February 19, 2016
I want to be a Pinfluencer!
Okay, that’s not true. In fact, as a 40-something guy, I’ve never really been drawn to Pinterest. But recently, we’ve been working with a slate of true “Power Pinners,” and it’s been fascinating to see how popular and how much, well, influence, some of them wield. So, here I go… this is a test to see if I have any juice as a Pinterest influencer. To do it, I’m sharing my patented (not really) “Franny’s Five Days of Foliage.” If you like it, please feel free to support it with a re-pin. Let’s see if I can gain a foothold in the Pinfluencer community.
If you’re like me, you’re okay eating the same thing for lunch during the work week, as long as it’s tasty, healthy and not too painful to make. That’s what Franny’s Five Days of Foliage is all about.
Here’s the trick: invest about 90 minutes of your Sunday and follow the process below, and you’ll have several days of my signature salad for the week ahead. When you’re done, you’ll have the best-ever salad, complete with tasty chicken, egg whites, golden beets and goat cheese. Just try to get sick of that!
Here we go:
Franny’s Five Days of Foliage
Roasted Golden Beets
I love beets. As a kid I detested them. And then I tasted them in a beet salad in Los Angeles and fell in love. My favorite – easily – is the golden beet. This is the most time-intensive step in the process, but really easy nonetheless.
Step 1: Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
Step 2: Chop off the stems/leaves, rinse and scrub three or four beets with a vegetable brush.
Step 3: Tear individual squares of aluminum foil – each large enough to wrap a beet individually.
Step 4: Brush each beet with a light coating of olive oil, then wrap and place each one them on a cookie sheet.
Step 5: Bake (roast) your beets for about an hour at 400 degrees. Larger beets might take a bit longer, but I’ve never roasted them longer than 75 minutes. Stick a fork in the cooked beet – if it feels tender (easy to get fork in and out), it’s done!
Step 6: Let them cool for a while with the foil partially open. I often let them sit out on a counter for an hour or more. These devils are hot and you don’t want to burn your fingers. Peel the outer layer, then dice them and store in an air-tight container.
Once the beets are in the oven, it’s time to multi-task. You have about an hour to knock out the chicken and the hard-boiled eggs. I usually start with the eggs.
Okay, so hard-boiling eggs is pretty common practice. But I love them, so I boil a bunch. I made about 16 per week. But here’s the trick – I go the extra length to make them healthier, in part because I hate the yolks. Egg whites only. It makes this process longer, but it’s well worth it.
Step 1: Put your eggs in a saucepan filled with cold water – enough to cover the eggs plus about an inch
Step 2: Boil them. I turn the heat to medium high and wait for a rolling boil.
Step 3: Once at the boiling point, turn off the heat, cover the pan and let it sit for about 14 minutes. I like a hard, easily-removable yolk, so I let them cook just a little longer than is necessary.
Step 4: At 14 minutes, strain out the hot water and transfer the eggs to a separate bowl of ice-cold water. Yes, ICE-cold…like, literally with ice cubes. It’s critical that you stop the cooking process very quickly to keep those yolks in check.
Step 5: After they cool, remove the shells, split them in half, rinse out the disgusting yolks and lay the halved egg whites on paper towels to soak up excess moisture. Later, dice and place them in a storage container for the week.
Cooking the chicken for a week’s worth of salads has always been the challenging part for me. I like chicken – when it’s made for me and I don’t have to look at it uncooked. But I found an awesome chicken cooking method from thekitchn.com that made it all work for me. I cheat just a little by buying three or four pre-marinated chicken breasts at the grocery store, though. Takes the gross out of the process.
Step 1: Prep a good-sized frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil, then fire up the stove to medium-high heat to get things cooking.
Step 2: Slap your chicken breasts in the pan for one minute, staying on medium-high heat. This is the searing process.
Step 3: At the one-minute mark, flip ‘em, cover the pan and turn the heat down to low. Start your timer for 10 minutes. DON’T FORGET TO START THE TIMER!
Step 4: At 10 minutes, turn off the heat, LEAVE THE LID ON THE PAN and let it sit for 10 more minutes.
Step 5: Remove the chicken breasts from the pan and let them sit for a few minutes. When you’re ready, cube them and place them in their own storage container.
The Goat Cheese
A salad with egg whites, diced chicken and golden beets is more than enough. But I like to make it extra fantastic with a sprinkle of crumbled (pre-crumbled!) goat cheese. It’s by far the easiest part of the prep process. Just buy a resealable container and dip into it each day to make this salad awesome.
When everything is cooked, peeled, diced and packed away, here’s what you’re left with in the refrigerator. Totally accessible. Clean and easy.
For the next few days, simply grab a sealable container, layer the ingredients over lettuce or spinach (I prefer bagged Sweet Butter Lettuce), grab a bottle of balsamic vinaigrette and you’re done. Two minutes each morning and you’re good.