Sunday, February 17, 2013

The joys of being prepared.

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I would say that I am a pretty organized person. Not 'super' organized. And not 'poorly' organized - probably somewhere happily in the middle. Some areas/aspects of my life are more organized than others and some need help. For example - our bedroom is not organized. Not even close to be organized. We lack storage, which causes shoes and clothes to be placed everywhere. And for the record, I don't like it. 2013 is the year that we are re-doing the bedroom. New dressers, new closet doors (we currently have sliding mirror doors), new closet organizer, pictures on the wall... I can't wait. It will hopefully be the peace and tranquility that I have been yearning for. Another example - the cupboard under our kitchen sink - super organized. I bought a basket to put everything in it (cleaning products, cloths, dish soap) and so far so good.

Another thing that I am pretty organized about is meals - shopping for, planning ahead, preparing lunches. I have glanced at a few blogs that do 'Meal Plans' and they haven't been for me. I have tried to figure out why - and I think that it was the stress of not making one of the meals on the list - and then week would go to crap. Over the last couple of months - and really mostly January and February - I have noticed myself planning for the week and not as much defining a meal for each day - but defining a meal for 'A' day - if that makes sense.

There are perks to planning in advance...

As a result of this - I have noticed a few things:
1. We always have a healthy and smart breakfasts, lunches and dinners - as well as snacks.
2. I am spending way less time at the grocery store - I usually do The Root Cellar once a week, and then a grocery store once a week - maybe twice if I forget something.
3. We are way less likely to eat out during the week. If we do decide to eat a meal out - we sort of plan for it so that it is something to look forward to - no cooking, no dishes, a night out together.
4. Tossing less food out. Planning for the week - you pretty much are picking up what you need for the week - and not getting excess of things that you aren't going to eat.
5. We're eating what we love. It's planned - so I am not going to plan something that we don't like.
6. We're saving money. All of the above are contributing to these.

If you don't enjoy being in the kitchen or cooking...

In addition to planning a week's meals - I am also enjoying a couple of hours of prep time. I love being in the kitchen - so prepping food that will help for the week's meals is just another perk for me. For those who don't enjoy being in the kitchen or cooking - I would encourage you to find the dishes that you really like to make - setting a short period of time aside for yourself to do a little preparation so that when you are sitting down to eat the gorgeous meal that you have prepared, it will all be worth it.

Sunday is usually my day for trying to get in shape for the coming week. I try to have all my grocery shopping done by noon - so I may have done some on Saturday and then leave the rest until Sunday morning. I try to ensure that all of the laundry is done and put away so that we have clean clothes for the week. I make sure that all of my workout clothes are ready to go - so that I can't use the excuse that I can go to the gym because I don't have a clean sports bra. :) And I like to have the house vacuumed, floors cleaned (oh god, this doesn't have weekly - trust me), bathrooms cleaned and a clean kitchen. Thank goodness the husband is on par with this (most of the time) so he is a good partner for a quick hour to get it all done.

This Sunday is no different than others - except that the husband was off with me - so we did a few errands together. While I prepped food for the week and made our dinner for tonight, he vacuumed, did some laundry and kept asking 'what next?' - which eventually I got tired of just staring at him in amusement over the fact that he keeps asking 'what's next?'. I'm pretty sure that he asks that over and over again in hopes that I get tired of him asking and just say 'nothing, it's all good' go do whatever. Damn - he got me again this week.

For this week, this is what we will have on the menu:

Sunday - spaghetti squash and turkey meatballs - just like spaghetti and meatballs
Monday - lunch - leftover cauliflower salad and Cabbage Roll Soup
Tuesday - lunch - salad with chicken and for dinner leftover Cabbage Roll Soup
Wednesday - lunch - same as the day before and for dinner - slow cooker chicken with probably some sort of salad
Thursday - lunch - you guessed it - same as the day before - and for dinner - chicken salad with guacamole, and salsa
Friday - lunch... and for dinner after a run - scrambled eggs with a ton of vegetables almost like a frittata
Saturday - free for all

For breakfast - I always have a Veggie/Fruit Drink - just like HERE. On Thursdays, because I do a 6 AM spin class - I bring two hard boiled eggs and an apple for breakfast. Just a perfect protein to fuel me for a couple of hours.

So far on this Super Sunday, I have cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts in a little lemon juice and some dried herbs. I will wrap them up and keep them sealed in the fridge - and have half of one with my salads for lunch.

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I have made a huge pot of Cabbage Roll Soup - which will be for dinner for two nights and probably two of Chris' lunches.

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I have made a slew of turkey meatballs and baked spaghetti squash.

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And I have already wrapped up my lunch for tomorrow.

I am feeling pretty productive. And everything will be all done before The Walking Dead starts.

Now - I have declared my love for Cauliflower before. I just love it. I am in love with Cauliflower Pizza - if you are thinking about trying it - what is holding you back? Make it!!! Love it!!!

My new thing that I just tried is using it almost like a grain - like Quinoa or Barley. I saw a recipe for something like it awhile ago - and knew that I had to try it. Last Sunday I pulsed up 3 cauliflowers and used some for a pizza and the rest to make 2 huge salads. I stored it in a ziploc bag and a sealed container in the fridge for a week - to try and prevent the unpleasant smell that it can give off.

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Cauliflower Salad

2 cups of pulsed cauliflower - using your food processor - pulse up a head of cauliflower so that it is the size of a small grain like quinoa or barley
Fresh vegetables that you like in a salad - celery, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini
Fresh cilantro - finely chopped
Juice of half a lime
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup feta cheese
If you want to add a protein - chopped up chicken is deelish - or salmon

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In a large bowl, chop up all of your vegetables. Add in the chopped cilantro and the juice of the lime. Add in the cauliflower. Gently toss. Add in the yogurt and balsamic vinegar and mix it all together. Top with some feta and whatever else that you would like to throw in.

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The first time that I made this - Chris said that he would never have known that it was cauliflower.

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Alright friends - I have talked your ear off. I wish you a wonderful week. Be good to yourself and love one another.

Loves.

Enjoy!

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