Holy Meal Prep, Batman!
Sunday meal prep can be a drag. Prepping 4 - 5 meals per day per person can be overwhelming. Below are some tips and tricks that I've used to help save time and be more organized.
1) Clean out the refrigerator each week. To some, throwing out unused food is a no-no. I don't subscribe to this concept. I feel more prepared for the upcoming week if I start super-fresh on Mondays. That means saying goodbye to last Wednesday's uneaten meal and not feeling guilt about it. I also give my fridge a wipe down on Sundays. This helps me enhance that "fresh" feeling I like to have on Mondays.
2) Opt for one-pan or one-pot meals where possible. When you're cooking massive amounts of food, nothing is more discouraging than having to stop in the middle, clean a pot, or make room on the stovetop for a new pan. Try making crock-pot meals or meals that can be cooked in one large skillet to save space and maintain sanity. Try these healthy crockpot recipes. Also consider making mixed veggies all together. I like to use a large wok on the stovetop and mix mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and green beans - easygoing instant goodness!
3) Invest in reusable containers. Not only are reusable containers handy for organizing individual meals, but they make the refrigerator look organized. If you're like me, feeling prepared is just as important as looking prepared. There is something blissful about opening your fridge on a Monday morning and seeing gorgeous pre-made boxes of food ready to grab-and-go! See below for Pakkon bento boxes sold on Amazon that have been a life-saver for me.
4) Cook everything at the same time. This means that you must have your frozen items defrosted in advance. I like to make use of the stovetop, oven, rice cooker/steamer and outside gas grill at the same time. Not only does this help to spread things out, but it ensures that you can have all of the food ready at or around the same time.
5) Make snack packs in advance. I'm a mindless snacker. I admit it. In an effort to snack responsibly, I use mason jars and fill them with baby carrots and/or celery with a small container of hummus or natural peanut butter. This helps me out when my afternoon refrigerator scavenging commences. Additional snack options are having pre-sliced apples in mini plastic bags or mason jars ready to grab at a moment's notice.
Happy meal prepping! "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail" - Benjamin Franklin.