Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Procrastinator Preps

  Meet Miss E, The Procrastinator.  If they gave out degrees in the subject, I'd be the recipient of an honorary doctorate.  I mean, Harvard would have probably recruited me.  As the saying goes: If it weren't for the last minute I'd never get anything done!
  I mention this pesky trait of mine because these past weeks I have actually surprised myself by....wait for it...planning ahead!  On the way back from Asheville, I grabbed a magazine to occupy my mind from thoughts of fiery plane crashes and failing engines.  Of course, it was a food magazine.  Well, not entirely a food magazine, but the delicious looking photo on the cover was really what sold me.   One article in particular caught my eye, and it was about advance food prep.  Now, chefs and cooks do this all the time, but I'd never dreamed how truly easy it could make my life.
  Here are the things I prepared ahead of time that I was then able to easily reheat for dinner during the week!
  • Braised shiitake mushrooms
  • Roasted Fall vegetables 
  • Caramelized onion jam
  • Whole wheat linguine 
  • Roasted butternut squash
  • Blanched cauliflower
  • Golden raisin vinaigrette 
And here are some of the fabulous things I made (and we ate!)

Braised mushrooms + WW linguine + fresh thyme

Roasted Fall veggies + lentils + Golden raisin vinaigrette

Caramelized onion jam + braised mushrooms + artichoke hearts + roasted red peppers
Roasted butternut squash + braised cauliflower + caramelized onion jam
WW linguine + artichoke hearts + capers + golden raisin vinaigrette
   What an amazingly well-fed and stress-free week that turned out to be!  And in truth, you'll be snacking on most of these things for longer than a week.  You can find the recipes on the Whole Living website.

  If this type of cooking interests you, consider buying/borrowing/checking out The Improvisational Cook by Sally Schneider.
In the introduction she says:
"Improvisational cooking is thrilling.  It's the key to ease and pleasure in cooking, freedom from recipes and set lists of ingredients, and liberation from other less tangible constraints: perfectionism, the voices of "I can't," fear of what will happen and maybe go wrong."
 Amen, sister.

 And here's a sneak peek at my next culinary adventure...


Kate said...

You should see what I call my Sunday kitchen. Basically it is a 7am-Noon cook fest. premade pizza dough, pesto pureed fresh from the garden, pastas made, chicken roasted, quiche, diced and sliced veggies for quick saute, garlic finely diced and into oil for the week, sun-brewed iced tea ready for lunches. I can't imagine how much time I save (for myself) and money for the entire family. I've even started premeasure pancake mix and freezing muffins. I loves it.

Evan said...

I always wondered how you did it when I would read about the fabulous things you "whipped up" for dinner! I need to be more organized in my kitchen life and my regular life. So, I'm following your before 2012 advice and getting started, like, today!