Saturday, January 13, 2018

Positive Choices

Well it's been over a year since I pulled up a blank page and shared my thoughts with you. I've missed taking the time to put my thoughts to the page, even if it's only for my own benefit. We are still deep into our remodeling project; I sit here with exposed rebuilt walls, new windows, insulation and plastic vapor barrier on the walls of my living room, but we are waiting for the new roof and a bit of wiring before we start the process of sheet rock and plaster. The goal is the addition and new truss/roof this summer and then we can work towards wrapping this up. When you do the work yourselves in the evenings and on weekends, it is a slow process. But back to why I decided to be here in the early hours of the morning.

A couple of years ago (its hard to belive it has been that long already) I began a small accountability group that I called Positive Choices. I got a few snickers and jabs over the name because it was very close to a hypnosis recovery program in our area call Positive Changes. But all in all, they are very much the same, the people that check into that program are tired of heading down the same path that they have been traveling and they want to make a change in who they are as a person. With our little group, we were trying to do the same, we wanted to make better choices for our health and weight.

Needless to say, as the year moved along, schedules got overwhelmed and other commitments took over our meeting together, and our focus shifted back to the pressures life. But as I look at that year, don't regret trying to have our little group and have found myself chewing on the idea of trying again. A couple of the ladies had goals based on vacation plans and one was an upcoming wedding that has now passed, but the need to take care of ourselves is still there.

For me, continued health issues caused me to return to the naturopath and begin even more closely watching my food intake. Grant it, I struggled desperately through the holidays, but we had a great Thanksgiving with an entire meal that fit my food plan and I did pretty well on Christmas, aside for the random tray of cookies that showed up around my office.

I've had people ask me if I had made my resolutions for the year, and for me, that process is something I don't participate in. I have found that annual goal setting and failure, becomes too much of a step backward and I find myself beating myself up over it when I don't succeed. I just have to face each day as a choice,  good or bad, it is just a choice. So the overall plan is more good days than bad, to stay in contact with my naturopath, and keep playing with my food. It's a journey for me, not a goal to be achieved, just a life to be lived. The trick is to live and make peace with the food that is best for me.

Throughout the craziness of the holidays, I managed to keep my weight in check, but for some reason right now everything seems to leave me overly stressed, overwhelmed and poor food choices have been my go to. So in the past couple of days. I've spent some time doing a bit of soul searching and looking at what I need to do to put myself in a better place, both in my head and my eating habits.

I do have to confess that I am a Pinterest junkie, I have multiple boards and a few thousand pins for everything from recipes to DIY projects for the house (feel free to look me up and see for yourself). But in those times when I'm brain dead scrolling through pages of stuff on the Internet, I look at what's new on Pinterest that is outside my normal search group, and I recently found the term Hygge. The term was accompanied with pictures of glowing candles, warm socks and steaming hot beverages. So I decided to browse further.

If you haven't come across this term yet, Hygge [hoo ga] is a Danish term for the core of thier lifestyle (there is no direct translation or term for it in the English language). They live a life that revolves around a focus of well-being, to be cozy, to live in the moment, and dozens of other examples when you look up this term. So, as I've been doing my soul searching, embracing this attitude holds a lot of merit. 

Oddly enough, my best times for sitting here pouring out my thoughts has been in the wee hours of the morning, and today is no different. It's a little after 3am, I have two candles lit, a cup of green tea and a warm blanket (thanks to a generous gift card received at Christmas, I now own a very cozy Pendleton wool blanket) wrapped around my legs, and I am enjoying a little Hygge time. 

I want to encourage you to take a little time and research the term and find little ways to Hygge your own way. I intend to take more deep breaths, to enjoy more, and hopefully find more time to be here, sharing my thoughts and recipes with you.

Another treasure I picked up recently was new coffee mug at one of my favorite coffee houses and the saying on the cups fits the Hygge attitude. I'm not drinking coffee right now, but it works for a good cup of tea in the middle of the night too.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

White Turkey Chili

As I was wadding through a healthy collection of emails today, I found one for a blog I subscribe to. After clicking on the link to the blog I began to read the current post. The blogger had received an email asking if she would be willing to provide a list of blogs she followed, so in turn there was a list provided of blogs that were important to her.
I allowed my mind to wander as I finished reading, thinking about how great it would be to not have to work, to be able to stay home, read blogs, test recipes and write here in my own blog. But that is not a possibility at this time, for now I continue to put in many hours at the restaurant, helping care for my mom and volunteering at the church. Recently we have even added the trial of having family members living with us temporarily while they get on their feet. Grandpa still babysits one day a week, as well as returned part time to the workforce for the time being, to help provide the means to continue on our house project.

