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too much time in the kitchen!

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Old 08-21-2008, 11:05 AM   #1
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Default too much time in the kitchen!

After 5 days of returning to the beach faithfully....I now realize why I fell off the beach over the last couple years. I really don't like to cook or clean the kitchen.

This weekend, I'm going to clean my kitchen-including, cabinets and refrigerator really well then clean and prepare all my vegetables and place them into veggie bags-will they last a week already cut up or will they go bad within a couple days? I think I'll buy more frozen veggies also.

Buy some single serving containers and make a bake a couple things up and divide them up for the week. I just don't like to use the oven in the summer.
But I know I'm making excuses and need to stop.

What else would be helpful?

Sarah in MD
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:25 AM   #2
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Sarah, I don't know if these ideas will all work for you, but let me tell you what I usually do.
Friday afternoons, I plan my menus and make my shopping list.
Saturday mornings I hit the farmer's market and grocery store.
Sunday mornings I cook ahead for the week.
Usually, I cook the following:
Hardboil some eggs (sometimes make deviled eggs too);
A bag of frozen edamame pods to keep in the fridge for snacking;
A batch of oatmeal breakfast bars;
A batch of bean brownies;
In the winter usually a big pot of some kind of veggie stew or chili;
I may prep a casserole or two to cook during the week;
Marinate/brine some chicken breasts or pork chops that I will grill for dinner that night. I make LOTS so DH and I can use them for salads and lunches during the week.

I wash my lettuce, wrap it in some paper towels while still damp and store in a big ziploc so it's ready to tear and go for salads. You can pre-prep some veggies but I wouldn't do so more than a day or two ahead.
Basically whenever I cook anything I cook double so I will have leftovers or extra to freeze for another dinner.
The crockpot is very handy - get it going in the morning and you won't have to cook when you get home in the evening.

It is a lot of planning, but once you get into a routine, it will save you a lot of time (and money) in the long run.
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:30 AM   #3
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Something I need to do more often, makes cleaning easier!

Put hot soapy water in the sink, and clean each bowl, utinsel and pan as you use it! This step usually makes cleaning easier, after meals it's so simple! And when doing heavy duty baking/cooking like schmoodle suggests, makes clean up all the more easy!
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Old 08-21-2008, 01:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loriann7 View Post
Something I need to do more often, makes cleaning easier!

Put hot soapy water in the sink, and clean each bowl, utinsel and pan as you use it! This step usually makes cleaning easier, after meals it's so simple! And when doing heavy duty baking/cooking like schmoodle suggests, makes clean up all the more easy!
I agree with this one. Even if you don't fully wash it, running water in the dishes to get off most of the "gunk" will make cleanup easier when you do wash them.

A few other tips:
  • Make multiple servings of what you cook. That way, if you're out of time later, you can just heat it up.
  • Make a dish like the "Taco Bake" where you can eat it all week.
  • Frozen veggies (watch the sugar/HFCS/preservatives though)
  • The dishwasher is my new best friend!
  • Plan menus out on Saturday for the next week, do your shopping on Sunday
  • Discover "quick" SB foods, like turkey wraps, pesto tomatoes
  • Make your "custom snacks" (i.e. peanut butter cookies, sweet pecans) during a "cook off" where you cook all your foods

I hope these tips help!
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Old 08-21-2008, 02:09 PM   #5
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I've picked out a few recipes I'll try over the weekend for the next week.
That's for the suggestions everyone.

I think planning-or maybe failure to plan was my downfall in the past.

Sarah in MD
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Old 08-22-2008, 07:39 AM   #6
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Sarah, if you really don't have the time (I've been pressed for time myself lately) the grill outside has been a lifesaver. Like yesterday when I found premade chicken shish kabobs on sale at the grocery. I just threw a salad together with bagged spinich and tons of veggies.

Bringing home dinner could also be an option. Just check out the local restaurant's menus and go for something grilled with no butter, salads, steamed vegs etc. We've been eating out a lot more since I went back to work and no problems finding beachy stuff out there in the world.
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Old 08-22-2008, 07:54 AM   #7
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I wasn't a fan of all the kitchen work South Beach has required at first. I hate to cook, and that is why I got so chubby (hello olive garden take out lol). But now that I am in my third week I am really enjoying it. I like to know exactly what is being put in my food and the idea of eating at a resturant doesn't appeal to me that much anymore. I will say that I always make about double what we will eat one night, portion it our in little containers for the next day's lunch or dinner. Keeping the workload light that way, I've also frozen a few meals to have just in case I need something fast. If I am feeling lazy I've been eating easy salads like bagged lettuce, feta, precut tomatoes, a hard boiled egg and precooked/cut chicken breast strips.
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:04 AM   #8
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Now that I've been in Phase II for a while (aobut 3 mos), I'm tired of always making stuff for work (plenty of snacks, container of ice water, lunch of some sort). Yesterday, I just...didn't...want...to.

So, I told myself I could go out. Went and grabbed a salad at Quizno's (and it was GOOD!).

I think I'm going to let myself buy lunch once a week to give myself a break (because I also have to make 2 children's lunches, and clean up the hubbie's breakfast, and prepare supper). One of my favorites is going to the grocery store's fresh salad bar. Normally runs me around $4 for a salad I make.

It has greatly helped by precutting veggies too!
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:09 AM   #9
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Wegmans is awesome... they sell these amazing roasted chickens for $5! Can't buy a whole chicken for that!

They also sell delicious premade salads (I use these when I'm out and about and thinking of fast food!)...

They also make these AWESOME hazelnut crusted chicken breasts! $8 and you have two sides with it! YUM!
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:09 AM   #10
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Since we've transitioned to eating almost all organic and non-processed food, we don't eat out much anymore or get pre-made take home food. I usually don't mind cooking dinner, but it's the prep work for breakfast and lunch that I dislike because it interrupts my writing. So I end up eating leftovers often. I've learned to cook for 6 people even though there's only the two of us. I freeze leftovers in single serving portions. For breakfast I eat oatmeal that I cook in 5 minutes, even though it's not quick cooking oatmeal, but the real old fashioned stuff. I like it chewy, so I only cook it for 5 minutes in less water. I add greek style yogurt to the oatmeal, and that's my breakfast. Then lunch is rotated leftovers, and dinner is either a fresh meal or leftovers.

It is a lot of prep work all at once, but at least you know exactly what is in your food, and you don't have to do it every day.
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Last edited by Belle Mer : 08-22-2008 at 11:22 AM.
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