Jen's Dinner Plan Aug 11-17

Need some new ideas for dinner meals? Here is Jen’s weekly dinner menu with notes: 


Sunday:  Pan-Seared Salmon With Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Asparagus

  • This is my favorite salmon and the potatoes and asparagus are a perfect compliment. 

  • Mashed potatoes: 

    • Dice potatoes into large cubes. I like to leave the skin on.

    • Put in a large pot and fill the pot with water until the potatoes are covered. 

    • Boil the potatoes until tender - easily pierced with a fork. 

    • Drain, return to pot, and mash with a potato masher. 

    • Add milk, few tablespoons of butter, salt and pepper. 

    • Blend with hand mixer or immersion blender, if you have one. Otherwise, use the potato masher. 

    • Mash to your preferred consistency adding milk and butter as needed for texture and flavor. 

    • Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

  • Roasted asparagus: 

    • Trim ends of asparagus and lay on a sheet pan.

    • Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 

    • Roast at 425 for 20ish minutes, depending on the thickness of your asparagus, tossing occasionally.

Monday: Saturday Night Leftovers - Healthy Southern Dinner

I intentionally made a lot of food last Saturday night to have leftovers. 

  • Dinner included: Grilled chicken thighs, collard greens, pinto beans, roasted carrots, sautéed zucchini and squash, roasted okra, and some fresh sliced tomatoes. 

  • To read how I made everything, see last’s week menu.


Tuesday: Spinach Lasagna with Squash and Zucchini Noodles

  • For this lasagna, I use thinly sliced lengthwise squash and zucchini in place of the regular lasagna noodles. 

  • This is vegetarian but you could add some ground beef for the meat-eaters.

  • In a bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, an egg, Itialian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. I am not an exact measure person. 

  • Also have handy, a block of mozzarella cheese shredded, jar of pasta sauce, fresh spinach, and more parmesan cheese. 

  • For layering, 

    • Pour 1/4 of the sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Enough to cover the bottom.

    • Lay out a single layer of squash and zucchini. 

    • Spread half of the ricotta mixture on top.

    • Sprinkle with ⅓ of the mozzarella cheese. 

    • Pour on another ¼ of sauce and lay out a layer of fresh spinach.

    • Layer again with zucchini and squash, ricotta mixture, ⅓ of mozzarella, ¼ of the sauce, and another layer of fresh spinach. 

    • Top with another layer of squash and zucchini, the remaining sauce, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese. 

    • I had some fresh basil so I sprinkled basil on top of the sauce in the layers and on top of the lasagna. 

    • Cover with foil and bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes. 

    • Let cool 15 minutes before slicing.

  • I did make one small cheese lasagna with the no-cook lasagna noodles. Layered: sauce, noodles, ricotta mixture, mozzarella cheese, repeat ending with noodles topped with sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Wednesday: Saturday Night Leftovers

  • Score! Another night of not cooking. I don’t like food going to waste.


Thursday: Salads

  • Simple salads with whatever each person wanted on it - onion, carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumber, olives, and feta.

  • I had some chicken thighs leftover to top mine.


Friday: Lasagna Leftovers

  • Some weeks have a lot of leftovers! 

Saturday: Salad at Cheesecake Factory

  • I love aMy daughter requested to go to Cheesecake Factory. 

  • If you have ever been, you know the menu is very overwhelming. It is literally a book. 

  • Cheesecake Factory has a separate healthier option menu which they call “Skinnylicious”. It features lighter and healthier dishes. 

  • I picked the Factory Chopped Salad off that menu and enjoyed sharing the Strawberry Cheesecake with my dad.

Let me know if you try any of these recipes or have good ones of your own to share. 

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