This post is inspired by a message I received from a fellow Culinary Ninja. He said this:
“A while ago you posted a photo on Facebook of your ‘paleo bank account’ (your fridge freezer loaded up with awesome food). I was hoping that you maybe have a post planned for your website where you could go into this in a little more detail of what meals, proteins and veggies you routinely cook in bulk and freeze for later. I like the idea of having tasty healthy food almost ready to eat for days when something comes up and I don’t have time to prepare something – it’s a much better alternative than something non paleo :)”
If you are going to “Go Paleo” or “Keep It Paleo!”, then learning to cook will benefit you greatly. While we have cheat days and “Paleo Pluses…”, there are going to be times when you need a meal, or several meals, but do not have time to cook. Because of this, I recommend stocking a Paleo Bank Account with healthy meals that can be ready faster than a frozen pizza.
The concept is pretty simple really. You make deposits when you have time and withdrawals when your are spread thin. With a little planning and transfers from your savings (freezer) to your checking (refrigerator), you’ll always be able to nuke a meal or cook it on the stove top in around 5 minutes.
There are two ways to go about stocking your Paleo Bank Account:
1. Set Prep Days– scheduling specific prep days once per week or twice per month will keep your account stocked. Make it a gathering with your Paleo Pals and the dividends will increase exponentially. Cooking with friends and stocking your fridge at the same time, how does it get any better? Once I start the webinars, we’ll all be able to do this together. I’ll send out the grocery list on Monday and we’ll cook together on Sunday. Sound good?
2. Incremental Deposits– this is my favorite method. As long as the kitchen’s hot, it behooves us to make the most of it. Instead of cooking dinner for just one night, throw a few extra pounds of meat in the pan and stock your account.
Other recommendations for stocking your PBA are:
1. Purchase quart containersfrom your local Restaurant Depot or Grocery Store Deli. They are a great way to portion your meals. I make mine heavy on the meat and can eat a quart container as a meal on days that I am working out hard.
2. Invest in an upright deep freeze.The extra cold temperature limits the size of ice crystals when freezing and “drip” when thawing. An upright freezer will help you keep your stock rotated easily (first in first out) which limits waste. A good freezer lasts forever and I’ll promote a brand once I get an appliance sponsor ;).
3. Label your food. Use a sharpie to write the contents and date on the top of each container. No need to use labels, the sharpie is not permanent on quart containers, you can remove it with a little rubbing after washing.
4. Keep a statement of your PBA. Keeping track of what you’ve deposited and withdrawn on a monthly basis will help you will meal planning and prevent waste. If you are burnt out on an item in your account, give it away.
5. Mix it up.Trial and error will teach you what is appetizing when frozen and what is not. I have a rule that nothing is on deposit for more than 6 months. I vary my meals greatly, most of which are found on my site, which prevents the “not again” experience. Variety is the spice of life, friends. Don’t forget that.
Until you look down the freezer aisle and see PALEO FOOD on the overhead sign, you’ll have to create your own freezer section. Paleo Nick will one day get there, I’m betting my Pastel De Papa will be the first to make it, but don’t hold your breath. The interest paid on deposits in the Paleo Bank Account come in the form of fading fat, excess energy, and living large. So get out there, learn to cook without recipes and set yourself up for success.
Watching TV instead of stocking your PBA is not acceptable. Working out is.
Earn your shower, people. Earn your shower.
Be sure to sign up for the Taste of Paleo food festival this Sunday in Huntington Beach, CA. I am going to attempt to cook appetizers for 100 people, “Chopped” style, in under 30 minutes. My presentation is at 12:20, so please come out and support me!
Until then, “Keep It Paleo!”
(Seen here on Lake Lizzie with “The Bro”)