Meal Prep for the Eternally Busy

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My mind and energy have been pulled in a million-and-one directions lately. I’m still committed to this little blog no matter how much (or little) I find the opportunity to write! I hope that you can be patient with me. I have a super long post for you!

Today I was off of work so I spent some serious time on meal prep for the week. As much as I would like to be able to make each meal from scratch every day (life goals), that just isn’t possible between work and school. It is much healthier for our bodies and the household budget to pull something semi-scratch made out of the freezer than stop by a drive-thru on busy nights. Let’s check out what I did!

Flora blessed me with a decent nap this morning/early afternoon, so I went ahead and prepped some chicken a few different ways. I had a huge pack of eight thighs from Aldi that I separated. Into the crockpot went four of the thighs with some leftover salsa for freezer burritos. The other four went into the oven in two separate casserole dishes, one with Pad Thai sauce and one with General Tso’s sauce.

Chicken + Salsa

While those were doing, I prepared A TON of rice, chopped some zucchini, and pulled some frozen carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli out to make veggie coconut stew. It’s the easiest thing ever. You saute your veggies of choice in a little butter (or coconut oil) and add a super generous shake of curry powder. Once those ingredients have had a few minutes to get acquainted, add one can of coconut milk and two cans of drained garbanzo beans. Simmer for about 10 minutes or so. If you want you can add a slurry of cornstarch and water to thicken it. (I didn’t this time because it seemed weird for freezing???) Serve over rice.

Veggies! Yay!
Saute! Not pictured: when I had to move the whole operation to my stockpot. I need a bigger pan.

After the veggie stew was completed, I prepared some rice noodles and added them to my two dishes of shredded/deboned Pad Thai and General Tso chicken from the oven. Split them into freezer baggies and all they will need are a side of steamed veggies to make a meal.

The bagging operation got messy. FYI: Polyester napkins are useless.

By this point in the game, Flora was up and ready to eat lunch and play! I took a break to spend some quality time with my girl (and try to catch up on laundry lol right) until Will got home from work. Flora will be 18 months old in just a few days. Our baby definitely isn’t a little baby anymore. Oh, my heart!

As luck would have it (heh, heh), William made it home before our local Aldi closed. That means this Mama got to go grocery shopping all by herself! It would have been glorious had I not forgotten my list in my excitement. That part was tragic. I picked up tortillas to complete the freezer burritos, easy prep snacks, and some basic breakfast and lunch items.

After arriving home with my loot and putting everything away, I set out to finish my tasks. I started by cleaning out one of the produce drawers where good spinach goes to die and making it a quick grab snack station. Pro tip: all snacks need to be quick with a toddler. Or a mama. Or a daddy. Snacks should just be quick always.

Snacks. I find this so aesthetically pleasing. Also I’m hungry again.

When I was finished with that, I set up a little burrito prep station with tortillas, refried beans, shredded chicken, salsa, sour cream, rice, hot sauce, and taco cheese blend. I assembled our burritos, wrapped them in foil and then bagged them in freezer bags.

Burritos in the making.

A few hours of work and two loads of dishes later, we now have about 20 servings of food ready to go for hectic evenings. I will report back in a couple of weeks as to how everything re-heated, what I would keep or change, and whether or not this saved us some dish duty as well as time and money!

My freezer seems so organized! Ooh! Ahh!

Do you prep meals ahead? What are your go-to meals? Anyone have toddler approved vegetarian recipes? Flora does not like meat of any kind so I’m trying to incorporate more veg dishes for the whole family rather than making two dinners.

Until next time,

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