In the previous blog we got your day started with a hot, nutritious breakfast. It didn’t cost very much, and it only took you about 40 minutes to prepare several days worth. Now lets keep our momentum going and set up our lunch and dinner. Again, I like to make about 3 days worth of food at a time. You could always make more and stick it in the freezer if that’s what you prefer. Traditional lunch and dinner foods offer more variety than breakfast. For that reason I’ve broken up this blog into “protein” and “carbs” as opposed to specific foods. There are plenty of easy prep options in both categories.
As far as vegetables go, I prefer eating mine raw over any other way. This isn’t because of supposed nutritional benefits, but because I just really like eating raw vegetables. This also limits your preparation to washing and chopping, so you have one less thing to cook.
My two staples here are chicken and beef. I order all my meat from a butcher shop every month or so. Everything comes pre-portioned and frozen. When I know I’m running low on food, I set up whatever I need to defrost before I start cooking. Chicken breast and steak are usually on the dinner menu, while I typically eat ground beef for lunch. I cook up the chicken or steak on the barbecue because the grill can support several portions of each. Ground beef can be made into just about anything, but it doesn’t get any easier than dumping a pound of meat into a hot pan. I usually make 4-6 portions at a time depending on how the week is shaping up. As far as fish goes, I don’t like eating leftovers. Any time we are going to have salmon for dinner, I buy it fresh and cook it within a day or so.
Cooking up carbs in bulk is even easier. My top choices here are rice and potatoes. Because I eat this stuff every day, I prefer basmati or jasmine rice for the flavour. Just scoop however much you need into a large pot and cook it on the stovetop. Potatoes are bit more work, but they sure are delicious. I like small red potatoes quartered, seasoned and roasted in the oven. My wife also has a knack for cooking them in foil on the barbecue, which is a good use of space and propane if you’re cooking meat out there anyways.
Once everything is cooked up, portion into some containers and stick it in the fridge. I usually pair chicken and steak with potatoes, and ground beef with rice because it travels well. Have some small containers on hand for the veggies you chopped up while everything was cooking. With your fridge loaded like this, you can stick to your meal plan and save money. In the next blog I’ll talk about snacking, or otherwise filling in any gaps in your diet.