What to cook for dinner this week:
1.) Cider Braised Pork Chops with Agrodolce and Roasted Vegetables, 2.) Pan Fried Chicken Thighs with Honey Chili Glaze, 3.) Chili Glazed Chicken Salad with Roasted Vegetables, 4.) Thai Curry Shrimp and Rice, 5.) Thai Pork and Noodle Soup, 6.) Cocktail: Mango Jalapeño Martini
If you’re not familiar with this blog, here’s the basic idea:
Using some of the same ingredients in multiple dishes throughout the week is the key to getting delicious, wholesome, good for you, home cooked meals on the table several nights of the week. The recipes in each 5-day meal plan include some prep-work for another meal later in the week.
For example, cooking extra pork and veggies on Day #1 will save you tons of time on days 3 and 5. And making extra chicken on Day #2 will help you get dinner on the table in about 10 minutes on Day #3.
Each meal is designed to build on the previous night’s efforts. A little = a lot.
Meal Prep, Day by Day
*This meal plan is based on a family of 4 with a couple of meals making more than 4 servings so that you have some leftovers for lunches, etc. At the start of the week, take a quick glance through each day’s “PLAN AHEAD” notes and plan accordingly.
Meal Prep, Day by Day
For me, “Day #1” is usually a Sunday, and it’s the day with the most heavy lifting when it comes to meal prep for the rest of the week. Whatever day of the week you choose as your “Day #1”, here’s your meal prep task list:
- Mix up a batch of Pork Chop Dry Rub and Thai Chili Seasoning: Spice Mix Recipes
- Agrodolce is a sweet and sour Italian condiment that will be spooned over tonight’s pork chops and used in Chicken Salad on Day #3. You can prepare it while the pork chops roast, or up to 5 days in advance. Serve half with tonight’s pork chops and reserve the rest for Day #3.
- Prepare Roast Vegetables . Serve half with tonight’s Pork Chops and reserve the rest in the refrigerator for the Chicken Salad on Day #3. (Roast even more veggies if you like. I love having roasted or sautéed vegetables on hand to munch on throughout the week.)
- Follow recipe instructions to cook a total of 6 Pork Chops . Serve 4 for dinner tonight. Cut the meat from the bones of the remaining 2 pork chops and cut into bite size pieces. Pack into a freezer zip top bag and freeze for safe keeping to use in Thai Pork and Noodle Soup on Day #5.
If you’d like to get a jump on meal prep for the rest of the week:
- Prepare a Basic Vinaigrette, following the variation beneath the recipe for Chili Vinaigrette. Store the vinaigrette in a jar or other covered container in your refrigerator. You’ll use it for Chili Glazed Chicken Salad on Day #3.
- Wash and dry the salad greens you purchased for Chicken Thighs on Day #2, and Chicken Salad on Day #3. Store the greens in a zip top bag or covered bowl in the refrigerator.
- Make the marinade for the chicken on Day #2 and put the chicken in to marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
- The broth for the Pork and Noodle Soup on Day 5 can be prepared in advance through step #2. Refrigerate until ready to use. Making the broth in advance will mean that cooking the soup on Day #5 only takes about 20 minutes.
What’s for Dinner Tonight: Pan Fried Chicken Thighs with Honey Chili Glaze
This simple dish packs some serious flavor and will be on the table in under an hour – less, if you put the chicken in to marinade yesterday. Follow the recipe to cook 12 pieces of chicken, reserving the meat from 4 pieces and all leftover honey-chili glaze for Chicken Salad and Roasted Vegetables on Day #3.
What’s for Dinner Tonight: Chili Glazed Chicken Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Agrodolce
If you have people in your house who don’t believe that salad = dinner, you’re going to blow their mind with tonight’s meal. And, thanks to the work you did on Day #1 and #2, tonight’s dinner will be on your table in under 10 minutes.
What’s for Dinner Tonight: Thai Curry Shrimp and Rice
If you made Thai Spice Mix earlier in the week, heaping bowls of shrimp and vegetables coated in a richly flavorful green curry sauce will be on the table in about 40 minutes.
What’s for Dinner Tonight: Thai Pork and Noodle Soup
In the morning, remove the reserved cooked pork from your freezer (leftover from the pork chops on Day #1), and put it into the refrigerator to thaw. It probably won’t be completely thawed by the evening, but that’s ok. It will thaw completely when you add it to the hot soup.
If you prepared the broth on Day #1, this soup will come together in about 20 minutes. If not, it will still be on the table in under 40 minutes.
This Week’s Featured Cocktail: Mango Jalapeño Martini
Suggested Recipes for the Baker:
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
- Black and White Chocolate Tahini Tart
- Carrot Cake with Caramel Rum Sauce
- Blueberry Corn Muffins
Several of this week’s recipes require a large skillet and a heavy bottom saucepan. If you don’t have these two items, here are the ones I suggest: