Review: Quick Time Meals (Altamonte Springs, FL)

Quick Time Meals (Restaurant.com $25 certificate listing)
1076 W State Road 436
Suite D
Altamonte Springs, FL
32714

(407) 788-9901 phone
(407) 788-9902 fax

Send an Email to:
info@quicktimemeals.com

Quick Time Meals is a meal assembly kitchen in Altamonte Springs located near the intersection of SR 436 and SR 434. You don’t dine or cook there, but you do put together all of the ingredients you need for 8 or 12 main entrees, each of which provide 6-8 servings. I went there 2 weeks ago and assembled 12 ready-to-cook entrees (72-96 meals) in under 90 minutes with my fiance, and now I don’t have to worry about lunches or dinners for the next 6 weeks. My total cost was $194 ($215 for 12 entrees – $25 Restaurant.com certificate + $4 for certificate) or approximately $2.31 per serving, which is not too shabby considering that I have enough food now to get two people through a month and a half. All I pick up on my weekly grocery runs now are breakfast foods, fruits, juice, and veggies.

In real world terms, I estimate that Chris and I would be going twice every three months, for a total bill of $420 assuming no discounts. We spend an average of $250/month on groceries, or $750 every three months. The 24 QTM entrees would easily take care of our lunch and dinner needs for 90 days since we are both doing the smaller portions that go with eating 5-6 meals a day. ($750-$420)/3 months = $110/month left for fruits, veggies, breakfast foods, beverages, and other healthy snack foods. $27.50/week is plenty of cash to cover those types of items plus the occasional luxury meal in my household of two.

It’s a great value for busy people (need I mention the impending crunch time schedules in game development?) who want home-cooked meals but don’t have the time, inclination, or willing spouse or parent to do the tedious shopping, chopping, and other prep work that goes into cooking. It’s also great if you don’t know how to cook and don’t have a fully-stocked kitchen with dozens of different dry ingredients and seasoning on hand, but want to get away from TV dinners, fast food, and expensive restaurant meals. (For all of the singles out there, consider splitting a 12-entree order with a co-worker or two just to try out the service.)

These are also great items to bring to the next company potluck. 😛

If you have a kitchen at home with a baking pan, a covered sauce pan, and a 12″ skillet, and you can follow simple cooking instructions like “Defrost. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roast in baking pan for 40 minutes.”, you can cook anything that you prepare at Quick Time. This is one of the main selling points for us–once I start living at the office for 12 hours a day/6-7 days a week again this summer and fall, Chris will have to fend for himself in the kitchen. When my projects go into alpha and beta phases, I am doing well to have plain baked chicken breasts, nuked frozen veggies, and a piece of fruit for lunch and dinner. I don’t mind eating like that, but I think Chris will be a lot happier with a freezer loaded with easy, ready-to-cook meals.

This is how it works:

1) You sign up for a free QTM account at their website, quicktimemeals.com .

2) Once you have an account, you book a session on their calendar and choose which meal package you want (8 or 12 entrees) and which specific entrees from their menu of the month you want to order.

3) I recommend purchasing a Quick Time Meals dining certificate worth $25 off the 12 meal package (normally $215) from Restaurant.com for $5 first using a 50% off code (code: RAINBOW good through May 20, 2007) to save some money off your order.

4) You’ll get a confirmation email with your ordered items listed.

5) Show up for your session with either a large cooler or a laundry basket to take your meals home with you.

6) At QTM, you’ll be given measuring cups and spoons, disposable food prep gloves, aprons, and enough ziploc freezer bags and/or foil pans to store all of your food.

7) At each station, you assemble all of the pre-cut ingredients for your entrees following the recipe/instructions posted at the station. Most of the time this involves scooping spices and other ingredients into a big bag with 6 portions of meat, sealing the bag with as little air as possible, and squishing everything around to mix. You may also mix a smaller bag of sauce separately. Once all of your meal components are ready, you stuff all of the smaller bags into a big Ziploc, slap a label with the name and cooking instructions for the meal on the outside, and move onto the next entree in your order.

