Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Meal Prep: Lemongrass Chicken Brochettes with Thai Pickled Cucumber

Meal Prepping is a Sunday affair and it takes hours & hours (but is so worth it!). Here's a glimpse of how I did it on 1/4/15:
I woke up and perused my new cookbook that I purchased from Crate & Barrel called "A Perfect Day for a Picnic" by Tori Finch. Even though it's the dead of winter and no picnics will be had, I still loved the recipes and wanted to recreate one with a few of my own flavors thrown in.

Winner: "Lemongrass Chicken Brochettes with Thai Pickled Cucumber"
(I couldn't find Lemongrass at grocery store so I omitted that).

I quickly wrote down the ingredients and it was off to my Sunday home away from home, Trader Joe's. 

The Chicken Skewers  
(my version of them, a bit different from the book but certainly inspired by the author!)
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts- sliced into strips
  • 3/4 Cup Coconut Cream (used double in mine)
  • 1 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP fish sauce
  • 1 TSP Thai Red Chilli paste
  • 2 TBSP crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 TBSP sugar (did not add in mine)
  • Freshly squeezed Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 3-6 sticks lemongrass (did not use in mine)My additions:
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Organic Carrots
  • Jalapenos
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Sesame Oil
Put all ingredients in a large bowl. Make sure the chicken is well coated with the sauce before leaving it in the fridge for a few hours to marinate.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (I like drier chicken so I did 400 degrees).

Take your metal or water-soaked wood skewers and thread it through the chicken strip (If you were lucky enough to find lemongrass, at this point you would push a lemongrass through the chicken strip using the hole created by a skewer. As I said, I did not do this part). For my version, I threaded the chicken on a kebab with either slices of jalapeno, brussels sprouts or organic carrots. Continue this process until all meat & veggies are gone.

Line a baking sheet with foil . When all the brochettes (skewers) are ready, lay the skewers down on the baking sheet and add a little more marinade to each one. Cook for 20 minutes - 40 minutes and be sure to begin checking regularly on the chicken after 20-30 minutes.
When the chicken is cooked to your liking, remove from oven and enjoy that aroma!

Thai Pickled Cucumber
  • 4 TBSP sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 TBSP finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 green chilli
  • My additions:
  • Jalapeno (spicy!)
  • Fresh Pepper
  • Parsley
  • Fresh Basil
  • Sesame Oil
Put the sugar & salt in a saucepan w/ 4 TBSP water and heat to a boiling point so the sugar dissolves and forms a syrup. Add the rice wine vinegar and leave to cool
Once cooled, gather all those lovely greens & spices you have and pour the syrup all over. Marinate for 3 hours.

Chicken Skewers & Thai Pickled Cucumber packaged for work:
^Chicken taken off skewers and served over spinach for our office lunches. Cucumber salad in a little bowl on the lower right and Tzatziki sauce (upper right) to lightly dress over both things (it cools the jalapeno). So, so good altogether.
Green Juice:
I bought a tonnnnnnnnnnnnnn of vegetables to juice this week.
^Pour into to-go drinks from the big pitcher each night before work
Can you believe all of that goodness becomes that gorgeous drink that I take to work each morning? Yum. So jam-packed with goodness. I even had more veggies ready to go for my next juicing later in the week.

Greek Yogurt cups with tons of Fruits & Nuts.
Ah, my staple breakfast.

 It's just so dang easy to make and so delicious and insanely healthy.

So there you have it! A quick day in the life of my process. The only sad part is that the recipe book is intended to provide you endless ideas for an outdoor picnic and I, instead, have to enjoy that inspiration at my desk.
Boo! But it really does make a lovely work lunch, meshing & dipping between the 3 components.

The Breakdown:
My total bill at Trader Joe's was $110. I was able to make (8) lunches (we usually buy lunch Friday), (10) breakfasts and (4) dinners (leftover skewers + quinoa, rice & salad to eat it with). 
For two of us, that averages about $11/a day for all our meals.

I'm telling you, it's worth it. $11 dollars would not even cover 2 lunches for me if I ate out.
Happy eating!


Pat Hatt said...

I actually eat a lot of that, plain of course, but I eat it haha looks good

Jax said...

I am so glad that you are sticking to this!!! This Sunday I made a huge pot of beef barley stew. Sunday cooking saves you lots of money AND makes me feel better since I will not be the only one cooking all day. Haha

Unknown said...

I'll say it again, I am so envious of your commitment to meal planning! One question, when you say juice do you actually put all those things through a juicer or is it more of a smoothie?
Again, thanks for the inspiration :)