|A week of meals, ready to go.|
|I put together my weekly plan in a spreadsheet and then post it on the fridge.|
|I like to have all ingredients out and visible before I begin cooking.|
Here's what I have learned through research, trial, and error:
- Don't choose recipes that require more equipment than you have, necessitating cooking in shifts. If you only have one Dutch oven, don't think, "Oh, I'll just package up Recipe 1, clean the pot, and then do Recipe 2." No, you won't. (Or at least I won't.) Ideally you will have one thing going in a slow-cooker, 1 or 2 things on the stove, and/or 1 or 2 things in the oven. I would also recommend including a recipe that doesn't require cooking at all; by comparison, those recipes feel like instant gratification and will help you power through the day.
- Spend some time thinking about the order in which you will prepare your dishes. If something is going to be in the oven for awhile, then the baking time for that dish is the perfect time to throw together something for the stove top.
- Choose recipes with complementary flavors so that you can do all of the chopping at once. Go from least smelly foods to the smelliest so you don't end up with lingering red onion flavor on your zucchini.
- Pick your recipes in the mindset of using up everything that is perishable within the week. If you really want to make a recipe that involves spinach, for example, select other recipes that include spinach so that you can use the whole bag this week. It's not going to be looking so hot when next Sunday rolls around.
- Focus on recipes that freeze well. A backlog of leftovers in the fridge is a recipe for food waste. A backlog of leftovers in the freezer is a time-saver! I found that my recipes from Weeks 1 and 2 made enough servings that I ended up just eating meals from my freezer for Week 3. I used my cooking time that weekend to bake a cake.
|Huevos Rancheros Pizza|
So far, this has been a very sustainable system that I can see myself using and adapting indefinitely. I enjoy my "power cooking" on Sundays, and I really enjoy not having to put much thought, effort, or guilt into my weekday meals.
Do you do weekly meal prepping? What are your go-to meals?