Sunday, August 22, 2010

Make Your Life Easier

Each week I find myself running around between my job, commute, workouts, and class.  Fortunately or not, my husband has the same exact schedule as I do and this makes for two very busy adults.  I rely on food prep a LOT and have posted about it several times.  We each eat breakfast at home and bring lunch to work at least 4 out of 5 days of the week.  We also bring dinner once or twice a week depending on school schedules.  Are you tired yet?  Me too!

Since it's the start of the school year for many and we are getting back into the regular grind, I wanted to share some of my tips for food prep.  I made all of this on Sunday and it took me 90 minutes.

1. Start with breakfast- the most important meal of the day.  I like to make waffles on Sunday and either refrigerate or freeze them.
You can also make overnight oats ahead of time, prep some smoothie ingredients, or make sure you have everything in your fridge for toast and almond butter (my favorite).

2. Have your grains prepped ahead of time. For lunch, I make some grains to use throughout the week.  I used this multi-grain mix from Trader Joe's for one option:
Another easy option is to cut up and roast some potatoes- instant options when you open your fridge to build some meals.
Once you have a few grains, you can mix and match them with proteins or use them with salads.
Here is an example of Hubby's lunch tomorrow using the multi-grain mix and roasted chipotle honey chicken and carrots:
4. Make a few complete one-dish meals- sometimes we just need to grab and go.  I make at least one complete meal on Sundays to serve as a back-up.  You can always freeze it or keep it in a container to heat up on the extra busy nights.  I make 2-4 servings of the selected dish.  This week I made a pad thai concoction with lots of veggies and chicken.
Here is one stack of my containers for this week.
5. Prep some easy protein- If you live with a boy or are just a protein-loving chic and need to fuel your big guns, you need to have something to go with your carbs.  The easiest thing to do is to make some hardboiled eggs.  They work for salads, snacks, sandwiches, or even breakfast.

6. Be flexible- sometimes you don't feel like eating what you made.  In fact, I usually don't.  I like to keep a lot of staples on hand to make something quick.  A few favorites are listed below:
  • Spinach/herb mix for salads
  • Sandwich ingredients: bread, cheese, condiments
  • Fresh chopped veggies or fruits
  • Frozen fruit for smoothies
  • Hummus with multi-grain chips/crackers, salsa, guacamole
If none of those work, then stop for frozen yogurt- because you can and life is too short to plan everything out!
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Jessica @ How Sweet said...

We are HUGE on food prep. I have to make my husband a ton of meals on the weekends for lunches!

Anne Marie said...

I love doing food prep. It helps so much during the week!

Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) said...

I seriously need to food prep more often, especially now that I am going back to school. I'll be bugging you for more tips! haha

Froyo always wins.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Great tips! I am back to work on Wednesday, and back to school on the 8th, so these tips will come in handy for me as I slowly start to get busier.

Gabriela said...

I really need to start getting more creative with my food prep. I've been relying on PB sammies and cereal for ages, but I think it's about time that I become a big girl and make real food :)

Katie ♥ said...

Oh the froyo at the end of this post looks SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!! Im craving some delish froyo right now!!

Love the food prep post girl!

An dhardboiled eggs are a great idea, I never think to make those!

Love you and hope your week is great! xoxo

Mary @ Bites and Bliss said...

Good tips! I always prep protein like hard boiled eggs and what not for lunch. And whenever I have hot oats in the AM, I cook them the night before in a lil extra water then nuke them a bit longer in the morning just to warm them up. They actually turn out a bit more volumous that way, too!

Lainie said...

Hey! I am from Chicago and I was just curious where that Frozen Yogurt place is!!