Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Prep Days!

In order to prepare myself for Whole30 I wanted to make sure I had enough food ready to go so that I could set myself up for success. I am a busy mom to 2, so I need to make sure this is as easy as possible for me. I took 2 days to prep (you could do it in 1 but, like I said, I had to plan around my schedule, my husbands schedule, and Bubbs and MJ).

Day 1: Big Costco trip and veggie prep

I got a lot of organic meats, fruits, and veggies at Costco.

-Sweet Potatoes
-Frozen Broccoli (I love these because they come in 4-1lbs microwavable baggies, I love to make my life easier)

-Frozen Green Beans (again, making life a little easier)
-Grapes (oh man, I LOVE Costco grapes)
-Pre-made guacamole (Wholly Guacamole and Tableside individual servings are both compliant)
-Ground Beef
-Ground Turkey
-Chicken Breasts
-Aidell's Chicken and Apple Sausage (Whole30 compliant, don't know about other flavors, read the labels)

-Kirkland brand Albacore (compliant, check other brands for sneaky things like soy, they will be a no-go)

I like to wash and chop up all my produce when I get home from the store. I then store them in mason jars. I have been storing veggies and fruits in mason jars for awhile now for a few reasons:

1. They make my fridge so organized and clean.
2. They keep food fresh longer.
3. Once everything is pre-cut and ready I am able to prepare meals faster.
4. It makes snacking much easier (hello beautiful cucumbers! Yes I will eat you right away!)
5. I am able to get my kids healthy snacks quickly instead of reaching for the crackers or sugar-filled go-gurts.
6. I know exactly what is in my fridge and have no excuses NOT to use everything up.

And here is the beautiful proof (non-Whole30 items are for the kids and hubster):

Day 2: Big cooking day

Now, on Day 2, I made a trip to my regular grocery store for small things that I didn't need in bulk (fresh herbs, spices, small ingredients for recipes). I then went home and made all these recipes.

Crockpot Sweet Potatoes from PaleOMG

Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Rice from The Clothes Make the Girl (she has some AMAZING resources on her site, BTW)

**I will warn you, this is going to make your house STINK. I was nervous about this one because I hate cauliflower (and my house smelled horrible the whole time it was cooking), but guess what guys...this is bomb. Like for reals. Super yummy. I used my Blendtec to get the cauliflower to the right consistency. I had to blend in small batches. It was super easy and I would HIGHLY recommend this recipe!**

Paleo Crockpot Meatballs from Once a Month Meals (I have used this site for recipe inspiration for a LONG time because all their recipes are freezer friendly).

**I didn't use the almond flour (because I didn't have any on hand). I also double the sauce recipe because I feel like you can never have enough sauce! Using a garlic press helps a LOT with this one. Also, I tasted this one and it seemed to be missing something...maybe more salt and pepper? Nothing that can't be fixed when serving. I got 12 large meatballs out of this and froze half of them to eat another week.

Italian Pork Roast also from The Clothes Make the Girl
**This one takes a long time to cook, so I would recommend starting it the night before and letting it cook all night and then finishing up the next day. Thank goodness for slow cookers! I don't have a picture of this one because it is currently still cooking, but it does smell absolutely amazing. I mean, slow-cooked pork. How could you go wrong with that??

Ground Turkey and Veggies (this was one of my own creations)

-Ground Turkey
-Chopped Peppers (I used a little bit of red, yellow, and orange)
-Diced mushrooms
-Diced Onion
-Salt and Pepper
-Italian Seasoning, or any seasoning you want (always check your seasonings to make sure they are Whole30 compliant)

I just tossed them all into the pan and sauteed it up. It is delicious with guacamole over it! I know the picture doesn't look amazing but really this was good.

Cilantro Dressing (another one of my own creations)
I am not SUPER excited about this one. It is good but I feel like the olive oil is too strong. I used Extra Virgin and next time I am going to use Light Tasting.

-Juice of 6 Limes (mine were tiny, you would use less limes if yours are bigger)
-1/2 a cup or so of Olive Oil
-a couple pinches of salt
-an entire bunch of cilantro (oh man I love cilantro)

Blend it up. Taste and adjust to your liking.

Mayo from The Clothes Make the Girl
**I LOVE mayo. Have you ever checked the ingredients on store-bought mayo? I have never cared until I started this journey. Hello nasty ingredients! I was so nervous to make my own, but it worked. You GUYS...I have never felt so hardcore in my life. I freaking made mayo! From scratch! And it was DELICIOUS!! I also was able to use farm-fresh eggs from my neighbors (I am lucky to have lots of neighbors with lots of chickens and lots of extra eggs). To make this work, really read through ALL her notes. And have patience!! I plan to use this with my tuna.

Ranch Dressing from The Clothes Make the Girl
**As much as I love mayo...times that by 20 and that is my love for ranch dressing. This is awesome. I don't think I will go back to store bought ever again! You GUYS...did you get the fact that I MADE MAYO?? This blows my mind.

I just had to throw in a picture of my beautiful farm-fresh eggs. Like these were right out of the chicken's butt. What a beauty!!

Prep days are SUPER important. They set you up for success, and that is what we all want, right?? 

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