Because all of the ingredients are purchased, set up, and pre-cut for you, you save a ton of time and can easily put together a dozen entrees in under two hours. You don’t even have to clean up after yourself. 😉

When you get home with your pile o’ meals, put them in the freezer and just pull one or two out each week on Friday night to defrost and cook on Sunday while you are doing laundry or watching the game.

This is the May menu selection. You get to choose up to two of each entree when you order. I’ve had the Roasted Beef Tenderloin, Rock Shrimp Quesadillas, and Ginger Sesame chicken so far, and they’ve all been great.

Asian Plumb Wild Pork Wings
Fish With Cilantro Lime Sauce
Crunchy Poppyseed Chicken Salad
Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish Sauce
Rock Shrimp Quesadillas w/Sofia’s Salsa
Slow-Braised Carnitas
Ginger Sesame Chicken and Grilled Pineapples
40 Clove Chicken
Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Greek Pasta and Roasted Veggie Salad
Veggie Lasagna Rolls
Breakfast Strata with Potatoes, Rosemary and Swiss Cheese
Brandy Laced Tiramisu

TT W19D3: Money, Money, Money 2007!

I am a personal finance dork and proud of it. :claplow:

I got home around 10 pm from a late night at work yesterday and decompressed with my two current favorite activities: updating my finances in Microsoft Money 2007 Deluxe (I was recently forced by my bank to upgrade from the 2004 version in order to keep using the online services in Money and am having way too much fun counting my nickels and dimes with all the new features) and watching Monday’s episode of Heroes with Chris after nagging him into digging up the mortgage documents on our house so I could enter all the loan details into Money.

How else am I supposed to get an accurate picture of our net worth?

So far I have updated all of my accounts including the 401k, two IRAs, 4 savings accounts, and one brokerage account, set up an aggressive plan to be credit card debt-free (I just owe $1200 on one credit card with a 0% promotional rate through September 1) by October, run the Lifetime Planner with a husband and two theoretical Brilliant, Scholarship-Winning Offspring added into the projections, added all the regular bills into the Bill Scheduler, checked to make sure I am paying enough income tax to Uncle Sam, averaged out our shared monthly expenses and income from records of the last 6 months to come up with an updated “equal share” split for our shared expense account, confirmed that none of my financial maneuverings and planned transactions will put me in the red in any of my accounts over the next 12 months, and set up a brand new budget using the shiny new Spending and Savings style budget module based on Richard Jenkins’s 60% Solution article on MSN Moneycentral.

I couldn’t quite get my breakdown to fit the 60% committed expense, 10% retirement savings, 10% long term savings (emergency fund), 10% short term savings (for irregular expenses), and 10% fun money skeleton, but I tried. I want to pay off my one remaining credit card balance (a legacy of some very expensive unplanned repairs last year on my old 93 Honda Civic) before the 0% introductory balance transfer period ends, and I am already plugging in close to 20% of my gross salary into retirement between my 401(K) and my maxed out Roth IRA contributions.

My current split looks more like:

* 63% Committed Expenses
* 19% Retirement
* 0% Long-Term Savings/Emergency Fund
*15% Short-Term Savings/Debt Repayment
* 3% Fun

I’m a bit troubled by the lack of regular contributions to long-term savings right now, but as my banker mother pointed out to me, I can consider my Roth IRA something of an emergency fund if absolutely necessary, and the 15% in debt repayment will be reduced by $300/month in 4 more months when the 0% credit card is paid off. That will still leave me with the $353/month payment on my used 2003 Camry, but that will be paid off in 12/2008. As I pay off my two debts, I’ll be splitting the freed up funds between long-term savings (50%) and short-term savings (50%). I’m not too concerned about my low percentage in “fun” money right now (most of which is earmarked for shared entertainment and dining out with Chris) because I have enough backlogged fun in my house to last me years between all of the video games I haven’t played, the workouts I haven’t tried, the recipes I haven’t cooked, the books I haven’t read, the software I haven’t mastered, the art supplies I haven’t used, the recording gear I haven’t figured out, the seeds I haven’t planted, and the clothes I haven’t sewed.

