Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Race Is On!

The first rule my life seems to be, when time is short, something will happen to make it even shorter. Yesterday was no exception, I got stuck at work until 4:00pm. Once home, I put my cooking plan into action. In truth, I was pooped and it wasn't much of a plan but it got the job done.

Dinner was the first order of business. I decided I needed to make enough to cover lunches the next day, so that's why the proportions seem huge.

I put some tvp in the oven to bake. I've taken Russell's tvp recipe and whittled it down to this:
6 cups tvp
6 cups water
1 Tbs oregano
1 Tbs basil
4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup tamari

This fits nicely on my largest cookie sheet. In fact, I grease the cookie sheet and then combine all the ingredients on it. Less dirty dishes are always a good thing! I bake it at 425 degrees until browned. I like to get it in the oven first to maximize browning time.

Next, I put up a pot of water to boil for the pasta. I chopped some onions and some carrots and tossed them into a pot with a little olive oil. Once they began to soften, I added some garlic. I sliced some collards into thin ribbons and tossed them in as well. I let the collards wilt and finally, I added a large can of tomato sauce plus a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. I let this simmer while the pasta finished cooking.

Dinner made it to the table with a little time to spare, although I had to eat standing up. I dashed out the door to knitting and made it there on time. Score one for me.

I did drive past Stewarts on the way home, but I couldn't bear the thought of buying bread knowing I already had lunches covered. Breakfast was the final challenge and I was too tired to do anything about it last night. Time for plan B.

This morning I set the griddle to heat while I mixed up a batch of pancake batter, with currants and sunflower seeds for better holding power and nutrition. At this point, I can make pancake batter with very little thought or effort. In about fifteen minutes I had the first round of breakfast done. I made a double batch so we'll have tomorrow morning covered as well.

I've put the last two kids on the bus and now I'm just taking a moment to catch my breath. If I make enough of tonight's dinner to cover lunches tomorrow, I'm in the clear. Whew!

I'm definitely getting some bulk cooking done this weekend!


Anonymous said...

Do you soak the TVP first and let it absorb the water, or do you just combine everything and put it in the oven? That sounds really interesting!

Ruthie said...

You are amazing! :) I totally understand the time crunch thing. But how are you so energized to make things work when you get home from a full day of working? I have trouble keeping myself from saying... ahhh lets just go out and grab something! I know there is more motivation when there are six of you, but still! :)


KleoPatra said...

Unbelievable. You get the maximum amount of things done in the shortest time. Wow. I am impressed. And inspired!

Katie said...


I don't soak the tvp first. Usually I pour the tvp onto the greased cookie sheet first. Then I sprinkle the spices over the top and drizzle the tamari over the top as well. Then I add the water to the pan. My pan has sides high enough for me to stir this around.

I've also combined the tamari with the spices and water, mixed these well and then poured them over the tvp. This method requires minimal stirring.


Thank you but honestly, I fight the "let's just get take out" monster on nights like this but you're right. Take out times 6 can be huge number. I try to bear in mind all the things that money could be used for and that really helps.

Thanks Kleopatra!