Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer Cooking Plan Practice

So I'm definitely settling on the idea that I have to cook at least one day a week, but I don't want to cook more than one day a week. And by one day I really mean just one beat, a morning or an afternoon or an evening. Probably morning, though. And I don't know if what's going on is seasonal and it's just summer when I can barely lift a finger to keep myself fed, or if I'm leveling down to a new level of laziness—no negative self talk!—I mean, efficiency.

ETA: I had an even better idea, don't think of it as a cooking day—that makes it seem like it takes the whole day, it actually takes maybe two hours. Think of this as one of your practices for the week, as important as that. Because you don't get stronger and fitter just by breaking yourself down, that's just the first half and the second half is building yourself back up—i.e., stuffing your shredded muscles with nutrients, and also water, and then going to sleep, go the whole nine yards. Really, why would you go the hard first four and a half yards and then stop short and not do the fun yards where the scoring actually happens, not that the whole nine yards refers to an actual game as far as I know. Pretend that it does and that you know what I'm talking about.

This cooking day practice doesn't cover 100% of my food needs, don't think that's what you have to do. Maybe 80% and since when is 80% pretty damn good? Hyeah, since I stopped listening to my dad. Eighty percent of what I eat is: 1) green tea with lemon, 2) hardboiled eggs, avocado and tomato, 3) chicken, artichoke and pepper vinaigrette mango romaine salad, 4) black tea with chocolate, almonds, and grapes, 5) carne and rice, and 6) greek yogurt fruit chia smoothie. And of these things, 4) and 6) do not require advance prep, so that leaves four things.

lemon eggs chicken with artichoke and pepper vinaigrette carne

So cooking day practice goes like this:

  • Cut a lemon into pieces and put them in a jar and into the fridge.
  • Boil eggs, I do a whole dozen for the week.
  • Drain and divide a can of quartered artichokes between four jars, finely dice a pepper and divide between jars, whirr 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar and 1/4 cup olive oil in the small cup of the rocket blender (easier to wash than the bowl and whisk) and divide between jars.
  • Then take apart a rotisserie chicken: drumsticks and wings (minus wing tips), breasts and thighs, and everything else (including wing tips). Drumsticks and wings get put into a container, breasts and thighs get sliced and divided between artichoke pepper jars, everything else goes into a freezer bag and into the freezer to make chicken stock. Now my lunch jars are done, put them in the fridge.
  • Lastly spice carne asada or carnitas, chop onion and peppers or lime and orange, and get that in the slow cooker.

Some of this overlaps, obviously the eggs come to a boil somewhere in the middle of prepping the artichoke and pepper, then I take them off the heat, cover them, and set my timer, and then the timer goes off somewhere in the middle of prepping the carne, then I drain them and cover them in cold water. At some point I fish them out of the cold water and put them back in the egg carton and into the fridge.

When the meat is in the cooker, I do the dishes. Which is not a lot, just my knife and cutting board, I already rinsed the colander that I drained the artichokes in, my measuring spoons, the rocket blender cup and blade, and my garbage bowl that I cleverly emptied to mix my carne spices in. The pan that I boiled the eggs in just needs to be rinsed.

All that leaves is for the meat to cook, which will take a few hours. When it's done, it gets a rough chop and goes into a container with the cooking juices poured over and into the fridge.

So now this is what I have in the fridge: 1) a jar of lemon pieces, 2a) a carton of hardboiled eggs, 2b) avocadoes and tomatoes, and also lime juice, 3a) four jars of chicken with artichoke pepper vinaigrette, 3b) mangoes and hearts of romaine, 4) grapes, 5a) a container of carne asada or carnitas, 6a) greek yogurt, and also if I'm ravenous, I have a container of drumsticks and wings to snack on, and also in the freezer 5b) Trader Joe's microwavable rice (rice won over cauliflower for spacefood), and 6b) various frozen fruits. In the pantry: 1b) green tea, 2c) kosher salt, 4b) black tea, 4c) chocolate, 4d) almonds, 6c) agave, and 6d) chia seeds.

All set for the week.