While I’m sad that Christmas is over, I’m already daydreaming about Spring. Isn’t human nature funny? It’s like, we want what we can’t have and are constantly planning ahead for what’s to come. It reminds me that I need to start focusing on what IS! Anyone with me??
In support of my inability to focus on “what IS” and constant need to “plan ahead”, I wanted to share meal plan and meal prep ideas with you. I am super busy. I work full time and am married with two young kiddos. So time is not a luxury of mine. I like to spend ONE day planning my meals and grocery list for the upcoming week. I try to coordinate meals, so I’m not buying a million ingredients. I also like to prep as much as I can on the weekends, so I can have a relaxing night after work and not cook for hours.
Some ways I do that is by taking care of things like cutting up veggies, cooking chicken in the slow cooker so it’s shredded and ready, and making any marinades or dressings. These are things that will last in the fridge for a few days AND save time the night of the meal. I also make a week’s worth of school lunches, but that is a post within itself!
- Teriyaki Chicken Casserole (use your prepared shredded chicken and prep your stir-fry veggies ahead a.k.a cut and put in container).
- Meatball Sliders (make meatballs ahead so all you have to do is heat on a bun with some cheese).
- Sloppy Joes (you could make the whole thing ahead and re-heat the night of)
- Baked Chicken Enchiladas (use your prepared shredded chicken)
- Chicken and Dumplings (use your prepared shredded chicken)
The beauty of this meal game-plan is that you can customize it based on your family size. AND you are only buying two types of meat for the week: chicken and ground turkey (or beef)! A lot of the ingredients you probably have on hand, so you should just need a few items from the grocery store. So browse through each recipe and plan your grocery list accordingly. See my time-saver tips below to make dinner making a breeze!
Time Saver Tips:
- Make ahead as much as you can over the weekend so you’re prepared for the week.
- Weekend Prep: Put 4 (more or less depending on the size of your fam) chicken breasts in a crock pot with salt and pepper on each side. Add water a third of the way up the side of the chicken and cook on low for 3 hours. Shred chicken and store in airtight containers. Label each container to correspond with the meal you plan to make. Store in the fridge for all of your meals!
- I used pre-packaged stir-fry veggies in a bag in the produce section for the teriyaki chicken dish. If not using pre-packaged, go ahead and cut up the veggies and store in a container in the fridge until ready!
- Make meatballs ahead as they’re just as delicious, if not better, when re-heated!
I’d love some ideas for upcoming meal plans. And are these helpful?? Comment below with your favorite recipes. Signing off for the weekend! I hope you have a great one :o)