Haka House Meal Prep--- Saturday and Sunday
Our life is really busy with two kids and running the gym! Saturdays, I work in the morning. So, I only do a little prep on Saturday as I don't want it to take away from family time. Most meal prep for us is done on Sundays. I like to wake up before everyone else and have some alone time to do the majority of it. The rest I do throughout the day. So here goes... See How to make it happen during the week HERE!
Cook a Whole Chicken
The one thing I do almost every single week, is to cook a whole chicken in the crock pot. A whole chicken is inexpensive (thus allowing you to go ahead and get a better quality meat). Cooking it in the crock pot is hands off and tasty, and shredding it lets you use it in a ton of different ways! To cook the whole chicken, I simply place it in the crock pot with salt and pepper. If the chicken has the bag with the organ meats and other parts, I open that and dump it in there too. These help the broth that is produced more flavorful and adds a nutrient punch with out having to consume organ meats. I do not add any liquid. When the chicken is done (8-10 hours on low and low makes the best chicken, though 4-5 hours on high works too), I remove the parts that were in the organ bag, remove the bones and shred all the meat into a container. This week, the chicken will be for Chicken Pot Pie on Monday and Tarragon Chicken Salad on Thursday. You might want to do 2 chickens if you will use it for lunches. Pour the broth into a glass container and use this throughout the week to add extra nutrition and flavor to meals... don't worry, I'll show you how to use it!
I like to make sauces ahead of time for two reasons. First, we can use these throughout the week with lunches. Second, I have a large batch that I can use for the next two weeks or beyond depending on what it is. This week I made Homemade Mayo and Homemade Ketchup. Then I used parts of these to make an amazing smoky sauce that you can use on almost anything to elevate flavor... it is sosososososo good!
Mayo is so easy to make! Just do it. The stuff at the store is so full of crap and mayo can actually be a really healthy part of what you eat when made properly... Can I get a hallelujah on that?!?!? See the recipe HERE.
In a small glass bowl, add 1 egg yolk, 1 T Dijon Mustard, 1 T white wine vinegar, a dash of salt, and 2 T of avocado oil or extra light olive oil. I use a fork and just start whisking/whipping it quickly. It will all combine and get a bit thick. Measure out 1 cup of your oil. Add a little and whisk, add a little and whisk, etc etc. It should get thick pretty quickly. You should have to add oil at least 8-10 times to add all the oil. To finish it and round the flavor, squeeze in juice from half a lemon and stir. For this week, we use this in the Awesome Sauce (below) and for Tarragon Chicken Salad (on Thursday)
This is a great ketchup from Well Fed that is super easy and has a great flavor. I put it in a squeeze bottle
To make this, I combine about 1/3 cup of the Mayo with about 1 T of the ketchup. I add 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar, 1 clove pressed garlic, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp cumin, a shake of cayenne pepper and a smidge of himalayan salt to taste. TRUTH: I double this and keep it in a squeezy bottle because Mark LOVES it.
Sunday mornings are perfect to do a little breakfast prep work that can help busy mornings get off to a great start! Every single Sunday, the first thing I do while the coffee brews is to make our Haka Grain Free Banana Bread. Make a double batch so that you can eat it for breakfast today while it is warm and have plenty to eat through the week. You can even do it as one loaf and the rest into muffin cups (just cut the cooking time). This recipe is a favorite and perfect for a quick breakfast out the door with boiled eggs or for a sweet afternoon snack. Go ahead and throw in some good uncured bacon in the same oven to cook low and slow. You can crumble whatever you don't eat at breakfast to use for salads or to flavor veggies through the week. The last thing I did this week was to boil a pot of eggs. We boil them at medium high until it boils and then reduce the heat rather than a hard boil. It seems to make them peel easily on a consistent basis.
Prep Ground Meat
Next up is to start to prepare the Jalapeno Burger Balls to eat on Monday and the filling for Stuffed Acorn Squash on Wednesday. I am also doubling the Burger Ball recipe and freezing half of the prepared meat for a week when I can't get as much meal prep done. For this week, combine 3 lbs ground beef and 1.5 lbs ground pork in a bowl. You can absolutely use any ground meat. We have an organic, free range pig slaughtered regularly. So, we use a lot of high quality pork from a local source. Add 2 tsp sea salt, 3/4 tsp black pepper, and a chopped sweet onion (go ahead and chop 2 and save the extra for other recipes. Finely chop it if you have picky eaters. You can even process the onion in a blender with a smidge of water to really hide it but still get the great flavor!) At this point, remove about a third of the meat and put it in a container with 1 Tbsp rosemary, 2 tsp thyme, and 1 Tbsp roasted garlic powder. This will be the stuffing for the Stuffed Acorn Squash. You can freeze it until the night before or keep it fresh in the fridge. The other 2/3 of the meat gets 1.5 tsp Cream of Tartar, 1/2 tsp Baking Soda, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 4 Tbsp water, and 1 jalapeno seeded and chopped. Divide all this meat into balls that are about 2 inches in diameter. Half of these can go into the freezer on a plate. Once they are at least partially frozen, toss them in a Ziploc and label it. The rest go in a glass container for Monday.
