GKS Meal Prepping

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It’s a new year and instead of all the usual resolutions, cleanses and promises we have simply decided that 2018 is going to be the year that we slay weekend meal prepping. We are talking Sunday evening batch cooking, roasting, peeling and jaring – grandma style – here. We have previously been half-doing this with a more random batch cooking approach (which you can read more about in the first chapter of Green Kitchen at Home). But we’re stepping things up now. Life with three kids is stressful as it is and this method helps us to eat well during the week, save time and be more spontanious. It also helps us avoiding those hangry (hungry/angry) kid-situations. We have only been doing this properly for the past months now but thought we’d start sharing the basics right away, in case you guys want to start doing this along with us.

The Method
Food prepping is a simple method and surely many of you already know the basics. The idea is that it is a lot easier to cook and eat real food during the week if you prepare and cook some of the ingredients on the weekend before. Less prepping during the week also means fewer bowls, boards and knives to clean up. So we focus on things that can stay fresh in the fridge during the week and can be used in a number of different meals. Some things are cooked or roasted and other are simply peeled, rinsed or chopped. And we also make one or two sauces/dips/dressing that we can use for our grains and salads. Many of the things we mention will seem super basic (like peeling a carrot), but it does actually make a huge difference to have those ready when the kids come asking and you are busy doing something else. We promise that you and your family will eat four times more carrots with this method. Thank us later.

The Props
Before you start you might want top invest in a couple of transparent glass containers and jars (we use Ball jars, Weck jars and a few other jars). They will give you a good visual overlook of what you’ve got in the fridge while also storing the food in the freshest possible way. Make sure they can be stacked easily so they don’t take up too much space in your fridge and pantry. You can use marking tape if you want to keep track of how old your food is, but it’s usually easiest to just look, smell and taste.

The End Game
As we are still rookies on this, we are not doing full on meal planning yet. We don’t have an exact plan what dishes we’ll be eating for lunch and dinner throughout the week. What we instead focus on at this point is providing lots of good options by having a mix of cooked and raw ingredients, sauces, leftovers and snacks. Many days we simply combine cooked grains, roasted vegetables, raw vegetables and fruit in a bowl, drizzle with one of the sauces and top with some toasted seeds (like the bowl in the image further down). It’s a good everyday lunch bowl or box that can be varied endlessly depending on seasons and what grains/lentils/sauce you have prepped. As for the kids, they usually prefer their roasted vegetables served individually with the sauce, grains, chickpeas on the side. So simply not as mixed. And if we have prepared a tomato sauce, we might use it for a baked pasta dish one day and inside an enchilada another day. Just to give you an idea. We are not focusing too much on the final dishes in this blog post but will share more ideas later. There are also many recipes in Green Kitchen at Home that can be matched with these preps.

So take a breath and scroll through this list of suggestions what to prep and recipe links. Obviously we don’t prep all of these in the same week. If you are new to this, take one hour in the coming weekend and prepare one sauce, one container with cooked grains, beans or lentils, one tray of roasted veggies and a large jar of peeled carrots in water to start with. It’s of course also allowed to take shortcuts and buy a pesto, hummus or whatever else you might need to make your weekdays easier. One step at the time.

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RAW VEGETABLES
Vegetable sticks in water
– We peel or scrub carrots and cut them into sticks that we store in jars with water in the fridge. It’s the easiest snack when our kids say that they are hungry but dinner isn’t ready. We store them in water so they don’t dry out in the fridge. The deluxe version is to dip them in a jar of hummus or nut butter. Nom nom!
We also rinse and chop cucumber or bell pepper in bite size sticks that we store in the same way.

Peeled and cut beetroots
– Peeling beetroot means getting your hands tainted purple. Unless you were gloves. So it’s easy to skip them. Therefore we peel a whole batch while our hands are already tainted and then cut them into smaller bits. That way we can put them on a tray and roast in the oven with a drizzle of oil and salt even when time is short. Or toss in our juicer for a quick beetroot, apple & lemon juice. It makes juicing so much easier when the beetroots are already peeled and cut in a size that fits the juicer.

Lettuce, spinach & kale
– Rinse, chop off thick stems and store wrapped in a towel in the fridge for quick salads and bowls.

COOKED 
Grains, seudo-grains and lentils
– Quinoa, rice, millet and black lentils can all be cooked ahead and used in stir-fries, patties, salads, soup toppings or desserts. Just follow the cooking instructions (you rather want to cook 1 minute too little than 1 minute too long), let cool and store in sealed glass containers in the fridge.

