Every weekend I take half a day out of my schedule to meal prep. I don’t just prep – I cook pretty much everything that we will eat for the next week. It is one of the the best decisions I have ever made. My weeknights are so easy, and work lunches are already to go. Everything just needs to be combined and reheated.
I don’t make the food and put it into predetermined meal containers. Instead I make a variety of food and choose what I feel like when meal time comes around.
I start with planning. I take out a couple cookbooks and flip through looking for inspiration. When I find things I want to make I write the cookbook, page number and dish on top of a white piece of paper. I then split the paper in two and on the bottom half I make 4 categories; meat, veg, fruit, other. This is my grocery list – I add the ingredients from recipes that I have decided to make to the part of the list that makes sense. There is an example to the right – I am sorry its all creased and dirty, but I take this list into the kitchen with me when I am cooking and cross off things as they get made. I love this part of the planning process, it gets me all excited about the week ahead!!
I aim to make 3-4 proteins, 1 casserole kind of dish, 1-2 starches, 1-2 snacks, 4-5 veggies and 1-3 sauces.
This week I made:
- Protein: salmon, crispy chicken thighs, slow cooker pork
- Casserole: beef chili
- Starch: roasted butternut squash mash and I have some baby sweet potatoes on hand to make into sweet potato fries, which are not so god reheated.
- Snack: lemon fat bombs and pre- cut up mixed veggies
- Veggies: roasted brussel sprouts, buffalo cauliflower, sauteed kale, roasted carrot and parsnip hash, and crispy green beans
- Sauces: tzatziki and buffalo sauce
The idea is that there is enough variety that I won’t get bored, because I can mix and match the proteins and veggies. I also try and make things I think will reheat well. I typically reheat everything in a cast iron frying pan with a little duck fat.
Warning…when you meal prep your kitchen will explode. See below. Also I live in a 450 sq ft home, so my kitchen is pretty friggen tiny. The disaster usually takes over half the living room as well. Just be prepared. Or if possible make a deal with someone else living in your house that if you cook they clean.
But in the end it is worth it. I mean look how full that fridge is – it doesn’t get better than that. I am grateful everyday when I open this fridge and have so many nutritious and delicious foods to choose from. Yes okay my fridge is a bit of a mess, but this is just a honest peek into my life.