Ground turkey 4 different ways (and 5 easy weeknight meals).

This is a busy time of year, and our weeknights are crazy.

CRAZY.

Here is what I did last week to make getting dinner on the table a little easier…

I bought this:

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  • 5-cheese tortellini
  • shredded Mexican cheese
  • mozarella cheese
  • marinara sauce
  • taco seasoning
  • lasagna noodles
  • tortillas
  • sandwich rolls
  • ground turkey
  • italian salad dressing
  • canned corn
  • canned green beans
  • ground turkey
  • bagged lettuce
  • baby carrots
  • 1 watermelon

Now, I realize there is no brown rice, or quinoa or wheatberries or kale or anything that Jillian Michaels would want to have in this list.

But I have some money constraints and some time restraints.

And sometimes, you just don’t have the shopping time or the prep time to prepare the ideal meals for your family.

Like when you have 3 baseball games, 4 baseball practices, 3 swim practices, and a swim meet in one week.

Oh yeah.

And seven kids.

So here is what I did so that at least we weren’t eating hot dogs and peanut butter and jelly every night of the week…

Sunday:

Brown all the ground turkey.

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Then I split it up into 4 batches.

I used one to make taco filling.

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One to make sloppy joe filling,

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one to make meat sauce for lasagna.

and one to make turkey burgers.

I make sure to season the turkey burgers with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

I keep a mixture in a pyrex bowl to put on all meat — chicken breast, ground turkey, tilapia, whatever…

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I got the lasagna prepared and put it in the fridge…I didn’t boil the noodles. If they sit in the sauce for a day, that softens them up.

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I put the sloppy joe sauce in the fridge too.

I boiled up the tortellini.

I divided it in half, and put red sauce on one batch, and italian dressing on the other.

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That went in the fridge too.

I cut up the watermelon.

If you cut it into fourths,

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then slice around the perimeter,

2013-05-28 15.47.55then slice in one direction,

2013-05-28 15.48.37and then the other direction,

you can just dump the chunks right into a container:

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Then when the kids come home from school, or you got to a baseball practice,

you can just pull one of those containers out of the fridge.

Now you have at least one healthy snack that will last a few days.

Okay…

We had tacos and corn for dinner Sunday night.

Since I’m trying to eat healthier, I skipped the tortillas and made myself a taco salad.

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I put a little cheese, about 1 1/2 tablespoons of ranch dressing, and about a half a cup of plain Greek yogurt.

Monday:

Tortellini with green beans and garlic bread.

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All I had to do was heat up the tortellini and  green beans and toast the bread.

Tuesday:

The lasagna was already prepared, so I just had to put it in the oven.

Wednesday:

Sloppy joes.

One of the kids had baseball practice.  I assembled these and heated them up before we left. They travel fairly well.

The rest of the kids ate sloppy joes at the playground during practice. It’s a good night for those, because the kids always get dirty and sweaty playing on the playground.

So if they get their dinner all over themselves, it’s all good.

They’re outside and not in my house, and they’re going to have a bath when they get home anyway.

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Thursday:

Leftover night. Everyone gets to take their pick from the 3 previous nights… Everyone is happy.

Friday: 

It was hot so we barbequed the turkey burgers and some hot dogs. We ate the tortellini with the salad dressing.

And,

we made it through the week!

You can use this as a guide to help make your week a little less hectic, making whatever substitutions you want/need…a little more time up front, but a lot easier on the back end, for sure!

Bon appetit!

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