When my husband and I decided to pursue more of a Paleo type of diet with our family, we knew that it would involve time in the kitchen. Any lifestyle focusing on real foods must include time invested in food preparation. It’s cheaper to make your own food, and you avoid the nasty chemicals and junk that are not real nutrition.
Cutting up vegetables for lunches and dinners was already a semi-weekly task for me. I know when I have veggies ready to go in the fridge and freezer, I’m more likely to use them. Dinner is usually not the time for me to be prepping vegggies. It’s just too crazy with 4 little ones running around and homework time during the school year.
In the Paleo diet, the emphasis is on meat (protein), fruit and vegetables, nuts, and healthy fats. In order to make this work, I have to commit to a regular weekly time in the kitchen cutting up vegetables and making some vegetables like sweet potatoes ahead of time. My plan is to do this Sunday afternoons and at the same time, go over the menu for the week with my husband. I’ll do a second shorter prep session later in the week if we need it which will probably happen on Thursday afternoon or Friday morning.
Vegetables I Cut Up Ahead of Time
- broccoli – I cut the florets into bit-sized pieces. The stems can be julienned for sauteed veggies or stir fries (Thanks for the tip, Alea from Premeditated Leftovers!)
- carrots – I cut these into 2 inch slices which can be used for snacks or cut into smaller pieces for cooking. The ends and peeled skins go into the chicken stock making bag.
- onions – I cut these into 2 inch slices, too. The outer skins go into the chicken stock making bag. I keep the onions separate from the other vegges in a glass Pyrex dish with a lid in the fridge.
- celery – I cut these into 2 inch slices with the end bits and leaves going into the chicken stock making bag.
- garlic – I cut the ends off of the individual cloves and peel the skins. I keep these in a glass Pyrex dish with a lid in the fridge to contain the odors.
- lettuce – I wash the leaves and dry them with a prep towel. We keep the leaves in a container in the fridge with a paper towel at the bottom of the container.
Vegetables I Cut Up at the Last Minute
- mushrooms – These are so easy to prep at the last minute. I put the stems into my chicken stock making bag
- peppers – I think these get mushy if they’re cut up more than a day in advance.
- cucumbers – again, the mushy factor.