Pulses/Legumes
– Chickpeas and other beans are great in salads, for hummus and other spreads, burgers, falafels, soup toppings etc. Soak and pre-cook dried pulses and keep in glass containers in the fridge. Or buy them precooked and just rinse and put them in a glass container.

FOOD
Patties 

We make varieties of quinoa or rice patties whenever we have some quinoa or rice left towards the end of the week. They last well in the fridge and can shine up any dinner or lunch. Store them stacked in glass jars in the fridge and simply heat for a few minutes in a pan or the oven before serving. Here is a link to our Spinach & Quinoa Pattie recipe!

Soup
– It’s very easy to make a large portion soup so we often try to make soup on the weekend and keep the leftover soup ready in the fridge for lunch (with lots of toppings). Some days the soup can also become a sauce for pasta or rice. Last week it was a version of this Carrot & Lentil Soup (with the addition of orange juice) and this week we made the Broccoli, Mint & Pea Soup from Green Kitchen at Home. Check out our soup archive for more inspo.

Tray Bakes
– One of our favorite dinners and the leftovers store well in the fridge. Just make double trays and have the leftovers for lunch.

ROASTED VEG

Broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower
– Break into florets (cut brussels sprouts in half), drizzle with oil and bake at 200°C / 400°F for 20 minutes or until golden. We use these in salads, lunch bowls and stir fries. They are also one of our kids favorite food, just slightly reheated without any sauces or anything. Store in glass containers in the fridge.

Sweet potatoes, carrots, beetroot (and other roots)
– Cut into bite-size dices, fries or coins. Drizzle with oil and bake at 200°C / 400°F for 25 minutes. You can mix roasted roots into hummus for a great flavor twist. Or put them inside warm sandwiches. Or simply add them to salads. We often eat them cold but you can also reheat them a few minutes in an oven.

Zucchini and aubergine / eggplant
– Slice them into thin rounds, brush with oil, place on a baking tray and roast at 200°C for 10-15 minutes or until charred towards the edges. Place in a container, drizzle some extra oil, add 1 garlic clove and leave to marinate in the fridge. A great topping on soup or addition to any salad.

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SAUCES & SIDES

Golden Turmeric Tahini Sauce
– This is one of our favorite sauces currently. We literally drizzle it on top of everything. Salads, quinoa, kale, egg or sandwiches.

1 cup runny tahini
2 cups water
1/2 lemon, juice
1 tbsp maple syrup or raw honey
(1 tbsp unfiltered apple cider vinegar, optional)
1 chunk fresh ginger, peeled
sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste

Simply add all ingredients to a blender and mix on high until smooth and frothy. Taste and adjust flavours to your liking. Pour the golden sauce into a jar with an airtight lid. Store in the fridge, keeps up to a week.

Nut+Seed Butter
– Making homemade nut butter is not only easy but if you mix the nuts with 50% sunflower seeds it’s also a lot cheaper. We are obsessed with nut butters and use it on top of morning porridge, yogurt, sandwiches and desserts. It’s also great paired with fresh veggie sticks, apples and dates. Here is a link to our homemade nut and seed butter recipe.

Hummus
– Always have a jar of hummus in the fridge. Make it from scratch or buy the best version you can find.

Pesto
– Any pesto is a life-saver when it comes to adding more flavour to a dish, but haven’t you tried this Magic Green Sauce, give it a go!

Sauerkraut
– We are devoted sauerkraut eaters and makers and have 3 wild fermented sauerkraut recipes in Green Kitchen at Home, try the Golden sauerkraut here. If you don’t dare making your own just yet, buy a good quality one at the supermarket or health food store.

SNACKS

Broccoli Flatbread
– These vegetable based flatbreads have almost become a signature recipe for us and are so great to keep in the fridge. Use them for quick pizzas or to make massive hummus sandwiches. (Recipes in Green Kitchen at Home)

Energy Bars
– Bars or energy balls are our lifesavers when we need a quick sweet snack or post-workout treat. We change the recipe all the time. Our Mint Chocolate Power BarsNut, Quinoa Bars and Hemp Protein Bars are three good recipes to start with. We have started making them slightly smaller and wrapping them in baking paper so they look like caramels. They last longer, are more portable and cute!

Muffins
These almond based muffins are only sweetened with dates and banana and a great little treat when you need an energy kick. Make a double batch and store one bag in the fridge and another in the freezer.

Nut & Seed Bread
– We make this flour-free Nut & Seed Bread as an alternative to our usual rye bread. We always make two of these loaves at the same time so they will last longer. One slice is very filling and satisfies cravings and blood-sugar spikes.

 

BREAKFAST

Chia Pudding
– We prep a large batch of chia pudding that we store in large jar. It’s an easy breakfast, dessert, mid-day snack or porridge topping.

