Cassy Joy Garcia describes her latest cookbook, Cook Once, Eat All Week: Cassy Joy Garcua’s Cook Once, Eat All Week: 26 Weeks of Gluten-Free, Affordable Meal Prep to Preserve Your Time & Sanity as “a meal prep method designed to save you time, money, and sanity, and is truly different from other meal prep methods out there.”
And it’s easy to see why. Garcia, who is also the author of Fed and Fit, and does a podcast and blog under the same name, says her method doesn’t involve the typical and boring approach of prepping a bunch of separate recipes on Sunday, then dividing them up, packing and storing them in the refrigerator to eat during the week.
“We make a protein, a veggie, and a starch–or another veggie–in bulk, turning them into three totally different dinners that you assemble throughout the week,” says Garcia, noting that this cuts down on kitchen time and it also saves money because not only are you cooking fewer things but her method is also strategically designed so you use as few ingredients as possible. “This keeps your meals fresh and diverse, because instead of making the full meals on prep day, you’ll have all of your main ingredients cooked and ready to assemble to make your meal in less than 20 minutes each night.”
As an example, one of the recipes below for shredded pork is used not only to make Enchilada Verde Casserole with Avocado Slaw but also Honey Mustard Pork Sheet Pan Dinner and Sloppy Joe Stuffed Potatoes. In all, Garcia’s book features 26 weeks-worth of gluten free meals that can all easily be modified to multiple dietary needs. In total there are:
8 weeks of low carb-friendly meals
23 weeks of grain-free and Paleo-friendly meals
25 weeks of dairy-free meals
24 weeks of egg-free meals
25 weeks of nut-free meals
Enchilada Verde Casserole with Avocado Slaw
Yield: 4 servings Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes
FOR THE CASSEROLE:
4 cups shredded pork (see recipe below)
11⁄2 teaspoons chili powder
11⁄2 teaspoons ground cumin
11⁄2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups salsa verde, divided
6 (6-inch) corn or grain-free tortillas
3⁄4 cup shredded white cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (omit for Paleo/dairy-free), divided
FOR THE AVOCADO SLAW:
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
2 tablespoons avocado oil 1⁄2 cup diced red onions
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1 avocado, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves Shredded purple cabbage
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Make the casserole: In a medium-sized bowl, toss the pork with the chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Spread 1 cup of the salsa in an 8-inch square baking dish, then cover with 2 tortillas: place a tortilla in one corner of the dish, then cut the second tortilla in half and use the halves to fill in the empty spaces along the side and bottom of the whole tortilla.
Spread one-third of the seasoned pork over the tortillas, then top with 1 cup of the salsa and 1⁄4 cup of the cheese. Repeat for two more layers.
Bake the casserole, uncovered, for 30 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling.
Meanwhile, make the avocado slaw: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the lime juice and avocado oil. Add the onions, jalapeno, avocado, cilantro, and cabbage and toss to coat.
Place the slaw on top of the casserole and serve!
1, 3 pound pork shoulder
1/2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
Season pork shoulder with 1/2 tablespoon coarse sea salt. Place in the slow cooker. Cook for 8 hours on low, or about 4-6 hours on high, until pork easily shreds apart.
Chorizo and Potato Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Slaw
Yield: 4 servings Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes
FOR THE CHORIZO-POTATO FILLING:
1/4 cup avocado oil
1 pound baked and cubed red
4 cups cooked ground pork
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
FOR THE CILANTRO-LIME SLAW:
4 cups shredded green and purple cabbage
Cilantro-lime dressing (see recipe below)
Coarse sea salt
8 corn or grain-free tortillas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
3 ounces Cotija cheese, crumbled, for garnish (omit for Paleo/dairy- free)
1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving
To make the filling, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the potatoes. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 3 minutes, until browned and crispy. Remove the potatoes from the pan and set aside.
Drain all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the pan, then add the pork, salt, spices, and vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes, until the pork is crispy.
Return the potatoes to the pan and stir them into the pork, then remove the pan from the heat.
To make the slaw, toss the shredded cabbage with the cilantro-lime dressing. Season to taste with salt.
Place a small skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, put a tortilla in the pan and warm for 30 seconds per side, until the tortilla is pliable and begins to brown slightly. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. To keep them warm while you heat the remaining tortillas, you can wrap them in a kitchen towel.
To assemble the tacos, fill each warmed tortilla with the chorizo-potato filling, top with the slaw, and then garnish with the cilantro and cheese. Serve with lime wedges.
CILANTRO LIME DRESSING
Solid coconut cream from 1 13.5 ounce can of full-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup fresh lime juice, about 2 limes
1/3 cup packed fresh cilantro, leaves and stems
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Place all the ingredients in a food processor, blender, or smaller bullet-sized smoothie blender. Blend until smooth.
Note: if the sauce is too thick, add 1 teaspoon of water or lime juice at a time until you have a consistency you like. Enjoy immediately or store in the refrigerator for later.
Store in a sealed container for up to 7 days.
To serve once chilled through, soften by heating it prior to serving or simply dollop while slightly more solid on warm food for it to melt there.
Troubleshooting your sauce: if you find that your sauce separates while you make it, simply heat it up slightly (either in the microwave for about 15 seconds or on the stove just until the chill is gone) and stir again. It will come back together.
Cassy Joy Garcia will be in Chicago on May 22 at 7:30 pm (EST) for a talk and demonstration at Read It and Eat! which is located at 2142 N. Halsted St. For more information, 773-661-615 or visit readitandeatstore.com
Jane Ammeson can be contacted via email at email@example.com