They say preparation is key to success. I don’t know exactly who “they” are, but life and preparing for all the nonsense ahead can be exhausting! Luckily, I tend to thrive in organizing the chaos around me. I’m not even tooting my own horn on this one because I become a neurotic mess, but it’s at that point that I become more efficient.
To make the week less crazy for the family, I try my best to accommodate the meals for the week. This week in particular I had quite the size of meal prep orders so I made extra mac and cheese for them.
I’m a little sad I no longer eat pasta on this one… it’s amazing! While I wasn’t able to partake in the mac ‘n cheese, I definitely ate some of the “Bar Box” (as I call it) that I made with buffalo chicken meatballs. celery with ranch, and peanuts.
And last but not least I decided to make a low calorie, low carb, muffin. I call these delicious treats “Nutty Pumpkin No Guilt Muffins.” They are a pumpkin and crunchy almond butter muffin with a peanut butter frost-glaze. These are going to be perfect for fall with hot apple cider or a fall flavored coffee!
That was a TON of cooking and baking! Here are some prepping tips that helped me get through and can help you too!
Tips & Tricks for Meal Prep: 1. Don't over complicate your ingredients. Keeping it simple will make for less prepping time, less mess to clean up, and lower expense! 2. Prepare bulk of your protein. This is probably the most important tip that I utilize. I buy one or two proteins for the week. I cook these and then use them in MULTIPLE dishes. For example, if chicken breast is on sale for the week, I buy a family sized package, prepare the chicken as soon as I get home from the store, and then I prep multiple meals from that. I can usually make chicken fajita or Chipotle-like bowls, chicken salad, and another dish like shredded chicken Parmesan. The same goes for ground beef or ground turkey. Prepare it with only salt and pepper. Then you can use portions of the meat for different meals and season each portion for that particular meal. For example, I might use ground beef for; taco salads, noodle-less lasagna bowls, and egg-roll in a bowl. All these are different cuisine flavors but the meat can be seasoned for each individual dish. You can also prep the meals ahead of time or just prep the protein and make the dish you want the day of. 3. Don't over prep. Don't get too ahead of yourself and prep so far out that the food ends up spoiling. Some foods will just not hold up through the end of the week. For those types of foods, I recommend prepping twice a week. 4. Utilize freezer friendly foods. This will help in the long run. If you make a dish that freezes well, make extra! Even if you just have left over ingredients. Prep those and you can use them in future meals! When there is a deal on something, bell peppers for example, you could easily slice those and freeze them future use.