I seriously think I would starve without my weekly meal prep routine. Once I begin the week, attempting to fit in cooking of any kind seems like the BIGGEST chore. And we don’t even have kids. And I’m only working part time right now. Permission to call me crazy granted.
It just makes so much more sense to me to spend one day cooking a lot of food and then be done with it for the rest of the week. I LOVE left overs and thank goodness Kyle doesn’t turn his nose up at them either. When I have something delicious to eat for the week I honestly look forward to my meals for the next day.
And, true story, sometimes on the last day of eating a recipe I’m really sad that it’s about to be gone. That was most certainly the case with this oatmeal and I can’t wait to make it again.
The way I go about my meal prep is to decide on 2-3 recipes, 1-2 of them must be freezable. In addition to that, I try to chose pretty easy recipes since I’ll be making several at a time. It works best for me to decide on the recipes on the last day or two of the week and then go to the grocery store first thing on the weekend. That way, if I really don’t feel like cooking on the first day of the weekend I can put it off. Or, if I know we have something going on the next day – lets say a football game – then I can go ahead and get everything done.
When we go to the store Kyle also gets what he needs for the next dinner, so it’s a pretty big trip. (Kyle is in charge of dinner 99% of the time and thank goodness I don’t have to deal with making enough food for 3 meals every single day.)
And, if you don’t know by now, I usually double everything I make. This time, that applies to the Quinoa and Daal (the two vegan recipes), but I didn’t double the burritos (vegetarian) because I still had some oatmeal in the freezer.
This past week these are the recipes I chose to make before leaving for Doha so we would have plenty of food ready when we got back.
- One Pan Mexican Quinoa from Damn Delicious
- Easy Masoor Daal from KitchMe
- Loaded Egg Burritos from BruCrewLife
How do you improve on this recipe?? The only changes I made were to omit the avocado and cilantro for no reason other than that I don’t have good luck freezing them. I also used “hot green peppers” instead of jalapenos because that’s all I could find. And switched the black beans for dark red kidney beans. For some reason black beans are incredibly hard to find here. I couldn’t find vegetable broth so I used water + a vegetable broth bullion cube.
Again, very few changes here but I did add 2 cans of chickpeas (not pictured) after I got this out of the freezer. I also made the basmati rice the day before having this for lunch.
Loaded Egg Burritos:
This is the only non-vegan meal this week but it’s still vegetarian. I made quite a few changes here but the site linked above still provided lots of inspiration. I omitted all meat and added lots of veggies. I used onion, garlic, 4 small zucchinis, red pepper, and mushrooms. Instead of hashbrowns, I roasted some breakfast potatoes in olive oil, pepper, and red pepper flakes. I also cooked this a little differently but we’ll get to that. Throwing in some black beans would be a great addition to this one for added protein and fiber!
Here’s how cooking day went down:
- Pre-heat oven and prepare potatoes for roasting (for burritos). When pre-heated, put them in the oven for 15 minutes. Stir then put them in for another 20 minutes or until done.
- Make the Mexican Quinoa – it’s a one pot dish so just throw it all in there.
- Pop the lid on the quinoa (and set the timer) and begin the Daal by cutting up the ginger.
- Put the lentils, ginger, turmeric, salt and pepper + water in the pot and get the daal going. No timer here, I just kept an eye on them.
- Mix the rest of the daal ingredients in a microwave safe bowl so they are ready to go when the lentils are close to being done.
- Start chopping up all the vegetables for the burritos.
- Add the oil to your pan. When it’s warm add the garlic and onions.
- After a few minute throw in the rest of your veggies.
- Scramble your 12 eggs (I used the bowl I had my potatoes in prior to popping them into the oven).
- After your veggies have sauted for about 6-7 minutes, add the eggs.
- By now, your quinoa is totally done, your potatoes should be roasted, and your lentils are close to done.
- Pop your bowl of spices for the daal into the microwave. Our microwave has a dial so it’s impossible to tell you how long I left mine in for.
- When they’re done, mix those into your daal, and it’s done!
- Begin your burrito making (I hope you’re better at it than I am).
- I added the egg/veggie mix, a sprinkle of cheese, and the potatoes.
- Wrap up the burritos and add them to gallon zip lock bags for the freezer.
- When you get all of your burritos wrapped up, you’re done!
Just get all of your delicious foods ready to store in whatever way you need to. I needed half of my quinoa for the rest of the week, so half went into the fridge and the other half into the freezer. All of the Masoor Daal went into the freezer, as did the burritos.
Bulk cooking gets even easier with a slow cooker and I can’t wait until we get one. This prep session wasn’t too bad even without one though. And all of the recipes are pretty dang good.
Here’s the nutrition breakdown for each:
- 370 calories, 14 gm protein, 66 gm carbohydrates, 11 gm fiber, 6 gm fat
- 357 calories, 18 gm protein, 68 gm carbohydrates, 15 gm fiber, 6 gm fat
- 317 calories, 8 gm protein, 13 gm carbohydrates, 2 gm fiber, 6 gm fat
What are your tricks to making sure you have enough food to get you through the week? I’m hoping to start building up a little more freezer stock after we move.