January’s Make Ahead Meals

I finally finished cooking my meals for the coming weeks.  About an hour ago I sealed up the servings of the final dish I needed to cook (and put off for a couple days): chickpea curry (I added some extra spices to that recipe, see below).  Now I can relax!  All my meals are taken care of for the next 2 weeks at least.  And lucky you, I’m going to share the recipes I used and let you know how they turned out.

Let’s dive right in.  Below are the recipes I used for this round of make ahead meals.  I took pictures of some of the recipes, I’ll be better about that next time around!

Lunch/Dinner
Meat Loaf
– 7 servings
Wow, this meat loaf is killer.  It’s easy to make, too.  It’s not the healthiest meal in the world, so I’d make this one sparingly (but OMG it’s good!).

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Chicken Pot Pie – 6 servings
I’ll be honest, this particular recipe was a total pain to make, but the result was absolutely delicious.  I can’t in good conscience recommend spending the time with this recipe unless you really want to go for it and have 4-5 hours of free time on your hands (I envy you…).  If you do give this recipe a whirl, I followed it verbatim except for the end.  I didn’t bother brushing the crust with a beaten egg (at that point I just wanted some damn chicken pot pie in my belly).  I also made miniature pies which took about 40 minutes instead of 45 minutes.  The recipe made enough filling for 3 miniature pies which will easily provide 6 servings.

I’ll be writing a much easier version of this recipe soon that will shave the cook time down quite a bit.

Chickpea Curry – 5 servings
If you’ve never tried chickpea curry, you’re missing out.  It’s filling and loaded with awesome aromatic spices.  I’m the biggest meat lover you’ll find, but chickpea curry can be so good I’ll forget it’s vegetarian.  On top of that, it’s very healthy.  This one uses roasted cauliflower (which is SO GOOD) so it caught my eye.  I’m not a fan of tomatoes (don’t hate), so I omitted those.  I also added some extra spices (per the suggestions in the comments): 1 extra heaping tablespoon of curry powder and 1 extra teaspoon of turmeric.

Tomato Bisque – 5 servings
This is definitely a recipe to file away for when you’re snowed in.  It doesn’t require any perishable ingredients, so it’s a perfect recipe to keep at the ready.  Not to mention, it’s delicious!  The honey and clove really make this recipe stellar.  This one’s a classic. The easiest way to puree the soup is with an immersion blender.  If you don’t have one, a food processor works fine but is more of a pain.  Consider an immersion blender, but also be aware that they are dangerous if you’re not careful.  My finance nearly lost a finger trying to pull some pesto out of the blade region*.  UNPLUG it before you get near the blades!

*She’s fine after a dozen stitches or so, but a friend of ours required emergency surgery due to an immersion blender accident.  Again, unplug the sucker before doing anything with the blades.

Black Bean Soup with Chorizo – 6 servings
I saw this recipe in my serious eats email and knew I HAD to make it (I’m usually skeptical of most of serious eats’ recipes).  When it comes to tex-mex recipes, I can usually glance through the recipe and discern if it’s legit or if it’s crap.  Looking through this soup I saw chorizo, okay good.  Then I saw the serrano, okay now we’re talking.  Then I saw that all the right spices were there too.  Let’s do this!  I made this recipe verbatim and it was AWESOME.  However, I’d suggest omitting the chicken in this recipe.  It’s really not needed.  This recipe will hold up on it’s own without the chicken (and be cheaper!).

Breakfast
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Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Hash – 4 servings
These are awesome, basic, and easy to make.  I like to have mine with an egg or two.

Avocado Mango Smoothie – 4 servings
These are fantastic, healthy, and easy to make.  An immersion blender makes them even easier (but be careful!).

Strawberry Coconut Smoothie – 5 servings
These are also great!  They use dates, which I’d never used before.  Just take the pits out and throw them in.  Again, an immersion blender helps here.  I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow…

Overall, it’s been a great experience and I will definitely plan my meals out again after I finish this batch.  Nearly all of the ingredients I needed for these meals cost me about $140.  I bought pasture raised meats and organic produce, so that could be cut down a bit.  Even with that figure, it comes out to $3.30 per meal.  Not too shabby!

Now it’s your turn.  Go plan some meals!

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