The Dinner Plan - Review, recipe and giveaway!

If you ask home cooks, weeknight meals can be their Achilles' heel. Homework, late nights at the office and shuttling kids back and forth can crush our best intentions to provide a nutritious dinner for our families and ourselves. 

To the rescue, The Dinner Plan: Simple Weeknight Recipes and Strategies for Every Schedule by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion offers five meal strategies:  Make-Ahead, Staggered, One-Dish, Extra-Fast, and Pantry that will help make weeknight dinners come together. Each of the 135 recipes, from main dishes to sides to salads and "lifesaver" condiments, provide practical Monday through Friday options whether time is super-tight, the fridge is empty, or everyone is coming home at a different time. And all of the recipes are "keepers" reliable, crowd-pleasing preparations that you'll confidently turn to again and again from the authors of Keepers.

With fun dishes like Rotisserie chicken banh mi, Thai beef salad, Japanese fried chicken and Faux Cubanos, we can travel the world of flavor even on a busy Tuesday night before watching This is Us. If you are not in the mood for global flavors, try the One-pan chicken with lemon and potatoes, Turkey sausages with carmelized apples and onions, or Beef stew in a hurry. There are so many options that even your pickiest eater will be happy. The authors even have the "forgotten meal" covered - that time when kids are coming home from school looking for something to hold them over. Recipes in this chapter include Dark chocolate-banana bread, Date-banana smoothie, and Baked layered nachos. 

Special thanks to Abrams for sharing the Roasted pork tenderloin with mustard and herb crust with our members today. I'm planning to make this dish or a variation of, this weekend. Abrams is offering three copies of The Dinner Plan to our US members in our contest below. 

Roasted pork tenderloin with mustard and herb crust

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Serves 3 to 4

We like having a pork tenderloin in the freezer because it defrosts and cooks quickly and is a convenient blank canvas. But it does need a little help to keep it from being boring. Here, we borrowed a classic coating for rack of lamb; it uses pantry staples and takes just minutes to get it in the oven. Sometimes, to simplify things even more, we add a large can of drained and rinsed white beans tossed with half a pint of cherry tomatoes, a little rosemary, olive oil, salt, and pepper to the bottom of the skillet before baking for a one-dish meal.

  • ½ heaping cup (45 g) panko or regular dried bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 pork tenderloin (about 1¼ pounds/570 g), patted dry

Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C), with a rack in the middle position. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the panko, rosemary, and garlic. Season generously with salt and pepper, then stir in the oil and set aside. Coat the tenderloin with the mustard (we usually do this right on the packaging the tenderloin comes in). Transfer the tenderloin to the bowl and coat with the panko mixture all over, gently pressing it on the pork to help it adhere.

Line the bottom of a medium ovenproof skillet or baking dish with foil for easier clean-up, if you like. Transfer the pork to the skillet top-side up and tuck the thin "tail" end under the tenderloin so it doesn't get overcooked. Roast until almost cooked through, but still pink (about 145°F/63°C on a meat thermometer when inserted horizontally into the thickest part of the tenderloin), 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Cut into slices about 1/3 inch (8 mm) thick.

Staggered: Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature. It will keep, loosely covered, at the back of the stove for up to about 2 hours; slice as needed.

The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on December 10th, 2017.


  • Senkimekia  on  11/8/2017 at 8:06 PM

    Sausage and mushroom ragout over polenta 😊

  • ebs  on  11/8/2017 at 8:34 PM

    Skillet chicken and rice two ways: dirty

  • lgroom  on  11/8/2017 at 8:37 PM

    Sheet pan chicken fajitas

  • rchesser  on  11/8/2017 at 8:38 PM

    The Pork and broccoli curry!

  • ravensfan  on  11/8/2017 at 9:18 PM

    Shrimp scampi

  • lselke  on  11/8/2017 at 9:35 PM

    Honey-miso wings!

  • ahalvorson  on  11/8/2017 at 11:09 PM

    One-pan chicken lemon and potatoes

  • heyjude  on  11/9/2017 at 3:10 AM

    Bee sting sauce

  • cora429  on  11/9/2017 at 4:49 AM

    The tarragon chicken sounds lovely

  • southerncooker  on  11/9/2017 at 5:41 AM

    Shrimp summer "roll" salad sounds delicious. I love shrimp summer rolls and this sounds like a fast and easy way to have those on a weeknight.

  • stephlinde  on  11/9/2017 at 9:28 AM

    White beans with pesto sounds interesting!

  • LJStubbs  on  11/9/2017 at 10:07 AM

    Faux Cubanos for sure!

  • lisaevanoff  on  11/9/2017 at 10:39 AM

    Steak sandwiches

  • sarahawker  on  11/9/2017 at 11:00 AM

    One-pan chicken with lemon and potatoes

  • contest718  on  11/9/2017 at 11:11 AM

    Roasted cod with potatoes, tomatoes, and olives

  • matag  on  11/9/2017 at 11:36 AM

    Linguine with cauliflower, lemon, and bread crumbs

  • sgump  on  11/9/2017 at 12:20 PM

    The coconut-lime rice sounds simple and lovely!

