In the interest of saving time and money in what I knew was going to be a hectic week, I took on some meal prepping. It may seem like a lot of work, but honestly it came together in a couple of hours Tuesday night. As you can imagine, the front loading really helps when work days run long, kids don’t nap, or you have a headache and just want to go to bed early.
Terrible photo because I was rushing around, but you can see we have quite an array. Sourdough waffles for breakfasts; lemon-blueberry muffins for breakfasts and snacking; angel hair pasta; chicken stock; brown rice; a riff on puttanesca sauce made with canned tomatoes, capers, tuna, garlic, and fresh basil; toasted walnuts; cut-up celery, carrots, and cauliflower (ready for snacking and/or roasting); caramelized onions, and kale and walnut pesto. Not shown: browned ground pork, diced butternut squash, and shredded green cabbage.
So far the meals I’ve thrown together this week include chicken salad, pasta puttanesca, caramelized onion omelet, pork and veg stir fry, roasted cauliflower, squash, and cabbage salad with bacon and toasted walnuts. I plan to use the pesto with the pasta, scrambled eggs, and sandwiches and the stock to make soup, either carrot or cauliflower with caramelized onion crostini.
The inspiration for my meal prep is primarily from an amazing cooking class I took years ago in Brooklyn from Purple Kale Kitchenworks. Chef Ronna Welsh taught us a method of cooking individual ingredients so that they taste delicious alone and then improvising throughout the week by throwing them together in different combinations along with your fridge/pantry items and some key “bridges” such as homemade stock, compound butter, and caramelized onions.
Here’s an example from her class:
Kuri Red Squash (any squash will do)
Freekeh (a type of toasted wheat, delicious; replace with any grain)
Caramelized Onions (“bridge”)
herb or garlic butter (“bridge”)
Chicken stock (“bridge”)
Freekeh, kale, and onion soup
Fennel and caramelized onion sandwich
Melted gruyere and squash sandwich
Freekeh with squash, onions, and kale
Freekeh with fennel and garlic butter
Squash and garlic butter
Squash and kale salad
‘Hope this inspires some meal prepping out there! You won’t regret it.