September 13, 2013

Week 36 - Back to School Series, Part 3: Fast Fix Suppers

Printable Version of Meal Plan

This turned out to be one of my favorite weeks so far.  The food was good but mostly meal prep just had a nice flow to it.  There was no rushing in the door and feeling frazzled trying to get a meal put together AND we managed to eat at a decent time each night (ie. before 6pm).  That was really one of the main goals of my meal planning resolution.  Then most nights I'd spend about an hour in the kitchen, cleaning up from supper, packing lunches and doing any advanced prep I could do for the next night's supper.  It all made me feel pretty in control!

One thing about this week though was that we had a few unexpected things come up.  For one, I had planned on packing lunch for Dave all week but he ended up only needing lunch two days.  Also, Wednesday night the kitchen was pretty much off limits while the new dishwasher went in.  So I juggled things around a bit.  I left the menu as it was intended and instead of the my typical food review I'm summarizing what to do each evening to help you breeze through the week!

Recipe Quick Links

Pizza Lunchable, 100 Days of Real Food
One Pot Pasta, Marin Mama Cooks
Chickpea & Butternut Squash Curry, Best Recipes Ever
Naan, Budget Bytes
Colorburst Chicken Salad, Chatelaine
Southwest Beans on Toast, Chatelaine
Whole Grain Fruit Bars, Weelicious
Whole Wheat Tea Biscuits, 100 Days of Real Food

Week in Review

 Sunday Evening

  • Prepare lunch (Pizza Lunchable) -- Cut the pita into triangles, spoon the pizza sauce into a small container,  shred and package cheese and wrap the pepperettes.  This would be a prime lunch for divided containers!
  • No prep required for Monday supper... enjoy a relaxing Sunday evening before the craziness of the week begins!

Monday Evening

Scallops & Arugula Salad

  • Make Supper (Scallops & Arugula Salad).  Saute the scallops in butter & garlic with a twig of thyme.  While that's cooking, wash the arugula, drizzle with olive oil & lemon and toss.  Top the salad with Parmesan, salt and pepper.  Done!
    • Note:  My backup plan for supper was Salmon that I would have simply baked with lemon, salt & pepper.  Fish cooks fast and doesn't require a lot of fuss, so a good choice for a quick meal!
  • Prepare lunch (Tuna Salad Sandwiches) - Make the sandwich and whatever snacks and sides you'd like.  Veggies & Dip go great with a Tuna Sandwich.
  • Prep for Tuesday Supper (One Pot Pasta).  While you have cutting boards out for lunch prep, also slice red onions, halve cherry tomatoes and slice garlic for Tuesday supper.   This will save 5-10 minutes when you get home.

Tuesday Evening

One Pot Pasta

  • Make Supper (One Pot Pasta).  Toss all the veggies you chopped the night before in a pan with the rest of the ingredients.  Bring to boil and set timer for 9 minutes.  Toss the pasta while it's cooking.  That's it!  Supper's ready!  Goes well with garlic bread!
  • Make Lunch (Chickpea & Butternut Squash Curry & Naan).  This is the one meal on the menu this week that requires a bit of time.  I actually pushed this off to the weekend because of our lunch requirements changing.  I plan to modify this recipe a bit, roasting the squash and making it on the stove top instead of the slow-cooker.  The Naan is also optional, but I did make this on Thursday night and it's similar in effort to making pizza dough.  This dish would pair well with basmati rice.  If you're looking for a quicker and/or nut-free recipe I'd suggest Lentils and Rice as a substitute.  This recipe requires very little effort and makes enough for at least two days.
  • No prep required for Wednesday supper... unless you have take chicken out of the freezer.  This is by design in case you are going to go with a more involved mid-week lunch.

Wednesday Evening

  • Make Supper (Colorburst Chicken Salad).  Heat a skillet and coat with a small amount of oil (I use coconut oil).  I use boneless skinless chicken breasts and slice them in half to make cutlets so that they fry faster.  While the chicken is cooking prepare the salad.  Note: I made substitutes for the things I didn't have (eg. Peppers instead of Beets & Radish, Pomelo instead of Orange).
  • Lunch is already packed!  See wasn't that worth the extra effort the night before??
  • Prep for Thursday Supper (Slow Cooker Pot Roast).  Fill a container or Ziploc bag with the veggies.  I added potatoes, mini carrots, turnip (I bought it pre-cut), celery, onion and a couple of bay leaves. 


Thursday Morning

  • Prep the Slow Cooker.  Place veggies in the slow cooker and top with the roast.  Pour in about 1 cup of beef broth and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and turn on low.

Thursday Evening

  • Make Supper (Slow Cooker Pot Roast) - Turn off the slow cooker.  Dinner's ready!!  Seriously, there's nothing better.
    • Optionally you could make gravy.  I prefer to pour a little juice from the slow cooker over my plate... mainly because that's easier.
  • Make Lunch (Beef & Cheddar Wraps).  Use the leftover beef to make wraps for lunch.  I shredded the beef and mixed it with a little prepared horseradish.  Then I spread the inside of a Pita with mustard and filled with the beef, cheddar, lettuce and peppers. 
  • No prep required for Friday Supper.  By the end of the week I'm running out of steam...

Friday Evening

Southwest Beans on Toast with Tex Mex Salad

  • Make Supper (Southwest Beans on Toast) - Make the salad and set aside.  The last time I made this recipe I simple heated the beans in a skillet with a small amount of oil and a sprinkle of Mexican Spice Blend.  Keep that warm and make the garlic bread. 
    • Confession... this is not what I made for supper.  I was so excited to try the Naan I did Mexican Style Naan Pizza (Naan topped with salsa, avocado, black beans, tomato and cheddar).  And it was really good!!

Wasn't that easy?

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1 comment:

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