Dinner Planner: Week of April 11th

dinner planner | pamela salesman

My husband and daughter just returned from visiting colleges in the Northeast and the Midwest and they have reported it is freezing cold over there!  The weather here has been rainy and cool, so I’ve included a couple of soups and warming recipes to keep everyone cozy until spring decides to show up.

Speaking of freezing, there are many foods that freeze beautifully.  Consider making a double batch of something that you can eat today and freeze for a busy day.  Sometimes if I am wondering if something can survive the freezer, I’ll ask myself if I can find it in the freezer section at the market. Foods that generally freeze well:

  • cooked grains
  • cooked legumes (beans and lentils)
  • cooked sauces like tomatillo and marinara
  • stocks, soups (some dairy-based soups and soups with fresh leafy greens don’t freeze as well), stews and chilis (check out this post for how to properly freeze liquids)
  • marinated chicken and beef
  • casseroles
  • cheese
  • cookie dough, baked goods, breads, pie dough

Happy cooking!

Meatless Monday:  Roasted vegetable and black bean enchiladas with tomatillo salsa

Tuesday:  Spinach risotto and sauteed shrimp

Wednesday:  Thai coconut chicken soup, veggie summer rolls

Thursday:  Melissa Clark’s Spicy Ginger Pork Noodles with Bok Choy (I’m going to sub dark meat turkey and add some mushrooms)

Friday:  Zesty lemon quinoa, whole roasted branzino (so easy, try it!), grilled or steamed whole artichokes (using the dipping sauce in the recipe or just make a balsamic vinaigrette)

Saturday:  Cauliflower soup, hummus and crudités, cheese or dairy-free cheese and baguette

Sunday:  Kale, mushroom and brown rice bake, green salad with Everyday Salad Dressing #1


Here’s what you can prep ahead:


Roast veggies for enchiladas

Cook black beans for enchiladas, unless using canned

Make tomatillo salsa

Make stock for this week’s soups (homemade chicken, vegetable or bone broth)

Prep veggies for summer rolls

Wash kale for rice bake

Make rice and freeze for rice bake (don’t forget to defrost the morning of)

Prep cauliflower for soup

Roast garlic for soup


Here are all previous dinner planners.



Dinner Planner: Week of April 4th

If you were away for Spring Break, I know it can be hard to get back in the kitchen and start cooking again.  Or, perhaps you are tired of eating out or being off your routine so you are excited to get back to your healthy way of eating.    Here’s a great dinner planner for this week to help you get back on track!

dinner planner | pamela salzman

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Dinner Planner: Week of March 28th

dinner planner from pamela salzman

Happy Easter to all of you celebrating!  The beginning of spring is my favorite time of year.  It is a time to clean out the old and bring in the new, to start fresh, a new beginning, a rebirth.  Doesn’t that sound like what we all need?  Well, the universe is conspiring to support that energy right now!

I have been and will continue to cook up a storm, recipe-testing for my classes, blog, magazines and other blogs all week long.  So I will be adhering very loosely to this dinner plan, in case you check out my instagram and wonder why I am eating something else.  As always, see what you can do to prep ahead to make your week go much more smoothly.  Here’s your dinner planner for this week:

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Dinner Planner: Week of March 21

dinner planner | pamela salzman

This week is the last week of the Cuban-inspired classes I am teaching this month.  I hope to get some good photos so I can post the recipes for you soon.  Everything has been getting rave reviews!  I am finishing up the final touches on my Mexican menu for April classes.  This is one of my most popular classes of the year.  I’ll try to remember to share some images on Instagram during the month.

But first, there’s a holiday coming up.  Easter is next Sunday, March 27th  and I know many of you are planning your menus.  We are going out for Easter this year, so I don’t have a personal menu to share, but I love coming up with ideas for you.   Check out the bottom of the menu for those.  Also, if you are boiling eggs for dying and you eventually want to eat them, it’s best to pick those up as soon as possible.  In my experience, the fresher the eggs, the harder they are to peel.  So you actually want older eggs.  Check out my video here for how to make the perfect boiled egg.  It never fails!

