in the kitchen

Weekly Meal Plan

Weekly Meal Plan

The trick with having beans on the weekly meal plan so often is to make them taste good and be good for us without adding lots of salt. Honestly, I’m trying to make them taste great and not just good! What I do is vary the flavor of the bean centered meals and cook them with different spices and additions to make them special and not just “plain old beans” that have very little taste.

One flavor element that all the beans we eat have in common: onion and garlic. Whatever you plan to do with beans, if you start with onion and garlic, your taste buds will be so much happier than if you left them out! If I’m making beans in the slow-cooker, I add the garlic and onion when I turn the machine on. If I’m rushed and don’t do it, I sauté onion and garlic and then add them at a later point.

  • Black (or pigeon) beans and pinto beans: these go with Mexican inspired dishes. Any time we’re having quesadillas, soup, or salad that has cilantro, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, these beans are going in the mix. A weekly staple at our house is the pinto bean and cheese burrito or pinto beans over brown rice with a sour cream sauce that’s like a dressing. A go-to-quick dinner keeps us eating at home rather than zipping through a drive-thru line!
  • Garbanzo beans: these go into our famous “Mediterranean tacos” which are pita bread filled with hummus, cucumber, onion, tomatoes and feta cheese. Garbanzo beans also taste excellent sautéed with onion, garlic, and fresh sage. That’s how we ate them this week served with quinoa. Curry, cumin, and turmeric are spices I add when making my spicy hummus.
  • Navy, white beans: these taste best with Italian flavorings and go well with pasta and spinach mixed together with a broth or a soup with zucchini, mushrooms, and spinach. White beans sautéed with garlic, onion, mushrooms, and red pepper flakes is a lunch time favorite. The beans break down and are creamy. Navy or white beans can also easily be made into baked beans/barbecue flavored beans by adding your favorite barbecue sauce and simmering.

    Go Gingham: Beans in slow cooker
    Beans in the slow-cooker ready to be strained and frozen.

Weekly Meal Plan

I meal plan at the beginning of each week, before heading to the grocery store. Weekly meal planning saves money, reduces food waste, and keeps me from saying, “Let’s go out to eat!” If you need more reasons to meal plan every week, check HERE. Both of my kids cook dinner once-a-week and do the clean up after the meal. If you want to learn how to pull that off at your house, check HERE. If you’re looking for more meal planning ideas, check HERE.

This meal plan is from Monday, March 4, 2013 to Sunday, March 10, 2013.

Monday: sautéed garbanzo beans with quinoa

Tuesday: “Mediterranean tacos” – pita bread filled with hummus, cucumber, onion, tomatoes and feta cheese

Wednesday: Roasted chicken, brown rice, and green salad

Thursday: chicken salad sandwiches (made with leftover chicken) and carrot sticks

Friday: pan seared fish, quinoa, and green salad

Saturday: pizza with artichokes, spinach, mushrooms, and onion (my daughter made dinner this night but I made the pizza dough during the day and she chopped/rolled/assembled/baked)

Sunday: puttanesca pasta with green salad oven roasted baby bok choy (my son made dinner this night)

A note about my meal planning posts: now that I’ve shared 52 + weeks (the plus is that some I forgot to number so I didn’t count those!) of meal plans, I’ve decided to only post them monthly. Look for the next meal planning list on the first Thursday of the month. It will chronicle a month’s worth of weekly meal plans. (May 2nd will have all of April and the last 2 weeks of March.) Thank you to everyone who gave me feedback about this. I truly appreciate your input.

What’s for dinner at your house?

Go Gingham related links:

Homemade chocolate chip cookies – I swear these are almost health food!
Sour cream chipotle sauce that is an excellent dip
Egg salad sandwiches – you’ll wish you had chickens
Spicy, homemade hummus that you make from dried beans
Shrimp and quinoa salad – a summer favorite

4 thoughts on “Weekly Meal Plan

  1. My husband and I tried a recipe from Food & Wine. We invited some guinea pigs…..a.k.a. our close friends over to try it with us. Turned out! Some Alaskan halibut, chili, sweet vinegar, snap peas, and lemon.


    1. Mary, this sounds delicious! Way to go on trying a new recipe. Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in the same rut of cooking (I know that happens to me!) and trying a new dish out on friends is a great excuse to experiment. Way to go!


  2. What, no lentils? We love them because they cook more quickly than other dry beans. Honey Baked Lentils is a particularly convenient recipe.

    I certainly agree about the need to flavor beans. With varied flavors and varied types of beans, I feel they are at least as versatile as meats. Sometimes we’ll have 4 different bean-based meals in a week, but they all feel like different foods.

    I think posting a month’s menus rather than a week’s makes a lot of sense. I typically do the planning once or twice a week–to accommodate the amounts of foods available and use up leftovers–but I post 3-4 weeks at a time because I think it makes for a more interesting post and a better representation of how we go about making good use of our food, since a lot of things carry over into the next week. Here is my most recent menu post.


    1. Becca,
      Thanks for the link for the honey baked lentils. That sounds really great. I do love lentils for the convenience of them cooking faster than beans but my family will add beans to just about anything and are less likely to add lentils.
      You may want to check out the lentil fest recipe contest. I entered last year with this recipe:
      It’s tasty and can be made without the pork for vegetarian cooking.
      Thanks for leaving a comment!


Comments are closed.