I swear by menu planning. On Saturday or Sunday of every weekend I take stock of what we have in the freezer, fridge, and pantry, and I think about what I want to eat for dinner in the coming week. I might be inspired by some dried black beans, or I may want to use the last bag of cauliflower rice lingering in the basement freezer, or I might just have a craving for quesadillas. Inspiration and ideas come from everywhere, but I love starting the week knowing that I have all the groceries that I need and having a dinner plan. Especially during non-quarantine times, sometimes I get home from work late, and I need to know what I’m going to feed the fam.
Last week’s dinners were inspired by Samin Nosrat. I try to feed us at least one meatless dinner a week, and Monday featured what Samin calls kuku sabzi, or what I call a giant, vegetable-filled frittata. We had it with naan that I made (this recipe is wonderful and I didn’t even roll it out, I just hand-formed them) and a fennel and radish salad.
On Tuesday we had Samin’s chili-braised pork (I used two pork steaks from McElroy Farms), slow simmered black beans, a Mexican herb salsa, and avocado and orange salad. Clearly, the lighting in my dining room at 6pm is challenging.
On Wednesday I lost my motivation and we had pizza! It was from Hungry Howie’s because I am a sucker for the flavored crust.
Thursday night we were back on Samin’s program with her finger-lickin pan-fried chicken, romaine salad with red wine vinaigrette, and sauteed asparagus. This chicken was fantastic and I’ve added it to our list of favorite dinners that I frequently flip to for inspiration. It’s in the back of my planner.
On Friday we used leftover beans and ground beef from McElroy Farms and made quick and easy sheet pan nachos. I love to do a pan of nachos when we have leftover Mexican-ish ingredients and I don’t want to spend a lot of time or effort on dinner.
As I was sitting with Eddie during Saturday morning cartoons, I remembered that I had buttermilk in the fridge. Pancakes happened, and they took minimal time and were maximally delicious.
This week we’re having grilled burgers, sauteed shrimp with rice, chicken quinoa bowls, pasta, chicken romano, and a sesame salmon soba salad. I’ve even scheduled a night for takeout. What are you eating? Same thing everyday, flying by the seat of your pants, or are you a crazy chronic planner like I am?