The world is doing its part to keep each other safe by social distancing and staying home to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. With more time at home than ever, we are spending more time in the kitchen and cooking for ourselves. I don't know about you, but I absolutely love to cook and have not eaten a meal that I have not cooked in the last few months!
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The key for me to stay excited about cooking and planning meals is to mix in weekly some easy staples that I can make in my sleep and some new exciting recipes that keep our palettes from getting burned out. When I make a new or daunting recipe, I plan a cocktail that will go with it, get my husband in the kitchen, turn on some music and sip while I cook so it's a fun family activity!
Most of my meal planning is centered around keeping dinners interesting and having quick and easy breakfasts and lunches while we are working from home. This guide is meant as inspiration to keep your dinners fun and exciting, so remember to make adjustments based on what you and your family love eating and what is easy or fun for you to make. I like to assign cuisines for some days so that I know we are getting a mix of flavors throughout the week. We love Asian and Indian cuisine and can never get enough Mexican food so we usually have each of those at least twice a week (date night almost always ends up being Mexican :)) I also mix up the protein throughout the week so that we are not always eating chicken and pork. I love paneer, fish, and tofu, but have to use these sparingly for my husband's sake. To me, pretty much all veggies go with anything and make any dish better. I shop for what's in season locally and work those veggies into all my dishes.
I plan for at least 2 or 3 different weekly menus so we do not get tired of the rotation. Here are some ideas to start meal planning:
Grill / Smoke
- Burgers (mix this up with beef, turkey or bison burgers)
- Ribs & Caesar Salad
- Smoked Pork Butt Carnitas with Guacamole
- Sausage, Peppers and Onion Skewers
Indian / Asian
- Tikka Masala from The Defined Dish (I usually sub paneer for chicken in this recipe - just throw in cubes at the end to warm it through)
- Simple Thai Curry
- Fried Rice (this is a great meal to use up any veggies that are getting close to past their prime)
- Miso Ramen from Half Baked Harvest
Meat, Veggie & Potatoes (I just choose whatever veggies are in season)
- Sous Vide Steak
- Fried Pork Chops
- Baked Buffalo Chicken
- Pan-seared fish
- Chile Rellenos
- Mexican Stuffed Peppers
- Pizza Night (try my Sourdough Discard Flatbread Recipe!)
- Alfredo Pasta
- Stuffed Pasta
- Gluten-Free Chili
- Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Herb & Beef Stew from Half Baked Harvest
What are some of you favorite dishes to make at home? Tell me in the comments.