What’s for lunch/dinner?
This is a question most of us struggle with on a daily basis. When I ask my husband Alex what I should cook for our meals, his answer has been the same for the past 45 years! It’s that I should give him some choices and he will then select his preference. So I have decided to come up with some great, easy, and healthy choices for lunch and dinner. It’s a long time overdue and no more excuses! I would love to get your thoughts on these suggestions and if you find them helpful.
Check out the below menu for one week’s worth of lunches/dinners. I have also provided some tips and suggestions to make it easy. It may be helpful to read the entire menu before and make a shopping list for the ingredients you need. Plan to do your shopping the day before you cook.
These are great at home or pack in a lunchbox for the office.
- Chickpea Pulav with yogurt
- Yogurt Rice (this recipe is also good using leftover white rice)
- Vegetable Frankie (you may use the ready made tortillas and they taste good warm or cold.)
- Carrot Moong Dal Salad and Tomato Soup
- Quinoa Vegetable Pilaf
For an informal lunch with friends:
- Aloo Paratha, Tomato Chutney, Matar Paneer, and Yogurt (it is easy to use the store bought paneer)
- You can also serve a simple salad sliced tomatoes and cucumber sprinkle with salt, black pepper, and lemon juice
- Lemonade will be great for summer
These are great everyday options for home.
- Vegetable Curry with plain rice and or Roti
- Spinach Pasta and Vegetable Soup
- Mixed Dal, Gajar Mattar, or Aloo Methi, Plain rice and Roti or Paratha
- Rajma and plain rice.
- Besan Puda (This is a super simple recipe that is good for breakfast, lunch or dinner)
For a special get together, try the below:
- Appetizer: Papdi Chaat (You can make the Papdi in advance and it lasts for weeks, or you can fry uncooked tortillas cut in the Papdi shape. Remember, chutneys and yogurt should be always in fridge!)
- Masala Papad (You can grill the papads in advance and keep them in air tight container.)
- Drink: Mango Lassi
- Main Meal: Cabbage Kofta, Green Beans and Peas, Spinach Raita, rice, roti or Paratha (Kofta can be made in advance as they freeze well and can be stored for about a month. When you are ready to cook them, make the gravy, defrost the kofta and prepare like the recipe suggest.) (You can make extra Green Beans and peas as they make great sandwiches and Wrap with the leftovers)
- Dessert: Refreshing Fruit Cream is great for a summer dessert. Finish up with a hot cup of Chai Masala Tea.
- If you have chutneys ready in fridge, it is easy to plan some of the appetizers. I always have Tamarind and Hari Cilantro Chutneys in my fridge.
- I also have some condiments on hand to spice up my meals. Check out the list under chutneys / pickles as they have a longer shelf life and are easy to make.
- Plain Yogurt
- It is helpful to have some frozen vegetables in your freezer such as green peas, green beans, chopped spinach. I also freeze small cut pieces of paneer. Before using, put them in hot water.
- I like to have canned chickpeas and kidney beans on hand or you can boil a big batch of them and freeze them in small portions.