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For the Love of Food: Cooking 1 Week of Meals in 1 Hour Flat

Posted on by Alycia

Trying to eat Paleo, but find yourself reaching for a ‘quick snack’ during the day because real food isn’t available?

Read, or re-read these articles. You might need a refresher!

Baby Step #1: Change your Breakfast

Baby Step #2: Pack your Lunch

Baby Step #3: Get Rid of the Bad Stuff

Hopefully (especially if you’re a member of our gym!) you’ve adopted some of the suggestions that were provided to help you transition into 100% clean eating. For most, you probably had a few ‘take aways’ from the articles, but you surely didn’t implement all of the tactics for eating well. After all, that would include a ton of COOKING….and who has time for THAT?

YOU DO!

Don’t believe me?

Take a look at my Monday night. I cooked all of my food for the week between 6pm  and 7pm while Justin coached a single CrossFit workout. I knew that the week would be VERY hectic, and rather than set myself up for bad decision making later in the week, I decided to go on a cooking rampage and just cook everything in my fridge at once!

6pm - Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap a Trader Joe’s Cabernet Pot Roast, plop it on a baking sheet and cover with foil. Remove 5 marinated chicken legs (free range chicken from Reading Terminal Market) from the fridge (these were marinated in Newman’s Own olive oil and vinegar dressing) and put them in an oven safe dish and cover with foil.

6:05 - Put the meats in the oven and set the timer for 1 hour.

6:10- Rinse and chop fresh arugula, garden fresh tomatoes and cucumbers ( all from Haddonfield Farmer’s Market). Dress with olive oil and cracked black pepper.

6:15 – Put a pot of water on the stove with high heat. Peel and cube a sweet potato.

6:20 – Chop a 1/2 of a yellow squash into rounds and sautee in a large pan ( try to have a single layer of rounds) on medium heat in some Kerrygold pure butter.

6:25 – Put the sweet potatoes in the water. Flip the squash rounds. Rinse and chop some kale.

6:30 – Cut an acorn squash in half, scoop out the stringy part and seeds. Score the inside of each half. Set open sides up on a baking sheet. Put a pat of Kerrygold butter and a few shakes of allspice in the scooped out portion of each. Put that in the oven with the meats.

6:35 – Remove the yellow squash rounds from the heat and set aside. Put 2 small pork loins ( or one large one) in a crock pot and set it on high for 4 hours. Add a little olive oil to the bottom of the crock pot, and a small amount of water, just to make sure the meat doesn’t stick to the bottom. Don’t worry about seasoning. You’ll do that later when the meat comes out.

6:40 – Drain the water from the sweet potatoes, and add the squash rounds to this pot. Mix in some Trader Joe’s Everyday seasoning and mash together slightly until it looks like chunky mashed potatoes. Put 3 slices of bacon in a small frying pan and cook on medium, occasionally draining the bacon fat into a larger sautee pan (large enough to cook kale in).

6:45 - Slice 6 small apples (organic,  from the Haddonfield Farmer’s Market) into thin slices and put them in a pot on the stove with a small amount of water. Cook covered on medium for 15 minutes.

7:00 - Remove the meats ( leave the acorn squash in there) from the oven and check for doneness. If they are done, set them aside to reach their optimal level of tenderness. If they need more time, stick them back in the oven! Don’t let the bacon burn. Take it off the stove when it’s done and chop into small squares when it’s cool.

7:03- Drain the water from the apples, and add in a handful of raisins and about 1/4 cup of  almond meal. Continue to cook on low heat for about 3-5 more minutes. Remove the acorn squash from the oven ( don’t undercook – the whole thing should be soft, and pliable when touched).

7:06 – Toss the kale into the sautee pan with the leftover bacon fat. Coat the kale, cook for a few minutes until it wilts and gets smaller. Toss in the the bacon squares.

Later, when the pork is done, remove it from the crock pot and shred into small pieces with two forks. Store in the fridge with the liquid from the crock pot ( should be water + fat from the meat). When you’re ready to eat it during the week,  add some minimally processed BBQ sauce, or make your own to put on it. You can also mix this with chopped raw veggies and olive oil, and eat cold ( a la chicken salad).

To recap, here’s what I made:

Arugula salad with local vegetables (2 servings)

Pot Roast with spices from Trader Joes ( 4 servings)

Pulled Pork ( 6 servings)

Baked Chicken ( 3-4 servings)

Sweet potato and squash mash ( 5 servings)

Apples, raisins and nuts ( 5-6 servings)

Kale with Bacon ( 4 servings)

Baked Acorn Squash ( 4 servings)

Depending on the size of your family, or how much you eat at one time, this could easily keep you fed and happy for the rest of the week. Simply cook some more green veggies to add to the plate each time you sit down to eat. These meals were prepared in about 1 hour, will feed Justin and I for an entire week, and the total approximate cost of everything was about $50!

My plan for the week:

Breakfasts: Chop up one of the meats into tiny pieces and add to eggs for an omelette.

Lunches: Meat + one of the squash dishes, and whatever greens are left/available.

Dinners: Meat, a little of one of the squashes/sweet potatoes, and cook more greens to accompany.

Snacks: Nuts, high quality lunch meats, and some of the apple/raisin/nut dish.

And there you have it. My hectic schedule seems less hectic now that all I have to do is cook some eggs or greens, and re-heat good, clean food.

Still think you don’t have time to cook?

Try this out next week and let me know how it goes!

This entry was posted in 30 Day Challenge, Nutrition Articles, Personal Stories, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

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