Last week I talked about how thinking about your upcoming week is a good way to get an idea of what’s realistic for you and your family when it comes to the eternal question of “what’s for dinner.” Let’s say you have gathered your recipes, the calendar is under control, you know what you are doing. You got this. But WHEN will you have time to make x, y or z. Here is another secret: you don’t have to cook every single night. I often make Wednesday night’s dinner on Tuesday night. It just works better for me. Sometimes spending a couple of hours cooking over the weekend is the key to success. Find the time that works for you.
Let’s talk about weekends. The dream of “two days of free time.” I don’t know about you, but I start thinking about the weekend the moment Monday morning hits and I am sitting at my desk at work sipping coffee and being grumpy. As the week goes on and I find recipes I like I think,“hey I have all day Saturday and Sunday to test recipes and make meals that take longer than 30 minutes start to finish.” Next thing you know plans are stacking up and we end up eating out more because there is not time to make anything. Somehow we eat out (and worst) over the weekend than we do during the week.
This past weekend was a three day weekend. I made sure to scheduled a couple of hikes, basketball game, a visit to the zoo and watching football. So no time for lots of cooking – AND I am out of frozen leftovers! so I had to figure out a way to make some yummy food. Solution: I spent Saturday evening cooking. Saturday night plans are not hot and heavy when two single parents come together…This is what I decided I would make to prepare for the week:
- Breakfast muffins: I enjoy my morning smoothies but let’s face it, it has been 20-some degrees in the mornings and a cold refreshing smoothie is the last thing in my mind. I often crave something “meatier” and healthy that I can freeze and eat on the go. I looked for few breakfast muffins recipes (the savory type, not the sweet type) and found some good potentials. I decided to make this ones and they were pretty good. I froze them and pop them in the microwave for less than a minute when I get to. A winner in my book!
- And finally, THIS zucchini pie : cause I had made it before and it is delicious – so I HAD to make it again.
- Chicken tortilla soup! Cause it’s been cold as heck and need something warm in our bodies. Both Adri and I like this soup topped with cheese and avocado. So good.
The week turned out pretty good. Saturday cooking was really successful! Besides making a side salad to go along with the zucchini pie for lunch and making THIS avocado-grilled cheese sandwich (y-u-m) to accompany the soup, I did not have to cook AT ALL during the week. I did have this sweet potato chili on the rotation but I didn’t need to. How to spend my free time hmmmm… One lesson here? Cooking ahead can free up your week to do other things, or just sit in the couch. Your choice.