Meal Prep Round 4: Making Things Look Easy

                             Rye Sourdough Bread

With the fourth chapter of meal prep in the books, Morgan and I had a ridiculously successful day. Everything went so smoothly, I’m half worried we may have hit our peak too soon and will underperform in future weeks. But at least I get to sit here and write about it as if we’re seasoned vets.

Things started with me making a trip to Le Pain Quotidien to pick up two loaves of rye sourdough bread, which has quickly become a staple the past two weeks. Rather than having me explain why we’ve chosen this particular establishment and bread instead of going to our local grocer, I’ll let LPQ do the explaining:

You can count the ingredients in our bread on one hand: flour, starter, water, salt and time. We use only organic stone-ground flour milled to our exacting specifications—this is what gives our bread an earthy, deep richness and hearty crust. While commercial bakeries might use yeast to get their bread to rise, we nurture a natural sourdough starter to give our breads lift. It’s the secret to our bread’s rich aroma and craggy interior. And time is always on our side. We take bread making nice and slow, letting the levain starter do its job, with our bakers guiding the way.

             Coho Salmon, Carrots, and Asparagus

After watching Episode 2 of Cooked on Netflix, we were inspired to find a healthier alternative to our usual bread consumption, which consisted of over-salted bagels and overly processed sliced bread. The greatest thing about this decision is not only the improvement in our health, but the fact we will be eating fresh, homemade bread. There are few things better in this world.

After the quick stop to LPQ, I headed to the grocery store to pick up everything else on my list. I try to avoid doing this during the Sunday lunch hour, but I must admit, I did not have my meal plan prepared until Sunday morning. So into the wild I went.

                        Corn and Black Bean Salsa

Although there was a bit more foot traffic than I’d like to weave through, it certainly wasn’t the biggest grocery store crowd I’ve thrown myself into. I don’t even want to talk about how crazy people got when we had a blizzard in January. After about 45 minutes of shopping and checking out, I headed home.

There was no time to delay. It was almost one o’clock and I still had plenty of things on my daily to-do list outside of meal prep. I began by tossing together spring greens, radishes, pumpkin seeds, and grated parmesan.  While I was going about my business, Morgan was preparing some overnight oats to try out a new breakfast option.

Next on my list was cutting up some carrots and asparagus, seasoning my Coho Salmon filets, and boiling water for quinoa. With the oven pre-heated at 400-degrees, the veggies and salmon were put in and the quinoa was set to simmer.

     Spring Salad with Radishes, Pumpkin Seeds, and                                         Grated Parmesan

While these items were cooking, I heated up a frying pan to cook some pork and chopped up onions, mushrooms, and red potatoes. After everything was finished cooking on the stove and in the oven, it was all moved to the dining table to cool off. Meanwhile, Morgan began preparing the topping for our Garlic Parmesan Chicken, and I got out the glassware to begin portioning out some meals.

The chicken went into the oven and I heated up the Wok pan to prepare a Turkey Sausage, Mushroom, and Potato Gratin. At the same time, Morgan prepared a Corn and Black Bean Salsa. The timing was perfect, since I would be moving everything from the stovetop to an 8x8 glass pan and when the chicken came out, the gratin went in.

                          Garlic Parmesan Chicken

The big finale, as always, was to get everything cleaned up. With the gratin in the oven for 45 minutes, the challenge was to finish cleaning before it came out. Even without a dishwasher, Morgan and I got everything washed, sanitized, and looking like new with time to spare.

From start to finish, everything took right around four hours, which was perfect. We were able to prepare four brand new recipes without skipping a beat.

Without further ado, here is this week’s menu:

Breakfast

  1. Eggs, Turkey Bacon, Spinach, and Rye Sourdough Bread
  2. Overnight Oats with Bananas and Chia Seeds

Lunch/Dinner

  1. Pork, Gratin (Turkey Sausage, Mushroom, and Potato), and Spring Salad
  2. Garlic Parmesan Chicken and Spring Salad
  3. Salmon, Asparagus, Carrots, and Quinoa
  4. Open Faced Brown Rice Cake Turkey Sandwiches

Snacks

  1. Sweet Potato Chips with Corn and Black Bean Salsa
  2. Veggies and Hummus

Keeping with the trend of these monthly challenges (four posts per month), this will be the final post on Morgan and I’s meal prep adventures. Yes, I know, there’s another Sunday in May, but let’s keep things fresh. As my gift to you, I’ll have June’s introduction for you all next Monday, which will technically still be May 30th. If you want to continue following our Sunday sessions, head on over to Your Pen Paul’s Instagram for pictures of our weekly menu.


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