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We know that sometimes you get home and have a grand total of 15 minutes to figure out what you’re going to put on the table. Us too. Let's find a solution.
The answer may be cooking lots of dishes in advance to get you through the week, but the hard part of that option is getting organized and figuring out how to make the ingredients you purchased over the weekend last you over the course of a week. Think about it: You have dinners to make, lunches to pack, breakfasts to shovel down with your morning coffee while you sprint out the door so you can make it to the gym before work so you don’t have to go at night because...you'll be busy making dinner. The last thing you need -- or want -- is to stand forlornly in front of a half-empty fridge on Wednesday, cursing quietly and feeling like Mother Hubbard.
Here’s a piece of advice: Set Sunday aside. Get organized, go shopping, and get a whole lot of cooking done. Make these recipes on Sunday and read on to see how to turn them into a week's worth of meals:
- Barbara Kafka's Simplest Roast Chicken
- Bagna Cauda Salad
- Butter-Braised Fingerlings
- Basic Cooked Dried Beans
What to do with the roast chicken: Make one and eat some for dinner. Consider making two and you’ll be guaranteed a slew of best overs to carry you through Friday, including chicken salad, pot pies, enchiladas, and Chicken Orzo Soup.
Where the Bagna Cauda can take you: Use leftover vegetables in more salads. Make extra dressing, and you’ll have the perfect element for that Not Sad Desk Lunch that you promised yourself that you’d start bringing to work.
With a pot of beans, you’ll be more than set for the week ahead; you'll have the building blocks for these Brothy, Garlicky Beans, as well as this avocado-white bean salad. Your beans will be a mid-week life-saver, satisfying in both flavor and in the fact that you didn't spend a copious amount of time prepping your ingredients.
It seems like a lot of work for one day. But if you think about it in terms of how much work you won’t have to do Monday through Friday, you’re already ahead of the curve. The key here is to buy more vegetables and ingredients than you need for one specific recipe; if you make extra food and have leftover ingredients from Sunday, you’ll be on a good track for the rest of the week, especially as these recipes are built to stand up over the course of a few days.
Your menu, day by day:
- Leftover Braised Fingerling Potatoes with a fried egg
- Salad -- you're sure to have leftovers from earlier in the week
IMPORTANT: You made it to Friday! You’ve been so good and organized this week -- be sure to make something sweet for yourself.
What are your favorite strategies for getting dinner on the table night after night? Tell us in the comments below.
Photos by Food52, James Ransom, Mark Weinberg, Food52, Alpha Smoot, Sarah Shatz, and Phyllis Grant.