With this plan and one (preplanned) bag of groceries, you’ll have what you need for dinner every night this week. With a few choice ingredients on the shopping list (pork chops, snap peas), it’s easy to produce a fast and fabulous dinner (Pork Lo Mein) on a Thursday night. That’s because you’ve already cooked the pasta from the shopping bag on Wednesday, using half of it for Cincinnati Chili. The menu plan is designed so you eat the freshest ingredients first—asparagus on Monday’s Spring Pizza, scallops with cilantro rice on Tuesday (and you’ll use the rest of that cilantro the next night). Does that mean Friday is destined to be lonely leftovers or cuisine of questionable creativity? Not at all: on Tuesday you cooked extra rice, which set up Friday’s dinner (Rice, Cheddar & Spinach Pie) nicely. Wasn’t that deliciously thrifty of you!
—Wendy Ruopp, Managing Editor
Asparagus, chives and fontina cheese top this easy pizza recipe. Serve with baby greens tossed with vinaigrette and pecans.
Get the Recipe: Spring Pizza
This recipe pairs curry-coated scallops and brown rice seasoned with cilantro, scallions and lemon. For this recipe you’ll need 3 cups cooked brown rice. Serve with roasted carrots tossed with cumin and coriander.
Get the Recipe: Curry Scallops & Cilantro Rice
Cincinnati has a unique spin on chili—they serve it over spaghetti. Typically the chili is just made with meat, no beans, but we couldn’t resist adding beans to add fiber and nutrients. Serve with sliced cucumber and red onion with lemon juice and olive oil.
Get the Recipe: Cincinnati Chili
Lo mein is a Chinese restaurant takeout favorite that’s easy to make at home. This lo mein recipe features lean pork loin chops and snap peas, but snow peas or asparagus work well too. Serve with shredded radish and cabbage tossed with rice vinegar.
Get the Recipe: Pork & Snap Pea Lo Mein
This rice, spinach and Cheddar pie is a cinch to prepare—especially if you have leftover cooked rice. If you don’t, follow package directions for 4 servings to get about 3 cups cooked rice. Serve with steamed artichokes with light mayo mixed with lemon for dipping.
Get the Recipe: Rice, Cheddar & Spinach Pie