The week always goes so much smoother when I plan a few simple meals ahead of time that aren’t super involved but still taste delicious. This requires a bit of mindful planning during the weekend, but here are a few tips I’ve developed to make the process as easy as possible.
First, know what your week is going to look like. Before you do any shopping, try to have an idea of what nights you may be home late. Dinner with friends? Yoga? Just know which nights you won’t be eating at home and which nights you may be less likely to cook. This can help you avoid overbuying or prepping food you won’t be able to eat.
During the weekend, here’s what I try to cook:
- A big batch of soup. This can also be portioned off into mason jars to also make for a nourishing lunch.
- Grains. If you have a busy week or are only prepping food for yourself, 1 cup of brown rice goes a long way. Otherwise, 2 cups should do it.
- Pick 1 entree that you’ll want to have during the week and prep this so you know you have a least one thing in your fridge that is ready to rock at all times. One of my go-to’s is cauliflower rice curry.
- Beans/legumes. Make a pot of beans. Recently, I’ve been making 1-2 cups of lentils, which can cook in about thirty minutes and can easily be tossed in meals throughout the week. If you have more time, adzuki beans, black beans and garbanzo beans are also great to have on hand during the week.
- Cashew cream. I love to make a batch of this because it adds a ton of richness to any recipe and works with all sorts of cuisines. To make, add cashews, water, sautéed onion, a clove of garlic, olive oil, salt and dash of cayenne to a blender. Store in an airtight container.
Other quick prep items to have:
- quinoa (15 minutes)
- brown rice pasta (10-15 minutes)
- red lentils (20 minutes)
- organic canned beans (with no additives)
- organic frozen veggies like spinach, broccoli and peas. Fresh veggies are wonderful, but these are great in a pinch!
- glass jar of crushed/stewed tomatoes or tomato paste