The number one lament I hear from people about cooking Real Food is that it takes so long. The belief is that processed foods are somehow quicker than real foods. But this doesn’t have to be true at all: real foods can be prepared simply in only a small amount of time. With just a bit of planning and pre-prep, you can have a quick, easy dinner on the table in no time. In my last post I talked about menu planning. Rather than choosing recipes with 25 ingredients, look for ones that are super fast and simple, as well as being healthy and tasty. Need help? I’ll be teaching you how in my upcoming class in early November, also called Plotting Dinner.
But at the end of the day, you are still tasked with making dinner happen. Sometimes the best laid plans . . . well, you know.
Enter meal-prepping. This, my friends, is The One Thing along with meal planning that is going to give you your week nights back. I’m going to show you how fifteen minutes is going to change the way dinner happens and give you back your freedom.
Generally it looks like this: take the recipes you planned (you did plan your meals, no?) and figure out what can be chopped, sliced, diced and shredded ahead of time. Then get out your food processor and cut up everything you’ll need for several nights.
Now for specifics. I have three recipes today that are easy and tasty, healthy and delicious. In short, they rock! They are all veggie based, and you can toss some meat in with them if you like, or serve them without meat.
The first is an old favorite, called Soffrito (grab the recipe here). To Italians, Soffrito is synonymous with comfort food. The second is called Egg Roll in a Bowl, courtesy of detoxinista.com. I usually toss some cooked chicken in with this one. And the third is traditional Sausage with Cabbage (see below.)
Print out these recipes. On a weekend afternoon, run by the store and pick up the ingredients. Once home, pull your food processor out of hiding and dust it off. Ready, Set, Go!
Wash all the produce. Fit your processor with the slicing blade and process the head of cabbage. Change to the dicer blade and process the celery. Find the shredder attachment and run the carrots through. I usually leave my onions whole until I’m ready to cook to keep the onion smell out of the fridge. If you do process your onions, don’t dice them too finely, and store in a glass jar in the fridge. Store the rest of your cut up veggies in a big container in the fridge.
Now, when you arrive home on a weeknight, most of the prep work is already done, and dinner can come together in just a few short minutes. Once you try this, you’ll thank me.
You’re very welcome.
Sausage with Cabbage
Choose Italian sausage, Kielbasa, Chorizo, or good old-fashioned breakfast sausage. Look for clean brands that are pasture-raised or organically raised.
1/2 pound sausage
1 tablespoon avocado oil
4 cups cabbage, shredded (about 1/3-1/2 of a head)
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder)
1 teaspoon caraway seed or dried thyme
sea salt and pepper to taste
Cut the sausage into chunks. Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet and fry the sausage until almost done, about 5-7 minutes. Drain off the extra fat, then add garlic, cabbage and herbs. Stir fry until cabbage is tender and the sausages are cooked all the way through.
Camille Watson is a health educator, speaker and published author of the book Eight Steps to a Real-Foods Kitchen. Her passion is to give individuals and groups the knowledge and tools they need to take back their health. If you are interested in learning more about achieving health through delicious, whole foods and lifestyle transformations, email Camille@camillewatson.com to attend one of her cooking classes or to schedule your free Health Strategy session.