My Sunday ritual has become meal prep. The busier my life gets, the more essential this has become. Prepping some of our food for the week allows me to have a healthy, stress-free week when it comes to meal planning. I don’t prep everything, but most of the essentials. That way when I do have to cook, I only have to prepare one or two side dishes. This prepped food usually lasts until Wednesday or Thursday, and then I’m back to freestylin’ for the rest of the week. I could prepare food for the whole week but by Thursday I’m usually ready for something fresh and new.
From the big shop to the clean-up it does take me a few hours but I more than reclaim that time during the week. It’s well worth it.
Before you start, make sure to pour yourself one of these: ;)
Here is what I made this past Sunday:
1. Baked Chicken
I use a mixture of chicken parts: 5 breasts, 10 thighs, and 4 drumsticks. I lay the chicken on two foiled and oiled pans (I used olive oil). Sprinkle chicken with a generic “all spice” (or whatever you prefer), flip and sprinkle the other sides.
Bake at 350f/175c for 35-40 minutes.
I use All Spice to keep the chicken versatile. There is no overpowering flavour when I want to use the chicken in other dishes, like in a pasta sauce or on a sandwich.
2. Roasted Sweet Potatoes
After the chicken comes out the sweet potatoes go in. Cube four sweet potatoes. Submerge in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes. Strain and lay on an oiled pan. Sprinkle with desired herbs. I use garlic, salt, and pepper.
Bake at 425f/220c for 20 minutes.
3. BAS – Big Ass Salad
I love salad, I just don’t love making salads on a daily basis. It takes me ten times as long to prepare a salad as it does to eat it. Solution: the big ass salad (#BAS!). Here is what I used in this salad:
- 1 bag (350g) of mixed lettuce
- 1 tomato
- 1 cucumber
- 1 red pepper
- 1 red onion
- 2 stalks of celery
- 4 carrots (grated)
- handful of basil leaves
Chop all vegetables finely… And I mean finely! I could (and often do) eat my salad with a spoon. This is mostly for my children’s benefit because it makes it easy for them to eat. A few people I’ve told can’t believe my children will sit down and eat a salad. I think some children don’t like salad because the large chunks of vegetables are awkward for them to eat.
Tip: to keep your salad as fresh as possible, store in an airtight container with a dry piece of paper towel to absorb moisture. Each time you use the salad, give it a good stir and replace the damp paper towel with a dry one. (This is also handy for storing fresh chopped vegetables.)
4. Steamed Vegetables
I have steaming pots from Ikea that have really simplified the steaming process for me. Maybe I was behind the times, but I didn’t know these stacking steamers existed until a few months ago. I used to use multiple pots! This week I layered four heads of broccoli (each cut into 3-4 large pieces), 8 carrots (sliced), green beans, and one head of sliverbeet/swiss chard (chopped).
How long to steam your vegetables? It depends how soft you want them. I steam mine for about ten minutes. Mine are fairly soft because I have an eight month old with only two teeth! :)
5. A Dozen Hard Boiled Eggs
I boil my eggs for about ten minutes. I keep them in the shell and store them in the fridge in the container I bought them in. I peel each one as needed.
Making Prepped Food into Meals
As mentioned, this is not the only food I eat throughout the week. I may add chicken and vegetables to a pasta sauce or I might use the chicken in a stir-fry. Here are just a few of my meals from the past week I used this food with:
1. Chicken salad sandwich with cheese and mustard on a whole grain bun
2. Salad with chicken breast and oil and vinegar dressing
3. Cheesy scrambled eggs with red onion and a side of sweet potatoes
4. Chicken, sweet potatoes, and steamed vegetables topped with parmesan cheese
5. Red peppers with hummus, half a peach, and two boiled eggs
6. Salad with shrimp sauteed in garlic butter
I hope you found this helpful. I’m looking forward to sharing next weeks meals with you too! Do you meal prep? What are some different foods you prepare?
Check out my next post: Sunday Meal Prep Week #2