I’m so excited to help take some of the crazy out of your kitchen and get you excited about feeding your family well. I feel like there isn’t a lot of good information about food prep for busy families, so I’m here to change that. Food prep has a strong presence in the healthy/fitness/weight lifting/weight loss area of internet, but what about everyone else? What about me and you? The busy mom’s who want to feed their families well but doesn’t have a lot of time, wants the food to taste good (we’re feeding kids after all), and we aren’t made of money.
When you have your meals all planned out for the week, prepping ahead of time is not a big deal. It takes time but you’ve already done all the thinking. You can precook chicken breast to use on top of salads, you can make grains (like rice, quinoa, beans) ahead of time in batches, you can prep boiled eggs, make smoothie freezer packs, prep salad in a jar, pre chop vegetables, and make a batch of date balls all in one afternoon to have to eat on the rest of the week. Things like this store very well in the fridge and are easy to reheat when you need them. The first time you do a big meal prep day you might feel like it was a whole lot of work (because it is!) but then you’ll slowly reap the benefits all week longs as you use the food that you have already prepared and I promise after one week you’ll love it.
Here are some of my favorite make ahead/meal prep recipes:
Sometimes I don’t get a big prep day in but that doesn’t mean that I can’t prep a little here and there. If I’m making a smoothie in the morning and have all my ingredients out, I can make a few freezer smoothie bags while I’m at it. Then I don’t have to get all of the ingredients out again for a while.
If I’m making tacos for dinner on Tuesday and I’m chopping up all kinds of veggies to go in them, then I can chop a few extras and make a few salads in a jar while my meat is browning.
If I’m chopping up vegetables to sautee with eggs, I can chop a few extras and keep them in the fridge until dinner when I’m going to roast them.
Cooking rice for one meal? Make a double batch and plan on using it later in the week. This way takes less time but you are still reaping the benefits. If your cutting board is out and your knife is being used, think ahead to what else you can chop while you are at it.
About every 3 months I plan and prep a batch of freezer meals. I love having these kinds of meals already done and in the freezer! They are such a gift! When I have a great plan but life happens, I have these go to meals on hand.
I have an ebook all about freezer to slow cooker meals and it’s one of my very favorite meal prep methods for busy moms. Check out my eCookbook The Busy Mom’s Guide to Freezer to Slow Cooker Meals: Set it and Forget it! Real Food, Real Fast! here.
I also like have a few recipes that I know go into the freezer and then into the oven well. I make a tetrazzini recipe, lasagna, chicken and rice, as well as enchiladas that all freeze well. When I have lasagna on my meal plan then I’ll plan on making two pans, one for that night at dinner and another to stick in the freezer. I love cooking once and eating twice. This method doesn’t stock your freezer but it also doesn’t take much more time, energy, or mess than making one dish does. It’s a great habit to get into.
Here are some of my favorite recipes that freeze well.