After seeing our cousin, Tracey, over the weekend – yes, folks..she’s vegan, as is her husband Steve (audience applause) – I realized that while I can make a dish for me on a Sunday afternoon and it’ll serve me as lunch for most of the week…this is because I’m just feeding myself. For someone who has children and a husband – a serving for four or six doesn’t go as far as it does for just me (and Mocha). So here’s a list of a couple recipes that would be easy to make on a Sunday afternoon that can feed the entire family for several days (at least through Wednesday dinner) without having to endeavor on long preps during the week after a long day at work. Spending two or three hours in the kitchen on a weekend can really open up the rest of the week. And doubling the recipes (pending you have dishes big enough) will also help stretch the quantities with the same prep time.
Baked Rice Casserole – minimal chopping which saves time, and once it’s in the oven, you can move on to prepping something else.
Homemade beans – making a huge batch which could then be used to add a cup to any dish during the week, or make homemade burritos for a light dinner. Once they are on the stove-top, you can forget about them for at least an hour, and move on to chopping vegetables for something else – but be sure to throw them in some water to soak on Saturday night 😉 . I always make a batch of beans on the weekend…for beans at a moment’s notice.
Roasted Vegetables (any that you have on hand) – either the Marinated or just plain salt-n-pepper veggies roasted in the oven can stay in the fridge for a couple of days, which you can throw into burritos, enchiladas, or on top of a pizza, or even tossed with some rice. Again, take 10 minutes to chop, and roast for 45 minutes – you could even have them in the oven alongside your baked rice casserole!
Rice – making up a batch of brown rice on Sunday will cut down on time spent during the week. Make about 3 dry C of brown rice, in about 6 C broth – a little canola oil, salt, and pepper..Once it’s simmering, forget about it for 45 minutes (though if you’re making such a large quantity it might take longer than 45 min). This can go simultaneously with your beans that are cooking on the next burner. Though I’ve never tested it myself, I’m told you can freeze batches of brown rice. So you could divide it up into about 1 C (cooked) portions, and freeze them. In the morning before work, pull out a portion and let it thaw on the counter – and it’s ready to be warmed up, tossed with some beans and veggies, a few spices, and voilà!
Soups are another good option – but if you’re making a soup with noodles, keep those separate until serving so they don’t get mushy. Tomato soup makes an excellent leftover lunch.
Hearty Whole Wheat Waffles – double the recipe, and freeze them for a quick breakfast.
Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies – make up the dough, cut into individual cookies, and freeze – then you can pull out just a few cookies at a time for a mid-week treat.
You can also pre-prep some veg, and store them in containers – just like those pre-cut veg you pay way to much for at the store…just do that on a Sunday afternoon while your beans, rice, casseroles, and soups are cooking!
Then on Thursday, order a vegan pizza… Friday, do something easy like a “breakfast dinner” and a movie – have pancakes and fruit for dinner, then some popcorn with a movie, and finish off with a cookie made fresh from the freezer! You’re now back at the weekend to start thinking about groceries and prep for the following week.