I'm just back from a nice vacation to D.C. and the Shenandoah Valley, and, of course, my cupboards are bare! An additional meal planning challenge is that Benjy is working nights this week. The nice thing is that he doesn't go to work until after dinner, but he has to sleep all day in the bedroom that is just off of the kitchen. I need to minimize my time in the kitchen and cook as quietly as possible. This means I need recipes that don't require a lot of chopping or stirring or standing at the stove.
There are other considerations that go hand in hand with the night shift as well. He often takes some of the food from dinner with him to work- so grab and go type foods are key. It's also convenient to make foods that don't have to be reheated, since that saves time. And since he's going straight to work, garlicky foods are out! (I made roasted squid dressed with chimichurri sauce last week and he couldn't eat it because it would have given him dragon breath on the night shift. It was sad!)
The plus side is that aiming to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible (something that is generally anathema to me!) gives me a chance to play with some easy recipes!
My plan for the week is to make a ton of baked chicken (just to shake things up from my typical whole roast chicken routine) and serve it over the rest of the week with a variety of salads. I'm thinking Caprese or maybe a Burrata and tomato salad, roasted beets and goat cheese with spinach and walnut, and salad greens with avocado and hearts of palm.
When out of chicken I'm going to make an Italian tuna salad with tuna canned in olive oil, capers, basil, red onion, white wine vinegar, and white beans to serve over salad greens.
I'm also planning to make this truffled asparagus and boiled egg salad for myself for lunches because I think it looks insanely good.
Everything will be served with slices of crusty bread, although I may buy it instead of making it myself this week.
This sort of food would also work well for anyone having a busy week. I hope you can see how one night spent roasting chicken and beets (or any veggies you like!), and boiling asparagus and eggs can easy lend itself to a full week of healthy meals when you combine them with salad ingredients and a few pantry staples.
How do you cook around a crazy schedule?