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Posts Tagged ‘make-ahead meal’

Update on Mission #1: to find a multitude of diverse recipes for make-ahead lunches.

Photo and recipe from www.thekitchn.com

Ok, I’m really psyched about this one and I’m eagerly awaiting a review from Babycakes after lunch today.  Quinoa tabbouleh!  What a great idea to swap out the couscous that is traditionally used in tabbouleh for quinoa.  Quinoa is a whole grain and very high in protein, while couscous is a form of pasta made from semolina.  You can get whole grain couscous, but quinoa is still higher in protein and has a lower Glycemic Index (which matters to people who are concerned about diabetes or high blood sugar).

Here’s my review based on the aforementioned requirements:

1. Tasty and healthy:  Score 9. Tabbouleh is good– fresh parsley, mint, tomatoes, lemon juice and feta– nom nom.  The fresh mint in particular is delightful and like I said before, quinoa is a very healthy grain.

2. Cost-effective: Score  10. I spent less than $10 on ingredients and this should provide about 5 lunches.  <$2 a lunch is pretty sweet.

3. Time-intensity: Score 6. The only time intensive step was preparing the parsley.  It called for a whole bunch of both parsley and mint, which I minced in the Cuisinart, but I had to pluck the leaves off of an entire bunch of parsley.  Preparing fresh herbs seems to always take me an inordinate amount of time and I’m sure I’m too anal about removing the stems completely.  So, I’m going to try to lighten up and speed up the herb prep steps in the future.  When I think about making this dish again, prepping parsley is going to be the biggest drawback.

4. Easy clean-up: Score 9. I used 1 pot for cooking the quinoa, a bowl for mixing the ingredients and lots of prep bowls.  Not bad!

Total score of 34/40.

Now to wait for Mr. Piggy’s feedback…


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To find a multitude of diverse recipes for make-ahead lunches.

Requirements– the meals must be:

1. Tasty and healthy

2. Cost-effective

3. Not time intensive

4. Easy clean-up

I have a list of recipes to try from chowhound.com and thekitchn.com (thanks, Alger).  My hopefully doable goal is to try one recipe a week and post my evaluation according to the requirements above.

Last night I made Meyer Lemon Grain Salad with Asparagus, Almonds and Goat Cheese:

photo from thekitchn.com

1. Tasty and healthy: Score: 8 (out of 10).  Very tasty and uber healthy– recipe called for spelt and Israeli couscous, lots of almonds and crispy asparagus, juice from 2 lemons, not much salt.  It’s a delish vegetarian recipe.

2. Cost-effective: Score: 5. Ingredients cost about $20 and this should make 6 lunches, so it’s about $3.50/meal.  That’s not bad.

3. Time-intensity: Score: 3. I triple-tasked cooking the spelt, couscous and toasting the almonds, and even though there were not so many veggies to chop, it took about an hour of active time.

4. Ease of clean-up: Score: 2. This recipe required 2 saucepans, 1 frying pan, 1 big bowl, 2 cutting boards and all my prep bowls.  Blech!

Total score of 18/40. I call that a fail.  Too bad.

I am intrigued with these grains, however, so I’m excited to try other nutty hippy recipes.  Woo!

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