Meal Plan for January Week 4

I lived as a vegetarian for more than a decade, and then I met my husband, who happens to be a hunter. I slowly tiptoed into the world of eating, and later, preparing meat, but it took a good while to find comfort in cooking foods so unfamiliar to me.

The first time I made a pot roast the thing was tough as leather. I was in my early 30s and, of course, I had invited people over for dinner to share this pot roast. They were gracious about this first attempt, and I went on to cook many roasts, all of which fared better than the first.

Fear often keeps us from experimenting in the kitchen because we are afraid of wasting food, wasting time, wasting money – or all three. These are all natural responses to valid grown-up concerns, but experimentation, and yes, even failure can open a world of possibilities in the kitchen.

When we experiment, we discover new flavor combinations, cooking techniques, and even lessons on what not to do. All of these things contribute to building confidence and increasing our skills in the kitchen.

By embracing fear in the kitchen, we open ourselves up to joy and endless learning. Being joyfully fearless in all aspects of my life, but especially in the kitchen, is part of my mission for the coming year.

I hope you discover a few new experiments to try in this week’s meal plan!

Meal Plan for January Week 4

Farro with Mushrooms and Spinach

1 Farro, Mushroom, and Spinach Soup: If you’re new to farro, a versatile and chewy grain, let this be the week you take the road less traveled. Top it with a poached egg if you’d like a little more to your meal.


Carne Asada

2 Carne Asada Tacos: Take Taco Tuesday up a notch and serve flank steak. This is one of my favorite cuts of beef because it cooks quickly and can be made on either the grill or a hot cast iron skillet.


Lemon Chicken

3 Lemon Chicken: Lemon chicken has a way of brightening up dreary winter nights. This is a fast, easy dish perfect for a weeknight meal. Serve it alongside some green beans. You can reduce the butter if you want to shave off some calories.


4 Oven-Roasted Salmon with New Potatoes: One pan! It’s all in one pan! The asparagus called for in this recipe is not in season this time of year, so substitute green beans and you’re good to go.


Vegetable Meatless Chili

5 Spicy Vegetarian Chili: This vegan chili is loaded with healthy vegetables and bursting with flavor. Even diehard carnivores will love it. Make this on Friday and enjoy the leftovers all weekend.

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.


  • Marge

    Looking forward to preparing all of these meals. I do tend to go vegetarian!!

    • Summer

      Hi, Marge! I like your style! Vegetables are always at the top of my list. Enjoy!

  • Katie Trunzo

    Oh yummy!! Time to dig out the chicken thighs from the freezer ;-)
    I like the idea of sending out a Meal Plan for the week . . . broadens our horizons in trying new recipes/foods combos!!

    Thank you!

    • Summer

      Hi, Katie! Glad you are enjoying the meal plans. Thanks for letting us know!


    Hi. I have never cooked in my life, AT ALL!

    How easy is the Lemon Chicken to cook? It looks so delicious.

    Thank you.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Carol Ann, I hope you try the Lemon Chicken, it is easy to make! The one thing you should be aware of has to do with the marinade. Use all of the reserved marinade when you baste the chicken half-way through cooking. Since raw chicken has been sitting in that marinade, the marinade MUST BE COOKED before you can eat it. Any marinade that isn’t cooked at the end of this recipe? Throw it out. Basting is easy. Usually we use a pastry brush, but if you don’t have one of those, just use a spoon to sprinkle the reserved marinade over the chicken during the basting step. Have fun!

  • Irene

    Is there a cost?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Irene! These meal plans are free! If you’re asking about the food costs of each recipe, this isn’t something that we are currently able to include. Hope this helps! Thanks!

  • Michelle

    Love your recipes

    • Summer

      Thank you!