I may have to do an experiment soon to see how long I can hold out without spending a single penny on non-essentials. Might as well…since I will be going back into Cheapass Challenge mode again this Monday.

:mrgreen:

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TODAY’S WORKOUTS
======================
– Bodyweight circuits (6 rounds; 18 min)
1) Squat thrust (30 sec)
2) Jumping jacks (30 sec)
3) Mountain climbers (30 sec)
4) Jump squat (20 sec)
5) Rest (1 min)

– Outdoor walk (4 mph/15 min)

– Bodyweight TT/Core workout (30 min)

– (Optional) TTfW Phase 4 Workout A (35 min)

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TODAY’S EATS
======================
1) 55 g mixed Go Lean Crunch and Honey Nut Cheerios cereals, 1/2 c. light soy milk, 3 egg white/1 whole egg omelette
2) 1 scoop Dymatize Elite Smooth Banana whey, 1 pear
3) 3 oz. beef tenderloin, 1 c. mixed veggies, 1 small banana
4) 1/2 c. 1% cottage cheese, 1/2 c. crushed pineapple
5) 3 oz. sliced beef tenderloin, 3 c. spinach/lettuce/tomato salad, 2 T. Newman’s Asian sesame ginger dressing, 1 small orange
6) 1 c. light soy milk, 1/2 scoop choco mint protein powder, 1/2 oz. walnuts and almonds

TT W19D2: Dymatize Elite Whey Review

I’ve had a chance to try out most of the flavors of Dymatize Elite protein powder
icon from my sample box now, and I can unconditionally recommend this brand to even the pickiest, lactose-intolerant, artificial-flavor-sensitive health nut.

Dymatize Elite is a blend of whey protein isolate (the first ingredient listed) and concentrate with a proprietary blend of digestive enzymes including lactase, the active ingredient in Lactaid pills, thrown in to improve digestibility of the product. In real world terms, this means that lactose intolerant folks like me won’t find their bellies blowing up like beach balls after chugging down a serving of Elite protein. Each serving is 112 calories, with 23 g protein, 2.5 g carbohydrates, and 1.5 g fat.

So far I’ve tried the following flavors:

1)
icon
iconGourmet Vanilla
icon
– Very neutral in flavor, not fabulous on its own, but is a GREAT mixer for fruit shakes and smoothies. Add your own baking cocoa powder to get a chocolate flavor.

2) Butter Cream Toffee – Delicious in shakes with milk or soy milk and for making your own homemade protein bars. Flavor may get tiresome after a while, so keep either a vanilla or chocolate around just in case.

3)
icon
iconRich Chocolate
icon
– FANTASTIC all by itself with icy cold water. You know that hot cocoa flavor beloved by all chocoholics? Well, this powder has it, and there is no noticeable “whey” aftertaste. My favorite so far!

4)
icon
iconBerry Blast
icon
– I mixed this one with 8th Continent Light soy milk and got something very much like a slightly thickened, yummy Strawberry Yoohoo drink. I waited for the usual fake fruit flavor migraine to kick in after drinking the shake, but it never developed. Excellent if you like a fruity shake.

5) Chocolate Mint – A mild chocolate mint flavor that is mostly chocolate with just a hint of mint, unlike the minty Mylanta horrors sold by other companies. I also did not get a headache after drinking this flavor, and I am very sensitive to mint flavored foods.

One thing I like about all of the flavors is that they mix very quickly and completely with water. The powders are very finely milled and don’t form the gooey, powdery clumps that make most hand-shaken protein drinks something to dread and fear. I’ve even mixed Dymatize Elite powder in a coffee cup with just a spoon and had it turn out fine. (Coffee with Gourmet Vanilla whey is quite good, by the way.) This also makes this brand a great choice for homemade protein bars, proatmeal, and cooked recipes.

