I dream of a future where I have time to thoughtfully compose my daily menu over a cup of jasmine tea. As I contemplate the best of the season
with a little prayer to the kitchen gods, I imagine embarking on my daily pilgrimage to the various small markets to pick up my ingredients for a perfect repast. Possibly in Venice. Or Peru.
Now, please note that I used the word ‘dream’ because this is NEVER going to happen. My days generally go more like this:
I rush out the door around 6:30 in the morning (on a good morning), coffee in hand if Greg made it for me. If not, I have no ability to actually make coffee on my own. Come to think of it, I don’t know where we keep the coffee. As an event planner, the season tends to escape me since I am
probably already planning for the next holiday or two down the road. My schedule is all over the place with early mornings, late nights and weekends. So any pilgrimaging I do is limited to the virtual variety or a trip to the farmers market on weekends. Also, I don’t live in Venice. Or Peru. Yet…
Sound familiar? I’m sure most of us have mastered this non-routine type of routine. To combat the crazy, I try to buy a hefty amount of fresh vegetables on the weekend. Then I do a full on meal prep session when I have a free couple of hours. I turn on the oven, boil a pot of water, get out the rice steamer and cook everything up assembly line style.
I start with a list of what I have and how I want to cook it – it keeps me organized and helps me remember what I have in the fridge later in the
week. Because I WILL forget. By the end, it is crumpled and water stained – a sure sign that I accomplished something.
I pop them in glass containers so I can see what’s what and I use them throughout the entire week. It makes the road to dinner much less rocky
when I have ready-to-go ingredients already populating my fridge.
Soup comes together in a flash. Sautéed veggies take minutes. Quiche is right around the corner. Salad calls my name. Hash devours any leftovers.
Once a month or so I’ll post a bit here with my weekly meal prep & some ideas of what in the world to do with it. Here is this week’s meal prep session.
This week my meal prep took just over 2 hours, and below is the list + some thoughts of what to do with it.
- Roasted Cherry Tomatoes – great in soup, yummy in salads. Near instant bruschetta
- Sautéed Kale & Beet Greens w/ Garlic – delish on sandwiches, good add-in for a fast quiche
- Roasted Potatoes – delicious as hash, instant potato salad
- Steamed Beets – toss in with the potatoes for borscht. Blend into smoothies for a hot color and a touch of sweet. Or you could eat them cold out of the jar… We wont judge. They are just that good
- Cantaloupe – for smoothies, tossed with mint or with rice in rice pudding
- Sautéed Snow Peas w/ Sesame Seed Oil & Chile – delicious with rice and a bit of protein for a fast stir fry
- Roasted Whole Carrots – nice for cooking into meatloaf. Nice dimensional flavor in soup
- Forbidden Rice – rice + toppings = instant meal. Plus, rice pudding is just around the corner
- Roasted Zucchini – perfect topping for pizza (the roasted tomatoes would make a lovely showing here too)
- Hard Boiled Eggs – egg salad. Eggs in salads. Eggs make everything better
- Acorn Squash – roasted whole – instant side. Ready for a puree
- Roasted Green Beans – surprisingly delicious chopped up in a hash
- Charred Corn – soup, anyone?
For meal prep inspiration check out:
- An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler – really one of the most beautifully written books about food, it changed the way I conceived my kitchen. Also, check out her book preview videos HERE and HERE.
- The meal prep food styling of @TracyShutterBean on Instagram. Beautifully styled and shot. #shutterbeanmealprep
- The Lean Green Bean Blog – for some smart and healthy strategies
How do you make your meal prep just that much more painless?
-Lydia, Daydream Believer but Not Homecoming Queen