So I woke up this morning with a stuffed face (from my eyes down to my cheeks) and a scratchy throat. I'm thinking it's either from this crazy weather we've been having (it's hot, it's chilly, it's humid, it's rainy, it's sunny) or the fact that I slept with a wet head last night and the air conditioner blasting. Either way, I'm so not digging it. But it's Thursday and that makes me happy no matter what :)
So the third part of my weekly prep is all about cooking food for the week ahead! Meal planning and grocery shopping are super important parts of the process, but then it's all for naught if you don't actually make the food. Over the last few weeks, I've gotten really good about prepping our food on Sunday, making the rest of the week incredibly easy.
Here's how I get 'er done.
Chop up veggies.
I chop up everything in the fridge. Onions, peppers, mushrooms, cucumbers, you name it. I use most of this in our salad for the week (more on that below), and then set some aside for other dishes I plan to make. For example, I use the onions in salad, in breakfast burritos and set some aside for any other dishes I will need onions for during the week. Same with peppers and mushrooms.
During the week I just have NO time to make breakfast. I've tried and failed. Instead, I discovered the breakfast burrito! I've made these on the last few Sundays and froze them for the week.
This week, I wasn't feeling the burrito, so I made half as many for Shaun and then a slightly altered and lightened up frittata for me.
Both reheat nicely and make mornings a snap.
Make a big salad.
This has been our go-to lunch for weeks now. I make one or two giant salads - including chicken, turkey bacon, crumbled cheese, olives and lots and lots of veggies - and place it all in a big ol' bowl with a tight-fitting lid, and portion it out each day. It's been working fabulously for us and I know that I always have a healthy lunch option on hand.
Sometimes I'll make a giant tray of something delicious for us to have a few nights during the week. Some dishes that fall into this category include enchiladas, Mexican layer bakes, cheesey chicken tortilla soup and more. I love doing this because I know that if I exercise after work and don't finish until 8:30, I don't have to then come home and make dinner. Nope, it just gets reheated and eaten immediately.
I don't always make a casserole-type dinner. This week, I roasted up 5 chicken breasts, diced them up and used them in multiple dishes all week long. Just having the chicken pre-made meant that my cooking time was reduced to 20 minutes or less. I used the chicken in our big lunch salad, BBQ chicken pizzas on Sunday and tzatziki chicken salad on Monday (with a little bit of the pre-chopped red onion thrown in for good measure).
Pack it up.
I do my best to portion out salads, frittatas and more so that I can simply grab and go in the morning!
Just these little things make my weeknights so.much.easier.! I'm constantly learning and trying to evolve great tips for prepping in advance and I will definitely keep you posted on those as I realize them!
I hope this was helpful and maybe inspires you to get in the kitchen :) It's made our weeks healthier, more efficient and more relaxing!
Questions of the Day:
Do you do any food prep on the weekends?
How do you handle cooking on busy weeknights?