Eating homemade food made easy
Having enrolled in a couple human biology classes this fall, means that my schedule has become overwhelmingly full. But if you know anything about me, you can be certain that I’ll still be eating homemade meals 90+% of the time.
I’ve done it before, throughout grad school in addition to long work days. And I find that when you get into a flow, it’s honestly not that hard to fit in making and eating homemade food. Even when it seems that I have no time, it really is manageable with the routine I outline below.
Here’s the simple food component recipe that allows me to effortlessly toss together satisfying and nutritious meals:
- 1 part cooked veggie, usually some kind of stew
- 1 part raw or wilted greens
- 1 part meat protein
- occasional cooked gluten free grains
- always topped with a delicious sauce or condiment, fermented veggies or fresh herbs
Yes, these cooked foods have to be available to come together for a meal, but with batch cooking, freezing a couple portions, and being open to some repetition – it’s entirely possible!
- Pick a day where you have a roughly four hour window to prep and cook the week’s menu
- Wash all your greens and store them properly so that they last most of the week – follow this link for a guide to effective fresh produce storage: MY TOP STORAGE TIPS FOR EXTENDING THE LIFE OF HERBS, GREENS, VEGGIES & FRUIT
- Cook a big batch of stewed veggies, like this GARLICKY VEGGIE WOOD EAR STEW or SWEET CORN SUCCOTASH
- Make a dressing or yummy pesto to dress it all up, try the 10 MINUTE WALNUT SORREL PESTO, TOASTED SESAME & MISO DRESSING or any of the delicious dressings on the SAUCES + DIPS + DRESSINGS page
- Make or buy a jar of fermented veggies, like OLD FASHIONED LACTO-FERMENTED PICKLES or TRADITIONAL SAUERKRAUT
- If you eat meat, buy something easy like ground beef or lamb, or steaks of meat or fish; all of which can be pan fried or sautéed in minutes – try this ZA’ATAR SPICED LAMB SAUTE
- Optionally, make a big batch of plain grains like quinoa, amaranth or millet
Store the veggie sauté, cooked grains and any pre-cooked meats in Glass-Lock Containers in the fridge for up to 4 days. If you have any fungal or candida type concerns, freeze the cooked – and well cooled dishes, in meal sized portions that can readily be pulled out each day.
For the rest of us, it’s not an issue to eat cooked foods that have been stored for a couple days. Be sure to line the plastic lids with Unbleached Parchment Paper to prevent the plastic infused condensation from dripping onto your food. Freeze the excess portion, if you make a batch of cooked food that’s going to last longer than four days.
Many of my dressings and sauces can handle a longer storage time when fermented or contain fresh lemon or vinegars which help preserve the other ingredients. For cooked sauces, freeze anything you won’t use up over the course of the week.
Putting it together
Now that you have all your elements ready to go, you’ll be able to put together a healthy and delicious meal in just a few minutes time. Whether you’re taking your food on-the-go or eating at home, I recommend that you plate the components in this order:
- Grains and hearty greens at the bottom
- Sautéed veggies on top of the greens and grains
- Meat on top of, or beside the veggies
- Salad greens on the side
- Dressing or sauce on top of it all
- Spoonful of fermented veggies, fresh herbs, or maybe some freshly crumbled feta
I like hearty greens such as baby spinach, and sometimes even my salad greens, to be slightly wilted. This is why I generally put my cooked veggies over greens. It also means that when I’m taking my meal on-the-go in a Glass-lock Container, I don’t mind my greens getting soggy.
For meals at home, if you have a sauce and a cooked veggie dish ready to go, a pan cooked meat will take less than 10 minutes to prepare. Try this 10 MINUTE ZESTY LEG OF LAMB STEAKS or just a classic hamburger patty – made with organic pasture-raised meats of course. If you don’t know where to get good quality meat in your area, see my ONLINE RESOURCES FOR PASTURED MEATS, EGGS & DAIRY to find a local farm sources or to order online.
Whatever you do, be sure to make an amazing dressing or two for the week. A tasty sauce can make a plain egg, steak, grain or salad into a sensational edible experience.