Meal Plan for March Week 1

This month, we welcome back Marta Rivera for more of her meal plans. Marta is a trained chef, mom of twins, and Army wife – and she is also one of our Simply Recipes recipe testers!

With so much excellent produce available all year round, you might not always realize that there are food seasons that coincide with the seasons in nature.

That’s right! While it may seem that all fruits and vegetables are obtainable throughout the year (thanks to technology and human ingenuity), the truth is that there’s a particular season for enjoying every fruit and vegetable at its ripest.

Recently, Elise started a new series dedicated to keeping us informed about the growing seasons and what’s available when, and for a chef like me, this information is a God-send.

These guides help me in creating my meal plans based around what I can find at my local farmers’ markets, as well as the grocery stores. Even at the grocery store, I tend to find that the fruits and veggies sold in season are cheaper and better-tasting than out-of-season produce shipped from exotic locales.

With this in mind, here’s what I’m excited to make this week:

Poached Salmon

Poached Salmon

15 min
Gluten-Free, Low Carb, Paleo

This poached salmon pairs up nicely with Beet Citrus Salad with Kale and Pistachios. I flake the filet into large chunks with two forks and toss it into the salad. This provides the perfect meal for our busiest day of the week. The dressing and salad can both be made one day ahead. You can’t beat that for a quick fix!

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken

2 hrs, 45 min
Gluten-Free

I make this meal when I need to break us out of an eating rut. I’ll substitute the prunes in this recipe with sultanas (or golden raisins) because I also want to use those in Friday’s meal, and I always jump at the chance to use ingredients in multiple recipes throughout the week. Pair it with fluffy basmati rice or some store-bought naan for a full meal. Leftovers also pack up perfectly for the next day’s lunch.

Vegetarian Spinach Mushroom Lasagna

If there’s one thing that I make it a point to tell other busy adults, it’s this: make food that will offer you convenience. This lasagna recipe is a good one to make ahead, which for me, is a life-saver. I can either make it earlier in the week when I have time and save it for a later meal, or I can make it and freeze it for a day when I just can’t lift another finger. The fact that I can make a huge 10x15 dish of it also means I have plenty of leftovers if the next day looks rough, too.

I’m always excited to pull the cover off of our grill, and the weather here in Texas where I live has been obliging. These grilled sausage bowls are an easy midweek fix (you can make them on the stovetop, too!). I serve them with a generous helping of this chimichurri, which will also taste lovely with tomorrow’s empanadas.

Curried Pork Empanadas

Empanadas, or Pastelillos as they’re called in my family’s native Puerto Rico, are the tastiest way to close out a busy week. Like most of the recipes I tend to favor, the dough can be pre-made and frozen until you’re ready to shape the empanadas (just remember to thaw the dough overnight in the fridge). The savory filling is punctuated with bits of sweetness from the golden raisins, and they hold well if you have family members who eat at different times.

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