Last semester was a mess of running errands all day for the Science and Cooking class, punctuated by occasional epic dinners, either at restaurants with guest chef lecturers or potlucks at friends’ apartments. This semester I strive to be more prepared when it comes to my meals. The challenge has more to do with time management than recipe execution. Before this year, I was cooking seasonally from a Boston Organic Dogma box of locally-grown produce. I finally broke down this summer, after several out-of-state trips and the ever-shifting schedule of my teaching fellow duties. The last few weeks involved lots of canned beans, frozen veggies, and salsa from jars. Now it’s time to get back to cooking.

My game plan so far has been to prepare a large batch of grains (e.g. quinoa, millet), beans (e.g. chickpea, black), and lentils (e.g. green, red) on the weekend, then combine with fresh or frozen veggies during the week along with some olive oil or other sauce. Once I can do that consistently, I’ll work on returning to Heidi Swanson’s One-Pot recipes, since her blog is how I first learned to cook. There is no shortage of information on-line for “simple,” “easy,” “fast” recipes, but I’m looking more for an efficient weekly system of shopping, prepping, cooking, and storing. I know there are people out there with far more demanding schedules who still manage to cook real food, so I’d love to hear what systems have worked for them.