Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Meal Planning and Preparation

A couple of weekends ago I finally pulled finger and started preparing food on a Sunday afternoon/evening to see us through lunches and dinners for most of the week. I made Baked Chicken Parmesan Meatballs in Tomato Cream Sauce and also Manicotti. They are probably not the best options however they saw us through to about Thursday. Mark LOVES the Manicotti. I also use Kraft Lite Cooking Cream in the tomato cream sauce; so surely that wins me some bonus points?

I managed to do this for a fortnight and then I let it slide and we honestly spent so much money on meals last week. This made me think that it is kind of a waste of money and there are better things that we could be spending our hard-earned wages on. This is not to say that we will not be allowing ourselves the odd meal out during the week, but we just need to be better prepared.

All of last week I thought about food preparation and then I read Amanda’s blog and I realised “it does not need to be complex” and so I made a list of things I wanted to do over the weekend to help us be more prepared and save money.

On Friday night I made Granola and I think I have finally found a recipe that I really love. Sometimes I mix up the nuts etc. and I also add other things like Linseeds etc. I always make a double-batch which lasts us quite a while. I like that it doesn’t have sugar in it (like one of my other favourite recipes) and you get the sweetness from Maple Syrup and Honey.

On Sunday I ended up cutting up broccoli, brussel sprouts and a head of cauliflower and popped that in a click-clack container. The irony of why I have these containers is not lost on me as I have heaps after I made 100's of cupcakes to sell to raise money for the Red Cross after the Christchurch Earthquake.

Then I chopped up kumara, potato and carrots for roast vegetables and followed Jamie Oliver’s recipe. The only thing I would not do next time is boil the kumara as that got a bit soggy.

I finally pulled my food processor out of the study to make some balls as I have heaps of different recipes to try. So I made Julia & Libby’s Bliss Balls and then Emma’s Snickers Bliss Balls. They live in a container in the freezer. Next weekend I think I will try Seeded at the Table’s Chocolate Cranberry Almond Energy Ballsand Petite Kitchen's Raw Lemon and Coconut Truffles.

I am also trying to get through the food in our freezer at the moment so I can start fresh so it means remembering to take chicken out. We have some frozen fish fillets but I am unsure about how they will be although I figured that I could always pop them in a curry.

Last night we had lightly boiled veggies with fresh lemon juice and a bit of grated parmesan, with warmed up roasted vegetables with some diced chicken with lemon and herbs. Then we each had two balls. Then I was still hungry and I had plain salted Doritos and some cheese and then some of the chicken for today’s lunch. Eating after dinner is always a problem for me and it probably did not help that we ate dinner while watching Masterchef and Hell’s Kitchen. Maybe I need to have more water (in case it is thirst vs. hunger) and herbal tea.

I also want to make some hummus and seed crackers this weekend. I don’t mind having a cracker or two with a raw carrot with beautiful fresh hummus for a snack.

What do you do to prepare food for the week?


  1. If I'm working away from home, I hard boil some eggs - then I can have eggs for breakfast in the morning with minimal effort! (Sleep is more important!). And if I'm making a pot of soup I try to remember to put a serve in the freezer for those nights I can't be bothered cooking.

    1. I always wonder about boiled eggs....how long do they keep for? I should make some soup before winter is over. I have pumpkin at home, so perhaps roasted pumpkin soup would be good :)

    2. I'm not sure what the official word is on eggs, but I normally do a weeks worth in one go. and just keep them in the fridge.

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed my post about food prep! Looks like you have been doing awesome with your food prep too! So many things can be made ahead it makes it so much easier during the week.

    1. OMG Amanda I LOVED your post about food prep; it was just the push I needed to get organised. I don't mind cooking/baking when I have the time but after work I am not in the mood.

      Mind you, I have so so many recipes that I want to try so it's about slotting them into our weekly plan. Tonight I plan to try sesame chicken with crunch asian salad :)