Hello, everyone and hello to 2014! I am excited to crank back into productivity mode after several weeks of downtime and although I am not one to usually fall into the New Year’s resolution trap, the past few weeks have provided the perfect mental space that I have needed to figure out what I may want to do with this little space. Meal plans are, by far, my most steady contribution, so they will definitely continue, but I wanted to give them a bit of a refresh. I’ll be complimenting my seasonal meal plans with “cooking from the pantry” posts and cookbook-focused, dinner meal plans.
Kicking off 2014 with a meal plan from The Heart of the Plate by Mollie Katzen. Mollie Katzen’s books make it home from the library on most weeks, but I’ve never been able to pull together an entire week of meals from any of them. Either because the recipes were too many steps to pull off on a weekday or because it was going to mean making an extra grocery trip. This new book of hers has a really great approach and seems to be put together with the home cook in mind. Many of the recipes begin with a very simple base that can be amped up or prettified with what she dutifully lists after nearly every recipe as “Optional Enhancements.” Simple stews composed of chickpea/water/onion/garlic turn into flavorful, belly-filling meals with the addition of olive oil toasts and a fried egg or capers and browned potatoes.
I tried most of these recipes at some point over the break and am completely ready to take on the new ones (even mid-week!!) considering the great experience I have had so far.
Lablabi (Tunisian Chickpea Stew) with Capers & Almonds
Cauliflower Mini-Quiches + Kale Caesar Salad
Linguini & Green Beans in Pesto Trapanase
Spinach-Mushroom Mac and Cheese + Roasted Carrots & Broccoli
Vegetarian Tan-Tan Noodles + Ginger Fennel Stock
We have some leftovers on hand to help flush out any gaps (Red Lentils with Lime & Spinach, Rice, Beans) and I’ll also be using the uncooked collards we have on hand to make wraps. Since this is our first week back at school and work, we’ll be keeping both breakfast and lunch very regular and surprise-free.
All of the recipes featured in this week’s meal plan are from Mollie Katzen’s The Heart of the Plate, which I received as a Christmas gift a few short weeks ago. It was released in September of 2013, so your local libraries should have it on hand soon if not already.