Before I had kids I used to enjoy lazy Sundays with the Sunday paper, a full pot of tea, pancakes for breakfast, and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and Weekend Edition on NPR. Now I enjoy “lazy” Sundays with lots of train books instead of the paper, and kid dance parties instead of my NPR shows. But sometimes I still crave that quite time with just me and the radio.
Enter dinner prep! Sunday afternoons I get the G-man to watch the kids for a couple hours (even though it sometimes only takes me one) and I cook away! The first time I decided to spend time on a Sunday making dinner for the week, I was a little overwhelmed. I planned to make a soup, a stew, a container of cashew cheese, cook beans, and chop a ton of veggies. I made a list of tasks broken down by time for myself to know what to do when. After a few weeks it started to get easier, and I rely on my list less and less. But a few minutes of planning ahead still pay off as I spend 2 hours on Sunday getting dinners for the week put together – just me and my radio shows!
Today I want you to do some planning ahead. It’s not too early to start getting ready for next week! Make your menu (after shopping in your pantry and choosing some great recipes). Then, look over the meals and consider the following:
- Which full meals can I make ahead of time (think about soups, stews, chili, etc.)
- Which parts can I make ahead of time (think about sauces, toppings, cutlets , beans, etc.)
- What beans and grains can I cook ahead of time? (think about cooking dried beans, or getting some rice ready for fried rice)
- What vegetables need to be chopped?
Based on your answers, make a list of tasks you need to complete on your Sunday (or Saturday, or whenever) afternoon. Here is my prep list from last Sunday:
- Start white bean soup (let it cook while doing the rest of the list)
- Make pizza dough
- Make chickpea cutlets (use chickpeas from the freezer)
- Chop carrots, broccoli, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts and red onion)
- Make peanut sauce