Shopping List: Peruvian Grilling, Marinated Beans, and an Important Announcement

The Family Plan #42

(Paid subscribers have heard this already, so feel free to skip ahead…)

My friends, I’m escaping. On Sunday we’re heading up to Maine for my first 100%-not-working vacation since 2016. This means there will be no Family Plan next week. But don’t worry! Epicurious has collected all of the “What to Cook” columns I wrote for them, along with a slew that predate my participation. You’ll find plenty of options for August and September menus there.

It feels strange to go on vacation now. I’m incredibly lucky to be able to get away—our tanking economy means that many people can’t even consider it. I wish I could take everyone with me. If it’s any consolation, my about-to-turn-14-year-old is probably going to spend the bulk of the week complaining that he can’t play video games with his friends, and refusing to eat any form of seafood. In Maine.

Watch your inbox on Thursday, September 10, for a new menu and shopping list.

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Here’s the menu for next week:


Photo by Dustin Tramel on Unsplash

Peruvian Grilled Chicken (or Tofu) from Leite’s Culinaria, with grains and an avocado, cucumber, and tomato salad. This is the big cook of the week with almost everything doubled, which will give you stuff to play with three out of the four following nights. Longtime readers will remember this chicken recipe, which prompted more enthusiastic emails than any other I’ve included since. Instead of roasting whole chicken, though, this time we’re grilling. And you can use whatever chicken you have available: parts, thighs, breasts—you get the idea—doubled. Vegetarians, you’ll use the recipe’s marinade for tofu in the same marinade, again doubled. Don’t forget to double that amazing green sauce, too. Serve with a double batch of whatever grains you have and a simple salad made with avocado, cucumber, tomato, and lime juice.

TUESDAY: Marinated White Beans from Budget Bytes with toast and salad. This simple, 10-minute recipe yields some seriously delicious beans. Double the recipe to use on Thursday, and use some of yesterday’s green sauce as a dressing for a salad of lettuce, tomato, and cucumber.


photo courtesy Epicurious

Cheesy Enchilada Skillet from Epicurious is a great stovetop shortcut—just five minutes in the oven, to melt the cheese! Use Monday’s chicken or tofu.

THURSDAY: Beany Grain Salad (no recipe required) uses Monday’s grains and sauce, Tuesday’s beans, more avocado, and cherry tomatoes, plus something briny like roasted red peppers, olives, or capers and, if you like, some nuts for crunch.

FRIDAY: Browned Butter Gnocchi with Broccoli and Nuts from Cooking Light. This is a quick, super-flexible recipe that can work with any number of different vegetables, fresh or frozen, and several different kinds of nuts, too.

Here’s the shopping list:


  • 10 cloves garlic (M, T, W, Th)

  • 1 small onion (W)

  • 4-6 jalapenos (M, W)

  • 2 bunches cilantro (M, W, Th)

  • 1 bunch parsley (T, Th)

  • 1 large or 2 small English cucumber (M, T)

  • 1 large + 1 small avocado (M, Th)

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (M, T, Th)

  • 1 head lettuce OR other salad greens (T, Th)

  • 1 bunch broccoli OR frozen florets OR cauliflower OR green beans OR spinach (F)

  • 2-3 limes (M, W)

  • 1 lemon (T, Th)

  • 2 packages firm or extra-firm tofu* (M, W)


  • 8 oz. beer, preferably pilsner or ale (M, W)

  • Canola oil (M, W, Th)

  • Olive oil (T, Th, F)

  • White wine vinegar (M, Th)

  • Ground paprika (M, W)

  • Cumin (M, W)

  • Dried oregano, preferably Mexican (M, T, W, Th)

  • Aji amarillo paste OR 2 fresh jalapenos (M, Th)

  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise (M, Th)

  • 2 cups whole grain, such as barley, farro, wheat berries, bulgur, quinoa (M, Th)

  • 4 (15-oz.) cans beans, preferably butter or cannellini (T, Th)

  • 1 (15-oz.) can black beans (W)

  • 1 (16-oz.) jar medium red salsa (W)

  • Roasted red peppers OR olives OR capers (Th)

  • 1/3 cup pine nuts OR almonds OR pecans (Th, F)

  • 2 (16-oz.) packages prepared gnocchi

Meat Counter

  • 2 (3 1/2-lb.) chickens OR 6-7 lbs. chicken parts OR 16 thighs or 8 breasts (M, W)


  • 1/4 cup cotija cheese OR Parmesan cheese, optional (M, W)

  • 1 1/2 oz. shaved or chunk pecorino Romano OR Parmesan cheese (F)

  • Sour cream (W)

  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend OR cheddar OR Monterey jack (W)

  • Unsalted butter (F)


  • 1 loaf crusty bread (T)

  • 4 corn tortillas (W)

Freezer Case

  • 1 package broccoli florets OR cauliflower florets OR green beans OR spinach OR fresh vegetables (F)

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

Stay safe, be kind, wash your hands, and wear a mask.