One final thing Dymatize did right with this product is dispensing with the usual chemical thickening agents found in other brands like All the Whey and EAS. Seriously, the last thing I want in a protein powder is a compound that makes my shake thicker and sludgier. When it comes to knocking back a quick protein serving, all I want to do is mix up my water and powder in under 20 seconds and slam the whole thing down the hatch as quickly as possible.

I still have a packet of Smooth Banana to try out this afternoon, but I’ll get back with a review of that one after I’ve given it a shot.

I’m saving the spare packets of the flavors I’ve already tested for some protein froyo (frozen yogurt) and bar experiments this week.

:eat:

(As a final note to anyone looking to purchase the Gourmet Vanilla, Rich Chocolate, or Berry Blast flavors, I’ve included links to their respective product pages at Vitacost.com, which carries 5 lb tubs of Dymatize Elite for a relatively cheap $24.49 each with $4.99 flat rate shipping. My usual online whey merchant, Bodybuilding.com, recently raised the price of Dymatize Elite to $32.99, which makes me very, very grumpy.)

TT W18D5: Sushioke!

Got in my walk yesterday, including a couple of jogging portions when I was out of view of the office buildings, but I felt some twinges in my left knee that made me rethink my plan to do two straight days of TT weights, particularly since my next workout started off with DB step ups. I took a partial rest day instead after work (had to stay late, too, which definitely killed a lot of evening workout motivation for me), and did TTfW B Phase 4 this morning instead. I’ll be heading out on my walk again in a few minutes and possibly doing some core work at my desk since the office has vacated to go on their regular Friday buffet run.

Tonight I’ve got a sushi and karaoke night planned with about 12 other people where I plan to premier a new song (for me): Rosemary Clooney’s Mambo Italiano. I’ve been belting this in my car for the past week to practice. I’ve also turned down the Chinese buffet with the guys from work (with some regret since Lucas Arts dumped a load of swag on us yesterday and almost everyone is wearing a new black Star Wars T-shirt to work as a result) in order to save up some room and calories for the huge pile of sushi I plan to inhale at 7 pm.

Good thing I am not taking pics until Sunday. I’ll need a full 24 hours to debloat from all the rice, which means much cardio, gardening, water, and strict diet adherence all day tomorrow. I will even give Cassandra Forsythe’s modified Velocity Diet a try for one day since I won’t have to worry about passing out at my desk from lack of solids and carbs.

Speaking of food, the rock shrimp quesadilla I had for lunch from the mega Quick Time Meals stash was aces, by the way. I will definitely be making healthier versions of this entree with WW tortillas, low fat cheese, and extra veggies on my own in the future!

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TODAY’S WORKOUT
======================

– TTfW Phase 4 Workout B (35 min)
Warm-up

A1) DB Step-up (3×8 @ 40 lbs)
A2) DB Incline Press (3×6 @ 40 lbs)
B1) 1-Leg Hip Ext. plus 1-leg Stability Ball Curl (3×12 for each)
B2) Bodyweight Rows (subbed in for Wide-grip Seated Row) (3×8)

– Outdoor Walk (25 min)

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TODAY’S EATS
======================
1) 2 WW oatmeal raisin cookies, 3 egg whites
2) Rock shrimp quesadilla with 2 T. salsa and 1/4 c. chicken and veggie stir fry
3) 1/2 c. 1% cottage cheese, 1/2 oz. almonts and walnuts, 2 tangerines
4) 3 oz. chicken breast, 1 c. mixed veggie stir fry, 1 small banana
5) 3 oz. chicken breast, 1 c. mixed veggie stir fry, 1 pear
6) Cheat meal (Sushi at Amura)

Supps: 1 multivitamin, 1 calcium 600+D, 6 fish oil caps, 1 serving l-glutamine

TT W18D3: A New Take On Post-Workout Eats

Yesterday was a bust for outdoor activity but I did do an hour of YF flex when I got home. I really needed the stretch. I am back to my old bad habit of dropping flexibility training when I run low on time, and I really do need to work on this aspect of my fitness regimen. So this week one of my mini-goals is to get in a 15 minute Yourself Fitness meditation garden session every day. (These are the bonus yoga workouts in the program.)

