As a mama, I know what it like to have crazy (<-- polite wording) days. Between pick up, drop off, appointments, soccer practice, and errands - by dinner time, the couch is calling my name. ONLY thing stopping me, my family insists on being fed?. Cue drive through, microwave meals, or Chinese.. again. I get it. Sometimes I seriously contemplate a sister wife type situation just so that I can get it all done.
Today, in this post, I'm going to tell you about my latest and greatest plan in the constant battle of feeding my family real food meals. On Sunday I spent about 90 minutes (nap time) prepping meals for this week (you could cut it to 45 if you can talk the hubs into participating). The result.. with 15-20 minutes of effort per night, I was able to serve healthy whole-food meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner the entire week!!
Sound to good to be true? Well, in some ways it is. I'm not a miracle worker after all. I have found that the secret is a bit of redundancy (<-- not sure that's a word) and doubling (or tripling) meals. If you are making a recipe.. making twice as much really doesn't require any extra time but twice the food and half the cooking is never a bad thing.
During each prep session I plan to make or prep the following:
- 1 breakfast item - This will be eaten daily.
- 2 lunch items
- 3 Whole Food Dinners (each recipe will be doubled and eaten 2x throughout the week). I do slightly change up the presentation. For example: The first time that I serve the homemade meat sauce it is on top of spaghetti squash. The second time I serve it on whole wheat pasta. Makes things a little less repetitive. The grocery list includes everything you need for each variation.
Here's the visual..
Green Monster Smoothie Packs:
- 28 quart sized ziplock bags
- 14 bananas, ripe is best
- 14 scoops of protein powder
- 1 ¾ cup of PB2 powder (28 TBS)
- 1 ¾ cup of chia seeds (28 TBS)
- 14 cups of spinach
- ½ cup of vanilla extract (28 tsp)
- 28 pinches of cinnamon
- 56 ice cubes
- 2 gallons of milk (I like unsweetened almond milk)
- To Assemble Smoothie Pack: In ziplock bag, place ½ banana, ½ scoop protein powder, 1 TBS PB2 powder, 1 TBS chia seeds, ½ cup of spinach, 1 tsp. vanilla, pinch of o cinnamon, and 2 ice cubes. Seal bag (make sure it is airtight). Place bag in freezer.
- Repeat for 27 more bags.
- When ready to prepare smoothie, dump contents of 1 ziplock bag into blender and add 1 cup of almond milk. Blend on high (smoothie setting if you have a Blendtec). Enjoy!
Click on links below to get recipe!!!
Loaded Vegetable Soup - This can be served throughout the week for lunches as needed. In our family, Joe eats lunch at work and Campbell usually eats something "toddler friendly." If all members of your family will be eating the soup for lunch you will probably want to double the recipe (the included grocery list DOES NOT account for doubling this recipe so you will need to rework it a bit).
Healthy Chicken Salad - Same portion situation as described above. Serve chicken salad in a whole wheat tortilla with a piece of fruit of your choice.
4 Ingredient Salsa Verde Chicken - Your grocery list does account for doubling this recipe. The recipe has NOT been doubled for you. You are gonna have to do a bit of Math:) Night 1 Serving Directions:
- Night 1: Serve salsa verde chicken on top of whole wheat tortillas topped with a squeeze of lime juice, dollop of guacamole, and a shake of hot sauce.
- Night 2: Serve salsa verde chicken on top of roasted sweet potatoes. YUM!
Spaghetti Squash with Homemade Meat Sauce - Your grocery list does account for doubling this recipe. The recipe has NOT been doubled for you. Math time!
- Night 1: Serve meat sauce with Spaghetti Squash
- Night 2: Serve meat sauce with 100% whole wheat pasta
Ultimate Juicy Turkey Burger - Your grocery list does account for doubling this recipe. The recipe has not been doubled for you. Make sure to adjust your measurements.
- Night 1: Serve with whole wheat buns topped with lettuce, tomato, and guacamole.
- Night 2: Serve on a bed of leafy greens or wrapped in lettuce (reluctant eaters use leftover whole wheat buns).
Roasted Green Beans - Your grocery accounts for doubling this recipe. The recipe has not been doubled for you. You know what to do!
90 minutes is not a lot of time to prep 7 recipes so you have got to be organized and prepared! Before starting, make sure that you have all of your ingredients. I like to wash my veggies as soon as I get home from the store.. one less step during prep.
TO DO LIST: (Do in the order listed.. things that cook longer are first on the list).
- Loaded Vegetable Soup can be made and then stored in the refrigerator for lunches.
- Spaghetti Squash with Homemade Meat Sauce: Make the meat sauce. When it is finished cooking split it in half and store in 2 separate ziplock bags. It will keep in the refrigerator until needed. Before serving the only thing you will need to do is roast the spaghetti squash halves.
- Ultimate Juicy Turkey Burgers: Go ahead and create the patties. Don't cook them yet. Store half in the refrigerator (in plastic wrap) and freeze the other half for use later in the week. To freeze, lay uncooked patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place baking tray into the freezer for 1-2 hours or until burgers are frozen through. Remove baking tray from freezer. Place frozen uncooked burger patties in an airtight ziplock bag. The night before you plan to serve the turkey burgers, remove them from freezer and allow them to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- Healthy Chicken Salad: Follow recipe and store in the refrigerator for lunches throughout the week.
- Green Monster Smoothie Packs: Make 28 smoothie packs. Store in freezer. Use as needed.
- 4 Ingredient Salsa Verde Chicken - No reason to prep this one. It can easily be thrown together in 10 minutes or less. It does cook for quite awhile so make sure to plan for this. Prior to serving this the first time, split the chicken in half. Serve one ½ and store the other ½ in a ziplock bag for a meal later in the week.
- Roasted Green Beans: No need to prep. They can be thrown together in under 5 minutes the night that you are serving them. Remember to reserve half for the second night you serve this meal!
Printable Grocery List: I already made the grocery list, why should you spend time doing that too? I'll share... just let me know where to send it. Type your name in email in below and the list will go straight to your inbox!
As always, if yo try out this meal plan let me know what you think! Feedback and comments are always appreciated! Make sure to use #SimplySissom so I don't miss it! If you are looking for more meal prepping advice, tips, tricks and recipes follow Simply Sissom on Instagram for #mealprepmonday.
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