Prep…that was a term from my high school days…something I never was. Let’s not get confused over meal prep…I am starting to do a lot more of this on weekends. I’m not talking about some odd diet I’m on; I’m talking about preparing meals in order to make supper throughout the week a more convenience, and time-saving, task. I prepare healthy foods so it does help in the process for dieting, less eating out and wondering how many hidden calories are in the foods in restaurants. Many items are frozen and packed with preservatives and more sodium than one needs in one day alone. Not only is it more expensive to eat out, but what I dislike most about eating out during the week is the time lost. After I have worked all day, I hate to waste time in a restaurant when I can be at home.
I have always cooked for my dad. He has a standing order and never hesitates to tell me what and when he needs something. By doing all of this for him, this ensures me he has good food in his belly, and not just getting by on corn flakes and bologna sandwiches. The convenience for him of having a home-cooked meal is the best. A couple weeks ago, I wondered how long it would take for me to make up a few meals for my hunka hunka and me. Let me tell you…it takes a few hours, but the results are so worth it.
This past weekend I cooked up a number of sides and main dishes. I bought fresh veggies and roasted them in a multitude of ways using different recipes. I love recipes. I had someone poke fun at me before because I was using a recipe to cook a dish, as if that doesn’t make me a real cook. All chefs have recipes, whether they are in their heads or on paper. Let me tell you, one of my absolute FAVORITE chefs, Chef Tyler Florence, was recently on a cooking competition. Want to take a bet at what he was doing? You probably guessed correctly. He was reading directly from a recipe, with it in his hand on camera.
I fixed a number of dishes on Saturday: spicy chicken and broccoli, baked okra, Parmesan roasted cauliflower, crack broccoli, unwrapped cabbage rolls, and egg roll in a bowl. I also cooked pork loin with roasted sweet taters, and baked halibut and asparagus. I also cooked up some turkey burgers for my hunka hunka to indulge in at lunchtime this week. I love that all of my veggies were fresh, not frozen or canned. The process took nearly four hours, but so very worth it to have a week’s amount of food prepared.
Did I have hits and misses? Of course. I stepped out and decided to cook okra. Took more time to cut up all those dang things than it did to cook them. My hunka hunka just refused to eat them, as he loathes okra. I ate them, but only a few bites. Just cannot bring myself to even acquire a taste for them. That is something I will never do again. YUCK!
My egg roll in a bowl is a house favorite. That’s a given on being a hit. My friend, Meggers, gave me the unwrapped cabbage roll recipe. Holy moly that was delicious. That meal was devoured throughout the week. The recipe made so much. I kept adding even more red pepper flakes to keep kicking it up a notch each time I heated it up for a quick bite. I didn’t get a picture of that tasty goodness…don’t want all of y’all to be jealous. Cabbage is shockingly becoming one of my favorite veggies to eat.
My sweet taters and pork loin is just phenomenal. I will not hesitate to toot my own horn. Roasted sweet taters are yum city! There’s a fine line between some fennel seeds and too much fennel seeds. Not a fan of licorice so I had a few too many fennel seeds on the taters. Whew…a few too many bouts of licorice in some bites. However, this was by far the juiciest pork loin and taters I have ever cooked. Fantastic foods!
Whirlwind of foods which lasted a week for many meals. It’s all about doing it right…and taking time to save time.
So…you can call me a prep these days…and I’m proud of it.