It’s been a year of changes and challenges, but all in all, it has been a pretty good year. This last week we celebrated Thanksgiving, and I find it easy to be grateful for my sons and their wives, my wonderful three (soon to be four) grandchildren, still having my parents with me, and even with all its issues, we have a home that we can share with others. We have jobs to go to, food in our cupboards and frig, and gas in our cars. There is always something we can thank God for, and when we take the time to give credit to Him, our lives are better for it. When I focus on all the things I don’t have I loose perspective of the things that are truly important. I doubt I will ever have the money that I would need to do all the things I want to do, but I seem to always have enough love in my life to make it not matter. I pray that the same rings true for you.

This week we have eaten enough cold turkey sandwiches to satisfy us for a while, and yet there was still a leg, a thigh and a bit of white meat still Ziploc’d in the frig. A friend posted a video of turkey butternut squash chili on Facebook which got me to thinking, I also remembered another friend that used to make a white chili (but it used canned cream soup which is something that I can say I’m not a fan, as well as something outside my eating plan) but gave me the idea for that leftover turkey, and the result became a hardy rich stew that was enjoyed on a cold night. So if you are looking for something to use the last of the Thanksgiving turkey, give this a try. My family gobbled it up and went back for more.

White Turkey Chili
4-5 cups Turkey leftovers, diced

Small dice following vegetables
1 Onion
1 cup celery
1 cup carrot
1 cup cabbage

1/2 to whole jalapeno fine diced (veins and seeds removed) depending on your taste (we used 1/2)
2 Tblsp Cummin
2 cans Cannellini beans (15oz cans)
1 can Fire roasted green chilis (7 oz)
1 can Green chili enchilada sauce (large)
1 Qt Vegetable or Chicken stock (I had turkey drippings)
Salt & Pepper to taste
12 oz cream cheese
6-10 Quart heavy stock pot (my favorite is a cast iron roaster that holds even heat)
Saute the diced vegetables over medium heat in a little oil until onions and cabbage are translucent and carrots softened. Add turkey, spices, jalapeno, beans including liquid, chilis and sauce.  Add enough stock to ensure all the vegetables are covered. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes.  Add cream cheese and stir until it has completely melted into the chili  (while the chili simmers cube up the cream cheese to allow it to come to room temp faster as well as incorporated into the chili more easily). 
Serve with gratted cheese, sour cream, chips, or whatever your favorite chili toppings might be. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Remembering and Reinventing

Times of nostalgia are a funny thing. 

This spring and summer we have been in overdrive with remodeling our house, planting and managing our garden, installing a fire pit, caring for and enjoying our three grandchildren, and spending time with friends and family. I knew my time here would be limited until fall when our time outdoors would be restricted by the weather.  But today I felt the overwhelming desire to sit here and reminisce a little. 

It all started with a co-working bringing me a jar of jam that was made over a weekend of family time with his wife and parents. You could see the pride of his labors in that little jar he felt he wanted to share with me. Canning, something I used to share with my grandmother every years as the food came into season and as we prepared for the winter to come. We would look at the rows of jars at the end of the season with pride in our labors. Food we would enjoy months down the road. 

But Grandma past away 16 years ago, I had given up on gardening, focused on finishing raising my children, deeper levels of volunteering at the church, and advancing my my career. I've been through an assortment of health issued, changed my eating habits, the types of food I eat and changed how I prepared my food. Canning was not something I thought about when I was planning meals.

After moving into our current home 11 years ago, I began to find time to rekindle my love for what I endearingly call my dirt therapy. It started with working over flower beds, moving plants around in the yard and beginning to find my style of landscaping, but the last few years I've really gotten back into having a vegetable garden. It was a small patch of ground initially, zucchini (you can hardly kill that stuff) and few tomatoes. I started putting in raised beds and messing round in square foot gardening which didn't seem to do the job for me. I tried raising asparagus (too much bother for the yield or I just didn't do that right) but found success with arden berries which are a seedless hybrid of blackberry and boysenberries, and we have figured out the best use for a tree full of figs (we have a granddaughter who can't get enough of them).

