Meal prepping is nothing new and nearly everyone I know who is serious about their health or fitness does it to some degree. I don’t claim to be an expert or think that this is the only means of prep that works. I just know some people are totally new to the meal prep idea and need some ideas of where and how to start. This post (and this blog, if I’m being honest) is for you.
I’ve been meal prepping on and off for a long time. I set aside a few hours on Sunday to shop and cook for the week, but inevitably I get excited about a new recipe or in the mood for something different and wind up cooking through the week anyways. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I wanted to challenge myself to not cook after Sunday and see if my meal prep session would hold me over all week. A secondary challenge was that I didn’t want to have to eat plain chicken or eggs at all this week. Lol. If you’ve been a part of the ProjectU challenge, you probably can relate to that sentiment. So, I planned and prepped and can honestly say that I (and my family) have been able to eat on this one prep session all week…and I haven’t had to cook since Sunday or force down plain chicken or eggs. (Angels are singing somewhere over that last statement!)
Your results may vary based on how many are in your family and what their eating patterns are, but I had myself and my husband, who is also macro-counting and protein scarfing, and two toddlers. You may want to double up your portions or repeat it halfway through the week. Supplementing with some Freezer Meals will also help stretch your food without adding any additional prep.
So, here’s the Menu:
Egg Cups 96 cal, 0c, 7f, 9p each; 12 servings
Burger Patties 170 cal, 0c, 8f, 23p each; 8 servings
Meat & Veggie Hash 276 cal, 8c, 9f, 39p; 8 servings
Kalua Pork Roast 201 cal, 0c, 7f, 32p per 150 grams; quantities vary
Buffalo Chicken Dip (life-changing, y’all) 167 cal, 6c, 7f, 20p; 8 servings of 150g each
Protein Cheesecake 252 cal, 10c, 7f, 23p; 8 servings
Chuck Roast and Carrots 374 cal, 13f, 14c, 47p; 8 servings
I had 3 servings of Chili leftover from late last week, so that was also in the mix. We also keep ham, eggs, canned veggies, etc on hand to supplement with throughout the week. So this may not be every single meal we ate, but it was all the cooking I had to do.
And here’s your Shopping List.
And this is your Plan of Attack:
Preheat the oven to 400 to start the bacon for the Egg Cups.
Throw everything in the crockpot (the smaller the better or consider doubling the recipe) for the Buffalo Chicken Dip.
In larger (not dip-sized) crockpot or pressure cooker, start Roast & Carrots.
Line out bacon on the foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 12ish minutes. While that’s going on, patty out your ground beef into hamburgers. Season however you’d like. (I use liquid smoke and homemade Montreal Steak Seasoning). Cook burgers on stove top while bacon cooks. You may want to undercook them just a little since you’ll be reheating them later. This will help avoid hockey puck status. 🙂
Assemble egg cups and bake for 10ish minutes while you finish burgers. Lower oven temperature to 325 when you remove the egg cups.
Drain grease and wipe out skillet from burgers. In same skillet, brown 1 lb ground beef to begin Meat & Veggie Hash. When ground beef is browned, drain and wash skillet. Egg cups should be cooling at this point.
Take a break from the hash while you assemble the cheesecake. Put it in the oven for the first phase for 25 min at 325.
While cheesecake is baking, finish hash by chopping veggies and dicing chicken. Cook in skillet until chicken is done (juices run clear) and veggies are tender. Add spinach and ground beef back to skillet (if space permits) and cook until spinach wilts.
When cheesecake is finished with first phase, turn temperature down to 200 degrees and let it bake another hour.
When cooled enough to refrigerate, put away burgers and egg cups. Divide has into individual servings and refrigerate.
At this point, if you used a pressure cooker, remove the roast and carrots, divide into servings and refrigerate. You’ll now start the Pork Roast. If you used a crock pot, let it run and do its thing while you enjoy your day. You’re almost finished!
::time lapse while you play with your kids, read a good book, or enjoy whatever it is you’re doing today until the crock pots are finished::
When your crockpot or Instant Pot is free, add the pork roast. Shred chicken in buffalo chicken dip and add cream
cheese. Mix and divide into individual portions (or I store mine in a large Tupperware bowl and portion it out 150g at a time).
The pork may cook all night…and that’s fine. Whenever it’s finished, remove as much fat as you can, shred it, and store it. You can portion it out now in 150g servings or measure it out as you go through the week.
This is the most efficient use of your time and requires the fewest pots, pans, and crockpots.. It also keeps your oven on the least amount necessary, which will be especially nice in the summer months. It’s a beast of a cooking session, but it should keep you out of the kitchen and give you more time to play for the rest of the week. And food will be a no-brainer. You have healthy options already prepared and ready for you.
So, that’s what my Sunday looked like last week. Who’s planning to borrow from it for their next meal prep? What questions or concerns do you have? Tell me about it in the comments below.