The weekend is over…always a bummer. And let me tell you North Carolina weather has lost its mind. Legit had the heat on in the car, it was barely 60 and poured all day and night Saturday. I look excited don’t I?
We didn’t let the rain ruin our fun and we headed out Saturday night. Had a great time with amazing friends. I did manage to look what I consider very human!
Now onto the purpose of this post. (Yes, I just wanted to shamelessly plug a decent self shot prior to it!). I regularlly get asked about food prep, organization, meal planning, etc. Well, here you have it! I get up on Sunday morning (aka 10am or later by the time I really am moving), have breakfast, and make my excel spread sheet. That is where I plan every meal for the week. I drop the link to the recipe, or the book title and page in each slot.
Then I use my handy dandy “Grocery IQ” app and fill in everything I need at the store. (Side note: if you do not have this app check it out, so handy! When I run out of things during the week I just toss it on there and it organizes everything the way it is at the store). Then I head to the store and this happens on my table!
And I unpack and spread everything out. Generally, I put everything away. I do this so I can find things and save the word from my eccentric use of language. It’s just what works for me. Oh and if I don’t Phoebe thinks she gets pick of anything on the table (where she isn’t supposed to be anyway).
(Phoebe for the photobomb just before I launched her off the table)
(A weeks worth of food)
Then I clean out the fridge. I toss anything that didn’t get used and is bad. I pull the containers that have 2 bites left in them and will never get eaten. I consolidate things that were eaten the end of the week into one container if they are in 2 and I can squeeze it down. I don’t plan my lunches I just eat leftovers or whatever I find. The only problem with this is your sink will probably look like below so I run the dishwasher because its generally full.
Then I start at the top of the week; usually dinner for Sunday night. I get that ready and rocking. Squash soup was on the menu tonight.
Then I just move my way down doing any and all of the prep, pre-cooking, packaging, etc. for the week. I made and put zucchini bread in the oven at the same time as the carrots and squash for the soup. I do as much “double dipping” like that as possible. If I need chopped onion for 2 things this week I just do it at the same time and hold it off to the side.
I use big zip lock bags for things and pop them in the fridge. They compact well, you can suck all the air out of them, and its easy and I can toss them when I am done. (I buy the generic brand ones for this since I use about 6 a week).
I also pre-package the hubs lunches up. He re-heats them anyway so they will make it 2-3 days in the fridge. The end of the week I usually crock him something so I get it all ready in a bag (like the mexican chicken above, aka chicken and salsa that I dump in the crockpot for 6 hours).
(Hash off paleomg.com)
I also crock at least 1 lunch for hubs on Sunday so I can package it up. This week is spaghetti and meatballs. Don’t worry paleo police its spaghetti squash. I threw together the meatballs, covered them in sauce and crocked them while I was doing other things. I also made the squash at the same time as chicken I had to bake for the hash.
(meatballs crocking…not sure why it looks yellow?)
Imagine how the house smells after I’ve done all the cooking. Delish! I also pre-cook any meat that needs to be pre-cooked for the crockpot during the week (I will crock a lot more now that fall is apparently here and winter is approaching.) When all is said and done the fridge is well stocked, it has cut my cooking time by 80% during the week, the house smells amazing, and I don’t have to think about what we are going to eat all week (this stops the “oh lets just get pizza” issue).
(Stocked up fridge for the week)
I also say “Lady get out of the kitchen” about 165 times a day on Sunday. I made hubs take her into the living room and make her a hostage. She proceeded to jump on him and stretch her little doggie neck as far as possible so she could still see what I was doing. Really, she was just eyeballing anything that may have fallen on the floor.
And that my friends is food prep. Takes me 4ish hours straight but I usually also do laundry, clean as I go, kick canines and humans out of my kitchen, and take baking breaks; therefore, it ends up taking the afternoon. Only other problem, keeping hubs paws off the food because he wants to eat it all on Sunday (keeping cooked bacon safe is not an easy task). I guess that should be a good sign that its tasty!