We’re doing it!

a week of meal prep from the pretty dish cookbook I howsweeteats.com

Today, I’m showing you how to take five recipes from The Pretty Dish and turn them into meals and snacks for the week!

I rarely make full blown meals for prep, but sometimes it’s just necessary depending on our schedule. Eddie actually does prep all of his lunches for work on Sundays and we always make a bunch of smoothie packs to have on hand. I tend to do a few small things (always overnight oats and/or chia pudding, maybe a soup) but nothing that makes the entire week work smoothly.

But this! This is, like, full blown prep for actual meals, snacks – even syrup for coffee! We have a chili, granola bars, pesto (that can be used for so many things), syrup for coffee, chickpeas and bases for salads and sides. I was so inspired because many of you (especially in The Pretty Dish book club!) have been making enough food to prep for the week from the book.

So if you like this idea, I may turn it into a semi-regular series!

a week of meal prep from the pretty dish cookbook I howsweeteats.com

The recipes we’re using today are: Lavender Vanilla Syrup, Maple Raspberry Overnight Oats, Tahini Granola Bars, Roasted Corn Chicken Chili, Poblano Pesto Zoodles and Marinated Chickpeas.

I find that this is actually a super balanced and reasonable amount of food to prep. It allows a little room for eating out, take out, changing your mind, etc. And extras can always be frozen, so that’s amazing.

To really maximize your time, I suggest having everything bought the night before, starting with a clean kitchen, sink and dishwasher, and then moving nonstop for the hour and 15 minutes!

a week of meal prep from the pretty dish cookbook I howsweeteats.com

Here’s how you can make it happen in 75 minutes!

  1. Quickly char the poblano peppers for the pesto. They have to steam for a bit, so do it first! Time: 5 minutes.
  2. Make the Lavender Vanilla Syrup so it can cool completely while you prep everything else. Time: 5 minutes.
  3. Make the Roasted Corn Chicken Chili. I used a rotisserie chicken because I had it on hand and still used all the spices. I didn’t add the sour cream or cheese at the end, since I was prepping it ahead of time. I’ll add it on top and inside as we go! This only took me 15 minutes to throw together. Let it simmer for a bit while prepping everything else to really up the depth of flavor. Time: 20 minutes. 
  4. Make the Tahini Granola Bars. These come together super quickly, but have to chill in the fridge for a bit before you cut them. Time: 15 minutes.
  5. Make the Poblano Pesto. Whip everything up together in the food processor and boom, you’re done! Time: 10 minutes.
  6. Make the Maple Raspberry Overnight Oats. I have found that overnight oats only really last me three days. I don’t like to make them any further ahead. This also allows for variety in breakfast- or I’ll take five more minutes on Wednesday night and make a few more. I added frozen berries to the top and put a lid on them! Time: 5 minutes.
  7. Make the Marinated Chickpeas. A little chopping and stirring – that’s about it! Time: 10 minutes. 
  8. Spiralize you zucchini (it will last about 3 days in the fridge with a paper towel) and prep some arugula or lettuce for salads. Place them in a container lined with a paper towel and they stay great! Time: 5 minutes.

As I go, I put everything in the containers they will live in while I’m making said dish. The only thing I wait on is the chili and the granola bars. So at this point, all I have to do is package up the soup and cut and wrap up the bars! And it should be noted here that if you feel like it’s too much or realize after a day or two you won’t use it up, you can always freeze (all, or half of) the chili, pesto and granola bars easily.

a week of meal prep from the pretty dish cookbook I howsweeteats.com

And here’s how to utilize the dishes: aside from just eating them!

  • Lavender Vanilla Syrup: iced coffee, lattes and cocktails, of course!
  • Roasted Corn Chicken Chili: served with a salad or a small sandwich, served on it’s own with tons of toppings
  • Poblano Pesto: serve it with the zoodles, serve it with regular noodles, spread it on sandwiches, use it in an omelet, mix with hummus or yogurt and use it as a dip, use it on pizza
  • Marinated Chickpeas: serve on a salad, serve on a wrap, serve as a side dish or eat them right out of the jar as a snack!
  • Tahini Granola Bars: snack on the go, quick breakfast, a slightly healthier dessert, crumbled over yogurt or even ice cream
  • Zucchini Noodles: use them in the Poblano Pesto recipe, use them as the base for a salad or even add them to the chili for extra veg.
  • Arugula: make a simple salad with parmesan, use as a base for the chickpeas, add to omelets, stir into the soup.

I’d love to know if (and what!) you’ve been prepping from The Pretty Dish. I love that we have a stocked fridge now and it’s all full of stuff I love so much! P.S. if you don’t have your book yet, grab a copy here!