I get quite a few people telling me that they are amazed that I manage to cook my dinners on a regular basis. Even if it is simple cooking, preparing the ingredients is usually a troublesome process for working adults. How do I manage?
Okay, let me share with you my modus operandi when it comes to my dinners.
You know I do my grocery shopping on weekends, right? Well, a lot of my food preparations for the week happen on weekends too. For me, the most troublesome ingredients to prepare are the chicken, the fish and the vegetables. So what happens on weekends are:
- I wash and dry the meats (chicken and fish), and then slice them up into small pieces, and then lightly marinate with salt and pepper, and then pack them away in small containers, a portion per container.
- I wash and cut up my vegetables into small pieces and store them away in yet another container. I use a big airtight container for the vegetables, I find that the vegetables can last longer if stored in this type of container.
- The meat containers go to the freezer, and the vegetable container goes to the lower section of the fridge. On days that I plan to cook, I would take 1 meat container down to defrost in the morning before I go to work.
- No special preparations for Saturdays and Sundays. Saturdays would be clearing up whatever that’s left in the fridge, Sundays would depend on what I spontaneously decide to buy and cook.
So, on weekdays, this is what typically happens:
- I spread the defrosted meat on an aluminium foil, and then spread some vegetables on top. Then I squeeze the juice from half a lemon and drizzle some olive oil onto the mix. I have to say, after cooking like this for a while, I am sort of addicted to the lemon juice sauce, they’re awesome.
- I wrap the foil up and slap it into the oven and set the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
- While waiting, I would peel an apple or an orange and eat it. And then I will go grab a shower.
- Usually after I am done with the shower, my meal would be done and cooled down enough.
Actually this is a trimmed down version of the elaborate baked chicken breast that I blogged about before. The vegetables might change, sometimes I would have carrots and/or tomatoes in the mix, sometimes I won’t. But a meat and some greens are default. I don’t take mushrooms on a regular basis anymore because mushrooms are high in purine, I would not touch them before I confirmed that my uric acid level is back to normal.
I used to alternate between baking and steaming. Now I more or less ditched steaming. Steaming is still simple, but not as simple as baking. With steaming, I still need to bring a pot of water to boil, and then wash the pot later. With baking, I only wash the plate and cutlery. Lazy Man will try to avoid whatever additional washing work that he possibly can.
You might wonder if it is too expensive to use aluminium foil regularly. Well, my roll cost RM 9 each and they last for about 30 wraps. That’s about 30 cents per meal. It is a cost that I can live with if it helps with my quest on cooking with minimum effort.
So, do you now understand how I manage to cook my dinners regularly? With preparations done in the weekends, my cooking process on weekdays take about 3 minutes to work on if you do not count the waiting time where you can actually do other stuff.
I hope this will inspire whoever who is reading to cook more and eat out less. It’s not necessarily cheaper, but it’s definitely better for your health. 😉