Monday, March 14, 2016

Jamie's Thoughts: Weekly Cook Up #1

Epic Bar Duck Fat



I thought I'd do a quick little blog post on what my weekly cook up's look like.  And i'm starting it out with this yummy duck fat from Epic!  I absolutely love slathering this stuff on veggies.  


So, I began this cook up by roasting some banana fingerling potatoes with herbs de provence.  They are oh-so yummy salted and paired with the richness of the duck fat.  And don't forget--cold potatoes are also a great source of resistant starch too, great for feeding good gut bacteria. 


Roasted banana fingerling potatoes


As usual, I roasted some sweet potatoes with onion, leftover turnips, and a carrot I accidentally forgot I had.  I season them with salt, garlic powder, and coat with olive oil.   For my lunches at work on the weekdays, I heat up these sweet potatoes to top on my salads.  Roasted veggies are a great way to spice up a salad by not only adding another dimension of flavor but also adding a little bit of heartiness to it.  Roasted veggies help reduce the need for dressing.  


Roasted sweet potatoes and onions


Look at how beautiful the rainbow carrots (pictured below) are!  I started subscribing to this amazing new service called Imperfect Produce. They take produce that's been rejected for not being pretty enough for grocery stores or is surplus produce and they sell it in a weekly subscription service.  And the price for the produce is discounted because the produce might have otherwise gone to waste.  

Anyway, back to the carrots, I roasted the carrots for about 30-40 minutes (they were thick!) and did something really special to them that will be the subject of a future blog post quite soon.  These carrots really made me fall in love with Imperfect Produce.  I would probably not have experimented with rainbow carrots otherwise.  And I just love being introduced to new foods.



Rainbow carrots


Below is a bunch of rainbow chard I also got in my Imperfect Produce box.  I sauteed it up with some duck fat and minced garlic.  So amazing. The duck fat transformed the rainbow chard into a buttery, rich side. 


Sauteed rainbow chard

I also roasted some romanesco that also came in the Imperfect Produce box.  Isn't romanesco magical looking with those shapes, patterns, and colors?  A friend once said that mother nature is a great inspiration for art.  (Quick scan of the romanesco photo again).  Yep, she was absolutely correct.    


romanesco cauliflower



Then I sauteed some mushrooms for my weekday salads.  It's so easy to do, and I find that it adds a great depth of flavor and some meatiness to my salad.



sauteed mushrooms



In addition to buying tons of greens for my salads and smoothies, I also take the time to chop up veggies for my salads and for snacking purposes. Here's some sliced green pepper.  



green pepper



And some diced onion...



chopped onion


And finally, this is the protein (pictured below).  I want to make an important point about this.  The protein is not the centerpiece of my weekly cook up.  The veggies are.  I eat tons of veggies.  


Lately I've been thinking that I need to incorporate some more organ meat into my diet since it's such a nutrient-dense food.  To that end, I pureed a pound of chicken liver and sauteed it with a pound of ground turkey, onions, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.  Not bad.  It can be dressed up with the sauce of your choice, including a tomato sauce (which I intend to do later in the week).  


chicken liver and ground beef


A body is kind of like a car in that the quality of the fuel you put into it really does affect how it runs.  I absolutely rely on my weekly cook up to fuel a happy, energy-filled week. It's a habit I developed over the past year, and I actually have lots of fun with it; listening to podcasts, trying new things, and just generally immersing myself in all aspects of nourishing foods, not just the eating part.   

Cook ups have been absolutely essential to my weight loss over the past year. They've helped me learn how to really incorporate lots more veggies into my diet and to enjoy them.  

Hope this helps all of you who are new to Paleo or who need some tips and tricks for doing weekly meal prep.  

--J