Fed & Fit

Cook Once, Eat All Week: Week 4 Base Recipes

We're kicking off Week 4 of our Cook Once, Eat All Week series with this week's base recipes! We're making use of shredded chicken, spaghetti squash, and spinach. Get your components prepped so that you can quickly whip up the recipes coming later this week!

Cook Once, Eat All Week

If you're new here, THIS POST is a great introduction to our Cook Once, Eat All Week series! This is an entirely FREE, Paleo-friendly meal-prep series. Each Monday, I'm sharing 3 basic meal components that involve very minimal prep (bake the squash in bulk, cook/shred the chicken, roast the veggies). Then, on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I'll be sharing a different meal recipe that makes good use of these already prepped components. Each week will result in a grand total of 10 to 15 servings, to give you a rough idea of how much food to expect if you follow our plan to the letter.

Here this week's schedule:

  • Monday: Shredded Chicken, Spaghetti Squash, and Spinach Recipes
  • Tuesday: Chicken Carbonara Recipe
  • Wednesday: Balanced Breakfast Egg Cups Recipe
  • Thursday: Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash Boats Recipe
  • Friday: the COMPLETE “Cook Once, Eat All Week” eBook (including a bonus 5th week) is sent out in advance to my newsletter subscribers!

Note: If you want to get your hands on the complete eBook for this week (which includes shopping lists, a timed meal prep guide, and bonus recipe ideas) click HERE

This week's base recipes are once again wonderfully simple! First, we're just going to make our shredded chicken! As in our previous posts, we're giving you THREE different ways cook this protein up (Instant Pot, slow cooker, or stovetop). Once it's cooked, give it a quick shred via your favorite method.

The spaghetti squash is incredibly easy to prepare. Simply cut in half, scrape the seeds out, bake, and then save for the next dishes coming.

The last piece is simple spinach! You can either use frozen or fresh. Simply saute, drain, and get ready to use later this week.

Once everything is cooked, store it away for the recipes coming later this week!

Remember that if you don't want to wait to get the recipes for the rest of this series here on the blog, you can also get them in an eBook FOR FREE by clicking HERE (subscribing to my newsletter). The eBook for each week also includes shopping lists, extra reheating tips, bonus recipes, and other meal ideas. Newsletter subscribers will get the full week of Cook Once, Eat All Week content the Friday BEFORE that content is slated to publish on the blog. It's a great way to get your ducks in a row early while also taking advantage of the other free goodies we send out to newsletter subscribers.

Week 4 Basics: Shredded Chicken, Spinach, and Spaghetti Squash

Preparation 00:15 Cook Time 01:00 Total Time 1:15 Serves 10-15     adjust servings


Ingredients

For the Shredded Chicken

  • 5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the Spinach

  • 4, 10 ounce bags frozen spinach

For the Spaghetti Squash

  • 2 medium-sized spaghetti squash
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

For the Chicken:

  • Stovetop method:
    1. Dust the chicken thighs with 1 teaspoon sea salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper.
    2. Add chicken to a large pan with a lid over medium-high heat and cover with 5 cups of water or chicken broth. Place the lid on the pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Set aside to cool, then shred with two forks or the paddle attachment of a stand mixer.
  • Slow Cooker method:
    1. Dust the chicken with 1 teaspoon sea salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper.
    2. Place chicken in the slow cooker and cover with 5 cups water or chicken broth. Cook for 6-8 hours on low, then shred with two forks or the paddle attachment of a stand mixer.
  • Instant Pot method:
    1. Dust the chicken with 1 teaspoon sea salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper.
    2. Place chicken in the Instant Pot along with ½ cup water or chicken broth. Close the lid of the Instant Pot, ensure the pressure valve is sealed, and set the cooker to “poultry” mode for 20 minutes.
    3. Once the timer goes off, quickly release the pressure valve, open the pot once all steam has been released, and shred the chicken with two forks or the paddle attachment of a stand mixer.

For the Spinach:

  • Either microwave or steam the spinach according to the directions on your frozen spinach package. Once spinach is cooled, place in a cheesecloth or tea towel and wring out the excess moisture from the spinach. Store in an airtight container.

For the Spaghetti Squash:

  • Heat the oven to 350 F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and place cut side-down on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan. Bake 45-60 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork.
  • Once cool enough to touch, scoop the spaghetti strands out of 2 of the squash halves and store in an airtight container. Preserve the other two spaghetti squash halves for the buffalo chicken boats and store whole in an airtight container.

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