When I worked outside the home, Sunday afternoon was always dedicated to weekly food prep. It was absolutely necessary to be able to juggle all of my responsibilities during the week ahead. Now that I work from home, I usually break food prep into two sessions, but the basic premise is the same.
There are a lot of time-saving benefits to this.
You only have one big kitchen clean-up. The rest of the week your dishes only consist of your plates and flatwear, and what you used to heat your food in.
You can multitask by having several things in the oven cooking at once – this also saves on your utility bill. You can also wash and prep all your produce at the same time, and then just wash your colander and cutting board when you’re finished.
Throughout the week meals are strictly grab-and-go. If your food is already prepped, dinner can be on the table in 10-15 minutes every night.
What does a food prep afternoon typically consist of?
*Washing and cutting up vegetables
* Washing fruit
* Portioning out snacks for lunch boxes
* Doing the baking
* Preparing some basic items that can be used in different ways throughout the week (chicken, beef, grains, salad)
When you prepare your food ahead of time, dinner is on the table faster than you can say “drive-thru”. Your budget will thank you because you won’t require those impromptu pizza deliveries when you just don’t feel like cooking. Your waistline will thank you because you won’t grab high-calorie, low-nutrient convenience foods. Your health will thank you because you will be eating nutritious, wholesome foods from scratch that nourish rather than deplete.
I usually spend Sunday afternoons in the kitchen with my daughter. We turn on some good tunes (lately we’ve been into the “Glee” playlists), don some kitschy crazy aprons, and get cooking.
This week, we made:
Veggies for steaming
Roasted Brussels sprouts
Blueberry corn muffins
Broccoli slaw with bacon
Veggies packets for lunchboxes
We ground and sifted flour for the week as well. Because that is a time-consuming task, sometimes I skip using the fresh ground flour and resort to commercial flour in order to speed my baking. This way, we’ll stick to the healthier options!
So, what is this week’s menu?
Well, lunches and snacks are nearly always cobbled together from leftovers. Breakfast is quite often a smoothie.
For dinner this week:
Sunday: Meatloaf muffins, roasted brussels sprouts, wheatberry pilaf
Monday: Crockpot roasted chicken, rutabaga (a new favorite) and steamed veggies
Tuesday: Meatloaf with gravy on homemade rolls, sauteed mushrooms, broccoli slaw, leftover rutabaga
Wednesday: Beef and veggie stew (home canned) with homemade bread
Thursday: Leftover chicken stirfried with prepped veggies and wheatberries
Friday: Homemade pizza topped with chicken and veggies
Saturday: A whatever is left free-for-all, fondly known as “Leftover Buffet”
Do you prep your food ahead of time? What’s for dinner this week at your house?