I used to be really good at meal prep! Lately I haven’t really made it a priority though. We were doing those meal delivery services like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, so I got lazy! I always plan our meals for the week and do one grocery shopping for the week (saves time and money), but I also like to plan weeks with similar ingredients so I can prep over the weekends. It takes some more planning, but it really makes our week nights so much easier! By the time Stew gets home from work, it’s 5.5:30 and Gracie starts melting down around 6:30. So we need to eat pretty much when he walks in the door! That means I need to get dinner made with two kids and a ringing phone (job hazard). Since I know I’m not the only one in this situation, I like to share my prep plans when I can! So this was our menu last week:
**I’ve linked to recipes that can be downloaded and printed, as well as the grocery list for the week. I also wrote some notes below each day if there wasn’t a specific recipe to go along with it!
Saturday: Cook the pork in the slow cooker according to the recipe below so it’s ready to be used throughout the week.
Sunday: Braised Pork w/ roasted veggies (Recipe at bottom of post)
**Serve pork with roasted veggie of your choice. We used carrots tossed in olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Roast at 400*F for 15-20 minutes or until softened.
Monday: Cuban Pork Panini
**Danielle Walker’s Recipe can be found in her cookbook, but I linked to one similar above.
Tuesday: Vegetable Stir Fry
Wednesday: Roasted spaghetti squash with meat sauce
Thursday: Pork Ragu Spaghetti
**Heat 2 cups shredded pork in saucepan with jar of your favorite tomato sauce (this is my favorite pasta sauce EVER). Serve over cooked spaghetti.
Can you guess what my main ingredient was?? PORK! Now, I don’t usually make pork. But I am bored with chicken, so I wanted to use something else that was delicious and could be used in several different meals. As long as the meat is good quality, I am ok with it!
My inspiration for this menu was my new cookbook Against All Grain. I discovered this cookbook through a friend. They have some major food allergies in their family. And, because we get together on a regular basis and share a meal, it made sense that I should research some new ideas! As soon as I opened this cookbook, I was sold. There were so many things to love. The photos are gorgeous, the recipes are simple, and they can easily be modified for people without food allergies! So, I ordered it on Amazon and now read it on a daily basis! Plus, Danielle Walker’s story is so amazing. What a humble and beautiful woman she is! I digress….
So my order of steps for meal prep is to:
1. make a meal list
2. make a grocery list AS you plan the meals (I use Shopping List FREE app. It’s incredible)
3. map out the things I’ll prep in advance (i.e. slow cooker pork).
- 1 Tbsp butter or oil
- 5 lbs boneless pork shoulder
- salt and pepper
- 6 ounces pancetta, diced
- 1 large yellow onion, large dice
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1.5 cups chicken stock
- Melt butter in large Dutch oven or deep skillet over medium-high heat.
- Season pork with salt and pepper on all sides.
- Brown pork on all sides in batches and place in slow cooker.
- In the same pan you browned the pork, saute the pancetta, onions, and garlic over medium heat for 5-7 minutes.
- Add in chicken stock to deglaze the pan, scraping all the brown bits off the bottom with a wooden spoon. Pour mixture on top of pork.
- Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
- Skim any fat off the top.
- Shred and serve, or store in airtight container for later use.
So now what? Write out the menu in your kitchen so you know what meal comes which day. Print out your grocery list and recipes. And breathe a sigh of relief that you have one week of delicious meals planned!