Paleo pancakes, served with banana and some nuts. (It’s worth mentioning here that Jared has three girls, age 5 and under.)

More pancake ideas: 10 Healthier Pancake Recipes

sausage peppers and onion
Photo Credit: Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

2. Sausage

Either an organic chicken sausage or a mild Italian pork sausage, sliced for the kids, whole for the adults.

Not a meat eater? We Tried a Bunch of Plant-Based Meats and Found a Few Favorites

3. Pasta

Gluten-free brown rice pasta: Jared likes Tinkyada and Jovial. Meat sauce for adults, butter and Parmesan cheese for the kids.

4. Ground Beef

One night of the week almost always involves beef in various forms, i.e. meatloaf, burgers, or something else. Every once in a while, they’ll splurge on steak. 

frittata
Photo Credit: Love & Lemons

5. Omelet

One big omelet with whatever is in Jared’s kitchen at the moment. It’s always heavy on the vegetables, and he’ll usually add in lox, bacon, or cheese.

6. Chicken Breast

Jared cooks chicken breast on the stovetop or oven until it’s mostly cooks, then chops it up and continues to cook it feels more like chicken tenders for the kids. 

More chicken ideas: 20 Recipes That Will Make You Excited to Eat Chicken

7. Burritos

This is a relatively new addition that Jared and his family are loving. He’ll heat up some frozen gluten-free Annie’s burritos with salsa, add some frozen corn on the cob, and fresh greens like spinach or broccoli. Dinner, done!

8. Hot Dogs

Grass-fed hot dogs served with vegetables and a bunch of different condiments like ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, barbecue sauce, and raw sauerkraut, a new favorite for both his 3- and 5-year old daughters.

Clean Plates

Good food brings people together.
So do good emails.

Clean Plates

Good food brings people together.
So do good emails.