Cook once, eat thrice. I tell clients to pick two days–usually Sunday and again Wednesday evening–to do all your cooking for the week. On Sunday, prepare a large main meal, like a roast chicken, a pot roast, or a big batch of lentils and kale; then prepare several side dishes such as a batch of greens, a batch of quinoa cooked in chicken or mineral broth, or a batch of roasted or stir-fried veggies. Then, adapt these basics into your meals for the next three days. Do this again on Wednesday. That way you are cooking only two nights a week and simply assembling and warming on the off-days. I set aside several hours on Sunday to make more elaborate dishes, and I’ll make something more simple on Wednesday. I often eat out with friends on Friday night or Saturday, so I have enough for a couple days from Wednesday. Here is what I made tonight, Sunday, and what I’ll make for the next couple days. I shopped yesterday and prepped and cooked today. It took about two hours.
Here is my shopping list from yesterday:
-1 whole pastured air chilled roast chicken, about 4 pounds (was on sale for $1.99/pound at Whole foods, a steal)
-1 bunch lacinato kale
-1 celery root, 1 sweet potato, 1 yellow onion, 2 red potatoes, 1 bunch baby carrots, (i had garlic at home)
-ginger root for tea that I drink after meals as a digestif
-organic chicken broth
-mixed salad greens
-2 green apples to eat with nut butter for snack or light breakfast
-It cost about $40.
I started cooking at 4pm. I made Martha Stewart’s perfect roast chicken with the root vegetables I bought (minus the brussels sprouts, which I’ll roast up this week sometime). It always turns out perfect. I chopped fresh rosemary & oregano from my neighbor’s herb garden (with permission, of course). While that was roasting, I made cauliflower mash with white truffle oil (see below for recipe). I had cauliflower from earlier in the week. It was all finished by 6:30, and it was delicious. I have plenty leftover, so here is how I will adapt it into the week’s meals.
Tomorrow for lunch, I’ll warm the chicken and root veggies and cauliflower mash and just have a repeat from tonight. For dinner, I’ll roast the brussels sprouts with garlic and warm the chicken again to eat with the brussels sprouts. I have some pesto with which I’ll probably top the chicken. I’ll have some cultured veggies on the side for probiotics and to enhance digestion. On Tuesday, I’ll chop the leftover chicken and toss with honey mustard, chopped celery, and chopped shallots and make chicken salad that I’ll top with avocado and eat over salad greens. For dinner, I’ll have the chicken salad again with the leftover brussels sprouts and the rest of the cauliflower mash.
By Wednesday, the chicken will be gone, so I’ll grab something out of the freezer to defrost for lunch and eat it with whatever sides I have leftover, or I’ll make that kale. Or I’ll grab a salad if I’m out on the go. Then on Wednesday, I’ll do a quick shop and get some fish probably and maybe a pork chop. I’ll make 10-minute quick roasted fish for dinner with that leftover kale, then I’ll make the pork chop and eat that with the rest of the salad greens the next night. By Friday, I’m ready to go out socializing, so I’ll hit a restaurant with friends or go to a dinner party.
And that, my friends, is a simple and fast way to eat healthy all week.
Here is that cauliflower mash recipe I promised you (adapted from www.kareniscooking.com):
1 medium head of cauliflower, organic
3 – 4 large cloves of garlic, peeled (more if you want to ward off vampires)
1 cup filtered water, or stock
1/4 tsp. sea salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast, optional
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil, or organic butter
1/8 cup white truffle oil
(or just use 1/4 cup olive oil)
Wash and trim the head of cauliflower and cut into rough pieces. Heat a pan and pour in the cup of water or stock, toss in the cut cauliflower and cloves of garlic. Bring to a simmer and cover the pan. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes until the cauliflower is soft. Add in salt & pepper. Transfer mixture; including the liquid, into a blender. (You may want to do this in two batches.) Add in the nutritional yeast, olive oil, truffle oil, and a little more salt. Puree until it resembles the consistency of mashed potatoes. You may need to add in a little more water/stock to facilitate the blending, but be careful NOT to add in too much liquid. (You could also be super daring and try adding in some coconut or almond milk for extra richness and flavor.)
Adjust seasoning as needed. Top with scallions or fresh cracked pepper. Serves 4.
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