Food

21 New Meal Ideas

Welcome to the Weekly Meal Planner! Whether you work all day and are out of steam when the dinner hour hits, or are fresh out of  ideas and in a cooking rut, we are here to make your life easier. 

This week, don’t forget your New Year’s resolution to practice our favorite “everything in moderation” rule. Healthy soups and salads at lunch balance a reasonable portion of pasta for dinner. Perfect!

If you are trying to eat lighter, you can always increase the veggies in a recipe or forego a roll when you are eating a sammie. Either way, there’s something for everyone in this week’s menus.

Enjoy!

Meatless Monday

Lunch: Make a batch of this Minestrone with Tomato and Fennel over the weekend for a no-stress lunch. Pack a thermos of soup for the brown baggers in your family.

Dinner: Whole Wheat Penne with Cauliflower is a quick and wholesome dinner featuring the veggie of the moment: cauliflower. Move over, kale.

Snack: Crunchy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread is delicious on its own or toasted and topped with peanut butter for a satisfying snack or breakfast option.

Tuesday

Lunch: Sesame Caesar with Za’atar Rub Grilled Chicken is caesar salad with Middle Eastern flair, thanks to grilled chicken and a delicious, spicy rub.

Dinner: It’s Taco Night! Flank Steak Toast-achos are affordable and can be customized according to your family’s preferences. Mellow out the spice by omitting peppers and substituting mild sausage for the chorizo (or skipping altogether). If you don’t want to cook with beer, substitute chicken or beef stock.

Snack: Apple Spice Cookies are the perfect after school nosh – soft, delicious, and packed with apples and raisins.

Wednesday

Lunch: Sausage, Zucchini and Potato Soup is packed with flavor – and veggies!

Dinner: Nutty Chicken Cutlets with Citrus Salad is a perfect weeknight meal. If your kids don’t love green salad, serve with a side of raw veggies and/or fruit salad.

Dessert: Just say “no” to cakey brownies – Chewy Brownies are where it’s at.

Thursday

Lunch: Lunch Box: Cobb Salad Triple-Decker Sandwich is great at home or packed for work or school.

Dinner:  Creamy Prosciutto and Porcini Pasta is delicious comfort food. As always, if you can’t find the mushrooms called for in the recipe, use button mushrooms or whatever you can find at your market. Ham is a perfectly acceptable substitute for prosciutto.

Snack: Morning Glory Muffins are a healthy snack that freeze well. Make a double batch and pull from the freezer whenever you feel like a homemade treat.

Friday

Lunch: Spinach Salad on Garlic Croutons is a true main course salad with spinach, mushrooms, hard boiled eggs, and prosciutto (bacon is a great swap here if you need it).

Dinner: Have a low-key sandwich night with these fabulous Crispy Chicken Parm BLT Hero Sandwiches.

Dessert: Oatmeal Fudge Bars feature a classic chocolate/oatmeal combo, with fudge sandwiched between two, crunchy oatmeal layers.

Entertaining Saturday

Brunch: Farmer’s Muffin Stuffin’ Hash and Eggs is a unique and tasty brunch with cheese, sausage, and veggies served over toasted corn muffins. If you don’t have time to make homemade muffins, grab some at your local bakery or grocery store.

Dinner: Wow your friends with a flavorful Greek-inspired meal – Greek Lamb Chops with Roasted Beans and Tomatoes and Skordalia. Insider tip:  Skordalia is a Greek garlic-infused puree. In this dish, potatoes are the base. Think creamy, delicious, garlic mashed potatoes – yum!

Cocktail: Toast the weekend with Savory Spritzer Cocktails.

Family Sunday

Brunch: Make this French Toast Casserole the night before and bake it for an easy – but special – brunch.

Dinner: Nothing says Family Sunday like meaty Baked Ziti. Serve with a simple green salad.

Dessert: No one will be able to eat just one of these Mini Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting.

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Rachael Ray