We start school this week, and this has definitely been our fastest summer yet. We finished up summer reading, labeled binders, put our names on books and generally we’re geared up. Back to meal planning. I promise it will make your week less stressful. Check what you have in the pantry and fridge and shop once for a week’s worth of meals. You’ve got this!
Sesame Noodles with Cabbage, Carrots and Red Peppers. This is my family’s new favorite meatless Monday dinner. Use rice noodles and tamari to keep it gluten-free, or coconut aminos if you don’t eat soy. It’s packed with vegetables, and the flavor is delicious! Add more red pepper flakes if your family likes things extra spicy, and save leftovers to pack in bento boxes. This is just as good served warm, cold or at room temp. A how-to video is linked above, and here are the exact measurements.
Sesame Noodles with Cabbage, Carrots and Red Peppers
This recipe feeds a crowd, but you can easily cut it in half. Leftovers keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator and make a delicious leftover lunch.
- Kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos
- 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- ¼ cup avocado oil, grapeseed or other neutral oil
- 5 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 12 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced on the diagonal
- ½ Napa cabbage, finely sliced (regular cabbage is fine too)
- 2-3 carrots, grated
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced very thin
- 12 ounces udon noodles, or gluten-free rice noodles
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
In a small bowl, whisk together tamari, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and sesame oil.
In a large skillet over a medium heat, warm the oil. Add the sesame seeds and pepper flakes. Cook until the pepper flakes become fragrant and the seeds start to brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Take the skillet off the heat and stir in the scallions and the soy sauce mixture.
Place the vegetables in a large colander in the sink.
Cook the noodles until al dente by following the package instructions. Once the noodles are done cooking, pour the hot water and noodles over over the vegetables in the colander. This will steam and wilt the veggies. The noodles will fall on top of the vegetables as you drain the water, so make sure to use a large colander.
Heat the sauce in the skillet to a simmer. Add the noodles and vegetables back to the skillet and stir well to combine.
Twas the night before the first day of school. My kiddos requested weeknight lasagna, which is our go-to “special night” family dinner. To keep this gluten-free, I’ve used Cappello’s gluten-free and grain-free lasagna sheets and Barilla. Both work great if you need to keep this GF. We’ll serve ours with a side of roasted veggies and a delicious crunchy salad. To make the roasted veggies, heat the oven to 425 and mix whatever you have on hand (broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, shallots, a good sprinkling of kosher salt and extra virgin olive oil). Throw it all on a sheet pan in a single layer (if the veggies are stacked or too crowded they just steam). About 20-25 minutes later, your veggies are ready.
It’s the first day of school and I want to hear everyone’s stories. I’ll put something in the slow cooker or InstantPot before pick up, like pork ribs with a tangy BBQ sauce. I’m kind of a sucker for old school three bean salad, but my kids would prefer old fashioned cole slaw or potato salad. Potato salad tip: Instead of vinegar, use the brine from a jar of dill pickles. Trust me! Either way, I want to make my roasted okra with za’atar on the side. If you can’t find za’atar, use everything bagel seasoning instead. Not the same, but still delicious.
I have an all-day photo shoot today and tomorrow, so dinner needs to be a sheet pan supper with easy prep and clean up. Sheet pan chicken with tomatoes and mozzarella looks like just the thing, but I might make mine with bone-in thighs. It’s just the right thing to do, people.
As Jen Hatmaker says, your kids are DONE. And so are you! Friday night of the first week of school, order a pizza, turn on a movie and curl up on the couch. No plans allowed! So that’s the plan.