Monday, August 8, 2011

Paleo Prepping for the Week/Menu Planning/Lazy Homemaker Syndrome

Let me start off by saying...I'm not lazy...I'm just not into spending a whole heck of a time cooking and cleaning. It's just boring. I enjoy baking, and I don't mind cooking certain meals, but doing that way, dude. No freaking way.

And I don't plan a menu.

Oh em GEE - then how to do feed your family all week?

Well, I have kind of an involved answer. I prep during the weekend. Which is to say, I cook a slew of meat, boil some eggs, make some bone broth, buzz some salsa, and clean and chop my bounty from the farmer's market.

So all week, I usually just have to warm some protein up and slap on a side of veggies.

Here is an example weekend:

1. Friday night, I'll throw a beef or pork roast in the crock pot with some herbs, stock, and plenty of garlic. I'll let that cook on low, and then put it away in the morning.

2. Before I head to the local farmer's market on Saturday, I will either roast a whole chicken, or brown up 2lbs of ground beef. It just depends what is in the freezer. Sometimes I'll go ahead and do both. Once that is done, I'll head over to the market and grab some produce.

3. Immediately, when I arrive at home, I prep my bounty. I clean and dry it, and separate everything into my produce bags (those handy bags that keep your produce fresh...get those). If I bought a watermelon, I'd chop that up and put it away.

4. Lucky for me, the farmer's market has a grass-fed cattle stand, and he sells soup bones. So I usually pick up a package or two of those. After I'm done prepping the produce, I throw the bones in the crock. If I have a chicken carcass, I throw that in there too. Fill with water, add a tbsp of apple cider vinegar, and then let it cook until Sunday night. 

5. After I'm done prepping the bone broth, I boil a dozen eggs. And then I'm done. I get all my protein for the week cooked and stored in the fridge by 12pm on Saturday. All I have to do is strain the bone broth on Sunday night. 

And then we live on leftovers for the week. Unless we have steak or some kind of meatloaf dish - then I usually plan ahead for that during the week. But steak and meatloaf are easy. On Wednesday, I take out next weeks protein from the freezer to the fridge to get thawed out for the weekend. I also keep the pantry stocked with canned wild salmon and sardines.

Depending on my mood, I might make a batch of salsa on Sunday. But that's really it. Cooking during the week is my time to get creative with my leftovers and the bounty from our farmer's market. Tacos, salads, roasted veggies, scrambles...whatever is easy and tastes amazing is what I'm cooking. It also makes it easy for my husband to pack his lunch. Breakfast time is usually the only meal that doesn't involve leftovers.

So there you have it - Paleo eating the easy way. Even the prep work is easy. There is nothing about this that you can't do. Unless you hate leftovers. Then...I'm sorry, I can't help you. But if you're struggling with cooking all day, every day - then I sincerely hope this helps you. I know I don't enjoy cooking three or four times a day...because that means I have to clean up the kitchen three or four times a day...and that is just a waste of precious time playing with my cavekiddo.

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