Did you follow along with last week’s meal plan? I hope you’re finding these helpful! Sometimes the hardest part of making dinner is deciding what to have, so I’m enjoying creating these meal plans each week. Throughout the week, I’m tagging recipes I see, or leafing through cookbooks to see the pages I’ve bookmarked, both with recipes I’ve made and those I haven’t tried yet. If you’re new here, and want a primer on meal planning, read this first.
Here’s what we’ll be making next week.
Meal Plan #3
Meatless Monday Elie plays in a tennis league on Monday nights, so he eats dinner early and then I put Theo to bed. I’ve been making a pot of soup during the day on Monday’s and that becomes Elie and Theo’s dinner and also can double as a lunch during the week. Last week, it was a chicken and lentil brown rice stew. This week, I’ll probably make a pot of chicken broth for chicken tortilla soup, and then I can use the rest of the broth for congee and ramen, later in the week. Monday night has become the night I make something Elie won’t want to have for dinner, preferably something with olives or capers or spicy Dijon mustard, all flavors my sweet husband dislikes. Typically, I make pasta. On my menu for this Monday is Alison Roman’s Roasted Tomato and Anchovy Bucatini from her new cookbook, Dining In , which is cookbook that deserves to be on your shelf, if you don’t already have it. After I make pasta for one, I’ll freeze the rest of the sauce for another night.
Tuesday I like to experiment with new recipes at least once a week, to get myself out of my comfort zone and explore new flavors or techniques. I’ve never made congee, but this one with brown rice and tumeric looked so colorful and fresh and delicious, it caught my attention. Congee is a rice porridge, traditionally served for breakfast in China, but we’ll be having it for dinner on Tuesday night, made with chicken stock leftover from Monday, and probably with the addition of a poached egg, or maybe some fried tofu. This seems like the kind of dish that would freeze well (the rice porridge part), so I will probably freeze half and save it for a night when I need a quick dinner.
Wednesday Have I told you we’re going to Japan in April? I am really excited, because it’s going to be a completely new experience for me. I’ve never spent any time in Asia, other than a short visit to Bali. The food is, of course, expected to be a highlight of the trip. I’ve signed up for a ramen cooking class while we’re in Tokyo, and I’m hoping it’s a good one. This chicken and spinach ramen looks like an easy version to start with. I don’t have an Instant Pot, so I’ll adapt it for the stovetop using leftover chicken broth and chicken from Monday’s soup. I’m excited to try those brown rice ramen noodles!
Thursday We’re having a date night this Thursday, so someone else will be cooking! Perhaps this is date night for you, too? If not, maybe order in and catch up on Homeland? I’ve also really been wanting to start the Rotten documentary series, but it’s not something to watch during/after dinner.
Friday Do you have the Cherry Bombe cookbook? It has beautiful recipes from women in food, and I’ve really enjoyed all of the recipes I’ve tried so far, including the Maraq Digaag (Somali chicken stew with yogurt and coconut milk). It’s delicious, and one of those dishes that’s even better the next day. The last time I made it, I froze half, and it reheated beautifully. This dish is reminiscent of an Indian coconut curry, with all of those aromatic flavors of ginger and cumin and cardamom. I substituted cauliflower for the potato, and I think I’ll do that again. If you don’t don’t have the cookbook, just make your favorite chicken curry recipe over rice.
Saturday Saturday morning, we’re flying to Palm Springs for a little getaway with Elie’s dad. He wanted to join us in Mexico, but we didn’t think it was worth the risk of him getting sick (he’s 95). Food poisoning at that age could be very serious. So, we told him we’d take him to Palm Springs when we got home. It’s an easy trip from here. Elie’s brother and his wife will be there with us, so on our first night, I think we’ll just put some burgers on the grill and serve them with sweet potato fries and an avocado and tomato salad.
Sunday Moe likes very simple food, so on Sunday, we’ll have roasted chicken with potatoes and root vegetables, and a salad. If you’ve never roasted a whole chicken before, it’s a skill worth having. Here’s a good primer from Melissa Clark.
Happy weekend, everyone! Send me a message if you’re following along with any of the meal plan. I’d love to see pictures of what you’re making!
Photos by Matthew Land Studios.