Amanda and Rick are a young professional couple living and working in Miami, Florida. As driven millennials, they both put in extra hours at work during the week and rarely have the energy to start cooking once they get home from work. As a result, they tend to eat out every week night and even indulge in not so healthy food from time to time. At the end of the year, they realize that they’ve each gained a significant amount of weight. They make a commitment to eating healthier and decide to start making healthy home cooked meals for themselves.
What steps can they take to ensure that they can fit cooking into their hectic schedule and be able to stick with it? As someone who found himself in a similar situation a few years ago, it’s easy for me to relate. In this article, we’ll go over the technique that I used to eat healthier home cooked food without having to dedicate an hour or more each night to cooking.
“Sunday” the day of miracles
For those of you who are religious, the word “Sunday” may have a different meaning to you. It’s a day of reflection, appreciation and connection with your belief in a higher being. Along with this, it is also the best day to prep all your meals for the week. I’ve found that if I dedicate 2 hours in the afternoon on Sunday to prep and cook my meals for the week, I end up with enough food to last me 3-4 days of lunch and dinner meals. Not only that but if I mix up the variety of foods and give myself options, I don’t ever get bored! Imagine being able to eat satisfying meals consistently throughout the week without having to eat the same thing over and over? Wouldn’t that be swell. Below I’ve listed one of my favorite meals that you can incorporate into your Sunday prep time:
Sautéed salmon with quinoa, broccoli, peppers and guacamole
- 4-5 filets of Atlantic salmon (Costco brand)
- 2 cups of Quinoa
- ½ a pound of fresh broccoli
- 3 whole red, yellow and/or green peppers
- 3 whole avocados
- ½ lemon or 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- Salt, pepper and other seasonings
- Remove each salmon filet from its package and place them on a plate. Add salt and pepper to each side of the filets.
- Measure 2 cups of quinoa and add it in a pot. Measure out 3 ½ – 4 cups of water and add it to the pot. Bring water to a boil and let the quinoa absorb the water. (15-20 minutes)
- Chop peppers into small bite-size pieces and place them in a bowl. Add seasonings and toss around peppers to evenly coat their surface.
- Remove the avocado skins and place the avocados in a bowl. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper and use a spoon to mash the avocados.
- To cook the salmon, place a pan on the stove at low to medium temperature. Add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and let the olive oil heat up a bit before adding the salmon. Once the olive oil has a more fluid consistency, add the salmon to the pan and cover it. Allow the salmon to cook for 3-4 minutes and then flip each filet over. Cover the pan and let the filets cook for another 3-4 minutes. At this point, you will cut one of the thicker filets and look at the color inside the filet. If it is still too pink, repeat the first step but instead cook 1-2 minutes on each side. Once the salmon filets are cooked remove them from the heat and let them sit in the covered pan on the side of your working area.
- There are two ways you can enjoy this broccoli. One is eating the broccoli raw and the other is cooking it. I use the Costco brand of organic broccoli so all I have to do is toss ½ pound into the microwave. Although this may not seem as healthy, it’s actually been shown that microwaving vegetables is the best form of cooking because it keeps more of the vitamins in the vegetables. Once you remove the broccoli from the microwave you may add seasonings.
- To start, set the temperature of the stove to between low and medium heat, place a pan on the stove and add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan. Once the olive oil consistency becomes more fluid, you can then add the peppers to the pan. Take the peppers you recently prepped and seasoned and place them into the pan. Stir the peppers for 10 seconds then cover the pan and let the peppers sit for 1-2 minutes. Repeat this step until the peppers are at your desired consistency.
Once everything is complete, you can store the food in Tupperware containers for later use. This recipe will give you enough food for between 4-5 meals throughout the week.
Bringing it all together
After reading this article and learning about the benefits of bulk cooking on Sunday’s, Amanda decided to give it a try. She and Rick prepped fresh salmon, vegetables, quinoa, guacamole and even made some lentils as another protein source. After they had finished all their cooking, they had made enough food for between 8-10 meals. This allowed Amanda and Rick to eat healthy meals for a few days without having to worry about dedicating an hour or more a night to cooking. They are excited about this new routine and hope to continue with it in the future.
Bulk cooking on Sundays has made it so much easier for me to eat healthy throughout the week. Along with that, I can mix and match foods and create a new combination of dishes that I can enjoy without getting bored. I highly recommend you try cooking this recipe this coming Sunday. I bet you’ll love it once you do. What are some of the techniques or ideas you utilize to eat healthier? Do you have any tips that our readers might value? I’d love to hear from you.
My book recommendation for this article is “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olsen. Although this book has nothing to do with cooking, the principles talked about in the book explain how making small changes to your lifestyle can have a BIG positive impact on your future self. Using the Sunday prep technique will have you eating healthier and saving money over time. This is a phenomenal book and I highly recommend it. I’ve provided a link to the book below: