It’s hard to come up with something fresh and from-scratch every weeknight after work when you’re tired and short on time. And you don’t want to spend your whole Sunday planning for the week, either. These three menus solve these problems. They start with one recipe that you can use several ways in a variety of dinners and lunches.The idea is to take one dish and repurpose it a few times. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s environmental, economical, efficient, and well, impressive in its own right. (We ran out of e‘s.) So check it out. Use the grocery list at the end of each weekly menu, which contain the whole week’s ingredients, without exact measurements. See the recipes.


You only need a bunch of fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese to make this flavorful sauce that is ridiculously flexible. Start with pasta, and then work from there. Make a lot of pesto, so you don’t have to skimp later. You can substitute any leafy green for basil too. Get our Easy Basil Pesto recipe.

a. Fettuccine with Pesto, Asparagus, and Artichoke

If you’ve never bought fresh artichokes and instead gone for the canned or jarred variety, now’s the time. This recipe gives step-by-step instructions with photos. Get our Fettuccine with Pesto, Asparagus, and Artichoke recipe.

b. Bacon, Asparagus, Goat Cheese Pizza

Use your pesto instead of tomato sauce on a pizza, which can be another dinner as well as a lunch to take to work or school. You can bake the pizza too, if you can’t grill it. Get our Bacon, Asparagus, Goat Cheese Pizza recipe.