A few times a year I get burnt out on cooking. Rather than rely on delivery or dinners out, simplifying helps me work through the rut. Using a dinner template and keeping the recipes very basic usually means I spend less time choosing recipes and then less time cooking, which is perfect for the weeks when we just need dinner to be sustenance.
These basic dinners only just happen to be vegetarian. This helps cut down on their cooking and cleanup times, makes the most of pantry staples, and keeps my budget in check. Here are the five simple vegetarian dinners I'm feeding my family this week.
Welcome to This Week's Meal Plan
Planning my weekly meals is a habit I enjoy. Since I'm frequently asked by friends and family what I'm cooking for dinner each week, I thought it'd be useful to share my weekly meal plan here. Whether you're just learning to meal plan and looking for a real-life example of how this works or you're an old pro on the hunt for inspiration, here's a peek at how I'm feeding my family this week.
New to meal planning? Start here.
Monday: Creamy Coconut Cauliflower Soup
Making a big batch of soup on Monday means that there will be plenty of leftovers for lunches. Buy frozen cauliflower to make this quick-cooking soup come together even faster. If you have little eaters at the table, roast extra cauliflower for them to munch on separately from the soup.
Tuesday: Huevos Rancheros Tacos
Things to love about this recipe: It is easily adaptable for picky eaters (one of mine will skip the peppers), it use up three staples (tortillas, eggs, and canned black beans), and it takes about 20 minutes to pull together start to finish.
Wednesday: Mushroom and Garlic Spaghetti Dinner
Pasta with butter and Pecorino gets a super-simple upgrade with some sautéed mushrooms in this easy weeknight dinner. (Why don't we say "easy as pasta" instead of "easy as pie," anyway?)
This recipe is also a practice in "partnering" — a technique I use to pair something my children love (pasta) with something they are meh on (mushrooms). Usually the result is them trying a less-loved food more frequently, which is always a win.
This recipe is basic in its preparation to be sure, but I'm always mystified by how much I love the result anyway. Serve this with some hearty toast and fried eggs for the kids.
Friday: Classic Margherita Pizza
Margherita is classic for a reason. It's a no-fuss, Friday night favorite that always delivers on flavor. This week I'm buying pizza dough and putting my efforts into buying a really special mozzarella for topping this pie.