Monday, September 19, 2011

Weekly Meals: Planning, Prepping, and Precooking

Fall is always busy in our house. And when things get busy, it can be hard to make and eat healthy, fresh foods. I’ve found that it all comes down to the three P’s:


I plan our meals on a big white board. Throughout the week, I write down ideas. If I see a new recipe I like and that seems simple enough, I add it. I also plan meals around the contents of our CSA box. Here is what we got this week:

Hubby also adds meals he’d like to eat. And we ask the toddler (and more and more he just tells us) what he’d like to eat.


I buy most of our groceries on Saturday and Sunday. I have found that spending some time in the kitchen after I get home, washing and prepping fruits and veggies, makes a huge difference. If there is a bowl of washed fruit, we’ll eat it. If it’s not washed, we, especially the guys, are less likely to eat it. I also put together individual bags of washed and prepped veggies for soups, sauces, and other recipes. It’s a huge time saver during the week.


I have to admit that I’m not yet as good at this as I could be! I always think, “Oh, I can do that the day we eat the meal. It just takes half an hour.” But more often than not, there just isn’t that extra half hour. In the fall, I try to make one soup and a big pot of stew on the weekend for us to eat during the week (for lunches and dinners). However, there are many more things I plan on doing:
  • Cook beans for the week (can be done in a slow cooker)
  • Cook pasta (I know it doesn’t take long, but it can be a real lifesaver on busy evenings! I make mostly brown rice pasta these days, and it reheats surprisingly well)
  • Make pasta sauce to go with the pasta
  • Boil eggs (great for lunches and to add to salads)
  • Cut up fruit and put into small containers (really part of prepping)
  • Make salad kits (washed and cut up lettuce, other veggies to add, nuts, a little cheese, hard boiled egg, etc. – all kept in bags. It takes only a minute to make a dressing and toss the salad)
  • Bake bread (I plan to do a lot more of that!)
This week I prepped and precooked the following:
  • Washed grapes and put them into individual containers for lunches.
  • Cut up melon and divided into small containers for lunches.
  • Washed pluots and put in a bowl on the dining table.
  • Boiled eggs.
  • Made salad kits with lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms, and green onions.
  • Made butternut squash soup.
  • Made vegetable curry.
Weekly Meals:

Meal 1: Butternut squash soup
Meal 2: Vegetable curry and brown rice.
Meal 3: Salmon and roasted veggies.
Meal 4: Tami’s (Nutmeg Notebook) Beef and Bean Chili, made in the slow cooker, will be slightly adapted due to what I have on hand.
Meal 5: Spaghetti and tomato/veggie sauce (the toddler can never get enough of this…).

Questions: Do you plan meals? Do you precook meals? Kelly from Fitting Back In always does a fantastic job of precooking an entire week’s worth of food! She is an inspiration! What are some meal planning and/or precooking tips you would like to share? What’s on your menu this week? 

Be well,