Let’s get one thing straight – I am not a gourmand or a chef. I ate excellent breakfasts, lunches, and dinners growing up, my mother was a fine cook, and during my first career, when I was not eating first generation MRE’s (Meal, Ready to Eat, or “three lies in one”, as we called them), or snaring / trapping / otherwise silently gathering small game or fowl and slow cooking it (burning it, really) over the smallest covered fire possible (noise and light discipline is like religion to Lightfighters and LRSD Rangers), or scarfing down the rare delight of hot breakfast served from mermite canisters during field problems, my wife, one of the best cooks whose meals it has been my privilege to enjoy, fed me magnificently…Perhaps too well.
So cooking a week’s worth of food in one day was a real challenge for me. 4000 calories a day would be easy if I simply ate McDonald’s, Subway, Arby’s, or even upgraded my choices to Thai, Korean BBQ, steakhouses, and seafood Calabash buffets, but those calories would be mostly fat, zero-fiber carbs, bad oils, and chemicals.
Although I am still ambivalent about the Boston / Cambridge area (save for the history – I’ll be visiting Paul Revere’s home tomorrow with an old friend, a retired Colonel of Marines who not only earned the coveted black and gold, but fought in BOTH battles of Fallujah, and came out of the second one with his third Purple Heart and a Navy Cross), I’ll give it this: Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Markets are pretty much the only grocers to be found.
I don’t cook with ground turkey, because I suspect that like Gwaltney hot dogs, it mostly consists of beaks and a**holes, so I bought 85% lean ground beef, free range organic skinless chicken breasts, free range organic eggs, dried kidney beans, fresh tomatoes, Habanero peppers, and more ginger / sesame / soy salad dressing to use for marinating the chicken, along with multi-grain and 100% whole wheat bread, plenty of quality turkey lunch meat (read: NOT Oscar Mayer), and low-sodium seasonings, along with a bunch of fresh local produce and a case of 42g protein per serving Muscle Milk ready to drink shakes.
I figure lunch and dinner are the only meals I need to pre-cook and package, I’m up plenty early in the morning to cook fresh eggs and bacon while toasting some of that good fibrous bread, to smear liberally with real, fresh butter.
So here you have my dinners for the upcoming week: Habanero chili, marinated chicken breasts with steamed fresh vegetables, and (not shown), lettuce and high calorie protein drinks. Lunch will be two turkey sandwiches with mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles, which I’ll prepare and bag while cooking breakfast, and I have plenty of string cheese, chili lime almonds, and mixed berry granola cereal for snacks. I’m relying on protein shakes for 1/3 of my calories and half my protein intake.
Let’s see how I feel this week: