Raise your hand if you do food prep for the week on Sunday? This is something I try to do each week. I've noticed it helps me start off each Monday with the tools for healthy eating and makes cooking throughout the week run smoothly.
Each week, it takes me about 2.5 hours to get everything done. It's a labor of love, however totally worth it. Our family spends less money on eating out because we have breakfast and lunch already ready to go each day. Plus - our mornings run a heck of a lot smoother when the work is already done.
Here is my current prep routine. I'd love to know what sort of things are working for you. Are there recipes you love? Please pass along any tips you have!
My mom taught me to keep a big tupperware of pre-cut, washed veggies in the fridge. I love this. We eat so many more vegetables when all I have to do is grab the tupperware, dice and go. I am more motivated to grab these when I need to pack a snack or dice up a salad when the work is already done for me. (I also like to do this with my fruit. For example watermelon, berries, grapes - get them washed, cut and ready to eat.)
In My Veggie Tupperware: Carrots, Celery, Cucumber, Cherry Tomatoes and Peppers.
Teddy is still learning to love vegetables (he's getting better!) One thing I know he'll always enjoy is sweet potatoes. I like to microwave 1 sweet potato each week, mash it and keep it in a tupperware to serve as a dinner side. It makes preparing dinner easier to have this already ready to go in the fridge.
One of my favorite things to have for lunch during the week is taco salad. I make my taco meat and store the meat in 4 individual tupperware containers. Each morning, it's easy to make a salad that goes with it because my veggies are already prepped.
- 1/2 yellow onion (diced)
- 1/2 red pepper (diced)
- 1/2 green pepper (diced)
- 10 - 12 Cherry Tomatoes (cut in half)
- 1 lb. 93% lean ground beef
- Hy-Vee 30% Less Sodium Taco Seasoning (it's my favorite!)
- 2/3 C. water
- Favorite salad ingredients: spring greens, red pepper, green pepper, celery and carrots.
- Roasted plantain chips
- 1/2 Lime
Sauté yellow onion, red pepper and green pepper in pan. Cook until veggies are soft and onion starts to caramelize. Remove from stove. Cook ground beef. When beef is cooked, add onion and pepper mixture. Add tomatoes, taco seasoning and water. Let simmer for 5 minutes until water reduces.
Pour meat over salad and serve with plantain chips and fresh lime wedge. (Only 6 WW points!)
This is one of my new favorite lunch recipes. So many yummy roasted vegetables, full of flavor, tender chicken on a bed of wild rice. This also makes 4 separate lunches for the week. (This is one of those 1 pan recipes I found on Pinterest, however after making it once, I made some changes, including cooking my chicken separately. This ensures my chicken gets golden brown and adds more flavor to the dish)
- 1 Red Onion (diced into big chunks)
- 2 C. Broccoli (I used one small head) (cut into small pieces)
- 1 C. Cherry Tomatoes (whole)
- 1 Zucchini (diced)
- 1/2 Red Pepper (diced)
- 1/2 Green Pepper (diced)
- 1 C. Long Grain Brown and Wild Rice (or whatever rice you have in your pantry)
- 1.5 Lbs Boneless Chicken (cut into 1 inch cubes)
- Olive Oil
- Greek Seasoning
- Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Throw all vegetables into a bowl. Coat with olive oil and greek seasoning, salt and pepper. Don't be shy - make sure you get everything coated. Pour veggies onto baking sheet. Make sure veggies are spaced evenly on the pan. Bake veggies for 20-25 minutes.
Cook long grain rice according to directions on the package. Usually takes 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat skillet with olive oil cooking spray. Season bite-sized chicken pieces with greek seasoning. Don't be shy. Once pan is heated, add seasoned chicken to pan. Cook chicken until done and golden brown on the sides.
Once everything is cooked, line tupperware with rice. Next, top with veggies and chicken.
There you have it - super easy and delicious.
I like to make an easy egg casserole for Tim and Teddy to eat each week. It's super simple and I like to cook the veggies for this the same time I cook the veggies for my taco meat. This is a healthy, filling, flavorful breakfast to start the morning right!
Veggie and Sausage Egg Bake
- 1/2 Yellow Onion
- 1/2 Red Pepper
- 1/2 Green Pepper
- 1/4 C. Italian or Breakfast Sausage
- 8 Eggs
- 2 Tbsp. Skim Milk
- 1/2 C. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Pinch of Salt and Pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray bread loaf pan. Set aside.
In large skillet over medium heat, Sauté veggies until tender. (Remember, I already have these cooked from my taco meat). Spoon veggies evenly into prepared pan. Next cook sausage. Spoon sausage evenly with veggies in bread pan.
In medium sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture evenly over sausage and vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until edges start to brown.
(I've read a lot of recipes about refrigerating your mixture for at least 2 hours before baking. I don't always do that depending on time and how my day is going. It still turns out ok when I don't refrigerate first)
I like to make a batch of blueberry muffins and then freeze them for the week. Teddy likes to go between these muffins and frozen waffles with half a banana. We really go crazy in this house. I usually buy whatever box mixture calls for fresh blueberries.
Finally, on of Teddy's favorite treats for the week, "Cool Whip". I like to "whip" up a batch of vanilla cool whip. This is a light dessert we enjoy throughout the week with fresh fruit. This is easy to throw together and So So Good!
Vanilla Cool Whip
- Light Cool Whip (I've tried fat free, and I prefer "light")
- 1 Pkg Sugar Free Vanilla Jello
- 3/4 C. Skim Milk
In medium sized bowl, whisk together jello and half the amount of skim milk. Slowly whisk in the milk until you have a slightly thick pudding mixture (you don't want it runny). Stir in cool whip. And there you have it folks - Vanilla Cool Whip. Perfect for dunking with graham crackers or served on top of fresh berries.
Whelp. That was a lot of things. What do you do to help get your week off to the right start? I'd love to hear your tips and/or recipes you're enjoying!