This week’s menu plan is diverse – and yet as interesting and different as they are, each meal is simple to put together. They can also be prepped (or started) ahead of time if you’re pressed for time between school and dinner. Monday’s pad Thai comes together quickly if you have everything ready to go. Tuesday’s balsamic beef stew can be made on Sunday and reheated on Tuesday – most stews improve after a day or two in the fridge anyway. Wednesday’s lasagna could be assembled in the morning and then slid into the oven upon walking in the door after work, and Thursday’s pizza dough could be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen. Friday’s tandoori-rubbed chicken will be more flavourful if it gets the rub-down that morning, or even the day before – the spice rub acts as a marinade.
Jamie of Sophistimom makes it easy to pull together a quick Pad Thai on a Monday night – one of my favourite meals in a bowl. Pad Thai can be intimidating, but comes together quickly if you have everything ready to go beforehand – it can be made with chicken, shrimp, pork or tofu – or a combination of any or all of the above. Serve in wide, shallow bowls topped with chopped peanuts.
Photo credit Sophistimom
This hearty stew is the ultimate comfort meal; it makes great use of root vegetables, which are in season and hardy enough to hold up in a stew. Get it started on Sunday if Tuesday night looks busy – stew always tastes better the next day, so it’s an ideal candidate for reheating.
Photo credit Family Feedbag
Winter squash is at its peak right now, and I’m always on the lookout for new uses for it. The combination of ricotta, sage, spinach and butternut squash topped with cheese makes a pretty fantastic lasagna. The honeyed fresh arugula topping is different and delicious – skip it if you like, but you’ll need arugula for Thursday’s pizza anyway…
Photo credit Brooke of Cheeky Kitchen
We went out to a fancy Calgary pizza joint the other night for authentic Napoletana pizza. Our six year old requested cheese pizza, and this time we were happy to oblige – with a sauce-free three cheese pizza made on a chewy, bulbous crust we all devoured. He has been asking to go again, so I was happy to stumble upon a similar white pizza recipe on my friend Gwendolyn’s blog. With fontina, goat and mozzarella, garlicky oil and a handful of peppery arugula on top, this is serious pizza – it’ll make the grown-ups and the kids happy.
Photo credit Gwendolyn of Patent and the Pantry
On a chilly Friday night, it’s nice to start the weekend by warming up with a roast chicken dinner. There are few aromas as comforting as roasting chicken – and the good news is, it’s simple enough for a Friday night at the end of a long week. A classic roast chicken needs nothing more than a bit of oil or butter rubbed over the skin and a lemon half, garlic cloves or fresh herbs tucked inside; but you can easily jazz it up by adding a tandoori spice rub to the outside of the chicken. Serve this easy Indian-style chicken with potatoes, roasted alongside, and green beans steamed quickly or sautéed in a dab of butter in a skillet as your chicken rests.