Recipe of the Week – A Week of Meals in One Day
I’ve always been curious about the people who cook everything they are going to eat for the week in one day. Do they eat the same meal every day? Does the food go bad? Does the food end up overcooked and mushy? Is your microwave running all the time to heat this pre-cooked food? (I actually hate microwaves and wouldn’t have one if it weren’t for my dad just showing up at my apartment with one a few years back). Is it REALLY easier to eat your meals this way??
I had so many questions I figured I would give it a shot myself and see what I discovered!
Here’s what I cooked up:
- 2 Sweet Potatoes – diced and roasted with olive oil, garlic powder, and pepper
- 2 zucchini – diced and roasted with olive oil, garlic powder, and pepper
- 2 bunches of broccoli – cut into florets and roasted with olive oil, garlic powder and pepper
- 2 chicken breasts – cooked with a little lemon juice, garlic powder and pepper
- 1/2 pound ground beef – sauteed with onion, garlic, and a little taco seasoning
- Guacamole – mashed avocado, chopped onion, diced tomato, lime juice and chopped cilantro
- Sweet Basil dressing – I made this last week and had quite a bit leftover to use for this week!
- Slaw dressing – sour cream, lime juice, cilantro, and a sprinkle of cumin
- Some other food items I had on hand were corn tortillas, cabbage, eggs, Tamari, frozen peas, and breakfast sausages.
Meal One: Quinoa with chicken, sweet potatoes, broccoli, zucchini, a fried egg + sweet basil dressing. I heated up everything in the microwave except for the fried egg.
Meal Two: Tacos! I mixed together ground beef, black beans and corn and heated it in a pan over the stove. I added some dressing to the cabbage and dollop of guacamole.
Meal Three: Fried Rice. I fried quinoa, broccoli, sweet potatoes, corn, frozen peas and chicken with a little bit of Tamari.
Meal Four: Breakfast Hash! I have the mornings off on Wednesday, so I try and eat a more substantial breakfast. I heated up sweet potato, broccoli, corn with breakfast sausages I had in the freezer and topped it with an over easy egg.
Meal Five: Taco Salad. I mixed together ground beef, black beans, corn and sweet potatoes with cabbage + dressing and a scoop of guacamole on top.
Here’s some things worth noting-
- Whatever blog tells you that you only have to cook for an hour is lying. I mean, maybe if I was better at time management while cooking and had enough pans/room in the oven for everything to cook at once it would take an hour? But I would say the whole process from first chop to last Tupperware filled took around 3 hours.
- Let your food cool before you put the lid on the Tupperware and store it in the refrigerator
- Make a plan. Seriously – don’t just cook up a bunch of random food and hope meals come together. And pick foods that you like!
- Pick foods that will hold up in the course of the week – I only ate zucchini once because after that one time, it was too mushy and over cooked to eat again.
- Glass storage is your best friend and helps your food stay fresh longer. I won’t get on my anti-plastic soap box, but seriously. Glass is worth the investment!
So, the verdict: Would I do this method again? Definitely in the summer when I can make more salads and cold dishes, but probably not in the colder months. Since I don’t like to use a microwave, I was still using my stovetop/pans to heat up the food so it still felt like I was cooking dinner. Plus, by Wednesday I was pretty tired of everything I had made. No matter how many different combinations I thought of, the basic ingredients are still the same so it’s not THAT different. BUT! There is something to be said about FOOD PREP. I think next time, I will chop up my veggies for easy cooking and I did like having my meat precooked, since that’s what usually takes the longest. There’s a reason that type of stuff sells out fastest in the grocery store! Also, there is no denying that prepping stuff in advance helps you eat healthier – even though I didn’t love what I was eating by Wednesday, I still ate it because it was all ready for me to heat up!
What are your favorite tips and tricks for meal prepping? Let me know in the comments below!