Overnight Oats
– 
The most frequent overnight oats recipe we make is the one with orange & vanilla. We use half orange juice and have plant milk to soak and make a large batch and store in the small jars, just grab a portioned jar in the morning and breakfast is served.

Granola
– You can of course buy a granola if you like to save some time but it’s easy to make and perfect if you want to clean out your pantry from the last bits and pieces of seeds, grains, nuts and dried fruit. We have many granola recipes in our books but this Banana Granola is also a popular one. Sometimes we also make a Savory Granola that is great on top of salads and soups.

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Hope you liked this! If you want more ideas what to do with your prepped ingredients, check out our instagrams (gkstories | luisegreenkitchenstories) as we’re sharing more daily salad bowls, soups and meals there.

Do you meal prep? We’d love to know if you have any meal prepping tips and tricks. Please leave a comment and share!

12 Vegetarian Millet Recipes

Millet Polenta | Millet Recipes | Naturally Ella

As part of the pantry reset, I had intended to share a video about the three ways I make millet. The video didn’t turn out super well so I decided to share the information here with a few millet recipes to use with the cooking methods. Millet is a workhorse in my kitchen. It’s a quick-cooking pseudo-grain that soaks up flavor. It’s perfect for almost any type of meal and depending on how you cook it, can transform itself into something new.

Regular: I make regular millet with a 2:1 ratio of water:millet, toasting the millet in a dry skillet for 60 seconds before adding the water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook until most of the water has been mostly absorbed; 18 minutes or so. Remove from heat and let sit for another 10 minutes to let the millet continue steaming.

Cracked: This is the version for making porridges and polentas. By cracking the millet, it helps thicken the overall dish and I treat cracked millet the same as polenta. For this, I toast then crack. Combine a 3:1 ratio of millet:water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 22 to 25 minutes until the mixture has thickened. If making polenta, I like to stir in a bit of butter and cheese.

Overcooked: Finally, the third way I use millet is to overcook it. This method is perfect if you plan on making grain grains/fritters. I use roughly a 2.5:1 ratio of water to millet and let cook for about 25 minutes. By adding extra water and letting cook a bit longer, the millet becomes a bit more cohesive.

Now that you are armed with my favorite three ways to cook, here are some millet recipes to get you started!

Breakfast

Spiced Carrot Muffins with Millet

Millet for breakfast is the best. It’s wonderful as a creamy porridge, works as a base for breakfast grain bowls, or you can even add it raw into items like muffins and granola (adding millet to the granola mixture before cooking creates a delightful crunch post-cooking!)

 

Lunch

Moroccan Carrot Salad with Millet and Pomegranate

I use millet in many types of salads but one of my favorite items is making millet cream (similar to overcooked millet, just blended after!) A few of my favorite lunch recipes:

 

Dinner

Beyond grain bowls, millet works well in place of rice for many of the dinner recipes I share. It is also lovely when paired with roasted vegetables and cheese.

 

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Slow Cooker Miso-Ghee Corn Chowder

I love recipes like this, dead simple and adaptable. You’re looking at a creamy, delicious, slow cooker corn chowder. If you have a bag of frozen corn, an onion, and a few potatoes, you’re well on your way. Wait, don’t nod off! There are a few bright spots beyond the basics. In this recipe, you sauté the onions in ghee, but(!) clarified butter or olive oil will work nicely as well. And you season the chowder with miso, but(!) salt and pepper, or even soy sauce, ponzu, or a curry paste like this or this could take things in an entirely new direction. Try the miso version first, just because its so good. I guess all I’m saying is, don’t let it stop you from making the chowder if you don’t have one the miso or ghee on hand.

Slow Cooker Miso-Ghee Corn Chowder

The recipe is an adaptation of the Miso-Ghee Corn Chowder from Slow Cook Modern by Liana Krissoff. I boosted my version with yellow split peas, for some extra diversity, and protein bump. Making it more of a one dish meal. She tops hers with a beautiful tomato-furikake salad, and uses fresh corn on the cob, perfect for summer when it comes. I’ve got mine topped with chunks of olives, and walnuts, and thin whispers of watermelon radish. And lots of chives.

Slow Cooker Miso-Ghee Corn Chowder

Slow Cooker Miso-Ghee Corn Chowder

Slow Cooker Miso-Ghee Corn Chowder

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Easy Muhammara Dip

Easy Muhammara Dip

Move over, hummus. There’s a new dip in town.

Have you ever tried muhammara? It’s a spicy pepper dip that originated from Aleppo, Syria, with one of the key ingredients being Aleppo chili flakes! Think of this dip as a mix of savory, sweet, and smoky with a little spice. Let’s do this!

