2016 Meal Plan: The Recipe Guide

Ready to kick 2016 off with a healthy bang??  Here's your 7-day meal plan and a drool-worthy gallery of pictures featuring some of the beautiful dishes you'll be devouring all week.  The first step?  Grocery Shopping.  Here is your grocery shopping list.  Next up? A little planning and a little prep.  Batch cooking is key, but it takes practice!  Use the batch cooking guide below to keep you organized and your fridge full of nourishing meals all week long!

Sunday Prep Day:  Batch Cooking 101

Get ahead of the game by prepping for a few staples to get you through the week.  You will also use this time to pack breakfast and lunch for Monday so that come Monday morning, all of the work and decision-making is already done!

*Note: MB = Monday Breakfast, ML = Monday Lunch, TB= Tuesday Breakfast, etc

Raw crudité:  Chop a few carrots into matchsticks and store in the fridge for convenient snacking all week long. 

Cooked Veggies:

Eggplant:  Cut the eggplant into rounds.  Lay on paper towels and salt liberally to draw out water.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes.  Gently squeeze the eggplant with paper towels to soak up the excess water. 

Dice: summer squash, zucchini, & 1 bell pepper

Roast the veggies. Toss eggplant rounds, squash/zucchini, and pepper in olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Arrange veggies in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast in the oven at 425 for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown (toss half way).

Sweet potatoes:  Wash sweet potatoes.  Pierce holes in 2 sweet potatoes and wrap in foil.  Dice the remaining potato and toss in 1 tbs olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast all 3 potatoes in the oven at 425F (Roast the diced potatoes for 15-25 minutes or until golden on all sides, toss half way.  Bake the foil wrapped potatoes for 40-50 minutes, or until potatoes are tender).   Allow to cool and store in fridge.

Whole Grains

Grain of the week:  Choose a new grain to try this week.  (some of my favorites include faro, kamut, wheat berries and millet).  Add 7 servings of grains (1/4 dry = 1 serving, so about 2 cups dry in total) to a large pot.  Use this chart to determine how much water to use, and the appropriate cooking time depending on your grain of choice.  Tip:  for a softer grain, add extra water and cook a few minutes longer.  Allow the grains to cool.  Keep ½ the grains plain and store in the refrigerator to use in recipes throughout the week.

Tabbouleh:  To the remaining grains, whisk together the zest and juice of 2 lemons with a clove of garlic, salt, pepper, and 1 tbs olive oil.  Add 1 cup of diced cucumber, 1 cup of chopped tomatoes, ¼ cup diced onion, and ½ cup chopped herbs.  Combine with the grains and toss to combine.  Store in the refrigerator. 


Hardboiled eggs:  Fill a bowl with ice and water.  Add 4 eggs to a pot and fill with water.  Bring to a boil.  Then remove from heat, cover and sit for 10 minutes.  Transfer the eggs to the ice bath.    Once cooled, store in the refrigerator for a healthy protein rich snack throughout the week.

Meat/Fish:  If including meat or fish in your diet, season salmon or chicken breast with salt and pepper, lemon, garlic, and herbs.  Bake or grill.  Allow to cool and store in the refrigerator to incorporate into meals throughout the week.

Salad Dressings

Lemon Dijon:  In a mason jar or glass bottle, add 4 Tbs Dijon mustard, 1 Tbs olive oil, fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and the juice and zest of 2 lemons.  Shake well and store in the refrigerator. 

Balsamic Vinaigrette: In a second mason jar or bottle, add 4 Tbs Dijon mustard, 1 Tbs olive oil, the juice of ½ an orange, and 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar with salt, pepper, and 2 Tbs fresh herbs.    Shake well and store in refrigerator. 

Pack Monday’s Breakfast & Lunch:

(MB) Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal:  Scoop 1 serving of grains into 1 glass container.  Add ¼ cup 100% pumpkin puree, ¼ cup of diced apple, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1 tsp vanilla, ½ tbs raisins or chopped dates. *Optional 1 tsp sweetener (honey, grade b maple syrup) Fill with water until the liquid level rises just above the oats.  Store in fridge over night.  Warm up in the microwave or on the stove top for 3-4 minutes, stirring intermittently. 

