A Week of Meals in 90 Minutes

A Week of Food in an Hour I've never been much of a planner. I'm working on it.

This happened accidentally. I went to the farmer's market and loaded up on the prettiest vegetables I could find. That isn't new. It happens almost every week. But, despite my best efforts, a lot of my farm fresh veggies were going to waste because I didn't have time to cook them throughout the week. No one wants to spend an hour making dinner after walking through the door at 7:30.

Sunday, I took advantage of a free evening and roasted my way through a pile of vegetables. I cooked wild rice, made a salad, and turned carrot greens into pesto. Within 90 minutes, I had a week's worth of food, easily turned into a plethora of meals.

If you're headed to the Farmer's Market this weekend, or are planning a Saturday night grocery run, carve out an hour and a half, and you'll have meals for the week. You can pat yourself on the back later.

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What You'll Need:

  • 4 cups cooked rice or grain (I used wild rice)
  • 1 can black eye peas + 1 teaspoon chili powder + a few drops liquid smoke + pinch cayenne
  • 1 bunch beets
  • 1 bunch carrots with greens
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 large zucchini squash + 1 tablespoon za'atar + salt
  • 1 pound purple and/or red potatoes + 2 tablespoons fresh chopped tarragon + salt + pepper
  • 1 bag or container spinach or salad greens
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 small head purple cauliflower
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 tub ricotta cheese
  • Flatbread or homemade pizza crust (not shown)
  • Eggs, tempeh, or tofu

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Meal Options:

  • Spinach, Mint, Cucumber, and Cauliflower Salad
  • Smoky Black-Eye Peas with Sautéed Beet Greens and Wild Rice
  • Smoky Black-Eye Peas with Roasted Carrots and Sautéed Beet Greens
  • Carrot Green Pesto Flatbread with Roasted Carrots and Beets Za'atar
  • Roasted Zucchini Flatbread with Ricotta Tarragon
  • Roasted Potatoes with Beet Greens and Eggs Tarragon
  • Roasted Potatoes with Cherry Tomatoes and Wild Rice Roasted
  • Vegetable Bowl with Za'atar Zucchini, Beets, and Carrots over Wild Rice (add eggs, tofu, or tempeh for protein)
  • Cherry Tomatoes with Ricotta and Wild Rice

90 Minute Preparation Plan:

  1. Begin by preheating the oven to 400 degrees and pulling out a few baking sheets. You'll be roasting multiple vegetables at one time, so you want to utilize the space in your oven well. Two large baking sheets or four small baking sheets should do the trick.
  2. Wash all of your vegetables and herbs. Pat dry. You know the drill.
  3. Cut greens away from the beets and set them aside. Drizzle beets with olive oil and sprinkle with salt before wrapping in tin foil. Place wrapped beets on one baking sheet and begin baking. They will need about 35-45 minutes. Check their progress by poking them with a fork.
  4. Chop potatoes into bite-sized pieces. In a bowl or on a baking sheet, toss potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh chopped tarragon. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, until they are golden brown and softened.
  5. Cut carrot greens away from carrots. Set aside. Toss whole carrots with olive oil, salt, pepper, and, if you like, a bit of honey. Spread on baking sheet (you can likely fit these on the beets' baking sheet) and bake for about 20 minutes, turning every 5-7 minutes.
  6. Slice zucchini and toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and za'atar seasoning. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.
  7. Chop or tear beet greens into bite-size pieces. Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add greens and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until wilted and tender. You can add onions, garlic, liquid smoke, salt and pepper if you'd like.
  8. Now that everything is cooking, start working on the pesto. Pull out your food processor and add the carrot greens, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup walnuts, garlic cloves, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth, adding more oil if the pest is too thick. Scoop into a bowl and set aside.
  9. How is the rice coming along? If it is ready, set aside to cool and then place in a container  for storage in the refrigerator.
  10. Grab your can of black-eye peas. Drain and rinse. Dump into a small container and add chili powder, cayenne, and liquid smoke. Stir or cover with a lid and shake vigorously. Set aside.
  11. Have you checked your veggies? Keep a close eye on the zucchini and potatoes at this point. You may need to shuffle the pans around to make sure everything is getting the heat it needs.
  12. Ok, let's make the salad. Toss spinach leaves, chopped mint, sliced cucumber, and chopped cauliflower together in a bowl. Done. 
  13. The vegetables should be roasted at this point. Remove everything that is roasted to your preferences from the oven and set aside to cool.
  14. Once the beets have cooled, remove from foil. Using a knife, slice the beet skin open and then peel -- this should be an easy process as the skin has pulled away while roasting. Slice the beets and set aside.
  15. Place all of your vegetables in tupperware containers and stock the fridge! Boil or poach eggs as you need them or bake tempeh or tofu. Pick up a batch of flatbread at your local bakery or make this super easy, super delicious pizza crust. That's it. You're good for the week in food.

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