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Get Out of Good Food Jail: Tips and Tricks from Top Paleo Chefs

Today’s post is dedicated to those of you stuck in Good Food Jail – permanently chained to your cutting boards, knives, ovens and dishwashers. Preparing and cooking three meals a day, seven days a week can be a daunting task, and eat up all the time you’d like to take actually appreciating your culinary creations. So we’ve brought in the experts – a team of top Paleo chefs, to help you break out of jail, and enter the New Year well fed and stress-free.

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Melissa “Melicious” Joulwan, Well Fed

A Whole9 Envoy Extraordinaire, author of the blog The Clothes Make The Girl, and the cookbook Well Fed: Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat (packed with more than 115 Whole30-approved recipes).

From frozen to feasting. When I just can’t bear to pack one more work lunch, and I’m feeling really lazy, I don’t even bother to cook my food. Just put two big servings of frozen vegetables in a microwaveable container then drizzle them with olive oil and a good shake of garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Add a microwaveable protein (grilled chicken, frozen cooked shrimp), cram on the lid, and shove the container your bag. At lunchtime, microwave the whole shebang for three minutes, and voila! instant lunch with no real cooking time. It’s not a 4-star Michelin experience, but we all need to eat, like, 28 times a week, so a few of those meals can be “good enough.” It’s nutritious, it’s tastes good, and it’s ready fast.

 Declare “Fish Day.” Declare an Official Fish Day and eat no-cook fish for all your meals with raw veggies on the side: tuna salad for lunch, sardines or kippers for a snack, and (defrosted) frozen, already cooked shrimp for dinner. With plenty of fresh veggies, homemade mayo or homemade salad dressing, and a little fruit on the side, it’s a fresh, light meal that requires just a little chopping and no cooking. Bonus if you add a hard-boiled egg or two to the plate. 

Get multiple pans going at once! When I’m doing a big cookup for the week, I always have two pans going on the stove at once: one for meat and one for veggies. I clean and chop all the veggies I want to steam-sauté, and I set up an assembly line so I can move stuff in and out of the pans without needing to wash in between. Start with the fattiest meat and sauté ’til browned in the “meat” pan, then remove it from the pan and use the same pan, conveniently greased, to cook the next, etc. While the meat is cooking, fire up your “veggie” pan and steam-sauté one veggie after another, using the same water. Just cook one veg, remove it with a slotted spoon to a storage container, keeping the water in the pan hot, so you can add the next veg to the steam bath. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Bonus points: On a third burner, hard boil a dozen eggs for high-quality, grab-and-go protein. I guarantee that with this method, you can make enough food for 3-4 days in about an hour.

 Make freezer “pellets.” This is such a Helpful Hints From Heloise kind of thing, it’s kind of embarrassing., but… when you have sorry-looking oranges, lemons, and limes lying around, squeeze the juice out of them and pour it into ice cube trays. When they’re frozen, I pop them out into a Ziplock and store them in the freezer. Anytime you need fresh juice for cooking, just pop one into the pot. This trick also works with leftover tomato paste (because every recipe in the world needs 1 stinkin’ tablespoon of tomato paste, so there’s always leftovers).  And when you’re not doing a Whole30, this is good for old red and white wine, too.

Patty Strilaeff, Chowstalker

Runs the website Chowstalker, blogs at followingmynose and has a bizarre obsession with offal.

Fat double-duty. If you fry (pastured, organic) bacon or cook (grass-fed, organic) ground beef, instead of pouring off the grease and washing the pan, put a lid on it and reuse it for your next meal. It will not go bad and it’s great for tossing in some veggies or some salmon (but you’ll definitely want to wash the pan after the fish).

Dirty dish distress. Sometimes following a recipe as written will result in a ridiculous amount of dirty dishes. Do I really need to cook something in a skillet and then transfer to a baking dish, or mix in one bowl and then pour into another bowl?  Read the recipe all the way through before you begin and look for short cuts that reduce the kitchen clean-up chores. For example: Lots of salad recipes have you make the salad dressing and pour over the salad.  But it works way better to make the dressing in the bottom of the serving bowl, then add the other ingredients and mix.  Then you have one less dish to wash.

