This week is all about how to use 1-2 hours on the weekend to making weeknight dinners super easy! In the next few posts I will tell you about:
- Simple make-ahead meals
- Learning to love leftovers
- Multi-tasking in the kitchen
Week 2 Menu:
- Chickpea cutlets and picatta sauce with steamed kale
- Pizza (Daiya, red onion, kalamata olives and artichoke hearts)
- Tofu fried rice
- Tofu, veggie and rice bowls with peanut sauce
- White bean and rosemary soup
- Roasted brussell sprouts, tofu scramble and waffles
- Leftover Night
Ingredients List* (Items I actually bought this week are in red. Everything else was already in my pantry or fridge)
Veggies ready to be chopped!
Time needed: 2 hours (includes making dinner Sunday night)
Meal prep steps:
- Make the white bean soup (while it is cooking I complete the rest of the list)
- Make the pizza dough and store it in the fridge. Wipe down the food processor to use for chickpea cutlets
- Make chickpea cutlets using the food processor. Once they are formed into cutlets, put in a zip lock bag and store in the fridge.
- Make the peanut sauce. While the water for the peanut sauce is boiling, chop up carrots and broccoli (for stir-fry and tofu-veggie-rice bowls) and brussels (for roasting). Finish making peanut sauce
- Make picatta sauce. (By now the soup should be done – turn off the burner and let it sit until it is time to serve it for dinner OR store it in the fridge if you are going to have a different meal for dinner)
On the night we decide to have the Tofu, Veggies and Rice bowls with Peanut sauce, I make a double batch of rice and store the leftover rice in the fridge to use for fried rice later in the week.
It was birthday-week for our big guy! Pizza was his dinner choice for the big night, where he also played with his new big-boy camera.
Posted by Ms. L-P on March 9, 2014
To regular readers of this blog, it is no surprise that I love lists. Writing down a list of things to do, meals to cook, or any other aspect of my life that needs some order makes me feel functional and in control. And crossing things off a list? Well, that is downright euphoric.
So, of COURSE I use lists when meal planning! In fact, most people I know, be they famous cookbook authors or my neighbors down the street, use lists for meal planning. Everyone’s technique is different, but here are the steps I go through when setting up my menu:
Step 1: Grab a piece of paper* and start shopping in your pantry and seeing what you have on hand (including fridge and freezer leftovers). Then, browse recipes that use these ingredients – but keep your weeknight criteria in mind!
Step 2: As figure out meals to make, list them on the paper. Only pick 5-6 recipes – leave a night open for leftovers, takeout, or that last-minute invitation to go out with your friends.
Step 3: Draw a line under your recipes and list the ingredients you need to buy. Now you have a grocery list!
Step 4: To the right of your grocery list, write down the things you can make ahead on the weekend. (More about what to do with this list will follow next week).
Post this list on the fridge and you’ll never have to wonder
“what am I going to make for dinner tonight????!!!”
Once again, lists to the rescue!
*Yeah, I’m old school. I know plenty of people who love their phone apps for this, so if you have a meal planning app, or just a way to do this electronically that you love, go for it!
Posted by Ms. L-P on March 7, 2014