here’s what happens when I don’t pre-plan my meals
(Yep–this pretty much nails it!)
One of the biggest struggles people have is not finding the time to batch-cook meals for the week; it’s making the time to do it.
I can already see you wiggling around in your seat reading this, saying “But you don’t understand my life or how busy I am!”
Yes, yes I do — because I am that busy too.
And I can’t change my situation, so I’ve changed the way I think about the situation and prioritize what needs to be done, which is feeding my family on the fly.
Remember that cheesy commercial back in the 90’s with Cher advertising the Lucille Roberts gym? She was all oiled up and greasy while working her pecs, looking at the camera and saying, “You know what I like about working out? It’s the RESULTS.”
Fact is, I hate cooking dinner. I procrastinate. I check emails. I make phone calls… anything to avoid it altogether. But what I love about a couple hours of focused prep on the front end is an easy week’s worth of pre-prepared meals on the back end that one require reheating and serving.
Don’t take my word for it, though — give it a whirl and let me know how it goes.
What you’ll need:
- A slow cooker
- Tupperwares to pack up your food
- Baking pans (they even sell ones that you can put right from the freezer into the oven)
- Large baking pans
That’s pretty much it!
Next, cook what you’d normally cook, but double or triple the recipe. Here’s my favorite slow cooker stew recipe:
Slow Cooker Stew (serves 6)
- 2 lbs beef or lamb stew meat
- 1 -16oz jar organic tomato sauce (no sugar added)
- 6 potatoes, chopped into small pieces
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- onion and garlic powder to taste
Add all ingredients to the slow cooker; cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Also make sure you roast 2 large pans of white potatoes, sweet potatoes, and winter squash. Throughout the week I reread them, make them into hash browns or mash ’em up, or even make potato pancakes or squash soup.
Roast 2 whole chickens and one 2 pound piece of fish, give or take. Serve as is the first day, make into tacos the next day, and make into chicken or salmon salad the third day.
Lastly, cut up veggies, wash fruits and keep some in the freezer for smoothies, make a large salad, and keep a simple oil and vinegar dressing with some mustard, garlic, vinegar and salt handy in a mason jar.
All of that will take you 2-3 hours at most for a whole week’s worth of dinners (and some breakfasts and lunches too).