Welcome to the Better Dinner InstitutePrepare to feed your family really good food.
Weeks 07-08 – Late-February
Ready for some kitchen magic?
Here is a thought about cooking in general that applies even more to vegan cooking in particular: a lot of dishes taste way better the second or third day. A bonus benefit of vegan cooking is that cooked food stays perfectly safe to eat for longer, as long as it is refrigerated properly.
That’s why I recommend that you cook the onion soup on the weekend, because it will have greatly developed its flavors by the time you eat it on Wednesday (with the addition of decadent cashew cheese). The two slow cooker dishes (potato curry and barley risotto – the latter on the family plan only) will also benefit from being cooked ahead, on the weekend, instead of just throwing it together in the morning for that same day’s dinner. The later process will still yield a tasty dinner, but the dishes really come to life (only metaphorically!!) after two days of rest.
- I have to be honest: the yamballs (family plan) are inspired by a recent trip to IKEA, where I enjoyed the veggie balls with Cajun sauce and a pilaf rice. I didn’t put you to work making pilaf, opting for plain brown rice instead, but if you are so inspired, go ahead! I combined it with a helping of yamburgers – a favorite in my home. Both recipes are quite versatile, feel free to play around with the seasonings and even change the ingredients a bit. There are suggestions to get you started on the first page of the meal plan.
- If you are into vegan cheese making, you may already have tapioca starch in your pantry. If that is the case, you may want to make a “stretchy gooey vegan mozzarella” instead of the creamy-but-plainer cashew cheese I recommend. This being said, my husband says he prefers the cashew cheese to stretchy vegan mozzarella. It just feels more “real” to him.
- As usual, you are welcome to play around with the ingredients and substitute different vegetables. Quantities can also be amended to suit your family’s needs: who am I to tell you how much pasta to have with your pesto?
- Most dark leafy greens are interchangeable in recipes like this, so it’s fine to use kale for collards and vice versa. In a pinch, a bag of pre-washed “power greens” mix will save you lots of time. (No more separating stems and leaves!)