(ML) Orange, Beet & Walnut Salad with Honey and Basil: Slice beets into wedges.  Cut the top and bottom of an orange and lay one of the flat sides on a cutting board.  Use a pairing knife to cut the rind off the orange.  Then segment the orange by making incision on either side of each segment.  Place chopped greens in a to-go container.  Top with walnuts, oranges, beets, 2 tbs crumbled cheese and ½ cup cooked grains.  Drizzle with honey and season with salt and pepper.  Top with fresh basil.  Pack a small container of Balsamic vinaigrette on the side.


Thanks to the time you put into the kitchen on Sunday prep-day, dinner tonight should be a breeze!  Enjoy this classic Italian dish tonight, and transform the leftovers into Veggie Frittata Muffins for a healthy, protein rich option to have on hand all week.

(MD) Chickpea Ratatouille over Grains: In a large sauté pan, sauté ½ an onion in 1 tbs olive oil, ¼ tsp crushed red pepper, and 1 tsp dried oregano over medium heat.  Once translucent add ½ diced bell pepper, 2-3 cloves of minced garlic, and a squirt of tomato paste (about 1-2 Tbs).  Stir, and continue to cook until the onions begin to brown.  Deglaze the pan with a splash of red wine vinegar, then stir in ½ can of whole peeled tomatoes.  Use a fork or potato masher to break the tomatoes into chunky pieces.  Add 1 cup of roasted diced eggplant and 1 cup of zucchini and yellow squash from your batch cooking.  Reduce heat, and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve over 1/2 cup pre-cooked whole grains and ½ cup chickpeas (or 3-4 oz chicken).  Garnish with fresh basil.  After dinner, use leftover ratatouille to make Veggie Frittata Muffins.

Repurpose leftovers:  Veggie Frittata Muffins: Thaw 1 cup of frozen quinoa and stir into leftover ratatouille.  Meanwhile, whisk together 6 eggs and season with salt and pepper and fresh herbs.  Drop spoonfuls of the veggie quinoa mixture into an oil-sprayed muffin tin.  Pour the egg mixture over the veggies.  Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes, or until cook through.  Allow to cool.  Then place half the muffins in a ziplock container and store in the refrigerator, and place the other half in a ziplock bag and store in the freezer to save for later.

Prep for Tuesday’s Breakfast & Lunch:

(TB) Grapefruit Parfait: Slice a grapefruit in half.  Using a small knife, make incisions on either side of each segment, and then cut around the perimeter of the grapefruit to release the segments from the rind.  Top with a serving of yogurt, toasted nuts and seeds, and a drizzle of honey. 

(TL) Caprese salad with Veggie Frittata Muffin: Slice a handful of cherry tomatoes and crumble ¼ cup of cheese.  Place a few handful of greens and chopped basil in a to-go container.  Top with tomatoes, cheese, and 2 tablespoons of Pesto.  Season with salt and pepper and pack Balsamic Vinaigrette on the side.  Pack 1-2 Veggie Frittata Muffins to go.


Whip up these Indian Stuffed Peppers for dinner in a flash.  Enjoy 1 today and store one away for later in the week!

(TD) Indian Stuffed Peppers: In a sauté pan, sauté half an onion (diced) with 1 tbs olive oil and 1 tbs of curry powder over medium heat until translucent.  Meanwhile, cut off the top of 2 bell peppers, about 2 inches below the stem.  Discard the ribs and seeds and remove the stem from the “lids” of the peppers.  Dice the lids into ½” cubes.  Add the diced bell pepper and a squirt of tomato paste to the pan, and continue to cook until crisp tender.  Deglaze the pan with ¼ cup of orange juice.  Stir in ½ can of whole peeled tomatoes, and mash with a fork or potato masher.  Next add ½ cup frozen quinoa, ½ cup frozen peas, and 2 cups of leafy greens.  Reduce heat to low, season with salt and pepper and continue to cook until greens have wilted.  Fill each pepper with the filling, and place bell peppers standing upright in a pot filled with 3 inches of water.  Cover, and cook on medium high heat for 3-5 minutes, or until peppers are softened.  Garnish with fresh cilantro, 1 tbs of chopped almonds, and 1 tbs of chopped dates.  Save one bell pepper for later in the week!

