Welcome to the Better Dinner Institute

Prepare to feed your family really good food.

Hello hello! Ready for some delicious spring grub?

Here is your meal plan for early-June. It takes us right through to Fathers’ Day! Isn’t that amazing?

I hope you enjoy this selection of hearty yet warm-weather friendly dinners.

Before your download and save your plan, please review the notes.

NOTES

  • You will make the most of this meal plan if you follow the steps as suggested. Normally I leave a lot of room for winging it, but in this meal plan it could become confusing as ingredients from one dinner get turned into the next, and recipes share ingredients. For example, the creamy ramen broth is made by blending in rice and roasted yam. It’s absolutely amazing! But if you blew through the prep step that says: “cook rice” because you thought you could do it at the last minute, you’ll hit a road block when it comes to preparing the soup.
  • If you have access to garlic scapes, you can use them instead of regular garlic cloves. The taste is much milder. I thinly slice about 4 inches long for each clove of garlic – but really you can eyeball it without significant consequences.
  • Let’s talk about ramen noodles! Please do NOT buy the packaged instant noodles! They are deep-fried and definitely not on the good-for-you list. (Although I will admit that I have occasionally snacked on them – dry – like chips.) Ramen are made from wheat flour and kansui, a type of mineral water that is alkaline and gives the noodles their specific color and texture. You can get good ramen noodles fresh or dry. If you live in a city, and have made a habit of visiting your local Asian grocer, you might find some fresh ones, and will definitely find the dry ones, often wrapped in little bundles like soba. Another idea is to ask local a Japanese restaurant if they’d sell you some fresh noodles. Ramen should not normally be made with eggs but apparently some use those as a substitute for the kansui, so ask to be sure. If you can’t find them, just get any other type of noodles – preparation will be the same.
  • I suggest using kombu in the ramen soup broth. It is absolutely not necessary, but it will add a subtle oceanic feel to your soup, as well as a healthy dose of iodine. Did you know that vegans who do not use iodized table salt are at risk for iodine deficiency? For that reason, I add a 3-inch piece of kombu whenever I cook beans. Just don’t chew on the kombu itself.
  • Vegan parm nuts is my go-to topping for many Mediterranean dishes like pasta and polenta. It comes back regularly on the day-to-day instructions but I do not always post the full recipe because it’s kind of optional. (If you don’t like the stuff as much as me, we can still be friends.) In case you never made it before, here is the recipe.

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