When it comes to cooking, I have three areas I like to focus on: healthy, low carb, and easy to make in large quantities. I usually cook a couple of huge meals every Sunday and then eat them the rest of the week. I’ve included some of my favorites below.
Why Healthy, Low Carb and Large Quantities?
- Healthy is a subjective term, but I focus on foods with high protein, high good fat (Omega-3’s), low salt, and low sugar. That combination keeps me happy, healthy, keeps me from losing muscle even if I’m losing weight, and doesn’t make me feel tired after I eat.
- Low Carb is important to me because it helps me stay lean. When I eat less carbs, it’s easier to stay in shape without going to the gym. That means no noodles, breads, or potatoes. I enjoy all of them, but I enjoy not having to work out as much more. Higher carb foods also make me “crash” after I eat them, which is a killer to my productivity.
- Large Quantities: It’s important that I can make all my dishes in large quantities, because I don’t have time to cook everyday. I like to make 1-2 dishes each week and eat them for a lot of my meals. It saves a lot of time, and by always having something ready to heat up and eat, I’m a lot less interested in eating junk food.
On to the recipes! This first one takes a little bit longer than the other two, but after you’ve made it a couple times its much faster.
Toasted Sesame Seed Chicken and Brocolli
- 6 lbs Skinless Boneless Chicken Breast cut into 1" x 1" pieces
- 6 Eggs
- 4 tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
- 6 tbsp Arrowroot Powder or sub with casava flour or corn starch
- 12 tbsp Tamari Sauce low-sodium organic (or low-sodium soy sauce)
- 5 tbsp Coconut Sugar (or brown sugar - I usually add even less sugar and substiture with a little pure stevia to taste)
- 6 tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
- 6 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar (or other vinegar)
- 6 cm cubed fresh ginger root
- 6 cloves garlic
- 12 tbsp Toasted Sesame Seeds
- 1.5 tsp Xanthan Gum
- 32 oz Frozen Broccoli
- 16 oz Sliced Water Chestnuts
- 6 Carrots
- 1 Bunch Green Onions
- Cut chicken into 1in x 1in pieces.
- Whisk together the eggs along with arrowroot powder.
- Combine egg mix and chicken in a large mixing bowl and coat all of the chicken.
- Let sit.
- Press garlic and ginger through garlic press or dice finely
- Combine all ingredients except the xanthan gum and 1/3 of the toasted sesame seeds for garnishing when finished.
- Add xanthan gum last stirring it in slowly to ensure it doesn't clump.
- Cook broccoli. (I like to buy 16oz frozen bags that steam themselves in the microwave. You can boil, steam, bake, etc.)
- While the broccoli is cooking peel and slice your carrots to ~1/4" thick circles.
- Add some toasted sesame oil to a pan and cook thee carrots and water chestnuts.
- Set aside.
Back to the Chicken
- Add some toasted sesame oil to the same pan and cook the chicken on medium heat. Be gentle with the chicken to keep the coating from coming off. Be sure to not add too much chicken to the pan at once. There should be gaps between the pieces. ( I like to use 2 pans at once to cook it quicker. 6 lbs is a lot of chicken).
- Once done add all the chicken back to the pan and pour the sauce over it.
- Bring it all back up to heat and make sure to coat all the chicken evenly.
Mixing and Garnish:
- Chop the green onion for garnish.
- Mix all of the chicken, broccoli, carrots and water chestnuts together along with the green onions and remaining toaster sesame seeds, while keeping enough green onion and sesame seeds to garnish the top.
- Cook with 2 pans to cut down how long it takes to cook.
- This recipe is for enough to last my family for ~ 1 week.
Next up is my all time most made recipe Grass-fed Beef Strips. It has pretty much 0 carbs, so I don’t feel tired after eating it. It’s calorie dense, so I don’t have to eat an entire plate of it to feel satiated, and it can be combined with other ingredients in a ton of ways to keep it interesting.
Grass-Fed Beef Strips
- 6 lbs Grass-Fed Chuck Roast if you eat as much as this as I do, you'll want to go with grass-fed meat for the extra Omega 3's
- 4-7 tbsp Tamari Sauce organic, low sodium (can be sub'd with low sodium soy sauce)
- 1-2 Skillet(s)
- 1 Large Baking Pan
- Cut the chuck roast across the grain into strips roughly 1" thick, 1/2" wide and 6" long
- Place strips on a large pan. You'll be tossing the Tamari sauce on them, so make sure each has a little space between it to get an even coat.
- Drizzle the Tamari sauce on the steak to get an even coat. The 4-7 tbsp in this recipe is an estimation. You can use how much you like. I just make sure each piece has some a roughly even coat on it.
- Let sit for 1-2 hours covered at room temperature.This step isn't completely necessary, but by letting the steak come to room temperature, it will cook better because the inside isn't starting out cold.(There may be some USDA or food guideline which says don't do this. I'm not sure. So do this at your own "risk.")
- I like to use 2 pans at once to cut down the cook time. Use 2 pans if available.
- Bring skillet(s) up to medium-high heat and add some of the fattier pieces of steak to coat the pans. I normally find in a 6lb piece of chuck roast, I can find a couple chunks of fat that I cut out and use to grease the skillets using this method.
- Once you have a decent grease coating, start adding more strips to the skillets. Make sure not to crowd the pieces, so they'll cook more evenly.
- Flip when the bottom side has a nice crust on it. You may need to experiment with your temperature of your stove.
- The goals is to cook the meat quickly without burning it. If you cook it too slowly it may come out chewy.
- I like to cook my pieces to just under medium-rare, so when I reheat it in the microwave throughout the week, it comes out perfect. If you're going to eat it all now, cook it to your liking.
- Cook with 2 pans if possible to cut down on cook time.
- Cook them slightly less done than you'd ideally like, so when you reheat them later, they won't be overcooked.
- Grass-fed chuck roast has a good amount of healthy fat in it, so I enjoy the taste of just the Tamari sauce alone, but because the flavor is subtle, it allows you to add the steak to other dishes and sauces as well.
- They're great by themselves, but also go well with a side of hummus.
Last up is my attempt to get more vegetables into my diet. This is another one you can make A LOT of at a time, and it lasts all week!
Oven Roasted Vegetables
- 6 Large Carrots
- 5 Small Zucchini
- 5 Yellow Squash
- 3 Small to Medium Onions
- 2 Large Sweet Potatoes
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
- 4 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Teaspoons Dried Thyme
- 4 Teaspoons Dried Rosemary
- 3 Large Garlic Cloves
- Course Black Pepper to Taste
- Sea Salt to Taste
- Wash and rinse all vegetables
- Slice zucchini, yellow square, and carrots into 1 inch pieces
- Slice sweet potatoes into 1 inch cubes
- Slice onions into quarters, then separate each quarter in half
- Add all vegetables into a large pot or bowl for mixing
- Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, thyme and rosemary to a small bowl
- Press or dice the garlic and add to the small bowl with the rest of the oil and spices and mix
- Pour the oil and spice mixture over the bowl full of sliced vegetables
- Mix the vegetables with a large wooden spoon until evenly coated
- Preheat the oven to 450
- Cover two baking pans with aluminum foil (to make clean up easier)
- Spread vegetables evenly on the baking pans
- Cook vegetables for a total of 40 minutes, turning them once after 20 minutes
Between the three of these recipes, I’m guaranteed to be making at least one each week. They are all so easy, healthy, and everyone in the family loves them.
Lynn W says
I like to meal prep at the beginning of my workweek too, saves so much time! I need to put those roasted veggies back in my rotation, they look delicious and go with so many things =)
Yeah, it makes the week so much easier 🙂