Friday nights and early Saturday mornings, you'll usually find me on my couch with a stack of cookbooks and magazines, flipping through recipes on my phone. With the weekend ahead, I can't help but fantasize about the cooking I'll do: pancakes for breakfast, Italian-American-style scampi for dinner, the hummus I'll whip up for afternoon snacking. But sometimes I'll spend so many hours on the hunt for the perfect recipes that I'll run out of time for actual cooking. So I've resolved to be a little more decisive and do a little more meal planning, before the last minute. I've recently shared a vegan meal plan and one for a week of vegetarian breakfasts, lunches, and dinners; this week's menus feature some of our best recipes for folks who eat fish as well.
The weekend is also a great time to get your pantry in order, stocking up on staples like good oil and vinegar, nuts and beans, and whatever you'll want to snack on all week. Fresh fish is best bought the day you intend to cook it, but frozen shrimp should be kept frozen until you're ready to defrost.
One note: If you want to make our extra-creamy homemade hummus with dried chickpeas, soak them in a large bowl of water with salt and baking soda the night before.
Forget waiting in long brunch lines for waffles; you can make faster, better ones at home. Our recipe is especially fluffy, thanks to egg whites instead of whole eggs in the batter. After a snack of hummus and veggies, dinner is Daniel's signature shrimp scampi, made with vermouth, fresh herbs, and a silky butter sauce brightened with lemon. (Check out our guide to shopping for shrimp before you get started.)
Brunch: Buttermilk Vanilla Waffles with maple syrup, yogurt, and fresh fruit. Consider making extra for reheating Monday morning.
Snack: Olives and store-bought or homemade hummus with cucumbers and red peppers or pita
Dinner: Shrimp Scampi With Garlic, Red Pepper Flakes, and Herbs
Dessert: Tangy Strawberry Fools
In a perfect world, I'd make a big batch of a boldly flavored, protein-rich salad every Sunday night to have on hand for lunches throughout the week. Kenji's chickpea salad with carrots, garlic, and dill is ideal; it actually tastes better with a little time in the fridge. (While we're talking garbanzo bean lunches, I'm also a big fan of this cumin and celery version and this hearty kale number.) Dinner on Meatless Monday: Israeli sabich sandwiches, stuffed with creamy tahini, fried eggplant, and crunchy pickles, ready in under an hour.
Breakfast: Toasted leftover waffles, or yogurt and fruit
Lunch: Easy Make-Ahead Carrot and Chickpea Salad With Dill and Pumpkin Seeds
Snack: Dates with peanut butter or almond butter
Dinner: Sabich Sandwiches (Pitas With Eggplant, Eggs, Hummus, and Tahini) and Tabbouleh
Tuesday's dinner, salmon à la nage, sounds super fancy. But cooking à la nage just means you're poaching your fish in a flavorful broth. This version has summer squash, fennel, white wine, and ginger, and you can make it all in one pan and then serve it from there, too.
Breakfast: Fried eggs or Foolproof Poached Eggs on greens or English muffins
Lunch: Leftover tabbouleh and carrot and chickpea salad, or DIY Instant Noodles With Vegetables and Miso-Sesame Broth
Snack: Fresh fruit and yogurt or cheese
Dinner: Salmon à la Nage With Summer Vegetables or The Easiest Crispy Pan-Seared Fish
Cherry season is sadly brief; if your local farmers market has 'em already, it's time to buy as many as you can eat. Try tossing them with honey and vinegar for a sweet-tart topping for good ricotta. Lunch is my favorite spin on avocado toast, topped with vinegar-marinated fresh anchovies, earthy smoked paprika, and a little lemon juice. Dinner's an all-in-one comfort food classic: chili with a brown butter cornbread crust.
Breakfast: Macerated Cherries With Marcona Almonds, Mint, and Ricotta or Soft-Scrambled Eggs
Lunch: Avocado Toast With Boquerones and Smoked Paprika
Snack: Cheese and toasted almonds or cashews
Dinner: Quick and Easy Vegetarian Tamale Pie With Brown Butter Cornbread Crust
Note: Soak hazelnuts overnight if you want to make the nutty morning shake!
Mussels are a terrific weeknight seafood dinner: They're cheap, tasty, and shockingly quick to make. All you need for a pot of traditional moules marinières is 15 minutes and some mussels, aromatics, and a bottle of wine. (Though you'll probably also want a baguette to dip in that flavorful cooking broth, too.)
Breakfast: Coffee, Banana, and Hazelnut Morning Shake or refried beans on toast
Lunch: Leftover tamale pie or Warm Farro Salad With Asparagus, Peas, and Feta
Snack: Banana with peanut butter or almond butter
Dinner: Moules Marinières (Sailor-Style Mussels) with a baguette, or Steamed Mussels With Thai-Style Coconut-Curry Broth with rice
My father-in-law eats a big bowl of popcorn—microwaved in a brown paper bag—for lunch each day. Not knocking it, but I'd plan something a little more substantial, too; either avocado toast or farro salad. For dinner, you need just 15 minutes to whip up Kenji's easy take on tuna noodle casserole with a light and creamy sauce. Which leaves you plenty of time to make a cocktail.
Breakfast: French Omelette With Fines Herbes or French Omelette With Cheese
Lunch: Leftover farro salad or Avocado Toast With Ricotta, Olive Oil, Lemon Zest, and Basil
Snack: Brown Paper Bag Microwave Popcorn, plain or bagna cauda–style
Dinner: Easy One-Pot, No-Knife, Lighter Tuna Noodle Casserole
Pancakes can be a little blah, but not when they start with nutty toasted oats and brown butter. (Gotta say, I haven't met a dish yet that didn't improve with a little brown butter.) For dinner, you've got options: a casual meal of horseradish-spiked salmon burgers topped with a mix of mayo, Dijon mustard, and honey; or a restaurant-style feast of perfect seared scallops with a simple green salad.
Brunch: Oatmeal and Brown Butter Pancakes
Snack: Spicy Warm Silken Tofu With Celery and Cilantro Salad
Dinner: Go casual with Easy Salmon Burgers With Dill Honey-Mustard, Horseradish, and Avocado, or get fancy with Seared Scallops and a simple green salad.
Dessert: The Ultimate Fudgy Brownies
There was a moment when miso-lacquered black cod was everywhere; you see it a little less these days, but that doesn't mean it stopped being delicious. Can't find black cod? We've got a similar—and incredibly simple—recipe for salmon. They're both delicious with Daniel's savory Japanese-inspired arugula salad.
Brunch: Scrambled Egg and Cheese Drop-Biscuit Breakfast Sandwiches
Snack: Morel Mushroom Tartine With Chives or Asparagus Tartine With Ricotta and Mint
Dinner: Easy Broiled Miso-Marinated Black Cod or 5-Minute Miso-Glazed Salmon, with Arugula, Sweet Potato, and Walnut Salad With Dashi "Vinaigrette"
Dessert: More brownies!