In part one and two of this series we discussed ways to shop in bulk so as to save time and money. In part three we’ll learn how to get most of our food preparation for the entire week done in one day. This way we only need to grab our food for the day and take it with us. Where ever we need to go we will be sure to have healthy meals and snacks right at our finger tips.
Most people think that cooking takes too long and it may if you find yourself cooking every night. I am going to teach you how to cook as little as once or twice a week for less then and hour (including clean up) this way you will save time and still be guaranteed to eat well every day. I usually like to have my bulk cooking sessions on Sundays. This way I know I am ready for a week of good, clean, hassle free eating.
The following plan should take no more then about 45 minutes. This includes not only the prep and clean up time but also enjoying a fresh hot meal before you turn in for a good nights sleep. First turn on the stove, barbecue or grill (I love the old George Foreman). Fill a pasta pot with water, cover it and turn the flame on high. Get another pot and put three cups of dry, brown rice in it. Add 9 cups of water to this pot and place it on the stove as well (remember to turn on the burner). Finally set up one more pot filled with water and add a teaspoon of salt and one dozen eggs. Remove your meat from the fridge, unwrap it and place it in a large bowl with whatever seasonings or marinades you are using today.
By the time you have done all that (should really only take a few minutes) your pasta water and eggs should be boiling. Add the pasta to the water along with 2 Tbsp of Olive oil and stir it so that it does not stick. Reduce the heat to about 1/3 of where it was at full boil. Place the meat on the barbeque, grill, or in the oven. Wash all of your utensils used in preparation. Stir the pasta, stir the rice and check on the meat and give it a flip if it needs it. Remove the eggs from the stove after they have boiled for few minutes. Run that pot under cold water and let stand.
Remove the meat from its cooking source and let stand for a few minutes. The meat should be done unless it is on a slow barbeque. Now maybe twenty minutes have gone by since you started this whole process. Get out some storage containers for the rice, pasta, and meat. Remove the pasta from the stove and drain into a colander. Place it into containers. Get the meat from where it has been standing and place ½ the meat in one container and i/2 in another. Store the meat and pasta in the fridge (remember to set some aside for tonight’s dinner). Stir the rice.
Now, clean up everything that is left. Wash the pasta pot and colander, wash all the utensils and remember to wipe down the counters. Stir the rice one last time, remove it from the heat and place it in a storage container in the fridge.
Now each night (or even in the morning if your really efficient) you pack the days food. Place some rice and or pasta and meat along with some veggies and any seasonings you enjoy in to a small carry container*. Be sure to take along some easy snacks like apples and oranges, hard boiled eggs, string cheese and raw nuts and seeds. All you will need now is some water or green tea and you are set for a day of healthy eating. And relax; you won’t need to cook again for at least 3-5 days depending on how much food you made in advance.
So there you have it, quick and easy ways to save time while shopping and cooking. Give this style of shopping and cooking a try and in a few weeks you will have your own system all dialed in. Remember to check back at our blog and on the web-site for tons of delicious and nutritious recipes that will keep your taste buds happy and your body running at peak performance.
* For an efficient food carry and storage idea, check out the STAX system.
PAU for NOW