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!
Week 4 Basics: Shredded Chicken, Spinach, and Spaghetti Squash
- 5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 4 10 ounce bags frozen spinach
- 2 medium-sized spaghetti squash
- 1/2 cup water
For the Chicken:
- Stovetop method:Dust the chicken thighs with 1 teaspoon sea salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper.
- 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:Dust the chicken with 1 teaspoon sea salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper.
- 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:Dust the chicken with 1 teaspoon sea salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper.
- 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.
- 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.