This last weekend was my longest, most involved mealprep to date. Almost every recipe came from Alton Brown’s new book “Every Day Cook”, except for the brown sugar apples and the garlic bread, though they used elements from his recipes.
My adventure starts on Friday with a side quest to my local spice shop. I needed to pick up a bunch of different things I dont normally have on hand to attempt Tikka Masala.
Saturday was a trip to the grocery store for all the key ingredients. Lists are very important here, and as I learned on Sunday, so is making sure you’re actually buying enough to cover everything you planned. I was short on Mozzarella and the tomatos for the sauce. Both key ingredients to stuffed shells and meatballs. Part of the reason I was short was making a fresh batch of “Weeknight Spaghetti” for dinner on Saturday with Herb Oil left over from last prep in my freezer, frozen in fun Halloween shapes.
Cooking was officially on Sunday.
While waiting for my prep buddies (I got two this week!) I whipped up a quick batch of peanut butter cookies, thanks to the recipe in Alton’s book. I used Peter Pan brand Honey Peanut butter so the cookies came out even sweeter.
Once we all got together and things were set up, we started. First things first was a fresh batch of Herb Oil to use through the day. Then we started on the Stuffed Shells. Ive been using almost the same recipe each time, with minor taste tweaks here and there. The main difference this time was using the special Weeknight Spaghetti Sauce from Alton Brown instead of anything from a jar. Meal Prep just got kicked up a level.
We took a break for lunch once we got the sells done before continuing on to Meatballs. This was when I realized I was short on Mozzarella and Tomatoes, so Brooke and Dylan ran out to the store for me. Tina and I stayed behind to work on the meatballs themselves. One was Chicken Parmesan, the other was Beef Mozzarella.
After giving the balls a good browning, we covered them in sauce and cheese and finished them off by baking in the oven. Protip, the chicken ones come out a lot less greasy than the beef, but that’s mostly common sense.
In between batches of meatballs we also cooked up a batch of garlic bread and chopped up some apples to bake in brown sugar and crumbled bits of almost burnt peanut butter cookies (first tray got left in a dash too long!). It was sweet and delicious!
We took another break after the meatballs were done before jumping into the Tikka Masala. This is hands down the most complicated dish I’ve ever attempted, and it went really well! I toasted and ground my own spice mix, marinated and cooked chicken, and made a tomato sauce (not the Weeknight sauce, just a sauce). All from scratch. Its meant to be served over rice, bit we just taste tested it with a slice of bread. After all the munching I did through the day while cooking I couldn’t imagine stuffing down another full meal ontop of it.
I feel I made less quantity of food this time, but the quality is through the roof. Im looking forward to these upgraded recipes becoming staples in my meal rotations.