Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tips & Tricks - Prep Work

Nothing gets my week off to a great start like having a clean, fully-stocked kitchen with a few healthy snacks and meal starters already prepared. And since our Sundays tend to be overbooked, the prep work usually extends to Monday as well.

In case I haven't mentioned it, we homeschool the Sprouts, so my days are filled with curriculum, field trips and co-ops . . . not always conducive to cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner. And since my evenings are often full with dance rehearsals and work, I try to sneak in prep time here and there.

As I mentioned, Jim is in charge of my #1 shortcut, the veggie tray. This week, he also cleaned out the fridge and organized our always-overflowing fruit bowl into something much more useful. Doesn't this just make you want to eat fruit all week???

Here's my action plan for everything else:

Sunday (already complete)
Cook quinoa
Soak black beans and chickpeas

Cook black beans and quinoa
Make bread
Make kombucha
Make hummus

I'd love to eventually get more done on Sundays, but I've been grocery shopping in the evening, which makes getting everything else accomplished a little bit harder. Fortunately, Monday is usually our "at home" day, so I can usually catch up around the house. I only make bread 1-2 times per month and kombucha as needed, so my weekly prep work usually only includes cooking beans and grains, making hummus or a dip for the week and getting the fruits and veggies ready to go.

Chickpeas will star in tomorrow's salad, Friday's lunch and be made into hummus for snacking on all week. The black beans are going into Wednesday's lunch and Friday's dinner, along with being sprinkled on top of salad or tossed into wraps or soup.

The quinoa will be used in lunch salads tomorrow and Wednesday - plus I'll have extra in the fridge if we need a change from oatmeal in the morning.


  1. Once upon a time I was a fabulous prep cook for my household. I would make hummus and bread and pitas for the week, among other things. I've gotten really lazy about it, though. I need to get back on the ball! I miss having hummus in the fridge whenever I want it...

  2. Yes, I definitely go through phases where I'm great about it and others where . . . not so much. :)

    I'd love to hear about pita-making. That's something I've been wanting to learn how to do!

  3. You motivated me. Since I'm not working today, went to Freshfield Farms and Whole Foods. Have two kinds of beans soaking, have sweet potato and beet VIPs in the oven and trying to figure out what to do with all the veggies I bought! Never cooked beans bf. Lol. Most everything I'm doing in the kitchen I've never done.

  4. How awesome! Sounds like there is magic happening in your kitchen! Where is Freshfield Farms??? Sounds interesting!

    I've only started cooking my own beans in the last year or so. Since we started eating so many of them, I felt wasteful using all those cans. Plus, cooking them is much less expensive and healthier. I've been trying to "theme" my menus around one type of bean and one type of grain each week to minimize the work. :)