This week I return to work for the first time since Monkey was born four months ago. I work longish hours that can be very unpredictable. The plan is that hubby will drop off and pick up Monkey as his schedule is much more stable. They will be home somewhere between 4:30pm and 5pm and I will be home between 5:30pm and 6pm (on a good day). Hubby used to do most of the cooking before Monkey was born because he was home first, but now he will be getting home and will need to cater to her first. When I get home it is likely going to be time for her to eat, so it will not leave much time for Mummy and Daddy to eat without waiting until later in the evening. So I decided to make a menu (lets see if I stick to it!) to help us not need to think about dinner. Also, by using a menu, I was able to prep meals ahead of time, even cooking certain parts ahead of time.
Monday was easy because it’s Labor Day and we off from work and having a BBQ with some friends. I had seen some pork spare ribs in our local store and decided to do a dry rub and grill them. While pumping I saw a Today Show bit on how to cook ribs on the grill (click here for that video) and figured I could do that! Dry rub of your choice, grill on indirect heat for two hours with damp wood chips on the heat to give a smokey flavor; take off the heat and wrap in a foil packet with a bit of pineapple juice and cook for another hour; then take out of the packet and finish on the grill for about another 45 minutes. Then cut and serve!
Tuesday is salad night. Hubby and I are trying to shed the baby weight so we are trying to eat salads a couple nights a week. I find my tummy does not like salad for eats on back to back days, so every other day keeps us eating healthy without getting bored as well! I had bought a salad dressing shaker thingy from Weight Watchers which had a lime mustard dressing on it so I decided that would be the first one I would make. I cooked up chicken tenders that were marinated in a honey lime sauce (2tbsps each of olive oil, lime juice, and honey) and then separated out the meal portion and stored it in a zip top bag in the fridge. The remaining chicken will be used for a wrap for lunch for me. I had already bought all the lettuce for salads, so I chopped it all up, washed it in my salad spinner, and stored the prepared lettuce in zip top bags lined with paper towels (prevents the lettuce from wilting and also preserves the freshness for longer).
Wednesday, pulled pork sandwiches! I have found that I can eat the whole wheat buns from our local Sprouts store… makes me so happy! I found a slow cooker recipe for pulled pork that called for store bought BBQ sauce; alas, I can’t eat most of them. I searched and searched, but could not find one that did not used both ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. The Worcestershire I can’t use because it has sneaky soy (not on the label, but when you research its in the “flavors”) and I just wanted to avoid ketchup. I found a Honey Ginger BBQ Sauce that sounded yummy, so I gave that a go. I don’t like heat, but the Tabasco is a must, otherwise it seems like it is missing something. I put the pork (trimmed), the onion, and the sauce in a zip top bag and put in my freezer. I will take it out the night before and then slow cook until I get home from work.
Thursday is another salad night and for this all that needs to happen is dice the sausage, heat it up (it is precooked), and then build the salad. Easy!
Friday night will be relatively easy, although this is the only meal that I could not prep. Hubby will have to pull the steak out, season it (I don’t preseason our steaks like I do the pork that I freeze), and grill it. The sweet potato will just go on the grill and the green beans are in our yard growing away!
Here hoping that our week goes well. I also made chicken tenders with salsa to top our salad tonight and the extra chicken will be used to make lunches for me this week.