I really wanted to go the extra mile with this meal prep thing. I have no idea what our life will be like with another little one and it's already exhausting just thinking about what I can make for dinner every day. It's a hot topic in our family since we both work full-time. I get frustrated that dinner always falls on me, which is mostly because I get home first, but also because we insist on family dinner so if I waited on my husband to take a turn the 7:30 pm dinner would not bode well for our toddler's bedtime schedule.
After doing some Pinterest-ing I decided on 8 freezer meals - like some of these taco meat style recipes, Ravioli Lasagna and used spinach ravioli, Tuscan Pasta, Chicken, Broccoli, Bacon & Potato Bake and a few of my own, like Pepperoni Baked Ziti and Lasagna. I was going for "easy to prep" -- multiple dishes that I could cook in bulk -- and sat down to make my grocery list. I like to organize my lists by the direction of food sections that I walk through the store. It is so annoying when I get all the way through the store and realize I freaking forgot the cilantro.
So, armed with my grocery lists I trekked the aisles. I had to make 3 store stops for the best prices, including buying foil pans to make even cleanup a breeze, and $134.79 later I was exhausted and hurting, but done.
For me it was best to do all the shopping in one day and tackle the cooking the next when I was refreshed.
|Beef, Bean, Cheese Burritos|
1. I started with cooking up my chicken and beef and keeping the seasoning simple: garlic, onion, salt and pepper. I was prepared to doctor each up for its recipe as needed.
TIP: One dish called for bacon and I opted to try a pre-cooked bacon package and I would say it was worth it for the major savings on mess and time.
2. Chopped veggies and potatoes and also portioned them out for each recipe.
|Tuscan Pasta with sun-dried tomatoes|
|Chicken, Broccoli, Bacon & Potato Bake|
TIP: Don't forget to spray the pans!
4. Set up the chicken dishes and added pasta where it was needed. Again, focusing then on one recipe at a time kept it organized.
All in all, the whole cooking process took 4.5 hours and I still feel damn good about it. #MomGoals.