Category Archives: Menu Lists

Eat- Meal Prep Mondays!

It’s no secret that Keri loves a good menu plan. She loves it almost as much as she loves referring to herself in 3rd person. Ha ha ha (seriously though, I do use 3rd person a lot. Probably has some super deep psychological meaning. OH LOOK, I digress already.)

I am a huge proponent of menu planning as a way to save time and money, and reduce stress on my working mom self.
I have a whole shopping and planning system which I talked about here. I won’t go down that rabbit hole today, as it is deep and long, and probably really scary to innocent onlookers.
BUT in addition to my menu planning, I also love a good round of prep cooking to get my week set up for success.

When I start talking about what I do to prep every week in casual conversation, I get some heavy sideways glances. “Oh Keri, that’s not going to make a difference,” say the non-believers. “I don’t have time to do all of that,” say the negative Nellies.
“That sounds like a lot to do,” say the naysayers.

But nay nay, Naysayers is what I say! (Watch me whip, watch me say nay nay…. couldn’t resist.)
Most Mondays I spend about 1 hour, including clean up,  prepping things I will use to make meals throughout the week. Some prep will actually cover coming weeks as well, as I sometimes grill big batches of chicken breast to freeze for later use, or make a bunch of turkey meatballs and bake them off before freezing.

With my contract writing jobs becoming  more frequent, and my determination to make time every evening to spend with Jr and The Hub, cooking is just NOT something I can devote hours too every night. I know many of you can relate! (Can I get an amen!?)

So,  I thought I’d share this week’s menu and prep with you to show how a quick prep session can make it easy to get dinner on the table lickety-split at night.

This week’s menu:

Monday: Siracha pork and broccoli bowls

Tuesday: Turkey kielbasa with peppers, corn (for the carb lovers in the house.)

Wednesday: Stuffed chicken breast, frozen veggie (probably cauliflower.)

Thursday: Taco casseroles, avocado green salad

Friday: Charcuterie and cheese platter (very typical Friday night fare, I keep a running stash of different ingredients I can throw together after Jr. goes to sleep when The Hub and I finally get to stop and take a breath at the end of the week.0

Saturday: Dinner out at a local spot

Sunday: Pot roast and roasted veggies (I will need to pull this from the freezer on Friday morning, so I make sure it is on the posted menu to help me remember.)

How I prepped:

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Oh look – there’s Keri’s kitchen in the thick of Monday prep time.

– The skillet is full of browning meat for the taco casserole, which I season with chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.

-I have shredded cheese for the casserole

-The crock pot has 1 lb of pork roast being cooked in a mixture of Pampered Chef Asian Seasoning and Siracha.

-On the back left side of the stove I am also hard-boiling eggs for my breakfasts this week, and (not pictured) there are chicken thighs on the grill for my lunches.

-I am cutting red peppers – 1 half pepper for the taco casserole mixture, the other 1 and 1/2 cut in strips for sautéing with the kielbasa on Tuesday. (Note the plastic bag – I keep a trash bag or bowl right on the counter and pitch everything in there so I am not going back and forth to the trash.  Thanks Rachel Ray, for giving that handy tip years ago!)

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After setting a little bit of the meat aside for Jr. (who is in his extra picky 4 year old phase,) I toss the peppers and cheese into the slightly cooled skillet of seasoned ground turkey, and divide it into individual large ramekins:

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These came with handy lids so I can seal them up and stack in the fridge.  (I do a variation on this type of “casserole” almost every week.  The Bacon Cheeseburger variety is another I have mentioned on ED&BK previously.)

I bag up the pepper strips, divide the eggs and chicken thighs into containers for my daytime meals, and do my dishes.  Just under an hour.

Done and done.

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This leaves only a few quick steps each evening:

Monday: drain and shred the pork, add Siracha to taste, steam broccoli (cut, blanched and frozen during a broccoli hording round of prep a few weeks ago.)

