Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cook Stocking Your Fridge in an Hour or Less!

There is nothing that frustrates me more than hearing someone say they 'don't have time' to cook. I get that people have jobs and kids and go to school or have other activities that take up their time but everyone has one hour to spare someplace.. and if they don't then they probably have enough money to hire a staff to cook for them!

You can find an hour by spending less time on Facebook or sitting in front of the TV. You could get up an hour earlier or go to bed an hour later. You could surely find an hour on your day off.

I'm certain you have an hour. I'm positive.. if you look for it.. you will find it.

So... I timed myself and I made four recipes in about 45 minutes and since I've made all of these before, I might be a little faster at it so I am confident you can make these in under an hour.

Of course, planning is important as are the recipes you choose.. so you'll need to print out the recipes and add the ingredients to your weekly shopping list. The key to getting things done quickly and efficiently is making sure you are not interrupted (crate the puppy, turn off your cellphone, ask the kids to go do something or tell the spouse you need help to keep them busy), knowing where your tools and ingredients are, making sure they are within reach and not wasting time.. multitask in the kitchen! If I have my oven on baking black bean burgers, I'll also make a quick pan of croutons. I never let my oven work half full!

During this time I could have also made a batch of almond milk if I needed to as it takes 10 minutes and I had that 10 minutes available. If I'm cooking or baking, I cannot leave my kitchen or I will get distracted and end up burning things.. so I stay in there but I try not to have downtime when I'm in there!

If I decide to make cookies then I am doing things during the 10 minutes each batch takes to bake - be it washing dishes, loading and unloading the dishwasher, marinating tempeh, feeding my dogs, or even checking email on my laptop.

This cooking commitment is all about beans! If you don't like beans then you should learn to like them because they are one of natures most perfect foods! They are full of protein and fiber so they keep you full and give you lots of vitamins and necessary nutrients.

Once these foods are in your refrigerator you are literally a minute or two from a wholesome food choice.

People tend to overeat or eat the wrong things when they allow themselves to get hungry or they are too tired or unmotivated to invest time into making a meal right then... this is why you need things prepared ahead of time.

I usually have these items in my fridge every week (the soup flavor changes) and I like to keep homemade black bean burgers in the freezer as well.

Here is what you are going to make and how to use it:

Tempeh Bacon - make BLT's or toss the tempeh on top of your salad or chop it up with green onions, chopped tomatoes, a little dill and vegenaise and you have a delicious salad filling you can use in wraps, on a sandwich or just eat the salad plain!

Chick Spread - I like to add nutritional yeast and No Chicken Bouillon to mine as well. I usually skip adding the tofu and celery but I do like to stir in some shredded carrots when it's done blending. You can adjust the texture to your liking.. from a flaky tuna like texture to a hummus texture. Eat this like you would a tuna or chicken salad - on bread, on crackers, in a wrap, on a salad or with veggies for dipping.

Black Bean Tortilla Soup - I usually halve this recipe because it makes a lot for just two people. I like to add in some lime juice and ume plum vinegar to the soup at the end. It's delicious! Serve this along side a salad and a piece of crusty bread and you are set!

Refried Pinto Beans - You can make burritos or tacos, use it as a dip for chips or as a side dish. You can also serve it with some brown rice. I usually just heat some up and slap it into a tortilla for a quick snack.

Breaking Down The Hour

Take 5 minutes the day before your hour cooking commitment to slice up and marinate a block of tempeh for the tempeh bacon recipe because it needs to marinate overnight.

It will take about 20 minutes to get your soup and the refried beans to the stove. That includes chopping onions, measuring out the spices (they use pretty much the same spices so it's simple to do both at once. Just use two small bowls to measure each batch of spices as you go), opening the cans of beans and getting the ingredients into the pans.

Once your beans and soup are cooking you can get the tempeh cooking as well .. tempeh only takes a few minutes to cook.

Once your tempeh is cooked and packed into a container (don't forget to date your food so you know when it was made.. trust me, you won't remember so just put a date sticker on there!) you can make the chick spread while your soup and beans are cooking on the stove.

The chick spread took me 5 minutes to make. You toss everything in the food processor and put it in a container.

That is it! You now have a bunch of yummy food at your fingertips. That is what I call fast food!

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