What to Cook for Dinner this Week:
1.) Asian Short Rib Lasagna, 2. ) Chicken Piccata, 3.) Short Rib, Rice, and Veggie Bowls, 4.) Spanish Sausage and Lentil Soup with Parsley and Kale, 5.) Pasta Fritatta with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe, 6. Cocktail: The Quarter Horse
If you’re not familiar with this blog, here’s the basic idea behind each weekly meal plan: A little advance planning and meal prep work every day is the key to getting delicious, wholesome, good for you, home cooked meals on the table several nights of the week. A little = a lot.
On this page, you’ll find a meal plan for the week. Each meal is designed to build on the previous night’s efforts by using leftover ingredients. You’ll also find a preparation schedule and grocery list.
Meal Prep, Day by Day
Cook Two or Three Meals Instead of Five: Five home cooked meals in one week is not feasible or desirable for everyone. If two or three is more your style, Days #1, and #3 - OR Days #2, #4, and #5 work well together, with one meal building from the next. Please note that the grocery list below is for all 5 meals.
What’s for Dinner Tonight: Asian Short Rib Lasagna
Slow Cooker Asian Short Ribs are my latest obsession. They are so crazy good that I've made them at least 4 or 5 times in the past two months, putting them in everything from this lasagna, to nachos, pasta, and Rice and Veggie bowls. Yes - short ribs are on the pricy side. BUT, they're also super rich, so you can plan on much less meat per person. For this week's meal plan, if you're cooking for a family of 4, I suggest purchasing 4 lbs of short ribs which will give you enough for two meals: tonight's lasagna and the Short Rib Bowls on Day #3.
Important notes for tonight's meal: Double the amount of meat (4 lbs of meat) and sauce in the Short Rib Lasagna recipe. This will ensure you have plenty of leftover sauce for Short Rib, Rice, and Veggie bowls on Day #3. Get the short ribs in the slow cooker in the morning - as early as you can. They need several hours to cook, plus time to cool before you assemble them into this lasagna. (If you're a super advance preparation kind of person, you could even cook the short ribs in the slow cooker a day or two in advance.) Make sure to reserve all the leftover short ribs and the sauce for Day #3.
What’s for Dinner Tonight: Chicken Piccata
Chicken Piccata is super quick and easy and will be on the table in under 30 minutes. The one exception is if you decide to make some homemade pasta - something I highly recommend if you have the time or inclination. If you've never made homemade pasta and want to give it a shot, here's a step-by-step pasta making tutorial.
Regardless of whether you make fresh pasta or use a box of dried, cook enough for tonight's dinner PLUS about 3 cups extra (cooked) for Pasta Frittata on Day #5. A typical serving of pasta is 2 ounces per person. If that sounds about right for your family, one 16 ounce box of past will be enough for both dishes. If you feel your family might want more than 2 ounces per person tonight, I'd suggest cooking a bit extra.
After boiling the pasta, reserve about 3 cups of pasta for Pasta Frittata on Day #5, using the rest of the pasta for Chicken Piccata.
What’s for Dinner Tonight: Asian Short Rib, Rice, and Veggie Bowls
Since you've already made the short ribs and sauce earlier in the week, tonight's meal will only require you to cook some rice and vegetables. Just skip the whole short rib section in the recipe and jump straight to the veggies and rice.
What’s for Dinner Tonight: Spanish Style Sausage and Lentil Soup
Lentil soup with sausage and kale is one of my favorite things to make when the weather gets cold. It's the kind of thing that warms you up and sticks to your ribs without making you feel weighed down. Serve it with a good loaf of crusty bread and dinner is done.
Cook extra sausage, or leave it out altogether: This soup and the Pasta Frittata on Day #5 can easily be made into vegetarian dishes by leaving out the sausage. If you want to keep the sausage in both dishes, cook an extra ½ pound tonight and reserve it for Pasta Frittata.
This soup is possibly even better the next day and makes enough that you'll probably have leftovers. Score for lunch later in the week!
What’s for Dinner Tonight: Pasta Frittata with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe
Pasta Frittata is a delicious way to use up extra pasta. In fact, nearly every time I make pasta, I purposely make a bit extra just for pasta frittata later in the week. For this week, you should have some leftover past in the refrigerator from Day #2.
If you cooked some extra sausage on Day #4, add it to a warm skillet at the same time you add the garlic and vegetables, cooking the mixture for just a couple of minutes to heat the sausage and soften the vegetables.
This Week’s Featured Cocktail: The Quarter Horse