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What's for Dinner? 5 Recipes to Help you Meal Plan

Bringing Back Dinner's Weekly Menu helping you feel empowered to make delicious meals for your family! Including options for Vegan, Vegetarian, and meat.

I try the recipes out there in the Internet world and choose the ones that are easy and successful for you to try. Occasional there will be a more challenging recipe, but I'll always let you know.

The Menu

by Jamie Oliver

  • Time: 1 Hour plus marinating

  • Skill level: Moderate

  • Vegetarian (if you sub out the yogurt for vegan yogurt it will be a vegan dish)

  • Meat lovers: Sub out chicken for the mushroom and cook chicken until done (temp 165)

  • Cheat: Trader Joe's has wonderful pre-marinated Chicken Shawarma. Just pop in the oven and done! Skill level: Super Easy

  • Serve with rice and Green Beans

    • I tossed the green beans in 1 tbs olive oil, 1 tbs soy sauce, 2 cloves garlice and cooked in the airfryer for 15 minutes or until desired doneness. Squeeze with lemon juice and sprinkle with any additional salt if needed.

Are you afraid of rice? Some people feel overwhelmed when cooking rice. Take a deep breathe and follow the directions on the package for your type of rice. It will turn out great. The important thing is to do the rice at the beginning of prep so that it has time to cook. The more you make rice, the more comfortable you will be. Options: Try the pressure cooker or a rice cooker.


By the Minimalist Baker

  • Time: 40 minutes

  • Skill level: Easy

  • Vegan

  • Meat lovers, sub out the jackfruit for your meat of choice. Strips of steak would be very good. Make sure to adjust time to cook meat thoroughly

  • Cheat: Jackfruit comes already seasoned in some grocery stores which would make for a super quick taco night.

  • Serve with baked tortilla chips, guacamole, and toppings of your choice

  • Tip: Jackfruit can be purchased in cans and pouches at several grocery stores. Trader Joes has a good one and I've seen it at Harris Teeter

Baked Tortilla chips

25 minutes

This recipe is great, you can do it in a big giant batch or just a few.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Take corn tortillas and brush both sides with oil before cutting

  • Cut into 6ths, sometimes I just cut them in half too, depending on how I want to use them.

  • place on a baking sheet in a single layer. If you do multiple sheets it helps to rotate the sheets half way through cooking.

  • Bake until the desired color of golden brown. In our house this means half come out earlier, we are not in agreement!

  • Sprinkle with salt while warm. Play with spices and sprinkle other seasonings as well. Things like cumin, taco seasoning, chili powder etc. work well.

  • This can be done in the aibfryer as well. My air fryer has shelves and the chips tend to blow around, so I use the oven.


Pan Fried Trout with Rosemary, Lemon, and Capers. with roasted potatoes, and salad

by NY Times

  • Time: 20 minutes

  • Skill level: Easy - Moderate (only because cooking fish can be intimidating to some)

  • Pescatarian

  • Vegan/Vegetarian option: Use a can of Hearts of palms in place of the fish. Gently press each piece to make it flatter, without fully crushing it.

  • Serve with: A tossed salad and roasted potatoes

  • Dressing: Making your own dressing is a game changer for flavor!! Try these.

Roasted Potatoes

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

  • 1-4 potatoes cut into inch long pieces. This depends on how many people you are serving. We use 1 potato for the 2 of us as a side dish. Fingerling potatoes cut in half or baby potatoes cut in half will work nicely too.

  • Toss in 1 Tbs olive oil, salt and pepper, and any seasoning of choice. I'm always tossing random spices in. Coat well. (use more oil if using more potatoes)

  • Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer

  • Bake until golden brown and a little crispy on the outside, about 15-17 minutes.


By NY Times

  • Time: 15 minutes

  • Moderate skill level (See cheat for Easy)

  • Pescatarian

  • Vegan/Vegetarian option: Use Oyster Mushrooms in place of the Scallops

  • Serve with: Peas and over pasta

  • Fun options: serve with Fregola pasta. This is a fun toasted pasta similar in texture to pearl couscous. Option 2: Pearl Couscous. This pasta can be found in the specialty pasta sections of many grocery stores.

  • Cheat: Trader Joes makes a great scallop and mushroom frozen packet. Just follow the directions on the bag and serve! Skill level: Easy


By Pioneer Woman

  • Time: 8-10 hours low or 4-5 high

  • Skill level: Easy

  • Vegetarian, Vegan, or with meat

  • Options: This recipe calls for Ham hocks. To serve as a Vegan or Vegetarian option omit the ham hock and add 1/4 tsp of liquid smoke or more to taste.

  • Serve with a good hearty bread

We didn't have ham hocks in our local store and bought pork jowls instead. I cut it into several large pieces and this worked very well. Save the leftover pork jowls and use in place of guanciale (Italian pork cheeks) and try your hand at Pasta Carbonara. Guanciale can be hard to find, but if you can this dish is amazing!


Planning meals can be not only a time saver, but also a sanity saver.

  • Make a time to plan your meals, I only plan 5 meals knowing we will eat out some and eat leftovers.

  • Make your grocery list from your menu

  • Shop with a commitment that you will only buy the items on your list. Don't forget lunches and snacks!


Want to learn more about meal planning and prep? Take my free Workshop!

This is a self-paced online workshop with recipes, tips, and more. be sure to download the guide in the workshop.


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