Dinner Planner: Week of January 18th

Happy Sunday!  I hope you are all having a great weekend.  Welcome to Week 3 of the Dinner Planner series.  If you missed the first two, no big deal.  Just jump in anytime for inspiration in planning your dinners for the week.  Here are the past two in case you want to take a peek.

Dinner Planner Week of January 4th

Dinner Planner Week of January 11th

Dinner Planner: Week of January 18th | pamela salzman


My tip this week is actually something I shared in this past Friday Favorites post.  I use a shopping list pad every week to help me create my grocery list.  I like it because it’s already organized by category.  Sometimes I decide what I want to make for the upcoming week by checking the refrigerator and seeing what I need to use up, usually in the vegetable department.  I also check the freezer for inventory of stock, beans and grains.  Then I pull all the recipes and go through each one, writing down all the ingredients needed.  I usually use leftovers for the next day’s lunches.  I do have a rough plan for breakfasts, though.  I check to make sure I at least have eggs, oats, bread, almonds for almond milk, yogurt, fruit and nut butters.


Monday:  winter minestrone with white beans and kale, whole wheat naan pizzas (I buy whole wheat naan breads at Whole Foods and everyone makes his/her own pizza.  I am perfectly fine having a bowl of this hearty soup for dinner, but the kids like to have something extra.  Place in a 400 degree oven and bake until warmed through.)

Tuesday:  chicken and vegetable curry, basmati rice (make extra rice and use it for the soup topping bar on Friday, if desired)

Wednesday:  wild salmon patties, parsnip “fries”, mixed greens salad with Brussels sprout leaves, walnuts and Everyday Salad Dressing #2

Thursday:  roasted veggie Buddha bowl (probably broccoli, cauliflower and carrots) with quinoa and lemon turmeric tahini dressing (lemon -tahini dressing recipe plus a pinch of ground turmeric)

Friday:  chicken and avocado soup with topping bar: tortilla chips, avocado, salsa, rice, poached chicken, lime; quesadillas

Saturday:  Swiss chard frittata, mixed greens salad with red cabbage, carrots and radishes and aged balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper

Sunday:  unstuffed pork chops from 100daysofrealfood.com or Italian pot roast with porcini mushrooms from Giada de Laurentiis, noodles, steamed broccolini


Do ahead prep (if you want):

Sunday prep

Salad dressings

Lemon-Turmeric-Tahini Dressings

Soak and cook white beans for soup

Wash kale for soup, greens for salads

Make stock for soups

Wash Swiss chard for frittata

Cut veggies for Tuesday and Thursday

Freezer-friendly (make extra and freeze for a rainy day):

Kale and White Bean Minestrone

Chicken and Vegetable Curry

Cooked rice and quinoa

Chicken Stock

Dinner Planner: Week of January 11th

dinner planner, week of January 11 | pamela salzman

Welcome to Week 2 of the Dinner Planner!  I am so encouraged by all your comments on Instagram and Facebook this past week!  Thank you for sharing your feedback with me and others.  It seems like this new weekly post is helpful for many of you and I’m so happy bout that!

Today I want to discuss leftovers and planning for leftovers.  As I mentioned in last week’s planer, everyone will have different needs, preferences, number of people for whom to cook, etc.  This dinner planner is just a guide, but ultimately you’ll have to look at your calendar and decide what is best for you.  I don’t usually use dinner leftovers for another night, because I try to make only enough for our dinner with minimal leftovers.  Whatever leftovers there are get packed up for school lunch the next day or my lunch if I eat at home.  Sometimes I even repurpose leftovers into breakfast, like cooked rice and vegetables can get turned into a Rice Bake, Italian Fried Rice or a Frittata, for example.  Cornbread on Monday will be offered at breakfast Tuesday with yogurt and fruit.  Of course many foods freeze well, too.  Think about freezing soups and stews, grilled or roasted chicken, grains and lentils.
There are more options and permutations on this planner than I can efficiently write about without begin overwhelming.  But just to give a few ideas, you can easily serve the Vegetable Chili over the course of two nights — one night in a bowl and one night on top of a baked potato or sweet potato.  You can serve with or without garnishes like tortilla chips, avocado, radishes and cilantro.  Cheese and sour cream are certainly options, too.  You can make a double batch of roasted squash on Tuesday and use it the next night in a salad.  All the grains can technically be cooked a few days in advance and reheated if you are really short on time at the end of the day.  Although soaking grains and legumes not only maximizes digestibility, it cuts down on cooking time, too!  If you have leftovers of the lentils and sausage, add stock to it the next day and turn it into a soup.  Throw the leftover sautéed cabbage in there, too.

When choosing vegetables for the rice bowls on Friday and the maple-mustard roasted veggies, see what you have in the refrigerator and need to use up.  If you do want to make the broccoli stalk soup on Saturday, then buy broccoli for the rice bowls.

Monday:  Vegetable chili, cornbread, (optional) green salad with Everyday Salad Dressing #2

Tuesday: Broiled filet of white fish or baked fish depending on what I can find that looks good  (here’s a good basic recipe for baking a white fish — I use white wine instead of sherry), butter lettuce salad with shaved fennel and Parmesan(optional if you’re DF) with Everyday Salad Dressing #1, roasted winter squash such as Delicata OR use leftover chili on baked potatoes or sweet potato for a leftovers meal

Wednesday:  Lemon-thyme chicken cutlets, sauteed kale, herbed barley (cook barley in plenty of salted water, like you would pasta, drain tender barley and toss with a little butter or olive oil and a handful of minced fresh herbs like parsley and chives)

Thursday:  Smoky braised lentils with turkey sausage, sautéed cabbage (you can use purple cabbage if you have some from last week)

Friday:  Forbidden rice bowls with roasted veggies (broccoli – save the stalks for tomorrow’s soup), avocado, sesame seeds, soy-ginger dressing* (basically this is a rice and veggie bowl:  take a scoop of forbidden (aka black) rice, add roasted veggies, avocado, sesame seeds and drizzle with dressing.)

