In an effort to help in your meal planning, I’m launching a new weekly post for what I’ve made (or am making) ahead for the week. You certainly don’t have to do it ahead, but for me, that’s my lifesaver. I call it my Sunday Cookingpalooza! This week my menu contains:
Waffles–I make a double batch of waffles and then freeze them in a large zip lock bag. Each morning I take out what I need and toast them for my own homemade “frozen waffle”.
Fruit Salad–typically a mix of strawberries, blueberries, red grapes, black berries and/or pineapple.
Marinated Chicken (left overs to be Chicken Quesadillas)–1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar, 1/3 cup Olive Oil, 3 Tablespoons Dijon or Honey Mustard, 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt and Pepper, and 3 Tablespoons of Fresh Herbs (dill, basil, oregano, thyme, chives)–if you don’t have fresh, use 1 teaspoon dried herbs to every 1 Tablespoon fresh herbs in any recipe. This is enough marinade for 6 chicken breasts.
Tacos (left overs to be Taco Pizza)–I brown 2 pounds of ground beef and then drain. I then add 4-5 Tablespoons of Whole Foods taco seasoning and 1/2 cup water. I simmer until the liquid has mostly evaporated.
Marinated Salmon (left overs to be used on lunch salads)
Marinated (see a theme here) Steak Tips (there won’t be any left overs!)
Homemade Fish “Nuggets” (this will be my first attempt…wish me luck…I’ll keep you posted)
For the marinated meats, I mix the marinades right into a heavy duty zip lock, add the meat/fish, squeeze all of the air out, and then shake ’em up and store in the refrigerator. For the sides, I make all of the components, and then each night I mix up something with them. For example: saute the spaghetti squash in olive oil with garlic and add sea salt and pepper and a touch of crushed red pepper, or blend the steamed cauliflower in the food processor with a little butter, sea salt and pepper to make “mock” mashed potatoes.
My whole concept is to make Garanimals to mix and match. For those that might be too young to remember, Garanimals are a children’s clothing line that was first launched in the early 70s and had mix and match tops and bottoms. If you matched the tags, you were assured that the outfits were matched. I was very envious of those kids with Garanimals. They didn’t come in “husky” sizes! So my point is, if you make all of the staples–meats, fish, sides, veggies, etc. you can mix and match those same staples each week to make new entrees.