Prep Cooked Chicken
Last thing to do on Sunday morning is to prep that shredded chicken for the Chicken Pot Pie filling on Tuesday night and Tarragon Chicken Salad on Thursday night.
For the Chicken Pot Pie filling, saute in a bit of organic butter or avocado oil 1/2 of one of your cut up onions (1/2 C), 1 Cup diced carrots or sweet potato, 1 Cup chopped mushrooms and 2 cloves of diced garlic. Add 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp rubbed sage and 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg. When the veggies have softened, coat the whole thing with 3 T of almond flour. Stir. Pour in 2 C. chicken broth and either 3/4 C organic milk or 1/3 C organic half and half. Add the rest of your shredded chicken (at least 2 C) and a Cup of frozen peas. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer about 10 min. For a thicker filling, spoon a few Tablespoons of the liquid into a bowl and mix in either 2 T Tapioca Starch (my preference) or 1 T corn starch. Return mixture to pan. Stir. Put this in a glass container to store until Tuesday dinner.
Put the other half of your shredded chicken into a large glass container for the Tarragon Chicken Salad. Peel and chop 2 of those boiled eggs in there. Add about 1/4 C of the chopped sweet onion, juice from 1/2 lemon, 1/4 C chopped fresh Tarragon, 1/4 tsp salt, a dash of cayenne pepper and 1/4 C slivered almonds. Add the rest of your homemade mayo and stir it all together. Put a lid on it and it's ready to go for Thursday!
Sunday Night- FAJITAS!!!
I try to make something for the main meal on Sunday that will give me leftovers for the week, but this week Fajitas just sounded too good! I'd write a separate recipe but it's hardly a recipe. I just get 1-2 lbs of sliced beef (you could do chicken but beef is just so much yummier) and place it in a container with 4-5 mashed cloves of garlic, 2-3 T of avocado oil or coconut oil, juice of 1 lime, and 1/2 tsp cumin. Mix it all together with your hands and set aside.
Heat your water for your rice. I like Jasmine rice. Brown rice tastes like poop and has no noticeable health benefit. I always make twice as much as I need so that I have it for lunches during the week or another meal. I heat 2 1/2 C water and 3/4 C of the leftover chicken broth from the crockpot to a boil. Once boiling, add 2 C jasmine rice and 1 tsp salt. Cover. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is absorbed.
Prepare Pico di Gallo
So So So Simple and delicious.... 1/4 C finely chopped sweet onion or Red onion, 3 plum tomatoes or 1 regular tomato, 2 Haas Avocados, 1/2 C shopped fresh cilantro, juice of 1 lime, salt and pepper. If you want heat, add a chopped serrano or jalapeno pepper. Set aside for the flavors to combine.
Slice up 1 whole onion and 1 each red, orange, and yellow pepper. Place some avocado or coconut oil in a saute pan and heat over medium high heat. Add 2 cloves mashed garlic. Saute 1 min. Add the sliced onion and peppers. This should sizzle loud. Move them around a lot just until the color brightens and the onion becomes semi-transparent. Remove veggies to a plate. Add a bit more oil and get the pan heat back up (about 2 min). Add the meat. Again, it should sizzle loudly. Move it around until it is almost cooked through. Throw the veggies back in and remove from the heat.
At this point you are ready to set up your assembly line of corn tortillas (if you want), rice, fajita meat and veggies, pico di gallo, maybe some cheese and sour cream. You can also turn all of this into Fajita Bowls or a Fajita Salad, if you prefer. Oh and that Awesome Sauce you made yesterday... OMG.... don't even..... you'll have to make more if you do.... but it's worth it!
Before I post the grocery list, I need to say a few things... (on another note: if you want a printable PDF of the list, click here to download it.)
* Don't be intimidated! Many people don't enjoy their food because it's not DELICIOUS. That's where herbs and spices come in. We are going to pound out two more rounds of this meal prep stuff. So you will put these things to use in the coming weeks!
* Your grocery bill MAY be a bit more. BUT, you will have food ready and not be tempted to run through to get expensive take out. Additionally, these meals will be very satisfying helping you cut down on night time snacking.
* Food SHOULD be expensive. You get what you pay for and the very thing that feeds your body and keeps you healthy should be of the highest quality. You will pay now for food or in the future for healthcare.