Last week when I launched my blog (thanks to all of you who read it so far!), my friend Jenny emailed me with the idea of cooking together. I was very excited because Jenny and I are always talking about healthy living and exchanging recipes, but Jenny doesn’t cook much. She asked me to come over so we can cook together and she can learn the ropes. I gave her some tips along the way, and I included some here too.
Of course I took her up on it! I have been cooking a TON because of the Whole30 detox program I am doing (I can only eat proteins, nuts, fruits and veggies, no juice cleanses over here– more to come on that) so it was nice to have company. Everything we made is Whole30 compliant.
Our first stop was Trader Joe’s. It is almost impossible to get affordable groceries living in NYC, so TJ’s is really the place to be. We stood in the line that wrapped around the entire store and shopped as we were in line. Here’s what we ended up with:
- Salmon Burgers with Basil
- Cauliflower and Broccoli Soup
- Mini Egg Fritatas
- Sweet Potato, Carrot and Ginger Cakes
- Cilantro Mustard Chicken
We did triage and decided to start by making the veggie broth for our soup, because that takes a while to simmer. Luckily we bought a mirepoix at TJ’s so we didn’t have to cut up all of our carrots, onions, and celery.
Tip one: Save time and make things easy for yourself!
If you can buy precut and it’s reasonably affordable, do it. It will make your life so much easier.
So we added our mirepoix to a pot, sautéed for a few minutes, added water, let that simmer for a while, then eventually added the broccoli and cauliflower, let it boil, and blended it all up with my immersion blender. We had some kale lying around, so Jenny threw that in– why not get even more greens? You could barely taste the kale anyways.
We also got started early on the marinade for the chicken, so that could mariande for a bit. Jenny blended up some cilantro, mustard, lime, salt and pepper, rubbed in on the chicken and got that started. After about an hour we baked the chicken for 30 minutes to perfection.
I recently had an amazing salmon burger at Siggy’s Good Food which I wanted to try to recreate. I found a recipe online which required putting everything in a blender (weird, I know), so that’s what I did. Blended up the salmon, basil, some cashew flour, spices and an egg. Then pan fried them. Unfortunately these didn’t turn as good as Siggy’s, but they were still enjoyable.
Tip 2: Improvise with what you have and what you like.
The salmon burger recipe I found didn’t include fresh herbs, but I love basil and we had some extra, so I threw some in. Be creative! You don’t have to follow recipes precisely.
Lastly we also made super easy egg kale mini fritatas in muffin tins (just mix up some eggs, salt, pepper, throw in some sautéed kale, pop in oven at 350 for 25 minutes) for quick, on the go breakfasts, and some sweet potato carrot ginger cakes from Live Better Forever. I probably should have followed the recipe closer, but they still turned out well!
Tip 3: It’s easier to cook and eat healthy with friends.
Jenny and I had a really good time. We accomplished a lot cooking, made some great food, and got to know each other better. For example, I learn that Jenny roasts her own almonds– 10lbs at a time! Needless to say, they are quite delicious.
And, of course, we both left with half of this to last us for lunches this week:
Do you prep food on the weekends for the week? What are your tips? Let me know in the comments (top left of the post)!