There’s nothing quite like a meal plan featuring easy recipes to make a busy week go more smoothly. Here’s what our food editor is cooking up this week.
Since the start of the school year in January, I’ve been trying to plan dinners that the kids will like, that aren’t onerous to make, that leave us with more than a few minutes at the table to eat, and that (hopefully) reduce the amount of food waste.
One trick I’ve found is to look for several easy recipes that use the items most likely to end up in the bin—fresh herbs, leafy greens and soft cheeses.
Here’s what we’re eating this week:
Sunday – Chinese Spiced Pork Loin
I try to make more complicated or time consuming recipes on Sunday as the afternoons are one of the few days where we’re not running around and the kids aren’t in any activities. This stuffed pork roast smells great, tastes great and will also provide enough leftovers for Monday’s dinner. It’s not difficult to make—stuffing the roast is the only semi-difficult part and it’s more messy than difficult.
Monday – Pork Fried Rice
We only have about 15 minutes for meal prep on Monday nights as we have to get our daughter out the door for Girl Guides. We often rely on the slow cooker but, this Monday being Chinese New Year, I thought we’d have a slightly more thematic/celebratory meal and use up the left over pork roast.
Tuesday – Scallion Pancakes
It’s Pancake Tuesday and, normally we’d go with the regular flap jacks, but it being Chinese New Year I’m going to make Scallion pancakes for the kids. I’ll round out the meal with some frozen dim sum cooked up in a steamer basket (kinda feels like cheating, but we have to get the kids out the door to tutoring).
Wednesday – Baked Ziti
Wednesday is the only day of the week when none of us have any activities, which means I have a bit more time in the kitchen. This week, I’ll be making baked ziti and Caesar Salad for the kids (in the salad, we’ll use the pancetta from the Sunday pork loin recipe in place of bacon).
Thursday – Risotto all’Amatriciana
This recipe will use up the last of the pancetta and the rest of the tomato sauce from the ziti recipe. My kids can be picky about risotto—for some reason they *hate* mushroom risotto despite liking mushrooms and rice—but this is one that they really like. I think it’s likely the tomatoes that makes it a bit more kid friendly. The pancetta and a whole pile of grated cheese doesn’t hurt either. We’ll finish the romaine lettuce with another side salad tonight.
Friday – Pizza night
Lately the Boy has been making white pizzas with zucchini and potato, my daughter sticks with the classics: tomato sauce and cheese.