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Whole30 Meal Prep and Paleo Game Changers

Routine is a good thing. That’s what I’m telling myself lately. With school starting back this week, I decided to get industrious and do my Sunday meal prep. I went to the farmer’s market and then stocked up on much-needed staples from the grocery stores. I was wondering through the produce section at Target, intending to grab a couple of bags of shaved Brussels sprouts. But then my eyes landed on this.

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This is going to be a favorite in this Paleo household. I love cauliflower rice, but I hate making it so I rarely do. My small food processor doesn’t handle the cauliflower very well. I knew this bag of just cauliflower would be perfect and it was. When buying bagged produce, I always double check the labels. I do not want the stuff with added chemical preservatives. This bag has 1 ingredient. To make a pan of it, I used the brown bits and oil from a pan of chicken thighs. I heated the pan, added the cauliflower and stirred it on medium high heat for about 3 minutes. I like mine more al dente than mushy, so that was plenty of time. The flavor was great and I used it with a chicken cacciatore recipe. I should have bought 2 bags.

Another game-changer with Paleo/Whole30 and meal prep: Spices. I’m very fond of Penzeys because of the depth of flavor. A lot of my meals are nothing fancy, but I refuse to serve or eat a bland meal. With basic protein and vegetables, I have a literal blank canvas to work with. Some meals, like a pan of roasted vegetables, the food doesn’t need much enhancing. Other times, I want a big pan of spicy and sweet roasted potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and rutabegas. I’ll pull out some various heat spices and a dash of cinnamon and coconut oil and have a truly unique dish on the table. Chicken, as we all know, does not have a lot of of its own flavor. Chicken thighs from free range chickens actually do have a lot of flavor, as we discovered from our various trips out west where local chickens are abundant. But I do not have a local source for chickens like I do for beef and pork. Therefore, I buy the Target “see the source” chicken thighs that are sourced from some farms up north. Good enough for me! Every Sunday, there are a few with 2$ and 3$ off and I buy them in bulk and freeze. Then, I put Penzeys into action. These are just a couple of examples of ways I use spices to create variety. I am notorious for getting stuck in cooking ruts. Usually a couple of hours with some favorite cookbooks, a look through my vast supply of Penzeys, and a walk through my own blog recipes, and I’ll be back in the good food game.

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The rest of my meal prep went rather quickly. I made a few of my usual dishes. Chicken thighs, roasted sweet potatoes, a new frittata recipe, a crock pot of chicken cacciatore, breakfast apple sage sausage, and a pan of cauliflower rice. I also made a big batch of pressure-cooker bone broth. All of these are Whole30 compliant. I’m not officially starting the 30 days until after this week.

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Getting back to life and enjoying the highs and lows have been my goals for these next couple of weeks as the school stress builds for a bit. I know I feel better when I eat better. Bring on the next week!