Karen and Casey Puyleart, Purely Primal

The creators of Purely Primal enjoy cooking and eating fresh home-cooked meals with their two daughters, talking about food, photography, working on projects around their home, and exercising, both in the gym and out.

Organized shopping. Everything – from shopping to cooking – gets done faster and better when well organized.  We use a custom-made shopping check list (available on our web site), sorted by the sections of the stores we shop at and inclusive of about 90% of the things we buy on a regular basis.  A detailed list gets you into the store, looking for what you need, cuts impulse buying.  Print the list ahead of time and post it in the kitchen.  When an ingredient is running low, check it on the list immediately.  When putting together a weekly menu keep the list at hand and make sure to include any ingredients not currently “in stock.”

Go back to (prep) school. Mise en place – everything in its place.  Before you start, have everything you need ready.  The recipe should be printed (even if it’s shorthand notes on a napkin) and placed within an easy glance of where you are working.  The ingredients (including all spices and herbs) should be rounded up and roughly measured out.  The pots, pans, knives and any other utensils should also be assembled and ready to go.  Have the sink empty, the dishwasher put away, and the countertops clear.  Keep the garbage can and compost buckets within an arm’s reach.  Get all of your prep work done at one time – chopping the veggies or fruits first, and then the meat last.

Family time. More help means less time spent overall – but don’t limit the kids’ efforts to just doing the dishes.  It’s an opportunity for the next generation to learn, and it gets them excited to try new things when they have helped make it.  Involve the kids in getting all of the ingredients rounded up, even finding things at the grocery store.  Make a game of guessing the spice (close your eyes and take a gentle sniff).  Let them ask lots of questions, and even experiment a little (within reason).  As they are old enough and have the dexterity, let them graduate to some of the prep tasks – measuring dry ingredients, stirring, even chopping.  And eventually, relax at the counter and let them take the helm!

Charles and Julie Mayfield, Paleo Comfort Foods  

Authors of the fabulous new cookbook, Paleo Comfort Foods, which bridges the gap between traditional cookbooks and the paleo diet in a seamless and beautiful way. (They wanted to describe themselves as, “Moderately well-adjusted human beings who wrote some silly book,” but we overrode their suggestion.)

Be (food) swingers. Coordinate a meal-swap with friends from your gym/area. Get 5 or so couples (about 10 people) and agree that on a given day each week, you’ll do a meal swap. So instead of making a batch of Chili that you’re stuck eating for 10 meals, you farm out most of those meals, and in exchange, get other meals. You’ve just minimized your time in the kitchen, and have some SERIOUS return on investment.

Choppity chop. Anytime you’re chopping veggies, chop extra. So, if you have the cutting board out and you’re chopping onions, peppers, broccoli, etc., chop up extra, and store the extra in the fridge for future use. That way, when you want to create a quick dish, you already have things chopped and ready to go.

Protein double-duty. Plan with “recycling” in mind. Try to plan your meals in such a way that lends itself to repurposing some of the protein for something else. Take chicken breasts. We might grill up 3-4 pounds on a given day. Some we’ll probably vacuum seal for future use, whereas maybe 2 days later we’ll use some of the leftovers for chicken salad, or use some of the chicken in Chicken Tomatillo Stew, or do a quick stir fry with some veggies, fresh ginger, and coconut aminos, or do chicken fajitas. That way, the protein is ready to go, and you’re not slaving that much more!

Jessica Meyers, Mastering the Art of Paleo Cooking

A Physician Assistant student on a mission to show others the diversity and quality of meals possible within the scope of the ‘Paleo diet,’ and enable readers to succeed with an arsenal of new recipes on her site, Mastering the Art of Paleo Cooking.

