Meal Prepping Week 4 is in the Bag
Week of September 18th
This week, I switched up the game by trying a new but simple meal: Teriyaki Turkey Burger with Vegetables. I found a recipe online and tweaked it some to make it my own as usual. My husband really enjoyed my variation with the added quinoa in the mix. I love Mexican so I made a taco bowl using some ground turkey and cauliflower as the “rice”. The third meal for this week was a simple BBQ shredded chicken and veggies. No sweet potatoes this time around but definitely lots of broccoli.
I prepared the following:
- 2.5 lbs of Ground Turkey
- 2.5 lbs of Chicken (boiled)
- 1 lbs of Black Beans
- Note to self: stick with the pressure cooker. I am so used to cooking beans in 20-30 minutes tops in the pressure cooker. The traditional stove top way took too long for my taste.
- White Rice
- I added some peaches to the batch while cooking along with chia seeds.
- Red Quinoa
- I mixed the quinoa into the ground turkey (AFTER both have cooked) to help stretch the protein for extra servings.
- Frozen Vegetables
- When time is short, frozen vegetables work great to help add variety and complete your meals. Most bags are steamable which is a plus: no extra dishes to use!
- Cauliflower Rice
- This looks so much like the real thing and is a great way to add a veggie side to a meal. One head of cauliflower can make a good portion of “rice”. I added some fresh cilantro for added flavor.
Final results of prepping/cooking
I ended up preparing 7 trays for my husband and myself each as well as 5 meals for Z for a total of 19. My goal is to get to 25 meals for the three of us (10 meals for Josh and I individually and 5 for Z) per week. I will get there, but in the meanwhile, I am still loving the benefits of this new journey of meal prepping. Now, I am able to button a pair of pre-pregnancy shorts again (yay!), and yesterday, my physical therapist noticed my weight loss. #nonscalevictory
What I learned in the process and tips
- Chop all the veggies in one step ideally before cooking. This saves so much time during the process. To be able to grab veggies and go is ideal!
- As far as time management goes, I found it really helpful to write down a plan of attack for prepping and cooking. This is not intuitive to me at all (yet) so to be able to think over, write down, and follow through a prep plan gave me really good direction in the kitchen. I felt a little more efficient this week rather than a chicken with her head cut off. lol
- Portion sizes are much smaller than you think. No wonder I overate without consciously knowing! I have been an avid label reader for some time but now I take in a larger consideration of the serving size in a package/bag of food. It is really useful, for instance, knowing that 1.25 lb ground turkey should yield 5 servings instead of the 3-4 I used to serve from a pack. No, I am not precisely sectioning off quarter-pound portions of meat with a scale or measuring out rice/veggie servings with cups. I am simply eyeballing and being mindful when serving. This method for now is more sustainable for my lifestyle. Scales, cups, spoons, and such give me a headache at times.
Plans for meal prepping next week
We went grocery shopping earlier this week to ideally get us through until next Wednesday shopping trip. I bought some Jerk seasoning and barbecue thanks to a dear sister friend and plan to use it on some chicken breast. There is a simple Asian chicken soup I want to try as well to help use more of our raw veggies. In addition, we bought some wild caught salmon fillets to enjoy next week. I do plan to bring back the sweet potatoes but in a roasted fashion to go with the salmon. My hope is that the process is even more streamlined than before so I can be in and out of the kitchen within 5-6 hours from start to finish (aka dishes in the washer, sink cleared, and counters cleaned). Of course, I will update next week.