One of my goals this year is to work on developing my own recipes that can be used to make easy, healthy lunches. I love using fresh ingredients, and know that I can probably put a few good things together. But for now, I'm fine with piggy-backing off the hard work of others.
You'll notice that all of our meals are vegetarian (and vegan if I can make it happen). We rarely eat meat in our household. I am conscience about making sure that we have enough protein in our meals, and find that eating a variety of fruits and vegetables ensures that you get all the nutrients and good stuff that your body needs. You'll also see a few "free" meals- planning 5 full lunches and dinners is a lot of work, and I think it's important to allow yourself a break here and there.
When making my plan, I usually pick 2-3 items that I can make ahead of time and then use throughout the week. I also like recipes that make for good leftovers. When you're only cooking for two, it's easy to make sure there's enough left for lunch the next day.
|A sampling of some of the items I made today to last us for the week.|
|A picture of our pizza ready to go into the oven- until we |
realized the igniter needed to be replaced. Bummer.
Sunday dinner: Sweet Potato & Kale Pesto Pizza
Monday lunch: Quinoa Sweet Cakes and Creamy Tahini Kale salad on the side (with fresh fruit)
Monday dinner: Leftover 3 Bean Chili (from the freezer) with balsamic roasted brussels sprouts
Tuesday lunch: free lunch
Tuesday dinner: Butternut Squash Soup (my own recipe- see below) with Farro and Kale Salad
Wednesday lunch: Leftover soup and salad, with fresh fruit on the side
Wednesday dinner: Tofu with Peanut Ginger Sauce and broccoli, served over whole wheat noodles
Thursday lunch: Quinoa sweet cakes and kale (same as Monday)
Thursday dinner: free night (we'll likely get take-out as we'll be busy packing for the trip)
I spent about 4 hours in the kitchen on Sunday, making as much as I could so that I would only have to heat up dinner. The only thing I'll need to cook is the tofu dish on Thursday. We had the football games on, and Hank cleaned the house while I cooked in the kitchen. That arrangement works just fine for me! I really enjoy days when I have the time to do this.
Does anyone else plan out your meals for the week? I'd love to hear any tips and tricks you use for making it easier.
Butternut Squash Soup
(makes about 6 servings)
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 carton organic butternut squash (already peeled and chopped from Costco, $4)
1 T chopped thyme
1 tsp red curry paste (use more or less depending on how much heat you like)
1 container low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup low-fat coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
Saute onions in a tiny bit of oil until soft. Add squash and thyme, and continue to cook and stir occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, and then cover and reduce heat. Simmer for at least 30 minutes. Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree the soup. I like to make this at least one day ahead, as it gives the flavors a chance to come together.