So, what do I mean by “Weekend Warrior” Cooking? As I discussed in the beginning, when you work all day with a harrowing commute at both ends it is easy why so many people make unhealthy food choices. You just don’t feel like spending another hour in the kitchen. Well, there is a way around that. Choose a weekend day every week or two and do some of the cooking and most of the prep work then.
Many people eat way too much animal product because it is way easier to slap a burger or a stake in a skillet or on the grill than it is to fix veggies. This does not need to be so. With a good chefs knife and zip-lock type storage bags you can do most of your prep work ahead.
So, health experts say that it is important to eat a combination of both cooked veggies and raw veggies. That sounds like one hell of a lot of work to do when you get home from the office. Well, not so bad if you do a lot of the prep on the weekend.
Let’s start with salad. Sure, you can buy the pre cut and mixed packages of salad greens and they are O.K. but if you want greater variety make your own mix.
I like a combination of greens in my salad so I buy a head of Iceberg, a head of Romaine, some of the mixed spring greens and perhaps some baby spinach.
Scrub the sink well and get to work. Cut off the root end of the root end of the head of Romaine. Separate and rinse the leaves well and allow to drain on a paper towel. With a paring knife cut out the core of the head of iceberg. This will leave a hole in the root end. Turn on the cold water tap and let the water run into that hole. The force of the water will separate the leaves from each other without tearing them. Set these on paper towels as well. I always save the larger outside leaves to use in sandwiches and use the inner leaves for salad. Rinse and drain any other greens you intend to use in your salads.
When dry, cut or tear all greens up and put them in a large bowl and gently toss. Now begin any other veggies you may want in your salad. I usually add some finely slivered red cabbage, sliced radishes, chopped green onion, very thin rings of sweet red pepper, sliced or diced cucumber and perhaps some grated carrots. Toss gently and seal in plastic storage bags, a meals worth in each bag. These prepared mixed salad greens will keep in your fridge for a week or more. I kid you not.
You will notice that three essential salad ingredients are missing; tomatoes, avocados and delicious sweet red, orange or golden bell peppers. If you add sliced or diced tomatoes they will bleed all over the other ingredients and make them yucky. When bell peppers are cut and stored they turn to slime and of course avocados will get brown and unappetizing. If you want these things in your salads add them at the time of serving.
Now, at dinner time all you have to do is empty a bag of prepared salad mix into a salad bowl. Chop or slice a tomato, avocado or bell pepper into it if you wish. For variety some evenings you may wish to add some pitted olives, some croutons, a bit of grated Parmesan cheese, etc. Now, all you need do is add salad dressing. You can make your own or use commercial. If you use commercial, read the labels for fat, sugar and sodium content.
Now, most commercial dressings are VERY THICK. This is because they usually contain that seaweed thickener stuff. This stuff adds no flavor or nutrition. It is there to make the dressing so thick that you have to pour on oodles in order to get it to cover your salad, thus guaranteeing that you will have to buy more. When I use commercial dressings I usually thin them by about 1/3 with cold water. Some people say they thin them with milk. i do not want milk on my salad. I also usually find that I need to add more herbs and minced garlic to some of the commercial dressings.
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