Simply Recipes 2019 Meal Plan: May Week 5

Slow cooker short ribs? Yes, please! Noodle bowls, spinach and artichoke pasta, baked fish and croque monsieur round out this meal planning masterpiece!

This week, please welcome Rachel Knecht and her meal plans! Rachel is a recipe tester here on Simply Recipes and the blogger behind Baking with Rachel.

Does cooking dinner feel like drudgery? As a child, I always loved dinner time. At 5:30 p.m. sharp my parents would call myself and three siblings to the table. Plates were set along with a tall glass of milk for each of us. We would each eat our fill and leave the table feeling satisfied.

Now as an adult, dinner is much more than merely enjoying what was set before me. Years into making nightly dinners, I do my best to find ways to keep it fun. Here’s how:

  • I search for recipes and making food I’m excited about. This is part of what keeps my nightly routine interesting.
  • I also figured out the tasks that are a real downer during the pre-dinner rush and found alternate solutions. For me, this means buying shredded cheese and pre-chopped vegetables when available.
  • Lastly, I find making dinner so much more enjoyable when it’s a shared task. When possible, my husband and kids will wash the produce or set out dishes and condiments.

Dinner is not only eating a meal, but, hopefully, an enjoyable experience along the way. This week’s meal plan includes recipes that make me excited for dinner time.

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Lemon artichoke pasta with spinach

This pasta uses frozen artichokes to keep the prep work simple. A crunchy topping of almonds and breadcrumbs finishes the dish with a nice crunch. Serve with crusty bread.

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Vietnamese Noodle Bowls with Chicken

Noodle bowls are my go-to when we eat at a Vietnamese restaurant. This is a great meal for extra hands to get involved since the majority of the ingredients are served fresh.

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Baked Fish with Parmesan Breadcrumbs

Cooked simply with breadcrumbs, butter, parsley and Parmesan cheese, this dish is stress-free like a midweek dinner should be. Serve with a side of Lemony Broccoli Rabe with White Beans.

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Beef Short ribs braised in the slow cooker and served with polenta on a round plate

This is exactly what I want to eat—like right now! Fall apart beef, covered in bourbon sauce. Yes, please! If the sauce is too sweet, add more salt to taste. Don’t forget the napkins.

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Croque Monsieur

This sandwich has it all. Crusty bread, juicy ham and lots of cheese. The croque has gruyere melted inside the sandwich plus a creamy cheese sauce (béchamel) broiled on top. Don’t be intimidated by the cheese sauce. You’ve got this! I usually add a fried egg to mine making it a Croque Madame. Serve with Provencal Endive Salad.

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Rachel Knecht

Rachel tests recipes for Simply Recipes, teaches a kid's cooking class, and develops the content for Baking with Rachel.

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