Weekly Meal Prep Plus Three Recipes

Core Essentials2 Comments

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The idea of spending a Sunday afternoon doing meal prep never feels that appealing. There’s no doubt about it, meal prep is time-consuming. There’s shopping, prepping, cooking, storing and, of course, there’s clean up. Once it’s done, though, I never regret it. Filling the fridge or freezer with healthy meals makes it worth it. Plus, I actually do find myself spending less time in the kitchen throughout the week. I wanted to share one of mine and Ben’s recent meal plans along with three favourite fall recipes. It may make your next meal prep day less painful!

Last Sunday afternoon, we made a big batch of vegetarian chili, cashew chickpea curry and mushroom gravy. We also made lentil loaf and roasted vegetables for our Sunday dinner. Everything we made in big batches is freezer-friendly. I immediately froze portions of the chili, curry and gravy, so I could use them in future meal plans, instead of being stuck eating the same leftovers all week.

Another reason this meal plan works well is that many of the dishes use similar ingredients. Doing this takes a little more attention in the planning phase, but it’s way easier for shopping and cooking. It’s easy to chop extra vegetables for two or three dishes instead of just one. We were also able to sauté the curry and chili vegetables together to save time, and more importantly, dirty as few dishes as possible. Just make sure you separate everything before adding any spices!

Take a look at the meal plan below and don’t forget to keep scrolling for the recipes! There’s also a pretty cool chili infographic.

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Lunch  Nothing planned Picnic lunch of a horseradish biscuit, cheese and assorted raw veggies Vegetarian chili Egg muffins and raw veggies Cashew chickpea curry Vegetarian chili
Dinner Lentil loaf with mushroom gravy, roasted vegetables and rosemary horseradish biscuits Cashew chickpea curry on rice Greek style stuffed green peppers with Greek salad Vegetable pot pie with salad Vegetable pot pie  Nothing planned

Vegetarian chili
Olive oil for sauteeing
2 onions, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced (seeds removed)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon oregano
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 cup strong black coffee
1 tablespoon miso paste
2 teaspoon hot mustard
1 large can of tomatoes
2 small cans of fire-roasted tomatoes
1 can of black beans
1 can of pinto beans
Juice from 1/2 a lime
1 cup cilantro, chopped

To start, prep all the veggies.

Heat the oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the bell pepper and continue to sauté for about 5 minutes then add the garlic, jalapeno and spices (chili powder to cayenne powder). Sauté for 5 minutes stirring frequently.

Add 1/4 cup of the coffee and the miso and mustard. Keep stirring and adding coffee as the liquid evaporates. After about 10 minutes, add the canned tomatoes including their liquid. Turn the heat to high, bringing the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for at least 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes add the beans and continue cooking for 20 to 30 minutes adding more liquid if necessary. Once the chili is done, stir in the lime juice and cilantro and serve (or freeze!).

Chili season

Step up your chili game.

Slow cooker cashew and chickpea curry
Olive oil for sauteeing
2 onions, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 tablespoon garam masala
1/2 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 tablespoon turmeric
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 tablespoon ginger, freshly grated
2 small cans of tomatoes, liquid included
1 cauliflower, cut into florets
1 sweet potato, diced
1 cup green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 can of chickpeas
3 tablespoons cashew butter
Water (or wine—I used a rosé), as needed
Juice from 1/2 a lime
1 cup cilantro, chopped

To start, prep all the veggies.

Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the bell pepper and garlic and continue to sauté for about 5 minutes.

Transfer the onion, pepper and garlic into a slow cooker and add the rest of the ingredients (from garam masala to cashew butter) except the water, lime juice and cilantro. You want the liquid in the slow cooker to just cover the veggies. If you need to, add more water or wine then do it now. You can also take out a little if needed.

Set the slow cooker to cook on high for 4 hours then on low for 2 hours. I like to cook this curry for a long time because the vegetables will break down a little and make the sauce thicker, so if you like firmer veggies you may need to reduce the cooking time.

Once the curry is done, stir in the lime juice and cilantro and serve either alone or with rice.

Mushroom gravy
1 tablespoon oil or butter for sauteing
1 red onion, roughly diced
1 yellow onion, roughly diced
1 white onion, roughly diced
2 cloves of garlic
3 cups of mushrooms, roughly chopped (I generally use white, mini bella and portabello)
Black pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon hot mustard
1 tablespoon miso paste
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon rosemary
1/2 to 1 cup water, broth or wine (I used half water and half rosé wine)

Sauté the onions in oil on a medium heat until softened. Add the mushrooms (saving about 1/2 a cup of them) and sauté for 5 more minutes.

Add the rest of the ingredients, except the 1/2 cup of mushrooms and water and stir. Then add enough water (or wine) to cover a little more than half the mushrooms and simmer for 20 minutes. Then add the rest of the mushrooms (they won’t cook as much and will help thicken the gravy) and keep cooking for 10 to 15 minutes. Add more water (or wine) if needed.

Take the gravy off the heat and let cool for a few minutes before blending it. Then transfer everything to a blender and blend well until the gravy is smooth. Try the gravy and adjust the seasoning to taste. And that’s it!

Happy cooking!

Olivia

2 Comments on “Weekly Meal Prep Plus Three Recipes”

  1. Cassie

    Mmm, these all look so good! Can you use peanut or almond butter instead of cashew butter in the curry recipe?

    1. Core Essentials

      Sorry, I missed your comment! You definitely can substitute nut butters. Cashew is nice here because it’s pretty neutral, but I think almond/peanut would be great.

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