My husband and I moved to New York a couple of months ago, and while he has a job, I’ve been on the hunt for one. We like eating out, and if it was up to me we’d probably eat/order out most nights. But, for right now, we are on a pretty tight budget.
I’ll usually resort to take out if I don’t have a plan at dinnertime. To combat my laziness, I create a weekly meal plan. My meal plan is simply a list of 5-6 dinners that I store it on my phone. When dinnertime rolls around, I just pull out my phone to see what I’m in the mood.
This simple list not only keeps me on track with meal planning, but it also helps minimize trips to the grocery store (I try to go one time per week, max). An added bonus is that there’s usually enough leftovers for lunch the next day. Success!
Here is what I have planned for this week:
- Spicy Tomato Basil Fried Rice – recipe follows!
- Baked Couscous with Spinach and Pine Nuts – one of my favorite recipes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Quick Vegetarian Pleasures.
- Pasta with Marinara and Salad
- Mushroom Risotto with Steamed Peas
- Easy Egg and Black Bean Tacos with Steamed Corn – recipe to come!
- Crock Pot Lasagna with Salad – so easy and delicious! I leave out the beef and add sautéed mushrooms and zucchini instead.
I love making fried rice, because it’s so easy to customize. This spicy version is one of my favorites.
Spicy Tomato Basil Fried Rice
- 2 tbsp. oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets, stems peeled and sliced
- 1 pkg. cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
- 1 pkg. seasoned tofu, cut into bite-size cubes
- 1 large clove garlic, minced or pressed
- 4 cups cooked brown rice, cold
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1-3 tbsp. sriracha
- 2-3 tbsp. soy sauce, to taste
- 5 large basil leaves, julienned
- sesame oil, optional
Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion. Cook until softened and beginning to brown, stirring frequently.
Add broccoli to pan and cook until it begins turning a brighter green, about 3-5 minutes.
Add tomatoes and tofu. Cook until tomatoes soften a bit and broccoli is tender-crisp.
Remove veggies from pan and set aside. If the tomatoes were very juicy, wipe out the pan.
Return pan to heat and add remaining 1 tbsp. of oil. Add garlic and sauté for 1 min, stirring constantly. Add rice and cook for a few minutes, stirring to coat in oil.
Reduce heat to medium. Push rice to side. Add eggs and lightly scramble. Mix in rice and stir to distribute egg throughout.
Return veggies to pan. Add soy sauce and sriracha to taste. Mix thoroughly. Add basil and a drizzle of sesame oil. Stir well and serve.
Notes: This recipe is very flexible. Feel free to add other vegetables or replace the tofu with leftover chicken or other protein.
How do you have any simple meal planning tips?