Ahhh, Sunday. The day we are supposed to rest is also the last day to prepare for the busy week ahead. Each week I’m torn between grocery shopping, boring errands, family adventures, dirty laundry, church, friends, exercise, kids’ homework and countless other tasks that easily fill the space between sunrise and sunset. It seems this idea of rest is from another time – a simpler time.
Lately, I’ve had a string of houseguests on weekends. In this family,we have three birthdays in three weeks in February and March, and this year we followed those celebrations with other events and visitors. This was the first “normal” Sunday I’ve had in a long time, and I was dying for a chance to get into the kitchen. My regular routine of prepping meals for the week ahead had fallen by the wayside, and I was feeling it. I had lost my focus on the gluten-free, plant-based, protein-rich diet I started the year with. It was time to take things into my own hands.
After a trip to Trader Joe’s and a family visit to a friend’s birthday party, I came home to my kitchen and went to work. My schedule is so jammed during the day, every minute saved on breakfast and lunch prep makes it that much easier to eat well on the run.
My menu included:
- Energy Bars – great for breakfast, as a pre- or post-workout snack, or a late afternoon pick-me-up when I need to make it home on my 2-hour commute without eating my hand. You can make your own with any mix of nut butter, honey, and/or maple syrup with rolled or steel-cut oats, chia seeds, flax seeds, unsweetened coconut, cacoa nibs, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, dried fruit, and nuts. Mix to the desired consistency, then press into a square baking dish, refrigerate and cut into bars. Alternatively, you can make these into bite-sized balls and freeze. My daughter loves to have a bar packed in her lunch as a energy-boosting sweet treat.
- Red Pepper, Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Frittata – a dairy-free, protein-rich breakfast dish that can be cut into individual servings and stored for the week. Simply saute a pan of vegetables, then pour into a baking dish greased with coconut oil. Pour 8-10 beaten eggs over the top, and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. This combination is based largely on Annie Wagoner’s (Core Nourishment), however, you can add any vegetables you’d like. I added sweet potato for added fiber and vitamins A & C.
- Quinoa Salad – This week, I made a big batch, to keep in my refrigerator at work all week for lunch. This recipe was adapted from one I made years ago, and included roasted corn, fresh chopped cilantro, green onions, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and my husband’s suggestion – black beans. Combine 4 cups of cooke quinoa with 1 cup each of black beans, roasted corn, and 1/2 cup of green onions, lemon juice and cilantro. Chill and serve, perhaps with a sprinkle of sea salt and cracked black pepper.
- Roasted Chickpeas – A crunchy, seasoned substitute for crackers or chips when the salty craving hits. The tried-and-true recipe can be found here.
Monday was a little easier to face, knowing that I had healthy and yummy food along for the ride. What are your go-to dishes when preparing food for your busy week?