Two years ago we have the opportunity to buy an old John Deere tractor with a tiller attachment so last year I moved one of the raised beds and embarked on a patch 8 feet wide and 3o feet long. We grew very successful crops of zucchini, tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, regular cucumber, green beans and sunflower plants. With our successful garden we had the privilege to share bags full of produce to our neighbors, friends and family. I prepared  a fare amount of grated zucchini and roasted tomatoes that have proven to be staple in my kitchen. (I shared the beginnings of my adventures in tomatoes a few years back, for the freezer. Yet with all that produce, I didn't feel a need to pull out my equipment and begin the process of canning. With just my husband and I in the house, what was the point.

This last spring we enjoyed an early spring (I  shared with you previously getting my garden in early), adding new beds and more flowers for the humming birds which has proven to be a very successful choice. We have been enjoying corn, radishes, kale, green onions, lemon cucumbers, peppers, celery and of course berries and figs. I spent some time helping my son and daughter-in-law get their garden planted as well. 

Last week I had the opportunity to help my daughter-in-law can 30 pounds of peaches. Peaches, one of the many items canned by my grandmother and myself. Hours and hours spent at the sink and stove blanching, peeling, slicing and jarring the sweet juicy fruit. As I stood in my son's kitchen repeating those movements I was overwhelmed with memories  of  doing that same task with my grandmother, forcing back the desire to well up with tears at the realization of a time gone by and a woman I loved dearly and missed. 

As well as having that moment of nostalgia, I had the realization that now I am the mother/grandmother. I am the teacher instead of the one following instructions. In all those years standing in the kitchen with grandma, I never thought about the fact that one day, I would be asked to be the teacher, the one guiding the process of raising and preserving food for the coming winter. I am very thankful for all the loving care taken with me, that would prepare for this time in my life, to be able to instill traditions of being self-sufficient, traditions of coming together as family to share in the burden of the work load and caring for our families. 

I didn't spend time canning with my father's mother, but there was plenty of time in the garden with her and my grandfather, as well as eating food from the jars proudly displayed on shelves in their garage. I remember being sent to the garage to bring in jars of  green beans and other treasures that I would scan over when the opportunity arose.

I'm warmed by looking at my past, the rich knowledge shared with me by my grandparents, gardening with my dad. The importance of knowing how to grow my own food and preserve it for later and not always need to depend on food grown by others. Now my job is to share that part of me with my adult children and grand children.

Yesterday and today I canned 11 pints of stewed tomatoes with garlic that will be used in sauces and soups in the months to come. Just like spending time in my dirt therapy in the  garden, canning also is therapy to me, I find standing in my own kitchen, peeling, dicing and jarring a large batch of tomatoes from my garden, I felt that same peace as I moved though the steps. I sensed my grandmother there at my side, her reminding to get all the skins off, keeping the dice uniform so it will cook evenly, letting the jars cool before removing the rings to clean the jars. Returning to my roots, a place that is familiar can bring a joy that is worth hanging on to. That woman was such a blessing and encouragement to me. She always let me know I can be anything I wanted to be, she never put a cap on my enthusiasm to try new things, and she was alway willing to be by my side through it all. I pray that I can be that woman to my children and grandchildren.

Thursday, May 12, 2016


You hear that confession is good for the soul; well you know, sometimes confession is the fastest way to correction. 

After the brunch I prepared last weekend, I came home with a collection of leftovers, a quart of honey yogurt, a quart of sliced strawberries, a quart of diced pineapple and blue berries, a jar of homemade granola, a loaf of banana bread (a gift mind you) and 9 or 10 mini zucchini chocolate chip muffins. 

Well this collection of goodies is almost gone and it was not solely by my husband. I did my fair share of diving into the throws of full on carb binging.  The weird part was looking at this list of things you would think, what's wrong with a bowl of honey yogurt with fruit and granola (every evening...=sigh=) going to do to me or a muffin as I drive to the train station. 

Well, what it did to me was cause a six pound gain and left me craving sweet like there is no tomorrow. My blood sugars have spiked, forcing me to take more diabetic meds and I've had crazy wierd dreams at night, in turn I'm tired from poor sleep, so hey, lets have another cup of coffee to perk me back up. I'm bloated, puffy and overall uncomfortable. So there you go, you wonder what happens when to take a leave from eating Keto and dive back into the carb pool, your body goes wacko from the dousing of sugar each day. There's my confession, I did it, it's over and now to start feeling better again.

