Let’s Cook! With a Weekly Meal Plan.
Last week I operated without a weekly meal plan, and I don’t recommend it. We were working with a refrigerator full of cooking class and Easter weekend leftovers, so I wanted to use up what we had. But I didn’t have a plan in place for how to use it! No one was very happy with the leftovers-on-repeat situation, including me.
This week we’re back to normal and operating on all cylinders. We have two April birthdays in our family (and one in late March). Between family celebrations and end-of-school general craziness, the spring always feels particularly frenetic. I’ll rely on a meal plan from now until mid-June, when I take a “summer break” from meal planning to cook in a more relaxed way. Summer cooking, for me, is about being creative day to day, using the best of season, utilizing farmer’s markets and cooking simply. For now, let’s focus on spring.
I taught a fun Brighter Bites fundraiser class tonight, and we had a kitchen full of delicious produce-focused eats to show for it. Kale pasta, crostini with leeks and peas, mixed greens with super simple salad dressing and a chocolate and berry board for dessert (instructions on Instagram). We also made muddled strawberry mojitos. Here’s the recipe!
Strawberry Basil Mojito
Simple syrup is just a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water, warmed on medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Cool before using. Makes one cocktail.
- 3 strawberries, hulled
- 3 basil leaves
- 3-4 mint leaves
- 2 ounces rum (I like to use Jamaican rum)
- ¾ ounce simple syrup or light agave nectar
- ¼ cup sparkling water or club soda
In a cocktail glass, add the strawberries and herbs. Muddle together with a wood muddler or the end of a wooden spoon until well mashed and combined. Add rum and simple syrup, stir to combine. Add ice and top off with sparkling water. Garnish with fresh mint, basil or strawberry slices.
I’m making Instant Pot pulled pork. Sear a 3-pound pork shoulder and salt and pepper it well. I’ll use Primal Kitchen or Bone Suckin’ BBQ sauce, and add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and maybe a dash of Crystal hot sauce. Serve in a bowl over shredded red cabbage with a side of beans (I might make a batch in the slow cooker tomorrow morning) and pickles. Add some steamed broccoli or roasted okra for more greens.
We have a sushi dinner out to celebrate a 15th birthday tonight! If you want a sushi night at home, make my tuna poke bowls and serve over steamed sushi rice. Edamame on the side!
This coconut chicken curry recipe is from the Burma Superstar cookbook. My husband and I loved eating there when we lived in San Francisco. Serve with steamed spinach or sautéd greens and steamed rice or cauliflower rice.
I’m teaching a fundraiser class for St. Agnes Academy tonight: My easiest sheet pan fish tacos and kale guacamole — two of my favorites! I like to serve fish tacos with sliced avocado, cilantro, hot sauce and a limey chipotle crema.
I can’t wait to take an online professional cooking class today with two Mexico City chefs (it’s part of a professional organization I belong to). For dinner, it’s probably good ol’ Tex-Mex for this family, but a girl can dream of a weekend of rooftop margaritas in Polanco.
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