Meal Prep Madness: April!

Now we dive in into what’s cooking last April. This month’s recipes are a mix of experimental and something that’s been newly-added in my favorites list.

I wouldn’t chit-chat so much about it, so here we go:

(Note: Week 3 is missing because I didn’t get a chance to cook any meals as I spent my weekend with my boyfriend that time.)

Week 1

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Chicken in creamy mushroom sauce

(I’d probably list it down along one of my cheat recipes as the basic for the sauce is the same as when I’m doing my white creamy pasta. This one’s a fool-proof though and I’m sure you’ll love every bite of it and look forward to eating it again sometime in the week.)

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
1 whole pack of brown mushrooms, sliced into strips
Parsley/coriander
Cooking cream, 36% fat
Almarai, whole fat milk
1/2 fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Dried rosemary
Butter
1 red onion, diced
5 cloves of Garlic, minced
Red rice

  • As is with my other meat dishes, I like to start off by lightly searing the meat until the outside turns light brown to bring out the flavor and to speed up the cooking process. This should take no more than 10 minutes.
  • Next, with the chicken fat residue still in the pan, add at least one tablespoon of butter and cooking oil to cook the mushrooms.
  • Once limp and brown, add the minced garlic and chopped red onions until fragrance comes out and translucent. Add the chicken back in the pot.
  • Add the cooking cream and a light splash of milk to loosen it up and let it cook with the chicken.
  • Add the chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper.
  • Let the sauce reduce and adjust the taste as necessary. Squeeze half a lemon into the mix to cut the creaminess.
  • Serve on top of hot red rice.

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Salmon in honey butter lemon sauce

(Salmon is one of those things that taste really good despite only adding a few ingredients. Heck, it tastes good even fresh and raw. This salmon dish didn’t need much thinking and I’m sure you’ll have a nice lunch/dinner meal in this in no time.)

2 pieces of Salmon steak
Butter
Honey
1/2 fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Chili flakes
Red rice

  • Dry your Salmon steaks with a paper towel well, make sure there’s no moisture as this will make it splatter when cooking; Season it with salt and pepper
  • Melt a tablespoon or two of butter in pan then slowly drop your steaks away from you
  • Lightly cook each side no longer than 5 minutes
  • Slowly add a drizzle honey, freshly-squeezed lemon juice and chili flakes
  • Serve on top of red rice with cabbage on the side

Week 2

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Honey Butter Orange Chicken

(I had an intense craving for something Chinese-y a month ago after watching a lot of TV shows with scenes of Chinese takeouts. Times like these, I miss visiting Binondo back home with friends, where they had good authentic Chinese food in very affordable price point. This is my 

2 chicken breast fillets (use other chicken parts, if you’d like)
Fry powder
Garlic, minced
Honey
Butter
Ginger, thin julienne cuts
Freshly-squeezed orange juice
Toasted sesame seeds
Red rice

  • Cut your chicken into bite-sized pieces but don’t make it too small and prepare your fry powder by seasoning it with salt, pepper and chili (unless you already have a flavored one).
  • One by one, cover your chicken pieces in the fry powder while you’re heating the oil.
  • Only start frying the chicken when, if you start putting it into the pan, it fizzles. It shouldn’t take long to cook it as it is small parts. Set it aside while you prepare the sauce.
  • On a separate pan, add a tablespoon of butter and start frying your ginger and garlic until it brings out an aroma.
  • Add your honey of choice (mine is my all-natural Ilog Maria) and squeeze of orange and let the sauce reduce and thicken. Test it with the back of spoon; if it starts to stick, it’s ready to go.
  • Turn off the fire and take it out of the heat and toss the chicken in the sauce. Be careful not to make it too soggy as it will take out all the crunch. 
  • Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds before serving.

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Beef Stew

(I thought about cooking this as I was craving something that resembles home. Mine was a bit thicker than I thought it would be, because of the potatoes. But it was really full on flavor, warm and hearty especially when the meat was completely tenderized. This stew is like a perfect hug on lunch.)

