Aug 11, 2017
Meal prepping sous vide style: Dinner on a whim
Meal prepping for the week comes with its shares of pros and cons. The pros are: It saves time during the week; It helps you save money (no having to grabbing takeout on a whim); It allows you better control of your health goals.
The cons are also very well known: It is time consuming to prep; It can get redundant.
But more people than ever are searching cookbooks, scouring Pinterest and joining social media groups dedicated to meal prepping and we hope to help guide so that you can leverage your Nomiku device to help streamline your week but keep the level of quality you are accustomed to at the highest level possible.
We will be regularly blogging about tips, tricks, recipes and shopping lists to help make your preparation as easy-breezy as we can.
For this blog, we would like to cover the drop-and-go dinner strategy that we love. While many meal prepping blogs are about packing easy to grab breakfasts, lunches and snacks, this puts a focus on making dinner prep throughout the week so minimal that you have time to catch up on Game of Thrones, help the kids with their homework or get some extra quiet time on the patio with a glass of wine. Each night there is only 5-15 minutes of active time in the kitchen.
Here’s how it works:
Pick your meal prep day. Often it is Sunday but it really is any day where you have the extra time. We like to make it the same day we purchase our groceries so that everything is sealed up at their freshest point possible and, honestly, meal prep starts at the grocery store and butchers case.
Shopping List Example for 1 week of dinners for 3-4 people:
- 1-2 whole chickens (buying whole chickens is more economical and allows you to use the carcass for soups/stocks) – You can also choose to buy all thighs or breast meat if you prefer not to break down the chicken.
- A few steaks of your choice (I like to alternate between Bavette, Flank, and Ribeye steaks depending on what looks the best at the butcher or what is on sale) and I purchase about ½ lb per person.
- 4 bone-in pork chops
- 2-3 pounds of shrimp
- 2 bunches of asparagus
- 1 bunch of carrots
- One head of romanesco
- 6 medium zucchinis
- 3 onions
- Lettuce and greens of your choice
- A bag of potatoes or sweet potatoes
- Fresh thyme, rosemary
- Freezer bags (without the slide gauge) or vacuum seal bags if you have a sealer or silicon bags if you choose that method.
Now the meal prepping begins!
Get a waterbath started because we will cook all or some of the vegetables and those need to be cooked at a higher temp. Set it to 185F and it will get to temp while you chop and bag.
- Breakdown the chickens into thighs, wings, and breasts. Place wings and legs into one bag and season with teriyaki or BBQ sauce and seal with as little air as possible. Grab a black felt pen and write the time and temp on the bag for easier grab and go dinners. Place in the refrigerator. We are working with this recipe as a general guide. [158F/2 hours]
- Salt and pepper the chicken breast and place into another bag with a little olive oil or pat of butter and seal in an airtight bag. Grab a black felt pen and write the time and temp. We are working with this recipe as a general guide. [140F/1 hour]
- Salt and pepper the steaks and place in an airtight bag. Grab a black felt pen and write the time and temp. We are working with this recipe as a guide. [135F/ 2 hours]
- Salt and pepper the pork (if it is really lean you can add a pat of butter). You can also do a quick coffee rub on it with a few tablespoons of espresso ground coffee and then seal into an airtight bag. Grab a black felt pen and write the time and temp. We are using this recipe as a guide. [135F/1 hour]
- Clean, devein and shell the shrimp (if they weren’t already when purchased). Place shrimp into a bag with white wine, butter and salt. Grab a black felt pen and write the time and temp. This is the shrimp recipe we are inspired by. [140F/ 7 minutes]
- Trim the rough end of the asparagus and place into airtight bags with a little salt and pepper. This is how we are preparing the asparagus.
- Peel and chop down carrots into halves or spears. Place in an airtight bag with salt, pepper, butter, ginger and brown sugar. This is the recipe we are working from.
- Chop down romanesco into florets and place into a bag with salt, pepper, butter and a few sprigs of fresh thyme. This is the recipe we are working off of.
- Remove the ends and skin and thinly slice the onions. Place them into a bag with salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of butter and honey or sugar, if you choose for the extra sweetness. This is the way we are preparing the onions.
This preparation should take no more than two hours, a big improvement from the 6-8 hours many people spend on Sunday meal prepping. The only thing you really need to cook on preparation day are the onions (they take 12-24 hours to cook, depending on how soft and caramelized you like them) and some or all of the vegetables.
Place the onions in and as many of the vegetables that will fit, making sure that the bags are totally squished against one another. Some people use dish or pot organizers in there to allow separation between bags for the water to circulate around.
If everything fits, then pull the asparagus after 10 minutes; then pull the romanesco and carrots after 30 minutes and leave the onions for the last 12-24 hours.
Plunge the cooked veggies in an ice water bath then place in the fridge or freezer. The same with the onions, though we do suggest placing the onions into a glass jar or tupperware if you can since there is a lot of liquid.
Here is our dinner menu and plan for the week:
Monday Night [10-15 minutes of active cooking]
Tonight’s menu is Bavette Steak with caramelized onions and Asparagus. When you get home make your sous vide water bath [135F/ 2 hours]. In the last 10 minutes of the sous vide, heat a pan and warm the asparagus and onions, plate the veggies and sear the steak just before serving it.
Tuesday Night [10-15 minutes of active cooking]
Tonight’s meal is Shrimp Scampi on Zucchini Noodles. When you get home make your sous vide water bath [140F/ 7 minutes]. Pull out zucchini and prepare them as recipe suggests for zoodles. Plate and enjoy.
Wednesday Night [7 minutes of active cooking]
Tonight’s meal is Pork Tenderloin with Glazed Carrots. When you get home make your sous vide water bath [135F/1 hour]. In the last 5 minutes of water bath cooking, warm the carrots and add a quick sear to the pork before plating.
Thursday Night [5 minutes of active cooking]
Chicken breast with Romanesco. When you get home make your sous vide water bath [140F/1 hour]. In the last five minutes of the water bath cooking time, add the romanesco to a warm pan and then plate.
Friday Night [5-10 minutes of active cooking time]
Teriyaki Chicken with Baked or Roasted Potatoes. When you get home make your sous vide water bath [158F/2 hours]. Puncture the potatoes and bake them or microwave them. Once the chicken is done, you can get a small saucepan and cook down the teriyaki if you like a thicker glaze.
Happy meal prepping!
Tags: dinner, dinner ideas, meal prep, meal preperation, sous vide, vegetables.
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