Prep for Wednesday Breakfast & Lunch:

(WB) Lox & Roll: Lay 1 sheet of nori on a flat surface.  Mash together ¼ cup cheese with ¼ cup plain yogurt.  Whisk in capers,1 tsp caper juice, and fresh dill.  Spread mixture on nori.  Lay thinly sliced red onion and pieces of smoked salmon on top.  Line up a row of matchstick cucumber slices on top of the filling, going across the nori paper.  Squeeze fresh lemon juice, then roll tightly away from you.  Use lemon juice to moisten the edge of the paper to secure it tightly.  Slice into 1- ½” pieces.

(WL) Mediterranean Salad: Place a few handfuls of greens in a to go container.  Add 1 cup of tabbouleh, ½ cup of artichoke hearts, and 3-4 olives, sliced.  Top with ½ cup chickpeas.  Season with salt and pepper and pack Lemon Dijon dressing on the side.


(WD) Korean Eggplant tacos: Bake or toast 2 veggie burgers according to package instructions.  Meanwhile, whisk together 1 tsp toasted sesame oil, 1 tbs miso, 1 tbs rice vinegar, 1 tbs grated ginger, 1 garlic clove, a squirt of sriracha or gochuchang, and the zest and juice of 1 lime.  Toss 2-3 of the roasted eggplant rounds from your batch cooking in the marinade (reserve marinade).  Reheat the rounds in a pan about 2 minutes per side.  Next combine 2-3 tbs kimichi with 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt.  To assemble, 1 crumble veggie burger into pieces and lightly toss in remaining marinade. Fill each eggplant round with veggie burger, then top with kimchi cream and garnish with fresh cilantro.  After dinner and before cleaning up, repurpose your leftovers:  use the remaining veggie burger and reserved Asian marinade to prepare DIY Sushi Rolls for lunch later in the week.  *carnivore option: swap in pre-baked chicken breast or salmon in place of veggie burgers.

Prep for Thursday Breakfast & Lunch: 

(THB) Very Berry Oatmeal:  Scoop 1 serving of grains into 1 glass container.  Add 2/3 cup mixed berries, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tbs toasted nuts and seeds.  Optional 1 tsp sweetener (honey, grade b maple syrup).  Fill with water until the liquid level rises just above the oats.  Store in fridge over night.  Warm up in the microwave or on the stove top for 3-4 minutes, stirring intermittently. 

(THL) Indian Stuffed Peppers (leftover)


(TD)  Sweet Potato Falafel with Tahini Sauce, Tabbouleh, & Hummus: Slice 1 baked potato in half and scoop out the orange flesh into a large bowl.  Add 1 2 teaspoons cumin, 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 tsp ground coriander, and the juice and zest of 1 lemon juice.  Then, begin to add the chickpea flour in ¼ cup increments until dough becomes thick like cookie batter (about ½ cup chickpea flour).  Season the mixture with salt and pepper.  Store the dough in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to firm up the dough and preheat the oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Using 2 spoons, shape the dough into uniform balls and arrange them on the baking sheet.  Spray the dough with olive oil, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.  Top with Tahini Sauce and garnish with fresh cilantro.  Serve with a serving of tabbouleh and hummus on the side!

Tahini Sauce: Whisk together ¼ cup tahini + 2 Tbs water, 1 lemon, juice and zest, ¼ tsp cumin, & coriander, salt, pepper and ¼ cup cilantro, chopped

Prep for Friday Breakfast & Lunch

(FB) Pumpkin Spice ParfaitCombine 1 serving of yogurt with ¼ cup of pumpkin puree.  Top with ½ of a diced apple, pumpkin pie spice, and toasted nuts and seeds.  Optional: sweeten with 1 tsp grade B maple syrup.

(FL) DIY Sushi Rolls: On a cutting board, cut ¼ of a carrot, ¼ of a cucumber, leftover veggie burger, and ¼ avocado into matchstick slices.  Stack a handful of greens on top of each other, and tightly roll it up.  Using a chef’s knife, finely shred the greens into thin strands or ribbons.  Toss carrots, cucumber, greens, and ½ cup rice with the reserved Asian marinade. Set aside.  Lay a piece of nori paper on a flat surface.  Starting about 2-3 inches from the edge of the paper that’s closest to you, layer your ingredients to span the full length of the paper in a horizontal fashion.  Top with a few sprigs of cilantro.  Roll the edge of the paper closest to you over the filling, and begin to tightly roll the paper away from you, until completely rolled.  Seal the paper by using some of the remaining marinade (or water) to moisten the edge of the paper until it adheres.  Using a sharp knife, slice the rolls into 1-2” inch pieces.  Gently place the rolls in a container and drizzle with sriracha.  Store the remaining marinade in a container to use as a dipping sauce.  *carnivore option: swap in sliced chicken breast or salmon in place of  veggie burger.


