Updated: Aug 8
Variety is one of the best things to find in your fridge. There are certain items / ingredients that can easily be turned into a lot of different recipes. A roasted chicken is one of those items. Buying one from the store cuts out the most time consuming part of the process and essentially makes the whole thing realistic.
The system below requires about an hour of prep time. Doing this will set you up for at least a couple days worth of quick, easy, quality meals that only require assembly when you are ready to eat. Separating the cooking process into two phases is a core strategy used by restaurants - a prep phase and an execution phase. It works very, very well. Doing it this way also makes cooking a lot less stressful. Prepping is a reasonable task. Prepping and cooking in the same sitting can end up being an unpleasant experience. Its a game changer - that first time you pull out pre-prepped ingredients and make a great meal in five minutes. This shopping list and prep process will put you in the position to easily execute the recipes below. Good Luck!
Pack of wraps or tortillas
Lettuce of choice (Ideally a pre-washed bag or container)
Carrots (1-3 pound bag)
Celery (5 sticks)
1 bunch of fresh Parsley or Cilantro
Bag of chips
*If you want a Chicken Soup option get one 32 oz. container of Chicken Broth. Whole Foods carries a couple great, organic brands for $2.99.
Remove all of the meat and store in some kind of container. (Tupperware, plastic bags, etc.)
Cut tomato into small squares and store in a container
Cut 5 or more sprigs of green onion into thin circles and store in a container (do not use the very bottom white part)
Cut carrots into small squares or shred and store in a container
Cut celery into small squares and store in a container
Rinse the bunch of parsley or cilantro (pat it dry with a paper towel) and put back in bag so it’s ready to pick and use. If you have time, pick it off the stems and chop it - store in a container.
Cut lemon into 4 wedges (cut in half lengthwise, and then cut those in half lengthwise) - put in a bag or container.
Scoop out avocado, mash lightly with a fork, put in container and cover with plastic wrap so the wrap is in contact with the top layer of the avocado.
You are done until you are ready to execute and eat.
SALAD or WRAP
Choice of pre-prepped toppings
Drizzle olive oil
Squeeze one lemon wedge
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Pepper
Parsley or Cilantro
Handful of Chicken
1 tablespoon Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chopped Celery
1 teaspoon chopped Green Onion
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Pepper
Chips - to eat with
This recipe is a blank-slate. You can add pretty much any ingredient you want to it to make the chicken salad your own - grapes, dried cranberries, sage, walnuts...unlimited options.
SOUP *This will require a little cook-time (10-15 mins)
16 oz. Chicken Broth
Handful of chicken
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped carrots
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1 tablespoon parsley or cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon
You can definitely just microwave this as is, but if you want the carrots and celery to be soft, let it simmer for about 10 mins. If possible, do not cook the parsley and onions with the rest of the ingredients - add them right before eating so they stay crisp and fresh. If you want it to be a little more hearty, add a 1/2 tablespoon of butter when cooking.