I woke 12 hours ago ready to start my day. For the last 2 weeks I've been "testing" recipes for a business venture I'm looking to pursue. Plant-Based Personal Chef. Today was another testing day. My steps are simple. Go grocery shopping, pick up fresh bread (if needed), cook, package, dishes (interlaced throughout the day). Sounds easy, right?
Wow! It's hard work! Rewarding. But, taxing. Maybe I'm just getting old??!!
Last night I took some time to prepare my menu for the week. I used to do this on Thursday evening to subsequently shop on Fridays but with shopping on Mondays, for the time being, busily worked on it last night. Anyway, when preparing a menu I decide on what we will be having for dinner each night as well as ingredients I need to get and at which store. I then wrote down each item I would be cooking including all the "kitchen gadgets," I would need and all the ingredients for each. This makes it easier to know how many total carrots (or other item) I would need. This makes prep that much easier.
Monday: BBQ Ranch Quinoa Salad. This is a recipe I was so excited to try off of Wendy Polisi's page Cooking Quinoa. This is to be served with chips and salsa. Guacamole too!
Tuesday: Since I've gotten in the habit of salads on Tuesdays I'm keeping with the theme. Big Ole Salad night! With a Country French bread.
Wednesday: Pita sandwich. Filled with a quinoa, chickpea salad. With black-eyed pea hummus. Sweet potato fries as a side dish.
Thursday: Chili (oh yes! It's that time of year again. I can finalize my recipe!) with rice. Cornbread as a side dish.
Friday: Spaghetti with "meatballs." Garlic bread as a side
Saturday: Tunisian Bean Stew with Country French Bread. Salad as a side dish. I was wanting to use pumpkin since it's October and all so I found a great recipe on Susan's website, Fat Free Vegan.
Sunday: Roasted Squash stuffed with quinoa. Cranberry green beans (getting ready for Thanksgiving too!) as a side dish.
One thing I learned in Culinary School (among many, of course) was getting everything ready for prep. Mis En Place. If I need carrots for 4 of my recipes it would be best to get them all prepped at once. It does seem to make things a tad easier.
I felt as though I had an assembly line going on for produce. I had 7 onions to cut!
One of my favorite kitchen gadgets, my egg slicer. Although, I never use it for eggs. Funny, huh? I use it for mushrooms. Sometimes black or green olives. It's so convenient and easy to use!
For my chili I roast up some red bell peppers and jalapenos. Today, I did something a little differently. I cut the red bells into large slices. The jalapeno, I cut in half. I roasted that way, it was actually easier than doing them whole. I love roasted veggies!
I believe I sauteed a pound a half of mushrooms today. I guess I like to incorporate mushrooms. They are so flavorful, meaty, and full of great nutritious value.
Today's cook took 8 hours. That's not including the 2 hours it took to shop. I'm still learning and I've realized this one every recipe I chose had many components. Each one took longer than anticipated which is why my 5-6 hour cook time ended up being extended. I'm in learning mode, that's for sure.
We are certainly prepared for the week. And, the hubby got dinner on the table tonight. He did the finishing touches so I could spend some time with my little one.
This is why I do this! More time with the family. So, yes, a little late on my blog but I have a good excuse, right? And, I now have dinner for the week! Yay!
What time savers do you do in the kitchen?
Do you ever prepare meals ahead of time?