Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Week Ahead: The Cook-Up


I hope everyone has had a great weekend! We had a fantastic one with lots of sunshine and warm spring weather. Husband's parents were here and we had a blast running around town. Ate at one of our favorite restaurants (The Pantry), got some frozen yogurt, saw the Hunger Games, and even got pampered with a pedicure! 

Arkansas State Capitol on a beautiful spring day.

Button-up: H&M, jeans (Gap), shoes (Steve Madden via TJ Maxx), bracelet (J.Crew), sunglasses (Fossil), leopard belt (J.Crew)

 Here is my meal plan for the week:

Breakfasts: I am going to take a break from my usual green smoothies and eggs and try having either leftovers or The Clothes Make the Girl's "Hot Plates" that she talks about in her cookbook, Well Fed.

Lunches: Tuna salad salad, Pear, walnut, and chicken salad

--Monday: Meatza and oven-roasted broccoli
--Tuesday: Balsamic mustard chicken and oven-roasted veggies
--Wednesday: Slow-cooker pork with balsamic cherry sauce (will post recipe later this week)
--Thursday: FFYS (Fend For Yourself night, aka leftovers)
--Friday: out!

My intense 60 minutes of prep and cooking, which Well Fed refers to as the Cook-Up will vary according to my weekly meal plan. Here was this week's:

--Protein: hard-boil 1 dozen eggs
cook about 2 lbs. chicken breasts/thighs
brown 2 lbs. grass fed ground beef
--Veggies: dice 2 onions
dice 5 cups spinach and 5 cups kale (I use this is my green smoothies and often sneak 1 cup in
here and there into our meals...sneaky, sneaky)
slice carrots, celery, and red bell pepper strips for snacking
steam 1/2 head cabbage
--Sauces: make homemade mayo
homemade Green Goddess dressing for veggie dip (Green Goddess spice from Penzey's)
--Lunches: assemble lettuce and make tuna salad for Monday and Tuesday's lunches
--Dinner: throw ingredients for Sunday's dinner into the slow cooker

I try to get all of this done in 60 minutes, but it usually ends up taking me 90 minutes. We have a great system in our house where I cook and Husband cleans, which I obviously love. Doing this cook-up reduces our overall dirtying of dishes since I do a lot with the kitchen utensils and appliances (like the huge but awesome food processor). I like to cook on the weekdays because it is my time to clear my head after work; but for those who don't enjoy it or are really busy in the evenings, this cookup can be expanded to have meals nearly prepared for every night of the week. Now there are no excuses for going out to fast food!

Tips for a Weekly Cook-up
  1. Plan ahead. Have a meal plan, go to the grocery store, and know what you'll need for the week. If you know you'll need a diced onion every day, then dice them all at once in the food processor and then everything is ready for the rest of the week. Along these lines, identify which proteins and veggies your family likes and make those.
  2. Make a list. I write out everything I want to accomplish in my time so I don't forget anything.
  3. Set a timer, play some good music, anything to make it fun.
  4. Have a trashcan, utensils, storage containers or baggies, knives, spices, etc. all close by and ready to go.
My favorite part is reaping the benefit of having all of this prepared food ready to go all week long!!


    1 comment:

    1. I love your shirt! I was hoping to see the hunger games this weekend but I'm having to wait till the end of the week. My mom use to do meal plans of the week and I wish I could do that but our life is so much on the go we never know what nights we will be home.