Meal Plans: Harmonizing Your Plate

Good morning everyone! Lately, I’m interested in the idea of planning whole meals. I love one pot meals, such as stir-fry and warm salad, however, I’ve wanted to step up my dinner game with a little variety.

I recently purchased Lindsey Nixon’s new book, the Everyday Happy Herbivore. Since the recipes are all “Quick and Easy” I thought it would be a good way to work on my weeknight meal plans.

Here’s a meal I made entirely from her cookbook:

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I think I was a little ambitious planning to cook all of this on a weeknight, but Mike got home early and agreed to help me (isn’t he the best?!). Mike and I both had kitchen firsts: it was my first time using fresh sage and Mike minced fresh ginger. I love the smell and texture of sage, it smells like Christmas and feels like velvet.

All the flavors worked well together because there are many similar ingredients. For example, the pasta and greens had red pepper flakes. The soup and greens used ginger. The book actually suggests making the Harvest Cornbread with the Pumpkin Sage Pasta because they use up the same ingredients (one uses 3/4 of a can of pumpkin and the other uses 1/4 and they both use fresh sage). I thought that was great advice! Since the pasta and greens were spicy and the bread and soup were not,there was a little contrast too.

I realized as we were cooking that the meal was a little starch heavy, however, we both enjoyed it. The best part was, it was a cold and rainy day when we cooked this last week and this meal was so warm and comforting! It has many fall flavors and foods such as sage, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin. The temperature of all the foods is warm and has hot spices. I find ginger and garlic comforting, as well as potatoes and pasta. We both felt happy and a little sleepy after dinner…although the sleepiness could be due to all our hard work in the kitchen!

When planning meals what do you think about? Complimenting or contrasting flavors? Getting all the food groups in?

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