Work Week Winners!

Since I’ve started my new job I feel like the days are too short.  There is definitely not enough hours in the day for me to do all that I love.  Cooking is one of those things that has suffered since I started working full time. (Cleaning my house has been put on the back burner several times but I’m not too concerned about that.)

The adaptation to this new schedule has taken some time and I thought I’d share some tips on what I do to make the work week easier and make more room for free time.  These are probably tips that you’ve heard of before but they really do make a huge difference for me.

1. Soup

Who doesn’t love a bowl of comforting soup after a long day of work?

Is it weird that while at work I day dream of the soup waiting for me for when I get home from work?  Well, even if it is weird- I don’t care!  Yes, I day dream about soup. Yes, I’m okay with this fact.

No, the soup doesn’t just magically appear in my fridge.  I make it on Sundays.  Andy and I have been making them together and it’s unbelievable how quick it is.  We make a big batch that makes about three dinners worth for during the week.  We don’t eat the soup on the day we make it because it always tastes wayyy better the next day, and even better after two days!  That’s the best part, the leftovers are amazing!

Yummy Toppings

This particular soup is definitely one to blog about.  It’s Quinoa Corn Chowder with Lima’s and Aji and the recipe is from Terry Hope Romero’s new cookbook Viva Vegan. Its has yummy quinoa, corn, potatoes, and delicius aji paste.  The flavor of this soup is amazing!  We topped the soup off with salsa, raw cashews, cilantro, green onions, daiya cheese, and crushed tortilla chips.  So delish!  This cookbook is seriously worth buying for this recipe alone! It’s so amazing.  Andy and I have made it twice now.  We have yet to try other recipes but I predict lots of latin food showing up on the blog in the future…..

2. Salads!

Another time saver is to make a huge salad at the beginning of the week for lunches.  When I say salad, I mean the kinds that also taste better as the flavors marinade together.  Heavier salads like quinoa, bean, pasta….. definitely not leafy salads.

Lunch is a snap when you do this.  I like having these “heavier” salads on top of mixed greens.  The heavy salad stays in a big container in the fridge then all I have to do in the morning is take a container and put a couple handfuls of mixed greens and add a couple scoops of the pre made salad.  Voila!  Lunch is done!

Bean salad and Mixed Greens 🙂

3. Going to the gym with a friend or your significant other.

When I first started my job I found it so hard to make it to the gym.  After a long day of work I just wanted to spend some time with Andy.  I was feeling so low in energy due to lack of exercise and all of the holiday treats that I was eating.  Exercise is so important so the fix for us was to start to go to the gym together.  We get to spend time with each other and get active!  It’s the best thing we’ve ever done.

4. Once a week grocery shopping.

Before I got this job, grocery shopping happened whenever we realized we needed something.  A huge time saver has been to do a big grocery shop each weekend.

This definitely took some practice.  Grocery shopping once a week requires meal planning and thinking ahead.  I don’t really spend too much time meal planning nor do I really stick with what I’ve planned out.  The Sunday soup really helps with planning because I’ll only have to think of two meals for dinner.  I just make sure I have ingredients for two dinners on hand and I’m good to go.  We also keep a good stock of canned and dry goods in the pantry for quick meals and snacks.  The only thing that I have trouble with is produce.  I don’t want it to go bad so sometimes I’ve found that I don’t buy enough.  I’m getting better though!

Well those are my major tips for making the work week manageable.  I hope you find them useful because they make my life so much easier!

Question: What are your tips for saving time and/or making life easier?


About todayslady

I'm a vegetarian who loves to bake and cook.
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5 Responses to Work Week Winners!

  1. The soup looks great but I think I might have to make that bean salad today!

  2. Hayley says:

    That soup looks so good! I am such a fan of Terry’s recipes (and Isa’s as well…do you have Veganomicon?)
    I love your tips. I also struggle with once a week grocery shopping because I am often out of produce by the end of the week- everything is either used up or it’s gone bad! But overall it is a really good time saver.
    Working out with friends is ALWAYS better than alone in my book.
    You mentioned that you’re Canadian! Where are you from?? 🙂

  3. I recognize that book! 🙂 I can’t seem to find aji paste or annatto seeds, which so many of the recipes have. Did you order them online or where you able to find them at a store?

    I made the cabbage salad with cilantro-lime vinaigrette from the book yesterday and it is wonderful! I’ve had it for lunch for the last two days.

  4. My honey and I also love having soups for dinner, and so look forward to having a bowl when we get home from work. 🙂 And like you, we also think the soups get better the longer they sit.

    Tips for saving time and making life easier? Well, I always make fresh bread for us, and that takes a bit of time with all the rising bread needs.

    Our “weekend” is Mon/Tues, so on Tuesday afternoon/night, I always make a batch of bread and that should last two days.

    During the rest of the week when I need bread, I usually do a “slow-rise” in the fridge. Instead of leaving the dough at room temperature to rise, you just make the dough, cover it, and stick the bowl in the fridge before going to work.

    Then when we get home, I roll it out/shape it and bake it. Easy. 🙂

    We also try to plan our meals before going shopping so we know what to buy. The bulk of our shopping is fresh produce.

    If you want to buy more produce but don’t because you’re worried it’ll go bad, there are some things you can do to make your food last longer. You can also freeze your vegetables if you need to.

    You may already know this, but keep your tomatoes and bananas at room temperature. They’ll last longer and taste better. Pull the bananas apart from each other and they’ll last even longer.

    Cabbage, spinach, cauliflower, and bok choy will usually last in our fridge for a week without any problems. If we buy it on Monday, it’s still good at the end of the week.

    If you see you have produce that might not last, freeze it. Corn on the cob freezes quite well. Just leave it in the shucks, put it in a freezer bag, and then use it later.

    You can also cut it off the cob and blanch it (cook it in boiling water for a few minutes, let it cool, then freeze it in a freezer bag or plastic freezer container).

    You can blanch other veggies too. We do that with peppers and green beans sometimes.

    Fresh herbs like parsley, basil, and mint can also be frozen. Cut the herbs off the stems them in ice cube containers, fill the containers with water, and freeze. Then use later in soups if you like.

    If you’re bananas are going ripe, just freeze them right in the peel. Use them later in bread or smoothies.

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