The best part of making dinners ahead of time is when it is 5:30 on Monday night and you realize that all you have to do is pull soup out of the fridge, reheat it and enjoy. Bonus points for enjoying a glass of wine as it heats up! Below are my top two simple meal ideas that are super easy to make on the weekend, and reheat in 10 minutes or less. I make some version of these almost every weekend in my preparation for the week ahead (such as the white-bean and rosemary soup I made this week)
Soups, Stews and Chilis:
This one is a no-brainer. Most soups not only are easy to put together, but they also taste better when they are reheated later. Here are some of my favorites to make on Sunday and then heat up for dinner later in the week. These all take 15 minutes or less of prep (not including simmering time), and then taste delicious reheated!
- Black bean and Corn chowder (from Vegan on the Cheap)
- Garlic and Greens Soup (from The Vegan Table)
- Carrot Ginger Soup (from The Vegan Table)
- Black Bean Chili
- Snow Chili
Lentils are my favorite cheap and easy food. They are super simple to make since you don’t need to soak them first (unlike dried beans) and they have a delicious earthy flavor. Lentil dishes also taste good reheated, which make them perfect for weeknights! Here are some of my go-to lentil dishes to prep ahead
- Lentils and Rice with Carmelized Onions
- Mexican-spiced Lentils (these can be wrapped in a tortilla with salsa, avocado and lettuce for burritos!)
- Lentil and “Bacon” Pot o’ Stew
- Lentil Soup or Lentil Chili (yeah, I know these fit in either category, but they are great!)
If making food ahead of time on a weekend might seem difficult, I encourage you to start with one of these recipes. Find a favorite soup or lentil dish, and prep it, and let it cook and simmer while you put the rest of your Saturday or Sunday night meal together. Then throw it in the fridge and on Monday night all you have to do is re-heat and serve! Bonus points if you drink a glass of wine and feel smug in the process.