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good food in a bad economy
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March 2010
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Once a week cooking?

I'm looking for some meal ideas that can be made ahead and last all week. Preferably not freeze ahead, but just soups or casseroles or whatever that will safely keep for several days. Also preferably vegetarian, but any suggestions are greatly appreciated!


Vegetarian options hmm...depends on what you mean by cook ahead. When I'm eating vegetarian (ok, so I'm weird, and alternate diet based on seasons and whats on sale), I cook or do most of the prep on the following for lunches/dinners:

- Hummus for hummus wraps with lots of veggies
- I do all the prep work for falafel's, then cook when I want them. I prefer them over a nice salad. The falafel mix will last about 4 days in the fridge.
- Eggplant Parm - did I mention I'm addicted to cheese?
- Veggie lasagna. If I'm trying to cut carbs out, I use large slices of zucchini instead of the noodles. I cook enough for about 3 meals, and it lasts decent well.
- Rattatoille - I like mine served over pasta the second day after I cook it. Will keep in the fridge for about 3 meals.
- Barley soup or salad. I cook the barley in advance, then toss in a pot whatever sounds good that night that I have in the fridge. Just let it cook for about 30min to 1hour while I do whatever I need to around the house.
-Rice stuffed peppers. To be honest here, this is mostly rice mixed with the left over ratatoulle and baked in a green pepper.
- Lima bean soup - I love the stuff, just cook lima beans in a veggie broth, and add some carrots and onions. I usually eat it with my hummus wraps.
- Potato soup - dice potatoes, saute some onions, and put them in a pot with the diced potatos, some vegetable broth, and some milk. Its Mom's recipe, but she adds bacon...
- I do a veggie version of shepard's pie (because I love shepard's pie). Basically its some of that frozen fake hamburger, fried crisp, cooked onions and mushrooms, then I make a light gravy, add some peas, carrots, and any other vegetable that I have in my fridge. I top with either mashed potatoes, or a mix mashed veggies - I've used sweet potatoes, mixed turnips, parsnips, or cauliflour in with the potatoes as well, and they were all very good.

When I'm eating meat, I normally cook a whole chicken, and make the parts leftover into meals (I do this with turkey and roasts as well)...not sure if you want those, but can give them to you if you want!

LOL I realize as I write this, it sounds more like creative ways with leftovers, but even though I love to cook, I hate to cook for one, so I always have leftovers to use - and I hate more than anything cleaning up, so if I'm going to make something that takes a lot of pots, I make it good! Hope you get at least some inspiration.