I turned 43 this past week, and Elie and I snuck away to Vancouver for one night, to stroll and eat and go to some kick-butt workout classes and spend uninterrupted time focused on each other. It felt like the perfect way to celebrate this year, a year in which beginning another sweet turn around our sun brings no regrets and no heartache, no yearning, like in other years. Just joy and thankfulness in where I am right here and now, in this life we have. Just contentment in the blessing of spending my time and energy and heart in nurturing our son and our family, in making our home a home.
We could smell Spring in the air this week, along with blue skies and the first of the purple crocuses sprouting from the dormant soil. Soon, this meal prep will be filled with rhubarb and asparagus, with nettles and with the first tiny red and pink radishes. Tender young lettuces and spicy arugula will replace the bowlfuls of kale. But, until our farmer's market starts in a few weeks, we'll still be finishing off winter, with comfort foods and a few favorites all-year-round.
This Week’s Meal Prep List
roasted cremini mushrooms (I just like to snack on these)
two bunches of kale, washed and cut
broccoli, washed and cut (ready for Theo to eat raw, which he prefers)
roasted tomatoes and lemon
pot of creamy polenta (tip: use 8 cups liquid to 1 cup polenta and cook for at least 2 hours on low, for the creamiest polenta)
cooked chickpeas (this method is similar to mine)
chicken & zucchini meatballs
creamy hummus (this method is similar to mine, but use unroasted tahini from Lebanon or Israel)
tahini sauce (use this recipe)
toasted sunflower seeds
- This is one of my favorite breakfasts: sauté some kale with olive oil and sliced garlic. Warm some polenta and roasted tomatoes. Top with sautéed kale and a poached egg. So good.
- Easiest breakfast: Three-seed granola with full-fat Greek yogurt and fresh or frozen berries.
- Although normally I'm a savory breakfast person, I have been craving smoothies since Palm Springs. Here is my favorite: To a blender, add 1 frozen banana, 1/2 cup homemade almond milk, 1 or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter or almond butter and 1 or 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder. You can add a date if you like things sweeter. Blend until smooth and thick and creamy. Top with Three-Seed Granola and fruit, if you're feeling fancy.
- Whole grain toast liberally drizzled with the tahini sauce and either honey or date syrup. Or chopped dates.
- An egg sandwich with whole grain toast or baguette, sautéed kale, roasted tomatoes and an over-easy egg, all squished together until runny and delicious.
- Make a salad from the kale tossed with some of the tahini sauce and little extra lemon juice (and olive oil, if it seems too bright). Add the cooked chickepeas, a generous handful of the toasted sunflower seeds and some good goat cheese or feta.
- Make a sandwich from the chicken & zucchini meatballs, either on a whole grain hamburger bun or in your favorite wrap (I like the teff wraps). Layer with lettuce and tomato and your favorite condiments.
- Make a salad with shredded kale, finely chopped broccoli, chopped dates, toasted sunflower seeds and the tahini sauce. Serve with a side of hummus and your favorite dipper.
- Hummus, extra virgin olive oil and a good whole grain flatbread and either raw or steamed broccoli spears. So simple, but so good.
- Any of the breakfasts.
- In an ovenproof dish, place a bed of polenta and top with roasted tomatoes and chicken & zucchini meatballs. Cover with aluminum foil and place in a 400 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until steamy. Serve with kale that has been sautéed with olive oil and sliced garlic.
- Make a pizza crust (or a cauliflower pizza) or pick up a pizza dough from your favorite pizzeria. Top with the roasted tomatoes, some of the chicken & zucchini meatballs and your favorite pizza cheese. Bake in a 500 degree oven until done. Top with fresh basil.
- Make a hearty soup by sautéing onion, carrot, celery and fennel. Add just a little tomato paste, if you like. Add a few cups of the braised chickpeas with their liquid. Add additional homemade chicken stock or vegetables stock to desired amount and simmer until vegetables are tender. Add chicken and zucchini meatballs and cook until warm. Serve with good bread. You could add a little fresh spinach at the last minute, and it would be delicious, as would a small squeeze of lemon juice.
- Make whole grain pasta (quinoa pasta is also delicious) and toss with the roasted tomatoes and some of the chicken & zucchini meatballs and some of the pasta cooking liquid. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- Sauce some shrimp in butter with a little garlic and tomato. Add a tiny splash of white wine and finish with fresh herbs. Serve over the warmed polenta. You can also use them same method with the mushrooms.
If you need a recipe for something, just message me, and I'm happy to send it to you. I have recipes for most of these items in the prep list, but I just don't have photographs, so they haven't made it here yet.
In the meantime, thank you for being here. xo