Hashtag. Meal Prep Sunday
I’m not really sure where this post fits, it seemed like a big topic to fit into a regular daily post, but it’s not about anything in particular that I can just categorize it easily. It’s not so much a recipe, as about a habit, and habits that I think people can learn/benefit from. More than anything it gives me a venue to talk about some recent changes to my routine and dietary habits that I think some people might find interesting.
The last four Sundays, I’ve had the same routine more or less that sets me up for easy meals for the week, this includes 10 lunches (2/day x 5 weekdays + a bit extra for the weekends), and 7 dinners, at least the protein portions. Here’s how it goes. I have it down to a science.
Saturday after training, I go to Whole Foods, it doesn’t need to be, but its the easiest for me; I pickup a basket and I head to the produce section. I grab the following.
- 4 or 5 Green Summer Squash
- 3 or 4 Yellow Summer Squash
- 2 or 3 Yellow Onions
- 5 or 6 Carrots/Parsnips
- 1 – 3 Red Bell Peppers
Then I make a straight line for the meat counter, and get 7 lbs. of grass-fed 85/15, from local Missouri farms, I guess one of the good parts about being in the middle of the country, the Seafood might be shit but the beef is awesome, and local. Then depending on my condiment situation I get either or both gluten-free stoneground mustard, and urban belly chipotle hot sauce. From there it’s right to the bulk foods aisle for short grain sushi rice, the whiter the better. All that’s left is 2 cartons of eggs. Then I’m out, the whole trip is 15 minutes tops. Depending on my produce choices, it’s usually about $90, not bad for a 210 lb. male for a week. When I get it all home it looks something like this…
That’s really the easy part – from there it’s just a matter of prep. I cut up the veggies and put them in a double brown paper bag, toss with sea salt, black pepper, some chipotle hot sauce, and a little olive oil. Looks a bit like this…
Then comes the chicken, I buy 10 lb. bags of frozen chicken breast at Costco, from a volume/price per pound sense it makes sense. Chicken fat isn’t worth buying whole chickens, or even getting skin. It’s really just about getting in protein, the cheaper the better, in a whole food sense. I thaw the chicken in a warm water/salt “brine”. When it’s thawed, I drain the water, and coat with sea salt, black pepper, more hot sauce, and coconut oil heated up in the microwave for 30 seconds. Then I leave it sit.
Then it’s just a matter of grilling it all. I put my 3 burner grill on high, cover the grill with tin foil, and dump the whole paper bag right out onto the hot grill, the veggies usually take about 20-25 minutes start to finish, with occasional “stirring”.
When the veggies are done, they go into a rubbermaid and the foil comes off, the burners go to medium, and the chicken goes on. About 5-6 minutes on side #1, and another 2-3 on side #2 is usually more than sufficient for the fatless breast meat.
That’s it – about 40 minutes of grilling and I’ve got food for a week. Now comes the real “OCD” part. I get my 10 identical rubbermaid containers, and 7 identical ziplock containers and start to portion things out. A good 1.5/2 cups of veggies, and 2 breasts per lunch; and 16 oz. portions of beef for dinner’s. Start to finish it’s about a 3 hour affair, including dishes…I hate dishes. Of course it usually ends with a big bowl of chicken and veggies.
I don’t mean to preach here, but if habits make the man – this one has got to be the odds on favorite. It keeps me eating well all week, with little thought or time. Just grab and go. All I really “cook” now from day to day is rice according to the training.
Get your meal prep on folks! If you’re lucky – you’ll have help as good as mine!