I am a control freak.
I can admit it. There’s no shame in my game.
I like to feel like somethings in this crazy, upside down, world gone mad are under control.
Even if it’s something as simple as dinner.
Is there anyone else who hates the greeting when their kids get home from school of “MOOOOOOMMMMM… What’s for dinner?” Why hello, child of mine, who I love with all my heart and I work so hard to provide for… I’m so glad to see you too and yes, I had a nice day, I hope you did too. **FACE PALM**
So I don’t even worry anymore about it. I point to the list, and go about my day.
But the rest of the time, yes, it’s up to me to make the meals. So that means MEAL PREP! My Saturday evening sushi usually follows a day of meal prep… it’s my “good job” present to myself. And wine. A little (or a lot) of wine.
What does my Meal Prep Madness look like? Here’s a glimpse of my process- I’d love to hear yours in the comments!
Friday evening, before or after the pizza YOLOing, I take a quick inventory of my ingredients on hand. And when I say “inventory” this isn’t some sort of complicated checklist… we’re talking “I have some basil that’s looking a little wilty… better do something with that or else I will write it off along with the other thousands of pounds of veggies that I’ve thrown away over the years”. Which, I’ve done a lot less of, thanks to these little beauties…
Some day I will have a refrigerator that takes inventory for me. Did you know that’s possible? I’ll discuss that at another time… in a post I’m sure will have a title like “A Girl Can Dream” and it will be all about my dream fridge.
Once my seriously low key inventory is done, I place an order online with Sam’s Club for pick up the next morning. Believe me, I am a Costco girl through and through… Kirkland Signature is amazing from beef jerky to khaki pants, but until they get their act together with order pick up, it’s off to Sam’s I go. I swear they don’t do it because they want me wandering the aisles of Costco saying “Do I really need 14 lbs of microwave popcorn? Of course I do… I’m saving so much money!” And then I leave with a cart filled with $500 of kitty litter and keto granola.
Saturday morning finds me at Sams Club before they open, because that is how amazing their pick up is. I don’t even go into the store. I sit in my car and listen to 80’s music for 10 minutes of blissful non-kid time until someone brings my stuff out to the car for me. YOU GET ME, SAMS CLUB! COSTCO… GET WITH THE PROGRAM! I WANT TO LOVE YOU AGAIN!
Back at home, it’s time to prep! And I’m not like doing the cooking all day, packaging to heat and eat prep. Because I don’t love feeling like I’m eating leftovers for dinner every night and my husband literally has never eaten a leftover in his life, so that just doesn’t work in my house. Nope, I get everything ready to cook, and move along with my life.
Here’s the end result:
I told you it’s not complicated. I cut up and divvy out our meals for the week- meats and veggies. We eat really simply… mostly a protein, a veggie, and some sort of side like pasta or rice. It’s usually because we’re eating in between soccer practice, play rehearsals, picking up kids and dropping them off… you know the drill. I’m feeding these monsters to keep them alive, not earn a Michelin star here.
I wrap the meats in plastic wrap after I trim them into individual servings and divvy up by who is eating. Like I said, I have picky kids, so some nights it may be salmon for most of the family and a couple chicken legs for the child who is living on the chicken nugget and associated poultry diet., I love love love the sticky plastic wrap stuff. That way, I can freeze it without freezer burn. Please don’t @ me about vaccuum sealing. That takes way too long and requires too much coordination for me. If you do, I salute you.
Then the meals are put in plastic containers and bowls and either thrown in the fridge or frozen. Ready to go for the week. And then my fridge gloriously looks something like this, and I open the door repeatedly to gaze at it’s beauty. Because it means that my weekday evenings are a tad less complicated. With way less clean up.
Occasionally I will take it a step further and make my life even easier by putting the whole thing together, literally ready to go DIRECTLY into the oven with just a tad bit of intervention on behalf of my kids. Because if I make it easy, teenage boys can and will cook. Even if it’s just to get out of having to do the dishes after dinner. I love these foil containers, and I even include the spices and oil so I don’t end up with some sort of concoction that they saw on TikTok. Momma ain’t playing.
I do usually prep and cook lunches though. Either that, or I won’t eat. Or the siren song of Chick Fil A calls to me and it’s nuggets again for lunch. But don’t tell my teenage son. He is so tired of hearing that you can’t live on chicken nuggs alone. Despite the clear evidence that you can.
Lunches look something like this… Chicken Parmesan with homemade marinara and zoodle noodles.
“But wait,” you say. “You feed your family the super boring dinner and you’re making yourself fancy lunches?”
Ummmmm YES. And NO.
First off, my kids are boring and won’t eat Chicken Parmesan. Despite me trying to pass it off as a giant cheese covered chicken nugget.
And second, if I don’t do something interesting with my lunch, I’m not going to eat it and Chick Fil A will win again.
Third… it’s not fancy. Like really really not. I’ll share my recipe in a future post for the parm, the marinara, all of it. It’s so super quick and easy. I swear.
So that’s my Meal Prep Madness, and let me tell you, it works for me. No more “What’s for dinner?” No more last minute scramble to the store. No more Chick Fil A again because I’m feeling lazy and unmotivated. (That’s a lie.)
Tell me what your meal prep looks like!
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