Shopping List: Lotsa Kebabs, Weeknight Tacos, and Super-Fast Pasta

The Family Plan #82

Are your kids still in school? We’re stumbling towards the finish line here. Our year doesn’t officially end until June 25 but at my son’s school, teachers have to submit final grades tomorrow—so things are effectively over, as long as your kid has completed all the work. We’re… close. There is so little fuel left in my family’s educational energy tank, we’ll all collapse when he finally gets there.

Here’s the menu for next week:


Grilled Tofu (or Chicken) and Vegetable Skewers from Food Network, with naan or pita. A simple herb marinade that’s a lot like chimichurri gives this a little zing. The recipe is written for tofu, but you can easily swap in chicken if that’s your preference—just marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes before skewering it. Double the kebabs for Wednesday. Make a 1 1/2 batch of the marinade, just to give you enough for the extra protein. (The quantities are easy to multiply, I promise!)

TUESDAY: Easy Vegetarian Tacos from Family Food on the Table. Black beans, bell peppers, frozen corn, and seasoning take just minutes to put together for the filling. If you’d rather not use store-bought taco seasoning, make a batch of my own recipe and use that. Double the filling for Friday, and if your kids balk at hot foods you can use a single can of green chiles—or leave them out entirely and pass hot sauce at the table.


Grilled Tofu (or Chicken) Salad from MyRecipes. Monday’s leftovers get repurposed by adding a few key ingredients and a bright balsamic vinaigrette.


Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta with Ricotta from Family Style Food. Broiling cherry tomatoes while the pasta cooks makes for a very fast, very easy sauce. Use parsley if you don’t want to buy basil for just one recipe. You should have some left from Monday.

FRIDAY: Loaded Sheet Pan Nachos (no recipe required). Grab Tuesday’s leftover taco filling and warm it up a bit, then use it to top a sheet pan full of tortilla chips. Add cheese, scallions, and pickled jalapenos if you like and bake until they’re perfectly browned and gooey. Dollop sour cream and salsa, add diced avocado, and serve with lime wedges.

Here’s the shopping list:

Ingredients with an asterisk * are for the meat-eaters’ version.


  • 2 medium zucchini (M, W)

  • 2 medium yellow squash (M, W)

  • 4 red bell peppers (M, T, W, F)

  • 2 medium red onions (M, W)

  • 1 shallot (M, W)

  • 4 cloves garlic (M, W, Th)

  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley (M, W)

  • 1 small bunch basil, optional (Th)

  • 1 large head romaine lettuce (T, W)

  • 2 pints cherry OR grape tomatoes (Th)

  • 2 avocados (T, F)

  • 1 bunch scallions (F)

  • 2 limes (T, F)

  • 2 (14-oz.) blocks extra-firm tofu (M, W)


  • Dried oregano (M, W)

  • Crushed red pepper flakes, optional (Th)

  • Honey (M, W)

  • Red wine vinegar (M, W)

  • Balsamic vinegar (W)

  • Extra-virgin olive oil (M, T, W, Th, F)

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts (M)

  • 2 (15-oz.) cans black beans (T, F)

  • 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas (W)

  • 2 (4.5-oz.) cans green chiles (T, F)

  • Salsa (T, F)

  • Pickled jalapenos, optional (T, F)

  • 2 packets taco seasoning OR spices for this homemade version (T, F)

  • 12 pitted kalamata olives (W)

  • Dijon mustard (W)

  • 12 oz. spaghetti OR bucatini OR linguine (Th)

  • 1 bag tortilla chips (F)

Meat Counter

  • 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts OR thighs* (M, W)


  • 12 oz. plain Greek yogurt OR sour cream (T, F)

  • 4 oz. feta (W)

  • 8 oz. ricotta (Th)

  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan (Th)

  • 16 oz. shredded cheddar OR Mexican cheese blend (T, F)


  • 4 naan or pita bread (M)

Freezer Case

  • Corn kernels (T, F)

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

Stay safe, enjoy the June weather, and don’t forget to get vaccinated.