I like to spend Sundays cooking all of my work week meals. Having an open stretch of time before me to indulge in the intrinsic pleasure of cooking at my own pace is something I look forward to all week long. Rather than hurriedly throwing questionable leftovers into tupperware on weekday mornings or tainting the few hours I have to myself between work and sleep, I have a neat row of thoughtfully prepared breakfasts and lunches waiting for me each day.
I try to take advantage of the fruits and vegetables that are in season—not only are they more affordable and at the peak of flavor, but it also keeps me from cooking the same things over and over until I can’t stomach them anymore. I love seeing delicate strawberries waiting for me when spring finally turns to summer, or robust squashes and pumpkins piled high when the weather starts to turn cold.
These tomatoes are likely the last wave coming from my absurdly bountiful garden this year. I’ve eaten hundreds of these aptly named Sweet 100s this summer—as many have gone into meals that I’ve prepared as I’ve eaten straight from the vine as I picked them.
For breakfast this week, I obeyed my cravings for fall flavors and made apple cinnamon parfaits. Parfaits have revolutionized how I’ve prepared my work week meals this year—they’re endlessly customizable and extraordinarily cost-effective. I start with a grain—overnight oats or quinoa & farro cooked in vanilla almond milk. I then often add skyr (I’m partial to Siggi’s), my favorite kind of yogurt because it’s an easy way to bring much-needed protein into my diet without a ton of hidden sugar. Lastly, I cook down whichever fruit I’m craving into a compote, often adding chia seeds overnight to soak up any extra liquid and transform it into jam. I then layer each component into mason jars, keeping each meal fresh all week and making them easy to transport.
For this week’s concoction, I added cinnamon & honey to my overnight oats; sautéed massive honeycrisp apples in cider & cinnamon until they softened; and stirred cinnamon into vanilla skyr. It tastes just as magical as it sounds! I clearly start craving cinnamon as soon as the temperature drops below 60 degrees. (P.S. If you love skyr, there’s another recipe you’ll adore in this post!)
For lunch, I cooked up some brown rice soba noodles, added a soy-ginger glaze that I love from Whole Foods, pickled some carrots in rice vinegar & raw sugar, sliced up my last remaining cherry tomatoes, and chopped up some scallions & Thai basil that I grew. Each of these meals took me just over an hour to prep for Monday through Friday.
What are your favorite work week meals? Have you figured out any time-saving tricks? Let me know in the comments, I love getting new inspiration!
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