These are the steps that you can do ahead to make cooking and meals easier during week nights! I like to prep-ahead on Sunday mornings and put all ingredients for each recipe in baggies or storage containers in 3 larger Recipe Bowls or in different sections of the fridge, so I can just grab the ingredients for each all together.
Mushrooms: Clean with a paper towel (not with water) and then slice the entire package of mushrooms. Rough chop 1 cup of the mushrooms and place in baggie for the Risotto recipe. Place the rest of the sliced mushrooms in a storage bag or container for the Creamy Cajun Recipe. Place all in the fridge.
Scallions: Finely slice 4 scallions separating the whites from the greens. Place the whites and the greens in separate baggies for the Risotto Recipe. Slice 2 scallions separating the whites from the greens. Place in separate baggies for the Bean Cakes and Quinoa Salad Meal. Finally, slice another 2 scallions and place in baggie for the Creamy Cajun Recipe.
Mince 2 cloves of garlic, split in half and place in baggies or storage containers for 2 recipes: 1) the Risotto and 2) the Garbanzo and Black Bean Cakes (you can actually just put the garlic in the same baggie/container with the beans in the step below as they all go into the food processor together)
Prepare the Cauliflower: Cut off any excess stem hanging down and green leaves, but DO NOT remove the core, as this is needed to hold the "steaks" together during roasting. Slice the Cauliflower in 3/4 inch slices. You should end up with 2 ends and 3-4 large inside "steak" slices. With the 2 end slices, break them up into small bite-size florets and place those in a baggie for the Creamy Cajun recipe. Place the Cauliflower "steak" slices in another baggie for the Risotto and Cauli Steak Recipe.
Dice a quarter of the red pepper and place in baggie for the Bean Cake and Quinoa Salad Recipe.
Drain and Rinse the Garbanzo beans and Black beans. Split both in half and place half combined in 1 baggie for the bean cake Recipe and half combined in another baggie for the Creamy Cajun Recipe.
OPTIONAL PREP: If you really want to save time, you can make the quinoa ahead, though I like to make it on meal night, since it is such low maintenance while it cooks. You will use it cold for the Bean Cake with Quinoa Salad recipe. You will need to reheat it for serving with the Creamy Cajun Recipe. To make the quinoa for 2 recipes (not the Risotto), rinse 2 cups quinoa under warm water in a strainer. Add to 3.75 cups water and a pinch of salt in a sauce pot. Bring to a boil, stir, then reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed. After 20 minutes, turn off heat, move to a cool location or fridge and let sit covered while cooling.
Make the Cajun Seasoning, if you have not purchase a pre-mixed seasoning. In a small bowl, mix all of the Cajun seasoning ingredients. Store in a baggie or storage container in a dry place.