If you follow along with me on the ‘gram, you may have caught on that as July faded into August (how?!), the past two weeks of my life were each truncated by a lack of routine and no lack of social structure. Even though this meant minimal meal preparation and limited nutritional control, it also meant more good things than I could count on my fingers and toes combined, like standing by my friends as they said, “I do” and an impromptu trip to Madison, Wisconsin to spectate the 2019 CrossFit Games with my boo (thanks, ROMWOD!!). Of course the complete lack of vegetables at breakfast (cringe!) was completely worth it, but I won’t deny I’m happy to be back perched on my couch, drafting this blog, sharing my brain child (aka my weekly meal plan) with all of you. If a break from routine is sweet (that Chocolate Shoppe ice cream, though), return to routine is mighty savory. Let’s eat, shall we?
When I first saw the word spatchcock I was all ~ WTF is that ~ ?! It sounded like something I didn’t want to eat, but the picture that accompanied the description sure looked like something that had to grace my tastebuds. So, to the interweb I went! This funky little descriptive term describes a technique for preparing a whole chicken in which the backbone is removed and the bird is split and flattened before cooking. The benefits? More flavor due to the increased surface area to soak up marinade, shorter cooking time, and more exposed skin to get nice n’ crispy. I’m going to pretend I wasn’t born and raised in the North East when I tell you, I love few things in life more than crispy chicken skin, y’all. I’m going to marinade my whole chicken according to this recipe, and the jury is still out on whether I grill or bake the bird. I’ll pair it with a lemony salad of crunchy fennel, green beans, and leafy greens of choice.
In the hopes of receiving my bi-monthly Butcher Box, and in an effort to increase my lucine-rich protein intake to maintain muscle mass during half marathon training, I wanted to plan a red-meat based dish for this week. Spoiler alert: my box o’ meat didn’t ship when I expected, but my pal Jenn received hers, and she leant me a package of her grass-fed ground beef protein 🙏 Thank the heavens for likeminded friends, because inspiration already struck something fierce during my weekly fridge, freezer, and pantry inventory when residual tomato sauce and ricotta sang a siren song of Lasagna. Of course on my plate, it’s gonna be veggie-based. To Pinterest I went! The options were endless, from zucchini to eggplant to cauliflower, but I landed on… CABBAGE. I’ll be sure to record and share how I modify this recipe to make it a bit more macro-minded. I’ll be serving up my portion with a side of perfectly roasted, never soggy, eggplant. Pro-tip: the key to crispy eggplant is parchment paper and limited oil (just a mist will do!).
One of my favorite mindless yet uber nutritious and delicious meals is a big ol’ one-pan stir fry. Identify your protein and flavor profile, pick some produce, and **bam**! That’s Emeril for cook and devour! I’m going for a Cashew Chicken vibe with peppers, snap pea, and broccoli.
Listen, I don’t plan anything I don’t like or I’m not craving, but there’s always one meal on the menu that stands out as a star among the rest, and I am fully DROOLING over these Grilled Buffalo Chicken Tenders already. I’m not sure if I’m more excited for the protein, or my planned side: a gorgeous medley of roasted brussels sprouts, grapes, and blue cheese.
Since Mo opts out of meal-prepped lunch on Friday, Thursday night dinners typically consists single serving dishes made fresh, and I can get ultra creative knowing that the reheatability factor is a non-issue. This week, a super summery pairing of air fried Coconut Shrimp, Golden Jicama Fries, a cucumber tomato salad, and a cilantro-lime yogurt dipping sauce. Close runner up to the start meal on the menu, but with a bit of a complicating cooking process and uncharted territory, it’s fingers crossed that all goes according to plan!
Whether they’re on my meal plan or not, I always whip up a batch of hard boiled eggs for grab-and-go snacks, quick protein boosters, or pre-WOD weekend fuel. Don’t get me wrong, I was so grateful that my hotel had a complimentary breakfast that consisted of some foods that aligned with my preferences and palate, but damn, Hyatt, if those hard boiled eggs weren’t waaaaay overcooked. Here’s the key to the perfectly jammy hard boiled egg:
- Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil.
- Once boiling, place eggs in carefully! Do not put the eggs in before the water boils. If you’re worried about that old cracking myth, try allowing your eggs to come to room temp before cooking for extra precautions.
- Boil for 7 minutes.
- Immediately transfer eggs to an ice bath for 10 minutes
- Store in shells in the fridge for 5-6 days! Peel as you go. The longer they sit in the fridge, the easier they will be to peel.
Here’s a glimpse of how it’s all coming together in my week at-a-glance: