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Friday, October 4, 2013

My cooking routine

I often get asked how I can manage to cook most of my stuff from scratch, never eat out during the week, have a full time job and a side business... all this with a 3h daily commute... and not owning a microwave! And minimal amount of pots and pans!

One word for you guys:   ORGANISATION!!!

as simple as that... I did not get there overnight... when I first became vegetarian, I ate out a lot... and bought too much prepared food... then we started gaining weight... and not feeling so good!  So I started looking for solutions...  and adding one after the other I found my own way to organize myself... with eating out only when it's a conscious decision... not because I have nothing to prepare a meal... and without spending ridiculous amount of money on groceries....

I never buy canned anything....  I've set up a rotation for beans and legumes where I always have frozen chick peas, red beans and black beans.... ready to be used with rice, quinoa, and fresh vegetables...  in some sort of a stew or soup!  This can be done in a matter of 30 minutes maximum (if I did not prepare over the week end) since I also always have frozen rice! I only have to think of what rice/legume take out of the freezer in the morning to make sure they're unfrozen by supper time!

I like to go my groceries on Sunday (and I usually go back once or twice for fruits and veggies during the week!)... and then do my usual 3h cooking frenzy!!!  I prepare my menus on Sunday morning while having a coffee at Starbucks, shop after lunch and cook late afternoon/early evening...

I try to always make a soup and a stew... this allow for 3-4 meals easily (2 during the week and left over for lunches or freezing in individual portion size)...  plus they are complete in themselves having whole grains, legumes and vegetables (read carbohydrate, fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals)!  One meal is pasta... with homemade pesto or sauce which I also make on the Sunday (or last minute - it doesn't take long)...  sometimes in a big batch so I have for 2-3 weeks (frozen)...  Another meal is some saute vegetables with rice or pasta and tofu!  Once again. complete in one wok!!!

For example, if I take my last Sunday cooking plan it looked like that:

1) cook quinoa - to put in salad for lunches at work

2) At the same time white beans were cooking for another recipe

3) once the quinoa is cooked, put in container for fridge and wash pot to be used to cook beets

4) roast cauliflower for supper

5) once beans are cooked, put in ceramic container with remaining ingredients to cook in stove (after cauliflower is done) for all night.  Wash that pot and make barley stew.

This was my cooking for most of my week... We had one supper of beans, my son had leftover for lunches. We had one supper with barley stew and then again my son had leftover for lunches... I had unfrozen some soup and this was one other supper with fresh bread...  4th meal was a mix of leftover soup and beans.... and tonight we may have pasta...

The quinoa has been used up in salads for both my husband and I.... and Friday we had a sandwich...

There was no waste... we had healthy meals... everything was done from scratch and with TLC (tender loving care)...

It is that simple...  you just need to take 15-20 minutes one day a week to plan ahead and then you get use to your rotation for what needs to be frozen or not...

I am always happy to hear from you... do not hesitate to contact me!!! And foward this post to people who may be interested!

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