Part 2- The Buzz about food prep-actual prepping.
When we left off from last week's installment,
I had decided to make the following menu for the week:
Monday- Big Salad
Tuesday- Chicken Fajitas/Bowls
Wednesday- Salmon Stir Fry
Thursday- Buddah Bowls
Friday- Tuna Melt
Saturday- Pad Thai Zoodles
On Sunday I like to get some basic food prep out of the way to make cooking less hectic on the weeknights. Often the menu choices/days will get out of order. I may have salmon stir-fry on Monday and Salad on Wednesday, for example…all the more reason to do a little prep.., right?
OK, here we go …
My big salad will have roasted beets, chick
peas, cucumber, eggs, shredded carrots, avocado and rainbow peppers.
Out ahead of this I will hard boil and peel 4 eggs, seed and chop my cucumber and slice up the pepper tops. (Since we are having Fajitas later in the week I will be cutting up 3 peppers. The pepper bodies will be used for the fajitas, the tops get sliced up for my salad) I will also clean, chop and roast the beets. For the fajitas, in addition to the 3 peppers, I will slice up one red and, one yellow onion, and make a large pot of quinoa which I will use for fajitas (for those who don’t want the tortilla) the base for my buddah bowls and the grain for the salmon stir fry.
For the stir fry I will wash and cut the romenesco and brussel sprouts and make sure I take two salmon fillets out of the freezer to thaw in the fridge ( I keep a thawing bowl in the fridge to cut down on mess.)
I will use leftover beets, sprouts and romenesco for my buddah bowls so I only need to portion those items out to prep for the bowls. I will also include a roasted sweet potato.
For Friday’s tuna melt I will make the Tuna Salad later in the week if I have time, but since this is fairly simple to do the night of I won’t sweat it.
Last item, spiralize the zucchini for Saturday’s Pad Thai.
Let’s take a closer look…..
Starting with the peppers:
Cut off the tops and pop out the stem. You can also remove the bottoms if you like.
Remove the white membrane and slice into strips. Pack in a zip lock and refrigerate until use. Next, slice the tops into little "s" shapes by cutting from the "doughnut hole to the edge all around the top. Place these in a small container or zip bag for the salad.
Once this is complete slice up your onions and store in a separate zipper bag. Peel the onions and cut them in half. Cut the top off but leave the root at the end and slice half moons, tossing the root end when you are done.
The next step will be to roast the beets and sweet potato. Wash, Peel, and cube your beets and potato and spread out on a sheet pan. Add 3-4 cloves of garlic, sliced or use up all the little garlic bits that collect at the bottom of your garlic storage area. Drizzle with olive oil and roast a 400 degrees for 45 mins. Once cool, make two portions of beets. 1 for the salad and one for the buddah bowls.
Pictured here are yellow beets and Sweet Potato. The sweet potato will be used in the buddah bowls.
While all of this is going on you can be boiling you eggs and cooking 4 cups of quinoa . When the eggs are cooled, peel and store them for the salad. When the quinoa is cooled pack it in a Tupperware container for later use.
Now Wash and cut up your romenesco and brussel sprouts and portion them out for the buddah bowls and the stir fry. You can do this now, or when you are cooking the veggies for the stir fry. ( before adding the salmon) Take half the veg and set it aside for the bowls. (I stir fry the veg in a little coconut oil and add sriracha veggie broth and a dribble of maple syrup which works well in both dishes)
On Tuesday we are having Chicken fajitas so I will cut chicken breasts into strips and marinate in soy sauce (or Aminos) Cumin and Chili powder. A ziplock works well for this.
Finally, get out the spiralizer and make some zoodles.
You can store these in a ziplock , glass container or Tupperware.
On Monday I will seed and chop an English cucumber( if i didn't do so on Sunday), shred a carrot on my grater, open a can of chick peas (drain and rinse) chop up the eggs, wash and spin my salad , slice an avocado, and assemble it as shown above. Maybe 10 mins of work, tops.
Tuesday, I have to microwave the quinoa, heat up the tortillas and cook the veg and chicken. 10 Mins, tops.
Wednesday Skin the salmon, cut into cubes and season, Microwave the quinoa, Cook the veg, add the salmon. 12- 15 mins at most.
Thursday- Heat the quinoa, beets and sweet potato. Add black beans or chick peas, some leftover chicken and veg from the fajitas and the the stir fry ( also heated up) and - Boom- Buddah Bowl. I put everything out on the counter and let everyone make their own bowl with a quinoa base.
They end up looking something like this, and of course if you have an avocado that needs to be used, go for it. Sometimes I whip up a Tahini dressing for these too.
Very low prep time, very high family fun!
Friday, I make a basic tuna salad, slice some cheese and gut a large Ciabatta Bread. Assemble, put under broiler, maybe 10 mins of prep work.
Saturday I have more time so I meticulously follow my Pad Thai recipe and this will take about 30-40 mins....no worries, I enjoy cooking.