Monday, November 8, 2010

Get Your Knives Sharpened and Your Tupperware Ready...'s time to prep!

Obviously, it is not necessary to prep all of this in advance, but I'm telling makes meal preparation so much easier and more enjoyable. It will also decrease the likelihood that you will come home ravenous, dreading the thought of preparing an actual meal. You will thank me! :)

The key is to have a lot of tupperware and/or ziploc bags on hand. I also feel that a good sharp knife will really make your life in the kitchen so much more enjoyable. Good knife. Tupperware. 3-2-1-Go!

Initial Prep (Total prep time= 10-15 minutes, Cook time= 4 hours)

  1. Quarter onions (leave skin on)*
  2. Chop carrots and celery (no need to peel)*
  3. Halve garlic for stock (skin on, whole bulb)*
  4. Separate out parsley, dill, and thyme for stock*
  5. Cook Homemade Chicken Stock*

While the Stock is Cooking (Total prep time= 20-30 minutes, Total cook time= 30-45 minutes) :

  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Dice 1 zucchini and squash
  3. Chop cauliflower in to small florets
  4. Peel and slice (1" diagonally) 2 carrots
  5. Chop bell peppers into 1" pieces (1 for soup, 1 for hash)
  6. Roast vegetables (cauliflower, zucchini, squash, carrots, and 1 bell pepper)
  7. Bake 8 slices of bacon (use a baking sheet and a cooling rack, like you use for cookies...the bacon fat will drip into the baking sheet making it easy to pour into a bowl for vinaigrette-making!)
  8. Toast almonds and chop when cool (check after 2 minutes, since the oven will be at a higher temp)
While Vegetables are Roasting, Almonds are Toasting, and Bacon is Baking
  1. Stack, roll, and thinly slice basil (see example here)
  2. Stack, roll, and thinly slice mint (see example here)
  3. Slice apples for Curry Chicken Salad and other salads this week (see picture or chop as you like)
  4. Make Curry dressing for Curry-Chicken Salad
  5. Make Vinaigrette, using 1 lemon (the last half will be used for the salmon)
  6. Use bacon fat to make Bacon-Apple Vinaigrette (don't worry if you don't have any balsamic)
425F for about 25 minutes and you've got Bacon!

The Peeling, Slicing, and Dicing (Total prep time: 20-30 minutes)

  1. Quarter lengthwise and then slice remaining zucchini (for hash)
  2. Slice leeks in half lengthwise and slice .5" (once sliced, place in a colander, rinse under cold water, and then pat or spin dry)
  3. Peel and chop butternut squash into 1.5" cubes
  4. Peel 1 yam, quarter lengthwise and then slice 1" thick (for tenderloin)
  5. Peel 1 yam, quarter lengthwise and then thinly slice (1/2 for hash and 1/2 for frittatas)
  6. Quarter lengthwise and then thinly slice cucumbers
  7. Remove woody stems, roughly chop chard and then rinse and spin or pat dry (store in a tupperware container or gallon ziploc bag with a paper towel, to keep from getting wilted and soggy)
  8. You can also brown your sausage at this point, if you are planning on making Mini Frittatas

*Omit these prep items, if you are using rotisserie chicken and store-bought chicken stock.

If I missed anything, I apologize. I hope this helps!


Gowdies said...

This is awesome! Thanks! How long does the stock last?

jencereghino said...

Thank you! It tastes awesome too! This is an Ina Garten recipe and she says 3 months in the freezer. I have mine frozen in those little plastic leftover containers I get at our local Thai restaurant.