So you know last weekend, the weekend where I spent a lot of time in the kitchen making food so that my week would be easier and my diet healthier?
Well, it worked.
With some careful planning and preparation, and some time in the kitchen, I stocked our refrigerator with enough food for that weekend and the entire following week.
And that was a really good thing, because my kids had activities at their schools multiple nights last week. Normally, I get home from work pretty ravenous. And between having to make separate food for my little kids, no-oil Vegan food for myself, husband and oldest daughter, and then racing out to an evening event . . . well that would have been my undoing when it comes to making great food choices.
But I’m beginning to turn that around. I’ve been seeing other bloggers talk about doing bulk cooking on the weekend and I thought I would give it a try.
Little did I know, it was so much easier than I had ever imagined. And I never in a million years would have thought I would get it right on the first try. And the second go around was even easier.
I planned what I was going to prepare–pulling recipes from my binders and printing things off of Pinterest that I had been ogling. I also wrote out the grocery list of all of the ingredients that I needed that weren’t already in my kitchen.
Friday late afternoon
I had some extra time on my hands so I started cooking (I made the soup, and took the opportunity that I had to engage my oldest daughter in the process). But if this hadn’t been the case, I simply would have started on Saturday morning.
I’m an early riser, so by 6:30 or 7 am the food prep had well begun. It certainly didn’t take all day, but in bits and spurts through the day I had prepared two large Tupperwares full of salad, two casseroles (identical) and one large mason jar of salad dressing.
Again, in the early morning, I prepared the last of the salads and got it into a big Tupperware. I make a second large mason jar of homemade dressing before dinner that night.
I had a few extra hours between birthday parties, and a sweet tooth, so I whipped up some Pumpkin Banana Donuts (this recipe, sans the chocolate chips and baked in a donut pan for added cuteness) and also a Pumpkin Custard.
And all that while trying to finish up reading the second book in the Fifty Shades series. Whew!
So there you have it. I’ll run down the weekly selections for you:
- 1 Soup or stew-one large batch made 16 cups. That’s 8 nice servings for us. This week I prepared Red Lentil Soup with Cauliflower and Indian Spices.
- 1 Casserole, double quantity. Or really any other plant strong cooked food that you’re craving, like a loaf, bean burgers, a grain salad or a hearty vegetable dish (Indian dishes work well here). But the key, if you have more than a few mouths to feed or your family likes to eat a lot is to double that recipe so you have it to last throughout the week. You could also have enough food to bring a few lunches to work or school with you. Hey, you can’t be one of those people who refuses to eat leftovers if you are going to make life easier on everybody!
- 3 different vegetable salads
- A massaged kale salad-the nice thing about this is that you will want to dress it ahead. And it just gets better with time. Try this one, this one or this one. And there’s like, a gazillion more out there on the Internet. They’re addictive!
- A lettuce based salad. Keep the dressing off until you want to eat it. This week I threw in romaine lettuce, orange segments, cucumber, fresh parsley and snap peas. I got the inspiration from here and I adapted that recipe into a lettuce salad that would work for us. I whipped up a dressing of 2 peeled oranges, 1 peeled lemon, a few glugs of rice wine vinegar, a small ripe avocado, a few cashews and a splash of Tamari.
- A fun or different kind of greens based salad, like spring lettuce mix, spinach or arugula. Again, keep that dressing in a jar until it’s time to eat. A really fun salad is this: arugula, thinly sliced fennel and a bit of sliced almonds. All with any no-oil dressing you love! I loved it with a dressing made of mangos, cashews, water, vinegar and Indian spices.