A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Back to 5 Day Work Weeks....What's for Lunch?

The holidays are over, which means its back to the 5 day work week for a while. Sure could’ve used Monday off since I was getting so used to it. Despite the regular 2 day weekend this past weekend, I was able to knock out cooking for the week along with an oil change and tire rotation on Kelley’s “Suby” to boot! Kelley and I even had a nice 6 mile run with one of our friends on Saturday. It was a slower run since Kelley was still getting over a crappy cold, but I wore a 20lb vest that kept me from going too fast. These runs are nothing compared to what we had during marathon training, but they are definitely more enjoyable…besides the wind…..it blows.

Instead of trying to take on different meals for each day, I cooked in big batches so we’ll have leftovers twice this week. I’m just hoping Kelley enjoys it the first time and really wants the same thing again; I gave no reason not to like the food.

This week’s meals will be slow cooker barley vegetable stew with shredded turkey breasts, quinoa with tomatoes and black beans, and jersey sweet potatoes with broccoli, beans, and carrots. Cooking with the slow cooker requires little prep time but loads of flavor. When you just don’t feel like prepping a cut of meat (chicken/turkey breast, tenderloin, round roast, etc.), the slow cooker is a savior; just add the veggies, liquid, and seasoning you want, top with your cut of meat, cover and cook on low or high until done. I like to start the cooker on high while adding ingredients, and once finished, switch to low for a nice slow cooking process.

Today is sweet potato day (one of Kelley’s favorites), and it is always a nice change to have this meal once a week. I mentioned the Jersey Sweet Potato in a past post on….surprise…sweet potatoes, and suggest you try them if given a chance.

All you need to prepare this easy, yet delicious meal is one organic sweet potato person, and a mixture of beans and veggies. We buy a frozen “fiesta blend” mix at the store that has broccoli, carrots, and green beans along with garbanzo, navy, and red kidney beans. Rinse/scrub the potatoes, pierce a couple times with a fork, wrap loosely in a paper towel, and microwave for approximately 4 minutes for each potato. For 2 potatoes, put them in for 8 minutes total; rotating half way through. Then steam the veggies in a glass bowl in the microwave, season as you desire and put each person’s meal in an individual food container (if taking to work like we do) to enjoy.
Sweet Potatoes w/ Goat Cheese and Veggies...Yum!

Some flavor enhancers for this meal include goat cheese (another Kelley favorite; notice a trend here?), Drew’s Smoked Tomato Dressing that I mention in this post, and several herbs and spices like dried dill, parsley, and cilantro with cumin, cayenne, paprika, and garlic powder. I put any and all of these things on the veggies and potato and mix well; this makes a great meal and a happy wife!

Do you have any quick-prep meals that are great to make when in a time crunch? If not, feel free to use this for your next “quick-fix” or anytime…..you’ll be happy you did.

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