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
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?