Cooking extra food at the beginning of the week is the key to making my life way easier Monday through Thursday (Friday is takeout night!).

Cook Once, Eat All Week is here to help you prep the basics for healthy meals (lots of veggies, along with some grains and pulses) ahead of time, then gives you the simple recipes to turn those ingredients into hearty, satisfying meals. Get the game plan below.

Shopping List

Produce

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 yellow (or red) bell peppers
  • 1 large head of broccoli
  • 1 pint of mushrooms (I used shiitake)
  • ½ pound of carrots
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 bunch of scallions
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lemon or Meyer lemon

Pantry

  • Oil of your choice, ghee, or butter
  • 1 (14-ounce) can of chickpeas
  • 1 (14-ounce) can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can of coconut milk
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat soba noodles
  • Frozen edamame, shelled
  • Tahini
  • White miso paste
  • Thai red curry paste
  • Tomato paste
  • Cumin, ground
  • Coriander, ground
  • Salt and pepper
  • Harissa (optional)
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)

Sunday Prep

Roast vegetables.

1. Heat oven to 415°F. Cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes (you can leave the skin on). De-seed and cut bell peppers into long, ½-inch-wide strips. Oil a baking sheet, spread out sweet potato cubes, and top with a sprinkle of salt. Repeat with bell pepper on a separate baking sheet.

2. Roast the sweet potato for about 25 to 30 minutes. Roast bell pepper for 10 to 15 minutes.

Prep greens.

1. Chop head of broccoli into small, bite-size florets. Steam broccoli florets in a steamer or in the pot with a lid and a small amount of water for about 3 to 5 minutes until desired tenderness. Season with salt.

2. De-stem the kale and cut into ribbons.

Cook grains.

Combine 1 cup quinoa and 2 to 2½ cups water in a pot with lid. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Continue cooking, covered, for about 15 minutes until tender. Turn off heat and let stand for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and season.

Make a stew or broth.

Using some of those vegetables you just cooked, make the Moroccan-Spiced Chickpeas (recipe #1) and/or the broth in the Noodle Bowls (recipe #2). See recipes below.

1. Moroccan Chickpeas + Kale

Photo: Leah Vanderveldt

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

  • ghee or oil of your choice
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1½ cups crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas
  • Cilantro, to serve
  • Harissa or red pepper flakes, to serve (optional)

Prepared vegetables

  • 2 handfuls shredded kale
  • ½ cup roasted sweet potato

Preparation

1. Heat ghee or oil in a large skillet with high sides or a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic, cumin, and coriander, and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.

2. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and chickpeas, and stir well to combine. Cook until bubbling, and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook at a simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Stir in shredded kale, and cook for another minute. Remove from heat, and stir in a small dollop of harissa paste or a pinch of red pepper flakes (you can always add more later for more spice).

4. Top with warmed roasted sweet potato cubes and serve.

2. Soba + Mushroom Broth Bowls

Photo: Leah Vanderveldt

Makes 2 bowls

Broth Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon neutral oil of your choice
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated on a microplane or finely chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 2 tablespoons miso paste

Ingredients

  • 4 to 6 oz. buckwheat soba noodles
  • Oil of your choice or ghee
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled into ribbons
  • ½ cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced, to serve
  • Salt, to taste

Prepared vegetables

  • Steamed broccoli
  • Roasted bell pepper

Preparation

1. To make the broth, heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger, and let it sizzle for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add vegetable broth and tamari, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in miso paste. Set aside.

At this point, you can store the broth in your fridge or freezer for another day and reheat it when you’re ready to eat.

2. In another pot, boil salted water and add soba noodles. Cook according to the package directions, drain, and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

3. In a medium pan, heat butter or oil of your choice over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Season with salt.

4. Assemble your bowls by arranging the soba noodles, mushrooms, carrots, edamame, steamed broccoli, and roasted bell pepper. Pour hot broth over the bowl, and top with chopped scallions.

3. Tahini-Miso Quinoa Bowl

Photo: Leah Vanderveldt

Makes 2 bowls

Dressing ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 teaspoon miso
  • 1 teaspoon Meyer lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoon warm water

Ingredients

  • 3 cups shredded kale
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 avocado, divided in half and sliced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced, to serve
  • Cilantro, to serve

Prepared ingredients

  • Roasted sweet potato
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa

Preparation

1. To make dressing: Place all dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid. Secure lid and shake well to combine. Add more water for thinner consistency.

2. In a medium bowl, combine kale and about 1 tablespoon of dressing, and mix with your hands, rubbing the dressing into the kale as you go.

3. Assemble the bowls by arranging dressed kale, quinoa, carrots, roasted sweet potato, and avocado slices.

4. Drizzle on more dressing, and top with scallions and cilantro, if desired.

4. Vegetable Red Curry

Photo: Leah Vanderveldt

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of red curry paste
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ cup shelled frozen edamame, thawed
  • Cilantro, to serve

Prepared ingredients

  • 1 cup (or more) steamed broccoli
  • 1 cup roasted sweet potato
  • ¼ cup roasted bell pepper
  • Cooked quinoa, to serve

Preparation

1. Heat red curry paste in a large pot over medium heat for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add coconut milk and stir well until the coconut milk is a consistent shade of orange.

2. Add prepared vegetables and edamame and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until everything is hot.

3. Serve over a scoop of quinoa and top with cilantro leaves.


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