Menu Plan Monday: Cuban Black Beans, Creamy Roasted Beet Hummus, Mac n’ Cheese, and More


Happy Monday! I hope you’re having a fabulous start to this first week of November.

My meal plan this week is a mixture of recent dishes, some classic recipes from the blog, and one of Steven’s and my staple favorites. My goal will be to freeze a bunch of what I make, because I have my second set of exams next week, and I won’t have much time on my hands to cook. Here’s what’s on the agenda.



Creamy roasted beet hummus
●Red quinoa (I made this for a grain salad I threw together today for brunch with Steven’s family, and I whipped up extra to use through the week)
Creamy red pepper, chickpea, and tahini dressing

●Cuban black beans in the slow cooker (adapted from this recipe)
Easiest gluten free mac n’ cheese (a favorite of ours!)
●Split pea soup


Dinner Menu Plan:

Sunday: Soup leftovers from Saturday night (a “clean out the fridge” hodgepodge of celery root, potato, rutabaga, and apple) | Salad with chickpeas and creamy red pepper, chickpea, and tahini dressing

Monday: Slow cooker masala lentils (from the freezer) with brown rice (also from the freezer!) | Steamed broccoli with creamy red pepper, chickpea, and tahini dressing

Tuesday: Cuban black beans and rice | Kale and red cabbage slaw with agave lime vinaigrette

Wednesday: Leftover masala lentils over red quinoa | Leftover slaw

Thursday: Dinner with a friend

Friday: Easiest vegan, gluten free mac n’ cheese | Kale and radicchio salad with simple vinaigrette

Saturday: Split pea soup (possibly in the slow cooker!) | Salad TBD

Slow Cooker Masala Lentils | An Easy, Flavorful Vegan Dinner | The Full Helping

I’m pretty excited about this week’s eats! Things that will emerge from the freezer for some of my lunches include frozen butternut squash and apple soup, and leftovers from my cream of broccoli and quinoa soup last week. Tis the season!

OK folks, that’s it for now. Have a great day, and I’ll be back tomorrow with a new recipe for an easy baked treat!


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  1. Gena,

    I saw on Insta, you’re nuking your oats in the microwave. Did I miss a post on microwaving? Do you care to advise? I’ll do my own research. I kind of gave them up because I read a few random stories on the harm. To nuke or not to nuke?


    • Hey Hoshigaki,

      It’s definitely not something I thought warranted a post, as I never totally eschewed microwaving in the past! I use the microwave seldom and always have because it usually results in poorer texture/taste than stovetop cooking or baking, but not for health reasons (I also didn’t have one in my first DC apartment, so I got out of the habit).

      There’s some debate about how many nutrients are retained, mostly due to a 2002 Spanish study that suggested that up to “97%” of nutrients were lost through microwave cooking; as it turns out, the study authors used a lot of water, and all cooking methods that use a lot of water result in mineral and vitamin losses into the water. In fact, most research suggests that microwave cooking, so long as it doesn’t involve a lot of water, is one of the methods that retains most nutrients. Here are some links, and there are other studies on PubMed that do comparisons:

      I don’t always cook oats in the microwave, of course. But in these busy times, being able to soak+nuke is a nice break for me.


  2. Hey Gena, great meal plan! Split pea soup is one of my favorites, and I would love to hear what ingredients you make yours with. Also, if you have any tips for freezing rice, I’d love to hear it. Mine never turns out right when I go that route. Thanks!!:) Have a great week!

  3. Hi Gena,

    What kind of steamer do you use? I’m in the market for one and was looking at the OXO brand silicone or stainless steak on Amazon. Let me know!

  4. I think it’s awesome that you post weekly meal plans on your blog, what a good idea! The mac n cheese especially looks great – I also use cashews as a base, some bouillon, and lots of Daiya so I’ll have to try your healthier alternative.