Welcome to the Better Dinner Institute

Prepare to feed your family really good food.

Here is what you’ll eat next week! Lucky you.

These are some of my favorite recipes all together in a single meal plan.

You may find yourself doing a bit more prep this week because there are new, fresh veggies coming into season, and they require a bit more effort.

  • There is a lot of green in this meal plan! Spinach, chard, peas, kale, and more! It’s in season, it’s good for you, go for it!
  • Spring surprise salad: Every bite of this salad bursts with flavor in your mouth! My husband was dubious at first – he’s not big on salads – but after three bites he was raving about it, especially once he hit a roasted radish. If you have never had that delicacy, you are in for a treat. Ruby jewels! This lukewarm salad is a favorite of mine, especially if I can get really fresh asparagus. Roasting is a pretty forgiving mode of preparation though, so even if your tips are a few days old it will be fine. This is also great for kids because you can save some of each ingredients on a plate for them and they can try them separately. My children do not share my love of roasted radishes but they do come running to the table yelling “quinoa!! thank you mom!” Go figure. Makes for a fun time vacuuming later but, hey! complete protein.
  • Kimchi is fermented cabbage mixed with Korean sweet hot pepper paste. Often it’s made with shrimp paste (stinky!) but vegan kimchi is reasonably mainstream now. I am not in the USA but apparently Gold Mine, Mother-in-Law’s, Simply Seoul and Sinto Gourmet have vegan types. In Western Canada, Wildbrine is a reliable brand. Red Rooster is a common brand too and has a vegan version (check the ingredients). Asian grocers, Whole Foods, Sprouts and sometimes the farmers’ market are good bet to find some. If you feel adventurous, you can make your own but be aware that it will not be ready to eat for a few days – fermentation takes time.

FAMILY PLAN NOTES

  • Fresh spring produce can be delicate. To preserve their best flavor and benefits, this meal plan mostly proposes recipes that cook the veggies at the last minute. The entire dinners are still quick to prepare, thanks to advance cooking or mixing of the sauces. All the meals should take 15-30 minutes to pull together on weeknights. If you feel pressed for time, you can chop veggies ahead of time and refrigerate in airtight containers.
  • Gnocchi dinner: I recommend 2 packages because I find that a single package is too small for a meal even for 2 people. (My husband and I love our carbs.) Use your judgement.

MINI PLAN NOTES

  • I recommend making the Coco-peanut noodles and the Curried couscous salad (with its assorted roasted veggies), followed by the pizza pockets the first week. Have the Spring surprise salad the second week.
  • Don’t let the dressing discourage you… but if you get a bottle of vegan dressing from the store, or just use a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, that’s A-OK too.

Questions? Worries? Get help.