The week before, I didn’t food prep. I thought I had enough food in the fridge to get by, so I decided to try and wing it without a clear cut plan.
Newsflash: The plan of not having a plan? Almost never works.
My day starts early, around 6:30 a.m. and I literally have one hour to get three girls ready for the day, a dog fed and situated, gym clothes packed and my cooler packed with meals for the day. Without simple things to grab from the fridge, not only does it take more time, I end up at work not knowing what I’m going to eat all day.
(And I just wrote a research paper on time management, so I am an expert on it now. Ha.)
This week, I KNEW I had to prep. Because it’s necessary for me and my goals. I never, ever, ever regret being prepared, no matter the situation.
I am slightly obsessed with these pre-marinated porkloins at the moment. They are relatively inexpensive (this one was $5) and so simple to throw in the crockpot. This one was peppered garlic and I CAUTION you to be sure and read the label. The marinade often makes them full of sugar and sodium, so be sure it’s a lean tenderloin AND that it’s reasonable as far as sugar. Toss it in the crockpot on low, let it cook all day…
I got out my food processor, which is my FAVORITE kitchen gadget. I used to spend half an hour, crying my eyes out slicing and dicing onions, which made me not do it even though I love to cook with them. I put an onion in here, twirl it up, 1 minute and I have onions readily available to put in everything!
If there is one thing my lifelong friends know about me it’s that I LOVE my spaghetti. I never get tired of it. When I was a kid, it was the green Tangy Italian box with the seasoning packet, does anyone else remember this one? SO delicious! I had some whole wheat pasta left over from last week, so I sprayed a baking dish, spread the noodles along the bottom, then layered ground turkey, 2 cups of spaghetti sauce mixed with oregano, basil, Italian seasoning and chopped artichokes, a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and baked it at 375 for 30 minutes.
Artichokes are quickly becoming my favorite addition to any meal. They are slightly expensive, but it doesn’t take much to flavor a dish up and I just LOVE them!
Swedish meatballs. My Grandma, bless her soul, made these for Sunday lunches and when I started cooking I wanted the recipe. Turns out the “recipe” was a McCormick’s package and yes, she showed me with a sly smile.
I know that some people refuse to use anything packaged, and I completely respect that. But there are some things I just ain’t givin up and Grandma’s swedish meatballs is one of them. So I modify. ONLY use enough to season them, ground turkey in place of beef, almond milk in the sauce instead of regular and only enough to give it flavor. Baked at 375 for 20ish minutes until brown. I like the muffin tins because they seem to cook quicker!
Side note: Try to think of sauces and seasonings as simply a kick, not the dish. A food does not have to be swimming in the sauce for you to taste it. It’s okay to have a little bit of sauce, but make the meat the dish, NOT the sauce.
Now that the weather is getting nice, you will see lots of this. When I realized I wasn’t getting a husband anytime soon, I taught myself to cook on my grill and dang, it makes me feel powerful! And it’s so easy! I put these in tupperware and eat them through the week on corn tortillas, flour tortillas, with mustard, with saurkraut, shred them up for tacos…get creative and think of the hundred things you can do with these!
Tenderloin is done by now, shred with two forks and again, this can go on and in anything! I eat it plain, on tortillas, sometimes on bread with a little barbecue sauce.
MUFFINS! These are my staple. I have eaten these EVERY day for at least six months and I never get tired of them, in fact, I look forward to 10 a.m. every day to eat these muffins! You can find the recipe here, here, here and here. These were peach, but they are SO simple to modify!
And just so we’re clear that I don’t have endless time to spend in my kitchen, this is what we did in between food prep. The hunt of all egg hunts. My reason for doing everything I do? The two most precious girls on earth, my Adorables.