Work-Week Day Meals

31 Mon, 2011 § 2 Comments

I am a fan of planning, especially when it comes to food; otherwise I am left standing, staring blankly, in the kitchen…usually snacking while I debate over options.  If it is unplanned, to-go lunches we are talking about, I end up rummaging in haste the morning of…& likely do not take enough nourishment with me.  You do not want me hungry; ask Dave.

My lunch planning is two fold:

1.  Create a flexible yet solid daytime meal outline, meaning I list my options/desired meals even if not the exact day I will have these.  I also try to account for weekend preparation at this point & dinners I want to make extra for leftovers.

2.  Plan & prep the night before.

This week, some of my options include

  • dolmas salad
  • buckwheat groats
  • roasted beets, sweet potato
  • leftover lentils
  • leftover chili
  • bok choy with chickpeas
  • lentil-walnut burgers
  • leafy salads
  • fruit

This includes breakfast, snacks & lunch, which to me are interchangeable; I have become someone who does not have to have breakfast foods for breakfast.  Sometimes leftovers are just too perfect, & it is what my body wants.  I might have something small, like a protein smoothie or simply lemon water, for a bit of energy before leaving the house; if I bike, I usually eat after the ride to avoid feeling sick.  I am also ok with most things at room temp or just warm but do not care for piping-hot leftovers.

On Sunday, I made barley & tossed ingredients for deconstructed dolmas & could have made the buckwheat groats as well, but waited until Monday morning to simmer these, stirring a little molasses in at the end of cooking.

*Quick note on grains: I like to switch them up & eat a variety.  By buying bulk, I can get only what I need at a time.  Though I have my favorites, I try to alternate each time I visit the store.  Instead of your usual oats, try buckwheat groats or farro.

Back to Sunday.  I premixed my buckwheat porridge mix-ins by toasting 3/4 C pistachios then tossing them with 1/8 tsp all spice, 1/8 tsp nutmeg & 1/4 tsp cinnamon.  This will keep ~1 week.  The night before I dish my cooked groats into my tiffin; in the morning I add some nuts, dried apricots from the fridge I chopped in advance & a spoonful of pomegranate seeds [also de-seeded over the weekend].

Mid-morning snack: check.

Over the weekend, we had a big batch of chili waiting in the slow-cooker.  This meant our post-bouldering starvation would be satisfied with [vegan]chili dogs AND leftover chili would serve as delicious, hardy lunches during the [snowy]week.  Big batches can always be frozen for later consumption too.

Dave was also really smart in his planning & bought an extra tilapia fillet he baked with our fishy, Sunday dinner, so he could make himself a fish sandwich for lunch.

We have ample greens & legumes for salads, veggies to roast when making dinner throughout the week — including kale chips for snacking — & seasonal fruit like oranges from our CSA & a good-sized bundle of apples I snagged.

As for the Deconstructed Dolmas, it is quick to throw together & yummy.  I am anxious to deconstruct further.

Rinse & add 1 C pearled barley [or grain of choice] to 2 C boiling water; reduce heat, cover & simmer 30 – 40 minutes until cooked & water absorbed.

Cool slightly & toss with remaining ingredients:

  • 5 grape leaves, patted dry, rolled & sliced thinnly
  • 1/3 C currants [soak in hot water to soften if they are hard]
  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 C walnuts, toasted & chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • dash of red pepper flakes, optional

~

Do you plan your meals for the week?  Do you have to prep in advance?  What delicious, packable meals do you enjoy during the work/school week?

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§ 2 Responses to Work-Week Day Meals

  • Natalie says:

    Um yes, definitely. Usually I make a huge pot/batch of something and eat off it all week. By the end I can’t bare to look at it again, but it is easy-healthy-cheap-satisfying for the week! I’m lovin’ this week’s creation!

    I’ve never made dolmas but you make it look easy. On a side note, I just checked out Clean Food and I’m so excited. Send me your favorite recipes so I can try them first!!!

    • Allie says:

      Are you going to share this week’s creation!?!
      I will email you my favorite recipes — I LOVE Clean Food & might have to splurge a little this weekend & get her newest, Clean Start.

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