My TT lifting this morning was quasi-outdoors since I did it out in my patio home gym. I ran my intervals outside, too. The whole county is smoky from some wildfires burning in the counties east and north of us. It’s blocking out a lot of sun and keeping temps cool enough for comfortable running. I almost enjoyed myself today.

It was probably the two WW oatmeal raisin cookies and swig of Dymatize Elite choco mint (which was NOT at all cloying, unlike the choco mint from AllTheWhey.com, which is like foamy brown Mylanta antacid when mixed with just water) I snarfed during my workout that did it. I figure that if I am supposed to have a during and post-workout meal that consists of around 40 g carb and 20 g protein, I might as well get the carb portion from a yummy homebaked, low-fat cookie made with whole grain and natural ingredients instead of a scoop of corn sugar, right? (I’ll get the recipe up tonight when I get home. Stats on one lovely, cakey cookie are 95 cals, 17 g carb, 2 g protein, 2 g fat, and 1 g fiber.)

A recent interview with Erik Ledin of Leanbodiesconsulting.com posted to the members’ area of TTmembers.com gave me the idea. Erik mentioned that for pre- and post-workout, he just gives his clients a target for carbs and protein, but he leaves the choice of carbs up to the client instead of going with the traditional maltodextrin/dextrose plus whey combo. He said that in terms of real-world fat loss, it didn’t seem to matter WHAT kind of fast carb you consumed as long as it was also low in fat. So his clients had a chance to consume some “fun carbs” in the post workout window like (OMG!) flavored rice cakes, popcorn, cereal, and bagels as long as the portions fell within their assigned targets.

Um yeah. I am digging this idea. I’ll take real solid food over a bottle of water, sugar and protein powder any day.

I still need to take a walk, do TT core and do my 15 minutes of yoga in the Yourself Fitness meditation garden tonight.

As always, meals are packed and waiting.

Weight: 140.2
Days until wedding: 60
Max push ups without rest: 72

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TODAY’S WORKOUT
======================
– TT for Women Phase 4 Workout A
A1) BB Front Squat (3×8 @ 95, 105, 105 lbs)
A2) Chin-ups (3× 6/2, 7/1, 6/2)
B1) DB Reverse Lunge (3×8 @ 40 lbs)
B2) Pushups (3x Max reps – 72, 30, 40)

– TT Intervals – Outdoor jog/sprint (19 min)

– Outdoor walk (30 min)

– TT Core B (15 min)

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TODAY’S EATS
======================
PWO) 2 WW oatmeal raisin cookies, 2/3 scoop Dymatize Elite Chocolate Mint whey protein
1) 40 g raisins, 40 g oats, 3 egg whites
2) 3 oz. chicken breast, 1 c. veggies, 1 pear
3) 1 rock shrimp quesadilla with 2 T. salsa, 2 tangerines
4) 1/2 c. 1% cottage cheese, WW pear apple oatmeal crisp, 1/2 oz. almonds and walnuts
5) 3 oz. chicken breast, 1 c. mixed veggies, 1/2 oz. pecans, 1 banana
6) 1/2 c. NF plain yogurt, 1/2 scoop DE butter toffee whey, 1/2 oz. walnuts

Supps: 1 multivitamin, 1 calcium 600+D, 6 fish oil caps, 1 serving l-glutamine

TT W18D2: Maggie Gets Crowned

Pink Dumbbells Get Out Challenge Report: No outdoor time for me yesterday, but I’ll be walking during lunch and maybe eating outside, too. 🙂 Does eating count as fun if I make little mountains out of my chicken and veggies?

😛

I had an early dental appointment this morning to have the new bling-bling gold crown I was fitted for two weeks ago cemented on my back molar, so I had to hit the gym with all of my meals and a change of clothes already packed. I was supposed to do TT weights and personal training, but I only had time for my final personal training session with Ashlee since I had to shower and get to the dentist. 🙁 I am going to swap out two workouts and do YF flex tonight for an hour (that should give me 30 minutes of cardio warm up and 30 minutes of no impact bendiness training) and do a full TT weights/core/interval workout tomorrow morning instead.

