I love to cook but when the whole family is around and the weather is nice I try to minimize my time in the kitchen. Here's how I handled things during our weekend in the Adirondacks. As with so many things, planning is the key. Although we didn't leave until Friday evening, food preparations began on Thursday.
I made a huge pot of black beans on Thursday evening. Some of these beans were used in the tomato sauce I served Thursday night. The rest were put aside for use over the weekend. I made four loaves of pumpkin bread Thursday as well. One loaf was used as dessert and Friday's breakfast. The remaining 3 were put away for the trip.
Friday morning, I made a big batch of Peanut Noodles for the ride up. We were planning to leave as soon as my hubby got home from work to avoid traffic. That meant dinner would be eaten on the road. To make things fun, everyone had dessert when we first got into the car. Actually, the real reason dessert came first was a practical one, the Tofutti Cuties my mom bought would have melted if we did it any other way. Water bottles for all and coffee for the grownups rounded out the meal. Once we reached our destination, we had salsa and baked tortilla chips.
Saturday morning we had a big breakfast of banana pancakes, banana blueberry smoothie and pumpkin bread. Lunch was leftover peanut noodles and pineapple chunks (saving the juice of course!) Snack was ice pops made from grape and watermelon juice. About half of the remaining black beans were used to make the chili we had for dinner. We also made a a quickie pumpkin pie which could have been firmer but still tasted good.
Sunday's breakfast included a potato scramble, pumpkin pancakes and banana mixed berry smoothie. The leftover chili was made into little patties and fried on both sides. Served with ketchup it made a nice veggie breakfast "sausage". Lunch was a choice of any of the reamining leftovers or peanut butter and jelly. For dinner the remaining breakfast patties were warmed, topped with a vegan cheese sauce (Easy Breezy Cheese Sauce from How it All Vegan) and served with homemade baked french fries and onion rings. To make the onion rings the onions were sliced and dipped into a mix of tamari, nutritional yeast and maple syrup (this is actually what is left over from the potato scramble) and then dregged in bread crumbs (I collect the bread crumbs each time I cut a loaf of bread.) I baked them in the oven along with the french fries. We had popcorn as a snack later that night.
Monday's meals revolved around cleaning out the fridge and carrying less home. Breakfast was fresh baked donuts, leftover pancakes and leftover pumpkin bread. The dough for the donuts was already made and had been frozen. I just rolled, cut and baked them. Dusted with a little cinnamon and powdered sugar these are a wonderful alternative to store bought donuts. While the donuts were baking I popped the leftovers into the oven to warm. I whirled the leftover juice from the canned pineapple chunks with ice for a refreshing slushy to go with breakfast. Lunch was peanut butter and jelly in the car on the ride home.
Dinner the evening we return is always the biggest challenge for me. I'm tired from the ride and its really tempting to get Chinese food or some other take out. This time I had it all planned out. The last of the black beans were used in tomato sauce and served over whole wheat pasta. We also had Pumkin soup on the side (this was frozen and waiting at home!)
I'm pleased with the results and our non-vegan houseguest didn't seem malnourished or scarred by the experience.