Packing Eat: day 3 and 4- off to Korea and Italy in one pan

This is coming to you on a Friday to accomplish this weekend.
Thanksgiving week is a doozy, be ready for it with Packing Eat!

DSC04075Here we are on day 3 of Packing Eat and so far you have seen the benefits of making Small Batch Meals for at home dining on active weeknights, or meals on the go. You have also learned how easy it is to Roast a Pork Tenderloin and all the options of keeping a healthy protein ready to go at your fingertips. Remember to keep Small Batch Cooking small so as to get it all done under 90 minutes or you will lose the will to live.  Packing Eat is all about having whole food meals, made in small batches, in short bursts of time for eating at home on active nights or for meals on the go.  They are to supplement your regular menu planning when all goes belly up.  They are your healthy lunches, snacks, and breakfast for when you need to eat anywhere but home.  Small Batch Cooking is all about efficient sufficiency, save the fancy meals for when you have the time and energy.

Today I am giving you another ALGORITHM! This time you will be traveling to Korea (Korean Rice Bowls) and Italy (Pasta or Spaghetti Squash Bolognese) in one pan, breaking all the rules by making food  fast, but tastes like it has cooked all day.  We are going to cheat, big time without ever having to go to confession, I promise. Ready?

For the Free PDF ALGORITHM to make these meals click here=> Big Red Kitchen’s Algoritm- 1 pan, 2 lands

TASK 4: Day Three, Make your Side Dishes
For this Small Batch Cooking exercise, you will divide the cooking over 2 days.  Why? To keep it Small Batch and the bursts of time at a minimum.


1. Cheat– For this Small Batch Meal to taste like it has cooked all day, you will have to make Mirepoix, a mixture of celery, carrots, and onions.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Dice one medium onion, 2 large carrots, and 2 stalks of celery. Place in a large baking dish and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper, along      with a good drizzle of olive oil.  Roast, stirring halfway through for 1 hour. Store one cup of the mirepoix in the refrigerator and store the second cup in the freezer for another meal.


2. Make other sides- While the mirepoix is roasting consider roasting right along with it some spaghetti squash, or another favorite vegetable. I roasted a spaghetti squash in that hour as a base to the Bolognese Sauce (for the Paleo Heads) that we will make on day 2, the second half of this algorithm.  While those were roasting I went to my cooktop to boil some rice for the Korean Rice Bowls, and pasta for my non-paleo team members’ Bolognese.  I portioned all of these sides into 1/2 cups portions, feel free to use the portions of choice- 1/2, 1/3, or 1 cup portions according to your nutritional needs. Here is what each side yielded…
2 pound spaghetti squash = about 3 cups roasted
1 1/2 cup rice = about 5 1/2 cups cooked
1 cup orzo pasta = about 3 cups cooked

Note: while things are roasting and boiling, do other tasks like checking work emails, house chores, or cleaning up your kitchen messes. This is hands off cooking where you are allowing HEAT to do all the work.


3. BONUS, roast eggs- while my oven is on, I may as well be wise and use that heat. In the last 15 minutes of roasting my spaghetti squash and mirepoix, I placed a few eggs on a small piece of foil in my oven right next to everything else. When the time went off, everything was ready to be removed from the oven, just be sure to remove the cooked eggs to a bowl of ice and water to cool, this prevents green eggs.  Roasted eggs are great for a snack, over salads, soup toppers, and post workout nutrition.

Day 1 complete. That wasn’t so bad, was it? When you break cooking up into Small Batches, it isn’t so torturous. Do not be tempted to do it all in one day, or you will have Big B(female doggie) Cooking. And female dogs are grouchy cooks. Wink.


TASK 5: Day Four, Make Bolognese Sauce and Korean Rice Bowls
The process is going to look like this…


Make Bolognese Sauce using that flavorful Mirepoix you made yesterday, and remove it from the pan to an awaiting bowl.


In the same pan, brown some ground beef, removing half of it to your Bolognese Sauce in waiting. Done!


In the same pan, stir fry the remaining meat with garlic and ginger then add in the amazingly spicy and delicious sauce. Done.


One pan, Two lands.
Bolognese Sauce = about 3 1/3 cups
Korean Meat = about 2 1/3 cups
Portion as desired.


Korean Rice Bowls- for the Paleo Heads and Non. These are fantastic and are based off the recipe from Once Upon a Plate, but made paleo by using apple sauce in place of the sugar.  Although Himself and I follow the Paleo lifestyle we still have a bit of organic rice. If I didn’t I would disappear.  But sometimes I like Stir-fried Cauliflower Rice too.  See my notes on Soy Sauce v. Coconut Aminos and why I choose  to use organic gluten-free soy sauce as a Paleo.


Spaghetti Squash Bolognese for the Paleo Heads.


Pasta Bolognese for the Non-Paleos. This Small Batch Cook day took about one hour.

For the Free PDF ALGORITHM to make these meals click here=> Big Red Kitchen’s Algoritm- 1 pan, 2 lands
f you missed my first Algorithm click here=> 1 pan, 3 cuisines, 6 meals, where one pan takes you to Mexico, Hungary, and India.

To make your Small Batch Cooking go Faster, here are a few suggestions…

1. Dishwasher is empty.
2. Kitchen sink is empty and filled with hot soapy water for quick washing.
3. Storage containers are out and ready for filling.
4. Kitchen trash is empty.
5. Sponges and dish towels are clean and ready to grab.
6. Counter tops are clutter free.
7. You have shopped for and pulled out all required ingredients.
8. Cooking utensils, pots, and bowls are ready to go.
9. You have read, reread, and reread the recipes and have them in front of you for referencing.
10.  Clean up and put away ingredients as you go. Sip water as you go.

Packing Eat Recap
Packing Eat Intro: What is Packing Eat?
Day 1:
Task 1: Clean and Organize your fridge
Task 2: Make a Small Batch Meal, choose one of the three I have given you
Lesson 1: Make it look good!

Day 2:
Task 3: Roast Meat– roasted pork tenderloin
Lesson Two: Why Jars of Meat?

Day 3:
Task 4: Make your side dishes, above.

Day 4:
Task 5: Make Bolognese Sauce and Korean Rice Bowls, above
Lesson Three: How to Make Small Batch Cooking go Faster, above

This concludes my first Packing Eat series giving you plenty of tips, ideas, recipes, and algorithms to have a refrigerator fully loaded with whole food meals, made in Small Batches, in small bursts of time for stress-free dining at home, or eating on the go.

PACK EAT and Nobody gets Hungry


  1. Posted November 24, 2013 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

    I love all those ideas Robin Sue!!! That’s so organized :0)

    • Robin Sue
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 2:59 PM | Permalink

      Thanks Jenn! I need to reload though- the Team eats me out of house and home!

  2. Posted November 25, 2013 at 11:00 PM | Permalink

    Love, love your packing eat ideas. looks like just the thing to break up the routine here and get my guys into a slightly (sneakier) easier routine. for them there have to be some adaptations…neither is paleo, neither like common veg and both like opposite types of carbs. ds is a rice guy and dh is a noodle guy. but I think the whole concept of portioning out will help them a lot. couldn’t believe how fast the ‘leftovers’ of a basic beef-cubes-in-sauce meal disappeared once they went into mason jars. it is totally worth sacrificing some of my beloved canning jars for this use. i’m just identifying the packing eat jars with a dot of nail polish on the bottom so i know not to use them for water bath canning. plus, thank you for the interesting reading while i’m home recuperating from shoulder surgery. its a win-win!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 9:41 AM | Permalink

      So happy I can inspire you! Hope your shoulder heals up well:)

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