Monday, January 26, 2015

A Little Prep + An Awesome Friend =A Whole Lot of Food

I spend the majority of my Sundays in the kitchen prepping food for the week. I may make a batch of brown rice or oatmeal, cut up veggies, or cook up meats to use in lunches and dinners. I have found this has made coming up with healthy meals much easier since everything is ready throw together at dinner time. I read articles recently about spending a day making tons of crockpot meals and sharing the expense and the meals with friends. This seemed like a great idea, because we often have lots of leftovers and they don't always get eaten. It's also cost effective because you can split the expense of the groceries, which when you eat non processed and organic foods can be pretty pricey,

I have a friend who is also eating very cleanly who I thought would be game to giving this a try. I sent some recipes to her on Pinterest and we yeahed and neyed them until we found a few we could agree on. We looked at the ingredients and inventoried what we already had on hand and what we needed to buy. We ended up not choosing any crockpot meals but instead some stuff that didn't have long cooking times. She went to Whole Foods the night before to pick up the handful of ingredients we needed and also brought over some produce that she may not have been able to use before it went bad. We ended up making two complete meals, roasted butternut squash and homemade mashed potatoes. Here is the review of each dish and what we would change or add to each.

The mess, mid process
The first recipe we made was cauliflower chowder from Damn Delicious. The only part of the recipe we changed was not adding carrots because I didn't realize I was out until we started cooking. Recipe wise it was easy to follow, but there was a decent amount of prep work chopping the veggies (especially the cauliflower, thanks for that Z). Once it was finished we decided that it was too chunky the way the recipe called for so we used the emulsion mixer and turned it into more of a potato soup consistency. Flavor wise purely following the recipe it was bland, not bad just nothing special. However some smoked salt and a bit more pepper and it was much tastier. I would make it again, especially when cauliflower comes in season, and portion wise this recipe makes A LOT of soup.

Second we made Zucchini Noodles with Cilantro Lime Chicken from This was a very simple recipe as well as long as you had a veggie spiralizer (I love mine, they have a ton on Amazon but this is the one I have.). You can cut the strips yourself, but that would add a great deal of time to the process and these are a relatively inexpensive kitchen gadget so I think they are worth the purchase. Recipe wise we did not add in any hot peppers and we cooked the chicken at medium low instead of high. This is a great tasting recipe, very flavorful and light. I plan on taking my portions for lunch the next two days and I bet they'll be awesome.

She had some potatoes on the verge of going bad that we boiled down and used the emulsion mixer, milk, and butter to turn into mashed potatoes. She plans on using these in a shepard's pie recipe later this week (I'll probably have mine as a side dish with chicken). I recommended this recipe from Ditch the Wheat replacing the sweet potatoes with mashed potatoes. I just made this the other day and it was a huge hit with everyone. We also roasted some butternut squash with olive oil, salt and pepper and I'll be eating my portion with one of my lunches this week.
Soup finished, chicken cooking, potatoes boiling
This was a great experience for us. The cooking went by very quickly and it was awesome to have someone to prep with. We got plenty of food and only had to buy a few ingredients to bring everything together. It helps that we eat similar diets, though it did take a bit of back and forth to find recipes that we both thought looked good. We will definitely try this again in the future, possibly making meat bagels (but maybe not). I would so recommend trying this with a friend, it makes the cooking and prep time go by so much faster and it was a great experience all the way around.
Mashed potatoes and chowder ready to portion out
Everything all divided out ready to go

1 comment:

  1. So here's my take on how it came out.

    I love love love how fast everything went. That really blew my mind. I'm totally ready to do it again for that. I didn't mind the going back & forth on recipes because pinterest made that very easy. Setting up a folder where we could both pin things was my one great contribution!

    I love the cauliflower chowder. It was okay at first but a little doctoring made it something I want to have again. I had it for lunch today with some of the roasted butternut squash in it, as well as white pepper & smoked salt & I really enjoyed it.

    I was going to make shepherds pie with the mashed potatoes, but I left part of them behind. So I decided to make a mini mash of the potatoes & some smoked turkey breast I already had in my freezer. I added a little raw cheese & butter & yum - hearty, good meal.

    I'll probably take the zucchini lime cilantro chicken to work for lunch tomorrow. When I sampled it I knew it was a winner. I tend to save the best for last.

    I would do all of these recipes again. I loved how much soup the cauliflower made.

    Thanks for asking me to be part of the team!