We’ve made it. It’s Thursday.
There’s something about Thursday that makes it my favourite day of the week. Tomorrow is Friday, you can almost taste the weekend, and you’ve gotten over the dreaded Wednesday hump day.
Thursday is also the day when I just feel like there is no way I can wash another dish. Not even one little fork. Thanks, but no thanks. I’m done.
It’s the night of the week I try to make dinner plans to go out and the rest of the fam just has to fend for themselves. And you know what? That’s A-OK! Most of all, Thursday is the day where my weekend meal prep comes to the rescue. I’m not talking about my meal plan, because while I try to do this most weeks, even the best and most organized of planners have nights where everything goes out the window. I’m talking about meal prep. The chopping, dicing, sautéing, labelling magic that makes me feel like a rockstar come Thursdays, or any other day of the week for that matter.
Taking just an hour on the weekend to do some prep work for your meals and snacks for the up coming week will save you time and stress on those busy weekdays. When you just can’t even. I like to do my prep right when I get back from the grocery store. Before you take the time to put everything away, just lay out what you need on your counter, do your prep work, and then store it away. Saves you that extra step from putting everything away just to take it out again. Every little bit counts! But if that doesn’t work for you, no biggie. Find the day when you can carve out even a little time to get to work.
So, how does this meal prep thing work? Way back in our early blogging days, I shared some of my favourite items to prep. Now that I am older, wiser, and a heck of a lot busier, I have learned some new tips and tricks to share with you so that you too can win the meal prep game.
Chop up fruit and veggies
It takes all of about 5 – 10 minutes to chop up any and all of the fruit and veggies you’ll be using for the week. Cut up veggies and fruit for snacks and store them in bowls or tupperware for easy snacking. Check the recipes you have in mind for this week and see what vegetables and fruit need to be prepped. Have a stir fry on the docket? Chop everything NOW and place in containers, so all you have to do on a busy Tuesday night is throw it in the wok. Having chopped veggies on hand is also a great way to fend off hungry toddlers and makes throwing together a side salad for dinner a breeze. Roasted sweet potatoes on the menu? Chop ’em up!
Make a tray (or two!) of roasted veggies
I love roasting up a batch of veggies on the weekend. Broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, squash, sweet potatoes or any of your favourites are great to toss into salads, jazz up a regular pasta dish, or serve as a side to some chicken or fish. They taste great cold and are also easy to reheat.
Whisk, Mix, Stir together any sauces, dressings, and dips
I usually make one or two salad dressings to have on hand for the week. They keep great in the fridge and also work well as a dip for those veggies you just chopped. I’ll also mix up any sauces or marinades I’m using later on in the week. That stir-fry you have planned? Make up the sauce for it now. One less step to do later on.
Cook a batch of rice/quinoa/barley
Pick a grain, any grain, and cook a double batch. You now have a starch component ready for any meal you have planned later on. These grains are also a great way to add some bulk to a salad and the leftovers also make delicious fried rice, one of our favourite clean-out-your fridge meals.
Make a batch of granola bars/breakfast cookies/muffins
I usually will pick a snack or two and bake up a batch on the weekend. Half goes in the freezer and half stays on the counter so we are set for the week, maybe even two! Not sure where to start? These peanut butter bars are one of my favourites and you can easily substitute sunflower butter to make them nut-free.
Make a double batch
Weekends are reserved for pancakes. Nobody has time to make them during the week. And if you do, my hat goes off to you. But how can we all achieve this? Make a double batch! It really takes no extra time, you can freeze half, and you have pancakes or waffles at the ready. Same goes for oatmeal. Making a pot of steel cut oats or a batch of baked oatmeal on the weekend? Double it. Freeze some or keep it in the fridge and you make any weekday morning feel like the weekend. Minus the sleep in!
Want to see us put these tips and tricks into action. Well you’re in luck! Because you are all cordially invited to our virtual meal prep party!
What will we be making? I’ll tell you!
We’ll take you through all the steps needed to make our Mexican Lasagna, Thai Vegetable Curry, Peanut Butter and Apple Baked Oatmeal, and some easy make-ahead snack ideas. All in real-time and all in ONE hour!
We’ll post a grocery list along with a list of kitchen tools and containers you will need a week in advance, so you’ll be ready to go come game-day. No special equipment needed, promise!
What could be better than joining a big group of friends for a virtual cooking party that also guarantees you have delicious and healthful meals on the table all week long?
Nothing? That’s what we thought. Join us, won’t ya?
Hope to see y’all there! And in the mean time, get your prep on!