Amateur Night in My Kitchen!


heyitskristin

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Hi everyone,

 

I am on day 5 of my first whole 30, and I am STRUGGLING. My headaches are gone, but I feel exhausted like I've never felt before. I just want ALL THE NAPS.  

 

Anyway, I did a pretty good job with meal prep on Sunday morning. I baked a TON of chicken to use throughout the week and stirfried a ton of vegetables in coconut oil, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. I put a pot roast in the crock pot, and put my lunch for the week in tupperware for work.

 

This is probably stupid, but here is my struggle: the vegetables. When I eat them, they are slimy and gross and make me want to vomit. I don't know if I cooked them with too much coconut oil or if something else is off, but my question is this: how do you cook your vegetables? It's Thursday, and I'm DISGUSTED with the vegetables that have been in my lunch all week because of this. Keep in mind that I am NOT interested in cooking much throughout the week, but if that's what I have to do to get normal vegetables, I will.

 

Thank you in advance for your help!

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If you want to pre-prepare all or most of your veggies the two options that work best are going to be steam saute (as in Well Fed) and roasting or raw.

 

Here is a blog post from Well Fed's author on steam saute: http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/2010/10/13/the-secret-of-veggies-steam-saute/

 

You can find tons of roasted veggie recipes on the internet. I saw a lot on Nom Nom Paleo and she talks about her love of roasted veggies a lot in her new cookbook.

 

If you like salads you can make them in jars. I used to do a whole weeks worth this way. Make sure you wash and spin the greens really well so they are dry. Put your dressing on the bottom and then layer in your veggies starting with the heartiest. Here is a nice tutorial: http://thepaleomama.com/2013/03/guest-post-mason-jar-salads/ Obviously skip the step where she talks about dairy for your Whole30 but everything else in this post appears to be Whole30 compliant. Please let me know if you find anything else.

 

You can also pre-cut and wash a number of veggies to be ready to use in quick meals. Just google proper storage techniques for what you want to do.

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I prep almost all my food on the weekends to eat during the week (no way could I do this otherwise!). Here's what I do - it depends on the vegetable.

 

- Raw stuff (carrots, kale, peppers, etc) - cut/slice if needed and store. If I were super organized, I'd store them in single-meal serving sizes. I would also keep ziploc in business. For salad stuff, I'll make a batch of dressing to keep on hand, so all I have to do is dress my kale and top with sliced almonds (or whatever, you get the idea).

 

- Stuff that has to get cooked right before I eat (zucchini noodles are what I'm thinking of here) - prep as much as possible, then store. For zucchini noodles, I'll julienne, salt and rinse them, then store in layers with paper towels between. For squash that I'll sautee with dinner, I go ahead and slice. That kind of thing.

 

- Stuff that can get cooked and reheats well - do it! For me this looks like a batch of mashed cauliflower, or a mess of sweet potato wedges, that I can heat up later. Mashed cauliflower goes in the microwave, sweet potatoes go in the oven (or toaster oven, if I'm at work).

 

I don't do a lot of stir-fry - if they're slimy, though, something is up! Too much oil might be it. Could also be that they were cooked too long - stir-fry should be really fast.

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I frequently use frozen broccoli florets packaged in the steamable bags.  I have also used other frozen vegetables:  asparagus spears, cauliflower/broccoli/carrots.  Most fresh vegetables are steamed.  I add fat later.   I also adore vegetable slaws -- fat via mayo and/or coconut milk.  Sweet potatoes are roasted in the skin and then topped with sunflower nut butter (awesome combo if you've never tried it).  I prefer my steamed vegetables to remain "plain" or just salt and pepper and have avocado, olives, or nuts/nut butter as my fat source.  I, too, would gag at oily, slimy vegetables.

 

Hope this helps!

 

rhonda

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I love roasted veggies.  Or raw.  You can julienne them and make a pesto of sorts using spinach and kale and some good oil with garlic. Roast radishes at 425 (cut in half and toss in melted ghee first) for about 20 minutes and they are awesome!

 

I usually don't even add fat to my veggies before roasting unless it is asparagus or radishes.  No need to do so.  You can put some on afterwards if you are looking for some added fat.  Roasted bell peppers are great, too.  Cut them in half, remove membrane and seeds, add a drizzle of oil and some capers (are they legal?) and roast in pan… cut side up… for 20 minutes or so.  So easy.  Pan sauteed zucchini slices:  cut them about 1/3" thick and sautee in ghee or olive oil until browned on both sides.  Roasted cauliflower takes time but is SO GOOD!  You need to blanch first in water or Whole30 chicken broth and some spices for flavor (until just starting to get tender)but then roast (whole head) on high head until browned and a bit crispy on the outside.  Original recipes will ask for non compliant ingredients for blanching like wine and mustard but skip it.  Lots of options!

 

Reheated they are never as good.  If you don't have time to cook, I'd just eat them raw.

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I have been using a lot of frozen veggies this time because they are chopped and ready to go. I also love roasted veggies. I chop them up about the same size, drizzle some olive oil, salt and pepper give it a stir and roast at 350 for about 1 hour. Sweet potatoes, Beets and carrots are good together. Rutabaga and turnip are also good. Another thing that I had for the first time this thanksgiving is mashed turnip and carrots. Boil them together in a pot for 15 min or so, drain and then mash. Add some ghee salt and pepper. I also eat a lot of vegetable soup. You can chop up raw veggies and then store them in your fridge until you are ready to cook them. I shred 1 large sweet potato and then I cook it for breakfast for a couple of days I also make a large salad. Hope that helps.

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I tried pre-cooking all my meat and veggies for the week once when I first started paleo and bought Well Fed. I hated it. The veggies were soggy and slimy. Maybe I overcooked them the first time around so that when I tried to re-heat them, they got really overcooked. Or it could be the fact that I have major issues with leftovers. I hate leftovers. I will eat dinner leftovers for lunch the next day. After that, I won't eat it. I don't trust food that's been sitting around in the fridge for a week. I don't think it reheats well either.

 

My compromise is instead of doing a weekly cookup, I chop all my veggies to the size I want them to be for whatever meal later in the week, then put them raw into ziplock baggies in my fridge. The only exception is onions, since those spread their onion flavor to everything around them, even through plastic, and there is an old wives tale that they absorb bacteria once they've been cut - no idea if that's true, but I'd just rather chop them fresh, I don't want my other veggies tasting like onion. I also make sure to move my meat from the freezer to the fridge to thaw out. I have a very small cookie sheet that fits in my fridge and I put all my meat on top of that, so if anything leaks, it goes on the tray instead of all over my fridge and other foods.

 

I also make a menu/meal plan every week. I've been collecting recipes for months now and putting them together in a word document, formatting them so there are 4 recipes per page. On saturday morning, I sort through my recipes and just copy/paste the ones that sound good for that week into another document. Then I go through the recipes and compile a shopping list of things I don't already have on the same page. Then Saturday afternoon, I go do all my shopping. I always cook double for dinner, so I have leftovers to have for lunch the next day at work. 

 

I do some weekend prep though...I make up big batches of sausage, meatballs, burger patties, etc. Ground meats that need to be seasoned and formed. Then I lay them out on a cookie sheet on parchment or wax paper, and freeze them. Once they are frozen, I throw them in a baggie and store in the freezer. If I want to eat one of them that week, I just pull what I want out of the bag and put it in another bag and into the fridge to thaw.

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