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Weekly Meal Prep: Breaking Free from a Food Rut

Posted Mar 18 2013 7:59am

Ever since I got back from vacation and even for a little while before it, I’ve been in a food rut. I’ve cooked a few times, but I’m bored with my go-to recipes and have just been trying to throw stuff together last minute. Those meals never turn out tasting all that great and leave us opting for a Papa Murphy’s pizza instead.

I decided this weekend that I needed to get it together, find some inspiration and return to my Sunday food prep (for more Sunday food prep inspiration, check out Lindsay’s blog !). Saturday evening I cozied up with my Williams Sonoma cookbook, paper and a pen.

food rut redemption- meal planning

If you’re thinking “wow, that chick really knows how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!” clearly you’re right. Party. Animal.

I started by listing the days we need meals for the week, considered any evening obligations, then picked out and planned out dinners from there.

When choosing dinner options I consider how long they take to make and what I can do ahead of time. Some sound fancy, but are deceivingly quick to make. I also list options for breakfasts and lunches that are healthy and quick to throw together.

These may seem dull, but having a base of beans and rice ready to go makes it easy to fancy it up come meal time.

From there, I made my grocery list and checked the pantry for what I already had (like brown rice, carrots and yogurt). I noted below what I bought organic, otherwise assume it is conventional.

Total Grocery Bill: $134.74

food rut redemption- grocery cart

Writing a list makes grocery shopping go by quickly. After getting home and unloading came the real secret to success- food prep!

food rut redemption- sunday food prep scene

With the help of my pressure cooker (non-soaked dried bean are ready in 25 minutes!), prep may look complicated, but it isn’t. I threw the beans in the pressure cooker- set it and forget it. I brought the brown rice to a boil, reduced to simmer and set a timer. I started cooking the diced potatoes and stirred every few minutes. In between, I cracked eggs, grated cheese and diced vegetables.

Many people ask how I do this with Hailey running around. We usually start off with food distraction in her high chair where she can watch me. I dance around and play music (yes, it’s quite the scene…) while she eats and I prep. Koda desperately waits for dropped food.

food rut redemption- with a toddler

This keeps her occupied for about 20-25 minutes, then, I just let her go wild.

food rut redemption- keeping todder occupied in kitchen

There are a few drawers and cabinets that aren’t child proofed and she has her way with them. I let her because there is no sense in trying to clean up until the end. Yesterday she continuously ran in and out to the porch to enjoy the beautiful weather (I can always see her). Koda sunbathed.

food rut redemption- what Koda does

Inside I chopped, stirred and assembled.

food rut redemption- make ahead breakfast burritos

Make Ahead Breakfast Burritos

After a little more than 1 hour, I was done.

food rut redemption- complete

I feel ready for the week, which helps me relax and focus on just dinners, which are already mapped out and have ingredients bought. It seems like a lot of work, but really it’s just some organization.

But before you think I have it all together, let me assure you that it’s Monday and my laundry basket is still overflowing Smile

But as for food for the week…

food rut redemption- roasted chicken dinner

Yes, I’ve got that covered!

food rut redemption- Sunday dinner

Take that, food rut!

How to you prepare for your meals each week?

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