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Sundays are for Food Prep

Sundays are the days I set aside to prepare for the coming week. With a husband who works a LOT and four kids engaged in various activities, this food prep has become an essential activity for me. I'm not a super organized person, but the more kids I have, the more I find myself slipping into habits that resemble an organized person's life. Organization is a survival mode necessitated by having a big family!

Today, I started by prepping lunches for the next few days while my baby had her morning nap. I made 9 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (3 of them gluten-free), and 2 peanut butter and chocolate chip sandwiches. That takes care of lunches for the next two days. I also prepped hubby's lunch box with chips, dessert, snacks, and water, and my son's school lunch with fruit, pretzels, chocolate soymilk, and gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. Next, I made dessert for the coming week. When you have a big family, you get used to automatically doubling every recipe you make (and sometimes even tripling or quadrupling it!). I've been making large sheets of chocolate-chip walnut cookie bars the past few weeks, which the kids LOVE. I use the recipe from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's "The Joy of Vegan Baking," only I use Namaste's Gluten-Free Flour Blend to make them GF. This time, though, I wanted to make something different.

Today I used Chloe Coscarelli's excellent recipe for Beach Bars (from her "Chloe's Desserts" cookbook). This recipe is another family favorite! The mix of chocolate, coconut, and walnuts is just scrumptious. Here is what a double batch of vegan/ GF beach bars looks like:
Once they are done setting in the fridge, I will freeze half of them in individual portions and use them throughout the week. The other batch won't last long, I guarantee it!

During my daughter's afternoon nap, I prepped a huge batch of macaroni salad to serve as dinner tonight, and snacks/ side dishes for the next couple of days. It came out SO yummy! I used the recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's "Veganomicon," but omitted radishes (didn't have any) and added chopped bell pepper, celery, and a can of drained and rinsed garbanzo beans. I am really looking forward to dinner tonight!
Once my husband gets home from work, I plan to make one more thing for breakfast for the next few days: oatmeal chia seed pudding! Its a super easy recipe that only requires a few ingredients (bananas, oatmeal, chia seeds, soymilk, and cinnamon). The recipe I use is from the excellent "Oh She Glows!" cookbook. And just like that, we've got FOOD for the next few days! As my daughter grows and needs me less, I'll be expanding these cooking days to include more baked items (snack bars, rolls, muffins, etc.), but for now we've got the basics covered.

 And all this talk of food has me rrreeeaaaallllyyyyy hungry! ;)

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