chicken skewers with silan sauce chicken skewers with silan sauce Whether you're a professional procrastinator or a kitchen novice, these recipes will get you through a week of uncomplicated meal planning. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

Try these inventive ideas for easy weekly meal planning

Make dinners enjoyable and fuss-free with these recipes.

What kind of eater are you? Are you a methodical, studious planner who never leaves home without a grocery list and posts weekly dinner menus on the fridge? Or are you more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, let's-see-what's-in-my-pantry-that's-about-to-spoil type who wonders if the kids could tell the difference between real bacon and Beggin' Strips?

For those who fall somewhere in the middle, we give you seven useful ideas for meals you can put together with ease and without fuss, whether you're a pro at procrastinating or just a novice in the kitchen.

Tortilla pie

tortilla pieGot extra tortillas lying around from the last Taco Tuesday? This is a great way to use them up. (Photo: Jerry James Stone)

The problem with Taco Tuesday is that it happens every week. For the variety-craving folks among us, this is just too much repetition. But hey, you've got all the ingredients for tacos just lying around; why not put them to work in a new and exciting way? This tortilla pie fits the bill, but the best part is that the filling ingredients are quite flexible. No spinach in the crisper? Use chopped onions and peppers instead. You can even add meat for a hearty, delicious all-in-one meal.

Get our Israeli Kitchen recipe for tortilla pie.


Eggplant pizza

eggplant pizzaUse sliced eggplant as the crust and top as you please. (Photo: Jerry James Stone)

Once upon a time, there was pizza. Shortly thereafter, someone looked at their newly discovered pie and thought, "This needs ... something." From there, toppings were born, and all kinds of variations on crust, cheese and sauce followed. Fast forward to present day, and there's this: abandoning the crust entirely in favor of a vegetable-dominant ensemble that turns eggplant into your culinary canvas. Simply put, just slice up that big purple beauty, add toppings of your choice, and bake.

Get our Israeli Kitchen recipe for eggplant pizza.


Slow-cooked beef with Jerusalem spice blend

Slow-cooked pulled beef gets a Mediterranean upgrade with a unique Jerusalem spice blend.Slow-cooked pulled beef gets a Mediterranean upgrade with a unique Jerusalem spice blend. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

If you and your slow cooker haven't been acquainted yet, please introduce yourself. This handy gadget is going to save you eons of time, even if it does mean doing your meal prep the night before rather than the hour before. In this cozy pulled beef, enjoy a pleasant palette of spices like cumin, allspice and paprika, along with the subtle tanginess of silan, which is a date-based syrup increasingly used as a sweetener. Serve with a side of sliced tomatoes or as a sandwich; either way, it's Mediterranean barbecue perfected.

Get our Israeli Kitchen recipe for slow-cooked beef with Jerusalem spice blend.


Spicy chicken skewers with silan dipping sauce

spicy chicken skewers with silan (date honey) dipping sauce.These spicy chicken skewers are paired with silan (date honey) dipping sauce. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

Speaking of silan, did you know it also makes a great dipping sauce? We're seeing silan pop up more in recipes, and for good reason: Dates are considered a low-glycemic food, which can help people with diabetes control their blood sugar. In this fun appetizer, simply add a little grilling spice to the silan, serve with these fancy-without-trying crispy chicken skewers (no frying needed!) and the dinner everyone loves is served.

Get our Israeli Kitchen recipe for spicy chicken skewers with silan dipping sauce.


Garlicky chicken with broccoli

Garlicky chicken with broccoliGarlicky chicken with broccoli (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

We're putting this into the category of "last-minute meals for last-minute guests." If you didn't expect to have to cook for company this weekend, fear not: this recipe has a high yield and little prep time. What's more, you can simply toss in those frozen broccoli florets that are stowed away in the dark annals of your freezer, rather than taking them out and letting them thaw hours before. Because – let's face it – if you had done that, you wouldn't be reading this.

Get our Israeli Kitchen recipe for garlicky chicken with broccoli.


Mediterranean meatloaf

Homemade meatloaf with ketchup and spicesHomemade meatloaf with ketchup and spices (Photo: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock)

How do you turn everyday meatloaf into the dinner of the ages? It doesn't take much – just a few fun spice combinations and about 40 minutes prep time. This is also one of the few dishes that taste just as good – some would even say better – reheated the next day. It can even be served cold in between slices of fresh bread, or broken up into grounds and used as a pizza topping (see eggplant, above).

Get our Israeli Kitchen recipe for Mediterranean meatloaf.


Garlic chicken nuggets

Chicken bitesChicken bites (Photo: Pangfolio.com/Shutterstock)

Fast food has a lot of perks, but healthfulness is not one of them. And since we know that home cooking is almost always healthier than eating out, these homemade chicken nuggets are perfect for those times when you need to pull a meal together fast without a lot of prep time to spare. Israeli Kitchen founder Miriam Kresh serves these nuggets alongside a hearty salad or a starchy side dish. To keep with the healthy-spin-on-fast-food theme, we suggest these sweet potato fries with a kicky ketchup.

Get our Israeli Kitchen recipe for garlic chicken nuggets.

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