End of Summer…The Busy Season Begins

We’ve had a few busy weekends in a row lately, plus it’s been too nice to spend a couple of hours inside prepping meals on Sundays, so we’ve been eating light and easy meals- great for the end of summer.  What I made in advance this week: black bean mango salsa, lentils for tacos, and teriyaki marinade for the tempeh.  endofsummer

We started Monday off with rice bowls with Black Bean Mango Salsa (perfect for a hot day), followed by lentil tacos on Tuesday.  I didn’t have time to make the lentil taco recipe that I’m working on for the blog, so I used a packaged marinade (Frontera Taco Skillet Sauce) to cook 3 cups of dried lentils in (plus additional water).  I chose the New Mexico sauce with roasted tomato and mild red chile, hoping it was the least mild.  It worked beautifully with the lentils, and the meal came together quickly since I made the lentils in advance.  I’m looking forward to trying the Key Lime Cilantro sauce with roasted tomatillos and green chile, but it may not be mild enough for the home front.

On Wednesday afternoon I realized that our evening plans didn’t leave time for a homemade dinner, as the 4 of us were in 3 different directions, so we grabbed food on the road- burritos for some and salads for the others.  Thursday was not a perfect day for Irish Stew and Gravy as it was in the mid 90s at dinner time, but the family must have been relieved to not have rice again because there were no complaints.  I think the Irish Stew is bland, but the family loves it, so the new gravy recipe made it extra special for me!  On Friday we finished up the big batch of brown rice with teriyaki tempeh, broccoli, and roasted carrots.  By lunchtime on Saturday, all the leftovers had been eaten, which perfectly set the stage for another round of shopping and meal prep!

Last week the family really enjoyed the new recipe Mediterranean Pasta, so on Saturday I made a double batch of it to share with omnivorous friends.  It went over well with those who tried it, but there were two other pasta salads at the party, so we brought home the leftovers.  The real crowd pleaser was my Chocolate Ganache Pie with Salted Caramel Sauce, by far the best vegan dessert with the fewest ingredients.

If you are struggling to adjust to the back to school routine (or coming to grips with the end of vacation season), take a few minutes to plan your meals for the week.   Nourishing your body will positively impact every facet of your life, so it’s worth the time.

After you plan your meals and grocery shop with a list, wash all your produce as soon as you get home.  If possible, take an hour to prep meals or sauces, whatever you can do to cut down the time to get dinner on the table during the week.

Take a look at Perhaps Its the Why and The Return to Reality for more guidance on meal planning.  Feel free to ask questions in the comments or share what has worked well for you.  I love helping people figure out a meal planning system that works for them.