Tuesday: Cut Kielbasa into chunks and quick sauté with red peppers. Heat canned corn. Pull previously grilled chicken breasts from freezer for tomorrow

Wednesday: Turn on oven to 375, slit chicken breasts and stuff with pepperoni and cheese and stick in oven to heat for 110-12 minutes. Steam frozen veggie.

Thursday: Remove casseroles from fridge and allow to come to room temp while oven heats to 375.  Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Slice avocado. Serve with bagged salad (so lazy, Keri.)

Friday: Take roast for Sunday out of freezer to thaw in fridge.  From there it goes something like this – watch Jr eat ANOTHER PB&J and “GoGurt Simple” for dinner.  Decide to pick battles. Open wine, put Jr to bed. Pull out selection of meat and cheese (it varies,  but there is always a LARGE pile of prosciutto which Keri doesn’t have to share because The Hub doesn’t care for it.) Stack up high on cutting board along with crackers, cheese crisps, nuts, dried fruit, etc.  Sprawl out on floor with aforementioned wine, and exhale.

Another week of dinners with exactly ZERO pain in my patoot, thanks to one hour on Monday (or Sunday, or whenever it works for you,) spent prepping!

Hooray!!  We should treat ourselves to another glass of wine, no?

What are your favorite time and sanity saving tricks in the kitchen?  I am always on the hunt for great ideas, so shout them out in the comments below and share with all of us!

 

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Filed under Beyond Easy, Eat, low carb, Meal Prep, Menu Lists, Time Crunch Tested

>Menu Plan Monday

>It’s Menu Plan Monday over at Spirit of Power! Stop by and see what I have planned for this week, and then check back here for recipes as the week progresses!

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>It’s Menu Plan Monday!

>It is Menu Plan Monday over at Spirit of Power! Stop by and see what we are having for dinner this week, and be sure and come back for recipes and reviews here at ED&BK!

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>Meal Plan Monday at Spirit of Power

> It’s Meal Plan Monday over at Spirit of Power! Check out what’s cooking over the next week, and be sure to come back here for all the recipes (and reactions) throughout the week.

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>Menu Plan Monday link and rundown

>It’s Menu Plan Monday over at Spirit of Power, and here is what I have on deck for this week!
I am really excited for Tuesday night’s Penny Pincher makeover of a recipe from Bon Appetit that looks amazing.
Also, I promise to confess the details of last weeks horrifying slowcooker taco casserole failure (cringe) sometime this week, so visit again soon!

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>Menu Monday at Spirit of Power!

>It is Menu Monday over at Spirit of Power, and I am really excited about some of the recipes this week!

See what is for dinner every night this week!

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>I love the lists..

> So this is the side of my fridge… I have a little journal I carry in my purse at all times and lists for shopping, menus, reminders, and anything else I need to remember go in that book.. I HAVE TO make lists.
And each Sunday a new menu list gets posted on the side of the fridge on my super-klassy note pad. If I run out of something, if I notice something is getting really low (staples) then I write it on the bottom of the pad so I can add it to my shopping lists (separated by store) in my little notebook before I go shopping.
Some people think the menu list is a bit much – however until recently I used to plan 2 weeks to 1 month of meals at a time – of late I find I need more flexibility than that offers.
I can just come home from work, take a glance of the list and know exactly what I am making – no heming and hawing needed – and I can see what I need to take out of the freezer to thaw for the next night as well.
This also lets The Hub see what is coming up for dinner this week, so he doesn’t eat something really similar for lunch and get stuck having essentially the same thing for Lunch and Dinner – also, I can look back and see what I have made recently so I don’t get too repetitive.

It works for me.

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>Back in the saddle…

>Ok ok ok… Pickings have been a little slim around eatdrinkandbekeri lately – but only because action in the kitchen has been limited..
But I am back in a big way this week, kiddos, I promise!!