Chris is actually going to be away on business for the next two days, so I am stuck with a fridge literally stuffed full of cooked chicken entrees (sesame ginger chicken from Quick Time Meals plus a pound of chicken that I stir fried with miscellaneous veggies last night) that I will have to polish off myself unless I throw some of them in the freezer. That’s why you will be seeing quite a few chicken meals in my menu for the next 2-3 days, LOL.

And speaking of chicken and dentists…Yesterday when I was eating my chicken, veggies, and pear for lunch, I heard a small crunch/crack from one of my right upper molars.

Egads, I have managed to crack ANOTHER porcelain crown on the same side.

I’ll be going right back to the dentist next Monday to have another set of impressions taken.

Sigh.

======================
TODAY’S WORKOUT
======================
– Legs/Shoulders with Trainer (30 min)
A1) Seated leg curl (3×12 @ 70 lbs – left knee is still giving me problems with this exercise)
A2) Seated leg extension (3×12 @ 85 lbs)
B1) DB standing shoulder press (3×12 @ 20 lbs)
B2) Jump squats (3×10)
B3) Plie jump squats (3×10)
B4) DB upright row (3×12 @ 20 lbs)

– Outdoor Walk (30 min)

– YF Flexibility (60 min)

======================
TODAY’S EATS
======================
1) Homemade oatmeal raisin cookie (from WW cookbook), 3 egg whites, 20 g raisins, 20 g oats
2) 3 oz. chicken breast, 2 tangerines, 1/2 c. cooked spinach, 1 t. Szechuan hot sauce
3) 3 oz. chicken breast, 1 c. veggies, 1 pear, 1 t. Szechuan hot sauce
4) 1/2 c. 4% cottage cheese, 1 oz. almonds and walnuts
5) 3 oz. chicken breast, 1 c. mixed veggies, 1 orange, 1 t. Szechuan hot sauce
6) 1 c. light soy milk, 1/2 scoop whey, 1/2 oz. almonds

Supps: 1 multivitamin, 1 calcium 600+D, 6 fish oil caps, 1 serving l-glutamine

TT W18D1: Push Up Pseudoscience

Weight is slightly up by a pound from my low of 139.8 due to my two weekend cheat meals and lower water consumption, but I never take any weigh ins before Wednesday seriously anyway.

I am at the Express Lube getting a slightly overdue oil change for the Camry, so I doubt that there will be time for a lunch walk. I did get in my planned hour of Forza this morning though. It’s love bug and skeeter season again here, which makes night time running kind of unpleasant and occasionally unexpectedly nutritious (*when a mating love bug pair zooms into your mouth as you are gasping for air on a run), so I’ll just make up my outdoor activity time later this week.

Food will come in around 1650 today. I have meals 2-5 with me at work and meal 6 already planned out at home.

Knocked out only 68 push ups before I had to pause for rest this morning in a practice run for Kyra’s Head to Head challenge on PDB. I will shoot for 75 tomorrow.

And yes, in case you were wondering, those were full push ups, not kneelies. One of the major advantages of carrying most of your body weight in your bottom half is the ease with which push ups can be performed, especially if you also happen to regularly train your originally scrawny back and flat chest with heavy weights. I once got into push up position with my hands resting on my scale to see how much weight I was actually pushing and got a reading of only 45-50 lbs or so, just 1/3 of my total bodyweight. I bet that most men are pushing a bit more than that due to their weight distribution, and probably quite a few women who are a bit more well-endowed in the chest and belly area than I am, too. When it comes to push up prowess for a guy, the ones that I saw maxing out at 90 reps or more in two minutes during their Army PT tests were always the short, quick, lean guys who looked like bantam weight boxers. The bigger, taller, and more top-heavy you are, the harder you will find this exercise.

