Next Week's Meal Plan

5 Dinners from Around the World You Can Easily Make at Home

updated Sep 18, 2019
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Credit: From Left to Right: Deepa's Secrets, Joe Lingeman, Leela Cyd, Emma Christensen, Joe Lingeman

Welcome to Next Week’s Meal Plan! Meal planning isn’t always easy — especially if you’re just getting started. But I’m a firm believer that it’s the secret to stress-free weeknight dinners. I 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 for one or a family of eight. Every week, I’ll be sharing a new meal plan solution specifically customized for you from reader requests or from a guest contributor.

My seven-year-old daughter is very into geography right now, regularly bringing questions like “Would you rather live in Paraguay or Iceland?” to the dinner table. As a parent who is always looking for a gateway to get her to try new things, world cuisine feels like an opportunity I don’t want to pass up.

This week, she’s helping plan out our meals by choosing dishes from around the globe. My job is just to make sure these meals are easy enough for a weeknight and that even her four-year-old brother will be game for trying them.

Credit: Deepa's Secrets

Monday:  Tomato Rasam from Southern India

It was a toss up between this soup or a soothing lentil dal, but we have a ton of tomatoes from our neighbors that need using up and I’m giddy about stockpiling some new spices. Apparently, the combo of garlic, pepper, and other spices gives it the nickname “sniffle-kicking soup,” so I’m looking forward to making it well into cold season.

Get the recipe: Tomato Rasam

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Tuesday: Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry from Southeast Asia

Obviously the appeal of stir-fry is the speed in which it cooks, but this one lets us talk about Chinese and Thai cuisines while using up summer green beans and garden peppers (thanks again to our neighbors).

Credit: Leela Cyd

Wednesday: An Omelette from France

Can a seven-year-old cook an omelette? We’re going to find out! On Wednesday night when we won’t be rushing to get dinner on the table, we’re practicing our egg cooking skills and making a really simple arugula salad for a side dish.

Thursday: Panzanella with Fried Eggs from Italy

Bread salad is wildly appealing to all children, even the ones who dislike salad. Again, this is our best attempt to eat up the last haul of tomatoes brought over by neighbors. For added protein we’re topping this with fried eggs for everyone.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

Friday : Santa Maria-Style Pinquitos & Tri-Tip Steak from California

Friday is my husband’s birthday and that calls for a celebratory steak dinner! Luckily there’s a great recipe from a recent story we published on cooking in California. This is way more effort than I’d typically put into a Friday night meal (i.e. it’s not pizza). But sometimes you just have to go all-out! To make this easier, I recommend starting the beans on Thursday night — which is what I’ll be doing.

New to meal planning? Start here.

Click below to get more tips, insights, and ideas from our Meal Plan Club crew and readers like you.