I spent two hours in the kitchen prepping for this week like a whirling dervish, but this Monday morning I’m genuinely not stressed about dinner this week. Or lunches.
And y’all, I’m notoriously bad about packing a lunch for work, and then I end up overindulging on carbs while I make dinner. That needs to stop, so here we go.
First of all, you do not need to prep all of this in advance. Pick your battles. A turkey and sprout sandwich, for example, takes 5 minutes to prepare, and you’ll want it as fresh as possible. The seafood au gratin requires very little advance prep, too – it’s a matter of shredding some sharp cheddar.
Here’s the prep list to help make your week better. Make sure you have plenty of reusable containers on hand.
Instant Pot Short Ribs over Polenta (1 meal for 2-4 people, leftover short ribs and polenta reserved for other use)
Falafel bowls (1 meal for 2 people)
Shorba with pita (2 meals for 2 people)
Greek lamb bowls (2 meals for two people)
Short rib tacos (1 meal for 4-6 people)
Hummus, feta and vegetable wrap (1 meal for 2 people)
Turkey and sprout sandwich on whole wheat (1 meal for 4-6 people)
Mushroom ragout over leftover polenta with garlicky kale (1 meal for 4-6 people)
The Major’s Famous Seafood Au Gratin (will prep on Friday)
Instant Pot Bolognese with Pappardelle and a Lightened Up Caesar Salad (will prep on Friday)
- First of all, do your vegetable prep. There’s a lot of overlap with this menu, from onions to garlic to parsley to tomatoes. Mise-en-place, y’all. It’s the best. Slice some extra bell pepper, carrots, and onions for your veggie wraps, bag it up, and move on. This will take the most time up front, but once it’s ready, you’ll cruise.
- Once your veggies are sliced, diced, grated, etc., preheat the oven for the falafel.
- Start your pita mixture.
- Make your falafel mixture in the food processor, roll into balls or patties and bake according to the recipe.
- Clean out the food processor, and make your tzatziki.
- Cook your lamb, and then your cauliflower rice. Set aside to cool.
- Remove falafel from oven, place a cast iron skillet inside, and turn the heat up to 500.
- Make your shepherd’s salad and start to assemble your lunch containers (remember, you’re separating the falafel, so that gives it a little more time to cool).
- Haul out the Instant Pot and start your short ribs. Once they’re on the manual setting for 45 minutes, knock out your shorba.
- The oven’s hot. Your pita dough is ready. Go ham. Just…don’t burn yourself. My hands and wrists are a battlefield of burn scars. Don’t be like Cait. Turn off the oven when done.
- Remove your short ribs from the Instant Pot, and start your polenta.
- Plate your dinner, and put away the short ribs and polenta in separate containers for later use.
That’s it. Your short rib tacos and ragu will take very little time to prep, with a total cook and prep time under 30 minutes, given the work you’ve done to prep for the week.