(FD) - Chickpea Crust Pizza: Whisk together ½ cup garbanzo flour with 2/3 cup of water, 1 tsp dried oregano, salt and pepper.  Heat an oven-proof pan over high heat and coat with 1 tbs olive oil.  Pour batter into pan and cook until bottom is crisp and top begins to firm, about 2-3 minutes.  Add ½ cup chopped tomatoes, ¼ cup artichoke hearts, 3-4 sliced olives, and ¼ crumbled kite hill cheese.  Place under the broiler for 2-4 minutes, or until top is completely firm.  Finish with crushed red pepper, fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  *carnivore option: add 3 oz of sliced chicken breast or salmon


(SAB) Sunny-side-up Farmer’s Market Hash: Take any leftover veggies and throw them in a pan with 1tbs olive oil.  Add leftover sweet potatoes and toss to combine.  In a separate pan, crack 1-2 eggs in an oil-sprayed pan.  Serve with veggies and potatoes.  Garnish with fresh herbs.

(SAL) Leftovers:  Sweet Potato Falafel with Tahini Sauce, Tabbouleh, & Hummus

(SAD) Curried Cauliflower & Sweet Potatoes with Jeweled Grains: Toss cauliflower with 1 tbs olive oil and ½ tbs curry powder.  Lay in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast in the oven at 425 for 30-40 minutes (toss half way).  With 10 minutes left, add the pre-baked diced sweet potatoes and another sprinkle of curry powder.  Meanwhile, add 1 cup of pre-cooked grains to a sauce pan with 2-3 table spoons of water, 1 tablespoons of raisins, 1 tsp of cinnamon, and 1 tsp of cumin.  Reheat on low.  To plate, arrange cauliflower on top of a smear of hummus.  Serve with jeweled grains and sweet potatoes.   Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro.


(SUB) Banana Bread Oatmeal:  Scoop 1 serving of grains into 1 glass container.  Add ½ banana, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tbs toasted walnuts, chopped, 1 tbs raisins or chopped dates, 1tsp vanilla. *Optional 1 tsp sweetener (honey, grade b maple syrup).  Fill with water until the liquid level rises just above the oats.  Store in fridge over night.  Warm up in the microwave or on the stovetop for 3-4 minutes, stirring intermittently. 

(SUL) Open-faced California Club: Bake or toast burger according to package instructions.  Lay on a bed of greens.  Spread hummus or Pesto on top, and serve with onion, sliced tomato, and avocado.  Carnivore option: swap in chicken breast or salmon in place of veggie burger

(SUD) Shitake Miso Soup: Whisk together: 1 tbs tamari, 1 tsp toasted sesame oil, 1 tbs grated ginger, 1 tbs minced garlic, 1 tbs rice vinegar, and 2 tbs water.  Place half the marinade in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Over medium high heat, sauté shitake mushrooms with the other half of the marinade. Once browned, add 2 cups of greens and 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, then turn off heat.

Meanwhile, crack 1 egg into the bowl containing the remaining marinade and whisk to combine.  Mash the flesh of ½ a baked sweet potato into the mixture.  Add ¼-½ cup of garbanzo flour in small increments, until pancake batter consistency is achieved (tip:  add water to thin out if necessary).  Stir in ½ cup chopped scallions.

Heat a medium sauté pan over medium high heat and spray with olive oil.  Spoon ½ cup batter at a time and cook until air bubbles appear around the circumference of the pancake.  Flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.  Continue the same process until all of the batter is used.

Ladle a few tablespoons of warm broth into a soup bowl, and carefully whisk in add 1 Tbs miso and 1 Tbs of tahini until completely dissolved.  (tip, do not add boiling hot liquid to miso, as it will kill the live probiotics).  Then add the rest of the soup, including greens and mushrooms.  Serve miso soup with with scallion pancakes and fresh cilantro.  Serve with kimchi “cream: 2-3 tbs kimchi + ¼ cup plain greek yogurt *optional:  add thinly sliced chicken breast to the miso soup!

This article was originally published on Philly.com’s Goal Getter column