Weekly Meal Plan Checklist
When you sit down to plan your meals for the week ahead, it's good to have a checklist. Here's one that I use. I'd love to hear from you if you have additional things you consider when creating your own plan.
- Are we home every night for dinner?
- Are there some nights I know I'll be on the run, and will have less than 30 minutes to pull together dinner?
- Will I have time to make some things ahead? When?
- What's in your refrigerator or pantry I want to use up pronto?
- What's Plan B dinner if everything goes sideways during the week?
M O N D A Y
EGGPLANT GRATIN with HERBS & CREME FRAICHE
Get the recipe here by From Winslow & Co.
Eggplant Gratin isn't just for summer. I make a Pesto Eggplant Parmesan during the summer when basil is so aromatic for homemade pesto. But what I love about this one is that it's gluten free, aka none of that time-consuming dipping in egg and breading the eggplant slices stuff. I'm thinking this makes it perfect for a weeknight dinner.
Prep Ahead: This dish requires two sauces: a reduced creme fraiche (or cream) sauce and a simple tomato sauce. Make both ahead and keep covered in the refrigerator.
Side Dish Ideas: A large salad with some garlic bread on the side.
Omnivore Tip: I'll cook it in two smaller dishes, and add sausage to the tomato sauce for the omnivores at the table.
T U E S D A Y
EPIC VEGETARIAN TACOS
VEGETARIAN EASY PARTS CAN BE MADE AHEAD
Get the recipe here from Cookie + Kate.
- Make the pickled onions ahead. They'll keep in the refrigerator for 2 - 3 weeks.
- Make the avocado sauce and refried beans ahead if you want, or purchase guacamole and a couple of cans of refried beans. Honestly, I've never made my own refried beans, but this recipe has a link to a recipe that looks fabulous. Now I'm motivated to make my own this week!
Side Dish Ideas: Make a hearty salad such as this Citrus Salad with Cauliflower or make some Mexican Rice. Another rice that goes well with tacos is Lime Cilantro Rice. If you want to go low carb, make this Lime Cilantro Rice with cauliflower rice.
Omnivore Tip: Just about anything works with this. Just have a separate dish of meat as part of a taco bar, so people can help themselves.
If you want to move to a more vegetarian diet, but not sure the best steps to take, join the Monthly Vegetarian Meals Challenge. Each month I'll post some tips - great plant protein sources, must-haves for the vegetarian pantry, ways to build flavor, and more. Additionally, we tackle 1 - 3 seasonal recipes tied to the theme that month. Subscribe to Monthly Vegetarian Meals Challenge.
W E D N E S D A Y
SPIRALIZED BEET NOODLES + WHIPPED FETA
VEGETARIAN REQUIRES A SPIRALIZER GLUTEN-FREE PARTS CAN BE MADE AHEAD
Get the recipe here.
This recipe requires a spiralizer, and the one I like best is pictured below. Click on the photo to get more information.
Prep Tip: If you don't have a spiralizer, roast the beets, peel and slice into a skinny french fries shape. It may be a little early to find spring onions in your market. Substitute scallions, and you'll be fine!
Prep Ahead Tip: You can roast the beets ahead, and store covered in the refrigerator for several days.
Omnivore Tip: Pork chops, seasoned with lemon pepper and salt, sautéed in olive oil.
T H U R S D A Y
QUINOA LENTIL SALAD with LEMON VINAIGRETTE
VEGAN 30-MINUTES OR LESS GLUTEN-FREE EASY PARTS CAN BE MADE AHEAD
Get the recipe here from a Sweet Pea Chef.
Salads like this are wonderfully flexible. Swap in arugula or baby spinach if you're not keen on kale. Use pumpkin seeds if you prefer them to sesame seeds. But a good sharp vinaigrette is a must with lentils. Either make the yummy lemon one in the recipe, or substitute sherry wine vinegar for the lemon.
Prep Ahead: Quinoa cooks up quite quickly, but for a super fast dinner, have it already made. A good alternative is frozen quinoa that's ready in just a few minutes. Lentils cook up pretty quickly, but I recommend making the chickpeas ahead. Alternatively, you can use frozen cooked chickpeas or canned.
Side Dish Idea: I plan to roast up some carrots like these Citrus Roasted Carrots with Ginger without the ginger.
Omnivore Tip: Sauté some lightly seasoned salmon and serve it alongside this salad for the omnivores.
F R I D A Y
CLASSIC PIZZA MARGHERITA
Get the recipe here by Nourish and Fete.
This will be a busy week, and by the time I get to Friday, I'll need something very easy.
Prep Ahead: This recipe doesn't need any prepping ahead, unless you plan to make your own pizza crust. But since I'm already using my homemade tomato sauce earlier in the week for the Eggplant Gratin, I'll save some for this pizza.
Side Dish Idea: I always just make a salad, and if I can find some decent tomatoes I may make this Greek Salad.
Omnivore Tip: I'll add some pepperoni or salami to the pizzas for the omnivores.
W E E K E N D B A K I N G
STRAWBERRY and HONEY OAT SCONES
Get the recipe here from The Hungry Couple.
I know it's not spring yet, but I'm starting to crave strawberries, and these scones look perfect!
If you make any of these dishes, I would love to see how it turns out for you!! Take a photo and put it up on Instagram - just don't forget to tag me @wimpyvegetarian.
Did you miss my other Weekly Menu Plans? Just type Weekly Vegetarian Meal Plan into the search field, and you'll see them all. The earliest ones include a lot of information on how to set yourself up for creating your own meal plans.