CRUDI-YAY: A Plan for Your Sunday Night Meal Prep Shindig

What is one to do on Sunday nights when Game of Thrones is off season? Sure, I could wear my faux fur vest and chat with Madeleine in Dothraki, but I suppose I will recommend something more practical.

Sunday evenings are sacred in Monica-land. I spend the afternoon at Whole Foods squirreling away my precious groceries.

Then the magic happens.

The eve of the workweek is the time for you to prepare for battle: create your week’s worth of pre-made meals, snacks, and everything in between for you to grab on your way out the door in the mornings to munch in between Instagram likes.

These easy peasy fresh-lemon squeezy prep tips will ensure you feed your essence all week long.

1. Egg-celerate your morning routine with hard-boiled eggs. Buy a dozen organic, omega-3 fortified, free range eggs and boil those babies (sorry, graphic language). Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Grab two for breakfast or one for a protein-packed snack. They also would do well folded into a lovely egg salad with greek yogurt, dill, and pepper.

2. Okay, now the canned tuna got jealous. Choose chunk light in water (less mercury) canned tuna or salmon and go wild (like your salmon should be) with these tuna/salmon salad recipes:

Tuna Nicoise Salad
Oui oui! Peruse the olive bar for a few delish briney morsels – some of my faves include nicoise, kalamata, and castelvetrano. Take one of those hard-boiled eggs from numero uno and add:
some flaked tuna
chopped tomatoes
blanched green beans or haricot vert (blanching is a fancy way of saying, boil super quickly then plunge in an ice bath note: this is not the latest spa treatment)

Serve with a dijon vinaigrette on the side. (See #6!)

Classic Tuna Salad
This is the ultimate little dish when you want something quick and easily mixed. I throw all the ingredients below in my mini prep food processor and the salad comes together in 30 seconds!

Can of tuna
1 tbsp mayo w/ EVOO
1-2 thinly diced celery rib
½ carrot shredded
1 green onion thinly sliced
pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

3. Salmon Patties on Greens
1 can of wild salmon
2 egg whites
1 green onion thinly sliced
1 tbsp dijon
¼ c. of panko bread crumbs
s&p, lemon juice
chopped dill and parsely

Mix it all up, form patties and bake at 400 for about 15 minutes.

Top your garden salad with a couple of these bad boys, lettuce wrapped sandwich, or sandwich between two slices of sprouted wheat bread with all the fixin’s (avocado, lettuce, tomato, tzatziki wouldn’t be so bad here)

4. Fruit Infused Water
Make your own fruit infused water, like in those fancy gyms with spa-interior! Fill up a gallon pitcher with water. Slice cucumbers, rosemary, fresh ginger, oranges, and mint. Cover and soak; voila! Instant fancy water for you to pour into your portable, eco-friendly water thermos. You can do the same with herbal tea.

5. Fruit Salad on the Daily
Be fruitful and multiply! Create a fruit salad and scoop some every day for your work lunch. Chop watermelon, mango, grapes, strawberries, cantaloupe for a base and add blueberries and raspberries as a topper. We like to sprinkle some cinnamon on top for an anti-inflammatory kick, and sometimes, we treat ourselves with raisins/nuts as well for added texture.

6. Make it gRAIN.
Pre-cook quinoa/teff/brown rice/quinoa pasta for the week.

7. Get saucy!
Nobody likes a boring salad dressing (olive oil + vinegar…snooze) or sauce (canned tomato sauce… ew). Create your own sauces for the week with these four super-simple sauces for all your weekly salads:

a. Dijon Vinaigrette is the LBD of salad dressings: 1-2 tbsp dijon mustard, juice from ½ a lemon, 1 garlic clove chopped, salt, pepper, ¼ c. balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar, and olive oil. Shake it all up and taste. Is it too mustard-y for your taste? Add more vinegar. Needs more of a kick? Add a little more dijon.

b. Apple Cider Dressing: Great fall/winter vegetable dressing! ¼ c. Apple Cider, 1-2 tbsp Dijon (are you seeing a pattern here?), 1 tbsp maple syrup, Grapeseed Oil until it all emulsifies

c. Greek Dressing – Red Wine Vinegar, EVOO, LOTSA lemon juice, Oregano, S&P

d. Basic Tomato Sauce – Dice one large white onion and thinly slice 3-4 cloves of garlic, saute the onion on medium heat until soft and translucent, add the garlic and saute until fragrant – about 1 minute. Then add one 28 oz can of organic plum tomatoes or San Marzano tomatoes and crush them by hand as you drop them into the hot pot. (It’s like the I Love Lucy grape stomping episode… only with tomatoes… by hand!). Add salt, pepper, and oregano to taste. Allow the sauce to simmer on low for 25 minutes to develop a rich flavor. You can add browned ground chicken or 99% lean turkey for protein, or top roasted eggplant rounds with this sauce for a lighter eggplant parm.

8. Overnight oats
Let your oats have a sleepover in the fridge. Overnight oats are my personal favorite breakfast. Full of beta-glucans that bind circulating cholesterol, soluble fiber to keep your tummy happy, and how cute do they look in a mason jar?

9. CrudiYAY
Create a delicious crudite snack by mixing thinly slice bell peppers, celery ribs sliced into thirds, carrots sliced into dipping sticks, radishes sliced into halves or quarters, and sugar snap peas can stay as is. Place the mix in a ziplock or tupperware. Each day, divvy up a portion along with salsa, hummus, or the salads made in #1 and #2. Makes getting the 3+ servings of veggies each day hella easy.

This little Sunday night showdown will make it super simple to #EatlikeMonica and enjoy every minute of it.

Essentially Yours,

Sari Joseph Levine, chef and animal-print lover extraordinaire, contributed to this post. Because when I’m in the kitchen, things tend to ignite, and when she’s in the kitchen, everyone applauds.

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