I have written before about how efficiency is key for me, which includes efficiency in the kitchen. Both 8 Meal Prep Tips and How to Set Yourself up for a Great Week are great reads and loaded with information, but I wanted to take the time to show you how this actually works out in real life.
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I knew I would have some busy nights this week. The kids had VBS Monday through Thursday, which meant that we needed to be out the door by 6. For a family who usually eats around that time or later in the summer, this was going to be a challenge.
So, I took advantage of some time on the weekend and prepped for two meals. If you are a reader here, you know that on Sundays I share my meal plan for the week. Meal planning is also an essential tool in being not only efficient, but in being frugal as well. I lay out a step by step guide to help you create your own meal plan in Menu Planning 101 Part One and Menu Planning 101 Part Two if that interests you.
Back to tonight’s meal. On the weekend I grilled up enough chicken for the salad we were having this week and also for some grilled chicken for tonight’s meal. I made enough quinoa for both of these same meals, too. By the way, if you have not discovered quinoa yet, you should. It is so tasty. Nutty, earthy, and versatile since you can flavor it any number of ways.
Because I prepared these things ahead of time (among other things for meals this week), I had the easiest weeknight dinner you can imagine tonight, which also left us time for a quick visit to the park. Who doesn’t think that the park is way better than standing in the kitchen cooking?!
Tonight’s meal consisted of the grilled chicken, which I marinated in some Zesty Italian dressing, the leftover quinoa, which just has a little salt, pepper, and coconut oil in it and only gets better as it sits, fresh corn on the cob, which we had for two meals this week, and fresh beans, which we also had for two meals this week but I only had to clean and prep once.
Look at this meal!
I literally stood in my kitchen for about five minutes total, and it was just to take things in and out of the microwave. Also, did you watch this link for how to prepare corn in the microwave with no mess? It’s so slick and it really does work just like they say it will.
How is that for a healthy fresh, homegrown meal in less than the amount of time that it would take to pick up something from somewhere or to throw a frozen pizza in the oven?! It’s all about planning ahead, prepping once, cooking what you can once, and transforming the same ingredients from one meal into another in a whole new way so you don’t even realize that you are having leftovers!
How have you been creative in the kitchen this week?!