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Pasta Recipes: One Pot Mac and Cheese

Rather than order pizza, a big batch of creamy mac & cheese is simple to stir together, and satisfies everyone’s need for cheesy comfort food. A big bagged salad is all we need to make it a meal. (And maybe a pint of good ice cream and a few spoons!) To ramp things up, try stirring a torn handful of spinach into the finished pasta, or a few chopped sun-dried tomatoes, or sprinkle the top with a few crumbled slices of cooked bacon. Cubed leftover ham and frozen peas make it more substantial.

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Vegetarian Recipes: Chickpea and Spinach Swimming Rama

When I lived in Vancouver my favourite takeout was from a teeny Thai restaurant called Thai Away Home – they had Swimming Rama with chicken and spinach I could have eaten every night of the week. I made an impromptu version with chickpeas recently that was a hit – inexpensive and quick to prepare too, which is exactly what I want on Fridays.

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Free Meal Plan: Fridge-Cleaner Frittata

 

It’s a short week, thanks to Easter, and we’re settling into our longer days and sunny mealtimes. I’m feeling more creative these days, enjoying the sun coming into my kitchen, and am in the mood to expand my culinary horizons and think summery thoughts with crispy fried shrimp sandwiches, mint-ginger chicken kabobs with spicy raita, and fall-apart beer brisket. We’ll practice summery dishes and dream of a few months ahead. With any luck, we’ll be dining al fresco! Maybe.

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Free Meal Plan: Pulled Pork Tacos

Spring has almost sprung, and although we’re still waiting for those first tips of green to poke through the ground, we still gotta eat our veggies. I’m a little jaw-weary of root veggies and winter squash though, and so will shake things up with a vegan veggiepalooza quinoa fried rice, springy leeks baked with salmon and a side of (yes, imported) sugar snap peas, and even a wintry turnip… baked with chicken and lentils into an easy and hearty one-dish meal.

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Quick and Easy Dinner: Bacon & Egg Pizza

Friday is traditionally pizza night – but that doesn’t necessarily mean take-out. Start with good quality pitas, naan, other flatbreads or even, yes pizza dough – and make your own. Personal-sized bacon and egg pizzas will be a hit, particularly if you let the yolk ooze out onto your plate. A big green salad or Caesar will round out your easy Friday night breakfast for dinner.

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Free Meal Plan: 5 Dinner Party Dishes

I’m stretching my creative muscles this week, with different dishes that seem somehow celebratory (it is the week of love, after all) and yet simple to put together. It’s a great time to celebrate those you love – I may invite friends and family over to share chai salmon, white pizzas with garlic and arugula, or a hearty beef stew with mushrooms. It doesn’t have to be the weekend to host a dinner party!

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5 Spring Comfort Meals

The Big Thaw has started, and the time change has brought longer days and sunnier dinnertimes. It seems somehow less rushed to get dinner on the table these days, as the sun isn’t going down at the same time the 5 o’clock news comes on. I feel like cooking brighter dishes, like a sweet and spicy stir-fry and roasted tomato soup with the last of last summer’s roasted tomatoes from the freezer.

But comfort food is still called for during these last days of winter and early spring – a bubbly baked mac & cheese goes over so well when there’s still a chill in the air.

MONDAY

Free Meal Plan Roasted Tomato & Garlic Soup with Grilled Cheese CroutonsThat classic creamy tomato soup and gooey grilled cheese combo is embodied in this bowlful of comfort – the grilled cheese made mini in crunchy bite-sized croutons!

Roasted Tomato & Garlic Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Photo credit: Laura of Sweet Potato Chronicles

TUESDAY

Free Meal Plan Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir-fryAs Aimee says, unpredictability is to be expected when you have a family. It’s great to have a few meals you can pull out of your sleeve using staples you generally have in your pantry, fridge and freezer. This is one of those meals. Try adding whatever veggies you have on hand – or whatever you family likes. Broccoli, pea pods, zucchini, carrots, asparagus and red peppers are all perfect.

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir-fry

Photo credit: Aimee of Simple Bites

WEDNESDAY

Free Meal Plan Macaroni with Sharp Cheddar and BaconIt’s the ultimate comfort food, right here, baked until it’s bubbly and made into more of a real meal with the addition of jarred tomato sauce and crumbled bacon. Make it ahead, if you like, and pop it in the oven when it’s getting close to dinnertime. Tear open a bagged salad and dinner’s done.

Macaroni with Sharp Cheddar and Bacon

Photo credit: Jaime of Sophistimom

THURSDAY

Free Meal Plan Spiced Beef Pie with Walnut PastryRustic and charming is still in season, and this long braided pie stuffed with beef, onion, garlic and spices wrapped like a pretty package in golden, flaky pastry is perfect while there’s still a chill in the air. Perfect with frozen peas alongside.

Spiced Beef Pie with Walnut Pastry

Photo credit: Amy of Family Feedbag

FRIDAY

Free Meal Plan Thai Coconut Barbecued RibsWhen the weekend rolls around, we tend to be in the mood for something a little more festive, perhaps something nibbly we can share with friends, and even fire up the barbecue if the spring temperatures stick around. Ribs are among my favourite foods, but I’m not always in the mood for sticky-sweet barbecue sauce; these Thai-spiced ribs in coconut milk are deliciously different – perfect for a party, or for dinner along with steamed rice, sautéed pea pods or greens, or maybe an Asian-style slaw.

Thai Coconut Barbecued Ribs

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