It’s the week before Christmas!
To celebrate, Vanguard of Hollywood is doing a daily podcast. Today through Friday, join me on the podcast for Christmas movie trivia, recipes that are delicious and budget friendly, and some of my favorite Christmas stories.
Listen to the podcast for my daily trivia question. If you know the answer, submit it on my podcast page. If you answer correctly, you’ll win a free copy of my ebook, The Classic Hollywood Cleanse, and honorable mention on the next day’s podcast episode.
Today I’m sharing my meal plan of affordable and delicious dinner recipes that’ll get you to Christmas Eve.
I’m a diligent meal planner; I think meal planning is one of the best ways to combat the inflation that’s affecting us all right now. We’re more in control of what we spend if we go into the grocery store with a plan. I like knowing how much I’m going to spend on groceries each week before I even get to the store. It’s empowering to know that even as prices rise, there’s still something I can do to make my family’s income go as far as possible.
Most of these dinners will give you leftovers for lunch the next day. But even if you don’t have leftovers, this plan will feed a family of 4 at a cost of $4 per person or less, per meal. That’s less than half the price of going out to eat, and will hopefully help offset some of that Christmas spending.
Vegan Tomato Soup with Aioli Grilled Cheese
For tonight’s meal, I’m making my homemade Tomato Soup with Aioli Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. If you’ve never made tomato soup before, you’ll be blown away by how much better it tastes than canned tomato soup. Whenever I make this soup, I serve it with my aioli grilled cheese sandwiches. The aioli is a simple herby sauce that really takes the grilled cheese to the next level.
Pasta & Beans with Fresh Tomato
On the menu for Tuesday is Pasta and Beans. My pasta and beans recipe is a pasta dish with tomatoes and chickpeas, not the classic Italian stew of the same name. Which by the way, was one of Dean Martin’s favorite dishes. This recipe comes together in about 30 minutes, so it’s the perfect meal for a busy weeknight.
Jimmy Stewart Vegetarian Chili
Wednesday’s dinner is my Jimmy Stewart Vegetarian Chili. My chili recipe is inspired by the chili that was served at Chasen’s, the classic Hollywood restaurant founded by Dave Chasen in 1936. Chasen’s was a favorite hangout of stars like Jimmy Stewart, Lucille Ball, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.
The restaurant was most famous for its chili, which was so good, Elizabeth Taylor paid $100 to have it air-mailed to her in Rome during filming of Cleopatra. (To put that price tag in perspective that’s about $1000 today.).
Tofu Slab Sandwiches
Thursday’s dinner is my Tofu Slab Sandwiches. These sandwiches are a great introduction to tofu if you’ve never cooked with it before. I make these sandwiches on ciabatta rolls from Trader Joe’s with my roasted red pepper aioli.
Grilled Potato Spinach Quesadillas
On Friday I’m making Grilled Potato Spinach Quesadillas. This is my most popular recipe on the website. It’s been pinned on Pinterest over 10 million times. Probably because it’s so simple and affordable. My video tutorial will walk you through every step of the recipe, which makes these quesadillas even easier to make.
For Saturday and Sunday you’ve probably already got plans or holiday recipes in mind, but take a look at my holiday recipes if your holiday meal plans are still undecided.
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!
That’s it for today. Don’t forget to listen to my podcast, and submit your answer to the daily trivia question.
This is so fun! Thanks for putting an affordable meal plan out there. I’m excited about the trivia! The first question already has me stumped!
Thanks for listening Sara! I’m so glad the meal plan is helpful. I think many will be surprised by the answer to today’s trivia question. Be sure to listen tomorrow for the answer!
I love this! It’s a great idea. I’m cooking a very large Christmas dinner this year for guests, and it involves doing a certain amount of prep every single day for a week. It also involves strategic trips to the grocery store. As if all of that isn’t complex enough, I have to do something about day-to-day meals in the meantime, and they have to be simple so I don’t get distracted or exhausted. I think a plan like this is absolutely perfect.
Thanks Jeff! Your Christmas dinner sounds absolutely amazing and perfectly planned. I’m sure your guests were blown away!
I meant to comment last week but things got too busy. I followed your meal plan almost every day last week (we went out the night I would have experimented with the tofu sandwiches, as I’d never cooked with tofu before) and it was so helpful! Thanks for putting this together. I also really enjoyed the podcast each day. I’m not a movie buff, but the stories you shared were very entertaining. Made your pear pie for Christmas and it was the most popular dessert!
Excellent, that’s so good to hear Kate! I’m so glad the meal plan was helpful, and that you enjoyed the podcast!