Last night I made lasagna pizza topped with ricotta, pepperoni and motzerella for dinner (I did use pilsbury pizza dough to make things easy, but who can resist a picture of the dough-boy anyway?)… The Hub is a big fan of a “Lasagna Pizzetta” from a local joint (or local chain now, I guess) called Pasquini’s, so I figured it would be a hit… it was!! And the dough boy makes a pretty darn good pizza crust for that kind of dish – it was a bit bready, but for the weight of the toppings that actually worked out really well!!

Coming up this week:

Gyros
Fish and Chips
Beef Tips
BBQ Chicken wraps

I promise to cook up a storm and get this place hoppin’ again!!

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>Beef Brainstorm

>So starting today the elevator in our building is out of order for 6 to 8 weeks for a retrofit, leaving us living in a 6th floor walk up for the next two months (ugh). In preparation I made a trip to Costco and packed in a huge supply of steak, ground turkey, chicken breast, and anything else that freezes or lives in the pantry cabinet, and plan to only hit the grocery for fresh fruits and veggies (easy to carry up the stairs) as needed for the duration of the elevator project.

Costco had a great price on packages of strip steak, and that is a pretty versatile cut of beef, so I grabbed a couple packages and divided them out into freezer bags to pull out of the freezer as needed.

What, prey-tell, will Keri do with all of this beef? Start a new segment here, of course… The Brainstorm!

Today’s subject is said steak, so what is a girl to whip up? Here’s some of my yummy ideas:

-Kabobs
-Fajitas
-Salad with steak and blue cheese
-Grilled tacos
-Cheese steaks
-Steak Frites
-BFD -Steak and eggs with green chilli
-Beef and Horseradish sauce (I’ve made this one before)
-Beef Stew and crusty bread
-Stuffed beef (with a mixture of breadcrumbs, herbs and blue cheese)
-Beef and Broccoli
-Beef Stroganoff
-Toasted steak sammies on garlic bread
-Beef Goulash
-This tangerine beef (sounds yum!)
-Steak with merlot sauce
-Beef Wellington
-Beef Lo Mein
-BBQ Beef Sammies
-Good old Steak and baked potatoes (always a fave!)
-Beef Empanadas (the ones I made for my b-day using canned biscut dough were so easy!)
-This Thai grilled beef salad from Ellie Krieger
-Sheppard’s Pie
-Ceasar Salad with grilled steak strips

What brillant and yummy ideas am I missing? The H likes variety, and buying one type of main ingredient in bulk means that I have to mix it up and keep things fresh, or he is going to get bored with that ingredient… (Obviously chicken breasts can present this issue as well, but that’s another list…)

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>What’s Cookin’ 5/4-5/10

>Saturday was The H’s 38th birthday… This means he gets to pick whatever he wants, whatever he can think of in his wildest (snicker at The H’s culinary taste being wild) dreams and I will cook it for him…
Birthday dinner was last night, and he picked grilled steaks and baked potatoes… easy-peesy and classic (Just like The H).. I am glad he picked it tho, because I was happy to eat a nice rare steak (he prefers medium-rare… there are two things I am REALLY glad I learned in culinary school – making sauces, and how to tell how done a steak is by touch.. )

The H has meetings a couple evenings this week – which for me either means that I cook up a yummy storm using all the things he doesn’t care for, or that I end up indulging a burger or nacho craving from a favorite take out joint… (I am aiming to stick with the first option this week)

So, Menu for this week:

Sun – Grilled Strips with garlic butter, baked potatoes (with all the trimmings)

Monday – Green salad with balsmic and blue cheese, Grilled chicken with herbs de Provence

Tuesday – (just me) Grilled goat cheese and tomato sammie

Wed – (just me) fruit and cheese plate… grilled veggies

Thursday – Open-faced turkey sandwhiches, sage gravy, mashed potatoes

Weekend night at home – Grilled Pizza or Cubano sandwiches

Have a yummy week!

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