Just because it’s Sunday doesn’t meal you have to stare at you bag of chicken and dry oatmeal and dread the week ahead. You paid for your food. You’re the engine and it is the fuel. Make your food work for you.
The idea of forcing your food to pay you back excites me because my meals come from my university’s dining hall. As a poor college kid, I get mad at the mere idea of a loss of a quarter. But through trial and error (and error and error), I learned that eating unsalted potatoes with limp rolls of turkey is a choice not a matter of hitting certain nutrients.
The secret to making your food pay you back is simple. Focus on a component that you know you’ll look forward to meal-in-and meal-out. And eat it.
Every time I have a meal, I try to focus on a protein source. For example, above, I had guessed that my beef had enough fat in it (probably cooked in oil), so I made the beef my building block. I added a beet salad, vegetables, and some rice on top of that. In retrospect, there should have been more meat. But, I’ve learned to focus on either my protein or my carbs for size.
For example, if you’re a protein-focused Neanderthal, here’s a recipe for Rosemary Chicken.
4 boneless chicken breasts (or equal weight in tenders like pictured above)
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
2 stems of fresh rosemary
pinch of red chile flakes
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of oil of your choice
pinch of salt and pepper
Mix in chicken breasts with 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary, red chili flakes, the juice of a lemon, salt, pepper, and a tablespoon of oil. In a pan on medium-to-high heat, add the seasoned chicken breasts. Add in the two sprigs of rosemary. Cook until golden. Flip over and cook on the other side until lightly browned. Serve or store for 3-5 days.
If you’re human, here’s a carb-centric recipe for cilantro lime rice.
1 cup brown rice
2 cups chicken stock
½ cup cilantro
1 garlic clove
pinch of salt
Place rice in pot or a rice cooker. Add 2 cups of chicken stock. Turn on the stove/rice cooker and cook. Dice up a garlic clove, ½ cup of cilantro, and juice a lime until the rice has expanded and is no longer crunchy. Place the cooked rice in a large bowl and mix in the diced cilantro, juice of a lime, diced garlic, and a pinch of salt. Serve or place into a container in refrigerator until ready. Stores 3 – 7 days.
Make these the star of your meals and you’ll never groan at the sight of your meal-prepping containers again. Your food owes you–not the other way around.
*Credit Nikita Tiffany . . . follow her food log @niki.eats !!!