Yes for real, every Sunday I cook lunches for the week. If you didn’t believe me the past few times I’ve done this post, hopefully by now you’ll see that its a thing.
This past weekend, Mister came down to Westchester to celebrate (observe?) Passover with my family. I brought Almond Cloud Cookies both nights (though my first batch with chocolate chips were better than the second batch without), but also made a really great fruit salad for the second night.
I know that fruit salad is pretty basic, and non recipe worthy; but seriously this was good stuff that was surprisingly eaten up fairly quickly for dessert, even with a counter filled with chocolate.
Muddle together mint, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and honey
rinse and drain: raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries
slice the strawberries; put all berries in bowl
peel and slice kiwis (I used 5)
throw in a handful of stray grapes from your other fruitbowl
toss with the muddled mixture
refrigerate and until you’re ready to go to your aunt’s house, then let it sit on the counter for a few hours until dessert
Mister and I went to Stew Leonard’s in Yonkers to get groceries for our Sunday meal prep. It wasn’t nearly as crowded as we were expecting, and we got through fairly quickly. While I love the experience of Stew Leonards, it can be hard to stock up on canned or packaged goods. We took that into account when figuring out what we wanted to cook for the week.
While there, of course we were both hungry and decided to grab burgers there before heading back to Bedford.
I ogled the baby ducks while we ate our burgers (no bun for me in honor of Passover). Sweet potato fries on the side that I surprisingly loved considering that I usually hate sweet potato fries. They were dense, crunchy wedges of sweet potato that felt like a real food, instead of a weirdly soggy sweet potato french fry that I don’t always love. Mister didn’t love them so much since they weren’t really fry like in taste or appearance I think. While he went for the car, I went for the ice cream.
They were advertising a new soft serve, dairy free Gelato. Made with coconut milk, this “ice cream” had a seriously icy almost sorbet like texture, with a heavy coconut kick. It was okay, but definitely not worth getting again.
Once back at my Dad’s house, I got to work on lunches while Mister got to work helping on an outside construction project.
I did time myself on this meal prep, since I keep hearing from people that they don’t have the time. I did the following in about an hour, with the last portion just waiting for chicken to come out of the oven really.
mix ground beef and marinara sauce (I used Stew Leonards refrigerated/prepared sauce) in a bowl and set aside
lightly sautee veggie noodles in same pan from the beef
Plate beef and veggies in containers
Pull salmon and asparagus, plate in containers
Push oven up to 400
Bake chicken for 15 minutes at 400, then reduce to 350 for 20 minutes per pound. Set a timer on your phone and go outside to enjoy the weather.
2 salmon and aspargus (to be topped with mango salsa after reheated)
3 meat sauce with veggie noodles
1 chicken with asparagus
enough baked chicken to either eat as is, or turn into chicken salad for the week.
leftovers from Passover
Breakfast will be fruit and greek yogurt (the chobani cups were .99 cents at Stew Leonards). Dinner will be figured out as we go along, or we can eat the lunches if they get skipped during the day for say takeout with a coworker or a lunch meeting. Sometimes just figuring out what to make can be the hard part, but Mister and I both agree its so nice to just grab a full meal in its own container from the fridge each day. We feel better about not resorting to frozen meals, takeout, or just sandwiches every day.
used veggie pasta shredder thing to make zucchini noodles
On the menu for this week:
egg muffins for breakfast with either Puffin cereal, some berries, or oatmeal.
Lunch/Dinner options: taco salad (ground turkey, romaine, Trader Joes super 8 chop, guacamole, pico de gallo), or zucchini noodles with turkey tomato sauce.
I’ve got a few bags of frozen veggies or burgers in the freezer to mix into the rotation too, just in case. I’m a big fan of Trader Joe’s (frozen) grilled, marinated eggplant and zucchini slices. They’re an easy meal base, or addition to simple sandwich. I also try to always keep some Trader Joe’s frozen, sliced, fire roasted peppers on hand; they are way more flavorful then plain frozen peppers, and are perfect for omelettes, salads, stir fry etc.
Its all about finding the balance. The vegetables with your cheese plate; don’t torture yourself eating what you don’t like. Its not worth it.
Just for fun: here’s a bit of what I ate this weekend. This weekend was an unusual case for me, because I wasn’t with the Mister and didn’t have any big plans. It was a great opportunity to just snuggle up with the dog, and enjoy a relaxing time to de-stress.
Breakfast on Saturday was two fried eggs over some leftover mashed cauliflower. I crisped up some fresh sage leaves in olive oil, and then sprinkled parmesan over the whole thing. It looks fancy, and I think that’s all the more reason why I liked it. If you plopped eggs and cauliflower mash on a paper plate, it would be a blob of boring white. Make food you want to eat and bonus points for making it pretty.
Saturday afternoon I enjoyed this fruit bowl [apples, grapes, and banana] topped with apple pie spice and some cashew butter. I put half of what I made in the bowl to be eaten, and the other half was saved for Sunday.
I had cheese, tea, some more fruit, and then a lot more cheese. Between the two days I definitely ate a lot of cheese and crackers. Hey I wasn’t cooking for anyone else, and I like cheese. My solution to preventing myself from eating way too much was to cut a few pieces, put it on a plate and then pack up the rest. Its just like the old trick of portioning out chips or pretzels, don’t let yourself have the whole bag sitting open in front of you.
This weekend I finally got to enjoy a few beers I had picked up a week or so ago from the Fresh Market. This Bells Christmas Ale was really good, so was the Sierra Nevada Coffee Stout. Beer and cheese, cheese and beer. I mostly just snacked for dinner.
Sunday morning I made this Pumpkin Spice quick bread that had been gifted to me for Chanukah. I added some crushed walnuts and ginger, mostly because I was afraid the batter was too sweet. It came out so moist and perfectly spice balanced. We enjoyed it warm with cream cheese, and scrambled eggs for some healthy balance.
Now this beauty I’m pretty proud of. A used a whole wheat tortilla and some shredded cheese left over from my casserole, combined with leftover brisket and carrots from a weeknight dinner. Brisket quesadilla, with sour cream on top. I really liked this one.
I followed all that up with a super fantastic trip to Trader Joes, and prepped breakfasts and lunch for this entire week. Its okay to eat cheese all weekend if you follow it up with some whole, nutritious foods and protein power muffins.