This is the perfect meal plan for Thanksgiving week

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By now you probably know exactly what you're making for Thanksgiving dinner, but what about the rest of the week? Whether you're hosting the big meal or traveling to see friends or family, the week is sure to be hectic.

So you'll want to keep things simple—and maybe knock out a few pre-holiday chores as you go:

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Meal plan for thanksgiving week
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Meal plan for thanksgiving week

MONDAY: CLEAN OUT THE FRIDGE/MAKE PESTO PASTA

Open up the crisper drawer and pull out any bits of herbs and greens you might have lurking in there. You'll need to make room for all the groceries you've got coming in for Turkey Day. But don't throw those greens out—turn them into a hearty pesto to eat over pasta for dinner tonight.

TUESDAY: VEGETARIAN SANDWICHES YOU CAN EAT ANYWHERE

Before you make your big run to the grocery store to stock up on all your Thanksgiving ingredients, take 20 minutes to make some totally addictive BBQ eggplant sandwiches. (No grill required.) Driving to Grandma's house tonight? Pack the sandwiches up for the family to eat in the car.

WEDNESDAY: TAKEOUT AT HOME WHILE YOU PREP

You can totally get away with ordering in tonight if you have too much prep work to do. But if you have 22 minutes to spare, you can make homemade pad Thai that'll be ready faster than your local takeout favorite—and healthier and fresher to boot. (If you don't have shrimp on hand, substitute cubed tofu instead.)

THURSDAY: YOU'RE MAKING THANKSGIVING DINNER TODAY, RIGHT?

Maybe you're even cooking my whole 3-ingredient menu—in which case, I'm flattered. But seriously this turkey is as flavorful as it gets, and it cooks in just 1 1/2 hours. (The secret is spatchcocking the turkey, and letting it air-dry for up to an hour before popping it in the oven.)

FRIDAY: TURN THAT TURKEY CARCASS INTO SOUP

Since you're probably over classic Thanksgiving flavors right now, let's make a chile-laced, hominy-studded Mexican posole.

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