Thursday, May 16, 2013

Spring Cooking Plan

zoe and wash chicken stew jars

Chicken stew jars: cauliflower on the bottom, topped with chicken stew.

I keep wanting to be DONE ::kick kick kick:: with my food plan, so I can just follow the plan and think about something else besides food. But haha, I can't stop thinking about food. I keep having new ideas! So the plan keeps evolving, I'm really away from my earlier strategy of organizing my carbs around my workouts and now just mostly not eating starchy carbs. Mostly. Also I'm already transitioning to summer but still working that out, so below is what I was doing for most of spring.

The details of the plan are not really important. It's more the idea of a plan, and maybe even that isn't all that important to you. What I get out of a plan is repetitions, practice at getting good at something and then something to build on.

So this is how I do, first of all, there's setting up my lemon water before bed and starting the day with lemon water.

Monday morning is mainly when I cook. I used to cook Monday and Wednesday mornings, and then I switched to writing Wednesday morning. Because I thought I shouldn't burn my best self on housework on both days of the week that I get to play at home, where my best self is myself after breakfast. I have a second best self—I mean, not second best. I have two best selves per day, the second is after a little nap and dinner and that's when I practice or train. If there's any point to this blog, it is: energy husbandry. Heart containers, which you have a limited number of and which you have to choose how to spend. Two heart containers is too much for me to spend on making food, but no containers on food is a car wreck waiting to happen. One container is precious and not a lot, so I try to be efficient and get as much bang for my heart as I can. So Monday morning after breakfast, I start a recipe of egg bites: fit the parchment paper to the baking pan, microwave the frozen vegetables in a mixing bowl, add the green onions and bread crumbs and cheese, beat the eggs in my rocket blender and mix them in, and pour the eggy vegs into the baking pan and put them in the oven. Then I wash my hands and chop an onion and some celery and put them in a pot with the chicken thighs to simmer for an hour. Then I have some time to wait, so I do the dishes. The eggs and the chicken finish at about the same time; then I finish up the chicken stew, either roasting the vegetables in the egg pan or sauteeing them on the stove in the chicken pot. I also zap a bag of frozen cauliflower in the microwave to put in jars with the chicken stew. Then chop chop chop and gloop gloop gloop, egg bites and chicken stew go in jars and into the fridge. A morning's work and I have breakfasts and lunches for the week.

There's still dinner: I stopped with veganly beans a while back because it was one too much, played with baked oatmeal for a while, and eventually settled on just making sweet potato bean mash. Sweet potato bean mash you can make anytime, you just bake a couple sweet potatoes and then mash them with a can of beans—total spacefood, you eat a little bowl before your workout with a pat of butter or a fried egg or leftover meat. Meat is carne asada or carnitas, I make that in the slow cooker Fridays when I'm home. Fridays I work, I make butter trout or steak.

For half of spring for post-workout snack I was eating greek yogurt with peanut butter, which takes no preparation at all. But then I started making fruit compote, which takes just a little bit. This also you can do anytime.

Obviously this works for me because I have more than just the weekend at home. I'm not sure what I would do if I was in the office five days a week. Of course then I'd be free Saturdays, maybe I'd cook then. I'd have to find a day, because I don't think I'm ever going back to cooking dinner every night.