The logic behind 1:3 Recipes is that you prep on a day that you have time, so that you can easily assemble meals on days that you don't. Set aside an hour for yourself to prep for the week, pour a glass of wine, and enjoy the process!
My two favorite cooking methods for the week are roasting and steaming. Roasting requires nothing more than tossing your vegetable of choice with a little fat and salt, and then throwing it into a 400 until its cooked. Roasting deepens flavors, caramelizes sugars, and works as the Midas touch to all vegetables.
Steaming is a much simpler cooking method, and doesn't do much to the flavor of your vegetable- you just end up with a lightly cooked version of the original product. While that may seem boring on paper, it's EXACTLY what we're going for in a 1:3 recipe. The more neutral the base, the better a platform it is to be dolled up in different ways so you don't get bored during the week. Additionally, if you've never tried a simple steamed vegetable with a little salt and olive oil, YOU SHOULD. You may love it more than you ever thought.
Pick your proteins for the week. I like a variety of plant based proteins like tofu, beans, and tempeh on hand, as they require minimal prep and have a great shelf life in the refrigerator. If you enjoy animal proteins you could set yourself up a batch of roasted chicken or broiled fish for the week, again, by preparing them simply you have more liberty to dress them up with different flavors.
PREP 1: GRAINS
Pick your grains of choice (I used brown rice this week but quinoa, farro, freekuh, millet, and barley are all great substitutions) and cook either in a rice cooker (worth the $25 on amazon.com) or according to directions in a pot.
PREP 2: ROAST
Set the oven to 400 and add the coconut butternut squash into the oven.
PREP 3: STEAM
Prep your vegetables, keeping them separate (as they will all cook at different times, and there's nothing worse than mushy overcooked steamed vegetables. That being said, cook your vegetables al dente. You will likely be reheating these later on, which will complete the cooking process). Get your steamer basket going, lightly salt your veg and steam your varieties one type at a time.
PREP 4: PROTEINS
If you're using animal proteins you can set them up here while the oven is still on. I like that using cooked beans and tofu requires no prep. I like to have sunflower seeds and avocado readily available, for an extra little punch of protein.
POWER BOWL WITH BBQ TOFU AND VEGETABLES
The most basic of the recipes. Vegetables are left in their simplest form, dressed cleanly with a little sea salt and olive oil. BBQ Tofu (a treat for me) has a little almond butter involved in it for extra protein, and it's fucking good.)
1/2 Package firm baked tofu ( I like Trader Joe's)
3 tablespoons all natural low sugar BBQ sauce
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon sriracha
Combine the bbq sauce, almond butter and sriracha. Cube the tofu and toss in the sauce. You could sauté' this before heading out the door, or just have it as is - which I actually prefer.
Arrange a selection of your prepped veg, a scoop of rice, and a drizzle of olive oil.
TOFU AND VEGETABLES IN GINGER SAUCE
Ginger sauce is a great way to liven up some vegetables, and packs a wallop of anti-inflammatory, digestion-aiding magic. I like it gingery, so I use a knot about the size of my thumb. You could omit the agave, but it really adds that extra bit of dimension. It would take you five minutes to prepare and sauté this at home, but if you're running out the door to work and have a heating element there, that's totally doable.
1 knot of ginger, grated
1 clove of garlic, grated
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon vinegar (rice wine is ideal, any kind is fine though)
[start with one tablespoon] Liquid Aminos (or any soy sauce/alternative)
1 tablespoon sriracha
Fresh ground black pepper (it just TASTES different)
IF you have Nha Toi or any other fish sauce in the house, a dash of that is great too, but don't sweat it.
Whisk all of these together, decide if it needs a little more Liquid Aminos, and reserve. Saute the vegetables and protein you've selected in a little neutral oil (olive or coconut is fine too, the ginger will take over) for a minute or so, then add the sauce and toss until the ginger sauce is really on the veg, and the ginger/garlic has had a chance to cook a little. Serve with rice.
In a rush? Set up the veg, protein and rice in your lunch container, pour the sauce on top of the veg and microwave for three minutes at work.
BUTTERNUT SOUP WITH COCONUT AND TURMERIC
This recipe is so easy, it's nuts. A stick blender costs about $20 and has lasted me six years so far! Since the butternut is already cooked the soup only takes about five minutes to prepare. By adding coconut milk to this soup you're adding a mega dose of medium chain fatty acids - A.K.A power in its most powerful form. This not only boots your satiety (get full, stay full off of soup), but it gives you the ENERGY to break down the fats as you go through your day, as opposed to slowing you down like bad fats would. Also, good fats KILL cravings for bad fats. If you tend towards cheese/chips/chocolate emergencies, adding good fats into your meals help eliminate these cravings - and it really works! Additionally, turmeric is THE most anti inflammatory thing on earth. Whether you have a pounding headache, achey joints, breakouts, indigestion, or anything that ends in "-itis" - turmeric will rescue you! This is enough for two servings so I like to make it the night before and have it for dinner AND lunch the next day.
YOU WILL NEED:
1 1/2 cups stock (chicken, mushroom, veg)
1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk (from a can is fine, just shake it up a ton first. You can freeze the rest or use in smoothies etc)
1 teaspoon dried turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garam masala, Ras al Hanout, or even regular curry powder is fine
1 1/2 roasted butternut cubed
1 clove garlic
1/2 sliced onion
Sweat the garlic and the onion in a little oil until just translucent. Add the spices and gently toast. Add the stock once things start to get a little sticky in the pan, and bring to a boil. Add the coconut milk and butternut and simmer gently 5 minutes. Throw it all in the blender, or use a stick blender so you don't have to do more dishes. Season with salt and pepper. You can add a little cauliflower for texture if you like. Serve with the last of your veggies and rice if you like.
I've been cooking since I was seven. Institute of Culinary Education grad and NYC trained chef. Food dork. Health nut. Bounty Hunter of beige foods. I don't think there needs to be a separation between food that's good and food that's good for you.