In my previous post I shared with you how I plan my meals to reduce the stress of cooking for a family while working a full-time job, having a newly acquired blogging addiction, and trying to balance all of the activities our kids are involved in while still maintaining a lifestyle that includes home cooked meals and family meal time at the table rather than on the go.
In addition to planning my meals in advance, I also prepare as much of each meal ahead of time as I possibly can. This helps to reduce the amount of time spent in the kitchen during our busy weeknight schedule.
Here’s what I did Sunday to prepare for the week:
I cooked and portioned out separately all of the meat for each meal on my weekly menu. Once cooled I vacuum sealed, labeled, and refrigerated.
I chopped all of my vegetables, divided appropriately, vacuum sealed, labeled and refrigerated
I prepared the sauces for each meal on my weekly menu.
I assembled the Hawaiian Ham Sammies, covered with foil and placed in the refrigerator. The only thing Kevin had to do was throw the casserole dish covered in foil in the oven while I drove home with the kids. We were able to walk in to dinner almost ready.
With this strategy I chopped once, and cooked the bulk of each meal ahead of time. There will be some assembly required throughout the week, but it’s much easier for me to handle the assembly after the prep work has been done. I can throw together a casserole, baked ziti, etc. before work and it’s ready for the oven on my way home, or easy to throw everything together in just a few minutes in a skillet on the stove.
Although not everyone loves spending an afternoon in the kitchen, I hope you find these tips helpful. I’d love to know if you give this method a try, hear more about how you plan your meals, and share ideas.