A Weekly Meal Plan for When You’re Hungry and in a Hurry
Quick, easy, and versatile recipes to lean on this week
As you know, we’ve been working on something exciting: our very first cookbook! Anyone Can Cook will be published with Prestel in Spring 2021—you can preorder it here. The cookbook is for brand new or seasoned home cooks looking to infuse fresh ideas into their weeknight cooking routine, which is why this month, to celebrate its release, we’ll focus on all the different ways to tackle dinner throughout the week, and share tips and tricks from our chefs and editors. All month long, you’ll get exclusive sneak peeks into Anyone Can Cook, plus plenty of new, satisfying, and versatile recipe ideas to rely on the whole week through.
I’ve already come clean about my meal planning habits and the fact that I prefer looser, more flexible “plans” that I can switch up based on whatever might be in my fridge or what I just feel like eating. Sometimes I think my mind is made up on Monday morning for what I’ll be making for dinner that evening, but as the day wears on, it changes completely! It doesn’t seem fair to hold myself to a strict plan if I won’t enjoy it, so that’s the mentality behind this weekly meal plan of seven super quick—no more than 30 minutes from start to finish—recipes that are also versatile and can be strung together as outlined below to save you some extra prep work.
Hop in on Monday (no matter which day it actually is) or pop in and out as you please using the outlined swaps and tips to plan ahead and keep it flexible.
Our 5-ingredient dinners are some of the most-loved weeknight recipes whether they take shape as a hearty, zero waste salad or a quick homemade (you heard that right) pasta. Many rely on what you already have in the pantry, including the recipe of choice to start your week: 5-ingredient lemony chickpea and tahini tagliatelle. It’s creamy, slightly nutty, and full of protein thanks to both the mashed chickpeas and the crisped up ones.
Our tip for making this dish the best it can be? Don’t skimp on the pasta water for the sauce! Tahini has a tendency to thicken up quickly in conjunction with water, so once you’ve tossed the sauce through the tagliatelle, add more pasta water to loosen it back up until it’s creamy and coating all the noodles.
When it comes to satisfying salads, we know a thing or two. Whether it’s making better salad dressings, adding some unusual ingredients, or using the right mix of lettuce leaves, there are lots of ways to up your salad game and make ones that surprise you, delight you, and fill you up. Using the leftover crispy chickpeas from last night’s dinner, just grab some kale and pop open your spice cabinet for tonight’s dinner: kale salad with spicy chickpeas.
Don’t skip out on giving that kale a massage, as it really makes the difference when it comes to enjoying a raw kale salad.
It’s hard to beat a one-pan or one-pot dinner during a busy week, as the last thing you really want to do after cooking and eating dinner is a sink full of dishes. Using the leftover, pre-prepped greens from last night’s dinner makes the prep for tonight that much quicker. What are you making? Our lemony salmon with creamed spinach and mushrooms.
This meal hits just the right balance when it comes to richness and vibrancy. It’s not heavy, but it’s filling, and can be served alongside a carb if desired, like simple boiled or roasted potatoes, cooked pasta, or toasted, garlic-rubbed bread.
Breakfast for dinner isn’t just a gimmick, at least for me. It’s something I crave, something easy to pull together, and, honestly, yes, it’s fun. Next time you’re thinking about brunch on a Thursday afternoon, lean into this recipe: our savory Dutch baby with smoked salmon and horseradish.
Remove and eat (or discard) the crispy skin from the salmon you prepared yesterday and flake it over the Dutch baby instead of using smoked salmon as called for in the recipe. Slice into wedges and serve with a simple salad to round out the meal.
I’m a big fan of a sandwich stacked high with just about anything—from a spicy shrimp salad to a big pile of bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes—and Hanna’s green goddess sandwich hits all the right notes for something quick to pull together and super versatile.
Use the leftover crème fraîche dressing as your green goddess dressing, spiking it with other additions as Hanna does here with anchovies, basil, and mint. If sandwiches aren’t your thing, you can also take all the ingredients and throw them into a bowl to make a salad. Cube the bread, toast it, and boom, you’ve got croutons. The choice is yours.
To be completely honest, noodles and pasta probably make up around 70% of my weeknight meals. They’re quick to prepare and just about infinitely variable. I lean on Xueci’s scallion oil noodles quite often, but find myself turning to her Chinese cold noodles this week. Use up the cucumbers you prepped yesterday, then switch up as desired.
Round out the week with another 5-ingredient dinner: Portuguese bread and cilantro soup. Using up the stale bread from a few nights ago, this is a filling soup with tons of fresh flavor thanks to the zesty cilantro and kick of garlic. You can use less garlic if desired, and fill out the soup even more as outlined below.
Published on September 2, 2020