Cooking With Friends

Sunday meal prep can be a chore. We know there’s usually a million other things you’d rather be doing than chopping, dicing, and sauteeing to get you ready for the week ahead. But when you add in a friend – and some new recipes – your meal prep takes on a whole new level of fun!

The two of us are lucky to live within a few miles of each other – AND have daughters (ages 5 and 6) who are good friends. Plus, we had a brand-new shipment of meat from Butcher Box just waiting to be cooked! The solution: A joint cooking/play date. The moms cooked while the littles played. Everyone was happy and we got a few days’ worth of meal prep done together!

We got a Mixed Box from Butcher Box, which contained beef, chicken, and pork. Just to note, Butcher Box has a promotion going on through September 30 that gives you 2 lbs. of free ground beef in every box you get during the lifetime of your subscription. You can check out the offer here! We know a few people who have shared a subscription–another option if you want a smaller amount! As we only had a few hours to cook together, we didn’t get to the pork or the gorgeous steak that came in our delivery but here’s what we did make last Sunday afternoon:

We started off with The Real Food RDs Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash – This dish is really easy but it has a few steps. The first is to contend with spaghetti squash, a vegetable we admittedly usually avoid because it’s a PAIN to cut. This time, we microwaved the spaghetti squash for about 10 minutes prior to attempting to cut it which was a smart move. Once the spaghetti squash was roasting in the oven, we cooked the Butcher Box chicken in Judith’s Instant Pot. It shredded easily when done and we assembled the stuffed squash halves and finished baking them. Of course, we used The New Primal Mild Buffalo Sauce in the filling and doused some extra on top! There’s no such thing as too much buffalo sauce!

Speaking of The New Primal, we took some more Butcher Box chicken and cooked it in the Instant Pot with TNP’s Classic BBQ sauce. Being Instant Pot newbies, we really didn’t follow a recipe – but used the same setting for the chicken in the buffalo recipe and reduced the time by two minutes. The chicken came out moist and tasty – and we added a little arrowroot flour into the pot to help thicken up the BBQ sauce. Pulled BBQ chicken for the win – no recipe or hands-on work needed!

Next up was I Heart Umami’s Creamy Coconut Milk Meatballs! For these meatballs, we combined a bunch of ingredients in a food processor into a paste of sorts and then mixed it with 2 lbs. of Butcher Box ground beef. We formed them into bigger meatballs than the recipe called for and while they were baking, Jenny whipped up the delicious coconut milk sauce. When the meatballs were done, we put them in the pan with the sauce and voila – perfection. These meatballs are AMAZING and the ground beef was SO flavorful. Add these to your meal prep list now!

We couldn’t forget veggies so we roasted away! We made roasted potatoes with Primal Palate’s Meat & Potatoes seasoning, which we got on Thrive Market and roasted butternut squash with Tiny Little Chef’s Apple Pie Seasoning – Use code SEPTWHOLE for 25% off your order! We also did some yellow and green zucchini roasted with salt and pepper. Easy peasy and a delicious way to add variety to our meals throughout the week.

And of course, sauce! Jenny chose two new sauces for us to try, which are great ways to add different flavors and textures to our proteins and vegetables during the week. We made the Spicy Chimichurri Sauce and the Creamy Lemon Garlic Sauce from Eat the Gains. Sauces are also a perfect way to get your added fat into your meal. Looking for more sauce ideas? Check out this post from our blog for more inspiration!

Lastly, Jenny showed off her new tostone-making skills by frying up these plantain delights. They were incredible although definitely time-consuming. But we say they’re worth it! Plantains are usually inexpensive at the supermarket and are so versatile. Wanna cook some tostones–click here for Jenny’s recipe.

We divided everything up in our own Tupperware containers and cleaned up together. It took us about four hours total to get it done, and that included some breaks to attend to the girls and chat. We finished the afternoon feeling accomplished with our work and excited about our new food. This food won’t get us through the entire week but it’s a great start!

So, grab a friend (they don’t need to be on Whole30 – just find some compliant recipes that you both enjoy), divide up the food shopping, and meet up at one of your houses for a cooking date! There’s no better than way to spend a Sunday afternoon than with a good friend making good food!

Have you ever cooked with a friend? How did that work out for you? What did you make?

Note: We are affiliate partners with Butcher Box, meaning we get a small commission on your order. Butcher Box also sent us this box of meat as part of our partnership. All opinions and views are our own! We love this meat!