Thursday, August 28, 2014

Food Prep 101/ Just Figuring it Out!

Prepared Granola/Snacking Bowl while writing this blog post

I'm just figuring out the magic of Food Prep and it's changing my life. 
I don't typically gravitate to things like saving time and food prepping. I'm artistic and emotional and operate largely on feelings. These days, however, meals eat away my time. Pun intended. Chomp! Chomp! I eat so stinking healthy and I feel fabulous because of it, but the washing, drying, chopping, stirring, and then cleaning all the gadgets, etc, etc, seriously swallows up the first half of the day sometimes. Most times. I'm learning from the pros how to prep. I'm guessing most of you already figured out these time saving tips and will just indulge me in my new and wonderful discovery. 
Buckle up for some pictures of the inside of my hideous fridge. Sorry.

Pancake Mix from Meals Made Simple
Meals Made Simple is the latest and greatest cookbook from my friend, Danielle Walker at Against All Grain, and is jammed full of time saving tips. Here is one of them: Pancake Mix. It's grain free and since my daughter loves to make pancakes and waffles, I'd rather her use this nutritious version! I will add the recipe for the wet ingredients and tuck it into the jar.

Meals Made Simple offers fantastic tips such as how to freeze pancakes and waffles. Calli made her own Blueberry Pancakes and had some leftovers, so I followed Danielle's steps to freezing them properly. Now the kids can take one out and pop it in the toaster when need be.

Nut Free Granola

So the cookbook also features a Nut Free Granola and I am absolutely NUTZO over it! I LOVE this recipe! Danielle, I hope you read this and are happy to know that I intend to never be without this granola in my pantry! I've even gone so far as to measure out the seeds and bag them as well as the mix-ins for the very end. We can just make another batch even quicker! I plan to pulverize some of it into dust and sprinkle on top of  healthy frozen treats.

Smoothie Prep

Building a quick morning smoothie often makes the most ridiculous mess- huge Costco bags of frozen organic fruit, sculpting out frozen bananas, big bags of protein powder, milk options, the greens (slicing kale off the spine should not be done when you are in morning zombie mode), chia seeds, coconut oil, avacado, etc, etc. It's easy, but too many components for a hurried morning. Instead, we will pop our smoothie bag in the refrigerator the night before and the hard part is ready! Just empty the contents into the Vitamix and add milk & powders!

Chia Gel Cubes
Sneaky trickery!!!! I'm so happy. I read that chia seeds are better absorbed when transformed to gel by soaking for 15 - 45 minutes. I can't get Jake to put boosters in his smoothies. I can fool him into putting a frozen chia gel cube in since when frozen it looks exactly like an icy chunk of banana!!! Jake will have Chia Gel and never know it. (Insert evil laugh.)

I warned you to buckle up for some gnarly photos. What I'd like to direct attention to is the Salad in a Jar from Community Eats, Prepared Lettuce, Curried Nuts, and Fresh Juice. If you have ever wondered if the Salad in a Jar-thing works, IT ABSOLUTELY WORKS!!! And it's AWESOME!!! 
Jake loves this recipe for Curried Cashews by GI 365 so much that he claimed them a suitable replacement to his love language: CHIPS! You can bet I am stocking up on these bad boys! If you follow the recipe I altered it a touch by adding raw macadamia nuts and about 3/4tsp of Garam Masala. I'm not kidding about "stocking up" on the nuts. I also put some handfuls in small bags so Jake can throw a perfect portion in his backpack for post workout protein or quick snack between classes.

Stocking up on Curried Nuts

I went crazy and roasted five heads of broccoli. We all love it, it's incredibly versatile AND it didn't have time to go yellow, brown or fire starter texture before I ventured around to cooking it! My produce drawer has been known to hide the fairest and freshest of goodness and render it weeks later unrecognizable. We are on to you Veggie Drawer and you're going down. You will not steal our food and/or money again.

 You will notice the brown rice pasta which I have two gallon bags prepared. It might not be as noticeable but when I was preparing Salad Jars I had extra grated zucchini, purple onion, apple and carrots so that I could just have those goodies to toss in to a soup, pasta or whatever. 
Did I do this all at once? 
A few things at a time are doable. 
If I'm making a mess,I mean a salad, - the Cuisinart is out slicing everything turbo speed, I have the jars and tuppies clean and ready, then it's "go time". It works. I can easily measure out some flours or seeds while somethings roasting in the oven.

Does it mean I'll never cook again. 
 I will ALWAYS need to cook/prepare food for my family and myself. 
I just get to choose WHEN I prepare. 
I choose NOT to prepare when I'm half asleep, cold, cranky and late. I choose NOT to prepare at the mid-day meal when I'm starving and decide I'd rather just eat bread and butter than start digging around the produce drawer and destroying the kitchen. 
I'd much rather shake out my prepped salad 
and spend time on the important things like making coffee, I mean, 
helping the kids with studies or building my business. I know that home makers everywhere are already whipping up preparations like brilliant orchestra conductors but as I previously mentioned before all the noise of this post, I'm 
just figuring it out!

1 comment:

  1. Nicole you're awesome!!! Thanks for your fun blog posts--I really enjoy reading them!! Miss you guys. Hope all is well on your side :)