Thursday, September 19, 2013

Meal Prepping Adventures Continued

I first started meal planning about a year ago after realizing we are all eating dinner at the same time and it would be ridiculous to cook different meals for us and the kids.
Then we got a little more serious with our lunches and I talked about it here...
Now we have graduated because we are taking it to a whole different level.
We got a second fridge.
And can I just tell you how stupid excited I am about it? Yes? Why thank you...I need someone to tell - because it is really ridiculous how much I love this new fridge. It's not even a fancy stainless french door fancy fridge. It is a white side by side fridge with a water dispenser. First off - the water dispenser. We drink a lot of water - I mainly give my kids (and us) water at every meal...and water in their lunches. I rarely buy juice - we make our own juice (still...can you believe it?) and when I do, it's typically the unfiltered kind. So we have been working with 2 different Brittas - one we would keep in the fridge and one would be out on the counter and it is just so not convenient - not to mention takes up valuable counter space, so I am quite happy about the fridge water! This is like the boringest post ever, I understand. SOOO anyway - I wouldn't even entertain thoughts of a fridge since we rent, but then we started discussing how we could move the other fridge in the garage and totally up our meal planning is pretty awesome.

So now that the weather is cooling down I am pinning all kinds of freezer meals/crockpot meals - make ahead type meals because making dinner at breakfast feels like you chest bumped the day. My kids turn evil whenever it is time I need to make dinner and I fear our neighbors think our kids are killing each other every day around 5:30 since they just seem to cry and scream and whine REALLY loud in the backyard.

Back to the point...I wanted to post some of the things we are doing in case you are interested in trying it out - it does take a chunk of time, but it will save you money, dishes, thoughts, and eventually stress, which will make your skin shine and your hair silky...I swear meal planning should pay me...i am a born spokeswoman.

So here are some of the lunches we have done- we have also used them for dinners, depending on the day and the plans.

1. Chicken, Quinoa, Asparagus - Chicken cooked in bulk, Quinoa cooked in bulk, Asparagus blanched
2. Stuffed Peppers We leave the peppers raw and stuff it with a mix of ground turkey and assorted veggies chopped up real fine - when it is time to eat, we either eat them raw (bryan) or cook them at 350 for 15 minutes (carlee)
3. Lettuce Wraps - We use artisan greens from Costco - they are like baby romaines and bryan makes an asian stir fry of ground turkey, brussel sprouts, asparagus, etc. I like to top mine with non-fat greek yogurt mixed with Siracha
4. Tofu, Veggie Scramble - Bryan found the food processor chopper today and it changed his life. He chopped up a costco size bag of brussel sprouts and asparagus and a huge tub of mushrooms - he did a quick flash cook of the veggies seasoned up nice and cooked 3 packages of firm tofu at once. For half of the lunches he did a scramble and we added quinoa, for the other half he stuffed peppers with them.

I had the original goal (back in July) to do it at least once a month. Bryan has been the real reason this is successful, but we have been able to do it most of the months - i would say 3/4 weeks

As far as dinners - we have taken a little time adjusting to the new school/sports schedule, but with the weather turning, I am exciting to soup/roast it up again.

I recently pinned this and am excited to do this with a couple friends next month. The thought of having 12 meals done in one night is stupid how thrilling it is to me.

And let me just say - you do not need a second fridge to do this...we have only had one and have not had a problem...we are just excited to up our game with freezer meals, etc.

I hope this inspires anyone who lacks meal planning skills, because - listen - that is MEEEE!!! but this has seriously helped my family in a small way and so I wanted to share some inspiration, ideas and recipes - please do the same if you feel so inclined!


Paige said...

I just discovered a new one (which is probably totally old to everyone but me): half a pork butt and a big can of green enchilada sauce in the crock pot... chili verde! It's soo good, especially in a quesadilla.

CarleeKajsa said...

My mom makes that all the time Paige - soooo good! its so great for big parties of people and having a taco bar!