Based on feedback on the meal planning posts, it sounds like ideas for dinner menus are helpful, but what would be more useful are practical ideas on how to bulk cook over the weekend for breakfast, lunch and dinner during the week.
So, here goes! Like the previous meal planning posts, I’ll get these up on either Friday or Saturday, so you can use the ideas over the weekend to plan next week’s meals. I’m excited about this, because it’s going to also help me get organized and force me to be creative in designing new menus.
I’ll give you a list of items to cook, and then I will share ideas on how to use each of these for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some of these items will be incorporated into the dinner menus for the week. As always, I love feedback! Let me know how you like these posts and what I can do to make them more helpful.
Weekend Meal Prep Game Plan
Each week, we’ll fill these categories with different items, so we can mix-and-match throughout the week.
For the vegetables, fill sheet pans with vegetables cut in about the same size, coat with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and any other desired seasoning. Roast in a hot oven (about 425 degrees) until caramelized. Cool and store in glass containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Make big batches of grains or beans, or bake potatoes or sweet potatoes.
Make a pot of soup and a batch of chicken, beef or vegetable broth.
Cook a protein.
Make condiments, salad dressings, toast nuts and seeds.
Make a batch of granola or overnight oats or chia pudding or something that can serve as an easy breakfast and snacks.
This Week’s Meal Prep List
Roasted red peppers
Roasted shitake mushrooms
Roasted broccoli and cauliflower
Two bunches of kale, washed and cut
Homemade chicken stock (or purchased stock)
Beef & black bean chili (or your favorite chili recipe)
Homemade chile oil (here is a recipe similar to mine, but I use avocado oil and leave out the peanuts)
Cashew cream (I only make small batches, because a little goes a long way)
Toasted sesame seeds
Buckwheat & hempseed granola (use this recipe, but substitute some of the nuts and seeds (about 1 cup or so) with raw buckwheat and hempseeds)
- Use a variety of the roasted vegetables to make an omelet or frittata with goat cheese or feta.
- Slice or cube one of the baked potatoes and brown the slices/cubes in a skillet with extra virgin olive oil. Top with some of the roasted vegetables and a fried egg. Garnish with sesame seeds and chile oil.
- Warm ½ - 1 cup of cooked quinoa in the microwave. Top with sliced avocado, a fried egg and chile oil, and perhaps some sesame seeds.
- Saute some of the kale with extra virgin olive oil and a little sliced garlic. Toast whole grain bread and top with sliced avocado, sautéed kale, a sliced boiled egg, chile oil and toasted sesame seeds. You could substitute cashew cream for the egg.
- Granola, milk (or almond milk, Greek yogurt or coconut yogurt) and fresh or frozen fruit.
- Whole grain toast topped with mashed avocado (mixed with lemon juice and salt), a drizzle of cashew cream and chile oil.
- A bowl of chili topped with shredded cheese, sliced avocado and a dollop of full-fat Greek yogurt.
- Get a big handful of kale and sprinkle with sea salt. Massage the kale until it is starting to wilt and starts to turn shiny. Season with lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Place in a bowl with a big scoop of quinoa, some of the roasted vegetables, a sliced hard-boiled egg and a big sprinkle of sesame seeds. A drizzle of cashew cream is optional.
- Repeat the process for massaged kale. This time add sliced avocado, an ounce or two of crumbled goat cheese or feta and a big sprinkle of the buckwheat and hempseed granola.
- Any of the breakfast ideas.
- Make an easy tofu pho using chicken stock, sautéed kale, roasted peppers and mushrooms, toasted sesame seeds, chile oil and organic non-GMO tofu. I will be posting this recipe on Monday. Stay tuned! It’s one of our favorite easy dinners.
- Split one of the baked potatoes and top with a big scoop of the chili and handful of shredded cheddar cheese. Place on a baking sheet in a 400-degree oven until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the potato is warmed all the way through. Top with any other desired condiments, like sliced avocado, green onions, full-fat Greek yogurt, toasted sesame seeds and chile oil.
- Use the cooked quinoa to make these quinoa burgers. Serve open-faced or on a bun. Serve with a kale salad.
- Heat leftover roasted vegetables (and maybe a handful of kale) in a pan with extra virgin olive oil and sliced garlic. Add freshly-cooked whole grain pasta (quinoa pasta is delicious, too, if you're avoiding wheat) with some of the well-salted pasta water and a big handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese and some red pepper flakes.
- Make pizza dough (or cauliflower dough) or buy a pizza dough from your favorite pizzeria. Make a quick tomato sauce by roasting a pint of cherry or grape tomatoes with sliced garlic, salt and extra virgin olive oil in a 425 degree oven until the tomatoes split and start to brown. Spoon the tomato mixture over the crust, top with roasted peppers and mushrooms (a handful of kale is good too) and your favorite pizza cheese. Bake in a 500 degree oven until the cheese is melted and the crust has browned.
There you have it! A few hours of weekend cooking and you have the ingredients for five breakfasts, lunches and dinners during the week. Just scale the amount of prepared foods to the size of your family and your appetites.
I hope this is helpful! Stay tuned next week for a whole new set of ideas.