Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Extreme Kitchen Makeover

Since goin' paleo, I have been spending a LOT of time in the kitchen.  Eating a lot of home-cooked meals from real ingredients is just part of the deal, so I had pretty much resigned myself to being in the kitchen for most of my evenings.  It's become a bit demoralizing as of late, feeling chained to my kitchen.  I've tried making larger portions of foods, but some things just aren't good as leftovers, and eating the same thing for a few days can get boring!

Enter the Weekly Cookup!  This is a fantastic idea from my new favorite cookbook Well Fed, and it just might set you free from Good Food Jail.  Just think- now you can pay attention to your children and spouse, you'll have time to catch up with friends, maybe even go out for happy hour!  You can spend your time like a normal person again!  Here's what you do:
  • Make a list and go grocery shopping
  • Cook up a few pounds of meat with minimal seasoning
  • Partially cook some sturdy veggies
  • Mix and match with different condiments and seasonings over the course of the week
I did my first cookup last weekend.  It was kinda rough- I have a hard time focusing, so I did get a bit frazzled by doing so many things at once (and unfortunately burned a pan of bacon), but having dinner on the table in five minutes (that didn't taste like leftovers) the next day made it all worth it.  Here's what I got out of it-
  • 2 small roasted spaghetti squash (about 6 servings)
  • 1 baggie of partially cooked broccoli florets (4 servings)
  • 1 baggie of partially cooked brussels sprouts (2 servings)
  • A little over a cup of cooked onions
  • 1.5 lbs of baked boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 lb ground beef, cooked with garlic salt & pepper
The next day, I came home from work super hungry.  I heated up the broiler, put four chicken thighs on a baking sheet, and brushed with a mixture of honey & dijon mustard, and sprinkled on some herbes de provence (it's my Frank's Hot Sauce- I put that shit on everything).  Then I heated up some clarified butter in my new T-Fal Caldero, and tossed in 2 cups of the brussels sprouts & about a handful of the onions (plus a little salt, pepper, and the herbs), and put the chicken in the oven.  Then I just cooked the veggies until they got a bit caramelized, and the chicken until it was heated through (just a few minutes, until the sauce sizzles).  That's it!  I had my dinner and lunch to bring to work.

Materials and my sis' donuts

The finished product, just a few minutes later!

After eating dinner, I threw my breakfast together.  I wiped out my pan and heated up 1/3 of the hamburger with a little water & taco seasoning, and added some onions.  Once that came together, I set the meat aside, wiped the pan, cooked an egg in it, plopped that on the beef, and packed it up the next morning with some avocado, tomatoes and cilantro.  That was a damn fine breakfast. 

By 5:30, I was done cooking and cleaning up for the day; I was freee!


  1. I've been crock potting a lot lately to free myself of the evening kitchen tie but crock pot stuff also gets boring (though I did have a fantastic roasted chicken with gravy out of there from nom nom paleo this week).

    I ordered the mentioned above book yesterday, I'm excited! It should be here tomorrow! And, best of all, I asked Rob about it and he said he was down for hot plates too. Hooray!

  2. Yes! I just did a weekly "cookup" as well and it's been a great success.

    1. It is a lifesaver! Definitely going to be the new routine.

  3. Hi! Great site! I'm trying to find an email address to contact you on to ask if you would please consider adding a link to my website. I'd really appreciate if you could email me back.

    Thanks and have a great day!

  4. I love my slow cooker! I use it often to make quick easy low calorie recipes. I recently lost weight so I am trying to eat healthy to stay slim. It really is a lifestyle change when you choose to live healthy.

  5. I got a laugh out of your clarifying who owned the donuts =). Your meal looks delicious, I think I'll fire up my slow cooker this evening.