Meal Planning 101

Learn how to become a meal-planning pro with our best tips and ideas from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Meal Planning 101
ThePrep: I'm Vowing to Cook at Home All Week & These Easy Dinner Will Help
ThePrep: I'm Vowing to Cook at Home All Week & These Easy Dinner Will Help

Healthy Make-Ahead Dinner Recipes

Puerto Rican Sofrito
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Sofrito is a flavorful cooking base for all sorts of dishes. It has countless variations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. This Puerto Rican sofrito contains tomatoes, onions, garlic, bell pepper and cilantro. Make a batch to use for flavoring rice, stews and much more. Try it in Mofongo Dressing for Thanksgiving (see Associated Recipes).
Shrimp Cauliflower Fried Rice
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Cut down on carbs and amp up your veggie servings with this healthy cauliflower fried rice with shrimp, broccoli, bell peppers and garlic. Everything is cooked in one wok or skillet, but in stages, so each element keeps its integrity in the finished dish instead of being all mushed together--it may seem fussy, but it's worth it and actually quite easy. Resist the urge to stir the cauliflower rice right away; letting it cook undisturbed for a few minutes allows it to brown and develop sweet, nutty flavors. This better-than-takeout healthy dinner comes together in just 25 minutes, so it's perfect for busy weeknights.
Tinola (Filipino Ginger-Garlic Chicken Soup)
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Tinola, a comforting chicken soup seasoned with plenty of ginger and garlic, has countless variations throughout the Philippines. The soup calls for malunggay leaves (aka moringa), which can be found fresh or frozen at Asian markets. Bok choy is a good substitute. Feel free to increase the amounts of garlic and fish sauce for an even more flavorful soup. Serve this easy and healthy chicken soup on its own or with jasmine rice, quinoa or wild rice.
Chicken Tamales
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Learn how to make tamales with this recipe for delicious chicken tinga tamales with tomatoes and chipotles in adobo. You can also swap in turkey for the chicken in the filling (feel free to use leftover cooked turkey if you'd like--dark meat works best). Mexican grocery stores sell everything you need to make tamales, including corn husks and freshly ground corn masa, but you can also find the ingredients at most well-stocked grocery stores. The secret to a good tamale is mixing the dough thoroughly, until it's as airy as possible. If you have leftovers of the spicy chicken filling, use it to make nachos, serve it with scrambled eggs and tortillas, stuff it into tacos or serve it on tostadas.
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Buttermilk
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These garlic mashed potatoes are extra creamy, thanks to the addition of both butter and buttermilk. To prevent the potatoes from getting gummy, be sure not to overmix them in Step 2. Mashed vegetables tend to get cold easily; keep all tools--the ricer and bowl--warm by running under hot water before using.
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