If you're on Pinterest, I'm sure you've seen the pins about becoming a "once a week wife" or "once a week mom". The theory behind this is to do all of the prep work for the week's meals in advance. This whole idea fascinated me, very much a non-cooker, so I decided to try it today.
The first thing I did was make up a meal plan for this week with my hubby. As we made the plan, I wrote down a grocery list. Since we're trying to eat more clean than not, we had to consider the best way to prepare our own foods while buying as little as possible of processed foods. This means that there is a LOT more prep work for dinner.
If you're like me, you probably go to the grocery store or farmer's market and buy all these fresh fruits and veggies because you know you need to eat better. You buy whole grains like oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat pasta. But for some reason at the end of the week, you have fruits and veggies that have gone bad or containers of whole grains left unopened. I'm hoping this "once a week..." thing will help combat all the wasted food that, let's face it, is not cheap (refer to my post on organics).
Here's the prep work I did tonight in probably an hour and a half that will hopefully make this week much easier for dinner time.
Sunday: Veggie Stir Fry (cook up rice, slice peppers, onions, and mushrooms)
Monday: Black Bean Smothered Sweet Potatoes (dice tomatoes, soak and cook black beans, chop green onions)
Tuesday: Chicken and Steamed Veggies (chop and bag broccoli and carrots in Ziploc Steam Bags)
Wednesday: Lentil Soup (dice onion, carrots, and celery)
Thursday: Turkey Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries (make up turkey patties and cut up sweet potatoes and put in freezer)
Friday: Pasta (dice tomatoes)
On top of the prep work for dinners, I hard boiled some eggs, cut up veggies for my once a day veggie bags, cooked some quinoa, and started my bread. It is a two day process so I'll actually bake it tomorrow. This will help me have some healthy options on hand to grab during the day or throw a quick lunch together. I also always have pecans, pumpkin seeds, fruit, and string cheese on hand to grab as well.
Now I had a very busy day today. I woke up early to go to my running club, I babysat for my friend who has a son 4 days younger than E (that makes TWO 4 1/2 month olds!!!), went grocery shopping, and ran errands. If I could have that busy of a day and still get it done, so can you! Did I want to take the time to do all of this? Not really, but I'm fortunate that my husband offered to help with it and now I can spend that extra time during the week working out, reading, napping, or just relaxing (I do this normally when baby is sleeping). I urge you to try this sometime and let me know what you think! I'll be sure and update at the end of the week.
***Note: I'll be introducing the Black Bean Smothered Sweet Potato and the Turkey Burger recipes I used at the end of the week. :)