Dec 29, 2016

prep ahead week 3

Last week I shared my idea of preparing a week of meals on one day and then finishing them on the day that you actually eat the meal. This has been working really well for my family of four and I find that even when I am really tired I can have dinner on the table within a half hour with minimal work.

Last week the menu consisted of 7 meals. This week I am reconsidering the 7 as too many meals for the average family. A day or two a week might be devoted to a special meal that you would like to put more time into or it could be a family favorite meal or leftovers or going out to eat.

This week's meal prep ahead consists of 5 meals. Since I cut two meals I am also alternating seitan and tofu instead of including them on each rotation.

Again, the meals are mostly whole foods, little or no oil (you decide) and are complete with grain, protein and green vegetable. They are also complete in the sense that there is a shopping list which includes the recommended accompaniments to the meals, such as bread or crackers.

In addition, I am also breaking out the recipes in the week ahead. Meaning that I will feature each of these recipes as their own separate recipe (apart from the Prep Ahead recipe) so you can make just a single recipe instead of the whole week, if you choose.

Meal 1 is Chimichurri Potatoes and Tofu. Becky Striepe of Glue and Glitter posted a chimichurri recipe a few weeks ago and I have one in my book Vegan Bowls [AMAZON] and I love it! But chimichurri uses a lot of oil and I wanted to come up with a recipe that was equally good without all the oil.

Chimichurri Potatoes and Tofu with Spicy Bok Choy Kinpira

Meal 2 is Pickled Vegetables Salad. This is my riff on Giardiniera but using homemade pickled cauliflower. It is also like a bean salad, but, again, using oil is optional. After pickling the cauliflower and assembling the bean salad, you can stash it until ready to eat. Then roast the cauliflower before adding it to the salad - it is a treat. [I cut the seitan from this dish, but it is in the pic.]

Pickled Vegetables and Beans on a bed of greens.
Meal 3 is Sriracha Artichoke Rolls. These are like the seafood rolls, but instead of mayo, the dressing is made of yogurt. If you like mayo better, sub it. The filling is chickpeas and artichokes. It is served on regular whole grain buns with a side of fresh green salad.

Sriracha Artichoke Rolls with chickpeas and a fresh green salad with homemade vinaigrette. 
Meal 4 is Char Siu Pizza. Mushrooms, bell pepper strips and cannellini beans are tossed with homemade char siu sauce. The pizza sauce itself isn't just regular tomato sauce, but instead has a wonderful kick. Certainly not your ordinary pizza night, but still easy and quick on the day of. This dough is homemade and uses all-purpose flour, but I am working on a whole grain version. In the meantime, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's both have whole grain pizza dough available.

Char Sui Pizza with shiitake, beans, green peppers and steamed chard.  
Meal 5 is Curried Chickpea Soup with rice and spinach. Curried flavors infuse this warm and delicious soup. Rice offers a wonderful body and richness and it is warm and filling on a cold winter night. This is served with Seasoned Pita Wedges.

Curried Chickpea Soup with toasted rice, spinach and served with Seasoned Pita Wedges.
It takes about 2 hours to prepare these meals on a single day and they are ready in about 30 minutes on the day that you are serving them.

PDFs below are the Overview of the meals (basically what will happen throughout the week), Shopping List (all the ingredients are listed so check over it and cross out what you already have), Prep Day Instructions (follow in the order given for speed and efficiency), Prep Day Recipes (these are the recipes that are called for in the Instructions) and Day-of Recipes (cut these in half and staple them together in the order you plan to serve the meals).


Shopping List

Prep Day Instructions

Prep Day Recipes

Day-of Recipes


  1. Are these recipes in a book of yours?

    1. Hi! No, these are original recipies. Of course, that means they are also untested besides me. I was thinking this might make a nice little volume, though :)


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