Meal Prep Love Affair

20160207_204928.jpg

Simple things in life make me so happy; puppies, kitties, a fresh mani, vacations, and napping are just a few examples. But what really excites me is meal prep. I am very passionate about it for several reasons:

 

  1. My time is precious and I have little of it. I do not want to spend it at the kitchen all night when I’ve just been at work all day.
  2. *Money. I cannot stand the idea of wasting money. My husband and I decided to take a break over the weekend and have a dinner date. Don’t get me wrong, I love quality time with my man and I love when someone else cooks for me (yay, no dishes!), but we have some future plans that we need to save up for… not only that, but our dinner cost approximately $60.00. Our entire food shopping excursion for last week was about $75.00 and that’s for two people, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the entire week! One meal cost almost as much as an entire week of food shopping. It’s ok though, got to live a little, right?
  3. Dedication/Success. If you psych yourself about how your week is going to look meal wise and you don’t stray from your plan, you will succeed! You will reach your goal!

 *Money: Don’t believe all the things you hear! It does not cost THAT much to eat healthy. I will discuss food shopping in a later post.*

 If you are just entering the world of meal prep, it can be frightening and intimidating and you may want to give up. But don’t! It gets easier and then you can Instagram all your beautiful meals, and awesome Tupperware containers. Thinking about stackable containers and snap lids give me LIFE. I just want to scream “Yes, honey, work it!” I’m pretty sure you will feel the same exact way.

Tips for beginners:

  • Don’t go all Top Chef on me. Basic = better.
    • Boiled eggs
    • Roasted vegetables
    • Baked potatoes
    • Avocados
    • Fruits
    • Yogurts
    • Oatmeal
    • Nuts
    • Rotisserie chicken
  • Make a shopping list. Do not go in blindly. The supermarket is full of temptation and you’ll start putting anything and everything into your cart. That is not cost effective and it won’t help you on your quest to health.
  • Organize your thoughts and think about what you want for the week. Or if a week is too much of a commitment, start small and do something like Monday through Wednesday.
    • I have a meal planner (you can buy them on Amazon) or get a notebook, or print out a meal planner calendar (they have free ones online that I use for my Husband).
  • Again, start small.
    • Meal for a day example (Please remember, this is just an example, sort out meals and portions to fit your needs and life style):
      • Breakfast: Hardboiled egg, serving of oatmeal and a piece of fruit
      • Snack: Yogurt and a serving of nuts
      • Lunch: 2 cups roasted veggies and 3-6oz of rotisserie chicken
      • Snack: Almonds, blueberries, and string cheese or serving of peanut butter with an apple or celery and raisins (ants on a log, anyone?)
      • Dinner: Baked salmon, baked sweet potato, serving of veggies and a fruit
    • You don’t need to make everything on Sunday night. Even planning a bit ahead helps.
      • Roast an entire week worth of veggies. It’s easy and requires very little time. Simple seasoning, little bit of oil and pop them in the oven. When they are done, let them cool off and portion them out.
      • Baked potatoes can easily be done a week in advance or you can microwave them. I usually put some salt, pepper, and evoo, wrap them in foil and bake them. This way I don’t need to think about it for the rest of the week
      • Slow cookers are definitely one of my BFFAEAE’s. This is an excellent way to cook in bulk and not be super attentive. We decided to go a little more plant based proteins this week versus the usual meat overload. Thai curry lentil soup it is! We are going to have so much left over… got a little overzealous as I often do (anyone want some?)
      • We’ve replaced noodles with zoodles…Spiralize dem bad boys and tuck them away for the week (see, meal planning. Good times). Same with other veggies, if you know you are going to be cooking with peppers, onions, celery- chop them up and put them away for later use!
      • We are going to have a romantic evening this week, picture, “Lady and the Tramp” with the pasta and meatball scene except this is going to be zoodles and shrimp.
      • Rotisserie is perfect. It’s already cooked for you and you can make several dishes: chicken salad, chicken with a side of vegetables, deli chicken salad (little bit of mayo, apples or raisins, etc) on a whole wheat toast or wrap.
      • Oh, now you’re getting tired and you really don’t feel like making those turkey meatballs… all you need to do is prep it, freeze it, and cook it the day you are ready
      • Fish- marinade it the night before you plan to cook it.
      • I love anything that you can make and freeze. Chili, soups, meatballs, stews, marinated chicken breasts (label your zip lock bag, throw your food in the bag, and store in the freezer), fruit sandwiches with peanut butter, etc.
    • Don’t get frustrated. It may not go as planned at first but it’s ok. Trial and error, my friend. Like I said before, make it simple… in my opinion, bulk cooking is the best. Get your slow cooker bestie, make some shredded chicken and the meal possibilities are endless (BBQ chicken wrap, bbq chicken stuffed sweet potato, shredded chicken tacos, shredded chicken tortilla pizza).

I can go on and on all day with recipe ideas, storage ideas, ways to shop and save but I must remember that you are my young grasshoppers. You must be patient… I must be patient.

I wish you all great success! Happy prepping!

unspecified-8111111.png

 

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Meal Prep Love Affair”

  1. Thanks for the great advice Rachel! Check out my blog, myprettyplate, I am on a mission to develop a better relationship with food, by taking a picture of everything I eat for the next 100 days.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am so with you on trying for more vegetable based meals versus meat overload! My husband is super into meat so I have a hard time accommodating both of our tastes.. would love to hear of any more plant-based crockpot creations you have success with.

    Like

    1. I am going to have to dig around for slow cooker veggie recipes (the only thing that comes to mind right now is split pea soup), however, here is a good recipe if you have time and feel like cooking: tempeh buffalo wings. There are many recipes online but I’ve been doing this one for a few years now and my husband is always happy with it:

      1 package of tempeh (8oz)
      1 cup seasoned bread crumbs (haven’t tried almond flour yet)
      1/3 cup milk
      1/2 tsp salt
      pinch of black pepper
      1 tsp paprika and thyme (or italian seasoning)
      1/2 tsp garlic powder
      1/3 cup flour

      Make home made wing sauce or store bought or make the tempeh wings plain and dip it in mustard

      Pre heat oven to 400F

      Bring 4 cups of water to boil. Slice tempeh into 8-10 strips add to boiling water. Lower heat to medium and cook for approx 15 min.

      3 bowls= 1 for milk, 1 for flour and seasonings and the last bowl for bread crumbs

      Drain and rinse tempeh w/ cold water after its been cooked.

      Dip in milk, flour, milk, bread crumbs.

      Place wings on an oiled baking sheet. Spray wings with oil and cook for 20 min- 10 on each side. They should get nice and crispy on the outside.

      Then you are ready to serve!

      Like

  3. YES YES YES!! A little prep and planning goes a long way!! With a little planning before I hit the grocery store, and an hour or less of prep work each week, I feed our family of 3 healthy (my husband and I both prefer a ketogenic LCHF diet) meals that don’t stress me out for a budget of 50.00 a week. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by Eat, Drink and Be Keri. Love your blog – I am off to go poke around and read some of your other posts.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s