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
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
Soak rice and cook for soup
Make dressing for Monday and Tuesday
Wash lettuce for Monday and greens for Wednesday
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