Food Prep – Kick off Blog

I’m kicking off my first blog on food prep!

Food prep is key to eating healthier and avoiding the “what’s for dinner” dilemma. First you need to plan your meals in preparation for grocery shopping. I’ve been using Google Sheets for this planning. I like Google Sheets because my husband, David, can see what I’ve planned  and I use Buy Me Pie for my grocery list. I find the more planning I do, the better off I am (i.e. I don’t buy with my eyes & gut and I’ve taken the mystery of midweek planning).

Here’s how my planning went this past week:

  • Friday I searched my fridge and found I had an over abundancy of eggs (another method I use for planning is what’s in my fridge, freezer and pantry). This week, I was working with 18 eggs because I had a nearly a dozen in my fridge and my sister-in-law brought over another dozen farm fresh eggs from her chicks  Having all these eggs gave me an excuse to finally try making soy sauce eggs for ramen and I also found I had some veggies that needed to be used (I hate seeing food go to waste). I believe Ramen is a quick and very satisfying meal because you can be creative and add the spices, acid and heat you want.
  • Next I thought about what protein I could marinate on Sunday. Chicken is usually my go-to because it’s cheap, delicious and you can do so much with it. I’ve been going with chicken thighs lately because their soooo much more flavorful than breast. Yay, I know chicken thighs might not be as healthy, but I go with taste and live by the moto, everything in moderation.
  • After reviewing what I had available in the house, my soy eggs and chicken thighs, I had my meals planned for the week.
    • Meal 1- Sunday crockpot chili with my homemade chorizo (I have what I need in my spice cabinet, pantry and freezer & when I make chorizo I usually freeze a few batches.)
    • Meal 2 – Grilled shrimp on greens (Frozen shrimp and added spinach to my grocery list. The spinach will also work for my midweek lunches)
    • Meal 3 – Grilled Asian chicken thighs, soy sauce soft egg and ramen (I already have chicken stock, spices, ramen, veggies and all I need is chicken thighs)
    • Meal 4 – Grilled lemon chicken thighs and I’ll throw together a quick salad, rice or pasta with what I have in the house. (I’ll buy a family pack of chicken which typically covers two mid-week meals and I’ll freeze two packages for future use.)
    • Meal 5 – Asian stir fry (I have cabbage already and other veggies so stir fry seemed perfect.
  • Saturday was my shopping for the week. Again I keep it targeted to the staples and what’s needed for my meals for the week.
  • Sunday, let the prep begin!
    • Soy sauce eggs
      • I got my marinate going – simmered the following ingredients for 15mins
        • 3/4 cup soy sauce
        • 1 cup water
        • 1T of Sumac (nice tart middle eastern spice)
        • ~1 inch of ginger
    • I boiled a pot of water for 6 eggs. I added the eggs once the water was boiling and quickly turned down the heat. After 6 mins (I wanted soft yokes), I put the eggs in an ice bath to slow the cooking down. Peeling, this is where I need some help because I found soft boiled impossible to peel. I lost my first batch and read a bit online about secrets to easier peeling and added white vinegar to my second batch. It helped, but I still struggled. I welcome your suggestions to help me next time.
    • Place the peeled soft boiled eggs in a cool/room temp marinate for 24hrs. Place in the fridge.
    • First I separated the package of chicken thighs into 4 packs (two for marinate and two for the freezer).The base for both marinates is identical to help with the prep and because it’s a flavor profiles I LOVE:
      • Lemon zest from half a lemon
      • Juice from half a lemon
      • 1 clove of garlic
      • Dash of olive oil, salt and pepper
    • For the Asian chili garlic marinade:
      • 1T of chili garlic sauce
      • 1T of soy sauce
    • For lemon garlic, I added a little more olive oil.
    • I love using ziploc bags for my marinates because you can massage the protein, trust me that makes a difference and makes the chicken so flavorful.

Meal prep is that easy, easy peasy. I’m happy to share any additional tips and tricks and you can be sure to find more as Jackie’s Eats and Treats expands. Two, I promise to share the completed dishes this week!