I thought today I'd take you along as I plan & prep for meals this week! While I don't do a full formal "meal prep" session these days, I do take some time on Sunday or Monday each week to make sure things are set up to make mealtimes easier.
First, I assess the week. I look at my calendar and planner, determining when I'll be on-the-go, when I'll have busy evenings, and when I'll be able to have the luxury of cooking a more complex meal (which is usually only once or twice a week!)
Next, I assess the food I have and determine if I'll need to grocery shop. I look at leftovers and fresh produce that will need to be utilized first, then what's in the freezer and pantry. I usually have similar staples on hand such as rice, quinoa, oats, beans, lentils, tofu, nuts, etc. You can see my grocery shopping guide & print your own copy, if you'd like!
Last, I like to choose a new recipe or two that I'll try on those home nights. I like something that includes produce that's in season (or in my house!) and that can be used for more than one meal, like dinner on a busy night or another lunch.
Here's this week's plan!
I baked this Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal to make mornings a little easier. I love that it's versatile, filling, & ready to go! Sometimes I pair it with an apple or banana, some nuts or peanut butter, or under soy milk like cereal.
Lunch is usually a combination of bowls & leftovers. I try to include some kind of leafy green in most lunches, too. I don't mind eating similar grains & beans all week when I change up the varieties of vegetables and dressings. By taking a few steps in advance, it's easy to put together lunches quickly. This week to prepare, I:
cooked a pot of quick-cook farro
rinsed a can of chick peas and put in a glass container
located frozen peas, coleslaw mix, & sunflower seeds
discovered what I need from the store! haha. I'd like to add more greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and broccoli to this week's list, along with canned tomatoes & a new stock of frozen vegetables
I've found a few recipes for this week that utilize items from my farm share bag, especially cabbage, collard greens, green beans, onions, and peppers. Again, I'll only cook 2-3 dinners a week and utilize the leftovers as lunches, or on busy nights, along with more convenient foods likes spaghetti or cauliflower gnocchi, if needed.
I'm planning to make:
Coconut Curried Greens, with brown rice & tofu
Green beans in a Thai peanut sauce, with the same rice & tofu
That's pretty much it! Snacks are usually fruit & nuts, raw vegetables, or a small portion of leftovers. Meal prep doesn't need to be overwhelming; it just needs to be thoughtful. It sure does feel pretty wonderful to have a plan for the week and to know I'll be eating nourishing meals, without a lot of stress.
What do you think? Would more posts like this be helpful?
For help doing this in your own life, tailored to YOUR eating preferences & schedule, you might consider 1:1 coaching! Details & Discovery Calls at the link below.