Seven Days of Dinner

Here's some of the bounty from our local farmer's market that I plan to use to cook our dinners this week. Needless to say, the flowers are for decoration only.

Several years ago, drawing inspiration from two of my favorite foodie blogs, CityMama and This Week for Dinner, I did a month-long, weekly series of posts about what I was planning to cook for the week. I stopped writing the meal-planning posts, but I haven't stopped cooking. In fact, I've been cooking more than ever.

This year, I've made three food-related goals that I want to accomplish this year: to eat less processed foods, to get my kids to like Indian food, and to get my kids to like eggplant. Since all three goals involve a lot more cooking, and since I have less time than ever to cook (thanks to the kids' late afternoon schedules), I've had to spend more time planning our meals in advance. Last week I planned dinner for all 7 days:

* Tofu and veggie stir-fry with rice
* Cream of almond and mushroom soup
* Gnocchi, peas and meatballs
* Grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato and cucumber salad
* Baked salmon with pesto, beans and couscous
* Enchilada bake
* Grilled pear and cheese on ciabatta bread

I'm usually the type of person who plans dinner at the last minute (my sister likes to say that my cooking style is "throw-everything-together"), but I have to say, doing the meal-planning thing was great. Since I knew in advance what I wanted to cook, I could buy everything I needed at the beginning of the week. I didn't have to waste time on deciding what to cook at the last-minute, and I could schedule the more time-consuming meals on days when the kids and I didn't have anywhere to go.

Given last week's success, the time seems right to resurrect my old "Now Playing in the Kitchen" series, only I'm rebranding it as "Seven Days of Dinner". My plan is to write out the 7 meals I plan to cook for the week. I may not get to making all 7 meals -- there might be enough leftovers to make a meal, or we might not get home early enough, or I might decide to cook something totally different, or we might decide it's too hot to turn the oven on and head to In-N-Out Burger. Whatever. But it's nice to have a plan on hand. And with that said, here's this week's plan:

* Chicken Tikka Masala with rice
* Veggie sushi (with cucumbers, tofu strips, avocado and egg)
* Chicken and sweet corn chowder
* Cornmeal pizza Margherita
* Udon noodles with braised bacon and cabbage
* Fried eggs and baked beans on toast
* Sausages and mash with peas

Bon appetit!

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