Every Sunday, I spend time in the kitchen prepping food for the next week. I slice, dice and bake for hours. I have learned that if I invest the time on Sunday, I do not have to invest the time later in the week. I believe in living a bit like the ant.
I have to add a caveat to this post that I am a meal planner. I always have been because otherwise I end up eating out at Taco Del Mar every night or calling for pizza delivery, neither of which is good for my wallet or my waistline. Also since we had Molly, my time is much more limited. Additionally, I have a great group of Twitter buddies who share weekly meals. I have gotten a ton of yummy ideas from these ladies.
The first thing I do is order groceries from AmazonFresh or go to Trader Joe's to load up on fresh veggies and meat. I also buy a TON of organic food from Costco. They sell HUGE bags of carrots that can last us almost a month.
I cut up about 4-6 sweet potatoes and throw them in my cast iron skillet with some olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin. Sometimes I mix up the spices but I'm a cumin addict so I usually stick with that. I also cut up 2 potatoes (for Scott) and put them in my smaller cast iron skillet. Then I plop both skillets in the oven at 375F for about 40 minutes.
While those are roasting, I usually mix up some food for Molly. Mini muffins are a toddler lifesaver for us. They are easy for Molly to hold and easy to pack when we are out and about. I make about 2-3 batches of items for Molly a week. I've been heavily relying upon the Weelicious book for most of my recipes along with trusty Pinterest! This week I mixed up a batch of Blueberry Lemon muffins, Ham & Cheese Quinoa bites (I used prosciutto though because that is what I had) and some Pumpkin Waffles.
Once the sweet potatoes are done roasting, I take them out and move them into some glass containers. As I begin to prep the skillets again, I bake up Molly's muffins. When the skillets are clean, I fill them with broccoli, carrots and garlic. I put a few scoops of coconut oil along with a few sprinkles of salt, pepper and some sort of spice. This week I did turmeric and ginger. I again put them in the oven at 375F for about 40 minutes. I also like to check them about halfway through and give them a little stir to make sure the oil is evenly coated.
While everything cooks, I bag up Molly's food in freezer bags. Half of it goes in the fridge and the other half is frozen. This means that Molly has a wide variety of food available to her. I will pull out a bag of frozen food and throw it in the fridge when I see that we are down to one or two items of another.
I also take this time to prep my breakfast for the week. I've been making egg muffins for myself and promise to write a post about that shortly. I was frying up eggs every morning and while that was wonderfully tasty, it took a lot of time to prep, cook and clean each morning. Time that I do not have while chasing after Molly!
I plan to add in a few more plan ahead strategies next weekend. I make a lot of slow cooker meals (again, I'll write a post about this shortly) and I think it would behoove me to prep everything in advance, stick them in gallon size freezer bags and then rest on my laurels. I'm also thinking if I'm super slick, I'll make double the meals and freeze half so I have some meals ready to go as needed.
At the end of my cooking extravaganza, my feet hurt and I'm tired but I feel good! I have good, healthy food prepped for the week and excitement about our upcoming meals.
I'm always searching for efficient ways to prep meals. What are your tips for weekly meal prep?