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The past couple of weeks have been quite hectic around here and you’ve probably noticed that my meal plans were based around items from my freezer and pantry. Well, guess what? I emptied both and since I’m replenishing my reserves, I said why not share the before and after look.
So here’s what I had prepped this week:
- Boiled beets and sliced them.
- Prepared baked oatmeal with berries and bananas for a sweet morning breakfast. Last week it was with apples and a slightly different recipe and I liked it better.
- Soaked and boiled chickpeas and black beans.
- Washed fruits and vegetables. Cut carrots, melons and pineapple.
- Prepared and portioned taqliyeh or aliyyeh (aliyyeh is a basis for many Lebanese meat dishes: it is onions, garlic, ground meat, allspice, salt, pine nuts and for me a drizzle of pomegranate molasses at the end). Doing this beforehand saves time and tears chopping the onions and sauteeing the whole thing. It takes less than fifteen minutes to prep but countless onion tears .
- Roasted butternut squash ( a portion for my daughter and the rest to attempt the butternut squash brownies again).
- Prepared two dressings: balsamic and lemon with herbs. The regulars with olive oil but I tend to use much less oil than what most recipes call for. I added a teaspoon of pesto this time to the balsamic and it turned out really good.
And here are my convenience buys:
- Jarred pesto sauce, jarred organic tomato basil sauce without additives and sugar.
- Frozen vegetables: peas, green beans
- Frozen mixed berries ( for smoothies and baked oatmeal)
- Crispbread and whole wheat pita for breakfast or dinner with cheese and vegetables
- Canned tuna in water, canned foul moudammas (fava beans with garbanzo)
All of the above preparations and food items are not necessarily used during the same week, especially the frozen and canned items, but I feel safe knowing that I have several alternatives.
And the After!
There you go an inside look into my kitchen and my fridge. The fridge will be full in a few days with leftovers and baby food and won’t be this organized!
Whether you’re working or a stay-at home mom, a few hours of prep during the weekend can save you some precious time. Okay, so sometimes it’s a little bit more than a couple of hours especially if there is a lot to prepare or if your kid is starting to cruise around but it’s worth it.
So, here’s this week’s plan which I have linked to Menu Plan Monday on I’m an Organizing Junkie.
Monday: Ina’s soup Provencal. I know it’s Spring and warm but we felt like saying our goodbyes to warm winter soups.
Tuesday: Nouilles (pronounced nouy – kind of pasta in French, basically in Lebanon it is fettucine with chicken and bechamel sauce. Some add mushrooms as well to it). I thicken my bechamel with corn flour or kudzu and not the traditional butter and flour roux.
Wednesday: We’re getting a fresh fish and baking it whole in the oven. Typically, our crave for fish involves fattoush, french fries and tarator (a sauce typically served with fish and falafel, it’s made of sesame paste thinned with lemon juice and water). I’m doing all except the potatoes which I’m going to bake in a really hot oven till they get crispy. Not exactly like the fried version but in all honesty I like them better this way.
Thursday: Black bean veggie burgers. First time trying this recipe.
Friday: Lunch out
Saturday: Vegetarian lentil taco salad with tomatoes, olive, and avocado. This will also be a first-time recipe. I added this after the grocery shopping because my husband and I both got avocados. It happens when a certain someone (uh-oh, me ) crosses over their designated part of the supermarket. Usually, we stay together but my girl was a bit tired so we had to split the list to make the trip even faster.
I’m not feeling so creative with the salads this week, so I’ve prepped all my greens and dressings. After each day’s workout, all I have to do is mix and match, add a protein (canned tuna in water, grilled halloumi cheese, feta, …) and choose between balsamic or lemon dressing. Then if I feel like it, add avocados, couscous or nuts. I know they have no relation whatsoever; they’re not even in the same food group, but these are my latest regular add-ins!
Do you prep your foods during the weekend? What are the foods that you usually make ? If not, how do you manage your cooking during the week?