Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back to Meal Planning and (Almost) No Cook Vegetable Curry

It’s the beginning of a new quarter, so it’s back to work and preschool. That means busy mornings, making lunches, and less time to make dinner. I therefore decided that it was time to get back to meal planning. Instead of planning meals for each day of the week, I just planned easy-to-make meals with ingredients that keep a few days in the fridge. That way I can make what I feel like each night. Here is what I wrote down on Sunday morning before I went shopping:
Meals for the week:
  •  Vegetable Curry, brown rice, and naan (this turned out to be Monday’s dinner)
  • Quesadillas with Greek yogurt, salsa, & avocados and arugula salad
  • (Almost) homemade potato and brie pizza (I bought whole wheat pizza dough at Trader Joe’s) & mixed salad
  • Homemade organic chicken strips, baked sweet potato fries, and mache salad
  • Salmon, rice, and spinach salad with avocado
The vegetable curry was super easy and very tasty. Plus, there are enough leftovers for several lunches!
Vegetable Curry

  • Olive oil (to coat the bottom of the pot; I used my Misto spray bottle to use less oil)
  • 1 small butternut squash, cut into small cubes
  • 1 onion, cubed
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 9 small fingerling potatoes, diced
  • Half a package of frozen peas
  • Trader Joe’s Curry simmer sauce
  • 2 frozen garlic cubes
  • 2 frozen cilantro cubes
  • 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • Cilantro, chopped
Super Easy Directions
  1. Heat some olive oil in a pot (I sprayed my pot with my Misto bottle).
  2. Add the onions and sauté a few minutes.
  3. Add the butternut squash, carrots, and potatoes and sauté the vegetables for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the Curry simmer sauce and the frozen garlic and cilantro cubes  to the pot and lower the heat. Simmer the vegetables until they are done, about 15 minutes.
  5. Take the pot off the heat and add the frozen peas.
  6. Stir in the Greek yogurt and top with chopped, fresh cilantro.
Serve with brown rice and naan. (I used the Trader Joe’s naan that’s available in the frozen aisle).

Questions: Do you plan meals? If so, do you have any tricks? I have been planning meals on and off for years now. Last year I got tired of planning meals and found it too restricting. By not planning meals for a specific night, I am excited again about meal planning as it feels more like I can choose what to make. Plus, I usually make enough so that there are leftovers, and I LOVE leftovers. Do you like Indian food? If so, what’s your favorite Indian dish?
Be well,


  1. Mmmm that curry looks so good! Naan is one of my favorites. I love the soft texture.

    Yes I plan our meals, but not really so much for the entire week lately. I'll come home with an idea of the ingredients I want to use then create our dinner from there. Usually it's quick and super tasty too.

  2. I'm definitely a meal planner, but at the end of the week I always plan for a "whatever night" so that we can use up leftovers!

  3. Great recipe, Andrea! I'm starting to really like Indian food! Wish I could get the family on board with it. They will eat naan, though! It's bread, what's not to like right? ;)

  4. The potato brie pizza sounds great.

  5. I am new to indian food but can't wait to try more dishes.

    I love meal planning too...and than again, it's another chore and I'm lazy!

    good for you!
    oh and I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE leftovers! yay

  6. Meal planning saves us so much money and from eating out or eating less healthy options! I am a HUGE fan of it and try to plan about 5 meals a week so that we have one night for leftovers and one night where we might be with company, go out, etc.

    I also LOVE indian food and took a wonderful indian class in Nov. This curry and rice dish were probably my favorite! http://www.simplylifeblog.com/2010/11/jira-rice-and-chhole.html

  7. I love planning meals because it saves me money, stress, and time!

    Indian food is MY FAVORITE!

  8. I am immensely anal about planning out my meals. Tina and I keep a notebook in the kitchen, and before we go shopping on Friday, we see what to make. Right now, we're trying to use up a lot of old stuff we have, so I frequently do quite a bit of shopping in my cupboard to avoid having to spend money that could better be saved. And we also try to plan healthy meals, too. Frequently, we'll decide "this sounds good" and we'll have it some time in the upcoming week. I think my favorite part of planning meals though is simply knowing ahead of time, "This is what we're going to have tomorrow night," and we don't have to worry about it.

  9. I don't often plan meals. I loosely shop for what I have in mind. Probably should tighten up that practice.

    I LOVE Indian food. Absolutely love love love curry and could eat it every second day. And I'm a whiz at one pot curries too! I make mine by starting with onions and diced red pepper in olive oil. I sprinkle in curry powder and cumin and then add whatever vegetables I happen to have around and broth just to cover. I simmer that til the veggies are done and finish it with a bit of coconut milk and a handful or two of cooked chickpeas. I thicken it a little with some arrowroot flour and eat it over brown rice. My secret is I add a bit of hot curry paste (Pataks Madras) to just my portion because P doesn't like it as hot.


  10. Leftovers are the best for lunch!! My meal planning is very similar to yours. I plan the meals I want to cook for the week without designating a specific day to each meal.

    I agree with the others that meal planning saves so much money and eliminates food wastes!

  11. Beautiful looking curry. I love Indian food, too. My favorites are any kind of Indian bread, as well as the butter chicken, and the mint chutney. I'm salivating just at the thought of them.

  12. Hi Andrea,
    Happy New Year!

    I don't plan meals, although I really should as it will help with cost savings and provide more sustenance than eating out.

    I also like Indian food, but am not a fan of leftovers of any sorts. : )

  13. Oh! I never tried the Trader Joe curry sauce...will have to try this one...and soon. This dish looks fabulous :-) Happy New Year to you and your family Andrea!

  14. Great meals! I plan, but I plan 2 meals a week since I am getting into it. I make a list over the weekend and when the commissary reopens on Tuesday (closed Sun-Mon), I get what I need for the dinners I plan to cook. I post my meals on a board in my office so Ryan can see what's on the menu.

    I love Indian, so your curry has my mouth watering. I wish I had TJs nearby because I want some frozen naan. Actually, I think I have some frozen from the last time we made it. I should check on that, LOL! My fave Indian dish is matar paneer.

  15. I plan my meals every week! I try to base them around stuff I already have in the freezer or refrigerator to cut down on grocery costs. I also my meat in bulk. I carry lunch to work every day, so leftovers are my friend! I try to make enough on several night so that I can have enough to bring to work the next day.

  16. Oh man, can I come eat dinners at your house this week? ;) Your veggie curry looks so wonderful, and I love the addition of Greek yogurt. I go through phases of planning meals, but right now I'm not doing much planning because I'm much busier than Peter at the moment, so luckily he's picking up the slack. He tends to make a new thing every night, so we don't have a lot of leftovers. I know, I'm pretty lucky :)

    Have a wonderful evening, Andrea! Good luck with next week's meal planning :D

  17. I'm starting to add curry to a lot of my food lately. Sometimes I just stir fry veggies with oil and curry powder. I also add it to my egg whites. This recipes sounds fantastic. I'm wondering if Nick would eat it...I bet he would!

    Good luck getting back into the school groove. It's always a little difficult at first, but just accept that and it'll be a smooth transition.

  18. I LOVE Indian food, but prefer to order it than make myself because it's just never really the same!! I adore paneer, so things like saag paneer and tandoori paneer and paneer naan are my fave! :-)

  19. This sounds like a super easy meal to top off a hectic day, I am so for this one.