Alicia’s Sunday Prep Cooking

For me, eating exciting paleo meals in the week has to mean a few hours on Sunday spent preparing. I get home from Crossfit at about 7:45pm, and in order to be able to get to bed at a sensible time (and not get too grumpy about lack of food!) I have to be showered and sitting down to eat a full hot meal within 30 minutes of getting through the door.

This gives me a few options: having something ready to reheat, eating something really simple, or ordering a takeaway. Given that option 2 gets boring quickly, and option 3 isn’t really ideal, I like to start the week with a plan of exactly what I’m going to be eating and most of it fully or partially prepared. On top of that I try to have some meat cooked up to take to work so I don’t spend an extortionate amount of money on M&S pre-cooked chicken.

I love my prep time, but I realise that I am a very cooking obsessed person and they average individual may not want to spend hours of their Sunday in the kitchen. Even if you did half of this you would find your week a lot easier, and just a starting the week with a cold roast chicken goes a long way. Anyhow, I thought I’d write up everything I did this week, mainly because I’m still in an enthusiastic mood despite hours of cooking and it’s not time to start dinner yet. It’s also worth mentioning that I wouldn’t usually do this much in one day, I’ve just got to the point where there’s nothing left in the freezer!

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So: it starts with a list (see right). I shopped yesterday after planning meals for the week, so I already knew roughly what needed to happen. However, if I don’t write it down I’d forget something. Plus I really, really like crossing things off lists.

20121202-170050.jpgRatatouille
This will end up being the veg accomp to Monday (meatballs) and Tuesday (chicken) and maybe a packed lunch component if i have any left! It’s great for me because I can throw in whatever comes in the vegbox plus any leftovers from last week. Ingredients shown to the right, although I saved 1/2 the tomatoes for the chilli. I would write up the recipe but you really don’t need anything other than this: chop veg, shove in pan, add tomatoes and cook until soft.

Next comes anything that has to go in the oven – might as well fill it if I’m turning it on at all. Longest cooking time goes in first!

Beef Chili
This is my standard recipe. I forgot to take a photo, but I made enough for two meals so me can be eaten this week and another can go in the freezer. All I need to do when I get home from work is stick a couple of sweet potatoes in the oven, reheat this and slice an avocado.

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Chicken
I more or less did this Nigella recipe, but put it in the oven after it came up to the boil (no point having the hob on if I’ve got space in a hot oven) and didn’t add so many extra ingredients. It’s now shredded and in the fridge for lunches and breakfasts: cheese/chicken/chilli omelettes are the breakfast of champions. Kept the cooking liquid, added back in the bones etc and its now boiling to make stock, which will go in the freezer.

Turkey Lemon Meatballs
I used 800g mince = 30 meatballs. These are for Monday dinner, plus lunches / snacks to take to work.

Thai Green Curry Paste
I’ll try to get the recipe up tonight! This is great to have in the freezer, as you can pull it out in the morning before work then later on just chuck in a pan with a bit of stock (also from freezer), coconut milk and whatever meat/veg you have in the fridge. I made enough for 3 meals, as it’s just as easy as making one! I also enjoyed the quality time with my beautiful food processor, with which I’m unhealthily obsessed. Still. But it is stunning, right?

I still have the pork belly to go, but that’s for dinner tonight so it’s not quite time yet!

My fridge, before and after…

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