By Hayley Stobbs R.Ac, CNC
Whole foods meal preparation is an essential part of my wellness routine. It's an investment of prioritizing nutrition time in exchange for clear energy, clarity, health maintenance, prevention, saving money, and delicious convenient meals! Although it may seem daunting at first, practice and values outweigh the effort once it becomes a part of your lifestyle.
I prep in the morning however there are many ways to go about it. For example, prep once per week, 2 - 3 times per week, or once per day. I normally cook protein 2 - 3 times per week and then portion and freeze or refrigerate in various sized mason jars. For vegetables, I prepare a stir-fry or roasted batch every morning to keep things fresh (cook veg once, eat 'em twice -- lunch and dinner), and occasionally every other day.
I LOVE the flavour that sauces and dips add to vegetables and protein, especially since most of the time I simply pan-fry my protein with salt and pepper in a cast iron pan until crisp without a marinade. I usually create a sauce or dip daily or every other day. My favourites are pesto, tahini with aduki miso, and artichoke-parsnip hummus.
Preparing nutrient-dense food in the morning means I still have yang daytime energy to get it done whereas later in the day I lose my motivation. This is just an example of what works for me. What will work for you depends on your unique schedule and the exploring of different options to see what works best.
Here are some recipes to get you started or to inspire some new flavours and diversity. Enjoy!
Ingredients (Long cook veg ----> Quick cook veg)
#1: Celery, Fennel, Green Cabbage, Oyster Mushroom
#2: Carrot, Red onion or shallot, Summer Squash, Scallion
#3: Leek, Shiitake, Rutabaga or Kohlrabi, Turnip, Broccoli
#4: Shallot, Carrot, Cabbage, Yellow Beet, Red Radish, Scallion, Cilantro
1. Prepare the vegetables. Slice, diagonally slice, dice, and/or julienne as desired. I use a mandolin slicer to julienne the rutabaga and turnip.
2. Pour enough water to cover the bottom of a large fry-pan up to 1/2 inch. Bring the water to a simmer and add 1 - 2 different vegetables every few minutes in order of appearance from dense (longer cooking) to light (quick cooking) from the ingredient list above. *Alternatively and preferably, use a stainless steel steamer insert.
3. For example, from #1, add celery and fennel, cover and steam for about 5 minutes, and then add the cabbage, oyster mushroom, and stir. Cover for an additional 5 - 8 minutes. Drain water. Optional step: add 2 - 3 teaspoons of avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil, and stir-fry over medium low heat. Sprinkle sea salt, pepper, and herbs/spices as desired. Serve with micro-sprouts, tahini sauce, and marinated chicken (see recipes below).
Cook time: 10 - 35 minutes
Makes: 5 - 8 servings
2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, turkey tenders, or fish
*Substitute with soaked then cooked beans, or quinoa and nuts/seeds if vegetarian
3 tablespoons lime juice, coconut aminos, gluten-free tamari, or mustard
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 - 3 teaspoons ginger root powder, if using lime juice, coconut aminos, or gluten-free tamari
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey, if using mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1. Slice your protein source into 1 - 1 1/2 inch cubes and place into a large glass container or bowl.
2. Add the marinade ingredients to the chicken.
4. Use a large spoon to mix and coat the chicken thoroughly.
5. Marinate for at least 5 - 8 hours for best flavour.
6. Stir-fry for about 5 minutes per side over medium heat in a cast iron pan, or bake at 375F for approximately 25 - 35 minutes or until done.
6. Serve with stir-fry vegetables and tahini sauce.
Yields 1 cup
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon each: aduki miso, coconut aminos or GF tamari
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
Pinch of sea salt & black pepper
Transfer all ingredients into a small sized mixing bowl, except for the cilantro or chives and black pepper. Whisk until smooth and creamy. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Transfer to an air-tight glass container and stir in the optional cilantro. Serve with protein and vegetables. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Basic Whole Foods Guidelines
Mindful + Intuitive Eating For Well-Being | 5 tips
If you’re interested in diet therapy and acupuncture I’d be happy to guide you along. Please visit www.vcaspa.com to book online. To learn more about my acupuncture practice, follow @hayley_stobbs on Instagram.
In health & happiness,
Hayley Stobbs R.Ac, CNC