Week 3 of meal prepping for my wife, this week I decided to make:
- Breakfast – Strawberry yogurt parfait
- Lunch – Spinach salad with chicken, apple, pecan and red wine vinaigrette
- Snack – Hummus with sweet mini bell peppers
- Dinner – Chinese vegetable stir fry with chicken, Cauliflower and roasted carrot fries
Almost everything used to make these dishes came from Trader Joe’s, the only exception is fermented black beans. I got mine from 99 Ranch Market, but any Asian market should have this ingredient.
Ingredients for Salad
- 2 packs of baby spinach
- 1 pack of pre-cut apples
- 1 bag of pecan halves (unsalted)
- 1 pack of grilled chicken breast
- 1/2 bottle of red wine vinaigrette
Ingredients for Carrot Fries
- 1 bag of mixed color carrots
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- fresh ground black pepper
Ingredients for Vegetable Stir Fry
- 2 packs of chicken tenders
- 1 Cauliflower
- 2 Large sweet onions
- 2 Celery stalks
- 4 Zucchini
- 2 Large red bell peppers
- 1 bog Carmini mushrooms
- 2 packs of sugar snap peas
- 1 clove of garlic
To prepare all dishes this weeks meal prep took me about 3 hours from start to finish. Most of that time was spent cutting vegetables and preparing the food to be cooked. Actual cook time was about 1 hour.
(Step 1) Is to soak the fermented black bean because it needs to re-hydrate.
(Step 2) While the bean soaks, make the spinach salad. Just make sure the spinach leaves are fully dried after washing them. For the most part you are just putting everything into the salad, the only trick is to not mix the dressing until you are ready to eat because adding it too early will cause the greens to wilt. For my dressing, I used the little to-go sauce containers that come with a lid. I bought a ton a while back for jello shots from Smart & Final, but I kept them over the years because they make great sauce containers.
(Step 3) Once the salad is put together turn your attention to the roasted carrot fries. I like to use the multi-color carrots just to add some color.
(Step 4) Cut the carrot into fry size strips (quarter pieces for larger carrots and half pieces for the thin tips)
(Step 5) Toss your carrot strips into a bowl with cooking oil and some oregano and freshly ground black pepper. I use grape seed oil but you can use any oil that has a high smoke point (i.e. Canola, Vegetable, Avocado, Peanut, etc.).
(Step 6) Lay your oiled and seasoned carrot fries onto a baking sheet lined with heavy duty aluminum foil and throw them into a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes.
(Step 7) This is what your roasted carrot fries should look like when they are done. If you like them a little more crispy then do 450 degrees, just make sure they don’t burn. Once they are done, set them aside.
(Step 8) For the vegetable stir fry with chicken and cauliflower you need to prep all of your ingredients first. Basically you want to cut all of your vegetables, Cauliflower, and chicken into similar size pieces so they cook evenly. If you need help properly cutting Cauliflower, check out my earlier post. Make sure you strain the fermented black beans and mince your garlic. Normally when you do stir fry you would make one or two serving at a time from start to finish. So for example, you would basically add a little of each ingredient until you have a full dish to serve at the end. The problem with meal prepping is you tend to have a ton of food and you cannot have all of it in the wok at the same time. Therefore, we will cook each set of ingredients in stages.
(Step 9) Heat your wok on your hottest burner, once the wok is rocket hot add some cooking oil that has a high smoke point (i.e. Canola, Avocado, Grade Seed, Peanut or vegetable oil). Once you add in the oil you must start stir frying right away and you cannot stop or else the oil will burn.
(Step 10) First add in your chicken. Add in some Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, a little bit of garlic, and some black beans to add flavor. Toss the meat around in the wok until they are all evenly cooked through.
(Step 11) Once the meat is 90% cooked, remove it from the pan and set it aside.
(Step 12) Next, you will want to braise the Cauliflower in the same liquid that was left from the chicken. Toss in your Cauliflower and add in some red chili flakes if you like it a little spicy. If there isn’t enough liquid, add in some chicken stock and cover to let the Cauliflower braise.
(Step 13) Braise the Cauliflower until they are fully cooked and tender. Towards the end add in some cooking oil and turn the heat up so you can brown the edges for flavor.
(Step 14) Once you are done with the Cauliflower, you will probably want to quickly wash the wok to remove any garlic or black bean that is starting to burn. After washing, add in garlic , black bean and chicken stock. Bring to a boil like in the picture above.
(Step 15) Cook the onions until they start to become translucent. Constantly toss the onions around to prevent them from burning.
(Step 16) Add in the celery once the onions are starting to soften up.
(Step 17) Stir fry the onions and celery until they are tender and to your liking. Remove them and set them aside in a large bowl.
(Step 18) Throw the cut zucchini into the wok and add in more garlic and black bean. Cook on high until the zucchini starts to brown on both sides.
(Step 19) Now you will want to toss in your red bell peppers and stir fry them with the zucchini until they are both done. Once they are done, add the zucchini and bell peppers into the celery and onion mixture to let them rest.
(Step 20) now it is time to cook the Carmine mushrooms, so add them to the wok. I added a little chicken stock, soy sauce, and one Thai chili (if you like it spicy).
(Step 21) once the mushrooms are half way cooked, add in the sugar snap peas. Make sure to constantly toss your ingredients so that everything gets evenly cooked and coated with oil.
(Step 22) Now it is time to start combining ingredients to actually make it into a stir fry. Split all of the cooked vegetables into two bowls, that way each bowl of vegetables can fit into the wok.
(Step 23) Stir fry half of the vegetables and add in some additional garlic and fermented black beans.
(Step 24) Once your vegetables are fully cooked, split them into five equal servings. Hint, half of your cooked vegetable stir fry should make five servings, so we will have enough for two people for five days.
(Step 25) Now you can just bring it all together. For the salad, the ingredients I listed above will make one person’s lunch for a week. For the stir fry, I had enough ingredients to make five meals for two people. I hope this helps, next week I will try to make all new dishes for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. If you have any questions please leave a comment below so I can respond publicly.