When I’m home, I like bringing my lunch to work. There are a few reasons for this:
- I like to cook
- I like to share with my colleagues what I made
- It is a way to know what is in my food (but I find that French cafeterias at work are not that bad. Most of the time, they have in-season and balanced options)
I don’t do it everyday though. Because, it can be time consuming and sometimes you just don’t want to bother. And I know that for most people, cooking in general IS time consuming. I completely understand the “uh, I don’t want to cook tonight” feeling.
That’s normal behavior for your brain. So you have to hack it.
We all have bursts of “good will”. When you find yourself wanting to change your lifestyle on a Sunday night like “I’m going to start this diet, to clean my whole house, to do this and that”. That’s a good will burst.
I want you to take advantage of that burst to hack yourself and prepare for the time the burst will disappear.
And this is called meal prep.
Tadaaaa. The big word is out.
Yay, the joy of meal prep! But let me precise, I don’t want you to prepare little Tupperwares of what you’ll eat for ALL the meals and snacks of the week. This is for body builders or professionals who have to weight and count every single calories that goes in.
We just want to live, don’t we ? Live well.
My advice for meal prep, the French way, is: cook big pots of healthy stuffs. Put it in the freezer/fridge. Done.
I am talking soups, gratins, slow cooked dishes etc. And when you are lazy, don’t beat it. Be lazy, take your amazing prepared meal out of the fridge, reheat and eat.
Let your “good-will-burst” self work for the future “lazy-hating-cooking” self.
And I have this recipe to propose, which is perfect for big batches and that I do almost every single week: Chicken Adobo.
It is a “set it and forget it” dish. 10 min to set, cooks for 3 hours. It is a Filipino recipe that I got from an old magazine a few years ago. I’ve adapted it to my taste, I encourage you to do the same.
Let’s start 🙂
Yield: 2 servings – Prep time: 10 min – Cooking time: 2-3 hours
What you’ll need
- A big pot with the lid
- one cutting board
- 2 chicken breasts
- 3 onions
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 glass of water
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp of honey
- A few pistils of safran (you can use infused safran powder as it is less expensive but the taste is incomparable)
- 1 tbsp of soy sauce
- 1 dash of smoked paprika
- A sprinkle of ginger
- 1 dash of cumin
Here is my philosophy : use whatever you have in your pantry that is close to the ingredients above if it is more convenient for you. Everyday cooking is fun, it should not be a dictatorship !
Moreover, This is how you create unique recipes which will be yours.
First, cut the onion and the chicken breasts in big chunks.
Then dice the garlic in small pieces.
Put the olive oil in the pot on very high heat. Once the oil is hot, put the garlic, chicken, onions, paprika, cumin and ginger in the pot.
Let the all the ingredient cook on a very high heat for 5-7 min, until the chicken and onion are cooked on the outside.
Then, add the vinegar, water, soy sauce and honey (in this order).
When it starts to boil, put on the lid, bring the heat down to very low.
Then you just let it cook for 2-3 hours. The longer, the better. Never remove the lid in order for the liquids to stay in the pot and not evaporate.
Just before serving, add the saffron pistils and let cook for a few additional minutes.
Et voilà !
You’ve got your revisited Chicken Adobo. I insist on making this dish in big batches: you can freeze it and it is even better re-heated.
It is one of those recipes that the more you cook and re-heat, the better they taste (same for ratatouille!).
*the links of the products I recommend in this article are not affiliated. They are my personal preferences and are only recommendations for cooking beginners.
Author: Emilie Durand
Emilie is a French food lover, proud Parisian and founder of thefrenchwaytohealth.com. On her website, she shares delicious recipes, health tips and tricks. Her goal is to gather and share the habits and rules that have been used and approved by French people for decades. That means cooking your own meals efficiently, enjoying whole foods, eating mindfully and never ever using the word diet again while losing weight.