I'm sure this is not that last time I will ever go on a carb binge; and I'm sure I will have to pick myself up and dust off the bad behavior. But I can't dwell on that, I have to focus on doing my best and keep moving forward.

My plan to get back on the wagon:

Today - Take the candy bag (random left over Easter candy I found on a shelf) to the office for others to eat, start the day with a bacon, cauliflower and butter scramble., yumm.

Saturday - toss any remnants of this past week (my hubby may grumble), a trip to the farmers' market & butcher shop, food prep, and good night's sleep
Sunday - Meal plans based on what was available, shop for any remaining needed ingredients

Monday - Execute

For now, I will eat as Keto based as I can the next couple of days, based on what is still in the house and until I can get my shopping done and have my frig stocked for sucess. I know I've preached it myself; failing to plan is planning to fail. This week failing is not an option, time to follow my own advice and do what I know is the right thing.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Three Cheese Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes: Prep Nights part 2

After taking a few weeks off from blogging to put on a Easter egg hunt for 60 kids, I was ready to get back to some normalcy. Well so much for that

As I've pushed through the past few weeks, having my vegetables prepped has been a total lifesaver. I've been able to pull meals together in 30 minutes and be able to run back out the door just as fast I ran in. 

One thing I learned in the process is that preparing food in this manner really does show you what you use allot of and what may go to waste. I've also realized what a loss I'm at when I don't take that time to slice, dice and chop a healthy batch of vegetable and pull a couple of cuts of meat from the freezer for the week. 

The weather has been exceptionally nice this spring and I've really tried to make the best of it, we've installed a fire pit, worked over the fence around the garden and installed a new gate. Planted the garden, set up one more raised bed for vegetables and had fun adding trellises and climbing flowers to help attract birds and bees to the garden. We've spread cardboard between the raised beds and down the walkways and covered them with straw for weed control and started a new compost pile. We are still working on spreading enough gravel around the fire pit and between the work sheds and the garden so we have clean walk ways and work spaces, but its beginning to really take shape. 

I must say, just typing that all up makes me tired, and in between all the projects we watch our grandkids and last Saturday I cooked a brunch for 25 ladies for Mothers Day. Sadly enough I'm ready for a couple of weeks of rain that force me to stay inside and work on some projects in the house, including catching up here with you. I've cooked some wonderful dishes, taken pictures and then ran back out to work on another project. So needless to say I have lots of photos of food I forgot what I put in it and plenty more ideas I need to sort out.

This week I've been faced with no time to get to the grocery store, event leftovers and bring work home from the office. It's one of those weeks I'm ill prepared, but I had a creative moment when it came to dinner tonight and I just  had to take the time to share.

Three Cheese Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes
3 servings (unless you are really hungry)
1lb chicken tenders, cubed (boneless/skinless thighs would work great too)
2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 c. minced red onion
8 oz roasted (or sundried) tomatoes in oil
4 oz cream cheese
1 c. heavy whipping cream (or more to reach desired thickness)
1/2 c. grated  parmesan cheese (I by it by the tub full, but the stuff in the green shaker works too)
White cheddar, colby, or mozzarella - Grated for garnish



Preheat a large heavy skillet on the stovetop, reduce to med heat, oil pan and add chopped chicken. Salt and pepper the meat and allow to cook, stirring until cooked on all sides, add chopped onion and garlic and continue to cook for a minute or two, adding tomatoes to warm. Drop in cream cheese and allow it to start to melt, adding cream to loosen up the mix, more as needed. Give it a taste for seasoning, adjust the salt and pepper to your taste and dish it up. 

This sauce would be great paired with cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, pasta or even with steamed vegetables. Tonight I made it with cauliflower rice and the only downside was I should have made more rice!

That's it, it came together super fast and we were eating in no time. 

Well, now its time for me to tackle the pile of paperwork from the office that is waiting here beside me.
But before I go, here's a peek at my other projects and my helpers




Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Keto Korean Beef

Once again the weeks have screamed passed and I've neglected to slow down long enough to even post a few lines here. Work has been excessive, forcing late hours working at home and that followed by a busy weekend executing an Easter egg hunt for 60 kids and then a pancake breakfast. We've been trying to decide how to deal with remodeling our house to accommodate moving my mom in with us. 

