What’s for dinner? That’s always the question on a busy weeknight, isn't it? The trick is how to get interesting, delicious meals on the table for your family. Dinner Plans is a realistic plan to put in a few hours of work (planning, shopping, and prepping) and get a big head start on your week.
Watch this homemade horseradish sauce come together
- Make a large roast beef (5-6 pounds) and serve hot with greens au gratin and carrots on prep day. Let the rest cool.
- Divide the remainder into three portions, store in the refrigerator, and use to make three more dinners—French dip sandwiches, beef fried rice, and simple meat pie—to pair with sides and serve for dinners or pack up for lunches.
- If you have an extra hour, organize the other ingredients for Meals Two, Three, and Four. Rinse herbs. Pare and chop vegetables for the salad, make the rice for the fried rice and prep the ingredients for the pies.
- The pies will freeze and reheat well if you want to cook those while you roast your beef.
Prep Day Tips
- Cook the beef to medium-rare or medium at most since it will be cooked again in these other recipes.
- Use an instant-read thermometer to cook the beef to the exact doneness you prefer.
- Reserve the drippings from the roast beef in a sealed container in the refrigerator to whisk into thickened beef stock for French dip "au jus" the next day.
- To save cleanup during the week, slice and cut the beef to prep it for the recipes in the other 3 meals.
French Dip Sandwich Tips
- Replace the ingredients and method for the instant pot beef with the beef you cooked on prep day. Slice it thinly across the grain.
- Making au jus for dipping is simple! Whisk the reserved pan drippings in a pot with beef stock, then whisk in a tablespoon of cornstarch and water slurry until it reaches the desired thickness.
- Some like thinner beef jus, others like more of a gravy consistency — add more slurry until the jus is just right for you.
Throw together a dish of Chinese-Style Beef Fried Rice and serve it with lemony snow peas and sweet iced tea. For extra vegetables ,add a cup or two of thinly sliced carrots, mushrooms, or bok choy if you have it on hand.
Fried Rice Tips
- Use day-old leftover rice for this recipe — the chilling helps the rice hold its shape and toothsome texture when it's quickly re-cooked.
- The larger the pieces of leftover roast beef you use, the more likely it is that they'll retain a bit of medium to medium-rareness. Use very small chunks if you'd like the beef well-done.
- For added fiber and nutrients, use brown rice instead of white.
Beef Pie Tips
- No need to make your own pastry crust here — pre-made dough or even whole pie shells work well in this recipe.
Tips and Tricks
Did you make this meal plan? Share the ways you made it your own.