I Cooked Dinner After Work For Myself Every Day For A Week…

I love doing my grocery shopping every week, and I love doing a weekly meal prep, but I don’t always love coming home from work and then having to cook something.  I don’t cook every night, but I also don’t cook everything I need for the week on the weekend either (unless I’m anticipating a very busy week with work).  Most often, I will cook 1-2 times per week, cook extra, and have leftovers the rest of the nights.  Sometimes I’ll throw together something like a salad that I don’t have to do any cooking for.  Though I don’t often have a freshly cooked meal every single night, a couple of weeks ago I decided I would give it a try and cook myself a fresh one-serving meal every night (Monday-Thursday).  For the week, I had at my disposal plenty of avocado, frozen raw chicken, eggs, brussels sprouts,  cauliflower, and a variety of noodles/pastas.

A few things before I start.  I don’t have a dishwasher, so I did spend a significant amount of time doing dishes.  This would have been a LOT easier if I had a dishwasher to help with the cleanup.  Second, I have been practicing intermittent fasting for a while now, and depending on my schedule at work sometimes dinner is my only real meal.  That said, I am not going to really comment on my portion sizes, because I think everyone’s dinner is going to look different depending on the type of diet they follow, and their goals at the moment.  The real purpose of this post is less to show you how much dinner I am eating, and rather to show a few meals that can reasonably be thrown together after a full day at work.

Monday -Brussels sprouts, spaetzle, chicken, and a fried egg 

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I am always on the fence about committing to making brussels sprouts.  I love the way they taste, but they’re pretty tedious to prepare because you have to cut them if you want them to cook quickly and evenly, and to prevent me from chopping my fingers off I cut them up one by one.  For this meal I decided to go for it, and I sauteed the brussels sprouts in chili powder, salt, and pepper, boiled the spaetzle, and then combined the spaetzle with the brussels in the pan and sauteed that all together.  I cooked the chicken in the same spices, chopped it up, and then tossed that together with the spaetzle and the brussels.  Lastly, I fried up an egg and laid that on top of the assembled plate.  I didn’t use any oil in this meal, and the spices and juices from the chicken and brussels sprouts helped to give more flavor to the spaetzle, and then I let the runny egg get all over everything before I dug in.  This was delicious, and pretty easy clean up because it was just one pot, one pan, one bowl, and a knife and cutting board.

Tuesday – Brussels sprouts, spaetzle, avocado, and chicken 

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I enjoyed the spaetzle so much on Monday that I made it again on Tuesday.  I didn’t combine the spaetzle and brussels sprouts in the pan this time, but plated it all separately (but then mixed it all together in my bowl before I ate it anyway).  This meal is basically the same as Monday’s, except for the fact that I swapped out the fried egg for avocado smash.  I again didn’t use any oil while cooking, but the avo smash helped to make a sauce for the rest of the dish when I mixed it all together in the absence of the runny egg.  This was equally as delicious as Monday’s meal, with similar cleanup.

Wednesday – Chicken, and Barilla Plus high protein pasta with brussels sprouts 

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I sauteed the brussels sprouts in a little bit of butter, boiled the Barilla Plus pasta, and used some butter to dress the pasta as well.  I mixed the brussels sprouts in with the pasta, and laid the chicken (cooked with just salt and pepper) on top.  This was simple, easy, buttery, and delicious.  I really love the Barilla Plus high protein pasta because it helps me meet my protein goals without sacrificing any taste or texture.

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Bonus – I also had a snack before my meal of scrambled eggs and Mikey’s bread.  It was delicious.  I honestly learned how to cook scrambled eggs correctly from Frankie Celenza (Frankie Cooks) on a SnapChat discover video, and it changed the way I look at scrambled eggs.  Basically, you cook them on a very low heat, very slowly, and constantly move them around with a rubber spatula in circular motions as they cook.  They come out smooth and creamy, and almost look and taste like they have a ton of butter and cheese in them, but they don’t!  They take almost 3x as long to cook this way, but I highly recommend trying it.  Also, I really like the Mikey’s products.  My favorite are the english muffins, but they also make slices (pictured here), tortillas, pizza crust, and muffin tops! (And potentially more things, check their website!)  They’re a bit pricey, but they have very low net carbs if that’s your thing, and I think they’re worth a try.

Thursday – Chicken, cauliflower, edamame noodles, and a fried egg 

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This was my last day of cooking for the week, and I was honestly relieved.  I couldn’t back out of cooking this day even if I wanted to because I didn’t have any leftovers, and I had nothing that I could really throw together cold.  I sauteed some cauliflower in chili pepper powder, salt, pepper, cumin, and turmeric, and cooked my chicken in salt and pepper.  I boiled some Explore Cuisine edamame pasta, and plated it up.  Lastly, I fried an egg and laid that on top.  This dish was the least saucy because I used so many spices on the cauliflower that the runny egg wasn’t really enough to juice up the dish.  Lesson learned!  Overall, this was tasty, and I love the edamame pasta because it provides more protein than it does carbs!  And the texture of it is more like pasta than any other carb-friendly pasta I’ve ever tried.

Final Thoughts: 

This was a lot of work, but mostly because of having to wash pots every single night.  It was definitely nice to have so many freshly prepared meals, and I think I will try incorporating more cooking after work into my plans.  It’s really not so bad once you get into the swing of the routine, and as long as you don’t let the dishes get backed up.

What do you think? Will you try to incorporate more cooking into your evening routine? Let me know in the comments, and tag me in your freshly cooked meals @liftinluxe #liftinluxe !

Stay fit and freshly cooked, all!

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