======================
TODAY’S WORKOUT
======================
– Forza (60 minutes)

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TODAY’S EATS
======================
1) Homemade oatmeal raisin cookie (from WW cookbook), 3 egg whites, 20 g raisins, 20 g oats
2) Pineapple soy protein smoothie
3) 3 oz. chicken breast, 1 c. veggies, 1 pear, 1 t. Szechuan hot sauce
4) 1/2 c. 4% cottage cheese, 1 small diced apple (microwaved to soften)
5) 3 oz. chicken breast, 1 c. mixed veggies, 2 tangerines, 1 t. Szechuan hot sauce
6) 1 c. light soy milk, 2 cups whole wheat/oat bran cereal

Supps: 1 multivitamin, 1 calcium 600+D, 6 fish oil caps, 1 serving l-glutamine

TT W17D7: Quick Time Meals

It was my rest day so I just puttered around in the garden from about 10 to 1:30. We had our semi-cheat meal breakfast of Bisquick light pancakes, omelettes, and turkey bacon, then headed outside to tackle our little weed kingdom.

I weeded, pruned, weeded some more, transplanted some peppers, a daylily and a begonia, pulled the dead plants from last season, cleared out a messy collection of containers, raked in some veggie plant food, and um…weeded some more.

Did I mention that my yard has a lot of weeds?

😉

In the afternoon Chris and I drove out to Altamonte Springs to try out a meal prep kitchen for which I had a gift certificate and prepared 12 entrees (with 6-10 servings each) in about an hour and a half. I think the place, Quick Time Meals, has a great concept. They provide all the ingredients, condiments, tools (mostly measuring spoons, cups, ziploc bags, foil pans, and plastic gloves) and spices and do all of the tedious side work like chopping veggies, cutting meat into correct portions, printing out labels with cooking instructions, and posting recipes. Customers schedule a session time to come in and basically assemble all of the fresh but uncooked ingredients into 8 or 12 separate entree packages (complete with the aforementioned cooking instruction label) that are immediately transported home in a cooler, tossed into the freezer, and then pulled out, defrosted, and cooked over the next few weeks as needed.

It’s sort of what I do when I flash marinate two portions of chicken or beef by mixing up some marinade in a freezer bag, tossing the meat of choice inside, sealing with as little air as possible, and chucking the bag into the freezer for future use. In the case of QTM, they scale their recipes for six typical American servings (which equals about 8-10 servings or so if you are a female doing 6 meals a day BFL style), largely stick to meals that can be baked, slow-cooked, or grilled, and also pack a separate bag with pre-mixed sauces to add to the entree once it has been cooked!

That last idea–the bag of sauce–is pure genius. I am going to start doing this with the various Chinese sauces I normally have to make from scratch and just stockpile them in bulk in my freezer.

Flash marinated frozen meat + bag of frozen sauce + bag of frozen asparagus stir-fry mix + fruit of the day = Meal in 15 minutes (including microwave defrosting time if sauce and meat were not chucked into the fridge the night before to defrost)

Brilliant!

This was what we assembled, in case anyone was curious:

1 Asian Plumb Wild Pork Wings
2 Fish With Cilantro Lime Sauce
2 Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish Sauce
2 Rock Shrimp Quesadillas w/Sofia’s Salsa
1 Slow-Braised Carnitas
2 Ginger Sesame Chicken and Grilled Pineapples
2 40 Clove Chicken

I think Chris was pretty impressed at how fast and easy the whole process was. By the time we got to the 40 Clove Chicken, he was whizzing through the measuring, marinating, and tagging like a pro. I might be able to trick him into helping me out in about two months when we run out of our QTM stash of lunches and dinners. I plan to set up my own healthy home meal assembly line…though I am sure I’ll be the one doing the slicing and dicing while he just gets to do the instant gratification assembly part.

🙄

In the meanwhile, I am just going to enjoy not having to think about what to buy and make for lunch or dinner for the next 8 weeks. My grocery trips are going to consist of nothing but soy milk, cottage cheese, juice, fruit, oats, eggs, raisins, nuts, omelette veggies, rice cakes, peanut butter, and cereal (for Chris) until the wedding. Woohoo!