By: Kristen Darkow
I don’t know about all of you, but meal prepping is something I dread most each week. I really try to come up with new healthy recipes each week for lunch and dinner, but it ends up taking all day Sunday to shop for groceries and prep a week’s worth of meals, and after all that, we’re usually tired of having the same meal everyday by Wednesday.
Just before Christmas, Amanda and I tried a new meal plan by Cassy Joy Garcia called “Cook Once, Eat All Week”. The whole premise is that you choose different recipes that require the same or similar ingredients, and then you do all your meal prepping on Sunday. And then each evening, you assemble the ingredients in a different way to create a unique dinner every day. She sells a cook book full of these types of recipes, but her website features a variety of recipes as well, and if you subscribe on her website, you’ll receive several weeks’ worth of recipes using the Cook Once, Eat All Week strategy.
Amanda and I started on the same day but chose two different weeks so we could compare our meals, the cost of our groceries, the prep time, etc. Today I’m sharing with you my week worth of meal prep! Here are the ingredients required for the week I chose:
I got groceries in the morning and then spent a couple hours of my afternoon cooking all of the meat, rice, noodles, sauces, and chopping up veggies. Here’s what our table looked like by the end of that afternoon.
Up first on Monday was Green Chili Chicken Casserole. The prep that night was only about 30 minutes’ worth. I thought it was delicious, and we had enough left over to each bring for lunch on Tuesday!
On Tuesday, our dinner was Chicken Parmesan Bake. Andrew actually baked this one, since I was stuck in traffic after work! 🙂 Again, I really liked it! We both had leftovers for lunch on Wednesday (that’s what’s happening in the photo…I was so hungry when I finally got home for dinner that I forgot to take a photo, so I only remembered to take one when I was boxing it up for tomorrow’s lunches).
The third day was Cajun Chicken & Rice Skillet, which ended up being my favorite of all of the days! Again, it only took about 30 minutes to assemble that evening.
Overall, I think the Cook Once, Eat All Week premise is helpful – especially if you’re easily tired of having the same meal every day. This was a great way to use up all of the ingredients you purchased without having the same thing 5 times in a row. I do wish that it had created 4-5 days worth of meals, because we were left searching for something to make on Thursday and Friday.
Have you tried this strategy when meal prepping? What works for you? Share with us in the comments!