Next Week's Meal Plan

Turn Leftovers into “Best-overs” with Cookbook Author Cassy Joy Garcia’s Easy and Delicious Meal Plan

published Jan 22, 2022
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Credit: From Top to Bottom, Left to Right: Kristen Kilpatrick, Fed + Fit

I became a mom four years ago and it completely changed how I get dinner on the table. Time spent with my family is the most precious part of my day, and I have been on a journey to spend as much time with them as possible, while still providing nutritious and wholesome dinners as often as possible.

The constant chaos of the dinner rush left me with this overwhelming feeling that it could be accomplished in a better way. I lay out my solutions in my new book, Cook Once Dinner Fix. This book is all about turning leftovers into “best-overs” — this means taking the main ingredient from dinner one night and transforming it into something completely new the next night.

I’m still cooking delicious, wholesome dinners but doing my future self a favor. Here’s an example of how it works: I would prepare a fabulous classic pot roast for dinner on a Monday night, with purposeful “leftovers” (i.e., extra beef) that transform into the best shredded beef tacos the next night. Leftovers become best-overs, and no one will feel like they’re eating a reheated version of the Monday night meal. This week, I’m cooking two of my favorite series from the book (four dinners total) and finishing off the week with a simple one-dish pasta bake. All five meals will leave you satisfied, but, even better, with more time to spend with the ones you love.

Credit: Kristen Kilpatrick
Chipotle Beef Roast with Yucca

Monday: Chipotle Beef Roast with Yuca

If I could eat Monday and Tuesdays dinners on repeat, I absolutely would. Talk about big flavor! To start off, a beef roast is prepared with a spicy and smoky chipotle marinade. For the first dinner, sliced roast is served alongside roasted yuca and cream sauce. It’s so delicious that I have a feeling you’ll revisit this recipe on its own to keep in your refrigerator at all times.

Get the recipe: Chipotle Beef Roast with Yuca

Credit: Kristen Kilpatrick
Barbacoa Tacos with Mexican Pinto Beans

Tuesday: Barbacoa Tacos with Mexican Pinto Beans

On Tuesday, the rest of Monday’s beef is transformed into the best barbacoa tacos. The roast is sliced, seared until crispy, and served in toasted corn tortillas with fresh avocado, lime, and cilantro, alongside simple Mexican pinto beans.

Credit: Kristen Kilpatrick
Pulled Pork Chili Verde

Wednesday: Pulled Pork Chili Verde

When I designed this dinner series, I had my dad in mind. The man loves chili verde and mac and cheese, which made me think, why not work out an easy way to serve them as back-to-back dinners? With a simply prepared pork shoulder providing the base for this series, it couldn’t be easier. On Wednesday, the meat is cooked and shredded, then used to make a pulled pork chili verde filled with tender kale, green chilies, pinto beans, and just the right amount of lime juices.

Get the recipe: Pulled Pork Chili Verde

Credit: Kristen Kilpatrick
Barbecue Pork Mac 'n' Cheese Bake

Thursday: Barbecue Pork Mac and Cheese Bake

On Thursday, the rest of the pork from Wednesday’s dinner is tossed with barbecue sauce, then piled high on a fabulous mac and cheese.

Credit: Fed + Fit

Friday: Feta Pasta Bake

On Fridays I like to keep things simple for my family. It’s usually spaghetti night or something like this feta pasta bake from my website. I love these one-dish dinners where I throw everything into one casserole dish, and then I can spend the evening with my family while it cooks. I usually serve it with a large Italian salad.

Get the recipe: Baked Feta Pasta

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Meal planning isn’t always easy — especially if you’re just getting started. But we’re firm believers that it’s the secret to stress-free weeknight dinners. We want to help you find inspiration and ease some of the pain points that come with getting dinner on the table night after night, whether you’re cooking one or a family of four or five. Every week we share a new meal plan solution specifically customized for you from reader requests or from a guest contributor, for Next Week’s Meal Plan!