Spice in bulk. The right sauces and spices can turn any boring meal into a masterpiece. I periodically spend an afternoon making large batches of sauces and spice blends. I freeze the sauces in smaller portions to defrost and use when I’m short on time.

Remix your meals. Simply making large quantities of the same meal to last the week can quickly lead to ‘food burn-out.’ No matter how tasty that beef stew is on Monday, you will probably be beyond sick of it by Friday. Instead, spend your time making meals that can be easily “remixed” throughout the week. Recipes like my Crock-Pot Jalapeno Roast can be dinner with some cauliflower rice and avocado, thrown over some lettuce and veggies for an easy salad, mixed into scrambled eggs for delicious Machaca, or wrapped in large lettuce leaves for tacos.

Tom Denham, Whole Life Eating

A Whole 9 Envoy Extraordinaire and the creator of more than 200 free Whole30 compliant recipes at Whole Life Eating.

Don’t be a garlic snob. Use garlic powder to add garlic flavor instead of taking the time to work with fresh garlic. Maybe my taste buds are inferior, but I have not found fresh garlic clearly superior to garlic powder in my cooking.

Carrots, easy. Buy already peeled, baby-cut carrots from the grocery store so that all you have to do is rinse and use them. I add “whole” baby-cut carrots to most recipes. Cut 2 or 3 at a time into halves or thirds if you want smaller carrot pieces.

Onion prep like a pro. Pre- prep your onions. Cut off the top, cut off the bottom, cut the onion in half from top to bottom, and then peel the skin off each half. Lay the onion flat side down and create half-moon slices by cutting down the half from top to bottom. You can use half-moon slices in most recipes. If you need smaller onion pieces, create them by cutting down the half-moon slices from right to left (or left to right if you are a leftie). Throw your cut onions into an air-tight container and shake them to separate all the onion pieces. As your cooking calls for onion, grab what you need from the container. I’ve never had cut onions spoil in the refrigerator, but I’ve probably never had 1 cut onion last more than a few days before cutting a new one.

Chicken smarts. Boil a whole bird to make “pulled chicken” and a pot of tasty chicken broth. Rinse and add the whole bird and giblets to cooking pot. Dust generously with salt, garlic powder, coriander powder, ground cumin, turmeric, and red chili powder. Add enough water to submerge the chicken. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce heat to a busy simmer and let cook covered 50 minutes to an hour. Use a pressure cooker to reduce the cooking time to 30 minutes. When done, the water has become chicken broth. Leave it in the pot while moving chicken to a large mixing bowl. The chicken will fall apart, so move the pieces as best you can with tongs and scoop the rest out with a slotted spoon. Use a pair of tongs to separate the chicken from the bones and skin and transfer it to another large bowl. Once you have the chicken separated, pull the chicken apart with a pair of forks and save it in an air-tight container. Discard the bones and skin. Let the broth cool 30 minutes to an hour and then pour it into an air-tight container. Use the broth to make a tasty soup or a cup at a time in recipes that need a little chicken flavor and moisture.

Bill Staley and Hayley Mason, Make It Paleo

Authors of the new cookbook Make It Paleo and the popular blog, The Food Lovers Primal Palate.

Knife smarts. Invest in a good set of knives, as well as a knife skills class. (YouTube or a few nights of watching Food Network can help with the knife skills, as well as a healthy amount of practice). Having good, sharp knives, and knowing how to use them will make cooking prep a lot faster and more efficient.

Storage space. Stock your cupboard with a variety of reusable food containers. Your fridge will be filled with leftovers, chopped veggies for salads or omelets, fresh herbs, dressings, and lunches to take to school or work. Having the right containers to keep everything fresh and organized really helps! We recommend glass containers or BPA-free plastics.

Easy spices. Spice blends make gourmet cooking effortless. Buying ready-made mixes of herb salts, or spice blends will take the stress out of creative cooking. Seasonello is our favorite herb salt which is delicious on roasted, grilled, or sauteed vegetables, meat, fish, or poultry, as well as eggs, and salads. When purchasing pre-made spice blends, be sure to check the ingredients for gluten or sugars (you do not want either).

