Food Prep #1 – Prepping Ahead

I’m a busy guy. I own my own business. My wife works full time, often on nights and weekends too. I have a relatively high maintenance 8 year old and a maniac of a three year old. I own a home… with the accompanying yard and manage a rental property with it’s own set of demands. 

Did I mention that I have ADHD too? 

Bottom line: I don’t have time to F*** around. I am all about efficiency! I’m also the person in the house who does the cooking every night. Partly because I’m a classically trained chef, partly because I work from home, it makes sense for me to be the chef at La Casa di Reid. But I certainly don’t have to time to make anything epic Monday thru Friday. My goal is always to have a healthy, delicious meal on the table in less than 1/2 hour, while doing the dishes as I go and making my son’s and my wife’s lunches for the next day. Though 30 minutes may be ambitious for the not-former-professional-chef among you. Easy, quick, simple, healthy, delicious is not unreasonable for anyone. 

But, the pork & brussel sprouts that are going on the table tonight are do not begin their journey tonight at 5:40 when I get home from picking up my son. They started their path to our table last Friday. That’s when I make the shopping list, often with the help of my wife. (And, actually that list starts as soon as the shopping is done the previous Saturday. If you have a running list on your fridge or on your phone, you can add things throughout the week as the run out or run low.)

The next step is food shopping which happens at a more or less predictable day and time. Saturday morning is when we do it 99% of the time. As a matter of fact, it is a recurring event on my Google Calendar for Saturday morning. That way I can’t forget about it when planning my weekend. 

The next step is maybe the most important in terms of that meal being on the table quickly during the week. It is the prep that gets done on Saturday or Sunday afternoon. I like to get it out of the way Saturday, but it doesn’t really matter. I do bigger projects and a lot of my own butchering, but just to take care of the veggies for the week shouldn’t take much more than 1/2 hour to an hour. But it will shave so much time off the making of the meals. 

What most people don’t realize is how long veggies will last if purchased fresh, prepped well, and stored appropriately. The next few posts will be about how to prep certain foods and how to store them to make them last for you and your family. Below is an example of the best way to store your veggies at home. These green beans have been “picked” and put back in their produce bag with a paper towel or two in the bottom. Once you’ve done that, squeeze out as much of the air as possible and tie the top. If the beans are fresh, they’ll last 5 – 10 days. Straight from the garden, 7 – 14 days easy. 

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