Monday, January 9, 2012

Meal Planning Part 2

Today is COOK Day! Like i said yesterday, I cook on Mondays. So after a long day of work i usually want this to take the least amount of time possible. I truly try to make it take no longer than 2-3 hours including clean up time. If it takes longer i get really cranky after a long day of work and then crash after. 

I thought that today as I cooked I would document how I do this and package all my food (and my husbands too!). So on the menu this week is Bean & Sausage Soup for our dinners (Tuesday thru Thursday) and a green salad with whatever I felt like buying from the store this week four lunches Tuesday thru Friday. 

Tonight i began with the soup and this recipe was easy! It was made even easier by buying a few items that save on prep time. I buy mirepoix to save on chopping time. If you don't know what this is - it is chopped onion, chopped celery, and chopped carrot all in one container. This is not always sold prepared, but it is used to create a vegetable base to many soups. In addition to the mirepoix, I use my food processor to help slice, chop, or even blend things quickly. Tonight I do not know what I would have done without the food processor! 

Anyway, once the soup had gotten going, I  finished adding what was needed and skipped the spinach because I will be adding that on a daily basis. Soggy spinach doesn't excite me so, I figured it will be fresher if I add it each time I heat up a bowl. I then moved on to some Sassy Water which was a snap with the food processor. It literally only took me 5 minutes to make and the longest part of the process was filling up the HUGE pitcher with water.

Our salad for the week will have red onion, red, yellow, and orange bell peppers, with celery, grilled chicken, and some white cheddar cheese that is cubed. The greens consist of Romaine and spinach! We usually package our salad dressing the morning before we leave for work. The key to all of this is keeping the ingredients with the most moisture separate from the lettuce or anything else that should not sit in moisture until it is eaten. 

After the sassy water, I moved on to salads and started by filling 8 containers (2/day for 4 days per week) with romaine and spinach.

Then I packaged baggies with the chicken and the veggies. I made 8 baggies so we can easily take them each morning. 

The cheese came last and this time I used snack size baggies and packaged the cheese separately to prevent soggy cheese. Again, soggy = not yummy! 

In the end, I put the soup into one large container and stuck it into the fridge after I served my husband a bowl with fresh spinach! The soup got good reviews, so I hope you night try it some time! 

Hope you enjoyed reading!