This week's meal plan is all about simple dishes that require little thought and can be easily adapted.
Life is busy, food doesn’t need to be complicated to taste delicious and feed your family.
My children are polar opposites in tastes and personalities, which is why I try my best to find recipes I can either deconstruct to meet their palates or easily add on extra sides so that there's something on the table that appeals to everyone.
Beans are universally adored in my household. I also love them because they are affordable, healthy, and everyone eats them.
I prefer to my beans them from scratch because I can cook them to my preferred tenderness. I often add them to salads or veggie bowls, and they hold their shape better than canned beans. I usually make a big batch then freeze them, some with the liquid (good for soups) and without (good for salads).
That being said, I’m not opposed to canned beans, and I always keep a few cans in my pantry for nights when I need dinner quick or forgot to take homemade beans out of the freezer. Canned beans are so tender and creamy, and they're great for a quick skillet dinner, a pot of soup, or an easy dip.
Black beans are the perfect accompaniment to sweet potatoes for a fun, festive and colorful taco, and cannellini beans add a creamy touch to a hearty stew perfect for a mid-week pick me up.
Tuna patties also fall into that "affordable" category. My husband and children prefer to eat them on a bun, hamburger style, and I like to eat mine on a bed of greens, like crab cakes. We all get what we like, and I’m still making only one meal.
And I’m always looking for recipes where I can easily increase the vegetable content with minimal effort. This week's recipe for Ground Turkey and Peppers is like this. I can add chopped kale, a can of fire roasted tomatoes, or even a jar of artichoke hearts, or I can keep it simple and make the recipe exactly as written.
Finally, Friday is a good day for meatloaf. Pair it with any vegetable you have on hand. I like it with steamed broccoli, but anything will do.
After all, this week is all about doing what works, and keeping things simple.
Meal Plan for January Week 3
1 Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos: Meatless Monday never looked so good.
2 Tuna Patties: These tuna patties can be served on a bun or on a bed of salad greens. I like to dress up my greens with a bit of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and quick sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper.
3 Easy Tuscan Bean Soup: We love beans in my house. They are full of fiber, and both of my kids eat them, which means beans are on heavy rotation. Serve this vegetable soup with a slice of bread, or save yourself the carbs and let the soup fly solo.
4 Mom's Ground Turkey and Peppers: Whole30 eaters and Paleo people can sink their teeth into this weeknight wonder without regret. It’s fast, easy and combines your meat and veggie in one simple dish. This recipe also adapts well to any other veggies you might want to add.
5 Classic Meatloaf: I love a good meatloaf. It’s relatively simple to make, and is easy to serve with vegetable sides. Steamed broccoli is healthy and easy to make. I like to season mine with a bit of kosher salt, pepper and lemon zest.