I think we can ALL agree that January 1, 2021 didn’t bring the clean slate of a new year. We needed the image of a finish line yet we are still in the thick of divided politics and a ongoing pandemic. Couple that with dark evenings and cold weather (#PhillyGirl) can bring a sense of doom and gloom.
This time at home can be used for good – purging closets, label making (Amanda put the label maker down), and yes, your friendly neighborhood health coach wants you to put weekend food prep on the list. Food prep can set us up for easier, healthier food choices during the week when we are running to work, logging in to zooms or too tired to think of what to eat.
First and foremost if you are a mom, there is NO reason why you should have to do all of this. Your kids are bored and have lots of free time. Make this their chore too. If you have roommates or live with a partner, do the work together while you listen to music. Try and make it as enjoyable as possible. I like to rock out to my favorite playlists or listen to a podcast (I like The Daily NYT).
Here are some easy ideas to get you started:
- Fruits & Veg ~ Cantaloupe, strawberries and grapes to toss on the side of lunches or have for a quick breakfast or snack. Veggies such as carrots, celery, broccoli, asparagus, peppers can be used to dip in hummus or guacamole or added to salads and wraps or used for a veggie side for dinner or a stir fry.
- Smoothies ~ Use your favorite green smoothie or protein smoothie recipe and make a double batch to have a fresh smoothie for breakfast or late day snack. Store in a glass mason jar and it will stay fresh for 2-3 days in the fridge.
- Quinoa or Bulgar ~ Having a ready made grain in the fridge to add to soups and toss on top of salads is helpful to add fiber and protein to your day. I like to add leftover veggies to quinoa for an easy lunch.
- You can microwave quinoa! Rinse 1/2 cup of quinoa and put it in a microwave safe bowl with 1 1/4 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Cover the bowl with a plate to keep in the steam. Depending on the microwave, cook for 9-11 minutes. When the water is absorbed, it’s done. Fluff and store for up to 5 days!
- Hard boiled eggs ~ Easy peasy.
- Plant Based Creamers ~ I love cashew-coconut-oat creamer recipe from Minimalist Baker (this is NOT my recipe). It is like Oat-ly Barista!
- 3/4 cup raw cashews (raw is best)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (we like the large flakes, but small is okay, too)
- 1/4 cup rolled oats (not steel cut, gluten-free certified as needed)
- 1 medjool date, pitted (or sub maple syrup or stevia to taste)
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 3 cups filtered water (or highest quality water possible)
- Soak cashews (uncovered) in very hot water for 30 minutes, or in cool water for 6 hours or overnight (be sure not to soak longer than 8 hours or the cashews can get too soft).
- Drain and rinse cashews, then add to a high speed blender with coconut flakes, rolled oats, date, salt, and filtered water. For this recipe (as written) we recommend starting with 3 cups (720 ml) water for a richer, creamier milk. If you prefer slightly thinner milk, add up to 4 cups (960 ml) total.
- Top blender with lid, cover with a towel to ensure it doesn’t spill over, and blend on high for 60 seconds.
- Place a nut milk bag (or thin, clean dish towel or t-shirt) over a large mixing bowl and pour the milk over it. Then strain, squeezing really well until mostly pulp is left — this may take a few minutes.
- At this point the milk is ready to enjoy as is, or it can be refrigerated up to 4-5 days (sometimes — you’ll know if it’s still fresh by the smell).
- This blend is perfect for frothing / heating, or used cold as a thick milk or “creamer” for hot or iced coffee or matcha!
I hope some of these ideas help you open the fridge this week and say “ooooh” and “ahhhh” and you can enjoy some pre-made goodness!