Kristen here, aka: Chef. This is my second Whole30 with @tessemaes and with one under my belt, I feel at least a little better prepared this time around. I’ve been developing Whole30 recipes for Tessemae’s and cooking a lot of them for my family at home for 2 years now. One of my favorite things about it is that unless I shout it out, my husband and daughter (and many of our blog readers) have no idea the food I’m making is Whole 30 (or paleo or grain free or any other popular hashtag). It’s just real, good food.
I’d like to share a couple tips and tricks with those of you who do not LOVE cooking or maybe like me, are looking to save a little time. I use these meal prep strategies every week. Ha! Nope. Not really every week, but whenever I can and definitely during a Whole 30. (After all, for me to have a succesful shopping trip and actually get out with everything on my list, two things have to happen. One: Enough coffee in the bloodstream. Two: My assistant has to make it through the store without a public tantrum.
Bottom line is make it easy on yourself! It takes no more time to roast 2 chickens than it does one. If you make one of the below recipes a couple times a week, by end of the week you’ll have a great rotation of easy things to grab (or stash in the freezer!). Here are some of my favorites ideas:
The While You’re Up Rule: Roast just one chicken? No way. While your up roast two! Same goes for grilling pork tenderloin, baking meatloaf, or almost any recipe where you cook the protein alone. This way, you have the base of a couple lunches or a fast dinner ready to go.
Big Batch Meatballs: Same idea here. While making meatballs for dinner, double or triple the batch. Freeze them on sheet pans, then transfer to plastic freezer bags. Broil right from frozen and then serve in Brodo, or in Matty’s BBQ, or in this classic Garlicky Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs, (Skip the parm- duh.)
Cheaper by the dozen: Hard boiled eggs are a lifesaver! Don’t boil 2; boil at least a dozen. They’re an easy breakfast on the go, you can halve and spread with our Mayo or Dijon for a tasty snack, slice and top a salad, or make these bad boys.
Simple Roasted Squash: (Or sweet potatoes, or potatoes!) Roast up a double batch of this and use it all week. Add protein and sautéed greens for an easy lunch, scramble into eggs for a hearty breakfast, toss in a salad... you get the idea.
Where’s My Snackpack!?: Ok, so no snackpacks allowed but try this: Mix 1 can coconut milk, and ¼ cup chia seeds in a bowl. If you're feeling fancy… scrape in the seeds of a vanilla bean. Let thicken about 15 minutes. Divide among small cups and top as desired. Refrigerate overnight. Great snack!
Desperation: Chipotle. Chipotle is my long day, have to get dinner on the table, running late lifeline. They only truly complaint protein there is carnitas. The other meat and veggies are said to be cooked in soybean oil. Order this: Salad with carnitas, pico and guac. (Top with Tessemaes SW Ranch ;-)
Happy Hour: My husband and I have a “happy hour” tradition on Fridays and that ritual is really hard to miss. Easy fix is to “Whole30-a-fy” it. Or something like that anyway: I muddle some mint and a blackberry or two in a glass, top with ice and sparkling water or unsweetened iced tea. Serve with Plantain Chips & Guac or Creamy Kale & Artichoke Dip (again, no parm!)
Hope these tips help you as much as they have helped me! And good luck on that Whole30. Have helpful hints of your own? Share a comment below so we can all give it a try. (I'll take all the help I can get!)