Beef Chuck, cut into cubes
Potatoes, 2-3 medium pieces cut into cubes
Carrots, 2 medium pieces cut into cubes
Bell pepper, 1 medium piece cut into cubes
Beef cube, 1 piece
Tomato paste, 1 small tin
Red onion, 1 medium piece chopped/diced
Garlic, 1/2 bulb minced
Flour
Dried bay leaf, 2 pieces
Thyme

  • Cover the beef cubes in flour/fry powder lightly seasoned with salt and pepper.
  • With enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan, lightly fry the beef cubes until all sides are brown and it forms fonds (those yummy brown bits) on the pan.
  • With the fonds still in place, sauté the onions and garlic in the pan while adding a little bit more flour and tomato paste and let it cook till the taste of flour is out.
  • Melt the beef cube in hot water and add in the pan (you may also use your own beef stock if you’d like).
  • Add the fried beef cubes back in the pan, as well as the potatoes and carrots and bay leaf and thyme. Cover the mixture and let it soften, cook and thicken up for at least 40 minutes to an hour.
  • Season as needed and add bell peppers at the last few minutes as this cooks the fastest.
  • Serve on top of red rice.

Week 4

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Shrimp with Vegetable Medley

(To be honest with you, this dish is not really one of my stellar this month. Firstly, if I had the chance to redo it, I would’ve used fresh shrimps which packs a lot of flavor than frozen one. Second, I would’ve added more heat, more cream into it. There’s just a couple of tweaks I would’ve done with this if I did redo it. Someday, maybe I would. This wasn’t all bad, if you ask me. But cook it as your own risk.)

Shrimp
Broccoli
Baby Asparagus
Soy sauce
Tomato, diced
Tomato Paste
Garlic, minced

  • First off, blanch your broccoli and once done, set it aside.
  • In a pan with melted tablespoon of butter, add the garlic and baby asparagus (I especially like using this one as it is nuttier and lighter in taste).
  • Add the diced tomato and tomato paste and mix with the asparagus.
  • Set the mixture to the side of the pan and cook the shrimps on the other side. Don’t cook it for long as it will get rubbery and

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Soy Chicken

(From that shrimp dish, it was counter-balanced by this quite-interesting chicken dish. The star anise was the literal star of this show. I really enjoyed cooking and eating this baby and probably because of my Asian taste as well, I didn’t get fed up with it even if I ate it three times that week.)

Whole chicken
Soy sauce
Dried chili
Star Anise
Green onions
Ginger, peeled and chopped
Red rice

  • In a pan, heat at least one cup of soy sauce with dried chili, ginger and a couple of star anise. Add a cup of water as well to balance.
  • Add your whole chicken and boil it in the mixture. Cook it for at least 30 minutes to let the soy mixture penetrate the meat.
  • Take the chicken out of the mixture and let it cool down for a bit. Meanwhile, take out the mixture until at least 5 tablespoons are left.
  • Flake the chicken thinly then put back into the mixture.
  • Take out of the heat and sprinkle chopped spring/green onions before serving.

There you have it for the month of April. I’m quite running out of recipes lately, LOL and I just finished my last leg of meal prep for May. I will be writing and publishing it in a couple of days.

I’ve been thinking a lot of transitioning to a Ketogenic diet for the coming June as I am needing to lose a little bit of weight for health reasons, but ever since I’ve started reading about it, I am adamant about having a meat-heavy diet. I’m sure though that it’s not as excessive as I’m picturing it out to be, but there’s a lot of recipes online that is. I want to introduce more vegetables again in my diet, and it would be helpful if it is part of Keto as well. I’m open to suggestions, guys.

I’ll be reading up about it again this coming week before June starts so I’ll have some good idea about what to cook or what to snack on. If you have Keto diet hacks, I’d love to hear about it. My comments box is open.