Extra, extra. Purchase extra pieces of key kitchen equipment to make cooking a streamlined affair. For us, that means having a few high-heat silicone utensils, several sets of measuring cups and spoons, tongs, and several cutting boards. When we’re both in the kitchen and cooking, this makes life easy as we do not have to share tools or stop to wash things frequently. We’re not saying you need 10 hand mixers, but having duplicates of key tools can come in handy and make cooking a bit more painless.

Michelle Tam, Nom Nom Paleo

The sardonic working mom and foodie behind the popular blog Nom Nom Paleo shows you how to shave time in the kitchen and still end up with healthy, flavor-packed meals that your brood will devour while murmuring “nomnomnom.” You can check out her awesome Nom Nom gear in the Nom Nom Paleo Spreadshirt store.

SousVide Supreme. The one thing that allows me to get Whole30-compliant nosh in my belly without spending too much time cooking and cleaning is my SousVide Supreme.This kitchen appliance is my absolute FAVORITE because it (1) saves me money; (2) tricks people into thinking I’ve got mad kitchen skillz; and (3) offers me the gift of time.

Although most people think the SousVide Supreme is an indulgent luxury item, it has saved me money in more ways than one. We rarely go out to eat nowadays because it’s so easy to crank out delicious meals at home. I’ve also saved on my grocery bills because, when cooked sous vide, tough, cheaper cuts of meat (e.g. grass fed beef tongue, oxtail, short ribs, etc.) are magically transformed into tender, succulent entrees. On the rare occasion when I buy an expensive steak, I don’t need to worry about spending money on a back-up dinner plan because it always turns out fantastic.

Cooking sous vide is so dang easy. All I do is season the meat, vacuum-seal, and drop the packets in the water oven for the specified time and temp. Prep and clean-up take 10 minutes, tops. With the SousVide Supreme, I can pre-cook a bunch of meat once a week so it’s ready to reheat when I want to eat it. The trick to meal planning with the water oven is finding and grouping items that can cook at the same temperature. For example, if you like all your red meat cooked to 130º F (medium rare), just plan to make all of them at the same time and remove each individual item as they finish cooking.

The beauty of sous vide is that you can cook lots of things ahead and then you’ve got tons of ready-to-eat meat in your fridge (where it’s good for ~4 days) or freezer (where it’s good for 6+ months). You can eat the meat cold (e.g. chicken breast) or just reheat it for 30 minutes in the water bath set to the final serving temp, dry it off, and sear. Plus, clean-up is a breeze.

I know I sound like a shill for SousVide Supreme but sous vide cooking is awesome. If you don’t want to shell out the money for one, I’ve written a post about how to hack one for cheap. Just try it — you’ll like it! (Unless you’re worried about plastics, but I’ve addressed that here.)

Michelle Norris, Caveman Cuisine

The Executive Chef of Caveman Cuisine, a paleo-friendly meal prep and delivery service, and a founding member of Paleo(fx) Austin Partners. She blogs at Ancestral Momentum with her husband, Keith Norris of Efficient Exercise.

Prep your peppers.  No need enter into a knife-wrestle with these bad boys (you’ll lose, as they’re very accomplished).  No, simply cut the tops and bottoms of the pepper off first, which allows the seed pod to be easy removed as a whole piece. Next, cut the pepper lengthwise down a single side, then roll the entire pepper out flat.  This will allow for a much easier removal of those pesky membranes.  Finally, cut the pepper into whatever shape you need, whether it be julienne strips or any of the various fashions of dice.

Pay now, not later. Think of it this way:  would you rather clean up from prep work once or multiple times per week?  Yeah, yeah, I hear ya.  It is a drag at the time, but you’ll thank yourself later in the week.   One reason chefs can produce incredible dishes in record time is because all of the ingredients for that dish were prepped for them ahead of time. You can do this, too. Wash and cut all vegetables to the specifications you will need them for the dishes you plan to make. Prep all meats to the extent that you can do so safely. Make sure to seal and store these all properly in the refrigerator. Fruits should be washed and prepped at the time you are ready to use them to keep them fresher longer.

Sharpest knife in the drawer. One additional tip as it relates to prep work: always be sure your knives are properly sharpened.  A dull knife not only wastes your time, it creates more work and it can damage foods.  Last but not least, a dull knife is a safety hazard in that it is more likely to injure you than its sharper drawer mate.

Dallas & Melissa Hartwig, Whole9

Founders of Whole9 and the original Whole30 program. We couldn’t let this post go without contributing our own kitchen tricks, even though we’re not “top Paleo chefs” by any means.

Own these gadgets.  A few simple (and inexpensive) gadgets will make your kitchen life 74.3% easier. In no particular order, make sure your kitchen comes stocked with (a) a lemon/lime squeezer, (b) a garlic press, (c) a chopper (we like this one from Williams Sonoma), (d) multiple sizes of lightweight, fast-drying cutting boards (we love these from Epicurian), (e) a meat tenderizer (no more unevenly cooked chicken breasts!) and (f) cheesecloth (for clarified butter, soup stock and more).

Store smart. We have about 20 vacuum-sealed stoarge containers, to keep everything from nuts and seeds to coffee beans as fresh as the day we bought them. (We like these, from Bodum.) They look pretty lined up on your countertop, too.

5 minute meals. Keep a list of three “go-t0″ meals on your fridge – quick and easy fixings made with ingredients you always have on hand. (Eggs and frozen spinach, canned salmon and sweet potato patties and frozen scallops and Imagine brand butternut squash soup are our go-to meals.) This way, when you’re home late, hungry and tired, you’ll have no excuse not to make a healthy, nourishing meal.

Your Turn!

You don’t have to be a top Paleo chef to share your own kitchen tips and tricks. So share your favorite time-saving skills, and let us know which of our “expert” tips you found the most helpful.

We can help you live the Whole9 life.

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Comments

  1. Susan says

    I am bookmarking this article since there is so much useful information and great resources. Some of these are authors and bloggers I am familiar with, but as a more recent paleo convert, some are new to me and I look forward to checking them out. Thanks for pulling this together. I would like to comment that the link for Eclectic Kitchen Evolved does seem to be faulty. Either the site is completely down and inaccessible today, or there is some other mishap. Thanks again for the great info!

    **UPDATE: Between drafting and publishing of this article, Michelle moved her blog over to Ancestral Momentum. I’ve corrected the link. MH**

  2. jocelyn says

    Broken link referring to discussion of plastic and sous vide…

    **UPDATE: Corrected! Thanks for the notification. MH**

  3. Erin says

    Great article. I’m so excited to try some of these ideas out myself, but also to have this article to pass on to people who are new to this way of cooking/living. Super helpful. Thanks!

  4. Emily says

    Thank you so much for this wonderful collection of tips and tricks!!! I have been trying to follow the Paleo diet for 2 years and tend to veer off track when life gets in the way and I can’t keep up with keeping enough prepped food in the house.

    Some things I like to do to make things easier are:

    - lunches are always leftovers. i try to plan dinner for the weeks with a mix of big batches of things that taste good left over and just enough for one meal of things that don’t.
    - Make a big batch of chili whenever i am home all day and freeze to keep on hand for weeks when we don’t have enough leftovers for lunches.
    - on the weekend, i try to get as many meals as a i can to the point of just needing to apply heat.
    – stir fry – all veggies and meat cut up and ready to go
    – all in one baked meals – put everything together in a baking dish and put a post-it note with baking instructions, because my husband gets home from work before me.
    – crock pot meals – throw everything in the crock ahead of time, then pull of of the fridge on my way out the door in the morning. This is an especially helpful appliance for days when i have something to do after work, so dinner is ready as soon as i walk in the door.

