A Month of Dinners

Six basic recipes, 28 different meals: the easiest menu plan ever.

  • Jane Kirby

One of the hardest parts of getting dinner on the table is figuring out what exactly that dinner is going to be. This system for a month of easy dinners follows that lead. There's a regular schedule. You'll never have to comb through cookbooks looking for dinner ideas, because you'll be using the same six recipes every week. But this system offers variations on those recipes, which means you'll be eating a different meal every night of the month.


 Basic Recipe

Variations


 Basic Recipe

Variations


 Basic Recipe

Variations


Basic Recipe
 

Variations


Basic Recipe
 

Variations


 Basic Recipe

Variations


Side Dishes

Broccoli
Peel 1 head of broccoli and cut into 2-inch pieces. Steam until crisp-tender. Saute in a large skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons olive oil and one of the following combinations:

  • 2 sliced garlic cloves and salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 2 bay leaves (remove from skillet before serving), and salt to taste.


 Mashed Potatoes
Peel and quarter 6 Yukon Gold potatoes. Boil in salted water until tender. Drain and mash. Add one of the following combinations:

  • 1/2 cup milk and 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped red Thai chilies (or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes) and 2 tablespoons butter


 Carrots
Peel 4 large carrots and cut into 2-inch pieces. Place in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 teaspoons salt. Add one of the following:

  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder.
    For a fresh carrot slaw, peel and shred 4 carrots and add one of the following variations:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, and salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, and salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage


 Couscous
To 4 cups of cooked couscous, add one of the following:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 cup peas, and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil


 Brown Rice
To 4 cups cooked brown rice, add one of the following:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 cup peas
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil