What to Cook for Dinner this Week:
1.) Slow Cooker Tri-Tip Steak with Gravy, Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes and Glazed Carrots, 2.) Roast chicken with Roasted Shiitake and Citrus Salad, 3.) Beef and Barley Soup, 4.) 20-Minute Garlic Chipotle Pasta, 5.) Chicken Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette and Sesame Crunch, 6.) Cocktail: Cherry Citrus Prosecco Spritz
3 of this week's meals can easily be made vegetarian:
Roasted Shiitake Mushroom and Citrus Salad (Day #2), Garlic Chipotle Pasta (Day #4), and Chicken Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette and Sesame Crunch (Day #5) can all be served without the chicken if you wish.
If you’d rather 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 this week, 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.
If you’re not familiar with this blog, here’s the basic idea:
Using 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 planned leftovers. Each meal is designed to build on the previous night’s efforts by using these leftover ingredients. 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.
*PLAN AHEAD: Slow cooker tri-tip steak will need to cook for 8-9 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high. Either plan to get the meat in the slow cooker in the morning or the night before, letting it cook overnight and putting it in the refrigerator in the morning.
- Slow Cooker Tri-Tip Steak with Fennel and Coriander Gravy
- Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes
- Glazed Carrots
*PLAN AHEAD: If you’ve never made Ponzu there are a couple of ingredients that you may need to order if your local market doesn't cary them: Dried Kombu and Bonito Flakes. (More information about these ingredients in the recipe below.)
Ponzu - the dressing in tonight's salad - needs to sit for at least 3 hours, longer if that works better in your schedule. You can get the ponzu started in the morning (it will take about 5 minutes), and let it soak in the refrigerator all day. Or, get it started the night before, let it soak in the refrigerator overnight, then strain the sauce in the morning.
*PLAN AHEAD: There are 2 different kinds of early - Pearl Barley and Hulled Barley. Hulled barley has been minimally process and is considered a whole grain. Pearl barley has been processed to remove the bran and endosperm layers and is not considered a whole grain. A third option is Bob’s Red Mill Hull-less Barley. Hull-less barley cooks as quickly as pearl barley, but has been developed so that the entire grain can be used without peeling the bran layers away.
If you have time, consider making this super simple homemade bread to go with the soup tonight.
PLAN AHEAD: If you like, consider making homemade pasta for tonight's dinner.
This Week’s Featured Cocktail:
Useful Equipment for this week's meal plan:
- Crock Pot Slow Cooker
- Vitamix Blender
- Dutch Oven
- Stainless Steel Mesh Strainer
- Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
- Marcata Pasta Machine
- OXO Salad Spinner
- Non-Stick Titanium Skillet
Suggestions for the Baker:
- Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie
- Simple Homemade White Bread
- Perfect Devil's Food Cake
- Homemade Dinner Rolls