When it comes to cooking for an entire family, it can often be a struggle planning meals and finding time to prepare them. As a mom living with food intolerances (gluten and dairy), I have found that with a little planning, I save myself a lot of stress. Meal planning has been such a life saver for our family, so today I want to share the process I use to map out everything and make it easier to plan an entire week's worth of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
I start by making a list of some of our family’s favorite meals, and I pick four or five that I can prep mostly ahead of time and that will make great leftover lunches.
Next, I plan what I will eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day, make my shopping list, and head to the store.
This week I sent my grocery order through Kroger Clicklist on Friday and picked it up on Saturday morning. If you haven’t tried Clicklist yet, I highly recommend it. The service only costs an additional $4.95 (The first three orders are no extra charge!), and to me, it's worth paying a few extra dollars since I am not buying anything unnecessary.
Once I return home I get down to business and start chopping and placing all of my ingredients into gallon Ziploc bags. These will go in the freezer or baking dishes to be cooked and portioned out. This task is made a breeze because of my baggy holders. They hold open my bags so I can easily pour any broth or marinades, and then as I cut up my ingredients, I can just throw them in the bag.
This week I prepped Beef Roast. (Place all ingredients in Ziploc bag except potatoes, and freeze. Thaw overnight. Cook in Crockpot for 8 hours on low.)
Chicken Fajitas (Place all ingredients in Ziploc bag and freeze. Thaw overnight. Cook in skillet or in Crockpot for 8 hours on low.)
Broccoli Chicken Casserole (Cook per recipe directions. Divide into portions for a quick grab-and-go lunch.)
Breakfast Frititta (Cook per recipe directions. Divide into portions for a quick grab-and-go breakfast.)
Now I have two dinners, lunch, and breakfast all prepped and ready to go! All I have to do each day is grab a bag from the freezer to thaw overnight or grab pre-portioned breakfast and lunch, and I am out the door. And always remember to keep your Sous Chef close so they can keep an eye on everything you are prepping for them to eat!