I did a ton of food prep today and I’m really excited about it. I was feeling a little overwhelmed and exhausted in general so I decided to cancel plans and clear the calendar so I could stay in my pajamas all day. I’ve caught up on class work, organized the house, got myself ready for the week ahead, spent good time with G + A, and have a ton of food ready to go in the fridge and freezer. Win, win, win, win, and win.
I’m sure I’ll go into this later, but I joined a Kettlebell gym and am doing a 12 week summer challenge (because we all know I can’t resist anything with the world challenge it in). Part of the challenge is following the Whole30 guidelines for the duration. Which I guess makes it a Whole84? Let’s just pretend it’s a Whole30 for now. Here’s what I prepped for the first week of the challenge.
I started with a double batch of Southwest Frittata. This should last Greg and I all week with an extra serving or two. I put a few days worth in the fridge and the rest in the freezer. The freeze really well and taste best if you defrost in the fridge rather than microwave frozen.
Since I needed two cups of grated sweet potato, I went ahead and grated all the sweet potatoes I had on hand. These freeze great and defrost in a bowl of water super quick. Why get your food processor dirty multiple times when you can just do it once?
Next up was lunches for the week. For the first part of the week I’ll be having lamb meatballs with kebab sauce and a tomato cucumber salad with Tessemaes dressing.
The second part of the week I’ll be having ground pork seasoned with Rogan Josh over spaghetti squash with Moroccan Dipping sauce. One of my favorite meals ever. I made the seasoning myself this time and the pork is cooked and waiting in the freezer. I didn’t find a spaghetti squad at Whole Foods this weekend and still need to track one down. The dipping sauce is in the fridge ready to go.
I have barbacoa in the crockpot right now. I found the mix called for in the recipe at Whole Foods, but it had brown sugar so it’s a no-go on the Whole30. Instead, I found a jar of compliant Red Sauce. I’m hoping it tastes okay – the ingredients were pretty similar to the barbacoa mix.
We’ll be having the barbacoa with coleslaw. I love this recipe from Well Fed 2. I used the food processor for all of the veggies and I think it’s going to be even better this time.
For the next little while, until I can pass out of the basic kettlebell class, I have to work out in the evenings. I know, it’s really not my thing and will be awful. But it is what it is. I made prosciutto egg cups to have as a pre workout meal since I’ll be going after work and it will be hours post-lunch.
Since I’m heading into 84 days of super clean eating, at precisely noon today I asked Greg to open a bottle of white wine. It was delicious.
5 Kitchen Gadgets I Love
1. Crockpot: The crockpot is on our counter pretty much nonstop. I make broth in it once a week and probably use it weekly for cooking a meal as well. It is definitely a huge help when it comes to eating a home cooked meal when you’ve been at work all day. We got this one as a wedding gift to replace my old one that had become a fire hazard; so far I have no complaints.
2. Food Processor: This is one of those items I didn’t know I needed until I had one. It has made my kitchen life so much easier. I make mayo in it weekly and I use it to shred veggies all the time. It took me about five minutes to peel, shred, and package the 9 cups of sweet potatoes this morning. It’s also great for making sauces like pesto. I like the 14 cup size but I’m sure the others are great as well.
3. Meat Grinder: Since I’ve gone down the path of being a ‘nutravore’ I’m constantly trying to sneak organ meat into our meals. I’ll be honest and say that our Kitchen Aid mixer gets very little use. I don’t enjoy baking, we don’t eat grains at home, and it just rarely ever was used. Then I realized I could get a meat grinder for under $50 that runs off the mixer and it is in rotation much more often. I throw in slightly thawed organ meat to mix into ground beef recipes that have a good amount of seasoning.
4. Emersion Blender: I use this all the time. I make coconut milk lattes on the weekend and they just taste better if they’ve been blended a bit. It’s great for vegetable soups, so much easier (and safer for those of us that are accident prone) than pouring into a blender. Also good for pureeing any vegetables (hint: the more butter the more delicious). Less than $40 and probably the gadget that most makes things easier in the kitchen.
5. Zoodle Maker: A few years ago my sister bought me a little gadget that makes zucchini noodles. I can’t find it online to link to it, but it is awesome. There is much less zucchini wasted when I use this little contraption then when I used to use a julienne peeler.
Occasionally I use my mandolin and a small food processor. Even less frequently I use a popcorn machine, blender and the ice cream maker attachment to the stand mixer. They are all great and worth taking up space in my kitchen, they just don’t get used as often.
Next week I’ll share five kitchen gadgets on my wish list.