Paleo Meal Preparation Secrets! What, When & How!
How To Solve Your Weekly Paleo Meal Preparation Frustrations
So, It’s the middle of the week. And, You’ve run late getting home from work and you have to get the kids to practice. But, You know that it is going to take you at least an hour to cut up your veggies, prep your meat , get it in the oven, and then try to get the family to sit down and eat a healthy homemade meal. You don’t have enough time to do all of that again for the second night in a row. However, you want to cook a healthy meal for you family , and you don’t want to grab fast food or an expensive meal from a half way decent to go place.
But, what do you do?
We know, there is no quick way to get it all done during the week. Why not take care of all of it before it’s go time? Successful Paleo cooking during the week starts with proper meal preparation by completing the prepping of your veggies on Sunday. It only takes you spending a couple hours on the Sunday before the week starts cutting and cooking your veggies before the weeks starts. Once the vegetables are cooked you can easily place them in the refrigerator, and pull them out each night when you need them. By spending a little time on the weekend it gives you all the time you need to run in, get a meal on the table , and get the kids to practice. Below we lay out a simple way to cook your vegetables, and a list of veggies how we cut and cook them.
Basic Veggie Meal Preparation Recipe
You can follow the same basic recipe to help make your Sunday meal preparation an ease.
–Grease dish with coconut oil
-Cut your vegetable of choice & place in greased cooking dish.
-Coat in Grapeseed Oil , and add your favorite seasoning, sea salt, and pepper
-Bake 350 degrees for anywhere from 20-35 minutes, depending on the side dish.
But, You may like it more tender, so just cook longer. We also try to buy veggies that are in season. And, Most side dishes can be baked/roasted in the oven. Here are a list of veggies below, and This is how we cook & cut them.
Paleo Veggie Types & Prep
Here are some organic vegetable staples:
Organic Butternut Squash
Sweet and hearty. It is intimidating when you don’t know how to prepare. So just peel, cut in half, spoon out seeds, and cube. Follow the basic recipe above and you will never go back to white potatoes. Great to use leftovers for breakfast. Yum!
we bake these with just sea salt and add Ghee or Kerrygold Irish Butter (you can buy at Costco and make your own Ghee with this). My kids love this! Go with me on this! We buy 10 pounds of organic carrots at Costco. We cut up about 3 pounds per week for side dishes and snacks. So much better than baby carrots and cheap!
Organic Green Beans
– we buy 4 pounds at Costco and keep in the freezer. Easiest side dish to prep during the week. I would cook it every night because it is that easy.
— okay this may not be strict Paleo, but if you buy it organic (not genetically modified), it does not harm you. Don’t buy organic in the can! You can put a whole ear of corn in the microwave for 5 minutes. The microwave steams it, so it will be super hot when you take it out. Let it cool enough to not burn yourself (10 minutes or so) and pull of the husk! That simple and it is so crisp! I also buy organic popcorn kernels. This is a quick snack for my kids. I coat about 1/4 cup of kernels in grapeseed oil, add in sea salt and put in paper bag. I fold over the bag two times and place in microwave for 3 1/2 minutes. So simple and good for you!
Organic Spinach –
we buy this at Costco in the plastic container. It is easy to steam or throw in a salad. Fool proof as a side item and fast!
Organic Lettuce –
we buy the Earthbound Farm Spring Mix at Costco. I have such a hard time with a balanced breakfast. Adding a leafy green to your morning routine is perfect. I usually make a salad for breakfast. My basic salad is lettuce, pine nuts, an egg or nitrate free piece of sliced ham, chia or hemp seeds, sea salt, grapeseed oil, and flaxseed oil. This is balanced and fills you up! People look at you strange, but you will start off the day feeling amazing!
if you bake it using the recipe above, make sure you cook for 45 minutes and stir halfway through baking. It is so good too!
If you want to save on cash, these staples do not need to be organic:
- Broccoli – try baking rather than steaming. So much more flavor!
- Cabbage – slice in rounds and bake. Easy as that. It usually takes 45 minutes on this one. The longer the better in my book!
- Brussel Sprouts – use recipe above and add Newman’s balsamic vinaigrette for extra flavor!
- Okra – we buy 365 frozen okra at Whole Foods and just bake in oven (same recipe as above) for about 45 minutes. We stir about halfway through cooking. No more stringy okra and no more having to stand there stirring it constantly on the stove top. Wouldn’t eat okra any other way. To vary it up a little, you can buy fresh okra and bake the whole okra. This is great and easy!
- Sweet Potatoes – the recipes are endless on this. My quick and easy tip is to bake 2 or 3 in the oven on Sunday to have as a snack or side dish at lunch during the week. Super simple. (I add cinnamon and Stevia for a sweet snack!)
- Spaghetti Squash – cut in half, scoop out seeds, place both pieces face down in baking dish with water, and bake until tender. Handle with care! This comes out of the oven very hot and the steam will get you every time! Scrape with fork and voila you have a great Paleo version of pasta for spaghetti and meat sauce!
- Kale – we make kale chips or use kale in a salad. The trick with kale is that you must remove the stem, which makes it bitter.
- Frozen Sweet Peas
So, This should cover you for a full weeks worth of veggies! Vary it up based on the season and try a new recipes once a week. And, Keep it simple and you will succeed!