Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cook Ahead - Eggs - Basics

I'm starting my Specials Cook Ahead plans with eggs because they are the best value for money when it comes to buying a healthy protein source.  Most areas now have available organic hormone free and free range eggs.  Even though you will pay a bit more they are still very affordable for most budgets, so using them as a basis for many of your weekly meals is a smart move.

Because there are so many things you can do with eggs I am going to give you two posts this week - this one on basics and then one tomorrow on ready-made meals as well as how to deal with an egg surplus.


All these cook ahead plans only contain 3 to 5 different items and can easily be done in a 2 or 3 hour session either in the evening or on the weekend - whatever works best for you. For an introduction to how these Cook Ahead plans work and for ideas on how to store your cooked meals check this post. 

I have also purposely not included specific amounts of any ingredients.  The lists will remind you what you will need, but it's up to you to decide how much of any recipe you will make and also which version.  For instance today you will need to decide whether to make savoury or sweet crepes or both, and which version of the basic bread you prefer.

By basics I mean things that you can use to create many different kinds of meals.  Today's cook ahead might just be the only one you will ever need.  It includes :

( 1 )  Hard boiled eggs - which can be used to make devilled eggs, egg salad, and Chef's salad (salad with eggs, chicken and ham as pictured above.)

( 2 )  Egg crepes - Use this recipe to make main dishes such as these or desserts such as these.

( 3 )  Egg crepe noodles - Once you have egg crepes you are just one easy step away from having egg crepe noodles that you can use in many dishes such as chicken noodle soup, Italian meat sauce with noodles, and noodles with pesto and parmesan.

( 4 )  Pizza bases - Use these to make various pizzas with the basic recipe such as pepperoni, vegetable, shrimp and pesto or marinated pepper and olive.

( 5 )  Paleo bread - This really doesn't need any explanation does it? Anywhere you would have used regular bread in the past you can now use Paleo bread.


Here is a quick review of how the plan works ....

First, check the grocery check-list.  Decide what specifically you will cook and how much of each dish.  Check your fridge and cupboard for the ingredients you will need and make a shopping list.

Shop for your ingredients. Don't forget to stock up on the special.  What you can't cook today you can refrigerate or freeze for later use.

Before your cooking day, check your prep list and prepare all the ingredients you will need.  By doing all the grating, slicing and chopping ahead of time, you will minimize the work you have to do on cooking day.  And you will have less cleanup as well.

On cooking day make sure you allow yourself enough time to cook what needs to be done. Most of these plans will take 2 or 3 hours to do, but I would allow longer the first time you do them, just so you are not having to rush.  The idea here isn't to create more stress, it's to cut down on it.

If you are cooking during the day, plan to use one of the meals you are cooking for dinner.  If you are cooking after work eat a meal you have already prepared from your freezer.  You will have enough to do without worrying about dinner.  This is also a good time to make a slow cooker meal.  Get it going before your cooking session and it will be ready when you need it later in the day.

Work your way through the plans and make notes as you go so you remember any changes you make for the next time. File the plans in your Household Notebook or some other safe place for future use. If you file them in plastic sheet protectors like I do, you can tick off the steps as you do them, then wipe the sheet clean ready for the next time.

Once you've cooked all the items on the plan, make sure you pack and freeze them properly, then do your clean-up.

Now take a few minutes to put your feet up - you've earned it!

Here are the lists you will need :
Eggs - Basics You can download them here.

If all you ever do is just follow this one cook ahead plan, for a small investment of time and money you will have a fridge and freezer full of great Paleo meal - and dessert - options.

 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw

Want to try Paleo, but .....

... think it's too hard to do?
... don't have enough information?
... don't know where to start?
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I show you exactly what to do Step by Step,
I give you lots of great Recipes,
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