Saturday:  Broccoli stalk soup, slow cooker pulled bbq chicken sandwiches or serve pulled chicken over baked potato or sweet potato (unless you did that another night earlier in the week)

Sunday:  Onion Braised Beef Brisket, Maple-mustard roasted vegetables (when deciding on vegetables, see what you already have in the fridge)

*Here’s an easy and basic soy-ginger dressing that would be good here:

3 Tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

2 teaspoons pure maple syrup or honey

2 ¼ teaspoons organic shoyu or gluten-free tamari (I like Ohsawa brand)

3/8 teaspoon ground ginger

3/8 teaspoon dry mustard

1 ½ Tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 ½ Tablespoons unrefined extra-virgin olive oil


Sunday prep:

Make all salad dressings for the week

Soak and cook beans for chili if not using canned

Wash greens for salads, as well as kale

Prep winter squash for Day 2 and refrigerate

Wednesday prep:

In the morning, soak barley for the evening (optional, but makes the barley more digestible)

Prep cabbage

Cut veggies for rice bowl

Make stock for soup


soak lentils prior to cooking for maximum digestibility


soak forbidden rice prior to cooking for maximum digestibility


Make brisket for next day


Freezer-friendly:  chili, cornbread, broccoli soup, pulled chicken, cooked grains and lentils, brisket

Dinner Planner: Week of January 4th

dinner plan week of January 4 | pamela salzman

Happy new year to one and all!  I hope 2016 is off to a wonderful start for you and your families.  January 1 signifies a fresh start to many, although I do think we have many opportunities to wipe the slate and start anew, including every morning!  But if you have made any resolutions and they involve improving your health, then I will assume more cooking at home is in store for you.

That is where this new regular post will help you.  Every Sunday morning I will post a weekly dinner plan to provide you with inspiration as you create your meals for the week.  Believe me when I tell you, planning and organization is the KEY to eating healthfully.  I have been making a weekly dinner plan on Sundays for at least 20 years and it is the only way dinner gets made, given my schedule.  Knowing on Sunday what you are cooking for the week will also allow you to go throughout your day without the “dinner cloud” over your head.  You know the one that is always nagging,  “what are you going to make for dinner tonight?” “Should you start defrosting that chicken?” “Hurry and run to the market before after school pick-up!”

I will post a balanced variety of 7 dinners every week, although I assume most of you don’t cook every night.  No matter.  I don’t either since I usually take Saturday nights off.  Take the meals that you think work for you and build your own meal plan around them given your schedule and your family’s personal preferences.  Obviously there will be dietary intolerances and allergies to contend with, so feel free to leave me a comment if you need help making a substitution.

These are all meals I have made or would make for my own family, but there is a possibility I may not be following this dinner plan myself since I will have nights when we aren’t eating at home or I need to scrap my plan because I need to retest a recipe or I have leftovers from a class.  And that doesn’t do you any good if I am taking certain nights off that you aren’t.  I usually shop on Sundays (or Mondays if I’m not teaching a class.)  But I do shop during the week for my classes.  Before I started teaching, I would do a Monday supermarket shop and 1 farmers market visit during the week.  If you follow along with these weekly posts, you’ll also start to learn what’s in season.

I will attempt to provide do-ahead tips for Sunday and Wednesday prep days for those of you who do that.  You can also follow me on Instagram where I post my weeknight dinners, as well as breakfasts and anything else that’s inspiring me at the moment.  Happy cooking and here’s to your health!

Dinner Plan Week of January 4th

Monday:  lentil and brown rice soup, green salad with purple cabbage, carrots, shredded Brussels sprouts and toasted sunflower seeds, everyday salad dressing #2

Tuesday:  wild salmon with blood orange, beet and spinach salad, roasted sweet potato wedges

Wednesday:  Tandoori Chicken (I’ll make this with breasts and drumsticks), apricot couscous (or plain steamed couscous), sautéed beet greens (if you have greens from making beets last night) and Swiss chard

Thursday:  stir-fried beef and broccoli, steamed brown rice or cauli-rice

Friday:  turkey meatballs with marinara sauce and whole wheat pasta or spaghetti squash, roasted broccoli

Saturday:  orange-rosemary glazed chicken, millet cauliflower mash or cauliflower mashed potatoes, roasted carrots (see this post for how to roast carrots  — you don’t have to make the yogurt sauce)

Sunday:  cauliflower crust pizza, avocado Caesar salad or I might try this cashew Caesar dressing from January ’16 Bon Appetit

Prep ahead

Sunday prep:

Make veggie or chicken stock for lentil soup

Soak rice and cook for soup

Cook beets

Make dressing for Monday and Tuesday

Segment oranges

Wash lettuce for Monday and greens for Wednesday

Wednesday prep:

Bake meatballs, finish in sauce on Friday

Prep broccoli into florets

Make marinara sauce

Prep cauliflower into florets

Wash greens for Sunday

Thursday morning: soak rice for dinner

Friday: marinate chicken for Saturday


Consider making extra of the following to freeze for a rainy day:

  • lentil soup
  • cooked rice
  • baked meatballs
  • marinara sauce