So needless to say, I've been a bit checked out. I don't what the coming weeks will entail,but I will be here as time allows. 

The one thing I have managed to stick with during all this activity has been keeping up with food prep night and cooking. I've found that taking that time to prep has actually saved me, when it came to  making meals on the fly or when I've been dead on my feet was easy and kept me from straying too far from my eating plan. That doesn't mean I never caved and ate things I shouldn't have, but all in all, I did pretty well. 

One night we had ground elk, ground beef and cauliflower rice with a few assorted vegetables to  play with. We had my son, daughter in law and our sweet granddaughter at the house and we decided on tweaking our favorite Korean Beef recipe and found that with just a bit of adjustments.

So without further ado, here's what we came up with.

Korean Beef
 1 lb ground beef (or elk)
1 c. diced bell peppers (I used red & yellow for color)
1/2 c. green onions, thin sliced on the diagonal
1/2 c. celery, thin sliced on the diagonal
1/4 c. Tamari
sugar replacement, use equivalent to 1/3 cup sugar (adjust to taste)
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
3 Lg cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp. Crushed red pepper (adjust to desired taste)

Mix together tamari, sweetener, sesame oil, minced garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes together and set aside

In large skillet or dutch oven, brown and crumble meat. Once meat is no longer pink, add in remaining vegetables and cook until vegetables are softened. Add tamari mixture and simmer until liquid has reduced, stirring regularly.

Serve with cauliflower rice.

If you have your cauliflower riced and ready to cook, it only take minutes to cook off a batch  of rice while your Korean beef is cooking.

At this point all you need to do is grab your favorite bowl and enjoy!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Prep Night

Hello from the work office that is. I'm sitting at my desk finishing off a plate of corned beef, topped with melted white cheddar cheese and grilled sauerkraut and a caesar salad on the side. The guys in the kitchen must think I'm pretty crazy, but the actual set for the dish is a corned beef sandwich (bread of course) and fries, which goes against my eating plan. So thankfully they are a pretty good group of guys all in all and they are willing to put up with my weird modifications to the menu items (especially since I produce their paychecks).

But getting down to what I wanted to share with you, I've started taking some tips from this great group of people in our kitchen. 

Have you ever wondered how a restaurant kitchen manages to prepare six different entrees for a table of guests in a reasonable amount of time? Well it all comes down to preparation. They have ingredient list for each entree that is on the menu, each menu item is assigned to be prepared at a specific station on the line depending on if it is a cold dish, or if the main ingredients need to be grilled, broiled, or cooked in a pan on the stove. For our lunch service alone, we have three different stations performing these tasks and dinner it is even more. 

At each station, you will find containers of prepared ingredients that all go into each dish. Just the "sandwich" I had today, the cook has a bin of meat that has been cooked off and thinly slices, a bin with sliced cheese and a tub of sauerkraut, a squeeze bottle of 1000 Island dressing and on the shelf above his station is a loaf of marbled rye bread. When a ticket is printed for a table wanting this sandwich the cook take a portion of sliced meat and places it in a container of hot broth he keeps on the stove to heat the meat, at the same time a portion of kraut is placed on the flat top to grill, he will pull two slices of bread and applies the appropriate amount of sauce to bread, return to his flat top, place the hot meat on the flat top to brown,  and turn the browning kraut. He will collect the sliced cheese needed, turn the meat, place the cheese on top to melt, add the kraut to the top of the stack and then artfully scoop the yummy pile up and place it on the prepared bread. Add the remaining additions to the plate and it is ready to serve. Some where in the dance, he drops a basket of fries into the fryer and at the perfect moment removes them from their oil bath, places them in a bowl to be tossed with salt and herbs before delivering them to the side of the sandwich and out the a table of expectant guests. 

Well all of this work does not happen without the skillful hands of another group of people working in the back of the kitchen, preparing all those bins and containers of food that the cook will rely on to prepare your food. People who are doing things as simple as boiling large batches of boiled eggs for the salad station and deviled eggs for the happy hour. They prepare the many layers of potatoes that make up the gratin that is served with the steaks each night, or preparing the twice baked potatoes. There are people who's main job is to create the individual portions of fish and steaks, so when the menu says a 6 or 10 ounce filet, you get a 6 or 10 oz steak. There are many moving parts in the back of the kitchen that are vital to the operations in the kitchen.