  5. says

    My all time favorite cooking tip is: before you even start cooking fill your sink with hot, soapy water. Then as you use dishes, spoons, knives, etc. you can wash them as you go. Save the greasy pans for last, and you can be done cooking and cleaning at the same time. Then you can sit down to your lovely meal and not have to worry about cleaning the kitchen.

  6. says

    I only have to feed myself, but I do all my cooking on Sunday.

    I’m a slow-cooker worshipper. Frozen hunk of meat, a pound or two of frozen veg, spices of choice, walk away; package into meal-sized servings 10 hours later. I do one overnight Saturday & one all day Sunday. Gives me 4-5 meals per pot with maybe 15 total minutes of effort.

    I also assemble salads for the entire week on Sunday. Cut up veg, divide out, add an HB egg, done!

    Sometimes I mix it up with fish or baked squash or whatever I’m feeling like, but I literally do not cook anything but breakfast during the week.

  7. Mary says

    Great tips. I have one. When I make stock, I freeze the freezer bag as flat as I can. Then, I can just unzip, break off a piece of the frozen stock, and re-zip – for times when a recipe calls for 1/3 cup, and I have larger amounts frozen.

  8. says

    Love this collection of tips! As is mentioned several times, if you have that knife and cutting board out, you might as well prep all your veg! My tip is to plan your meals for the week taking into consideration that weeks obligations and time limitations. That way, when you get home from work, you don’t have to think-just get cooking! Also, when I know I have a night with no time to cook, I make sure that is a “leftover” night!

  9. Stacey K. says

    We keep a salad spinner with washed greens in our fridge with a paper towel on top. They’ll keep for several days. Add to that a container of pre-grilled chicken and a big bowl of chopped veggies, and pulling together a salad for work is super-fast and super-easy. I just cut some avocado on top, season, drizzle with olive oil and toss in some lime sections to squeeze on at lunch.

    I know Michelle talked about her passion for her Sous Vide Supreme above, but I love her “emergency meat” concept. We’ve always pre-grilled meat to have in the fridge for a few days, and we recently started browning grass-fed ground beef for the same purpose. Michelle takes it to another level by mixing it with cooked veggies. This morning, I mixed in a pound and a half of ground beef with a cooked veggie hash of onions, garlic, red cabbage, finely chopped curly kale, matchstick carrots and mushrooms. I ate some with two over easy eggs on top for breakfast, and the rest goes in the fridge for heating up later this week.

  10. becky says

    We are members of a meat CSA so we get almost all our meat at one time frozen. So when I load up the freezer, I plan out my meals for the rest of the month! It’s a necessity, but it also makes my life easier.

  11. Kate says

    I had avoided using an immersion blender for ever, but I got a kind of fancy one for Christmas. It has a small food processor attachment with it and I use that way more than my regular food processor for small tasks. It’s faster, much less noisy and way easier to clean up.
    Using it as a stick blender, I can make mayo in under 2 minutes.
    Pureeing soups is a breeze with it. Putting hot soup in a blender was always a huge mess. Now, easy peasy.

    Another thing I learned a very long time ago was measuring small amounts of dry ingredients in the palm of my hand. I can eyeball a teaspoon or tablespoon pretty accurately so that means no measuring spoons to clean. It may be a little messy but when all your measuring spoons are dirty, it comes in pretty “handy” haha.

  12. Mrs. F says

    These are fantastic! I find the meal that is most challenging for me to stick to paleo is actually lunch, because I’m not always great at making sure there are leftovers. So, two for lunch: take “groceries” instead of “meals.” I bring bagged lettuce, cans of tuna or salmon, jars of olives, and other veggies to work and assemble at lunch time. I also keep balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil in my office. Second, anything can be a salad. Even if it’s not enough to be a meal on its own, leftovers combined with copious amounts of lettuce and olive oil are always satisfying.

