Sunday evening, I make food for the week. Something to carry out the door for breakfast, something to pack for lunch, and maybe something to stick in the oven for dinner when we get home from work.
The week goes so much more smoothly when I take a couple hours to do this.
This Sunday, I was putting together
beef venison noodle soup, apple pumpkin muffins, and salad.
I take my lunch to work almost every day. It's just easier if you count calories. And way cheaper. And I love soup. So I make a pot of soup almost every week. If I don't take soup for lunch, I like to take leftovers from dinner. In the picture on the top left, I was filling up the containers I take soup to lunch in. They're from CorningWare and they are so handy. Here's the Amazon link to buy them. I have a carrier and a hot plate on my desk made to set them on. If I set them on when I get to work, they are hot by lunchtime.
I like soups that I just throw everything in a pot with a lid and simmer it for a couple hours. Last week, I made the best vegetable venison soup I've ever made. We still have several jars of deer meat that Jeremy's mom canned last year, so I've been trying to use it up. Putting it in soup in place of beef is a great way to use it. I used two quarts of chicken stock that I had frozen from this summer, an onion, two carrots, one quart of deer meat, spices, and half a bag of whole wheat egg noodles. If Jeremy is going to be in his office, he likes to take soup as well. But if he's working out in the field, then I have to pack something that travels a little easier like peanut butter sandwiches and a piece of fruit.
While the soup was cooking, I put together a salad from lettuces and radishes I bought from the Monroe Farm Market, and some radishes I pulled out of my garden yesterday evening. I swear by my OXO Softworks salad spinner. It will keep delicate fresh lettuce good for around two weeks.
With my lunches covered for the next few days, I needed to make something for breakfast. I had some pumpkin left in the fridge from the pumpkins I roasted last weekend. I needed to be used soon before it went bad. I also have some apples in the fridge leftover from the half bushel I bought to make into applesauce and can. Muffins are easy and the flavors are interchangeable depending on what's in season. I used a blueberry muffin recipe in my Betty Crocker Bridal cookbook, but subsituted chopped apple for the blueberries and pumpkin puree for the vegetable oil in the recipe, which cuts calories.
For the past few years, I have always tried to make soup to take to lunch, but it was last spring when I started making something for breakfast, too. Jeremy is a notoriously picky eater when it comes to breakfast. I was always happy with a bowl of Cheerios--my "go to" breakfast for years. I used to buy him frozen things like Hot Pockets or Jimmy Dean sausage biscuits, but a few years ago I decided they were too unhealthy and expensive. He likes baked goods, so I started trying to make something like muffins or scones or quick bread for breakfast. I began eating those things too when I realized how much time I was saving in the morning, just grabbing something on my way out the door. Now on Sundays I try to bake for breakfast for weekdays, and I'll boil a few eggs. He won't touch hard boiled eggs, but I like them with a muffin, or whatever it is I've made. The hardest part has been staying out of the baked goodies when they come out of the oven Sunday night, all warm and smelling delicious. Sometimes I just can't.
When I hear people say they don't have time to eat breakfast in the morning, I always think that I don't either, but I still make it happen. Health experts tout the importance of eating breakfast to help regulate your blood sugar throughout the day. It's so easy to grab my breakfast on the way out the door. It took me less than 20 minutes to mix everything together, and these muffins bake for less than 30 minutes. If something happens and I can't bake on Sunday night, I always have old-fashioned oatmeal on hand, although it's not as convenient as a muffin, and I have waffles and pancakes in the freezer for Jeremy. When I make a batch of either on the weekends, I always freeze what's left after we eat. They are super easy to heat up in the mornings, even when they're frozen.
Everyone is busy these days. I'll take spending an hour or two in the kitchen on Sunday afternoon to make my life easier on weekday mornings anytime.