Order Lisa’s new cookbook, “Room at the Table”. Now available!
Order Your Copy

Meal Planning: Weekend Meal Prep #4

Meal Planning // www.LisaSamuel.com

If you're new here, you may want to start here. There are other weekend meal preps detailed here, here and here.

With the onset of spring, I've been taking more walks outside. It's my one hour of true 'me time' during the day where I put on headphones and listen to a podcast or just daydream. On one of my walks last week, I listened to this podcast, and it filled my soul that day. Here is a poem for you, from that episode.


By Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

This Week’s Meal Prep List

On Saturday, the Bellingham Farmer's Market had it's opening day of the season. We've missed the Farmer's Market this winter, so we braved the cool temperatures and blustery wind to celebrate spring, and we were rewarded with tiny ponies and bunnies for Theo to pet and a tractor to play on. Theo could have stayed all day.  Here in Washington, our growing season starts late. But, it's so nice to see the appearance of at least a few spring vegetables on the list this week. I am ready for all the asparagus and fennel, and soon I'll be adding nettles and rhubarb and baby radishes and all the other spring delicacies.


roasted cremini mushrooms
two bunches of kale, washed and cut
roasted peppers, red and poblano
steamed broccoli
roasted asparagus with lemon
fennel, thinly sliced and stored in water


baked potatoes
cooked black rice (also called forbidden rice)


egg salad (super simple, with good mayo a little squeeze of lemon juice and fresh parsley)


dukkah (here's a primer. pick your favorite.) 


Whole Grain Carrot Apple Muffins (recipe here)
oatmeal, cooked with currants (making a big batch at the beginning of the week is a huge time saver)


Homemade almond milk (recipe here)

Meal Ideas

Five breakfasts

  1. A muffin, toasted and spread with butter and jam, served with an almond milk latte. That sounds really good right now. This could double as an afternoon snack.
  2. Oatmeal, heated in the microwave and topped with homemade almond milk and a spoonful of almond butter.
  3. Rye toast layered with lox and a big spoonful of egg salad. This would also make a great light lunch.
  4. Black rice, mushrooms and red peppers, heated in the microwave, and then topped with a fried egg and a big pinch of dukkah. This could also double as lunch.
  5. Rye toast topped with asparagus spears and either a poached egg or a big spoonful of egg salad. Again, lunch.

Five lunches 

  1. See breakfast ideas #3, 4 and 5.
  2. Make my very favorite kale salad. Massage kale with salt and lemon juice until silky. Add sliced fennel, thinly shaved parmesan cheese and olive oil and toss. Top with a big pinch of dukkah. Serve with a side of rye toast with egg salad.
  3. Make a hearty grain salad by stirring together 1/2 to 1 cup of black rice, red peppers (chopped, if you like), mushrooms and steamed broccoli. Dress with lemon juice and olive oil. Toss and top with dukkah. This kind of salad is a great make-ahead, because it can sit in the refrigerator all day until you're ready to eat.
  4. Make a potato and egg salad. Cube the baked potato (or 1/2 of a potato) and add a big scoop of the egg salad. Stir together and add more lemon juice or mayo if necessary. Good on it's own or added to a  kale salad simply dressed with olive oil and lemon.
  5. Make a frittata with some of the cubed potato, red peppers, mushrooms and broccoli. Frittatas are great eaten at room temperature, so this is another good one to take to work.

Five dinners

  1. See any of the lunch ideas, for a light dinner.
  2. Make chicken and rice soup by heating chicken broth and adding some of the sliced fennel, sliced carrots, leftover shredded chicken (if you have any in the freezer) and some of the black rice. Simmer until carrots and fennel are tender.
  3. Add any of the vegetables you like (potato, broccoli and red pepper, maybe?) to a coconut curry sauce (this one looks good) and serve over the black rice.
  4. Make this peanut sauce noodle bowl, but serve it over black rice instead of noodles. 
  5. Make a very simple, spicy pasta sauce (like this one) and add the cooked peppers and mushrooms. Serve over whole grain pasta (quinoa pasta is also delicious) with a kale salad. 

Are these meal planning posts helpful! I'd love to know. And if you have suggestions or requests, please leave a comment. Thank you for following along! 









For daily updates, follow along on Instagram.