Mr. Chicken Fry, aka the hubby, is a straight up meat and potatoes man. He’s NOT what I would consider a stodgy eater but let’s just say that he doesn’t venture very far outside of the sandbox. He’s no food aficionado but his southern pallet does hanker for the classic dishes like chicken fried steak, bacon and gravy, a double meat double cheese burger, mashed potatoes, and fried okra.
The problem is, I’m not much of a cook. Certainly not one who wants to get deep in a bunch of messy flour and hot popping grease which takes days to clean. Now, on the rare occasion when I don’t feel stressed or busy, like on a cold rainy Sunday, I put my fears aside and give it a go in the kitchen.
Yesterday, Mr. Chicken Fry was practically begging me to make an old-fashioned pot roast! In all of my 43 years, I have never made a roast, but how hard can it be? I can do anything in a slow cooker which gives me freedom and strength right? I clanged, banged and dug around looking for my crock pot…all for the love of feeding Mr. Chicken Fry. I suppose our back to back weekend nights of double parties had hime a little fed up with snack food. He needed and wanted a manly man meal. For lunch, Mr. Chicken Fry, true to form politely requested a bucket of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. REALLY?
Girls, I felt like I was going into battle. I suited up in my favorite pair of wildfox sweats and pulled down my Uggs from the top of the closet. I made a special trip to the store, braving wet yucky elements in the cold, for all the fixings and a pork roast! PORK…the other white meat!
I don’t eat red meat which is sometimes a hindrance but Mr. Chicken Fry agreed to pork so thankfully all of my effort would actually feed all three of us! I load the giant pot with big chuncks of red and white onions, red potatoes and baby carrots. I seasoned it with Lawry’s seasoned salt and italian seasoning, rosmary and fresh garlic. If anything I under seasoned which was the only complaint.
I added a can of beef stock and one can of water to totally submerge the meat. Some recipes said to brown the meat on the stove then put it in the cooker but I was no hurry. I put the roast on at 1pm and it was falling off the bone by 7:15pm
It smelled divine. Mr. Chicken Fry was practically slobbering all day waiting for it to cook. Fifteen minutes before it was time to serve this delicious dish, I whipped up a packet brown gravy. I had a feeling that he would want to tear his bread up into pieces and smother it with pepper and gravy. What is he, a 5 year old boy? lol
I did it, and according to Mr. Chicken Fry, I did not disappoint. I got a big smile and an “ATTA girl”.
I usually meal prep on Monday but heck the cutting board was already out and raring to go so
WINE why not get it done? I poured a half a glass of pino grigio and got to work. I was slicing and dicing like a real chef. Mr. Chicken Fry kept creeping up on me. My being in the kitchen for more than clean up is so foreign. He kept calling me Betty…my response, was “it’s Miss Crocker if your nasty!” lol
One thing my family acredits me on is my homemade salsa receipe. Yall, it’s so easy and if you like salsa, it’s a fat free condiment to snack on all week. I use one can of Rotel and one can of dieced tomatoes. Personally I prefer the spicy “hot” rotel but my teenager says it’s too spicy. You could buy medium or regular. I combine this with a can of petite diced tomatoes.
Then I add jalapeno, a buschel of green onions, a quarter of a red onion, garlic and cilantro. I also squeeze in half a lime for a bold tart flavor. Now, here’s where I cheat a little. I actually let the chopper do the heavy lifting. All of that fancy slicing and dicing is over rated even if you have the time. This kitchen toy was a wedding present over 18 years ago and it still works!
Combine it all in bowl,, mix it up and let it sit for 15 minutes. To me, salsa taste better if it sits and sort of gels and marinate for a bit. Chicken Fry and I add Habanero to ours because we like it spicy. Look at all that FRESH yummyness. Dig in. I prefer to dip with the whole grain sea salt tortilla chips by EAT SMART SNACKS.
My meal prep is not as tedious as it may sound. All in all, the whole shebang is about 45 minutes tops. The longest part of my meal prep process consists of boiling a dozen or more eggs and boiling frozen chicken breasts to eat on during the week. Peeling the eggs is the worst and stinkiest part of all. Despite the smell, it’s a protein packed snack for quick on the go grab snacks on the run or to make a salad or quick sandwich or roll up for lunch.
I also cut up and fill a container of celery sticks, carrots, grapes, strawberries, blue berries and black berries. I get out my hand dandy slicer for beautiful perfectly perfect round cucumber slices. (NOTE: Often, use the cucumber slices as my chip to dip into the salsa).
Additionally, I slice up lemon, lime and oranges to keep on hand to squeeze in my water to zest it up with flavor!
I had a wonderful low-key afternoon in the kitchen and I didn’t die! I spent maybe an hour and half on all of this and clean up. The reward is opening my frig and seeing all of the brilliant containers filled with healthy food. Additionally, I have a half of pork roast and vegetables to reheat for dinner. I’m high five-ing myself in my mind. I totally feel ahead of the game on this miscellaneous Monday.
There is a ton of value add to meal prep. It’s cost-effective not to mention healthy. Packing school lunches is a breeze and quick process when the fruit and vegetables are cut up and ready to bag.
After all of my work was done, I took a hot bubble bath just like my main man Santa! How was your weekend?
DO YOU MEAL PREP? Any questions or advice for me?
Love, peace and drain the grease!
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