Cooking Ahead!

As a single gal, I don't like to cook every evening, so I tend to prepare a few dishes on Sunday that will carry me through the week.  Smoothies, salads, and soups are my dishes of choice because they are easy to make and give me room to experiment.

Smoothie

Green smoothies are a great way to start the day because they are refreshing and packed full of nutrients.  I'm not one to get up in the morning and break out the blender, so I will make a big smoothie on Sunday and keep it refrigerated in a thermos.  Then in the mornings, I stir it up and pour some in a glass to go along with whatever I am eating.  If I'm in a hurry, I pour some in a travel mug and hit the road.

My smoothie this week included:

  • Frozen mango
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 avocado
  • Kale 
  • Chard
  • Yogurt
  • Raw almonds
  • Chia seeds
  • Coconut water
  • Honey

With so many ingredients to experiment with, smoothies are a great way to get creative in the kitchen.  Combine what you like and see what happens!

Tip: You can also plan ahead for smoothies by freezing your dry ingredients in plastic bags.  When you are ready fix to your smoothie, pull a bag out of the freezer, combine with the wet ingredients in your blender, and enjoy!

Salad

When I'm working in studio I tend to not want to leave, so I usually take my lunch.  I love to get creative with salads that are both healthy and filling.  This week, I went with a Southwestern theme:

  • 1 clove garlic and 2 green onions (sautéed in olive oil)
  • Cherry tomatoes (roasted in olive oil with salt and pepper)
  • 1/2  head of cabbage, chopped
  • Black beans
  • Cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Feta
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional toppers: avocado and salsa

Tip: This salad also makes a great taco filling! Sauté up some chicken, pull out the tortillas, and chow down!

Soup

Soup is probably my favorite thing to cook.  I love to make a huge pot of soup to eat for dinner all week, even in the summer.  It is so nice to come home from a long day and heat up a warm, hearty dinner.

This week I tried a kale and white bean soup.  It was pretty good, although the next time I may add chicken breast.

  • Sauté garlic and onion in olive oil in a large stock pot
  • Add chicken stock (I like a lot of broth so I tend to be pretty liberal with the stock) and bring to a boil
  • Add rosemary and thyme sprigs, bay leaf, dried oregano, and salt and pepper
  • Add a bunch of stemmed kale 
  • Add 2-3 cans of canelinni beans (rinse well!)
  • Turn back the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes
  • Finish with zest of one lemon, juice of one lemon, and chopped parsley

Don't forget to pull out the rosemary/thyme sprigs and bay leaf before serving!

Tip:  Anytime I make soup, I always put at least one serving the the freezer for later.  It's great to save a bit for a night when your cupboard is bare.  

Thanks for reading!

~Claire

PS- If you try the soup recipe with chicken, please let me know how you like it! :)