Food prep; the results

This past weekend I decided to get ahead with meal planning and meal prep in order to reduce the stress of the first week back to school. I have done food prep before, but most of the time it was done blindly without any real plan. This time, I decided to be more organized and START with a meal plan and THEN grocery shop and THEN food prep.

I scribbled down my meal plan, understanding that it was more of a flexible plan than anything set in stone. I considered what ingredients I already had on hand and I planned a meal for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. I thought that Thursday could be a leftovers night. (This is what they call “chicken scratch”)

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I also want to be prepared in the lunch and snack department. I’m going to be on campus into the evening most days, so a packed lunch and filling snacks are a must. The two most important foods to prep in my opinion are vegetables and whole grains. Preparing these two things are the most time consuming, but they are super important to ensure healthy meals.

So with my meal plan in mind, here is what I prepped:

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Watermelon– for snacking
Cucumbers, chopped– to top salads
Boiled eggs– snacking and lunches
Brown rice– to go with meals
Grapes, washed and de-stemmed– for easy grabbing
Spinach, tomato, quinoa salad– for lunches
Canned salmon, chopped with bone and skins removed– for salmon patties and to go on salads
Early to rise carrot muffins– for afternoon snacking
Carrots and celery, cut– for lunches and snacking
Zoodles– for spaghetti

Here’s how the meals turned out:

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(Pork chops + roasted veggies + brown rice) In this meal, the rice was already cooked and the pork chops we cooked in the crock pot that day. When I got home the only cooking was roasting some frozen veggies.

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(Salmon patties + spinach/tomatoes + grits) This simple meal was made even simpler, since the salmon was chopped and de-boned. Grits can be made in less than 10 minutes.

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(Burger salads) Wednesday I knew I would be home barely in time for church, so Terry threw together this meal. Thankfully, the veggies were chopped so his job was to cook the burgers and shred the cheese.

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(Kitchen sink zoodles) So basically I cleaned out the kitchen with this dinner. It contained zoodles, tomatoes, chopped salmon, cheese, salsa, and tomato paste. Terry had a church meeting, so I only had to feed me.

Here was my lunch most days:

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset  (Quinoa salad + boiled egg +avocado) Turns out the grain salad I made wasn’t all that great and I was pretty sick of by the second day. Not wanting to waste any food, however, I had it 4/5 of the days. Next time I will not prep as much of a never tried before recipe. I think alternating two lunches throughout the week will be the best idea. Terry ate leftovers or sandwiches along with celery/carrots for his lunches.

I also made this pineapple fantasy pie by Chocolate Covered Katie evening snacks.

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I made the mistake of using lite coconut milk, so it was more icey than creamy. Terry wasn’t crazy about it, but I thought it was pretty yummy! The crust was especially good- I will repeat it with other pies!

So am I glad I meal prepped? Definitely! However, I learned some lessons like don’t over-prep, consider the time limits of the evening, consider snacks and portability, and consider freezing half of what I prep.

Today is Sunday, so I will be back at again in-between church services. I am tempted to do other things instead, but I know how much easier this will make my hectic week.

Tell me-
What do you consider the most important to prep prior to a busy week?
Do you prep entire meals or just ingredients?

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18 thoughts on “Food prep; the results

  1. I love this post on meal prep. I really need to be smarter about the way I approach our weekly dinners. I often ‘over-prepped’ and am usually so sick of the leftovers by the end of the week.
    I don’t think you have chicken-scratch, but I do love your ‘Kate’s To-Do List’!

    1. Um, I think having a toddler gets to be your excuse for not doing a lot of things! Haha. The biggest reason I meal prep is because my work/school hours are so weird and I don’t want to end up eating chips all the time.

  2. I definitely go through phases where I’ll get home from the grocery store and prep everything immediately, and then other times, Monday night rolls around and I haven’t touched anything in my fridge. I have to prep my lunches, because I refuse to pay for lunch at work. So regardless of how my week is going, I want to be able to have a packed lunch with snacks every morning. Besides that, I will usually prep one big meal that will last me for the week – whether it’s a combination of dinner and lunches. It’s a total pain in the butt, but when I do it right – it’s totally worth it 🙂

  3. I’m defintiely a prepper! I made a protein, veggie and starch for dinners, mainly for the hubby. Sometimes I take this meal for lunches or I make several lunches like salads or a crock pot meal in advance to shove in the fridge at work. I don’t normally take a lunch so this is vital to ward off this hangry beast during mid day meetings!

  4. Such an awesome and comprehensive post!! So true that even things as small as having canned salmon prepped goes a long way on busy evenings. And really good point about not trying huge batches of recipes you’ve never tried – I’ll keep that in mind.

  5. Your prepped meals and snacks sound great! Being in college and just cooking for one, I do often make one regular-sized batch of a meal to eat throughout the week, but I don’t LOVE doing that since I usually am tired of it after day 2 or 3. So, just pre-washing and slicing fruit and veggies seems to work best!

  6. I usually don’t meal prep, but I make sure that my pantry/fridge are fully stocked before a busy week. Also, keeping super easy, ready-to-go foods on hand is key for me! Apples, bananas, dried fruit, nuts, bread for sandwiches, etc.
    Your meal prepping looks awesome though! Very well thought out and planned!!

  7. Oh my stars I am loving your blog and this post what a great great IdEA! I find that the more snacks I have on hand the easier it is to move through the week and I try to make protein ahead of time to freeze, oh and having breakfast burritos always in freezer for anything is a must around our house.

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