  • kmn4  on  11/9/2017 at 1:36 PM

    Curried coconut noodle soup

  • ktwalla  on  11/9/2017 at 4:04 PM

    Buffalo Shrimp Tacos

  • annmartina  on  11/9/2017 at 4:26 PM

    Melted mozzarella squares

  • AlaineNorth  on  11/9/2017 at 5:11 PM

    Steak sandwhiches

  • skipeterson  on  11/9/2017 at 6:46 PM

    Sausage and mushroom ragout over polenta

  • Vspriestersbach  on  11/10/2017 at 5:45 AM

    Melted mozzarella squares!

  • BeckyLeJ  on  11/11/2017 at 9:17 AM

    Rotisserie chicken banh mi

  • verorenee  on  11/11/2017 at 6:49 PM

    One-pan chicken with lemon and potatoes

  • RoseMGenuine  on  11/11/2017 at 10:34 PM

    Japanese style fried chicken

  • t.t  on  11/12/2017 at 1:15 AM

    Shrimp summer "roll" salad

  • mpdeb98  on  11/12/2017 at 8:06 AM

    Teriyaki beef kebabs

  • robynsanyal  on  11/12/2017 at 10:07 AM

    Japanese fried chicken

  • JenJoLa  on  11/13/2017 at 2:13 PM

    Curried tofu with peas, onions, and yogurt

  • VeryVigario  on  11/13/2017 at 7:33 PM

    Skillet chicken Parm - looks like comfort food yum!

  • SuzyP  on  11/14/2017 at 11:02 AM

    Thai beef salad

  • WCchopper  on  11/14/2017 at 11:29 AM


  • Siegal  on  11/15/2017 at 2:19 PM

    I would like to try Japanese style fried chicken

  • RSW  on  11/18/2017 at 6:42 AM

    Japanese-style fried chicken

  • bstewart  on  11/18/2017 at 5:47 PM

    The hot or cold carrot-ginger soup!

  • AnnaZed  on  11/19/2017 at 11:59 PM

    Japanese "pizza" with shrimp (Okonomiyaki)

  • Scotsman61  on  11/20/2017 at 11:14 PM

    The Pork and broccoli curry

  • eileen2015  on  11/22/2017 at 12:00 AM

    Shrimp scampi

  • alemily  on  11/22/2017 at 8:57 PM

    One-pan chicken with lemon and potatoes

  • LaurenE  on  11/26/2017 at 2:05 PM

    Honey-miso wings

  • dbielick  on  11/28/2017 at 9:39 AM

    Pan bagnat

  • Uhmandanicole  on  11/30/2017 at 1:04 AM

    Eggplant and tomato pasta

  • auntietina  on  12/1/2017 at 1:29 AM

    Chili-garlic cod in foil

  • Peirsd60  on  12/1/2017 at 9:00 PM

    Thai beef salad!

  • Katiefayhutson  on  12/1/2017 at 10:45 PM

    Chili-garlic cod in foil

  • PanNan  on  12/2/2017 at 6:55 AM

    Mexican Chicken Soup

  • lhudson  on  12/2/2017 at 7:02 AM

    Tex-Mex salmon in foil

  • jc214a  on  12/2/2017 at 8:14 AM

    Buffalo Shrimp Tacos.

  • BMeyer  on  12/2/2017 at 11:57 AM

    chicken in a sheet pan

  • intrepid9923  on  12/2/2017 at 6:12 PM

    One Pan Chicken with Lemon and Potatoes

  • Sfgordon  on  12/3/2017 at 9:09 PM

    chili garlic cod in foil and roasted cauliflower with turmeric and lime

  • pappaslauren  on  12/4/2017 at 9:04 AM

    Buffalo shrimp tacos

  • shiningstar4Him  on  12/4/2017 at 8:38 PM

    Buffalo shrimp tacos

  • Julia  on  12/4/2017 at 11:52 PM

    Thai beef salad.

  • tararr  on  12/5/2017 at 1:50 PM

    Buffalo shrimp tacos

  • circ2000  on  12/5/2017 at 5:10 PM

    Sheet pan chicken fajitas

  • bibliophile02  on  12/7/2017 at 11:58 AM

    Garlic-Parmesan bread crumbs

  • HomespunHouse  on  12/8/2017 at 4:07 PM

    Roasted pork tenderloin with mustard and herb crust

  • AngelaLCooks  on  12/9/2017 at 1:12 PM

    Mexican chicken soup

  • jmay42066  on  12/10/2017 at 5:41 PM

    One-pan chicken lemon and potatoes

  • Dannausc  on  12/10/2017 at 6:37 PM

    Buffalo shrimp tacos

  • Karla123  on  12/11/2017 at 5:52 PM

    For a quick and easy meal, I'd opt for "kitchen sink buritos" anytime.

  • NaomiH  on  12/13/2017 at 12:33 PM

    Japanese "pizza" with shrimp (Okonomiyaki)

  • orchidlady01  on  12/14/2017 at 3:28 AM

    Tex-Mex salmon in foil and Stir-fried chicken and broccoli

  • Kristjudy  on  12/15/2017 at 6:19 AM

    Shrimp scampi

  • WagnerJB  on  12/15/2017 at 4:42 PM

    Japanese Style Fried Chicken

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