Right now, cooking, shopping, and meal planning is occupying not just a lot of time, but also a lot of headspace. My hope is that it won’t always be that way – otherwise, we’ll end up going back to eating too much takeout and prepared foods.
So here are some kitchen efficiency goals once the learning curve abates:
- Use the new Instant Pot to make enough grains for the entire week (or half-week, perhaps) all at once. Soak them in the morning or the night before, cook them in the evening, refrigerate the rest.
- Make large pots of legumes on a more regular basis.
- Use the Instant Pot to make bone broth and fish stock periodically. Freeze broth cubes as needed.
- Wash and chop veggies the night before, when we know we need to cook quickly the next day.
- Always keep washed (and possibly chopped) fresh fruit on hand.
- Soak and dehydrate nuts immediately after purchasing.
Refrigerator staples for Nora
- avocado (for now)
Freezer staples for Nora
- frozen leftover meat and fish
- frozen steamed green veggies
While it’s nice to feed Nora whatever we’re having, it’s practical to maintain a freezer stash of leftovers in order to make sure we always have something on hand that we can feed to her. The nice thing about frozen meat and fish is that we can serve ourselves meat or fish once a week, but serve Nora meat or fish every day. Frozen vegetables are good in a pinch because I suspect that Nora gets constipated without them.
I’m still a bit undecided with regard to how much grain to feed to Nora. For now, I’m not making it a priority to freeze grains for her because a) a Paleo meal or two won’t hurt her in the event that we’re out of grains, b) many of the frozen meat dishes include potatoes, bread crumbs, or starchy vegetables, c) bread is an easy finger food and she probably gets more than she needs.
It’s not yet the season for starchy vegetables that make good grain substitutes such as squash, potatoes, and root vegetables. Once we get more of those on the table, I’ll build up a freezer stash of those.