Shopping List: Peanut Sauce, Crispy Tofu, and Black Bean Burgers

The Family Plan #74

Good morning! Since you’re here because you’d like help feeding your family, I thought I’d share some resources I appreciate, three newsletters and three podcasts. Some, but not all, are by friends of mine—but I promise, they’re all good. Ready? Here goes, in no particular order:

  1. The Washington Post’s Eat Voraciously newsletter. It’s free and it’s written by a child-free person—so it doesn’t take into account the quirks of pleasing kids—but four days a week an inventive, easy recipe arrives in my inbox and I love it.

  2. The Department of Salad is a newsletter about salad, of course. But really interesting ones, from interesting food people.

  3. The Lunch Tray is a newsletter by my friend Bettina Siegel, who wrote an absolutely fascinating book about kid food that was literally called Kid Food. She always has the latest info about childhood nutrition, school food, and the business of feeding children.

  4. Didn’t I Just Feed You by Stacey Billis and Meghan Splawn is the perfect podcast to listen to while making yet another meal for your ungrateful—excuse me, adorable—kids. Yes, I’ve been on it, to talk about feeding my picky eater.

  5. The Dinner Sisters is just what it sounds like: a pair of sisters who live in different cities, trying the same recipes for dinner and talking about it. I was on that one, too, talking about meal planning.

  6. Spilled Milk isn’t specifically about feeding kids, but both hosts are parents so it naturally comes up. Plus, it’s funny. Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton have written some of my favorite books about food, so I love listening to them talk.

Here’s the menu for next week:

SUNDAY: A bit of prep. Make a double-batch of Crispy Baked Tofu from Cookie + Kate for Monday and Thursday, and if you’ve got time, why not cook Easy Black Beans from Serious Eats for Tuesday and Friday? No soaking required—they really are easy.


Cold Sesame Peanut Noodles from Gimme Some Oven with crispy baked tofu. This recipe includes some specific fresh vegetables, but you can swap in whatever you like, really. Let everyone assemble their own bowls if you’re feeding picky eaters. And double the peanut sauce—Thursday’s going to be a breeze.

TUESDAY: Easy Black Beans from Serious Eats with rice and your favorite vegetable. If you made the beans already, all you have to do is cook up a double batch of rice and whatever vegetable you like. Refrigerate the extra rice for Thursday.

WEDNESDAY: Half-Moon Browned Omelet from MyRecipes with toast and bacon or sausage, if you like. This is just a basic omelet technique that produces the kind you’d get in a diner—folded in half over a filling, nothing complicated. The beauty of omelets for dinner is that each one can have its own filling. My guy, for instance, likes strawberry jam (my childhood favorite, too!), but yours might prefer cheese. Note that the recipe serves 1, so you’ll need to multiply. In the shopping list I’ve included enough of the recipe’s filling for 4 people—cook that all at once, before you start on the eggs.

THURSDAY: Peanut Tofu Bowls with Quick Pickled Veggies from Spices in My DNA. You’ve already got the tofu, peanut sauce, and rice ready to go, so all you need to do tonight is quick-pickle some red onion and cucumber. Serve this salad bar-style, of course.


Homemade Black Bean Burgers from Budget Bytes with your favorite toppings and potato chips. Those Easy Black Beans get turned into homemade veggie burgers tonight. The recipe calls for sriracha, but if your kids will balk it’s totally fine to skip it.

Here’s the shopping list:


  • 2 large carrots (M)

  • 2 medium English cucumbers OR 3 Persian cucumbers (M, Th)

  • 1 small red cabbage (M)

  • 1 large bunch cilantro (M, Th, F)

  • 1 bunch scallions (M, Th)

  • 9 cloves garlic (T, F)

  • 1 yellow onion (T, F)

  • 1 medium red onion (Th, F)

  • 2 medium shallots (Th)

  • Your favorite vegetable (T)

  • 8 oz. cremini mushrooms (W)

  • 5 oz. baby spinach (W, F)

  • 1 beefsteak tomato, optional (F)

  • 3 limes (M)

  • 1 juicing orange (T, F)

  • 2 (12-15 oz.) packages extra-firm tofu (M, Th)


  • Olive oil (M, W, Th, F)

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (Th)

  • Rice vinegar (M)

  • Tamari OR soy sauce (M, Th, F)

  • Toasted sesame oil (M)

  • Sriracha, optional (F)

  • Honey (M, Th)

  • Cornstarch OR arrowroot starch (M, Th)

  • All-purpose flour (Th)

  • Toasted sesame seeds (M, Th)

  • Garlic powder (M)

  • Ground ginger (M)

  • Crushed red pepper flakes (M)

  • Ground cumin (F)

  • 8 oz. Chinese egg noodles OR other noodles (M)

  • Roasted peanuts (M, Th)

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (M)

  • Jam, optional (W)

  • Honey OR maple syrup (M)           

  • 2 cups rice, white OR brown (T, Th)

  • 1 lb. dried black beans (T, F)

  • Mayonnaise (F)

  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs (F)

  • Burger toppings: ketchup, mustard, pickle slices, etc. (F)

  • 1 bag potato chips (F)

Meat Counter

  • Bacon or sausage, optional (W)


  • 9 large eggs (W, F)

  • 4 oz. goat OR feta cheese OR your favorite cheese (W)


  • Bread for toast (W)

  • 4 burger buns OR kaiser rolls (F)

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

Stay safe, be kind, wear a mask, and get vaccinated when it’s your turn.