A Week of Martha

Posted by Brette in Food

In the September issue of Martha Stewart Everyday Food, there’s an interesting section called Sunday Strategy. The idea is you shop for the whole week, do some cooking prep work on Sunday and then you can make quick and easy dinners every week night through the week based on the prep. I’ve seen this concept elsewhere – there are entire books about this for people interested.

I decided to dive in and give it a try – and what better week than the first week of school when things are nuts in general and some fast meals are just the ticket. I’m a little off schedule though. You’re supposed to prep on Sunday and make the first meal on Monday. With the Labor Day weekend, everything got pushed back a day, so I prepped on Monday and cooked the first meal on Tuesday.

My grocery bill for the entire week was $38.77 – however I had many things in my pantry/freezer (and from my dad’s garden) already: chicken breasts, spaghetti, salmon, lettuce, some tomatoes, onions, garlic, oil, sugar, cumin, vinegar, Parmesan cheese, and bacon – these are the pricey items, so I think you can add another $25 for that at least, so we’re looking at about $65 for the week, or a little over $11 per night. Keep in mind that you’re making really only one dish per night with this, and for my family, that doesn’t cut it, so I’ve got to add extra veggies or bread to go along with it most nights.

cucumber salad

cucumber salad

The first dinner was Marinated Chicken with Cucumber-Mint Salad. You marinate the chicken (tenders) on your prep day in olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, garlic and salt and pepper. On your cooking day, you mix sliced cucumber with Greek yogurt, lemon juice, salt, pepper and fresh mint. You heat pitas in the toaster oven (first time I’ve seen Martha reference a toaster oven!). You cook some onion in oil then add in the chicken pieces and cook those.

This was very easy to pull together. It didn’t feel like much of a meal to us though. We ate it with the chicken and cucumber salad in the pita, so it was

on the pita

on the pita

basically just a pita for dinner. I supplemented with some honey dill carrots and watermelon.

The chicken did have a nice flavor. That is one of the big benefits of this weekly meal plan – things have time to marinate and really soak up flavors. If I’m rushing around at 5:30 on a weekday there isn’t time for something to marinate properly. The chicken was tender and the cumin added some nice flavor. I loved the cucumber/yogurt/mint salad, which gave a nice fresh taste. I used whole wheat pitas and it all tasted good together.

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