Just like many of you, I am cooking a lot more than I did before COVID and I find it’s easy to get into a rut and just fall back on those meals I don’t have to think very hard about. (Which may or may not include a box of cereal).

For this week’s meal plan, I chose five meals that each offer a twist on a recipe I would normally make, and the best part is that they are so easy!

From a favorite sushi roll turned into an easy, deconstructed salad  to a pizza with french fries on it (yes, french fries on a pizza mmmmm), I hope this week’s meal plan will be one you will want to bookmark.

So grab a pen, or open up your AnyList app or other grocery app, and let’s plan out meals for next week — and change things up a bit!

Top: California Roll Sushi Bowls from CookingClassy


Thai Pineapple Fried Rice via Cookie and Kate| 5 fantastic dinner recipes that offer twists on the same-old at Cool Mom Eats

For a sweet twist on Meatless Monday, this Thai Pineapple Fried Rice from Cookie and Kate is ah-mazing.  You can use brown rice or white rice, but her tip to use chilled rice is key.  I make the rice the day before and stick it in the fridge for even easier meal prep at night. Plus, I double the recipe because I’m feeding two teenagers. And hey, if there is any left, it makes a fantastic lunch the next day.

Also see: The easiest fried rice our family loves 

Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos from The Real Food RDs...plus a smart, easy shortcut! | 5 fantastic dinner recipes that offer twists on the same-old at Cool Mom Eats

These Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos from The Real Food RDs are a delicious twist for Taco Tuesday.  If you are like me and the idea of using a mandoline freaks you out a bit, try my shortcut, using a couple of bags of your favorite sweet potato chips. (I find it saves some time and uh, some mental health.)

Also, can we talk for a second about the Southwest Ranch Dressing in this recipe made with kefir? Smart! Just note that you will want to double or triple this part of the recipe, then keep a jar in your fridge so you can drizzle on all things — it is so good and easy, you may never buy pre-made ranch again.

Also see: 7 amazing nacho recipe variations


Deli Salad Tortellini from Chrissy Teigen is a fun twist on pasta night..or salad night | 5 fantastic dinner recipes that offer twists on the same-old at Cool Mom Eats

Chrissy Teigen is my recipe guru, which is not something I would have ever imagined saying. Her recipes just speak to me,  When I saw her recipe for Deli Salad with Tortellini I couldn’t wait to try it out!  Deli sandwich night is a staple in my home, so last week I made a twist on our mainstay using this recipe. It was a HUGE hit and devoured in 10 minutes flat — even by the teenage boy who “hates” salad.

Also see: : How to make our 4 favorite easy pasta salads, and the mix-in ideas to make them your own

Our Facebook group flipped for this deconstructed California roll rice bowl, which is easier and more affordable than ordering in sushi. Recipe: Cooking Classy | 5 fantastic dinner recipes that offer twists on the same-old at Cool Mom Eats

Last week, when Kate posted the Weekly Meal Plan for Easy Summer Recipes in our Recipe Rescue Facebook Community (which you should totally be a part of, ahem), our own Christina shared this recipe for California Sushi Roll Bowls from Cooking Classy and everyone went wild.  I had a huge V-8 moment and was like “why didn’t I think of this?!”  My family adores sushi, but with teenagers, it can get super expensive to fill their bellies with fancy rolls.  This recipe is awesome because you get all the feels of a sushi roll, but in a hearty bowl — for a fraction of the cost.

Also see: How to make your own onigirazu, or sushi sandwiches like you see at Whole Foods


French Fry and Bacon Pizza is a fun way to change up DIY Pizza night (and so good!) via Real Food by Dad | 5 fantastic dinner recipes that offer twists on the same-old at Cool Mom Eats

Two of my family’s favorite things are pizza and french fries. So how genius is it to combine these two wonderful things?  Blow everyone’s mind on pizza night and switch up your norm with this Fracho and Bacon Pizza from Real Food By Dad (and if you are not following Real Food by Dad on Instagram stop what you are doing and jump over there and follow him now).

And don’t balk at the idea of French fries on pizza — fancy places sometimes offer versions with thinly sliced potatoes, rosemary, goat cheese…so it’s a thing! Just an easier thing, with this recipe.

Also see: 25 Creative pizza toppings to make any DIY pizza night more fun

Fun breakfast alert! These breakfast cookies are healthy, wholesome, and we've got a tip for making them nut-free | recipe: What's Gaby Cooking

Bonus: Dessert Like some of you, I know, we have fallen into a rut when it comes to breakfast — and by rut I mean that I am exhausted making breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. So breakfast has dwindled down to choosing between frozen waffles or cereal. Yay. So when I stumbled across this recipe for Breakfast Cookies from What’s Gaby Cooking in my files, I baked up a batch the other night after everyone went to bed.

Let’s say I was a hero for about 20 minutes the next morning.

I am allergic to nuts, and have trouble finding nut free muesli, so I substituted plain oats with some chopped cashews and they turned out perfectly. Give them a try. Can’t we all use some more thank yous at the table these days?

I put these weekly meals plans together based on recipes I am actually cooking for my family, and with you in mind.  If you have suggestions, tips or recommendations for recipes or other food bloggers I should check out, please comment here, or shoot me a message in our Recipe Rescue group on Facebook.  – Lisa