Nonna's Plates

When I was in elementary school, the food we were served was less than delicious and nutritious. Students refused to eat the school lunch (which is not uncommon even now), with the exception of french bread and cookie, because YUM. Eventually, the PTA got involved and the cafeteria went though a complete revamp. Each class took a tour of the "new" cafeteria, which ended with a chocolate chip cookie (my sole memory of the tour). The longer you stick around the more obvious it will become to you that I am actually a cookie monster.

Once the new food plan was implemented, a member of the cafeteria staff would be at the end of the line checking to make sure that we all had our A, B’s and C’s —  I am not sure if the A B's and C's were referring to vitamins, but it probably doesn’t help that I don’t remember what food group each letter stood for! What I DO remember, is that you had to have a starch, a veggie and some form protein on your plate for them to click their metal clicker before you took your seat. This was to count the amount of children that were consuming "whole" meals. Though totally uninfluenced by this obscure memory — this is how I build my plates and meals today, so that I am getting everything I need. 

Below is a peek at a few of my plates that can serve as inspiration for your next meals as well as two very simple and very tasty recipes to add to your repertoire (pictured below) and very common in my rotation :) 

You can definitely mix and match from these lovely plates: 

These pictured plates are not only beautiful and delicious, they are uncomplicated. Usually, salad greens paired with a protein and another side of veggies + starch. I get SO many questions about how I make what I make and how I have time for all of the prep that goes into it.

All of these inquiries inspired me to create a summer meal plan! 

This plan will be available for purchase next week throughout the summer! You'll get four weeks worth of recipes that are equally quick and simple to the plates pictured along with a shopping list and schedule for each week. All real food, for lunch and dinner that you can prepare in advance, a few desserts and some fun breakfast ideas. All quick, simple and most importantly, DELICIOUS.


Let me know when the meal plan drops! 

Now for the recipes...


You can do this with any protein and herb combo, but I am going to give you my favorite here. You can also double the recipe and roll the meat into little meatballs or burgers to freeze and then have them ready when when you are ready to cook them up!te

1.5 pounds ground beef
1 bunch of parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 bunch of tarragon, finely chopped
salt and pepper
**for chicken I like parsley, dill and adding a few stalks of celery, all finely chopped

  1. Mix everything into a bowl and form patties 
  2. Season each side with salt and pepper 
  3. Cook to your liking (on skillet or in broiler) 

1/4 cup of tahini (sesame paste) 
3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/4 cup water, plus more as needed
pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

  1. Whisk tahini, lemon juice and salt together
  2. Slowly add water while whisking until you achieve your desired consistency
  3. Add pepper to taste and mix in parsley 
  4. Drizzle over cauliflower (or any of your other favorite roasted vegetable!)



Nonna Gaby

Gabrielle Kassin