What to Make this Week (2/22/16)

You’re too busy to even decide what to make this week, aren’t you?  I know the feeling. After spending days, sometimes weeks, deciding what I’m going to make only to be too tired to actually shop and make the food I’ve selected, I’ve finally gotten better at quickly finding the recipes and recipe combination that will work for me and my family.

In hopes that I can alleviate some work for you, I’m sharing my weekly selections here.  Feel free to use one or all of these as a plan or inspiration of what to eat this week!  I’m also thinking of testing out a shopping list – preferably something that includes the food for the week but easily customizable. What do you think? Would that be useful?

THE BASICS

Almost every week, I start off making these simple basics so that I always have a healthy starter for my meals. You’ll see that it makes it easy to pair it up with the specific recipes I make or eat them in combination on their own or with a can of beans and some store-bought sauce to make a quick, nutritious, and affordable meal.

  • A whole grain: Usually I’ll cook up 2 cups dry of either brown rice or quinoa on the stove. Take the 2 cups dry, combine with 4 cups water (2:1 ratio), bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until done. This will take about 45 minutes for brown rice or 20 minutes for quinoa.
    • Store it: Cooked grains will last about 4 days in the fridge, which means they’ll last you most of the work week (wahoo!).  You can also freeze them in plastic bags or storage containers in single-size portions for about 6 months. Just make sure you cool them off and store them right away as they can be surprisingly, potentially dangerous when left at room temp.  (P.S. remind me to tell you the story of my food safety training and my near death experience with the rice that was trying to get me)
  •  A tray (or two) of roasted veggies: One of my surefire ways to eat all the veggies (my New Year’s resolution this year) is to roast up a big tray or two at the beginning of the week and use them in all kinds of dishes. They’re already cooked so it’s super fast.  Just pick your favorite ones; some that roast particularly well are: brussels sprouts, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, and bell peppers.  Toss together with about 2 Tbsp olive oil (enough to cover really lightly) and a sprinkle of salt and pepper or your favorite all purpose seasoning (keep in neutral). Roast at 400 degrees about 20 minutes. Toss with spoon, then continue roasting another 20 minutes or until veggies are cooked through and brown at the edges.
    • Store it: These will also last 4-5 days stored in the fridge. In a pinch if you’ve made to many you can also freeze them, you’ll just want to use them as an element in a dish (think burrito filling) rather than solo (think defrosted + sauce) when you’re ready to enjoy them.

THIS WEEK’S RECIPES

  • Teriyaki salmon with roasted sweet potato rounds and cauliflower (serves 4):
    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
    • Slice 2 sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch thick rounds, rub with a bit of coconut oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and lay in a single layer on one or two baking sheets. Roast 15-20 minutes then flip and roast about 10 minutes more, until lightly browned on each side and cooked through
    • While the sweet potatoes are cooking:
      • Coat 1 pound salmon filet in about 1 cup of teriyaki sauce by just pouring it over the top in a Pyrex dish. Let sit
      • Cut up 1 head cauliflower into florets and toss in a large bowl with 2 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp mustard (preferably grainy) and a sprinkle of salt
    • Remove potatoes from tray and replace with cauliflower, also in a single layer. Place in oven and roast about 15 minutes.
    • Then increase heat to 425 degrees. When it’s heated, add the dish of salmon in and bake about 6 minutes per 1/2 inch of thickness (my 1 lb piece took about 15 minutes), until it flakes easily with a fork. At this point your cauliflower should also be done and you’ll be ready to eat!
  • Slow Cooker Yellow Thai Curry with Beef served over my cooked whole grain and maybe with some of the roasted veggies stirred in at the end to bump up the plant content
  • I’m going to make a 1/2 recipe of this Citrus Braised Pork from a new book Greg got me for Valentine’s Day.  That and I’ll be using just 1 lb of pork (it should be 1.75) plus 1 cup of dried heirloom beans I’m cooking up to bump up the planty goodness and reduce the meat portion. This will also likely be served over my whole grain and with roasted veggies, but who’ll notice with all the other tasty flavors going on?

I’ll let you know how it goes in the comments!

What are you making this week? Are there any new recipes you might recommend we try?

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