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Dinner Planner: Week of March 14th

dinner planner | pamela salzman

I had a wonderful time at the Natural Products Expo this weekend exploring what’s new in the natural foods world.  There are so many incredible products to help support any number of diets, from vegan to Paleo to gluten-free to pegan (that’s Paleo-vegan, FYI.)  Of course, there are also those products touted as “natural” or “healthy” when the first ingredient is sugar.  Tsk, tsk.  The first thing I did before snapping a photo of a product or getting excited about something delicious-looking was to read the label.  It’s a good habit we all should have adopted by now.  If you want to know what’s in that food, the ingredient list will tell you. Remember that the listing of each ingredient is in descending order of predominance, which means that the ingredient that weighs the most is listed first, and the ingredient that weighs the least is listed last.  So if sugar is the first ingredient, there’s more sugar in that food than any other ingredient.  I’ll be sharing my new (healthful) obsessions in upcoming Friday Favorites or on Instagram.

In the meantime, it’s time to get this week’s meals planned and organized!

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Dinner Planner: Week of March 7th

dinner planner | pamela salzman

It is always such a joy when my daughter comes home from college for a visit.  We all really miss her and there’s nothing better than when our family is complete, especially around the dinner table.  Without getting too personal, this same daughter is also eating a grain-free diet for a little while to help with some digestive issues.  So my dinner plan for most of this week will be tailored to her needs while still being palatable to the rest of the family who is not grain-free.

You’ll start to notice a change in some of the ingredients used in the recipes as we transition into a new season with new produce.   Yay!  In my local farmers markets, I am seeing the beginnings of spring with asparagus, baby artichokes, peas and strawberries on the scene.

As usual, I am sharing a week’s worth of dinner menu ideas even though I don’t cook 7 nights per week, although I usually cook 5-6.  Take what is interesting to you and fill in with favorites from your repertoire.


Meatless Monday:  Baked falafel, whole wheat pita for the kids/lettuce for me, pickled radishes and onions (these need to be made at least a day ahead), tahini sauce, spinach salad with Everyday Salad Dressing #1

Tuesday:  Whole roasted chicken with onions and fennel or slow cooker whole roasted chicken, spring salad with avocado, cara cara oranges, radish, pistachios

Wednesday:  Stir-fried beef with cilantro and asparagus, cauli-rice or regular steamed rice  (I made this cilantro-beef recipe many years ago from The Produce Bible and it’s delicious, unless you don’t like cilantro.)

Thursday:  Turkey tacos, guacamole, salsa from the farmers market, Mexican black beans, cilantro-lime slaw

Friday:  Spinach and quinoa salad with feta and dill, roasted shrimp (toss peeled and deveined large shrimp with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread out in one layer on a sheet pan.  Roast at 400 for 6-8 minutes.)

Saturday:  Baked chicken cutlets alla parmigiana but using this caprese recipe for the cutlets and then baking with tomato sauce and mozzarella, roasted Yukon Gold potatoes (400 with olive oil, salt and pepper or a combo of olive oil and ghee, for 30-40 min) sautéed garlicky broccolini (blanche in boiling salted water for 4 minutes, drain.  Saute garlic and a pinch of chili flakes in olive oil.  Add blanched broccolini and sauté until warmed through.)

Sunday:  Spring green minestrone and whole wheat naan-pizzas (buy whole wheat naan at the market, top with whatever you like and bake on a pizza stone or sheet pan at 425 until warmed though)


What you can do ahead:


Make falafel mixture

Pickle radishes and onions

Make tahini sauce

Make all salad dressings for the week (Monday, Tuesday)

Salt whole chicken (do not salt kosher chicken)

Segment oranges for salad, if using

Wash herbs and salad greens (I keep herbs in glass jars covered with plastic produce bags in the fridge.  Clean, dry salad greens I store in reusable Neat-os bags, but resealable bags work fine, too.)

Make taco seasoning for tacos

Make stock for Sunday’s soup and freeze.  Here’s a recipe for chicken stock and here’s one for veggie stock.



