First things first…
Someone had an interesting night last night getting used to his bed.
Things didn’t start out well (obviously), but I put the bed in the floor and coaxed him down off of our bed. This may or may not have involved me laying in the floor petting him for 10 minutes. He seemed content in his new space and pretty much slept there all night. K said that he jumped up on our bed once, but K put him back down on the floor and he stayed there after that.
One small step at a time
Now, on to something I’ve been especially loving lately: bulk food prep.
I started a new job in July as a clinical dietitian and life has changed *a lot* since then. I doubled my commute and I’m working different hours, so I am gone from 6am-6pm four days a week.
On these nights, dinner is a little more challenging. I have 3 hours in the evenings to cook, eat, work out, take a shower and get ready for bed. It has definitely been a change for me!
I really do not have time to spend 1+ hour in the kitchen every evening like I used to. Bulk food prep has really helped me in this area.
Instead of just preparing 1 meal or entrée, I will purposely make double or triple with the intention of freezing the extra for later. I’ve started doing a lot of food prep on the weekends so that I just have to pull something out of the freezer/fridge during the week to cook.
Here’s an example of bulk food prep that I did with meatballs:
Instead of making my usual batch of meatballs, I tripled the recipe (using 3# of ground beef instead of 1#). I cooked 2/3 of the meatballs that day.
We ate half of them that night and the other half for dinner during the week.
I took the remaining 1/3 and froze them raw. I just laid them out on a small pan and stuck them in the freezer (I use the pan that came with my toaster oven… it’s the perfect size for the freezer). Once they were completely frozen, I put them all in a freezer bag together to take up less space.
This created a 3rd meal and all I had to do was pull them out of the freezer and bake them. Easy!
Here are some of my favorite bulk food prep ideas
- Slow cooker chicken breasts
- Marinara sauce
- Meatloaf (I do let this thaw for a a full day before I cook it)
- Taco meat
- Egg muffins
And here are some tips to help with just getting started with bulk food prep…
~I find that beef dishes, like meatballs and meatloaf, do better if you cook them from a raw state. So mix all of your ingredients and prep the dish just like you would if you were going to cook it, but stick it in the freezer instead.
~Meats made with sauces or juices are the best types of meats to freeze after they have already been cooked. They get too dry without some moisture, especially chicken dishes.
~Most things have the best food quality if you cook it within a month.
~Thaw and cook egg muffins within a week or two. These do *not* do well in the freezer for a looong period of time.
~For smaller items, freeze them individually first and then pour them into a freezer bag when they are frozen (like I mentioned above, meatballs work well doing this).
~For food safety purposes, freeze food immediately after it has been prepped. Letting it sit out or sticking it in your fridge for a day or two will increase the risk of foodborne illness.
~And as always, use your slow cooker when possible. It’s awesome for bulk food prep!