I’m writing this blog on a Saturday, so I’ve got weekend plans on my mind. Who thinks about Power Cooking on the weekends? And what the heck is Power Cooking? It’s a great idea to take advantage of any spare hour or two, whether it’s over the weekend, or any week day, to prep and cook for several meals.
Power Cooking is when you’ve made a menu idea of foods that could last you a week or longer between the fridge and freezer; and you get them “table ready” in a a couple of hours. These foods can be for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Here’s an example:
pulled chicken, pulled roast, pesto, giant salad, roasted potatoes, hardboiled eggs.
If these were my menu ideas, I’d make an ingredient list, shop, and PLAN/write down in my to-do book an appointment for myself to spend a couple of hours cooking. Sometimes this is Sunday afternoon, sometimes it’s a weekday. It depends on my work schedule, and my kids sports/school schedule. But I always schedule it. If I didn’t schedule it, I wouldn’t get to it.
If any kids are home and available, I get them to scrub vegetables/chop. Usually, I do this alone, because for me, I’ve trained myself to think of Power Cooking as Me Time. I prop a TV up on the counter, I pop in a DVD to a great series (right now I’m on season 3 of Justified), and I go to town. Sometimes I listen to lectures or Podcasts instead. Other friends I know listen to music and drink wine when they cook – whatever makes you happy and in-the-moment!
I ALWAYS have a PLAN Written down and Displayed on my counter, something like this:
-S&P roast, wrap in foil, pop in oven at 200* for 24 Hours – set timer
(shred tomorrow, freeze half immediately)
-hard boil a dozen eggs to keep in fridge
-wash and cook 8 potatoes, 4 sweet, 4 white (these last forever – I either
cut/dice/saute in butter, or split, fill, and twice bake)
-make basic salad to fill largest plastic container ( all my girls, and I, eat a lot of salad; in the winter, I tend to cut and roast a lot of vegetables instead)
-make a favorite pesto recipe, to be used on potatoes, or meat, or on eggs, or in salad
Sometimes I’ll make a actual recipe (casserole, dish), pop that in the fridge, and reheat on a particular night. I was doing that a LOT for a while when all my kids were home. I’ve learned from the Food Channel that flavors actually intensify over a few days in the fridge. So night’s we’d get in late from a practice or game, all I’d have to do is pull the pan/pot from the fridge and warm it up.
Why all the effort? Why’d I spend Focus Time on thinking of cooking as enjoyable, and Me Time? Because food is that important to my health, my weight, and my families health – and their MOODS! I’ve got 4 daughters; the amount of estrogen in this house is huge. The last thing I need is to stoke any emotional fires by feeding my kids a diet of sugar, refined carbs, and chemicals. Seriously. And that goes for me too.
Looking for some fun recipes? Try www.civilizedcavemancooking.com, PaleoOMG.com, primal palate.com, or any one of hundreds of sites on the web. IMPORTANT: if your time is limited, set a timer as to how long you let yourself browse recipe sites, because it can be quite additive.
Feed your body the nutrients it wants to build your brain, your muscles, your immune system, your hormones, ……. your health. What we eat matters. Eating – and cooking – Real Whole Foods, is important.