So how can you learn from the dance of a professional kitchen? What I'm going to share with you may not have you turning out multi course meals in record time to your eager family, but it may lead you to a less hectic process when you have 30 minutes to put dinner on the table before you have jump in the car with the kids to run off to dance class or swim lessons.

The key to this time saving tip, is in that group of people in the back of the kitchen, putting in the time to prep vegetables and meat so you have everything you need when you are ready to prepare you meal. 

I established a habit weeks ago that each week when I head for the grocery store, I always buy some staple items that allow me to build my meals from. Before I began eating a Keto based diet, meals were built around the starches I used to stretch meals for a large family which raged from potatoes to pastas and rice. Now my staple items include a weekly head of cauliflower, a head of cabbage and bag of zucchini. Mixed with an assortment of other vegetables that are in lots of my dishes, things like yellow onions green onions and bell peppers. But all these foods take a fair amount of time to cut and prepare before I can start cooking a meal. 

This is where we take our cues from the restaurant kitchen, from the people working in the back of the kitchen. Preparation is the key to speed when we prepare our meals, that is why when you watch the celebrity chef's on TV,  all of their ingredients are pre-cut, pre-measured and placed in little bowls awaiting their use. 

How do we do this you ask? Starting with a cheap purchase at the restaurant supply store of quart containers and lids, I had a portion control to work with, but you could use any containers that you have on hand, for me, these nesting  container the restaurant supply provided made sense to me after seeing them in use everyday at work. After returning home with my bags full of staples and other ingredients I thought about the meals I might be preparing for the week, a batch of cauliflower hash, spaghetti with shredded cabbage, cauliflower rice with something, I didn't have a set menu, but like my past of meal stretching, I knew I would need those basics to build from. 

With my food processor out and mandolin on hand I started prepping for the week. I regularly like to toss together a hash with whatever leftover meat I have in the frig, so having chunked up cauliflower ready to go is a big time saver, so two quarts cut and up in the frig. Well I like peppers and onions in there too, so I have a quart of sliced onions and one of mixed colored bell peppers chunked up, off to frig they go. If I want to have rice during the week, two quarts of riced cauliflower chopped up in the food processor, and we like that with green onion, so I also sliced up a couple of bunches of green onion into a pint container. and we can use part of the peppers already in the frig go with that.  Next step is 3 quarts of shredded cabbage, sliced on the mandolin and I'm ready for a batch of cabbage and onions (yes I sliced up a quart of those too and yes, I cried). I didn't try making my zucchini noodle, I'm afraid they may spoil a little to quickly, but I may give it a try soon too.


Now, regardless of what I decide on for my meals this week, I have my basics covered. I've spent a little over an hour chopping and slicing a mixture of vegetable that I can now utilize in many combinations to pull together a meal. I've spent part of one evening, I've dirtied my kitchen appliances, cutting boards and knives once and then cleaned it all up when I was done. Now when I'm ready to cook, I only have to measure out what I need and I don't trash the kitchen chopping and prepping with each meal. Dirty it all once, clean it all up once and look at the time savings.


When you walk into the big refrigerators at the restaurant you see rows of these containers with all sorts of prepared food, ready to go out on the cook line and be prepared for the guests. Its very important to avoid waste, so dating the container is part of the process and as crazy as it seems a roll of blue painters tape and a sharpie does the trick. You can date it, list what it is, and even how much is in the container, then it peels right off without leaving a sticky mess behind, and you just do it  all over again with your next batch. This way, just like the restaurant, you can see easily what you need to use first, and what needs restocking. It also makes it really easy to know what you have.

This process can be used with virtually everything, you can portion out meat portions (but never mix raw meats with vegetables unless you are interested in some very unpleasant trips to the bathroom or much worse), pre make sauces or dressing, anything you might need for you week. I'm going to try my hand at making mayonnaise and its time to stock up on fresh salad dressings.  

One of the containers I prepped was breakfast all in one. I had precooked sausage in the bottom, chunked cauliflower, peppers and green onions at the top. This was a container I took to work with me, all I needed was a fry pan, a little butter and a couple of eggs to scramble with the contents of the container once it was cooked through. So these can even become a meal to go.

I know this was a long one, (no I didn't this all done at lunch, I've finished it up at after dinner tonight) but I hope this has been useful for you. I feel like this will be a practice I will keep up for a long time. Give it a try and let me how it's working for you!