If you saw my Instagram posts last weekend, you would know that we vacationed in the Smokie Mountains with my family. I have some great large family photos from our trip, but out of respect for my parents & siblings, I will not post pictures of them on my blog because I respect their desire to stay off of social media. Moving on…
Meal prepping scares me! Just thinking about it wears me out. I’ve always been a meal planner, but sometimes best laid plans fly out the window when everyone is tired, hungry & grouchy around dinnertime. I tried to eat clean & healthy most of the time, but it isn’t always easy especially if everyone isn’t up for eating what you are. I was surrounded by temptations! I did give in to some of them, but I was ready to clean up my eating by the time we got home. I also knew I had a big week filled with a lot of work craziness (working multiple jobs including your own business is no joke!) and a new caregiver starting with Reese, so I wanted to have healthy food available in minutes and have one less thing to worry each day. Literally, less than 3 hours after getting home, I was cooking away.
What did I make (AKA…what did I have on hand!)?
- Hard boiled eggs
- Brown rice
- Turkey boneless chops
- Chicken breast
- Green beans
- Crockpot black & pinto bean salsa chicken
- Protein PB energy balls
This may seem like a lot of food, but really it only took me about 2 hours total to make. It wasn’t as hard as I thought I would be because I kept it simple. I also fed Reese during that time and put her down for a nap. Thankfully my hubby watched her the majority of the time & kept her occupied so I could be more efficient. I chose foods that were either frozen or already on hand, so I wouldn’t have to babysit every item the whole time it was cooking.
Here is how I went about prepping all of this food:
1. Put crockpot recipe into the crockpot to start cooking right away. Crockpot bean salsa chicken is so easy!! Just three ingredients; just the way I like it. Jar of salsa (or diced tomatoes), black beans (or your choice of beans) & 2 chicken breasts. That’s it! I doubled the recipe, so we can use for burrito bowls, salads & tacos. I love recipes that can be used in many different ways.
2. Placed 2 cups dry rice in the rice cooker.
3. Started 1 1/2 lbs of TJ’s frozen chicken breast & turkey boneless chops in a large pan on the stove. My secret weapon…fat free low sodium organic chicken broth! It keeps the meat moist, adds some flavor, but doesn’t add very many calories. I also like to add Italian seasoning to our meat, but you can add whatever you like such as salt & pepper.
4. Next, I started the hard boiled eggs & after they were done I used the still hot water to cook the edamame (from Trader Joe’s too…of course!).
5. Then, I started on the protein PB balls while everything was cooking. I love how simple & yummy this recipe is!
6. Once the edamame had cooked, I put 2 cups quinoa (rinsed) in the same pot.
7. Lastly, I placed the green beans (Trader Joe’s Frozen French Green Beans) in a large pot & cooked them.
How long will this last?
For us, two adults (Reese really didn’t eat any of this) it has already lasted four days and we still have some left over. This included the following meals:
- I ate breakfast, lunch & dinner off of these meals, so 4 breakfasts, lunches & dinners.
- Ryan ate three breakfasts, two lunches and four dinners from the prepared food.
I have loved not having to cook anything this week (prepped on Monday afternoon/evening) and definitely want to continue preparing our weekly meals this way. I want to perfect meal prepping, so let me know if you have any tips!