14 July 2013

This week's menu (July 14-20)

I work full time and am away from home between 50 and 55 hours each week (counting 9 hours at work and 1 to 1 1/2 hours driving time Monday through Friday).  By the time I get home it's 6:10 pm, or later, and that leaves little time to cook a healthy dinner for my family.  We make a practice of sitting down at the dinner table to eat together as a family--no TV, no technology, just us--and this is an important part of our daily routine.  

To help make dinner time go smoothly, I pre-make almost all of my meals on Saturday and Sunday, or at least I do the bulk of the prep-work.  Sometimes I make a big batch of a certain kind of food and freeze it for future meals (casseroles and soups work great for this). We usually eat a main dish with a side salad or a plate of fruits and vegetables. I keep a big container of carrots and celery (all sliced ahead of time) so we can just plop those on a plate and eat them. 

I know there are a lot of working moms out there, or mom's who don't have a lot of time, so I thought I'd share this simple idea of cooking ahead--it's a sanity-saver.

July 14--July 20
Sunday: Sourdough pizza and salad
Dough can be made ahead and stored in fridge. When I have this on week nights, I make dough on the weekend. Use canned sauce and shred cheese ahead of time or buy shredded bagged cheese.
Monday: Turkey burgers on homemade sourdough rolls with herbed parmesan baked fries

Tuesday: Brown and wild rice casserole
Any casserole can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge for a couple of days. Just pop it in the oven right when you get home from work. 

Wednesday: Lentil barley soup with salad and bread
I made a huge batch of this soup and froze portions in zip lock bags

Thursday: Lentil tacos with cilantro-lime rice. 
You can serve this with refried beans, tortilla chips and salsa, or salad--whatever suits your taste. This is for a dinner with our friends who are Vegan and this meal is entirely Vegan--no animal or dairy products. 

Friday: Couscous with chicken and caramelized carrots and celery (Recipe here)
Use pre-cooked chicken (I keep portioned bags of it in my freezer) and pre-dice the veggies.  

Saturday: Grilled chicken with roasted potatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, green beans, and carrots
This is a simple weekend meal but it can help you prep for the coming week.  For future meals, cook extra chicken and store in your fridge or freezer depending on how soon you need to use it.

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