Nothing is worse when embracing Whole30 (or any elimination diet) than opening a fully stocked refrigerator and there being nothing to eat! It is during these moments–when you’re hungry and time is limited–that you never want to be stuck having to cook a meal.
So, we prep. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a pro-meal-prepper! We are learning together here! This is one of the life changing this that can come out of the Whole30. Honestly, no matter how hard I try to eat healthily, there are times that just grabbing a PB&J is so convenient that I can’t pass it up.
Those days end now. We will always have something good and easy on hand for breakfasts and lunches (Supper, I plan to cook and prepare). Anyway, we did some prep in our free time today, and I wanted to share some it with you. We still have a lot more to do over the next few days as we get in a habit.
We cleaned all the fruits and veggies in a vinegar-water solution (well–not the onion) before storing them.
If you recall from my post “Here We Go! #Whole30“, I try to follow the dirty dozen, clean fifteen guidelines when deciding what to purchase organic.
Whether organic or not, I always wash with vinegar-water and then rinse and dry before storing it. This way, if I am in the mood for a blueberry or a piece of celery, I only need to grab and go.
One thing I would highly recommend for anyone who wants to make meal prep easier–whether Whole30 or not–is at least one good knife. In my experience, a knife is not where you should cut costs. Get the best one you can afford. You will also want to make sure it is a straight edged knife so you can sharpen it.
I don’t have a collection of fancy knives, just three good ones that cost between $20 and $50 each. I know there are ones that are more expensive, and I dream of them! Forget that Louis Vuitton, I want fabulous knives! The ones I have though, are good, they keep an edge and are easily sharpened when needed. Because my budget is tighter than my jeans, I had to save for what I have, but I think they are money well spent!
When you get some good knives, or if you have them–TAKE CARE OF THEM! Clean them and dry them right away. DO NOT let them sit in the sink, or sit dirty. Treat them well, and they will treat you well!
Okay, so I didn’t mean to go off a knife rant, but really–they make life easier!
Meat preparation is important too, but I did not get much of that done today. What I did do was cook up some bacon to be made in the microwave as needed. If you live in the US, you’ve probably seen the pre-cooked bacon packages, and you can make your own and use bacon that is minimally processed.
I am not a big fan of bacon, and neither is Alee, so we don’t risk eating a whole package at once, but for a quick protein source, a couple pieces from time to time are nice. What I do is cut the pieces in half (because I prefer smaller pieces) and put them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. I bake them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until they aren’t quite done.
Remove the bacon from the cookie sheet and blot excess fat (unless you really like the grease, then you can leave it) and store in a baggie or container. You can even use waxed paper or parchment and separate the pieces like they do in the packages if you want. I just don’t care if they stick together, so I don’t bother.
I save the bacon grease from the pan. Remember, this is a good fat source (still, don’t over do it though) and using a little bacon grease for eggs, asparagus, or whatever you want can add a huge boost of flavor. I keep a container in the fridge, but my grandmother kept a grease can under her kitchen sink. She would drain off fat drippings from everything and slap in the pan when frying. The memory really grosses me out, so I always refrigerate it, but I am not sure if you have to. (I don’t strain the bacon fat either, but when I’ve done my own tallow in the past I did strain that.)
Well, this post is really getting long! I will post tomorrow some more meat prep, and some make-ahead options. I will also post about our meals today and some “before” pictures.
Thanks for reading, and as always, please comment with ideas or suggestions–or just to say hi!