Cooking ahead for the week seems daunting when you first decide to do it. I know so many people who never meal prep because they don’t know how to begin. It seems like such a big undertaking, even the idea sends people back to bed, curled in a fetal position. I understand. Big undertakings do that to me too. Continue Reading…
You gotta love a big ol’ pot of black beans. They’re so good for you. Plus, they can rock main or side dish status with ease. This recipe is the perfect make-ahead meal because you cook it hands-off style in the slow cooker, then just microwave it the day you want to eat.
Oh, and it’s vegan and gluten-free, but not by design. Beans are just born that way.
Not too long ago, I made a mistake. It was a cooking mistake, and I knew better. All you ever hear in the food world is the importance of good ingredients. Why can’t I just learn from the experts? Why do I have to fail myself? Sigh… I wasted a huge pot of food that Cooking Day.
This chili recipe has quite a few ingredients, I acknowledge that. But it’s honestly very easy to make. And a lot of the ingredients are pantry staples. And it’s so good. And it gets better throughout the week. Make-ahead heaven, I tell ya.
Making large quantities of several meals on your Cooking Day just makes good sense. You’re maximizing the time spent in the kitchen, plus you can stock the freezer for future use. (Economies of Scale! Thanks, Econ. 101!)
Standard recipes are typically crafted to make 4 servings. To get the most bang for your Cooking Day buck, double or even triple a recipe to crank out the amount of food you need for the whole week.
But sometimes recipes act a bit … shall we say … funny when they’re doubled or tripled. It’s not always as easy as dumping more ingredients in the pot. Here are some hints to make doubling go smoother:
This chana masala recipe might be one of the recipes I’m most proud of. My favorite Indian restaurant is on the other side of Nashville, and it takes some planning to get out there. Now I can make this dish on my Cooking Day and have creamy, tangy, perfectly spicy Indian any night of the week. I’ve got a sneaking feeling mine’s also probably healthier than the gloriously fatty-salty goo I always order. Sorry Sitar.
The Make Ahead Modern Method is all about prepping elements of meals ahead of time. This gets food on the table quick. Some of the best elements to make ahead are dressings. Dressings add the flavor to your fresh stuff. They make the difference between naked lettuce and awesome salad. Plus, they don’t mind sitting in the fridge, waiting until you’re ready for them.
This green vinaigrette really is the best. It’s savory and complex with a touch sweetness. I’ve got it paired with a great make-ahead lunch salad, but the dressing could pimp out any veggie dish. Just pop a bunch of herbs and aromatics in a blender, and you’ve got magic green sauce all week.
Yep, cookies for breakfast. Don’t worry, I haven’t given up on life. These cookies are healthy, hearty, vegan and gluten-free. They essentially have two ingredients – ripe bananas and oats. When these two things come together and bake, they firm up to create a simple breakfast treat. The add-ins (raisins, cinnamon, seeds, nuts, etc.) give these little cookies their character.