This recipe is easy, requiring just 10 ingredients (I include substitutions for hard-to-find ingredients below) and simple methods.

Easy Muhammara Dip from Minimalist Baker →

Plant-Based Monday: Butternut Squash

We’re presenting the beloved butternut squash this week for plant-based Monday! Hands up if this is one of your favorite winter squashes? It’s so versatile, simple to make, and not to mention, totally delicious. Butternut squash is full of important phytonutrients that fall within the carotenoid family. Carotenoids are red/orange fruits and veggies (think carrots, tomatoes, bell […]

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The post Plant-Based Monday: Butternut Squash appeared first on Food Heaven Made Easy.

Kale Pasta with Sunflower Cream Sauce

Kale Pasta with Sunflower Cream Sauce | Naturally Ella

My kitchen would not be complete without a stash of nut/seed cream (so much so, in fact, I made a video for the pantry reset series.) It’s a lovely addition to soups, porridge, dressings, or sauces. This kale pasta is the perfect way to use the sunflower cream. The pasta comes together fast and also features garlicky kale (that can be made ahead of time.) Use your favorite pasta and you have an easy weeknight dinner.

Read more and see the recipe.

The post Kale Pasta with Sunflower Cream Sauce appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Instant Pot Herbed Chickpea Plov

Plovs. I started cooking them last year pretty regularly, locking onto one in particular early in my exploration. It was the Green-herbed Plov with Chickpeas in the Samarkand cookbook by Caroline Eden and Eleanor Ford. It is the lone vegetarian plov they included in that book, because, as noted, it’s hard to find a plov in Central Asia without meat as its central component. If you love robust one-pot rice dishes, and you own an Instant Pot, you’re going to want to dig in here, this recipe is for you.

If you’ve never experienced a plov, its heralded as “the undisputed king” of Uzbek cuisine, a steaming pilaf cooked in layers, served everywhere in Central Asia. Think of plovs as the perfect all-in-one-pot preparation, and this is the version you’ll want to start with if you’re vegetarian or vegan. It has rice, and chickpeas, fragrant spices, spinach, herbs, saffron, garlic, and olives. It’s the epitome of family style – served on platters, for visitors, for celebrations, for holidays.

Instant Pot Herbed Chickpea Plov

In the beginning I was cooking my plovs in a big cast iron Dutch oven, but quickly moved on to a kamado-san rice cooker donabe. I won’t do the donabe deep-dive here, but nailing a plov in a kamado-san donabe, consistently (keyword), is master class stuff. Which is why I thought this recipe would never make it onto the site, it was one for the personal collection ;). To cook plovs in the donabe isn’t for the faint of heart, and for every three times I nailed it, there was one time I really didn’t. And then(!)….then I bought the Instant Pot, and decided to try my plov in that. Guess what? SO much more consistent, likely because there’s no variation in temperature and heat from one attempt to the next in the IP. The results are great, and relatively predictable. So here we are – an Instant Pot Plov. Give it a go! It’s great day after as well.

Instant Pot Herbed Chickpea Plov

Instant Pot Herbed Chickpea Plov

For reference, this is the Instant Pot I used for this recipe: Instant Pot DUO Plus 6 Qt 9-in-1

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Spicy Rainbow Chop Salad with Peanuts

The base of this winter chopped salad is a new-to-me, homemade, red curry paste. I can’t stop using it, and it was perfect in this chopped salad situation. The curry paste went in the dressing. Once you’ve made the dressing, blood oranges, crispy shallots, peanuts, radicchio, herbs, brown rice, scallions, and tofu are tossed with it. I’ll be honest, this isn’t the most weeknight-friendly recipe (here’s a link if you’re looking for the easiest dinners, or quick recipes in general), but it’s so good, you’ll want to give it a try at some point when you aren’t crunched for time.

I’m posting the red curry paste I used on its own page, it’s the A.P.C.P. – All-Purpose Curry Paste from Kris Yenbamroong‘s Night + Market Cookbook. If you’re inclined to make your own curry pastes, you’re going to want to take this one for a spin. I love it, and have been using it in everything lately – curry pots, this salad, spring rolls, etc. Enjoy!

Spicy Rainbow Chop Salad with Peanuts

Spicy Rainbow Chop Salad with Peanuts

Spicy Rainbow Chop Salad with Peanuts

Spicy Rainbow Chop Salad with Peanuts

Spicy Rainbow Chop Salad with Peanuts

Spicy Rainbow Chop Salad with Peanuts

Spicy Rainbow Chop Salad with Peanuts

I noticed a lot of you are using the winter green miso paste and lemongrass turmeric paste from my site, & this should round out your collection!

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