Notes From a Chef: My Weekly Meal Plan

Notes From a Chef: My Weekly Meal Plan

A week with Kitchen Stories’ test kitchen manager and chef Hanna

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Hanna Reder

Hanna Reder

Test Kitchen Manager and Chef at Kitchen Stories

, we’ve been working on something exciting: our very first cookbook! Anyone Can Cook will be published with Prestel in Spring 2021—. 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. , 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.

Hello from the test kitchen! I’m writing today from an unusual place for me: my desk. Last week I wrote down what my perfect week’s worth of dinners would entail and, like Lisa, I tried to stick to the plan. Whenever I go grocery shopping, I always make sure that all the basics, such as yeast, pasta, white beans, rice, and canned tomatoes, end up in my shopping cart. Then I add fresh fruit and vegetables as I please, depending on what’s in-season. My current menu is as follows:


I have a soft spot for everything that has to do with bread. That's why I usually have a sandwich with homemade bread to start the week off with a good note. My Green Goddess Sandwich is the perfect treat for that and it’s super adaptable. Simply stack on whichever ingredients you have at home to suit your taste.


I make pasta at least once a week. A pasta dish requires only a few ingredients and can be on the table in just a few minutes. And let's be honest: A week without pasta is a sad week. Fresh pasta with salsiccia in all its variations (with Swiss chard, with broccoli or with chanterelles) is my favorite, especially in late summer. This recipe from Ruby is one of my favorites and I almost always have everything for it at home: a pack of peas in the freezer, fennel seeds on the spice rack, and even salsiccia has been wisely prepared and tucked away in the freezer.


Next up is an elevated version of potatoes with quark. I often leave it at just these two ingredients, because, yes, potatoes and quark count as one complete meal! But sometimes it can also be something special. These crispy baked potatoes take a little longer to prepare, but the time invested is worth it, I promise.


This recipe is one of my absolute favorites in our app! I like the freshness, the easy preparation, and the wow factor of it. It's also super versatile, meaning you can swap in whichever vegetables you have on hand.


Because I prepare this curry over and over again, I always have the main ingredients for it in my pantry: curry paste, coconut milk, raisins, almonds, and rice. A delicious curry, like this Thai red curry or the rutabaga curry (perfect for cold winter days) can always be spiced up or down depending on what you have and the flavors you like, so to me, it’s always a good option for a quick weeknight dinner.


On Saturdays I often don't have much time or the desire to cook. I prefer meeting with friends for dinner, with the intention of finding a new culinary insider tip. But I do dedicate more time than usual to breakfast on the weekends. I love this hearty breakfast fried rice in the morning, but it can also be prepared in the evening.


I dedicate the last day of the week, again, to my favorite food: bread. Today, it comes in the form of a focaccia. Serve it alongside a large green salad and toss in any leftover vegetables from the week in it. There will certainly be a few pieces of focaccia left over, which you can use to make yourself another sandwich the following Monday.

Published on September 21, 2020

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