    For busy or late weeknights, don’t eschew frozen veggies. Nothing’s simpler than stir fried, frozen vegetables w/ chicken or shrimp, coconut milk, curry, and a splash of fish sauce.

  13. says

    My favorite quick meal is a “nuka egg” dish. I break an egg into a greased 2 cup bowl. Add seasonings and whatever leftover meats and vegetables I have on hand and microwave it on high for 3 minutes. If I don’t have any leftovers, a can of tuna or salmon works well with fruit as a side dish. Visualize a tuna can when deciding how much meat & veg to add to your egg.

    For those who eat dairy: 1 cup of cottage cheese, 1/2 to 1 cup fruit, and 2 Tbsp chopped nuts makes a quick and tasty breakfast.

    These are small meals but I eat five times a day. :)

  14. says

    I LOVE the chopped/cut onion tip. It’s a good one. I will definitely do this. I am of the party who DEFINITELY doesn’t want to keep chopping onions.

  15. Alisha says

    LOVED THIS POST! I make a meal plan for the week, which makes grocery shopping less stressful and cheaper. Plus I always know I have all of the ingredients I need on hand. I also keep some go-to meal ingredients on hand. Things like canned tuna, frozen fish and veggies etc. Like Melissa and Dallas said, this makes eating healthy so much easier on those impossibly long days. And like a lot of other people said, I just mass cook things and store for later. Great post!

  16. barb says

    This post and the comments are fab! I am bookmarking this one too. I especially love the quick meals ideas – scallops and imagine soup etc – those times when i don’t have leftovers are the times its easiest for me to slip and go for something less healthy.

  17. Karen B. says

    Great tips, thanks! I keep frozen chopped onions in my freezer and use a handful here and there when I don’t feel like chopping an entire onion or when I just don’t feel like getting out the cutting board.
    I also, like Stacy, use Michelle’s emergency meat idea from Nom Nom Paleo. I always keep shredded meat in the fridge that can be topped with tasty guacamole, plopped into a container for lunch or eaten between meals. Her little burgers are great too, we serve them wrapped in lettuce leaves and the leftovers are great for lunches to go.
    Purely Primal’s tip of organized shopping keeps me on track for sure.

  18. Leaf Eating Carnivore says

    Every time I steam veggies, I keep the steaming liquid in a large (2L+) airtight, freezer-safe container, layer by layer. I also rinse out and add the stuff left in the pan after sauteing veggies. Keep in the freezer so it doesn’t spoil, and when it is full, make soup.

    When you do make the soup, one way to deepen the flavour is to saute finely chopped garlic over low heat until just starting to turn colour. Remove, and saute onion on low until translucent. Then add the stock.

    Best ever. Every batch is different, and every batch is better than the last.

    Beware of beets and red cabbage or kale, though – they will make your stock grey. Just add when actually making your soup. And too much carrot is icky-sweet.

    Cheers!

  19. says

    This is the motherload of all kitchen tips!!! Thanks! Especially love the simple but needed 5 minute meal fridge post idea. Definitely going to do that.

  20. Yvonne says

    Great tips, thanks!

    A couple of mine…
    1) I freeze my homemade stock in silicone muffin pans and then throw the “stock pucks” in a freezer bag for quick use in stews, soups, sauces, pilafs, etc.

    2) I have a “go-to” list of favourite dish ideas by meat type, and also for side dishes and appetizers/snacks. I meal plan my week quickly from the list and shop from that. When I discover new favourites I add it to my list… That way I’m not poring over blogs at 4pm trying to decide on things that I inevitably don’t have all the ingredients for!

  21. Sherryl says

    I have actually found that by slicing up my red and green cabbage and storing it in airtight containers it lasts way longer than a whole cabbage just chillin in the fridge as well as encourages me to through together great slaw and stir frys I also prep mushrooms, zoodles and cauli rice but they don’t seem to last as long but only cos I eat them up quicker. Prep is definitely the way to go if you want to prepare quick easy meals. I have plenty of time just lazy so is good for me. Thanks guys for all your great suggestions