This past week I went back to work for teacher inservice, and I quickly realized how much I needed to reestablish my organizational abilities in the meal preparation department. I can’t tell you the amount of stress I experienced when I arrived home absolutely starving, and realized I had no plan for dinner. As a result, this past week’s dinners were haphazardly thrown together with ingredients I just happened to have laying around. And while all the meals were delicious, I feel a need to reduce the stress I experience when I get home and have no plan.
Monday night I roasted broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms and onions and then drizzled them with Gena Hamshaw’s Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Tahini Dressing.
As Tuesday night was CSA pickup, the goal was to use as many veggies as possible so I didn’t have to find a place for them in the fridge! We feasted on corn on the cob, baked tofu cubes, and green beans. The hubby doused his tofu with buffalo sauce. I ate mine plain, as I had used a flavored olive oil, which was absolutely scrumptious!.
Wednesday night I needed to eat a light dinner, as I was having a fasting blood test the next day, so we had green smoothies! This bad boy had kale, avocado, banana, pumpkin seeds, and almond milk! I was hesitant to give it to my husband, but he gave it his seal of approval, and even went back to finish up the extras that wouldn’t fit in our glasses!
By Thursday night, I was so tired, and hungry, that I couldn’t get to my favorite local Mexican restaurant fast enough. Despite the fact I knew I had to do a long run the next morning, I had a margarita! And now that my long run is over, I can tell you it was totally worth it!! I also had a ton of veggies from a veggie fajita, along with the beans, guac, and pico! (Not to mention several handfuls of chips!)
But now I need to get organized. Typically I spend one day of the weekend browsing my favorite food blogs and deciding on recipes for the week. There are some recipes that are family favorites (or I guess now that the kids are gone, it’s just “husband” favorites), but I also love to try new recipes. I make a list of ingredients needed so I can be more efficient when grocery shopping (read: I can get in and out ASAP).
Then, Sunday night, I prep as much of the meals as possible. Veggies get cleaned and chopped or grated. Almonds and cashews get soaked, so they are ready for recipes. Hummus is made. Dressings are put together. Plus, I usually make a batch of quinoa, or millet, or amaranth to have on hand for the week. Typically it takes me about an hour or two to get everything taken care of. (Dishes included.)
This totally eliminates my stress when I get home from school or working out! Plus it encourages healthy eating, as it is much easier to make good choices when you have a plan in place.
What are your tricks to stay on top of meal preparation?