Shopping List: Cheater’s Ratatouille, Quickie Tostadas, and No-Recipe Nights

The Family Plan #85

I can’t get through July 4th weekend without this song running constantly, behind every thought. My son’s class sang it at their elementary school graduation, to a room full of sobbing parents—our babies, our babies. My baby has a mustache now.

In honor of the holiday, this week’s menu is suuuper easy. Happy 4th, everyone!

Here’s the menu for next week:

MONDAY: Grilled Ratatouille from Food Network with soft cheese and grains. Who needs to spend time in front of the stove when you can grill your ratatouille? Make a double recipe to use throughout the week. Tonight you’ll cook a double batch of your favorite grain (rice, couscous, farro, etc.). Serve some with the ratatouille along with some feta or goat cheese, and refrigerate the leftovers.


10-Minute Tostadas from Well Plated. There’s a little stove time tonight, but it’s very little. Use pinto beans if you don’t have black, and let everyone assemble their own tostadas. Don’t feel like crisping up your tortillas? Buy ready-made tostadas instead.

WEDNESDAY: Omelet Night from Simply Recipes with bread. Everybody gets to choose their own filling tonight. Use the ratatouille, shredded cheese, or jam, and serve with some nice, crusty bread.


No-Recipe Grain Salad from Epicurious. Monday’s extra cooked grains become the hearty base for an easy, cold dinner. Since this is so flexible, I’m not including anything but the grain in the shopping list below—you decide what to put in your salad.

FRIDAY: Ratatouille Pasta with parmesan and maybe some bread. No recipe required tonight, either. You’ll reheat the rest of the ratatouille and cook your favorite cut pasta—before you drain it, add some of the starchy cooking water to the ratatouille to make it saucy. Combine and serve.

Here’s the shopping list:

NOTE: Other than the grain, I’m not including ingredients for Thursday’s grain salad—it’s entirely up to you what will go into it.


  • 4 zucchini (M, W, F)

  • 4 yellow squash (M, W, F)

  • 4 Japanese eggplant (M, W, F)

  • 8 bell peppers, varied colors (M, W, F)

  • 5 red onions (M, T, W, F)

  • 8 cloves garlic (M, W, F)

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes (M, T, W, F)

  • 1 bunch oregano (M, W, F)

  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley (M, W, F)

  • 1 bunch cilantro, optional (T)

  • 1 avocado (T)

  • 1 jalapeno, optional (T)

  • 1-2 limes (T)


  • Olive oil (M, T, W, F)

  • 2 cups couscous OR rice OR farro OR your favorite grain (M, Th)

  • 1-2 (15-oz.) cans black OR pinto beans (T)

  • 12 oz. salsa (T)

  • Jam, optional (W)

  • 1 lb. cut pasta (F)


  • 8 oz. feta OR goat cheese (M)

  • 4-6 oz. cheddar OR Monterey jack OR queso fresco (T, W)

  • 8 oz. sour cream OR plain Greek yogurt (T)

  • Butter (W)

  • 1 oz. parmesan (F)


  • Corn tortillas OR tostadas (T)

  • Good bread (W, F)

On Saturday, paying subscribers will get the details on how it all comes together.

Stay safe, be kind, and enjoy the long weekend.