Soak black beans for Thursday

Prep cabbages and carrots for slaw

Make dressing for slaw


Previous Dinner Planners:

Week of January 4th

Week of January 11th

Week of January 18th

Week of January 25th

Week of February 1st

Week of February 8th

Week of February 15th

Week of February 22nd

Week of February 29th

Dinner Planner: Week of February 29th

dinner planner | pamela salzman

I have a very busy week ahead of me with recipe testing and photographing for the blog, so I will not necessarily be following this dinner planner exactly.  But I think this is a great set of recipes for the week ahead.  In addition, my older daughter is coming home from college on Friday for spring break and I’ll be cooking whatever she requests.  I am SO excited to see her and to feed someone who isn’t tired of my food. 😉

I’ve had a lot of questions in my classes recently about slow cookers.  I love mine, which I’ve had for about 3 years.  I use it multiple times per week for cooking food, keeping cooked food warm, making bone broth and beans.  The one I have is the 6.5 quart All-Clad with ceramic insert which you can find on amazon.  If you’re looking for a more economical option, people seem to like this 6 quart slow cooker by Crock Pot.  I can’t tell if is NOT non-stick.  It doesn’t look like it.

Here’s my dinner planner for the week with some ideas for how to prep ahead:

Meatless Monday:  Butternut squash and chickpea stew (I serve this as is, but lightly sautéed greens is a nice addition if you need them.)

Tuesday:  Braised chicken with tomatoes, olives and capers (video here), polenta or pasta, sautéed garlic broccoli

Wednesday:  Split pea and barley soup (CPK recipe –  very good,) green salad with radish, red cabbage and carrots, everyday salad dressing #2

Thursday:  Brussels sprout tortilla/frittata and kale salad with creamy lemon dressing (sub avocado for the tomatoes)

Friday:  Mediterranean fish stew, crusty bread

Saturday:  Spaghetti squash with brisket sauce, roasted red onions and cauliflower (400 degrees, coconut oil, 25-30 minutes)

Sunday: Chicken adobo, brown rice, roasted asparagus (400 degrees, olive oil or coconut oil, 12 minutes)

How you can prep ahead (which doesn’t mean you must, just some ways you can relieve some of the prep right before dinner):


Make chickpeas for stew

Prep broccoli for Tuesday

Make salad dressings


Prep brussels sprouts

Wash and dry kale

Make dressing for kale sald


Past dinner planners:

Week of January 4th

Week of January 11th

Week of January 18th

Week of January 25th

Week of February 1st

Week of February 8th

Week of February 15th

Dinner Planner: Week of February 22nd


dinner planner Feb22 | pamela salzman

Here’s my dinner planner for the week with some ideas for how to prep ahead:

Meatless Monday: Stir fried soba noodles with cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and tofu (use this recipe as a guide and use whatever noodles or vegetables you like)

Tuesday:  Spice-rubbed wild salmon with millet-cauliflower mash, sautéed cabbage (slice cabbage thinly and saute in a little unsalted butter plus a pinch of salt — I’m addicted to this.)  This is a very quick dinner.

WednesdayBaked potato bar.  I like to put out things like the vegan “cheese” sauce from vegan mac and cheese, just cook it a couple minutes after bending, steamed broccoli, sautéed onions, and salsa.

Thursday:  Harira (one of my favorites!  Omit the chicken and sub 1 1/2 cups of chickpeas to make this vegan.)

Friday:  Veggie Fried Rice.  You can add cooked shrimp, chicken or pork if you like. Good recipe to clean out the crisper.

Saturday:  Deer Valley turkey chili.  I usually don’t make anything else, but a green salad is always nice.

Sunday: Short ribs with salsa verde from the Lucques Cookbook, polenta, roasted Brussels sprouts or a Brussels sprout salad

How you can prep ahead (which doesn’t mean you must, just some ways you can relieve some of the prep right before dinner):


Prep (wash, dry, cut) veggies for noodle stir-fry

Prep cauliflower for mash

Prep cabbage for stir-fry and saute.  I would just take a handful for the stir-fry and use the rest for the saute.

Make vegan cheese sauce for baked potato bar and refrigerate.

Make brown rice for fried rice and refrigerate or freeze.

Make stock

Make black beans for chili and chickpeas for harira

Make salad dressing if making a green salad this week, including the brussels sprout salad


Blanche and spin dry Brussels sprout leaves for salad

Week of January 4th

Week of January 11th

Week of January 18th

Week of January 25th

Week of February 1st

Week of February 8th

Week of February 15th