I believe that good food is like a warm hug from the inside out. And we can all use more hugs right now, since we are not all getting as many of the actual physical hugs. Leading up to Halloween and election day (VOTE VOTE VOTE) I have designed next week’s meal plan to fill my family with healthy, warm hug every night.
Come Saturday, we will be eating all of the treats, right? So I am front-loading the week with healthy-ish recipes that at least make me feel better about the amount of sugar about to pour into our home.
Hopefully this meal plan inspires you to change things up a little, and think of the meals that let you deliver a little extra love and comfort. You’ll find even more of those in our meal plan archives, too.
Photo © Alex Lan for Bon Appétit
Mushrooms just ooze warmth and comfort with that whole earthy vibe. For Meatless Monday, we are digging into the recipe for Soy-Glazed Tofu and Mushrooms from Bon Appétit. This recipe is just amazing — and so super duper easy. Promise! You can see how beautifully it presents on the plate, with those bits of coarsely chopped, fresh cilantro. And while I love how the mix of mushroom shapes and sizes makes everything as gorgeous as something out of, well, Bon Appétit, I have one tip: Definitely select oyster or maitake mushrooms rather than white or crimini mushrooms, as they get crispier in your skillet.
By the way, for you omnivores, my husband declared this is the only tofu dish he likes. (Shhhh…don’t tell him about all of the other places I sub it.)
Having grown up in Texas, Tex-Mex food is seriously comforting for me. These Tex-Mex chalupas from Homesick Texan are perfect for a heartwarming Taco Tuesday. As Lisa Fain writes, what makes her easy meal really work is using quality ingredients and good seasonings. And yes, it’s a little more work, but be sure to fry your own tortillas! It makes all the difference. They can be fully satisfying with just refried beans, but add some ground beef or chicken breast if you choose for a heartier meal.
Chicken Parmesan Soup with an ooey gooey Mozarrella Crouton from How Sweet Eats is a dinner that checks all of the soul-warming boxes for me. Besides being full of flavor, this recipe is fantastic because it comes together really quickly. Or as I like to think of it, having a warm hug on the table less than 45 minutes. To save a little more time, just use rotisserie chicken or pre-cooked chicken breasts from your grocer’s deli or hot meal department.
I know I know, I already offered a “taco” themed recipe earlier this week, but these Taco-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes from Love & Olive Oil have been a comforting mid-week meal for my family for several years. And can you really have too many taco flavors in a week? No! I like to set out all of the ingredients buffet style, then let my family fill their own potatoes. (Or if you have older kids, let them set out all the ingredients, right?) Another tip: I have subbed ground turkey or ground chicken depending on my mood.
My mom used to make Pizza Fondue once a year as a holiday tradition on Christmas Eve. This dish brings back so many amazing memories of my entire family gathered around the table laughing, eating and just being happy — and I’d hate to wait until Christmas to enjoy it every year. In fact, with my own family, I make this dish anytime I need to gather us all together and leave the stresses of life outside of the kitchen. This recipe for Slow Cooker Pizza Fondue from Marybeth at My Fearless Kitchen is a must-try, because you can set the crock pot right in the middle of the table for dipping, keeping it warm without having to use sterno under a fondue pot if you’ve got younger kids. I cube and toast an entire loaf of french bread for dipping, and serve with a huge green salad. Hugs all around.
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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