Mise en Place

(meez-in-plauss): a French phrase which means “putting in place”, as in set up. It is used in professional kitchens to refer to organizing and arranging the ingredients (e.g., cuts of meat, relishes, sauces, par-cooked items, spices, freshly chopped vegetables, and other components) that a cook will require for the menu items that he or she expects to prepare during his/her shift. The practice is also effective in home kitchens. – thank you wikipedia

I’ll be honest, unless my veggies are washed and my sides are ready to go, I won’t cook when I’m hungry let alone cook paleo! I’m that low blood sugar type of girl who would go bath salts crazy on your face before starving to death. So I try to prep for my week which helps secure my chances at succeeding. Since the 8 week strict paleo challenge starts on Monday (April 29), I really need to prepare.

Here’s what helps me succeed and may help you…

Wash all your produce. I get the local CSA box once a week, which means most of it comes in with fresh dirt. SO I take about an hour when I get home washing the lettuce, kale, beets, etc. Then I deconstruct the heads of lettuce into my own “pre-washed” ziplock bags. I remove any extra greenery from my carrots and leeks and remove the greens from the beets to prepare separately. I wrap my herbs in paper towels to keep fresh — and I may even make a batch of salad dressing right there so I don’t forget about them. It seems like quite the process at the moment but saves a ton of time the rest of the week.

Juice it. I’m an acid whore so I love citrus in just about everything. But sometimes laziness takes over and they shrivel up before I get the chance to use them. So I juice them in batches when I buy them and store them in wine bottles or mason jars in the fridge for convenient use. Make sure to add the date since it does lose flavor after a few days. You can also freeze the juice in ice cube trays for convenience.

Make your condiments. I like to make a batch of paleo mayo and salad dressing at the beginning of each week. Dressings are perfect not just for salads but also for dipping veggies, sweet potato fries, chicken bites, etc. You might even add a dollop of paleo mayo to it for creaminess.

Buy in bulk and freeze it. Since meat can get expensive, I try to make a Costco trip every couple weeks. Typically I buy 5lbs of organic chicken thighs and 5lb of organic ground beef. If it’s not already pre-packaged into smaller portions, I do that when I get home and freeze it. This works out perfectly if you can think ahead and thaw it out for the next day. Even with this safety measure, I sometimes fail but not that often.

Shop for staples. When you’re not doing paleo it’s easy to have ready made foods on hand like pasta, frozen pizzas, etc. But with paleo, the food is perishable. It’s funny to think of this as a “problem” when eating foods that actually go bad is a good thing, but that’s another topic. So I suggest keeping the following on hand at all times: eggs, bacon, sweet potatoes, bananas, broccoli, meat (see above tip), almond flour, coconut oil and olive oil.

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