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
Make veggie or chicken stock for lentil soup
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
This is amazing! I’ve always tried to make a meal plan from your recipes. I then started to buy a 5 day meal plan which is $8/mo not a lot at all, but here you are providing it for free and for the whole week…?! Seriously thank you so much! Now all I need is your cookbook, which I hope will be coming one day soon… Not to put more on your plate as it is, but just saying it would be amazing! 😉 Thank you again Pamela for all your beautiful and of course delicious work. Xx
One day, I hope! Thank you for your loyal readership and feedback. Means so much to me! xx
Good morning Pamela
I just discover your site by reading Clean Eating magazine (:
I have a question for you regarding The article ” soup your way slim ”
Any of the soup’s on your website are qualifying for the seven day cleanse ?
And what’s movies would you recommend ?
I’m so sorry I was asking for smoothies ,what smoothies would you recommend?
I am SO excited for this – I read your recipes and website religiously and everything you do is genius!
oh my gosh, thank you!
Thank you so much for this! I’m excited to break-free from our taco-Tuesday, fish-on-Friday routine! I just have a couple of practical questions as I prep for tomorrow’s market run. If I buy all the meat listed in your weekly plan, do I need to freeze any of it, or will it last in the fridge until the scheduled day to cook it? For example, will the chicken for next Saturday’s meal stay good in the fridge if I buy it tomorrow? Also, is there a recipe for the cauli-rice that goes with the the stir-fry? Or is that the ground cauliflower I see in the produce section sometimes? If so, do I just steam it? Thanks again for getting me out of the market everyday and my family out of our boring routine!
Good questions! Meat purchased on Monday will not last until Saturday. So you either need to do two shopping trips or you need to shop once and freeze. Cauli-rice is an option for those who don’t want to consume grains. Yes, it is cauliflower pulsed into rice-like pieces and cooked until tender. I do this in a skillet with a little water and oil and salt. Follow this link for an exact how-to. 🙂
Silent reader over here but I must break my silence today. THIS. IS. AMAZING. Seriously, I have seen so many bloggers post meal plans but this is by far the most perfect, realistic plan I have ever come across. Thank you for giving several options a suggestions. Every single recipe appeals to me and my desire to eat healthfully but deliciously.
Really????!!! You have no idea how happy that makes me! Thank you for breaking your silence and sharing your feedback. Please let me know if you ever have any suggestions for how to make this even better and more user-friendly. Happy cooking!
awesome! Thank you
I am SO happy that you are doing this! Thank you!!!!
I thought of you when I decided to commit to this! So glad you’ll make use of this. xoxo
Happy 2016! You are and always will be my hero! Thank you for this! Looking forward to this email every Sunday. xoxo
That makes me so happy! Hope you and yours are doing well. xoxo
You are so amazing! I’m so excited about this!! (And I’m sick in bed with no appetite so imagine the level of excitement if I was healthy and cooking today!). You are the best. Thank you!!! So much inspiration! Happy New Year my dear! xx
I’m so glad! Feel better!
Congratulations, Pamela! You have provided REALISTIC ideas for maintaining good health, happiness and sanity through home cooking. You are an outstanding role model and teacher who has inspired countless numbers of “students” with your enthusiasm, dedication and concern, not to mention your culinary serenity. Thank you, and keep up the good work!
Oh, Mia! You make me blush. Thank you for your kind words and loyal readership. All the best to you in 2016!
Thanks, this is SO helpful!!
This is soooo helpful and well organized!!! Thank you!!!!
Thank you so much for your help in planning weekly meals! I love your website and appreciate the many healthy recipes. I’m learning so much from you! Wishing you a happy & healthy new year.
Really appreciate you sharing this organization tool. With information overload out there, I need to be brought inside a circle of healthiness such a yours! I have been following you for years,(devouring your beautiful photos and fun dialog), but still couldn’t quiet the cyclone of what to actually fix. So…I am going to start the new year with your list and stick to it!! Thank you for the good therapy and a circle of friendship 3000 miles away.
I know you have been a loyal follower for many years, Barbara. And I am so grateful! Thank you for your readership and for commenting today. 🙂
The best!! I always plan on planning my weekly meals, but usually end up going to the store on a daily basis when I decide what we are having for dinner that night. This is so liberating and helpful! Great way to start the new year. c
Daily trips to the market NO MORE! Hope this helps, Patrice!
Great idea and fabulous way to start the new year– thanks so much Pamela!
So happy you think so. Happy new year!
This is such a fantastic idea! Already planning for this week.
Yay! That’s the idea 🙂
Everything looks amazing!! Thanks for the inspiration. I tried to get the orange-rosemary chicken recipe but the cauliflower millet comes up instead.
Thanks and Happy New New!
Thank you, Deena! And thanks for letting me know about the link. Fixed!
I have been in a planning rut for a while now. It was so wonderful to get your email this morning and even more amazing to know that we can now follow along with you and have help from you on Sundays. Thank you so much
This means a lot to me! Thank you!
You are absolutely amazing. Since I am not so organized, just reading your post I felt calmer. I now have a go-to plan for several days. Thank you so much for all your help. You have no idea how you have transformed the thinking and actions of so many people. Happy, healthy 2016! Looking forward to it with much enthusiasm!
Lois, you made my day. Thank you and happy, healthy new year to you!