Shanah Tova!

Apples and honey

It is decided…

Rosh Hashana is two days a way and I’m using it as a opportunity to cook for some of my favorite people!  I love, love, LOVE hosting dinner.  Watching other people enjoy their food makes me enjoy mine even more.

Here is the menu:

  • Sweet and Sour Beef Brisket (sounds interesting and it got rave reviews!)
  • Tomato stuffed peppers
  • Marinated mushrooms
  • Scalloped potatoes (I haven’t made these since culinary school, can’t wait!)
  • Monkey bread (The easiest, sweetest, most delicious dessert in the land.)

It is decide again…

I will double these recipes so I can cook enough for a dinner party and to make extra meals for the following week!  If I’m going to spend the time to make such yummy food, why not ensure I can enjoy it twice as long?

I will post photos of our wonderful holiday dinner…I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

Here’s to easy cooking!

Week of September 1st, 2013


Alright gang…here we go!

I am a huge fan of bulk-cooking.  Much like shopping in bulk, cooking in bulk can save you time at the store, time in the kitchen and will give you more money in your wallet.

I believe that if I’m going to take the time to cook a delicious, fresh meal, why not cook twice as much and get a couple of days off from being in the kitchen.

Having fresh, healthy food on hand is so important to me that I have found a way to put the minimum amount of effort in to produce the maximum amount of food.

This week, our herbivore recipes collectively produce 30 servings of food!  For a family of 2, that is 15 separate meals for each person!  For a family of 4, that is over 7 days of dinners.

Our omnivore recipes collectively produce 32 servings, 16 for a family of 2 and 8 dinners for a family of 4.

So…on the recipes!

For those who eat vegetarian, the herbivore recipes for this week are:

Crispy Tofu and Couscous Salad

Vegetable Casserole

Vegetarian Stir-Fry

For those who enjoy meat, here are the omnivore recipes for this week:

Beef Stir-Fry

Stuffed Chicken and Couscous Salad

Turkey breast, mashed potatoes and green beans

Not only am I going to give you the delicious recipes for the week, but here is the grocery list you need to make all three recipes (either herbivore or omnivore).  Feel free to remove any items you already have or substitute if there are certain ingredients you don’t like:

Vegetarian Grocery List


  • Broccoli – 4 heads or 4 pounds frozen florets
  • Carrots – 4
  • Garlic cloves – 6
  • Green pepper – 2
  • Lemons – 4
  • Mushrooms – 32 oz
  • Onion – 3
  • Potatoes – 4
  • Red Onion – 1
  • Red Pepper – 2
  • Tomato, beefsteak – 2
  • Tomato, Roma – 2
  • Zucchini – 2 large or 4 medium/small


  • Parsley – 1/4 cup
  • Pepper – to taste
  • Salt – to taste


  • Feta cheese – 4 ounces
  • Parmesan – 1/2 cup

Pantry Items

  • Bread crumbs, Italian – 2 tbsp
  • Brown sugar – 2 tbsp
  • Chickpeas – 2 cans
  • Corn starch – 3 tbsp
  • Couscous – 16 oz (I use Bob Red Mills Israeli couscous)
  • Firm tofu – 2 packages
  • Olive oil
  • Orzo – 1 box
  • Rice – 1 box
  • Soy sauce – 1 cup
  • Vegetable stock – 2 cups


Meat Grocery List


  • Beef roast – 3 lbs (or 6 if you want leftovers to use for a future recipe)
  • Chicken breasts – 2 1/2 to 3 lbs
  • Turkey breast – 6 lbs


  • Broccoli – 4 heads or 4 lbs frozen florets
  • Carrot – 2
  • Celery stalk – 2
  • Garlic cloves – 9
  • Green beans – 4 lbs
  • Green peppers – 2
  • Lemon – 6
  • Mushrooms – 16 oz
  • Onions – 5
  • Potatoes – 4 lbs
  • Red peppers – 2
  • Spinach – 2 bunches
  • Tomato, Roma – 2


  • Butter – 4 tbsp
  • Feta cheese – 8 oz
  • Milk – 1 1/2 cups
  • Parmesan – 3 tbsp


  • Black pepper
  • Dry Mustard – 2 tbsp
  • Garlic salt – 2 tbsp
  • Parsley – 1/4 cup
  • Red pepper flakes – 2 tsp
  • Rosemary – 1 tbsp
  • Salt
  • Thyme – 1 tbsp

Pantry Items

  • Beef stock – 2 cups
  • Brown sugar – 2 tbsp
  • Chickpeas – 2 cans
  • Corn starch – 3 tbsp
  • Couscous – 16 oz
  • Flour – 2 tbsp
  • Olive oil
  • Rice – 1 box
  • Soy sauce – 1 cup
  • White wine – 1 cup

Following this method of cooking will help to eliminate the need to be in the kitchen every night of the week.  I usually cook all three recipes on Saturday which gives me the rest of the week to myself.

All of these recipes can be frozen and reheated which gives flexibility on eating.

As you can see from the recipes, I portion my food out into individual containers once it is cooked.  For those with larger families, feel free to use big containers to divide out the food.  I find that this method helps to keep our portion sizes in check and keeps our food lasting longer.


I hope you find these recipes delicious and this method beneficial.  I’m out to prove that a left-brain method to a right-brain task can bring health and time to you and your family!

Here’s wishing you easy cooking!

-The Left Brain Chef

What I want to share


Left brain: Logical, analytical, objective

Chef: A cook

Left brain chef:  A logical, analytical and objective cook.

That’s me.  I have found an organized approach to cooking.  I have realized that cooking well and eating often comes down to one thing…planning.  I spend countless hours every week finding recipes, making lists and doing research to make sure I have fresh, homemade meals on hand all week long.

I want to share this approach with you to prove that having a busy life does not mean sacrificing taste, health and a home-cooked meal.  With all this planning, I am able to cook less and eat more.

Now I want my planning to benefit you.  You can follow along every week to see what I’m cooking.  I will share my recipes, tips and grocery lists.  You can cook right along with me and make any alterations that you like.  But, if you follow my guidance, you will be able to eliminate processed, pre-made foods from your diet and get back to the joy of cooking.