Real Food Meal Plans: Feb 18-22

Holding myself accountable to posting a meal plan each week has been a good tool for getting me to step outside our regular dinner habits. And because I have a computer open in front of me nearly all day while I'm seeing patients, I have really been craving recipes from old-fashioned books - I'm very thankful to the HPL because their cookbook collection is not half-bad. 

This week in particular I ended up cooking three meals all from real life paper books. The downside is that I haven't been able to find the precise recipes I used online in order to post them here for you, and to be perfectly honest typing out the recipes to post on here seems like more work than I'm able to make time for at the moment.

I have found recipes as close as possible to the ones I made this week for you as well as linking to the books that the ones I actually made came from. You'll have to let me know how it goes!


I got a little bit adventurous on Sunday with some salt cod (!), but otherwise we've got a lot of warming cozy one-pot meals for you. This week's plan has brandade + chicory salad, Turkish-spiced chicken, spicy black bean stew, a simple red-lentil dahl, and good old fashioned beef-stew on mashed potatoes. 


  • MAIN: Brandade de morue from Martha Stewart (I made mine from Alice Waters' book "My Pantry")
  • SIDES: Multi-seed sourdough baguette, chicory + red cabbage salad with lemon vinaigrette
  • Advanced prep: So this is made with salt-cod (or other salted fish, homemade or prepared. Although the cod stocks are starting to come back, I don't think that it's considered sustainable yet unless the fish are labeled as line-caught. I bought mine on a whim after years of seeing it in various grocery stores and did research after the fact; "My Pantry" provides instructions on how to salt your own more sustainable choice), and salt-cod must be soaked for a while before eating in order to desalinize it. I bought cod pieces vs a whole fillet and found that soaking it for 2.5 hrs was enough. Some recipes will say to soak for up to 3 days but it seems this depends on how thick your pieces of fish are. 
  • Tips: We don't cook with that much dairy here but I went for it with this dish and used regular cow's milk. If you look around online there are lots of people playing around with using other liquids, e.g. cashew cream, plain old water,  and I bet coconut milk would be good as well. Alice's recipes differs in that she gets you to cook the potatoes in the milk after you are done cooking the cod and only uses bay leaves + garlic as spices. She recommended having it with a  bitter chicory salad which I had just bought for some serendipitous reason (and a crisp glass of rosé which unfortunately didn't come to fruition this time). This was such a delicious and soothing meal and it was so tasty the next day for lunch on some rice crackers. I am totally into experimenting with salt fish and brandades more. 



  • MAIN: Spicy black bean stew with squash from Amy Chaplin's cookbook "At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen"
  • SIDES: Homemade tortilla chips made from stale corn tortillas (brush with olive oil, salt, and cook at 350 for 6 minutes) 
  • Advanced prep: Lots of chopping here that can be done in advanced. Squash is also roasted prior to being added to stew, this could be done a day or two in advance.
  • Tips: The recipe in Amy's book is only a little different from this one; simmer with the lid off to get a thicker consistency. I ended up making it with red pepper flakes and a bit of green pepper because I forgot to pick up a jalepeño and it was still great. 


  • MAIN: Simple red lentil dahl with onions from River Cottage Veg (a stellar cookbook), with roasted sweet potatoes added
  • SIDES: Basmati rice, spicy mango pickle, yogurt
  • Advanced prep: Adding the sweet potatoes was delicious, you could roast these in advance
  • Tips: Clay got sick this week and this meal was thrown together a bit last minute. It turned out so well though, I'll absolutely make it again, probably with some more vegetables on the side because I was missing my greens.


  • MAIN: Beef stew with turnips + carrots from Primavera Kitchen
  • SIDES: Mashed potato
  • Advanced prep: We used chicken stock I made two weeks ago and froze in yogurt containers
  • Tips: We make this a lot and I have to be honest, I didn't follow this recipe - but it looks mighty close to what we do, though I just cook on my stove instead of the slow cooker. We started making the stew around 5:30 when Clay got home from work and didn't eat until after June went to sleep at 7:30. We ladled the stew over the mashed potatoes, covered it all in a whole bunch of parsley and it was v.v.v.v. good.