Taking a couple hours once or twice a week (depending on how much you cook and your family size) to do a lot of vegetable and meat prep work makes world of difference in getting nourishing meals prepared and on the table without making you go crazy! With the ages that our boys are at, getting this kind of work done is really not possible while they are awake. And overlapping naptime, at best, is less than 1.5 hours. So, theoretically, I could take 2 naptimes per week and get TONS done. But I highly recommend doing this 1 or 2 nights a week after kiddos are in bed.
Last night, hubby took care of baths/getting ready for bed/putting kiddos down so I was able to clean our kitchen! That way I could start my prep time with a completely clean work area, which makes all the difference. So here's what went on...
Here's our box of vegetables from the farmer's market this past weekend (and we've already used some zucchini, squash, and onions). There is a whole layer of onions underneath the zucchini and yellow squash. Sorry I didn't turn the picture right side up ;-).
- Got Butternut squash (3) and Spaghetti Squash (1) in the oven
- Chopped Zucchini (5ish?) and Yellow Squash (7ish? - they were small)
- Chopped Onions (10ish?)
- Washed and separate 2 Cauliflower heads (don't use stalks)
- Peeled and washed 5 lbs of carrots
- With my beloved food processor, sliced most of the carrots for soups and grated all the cauliflower for 'rice' to either eat as a 'rice' dish or to put in soup.
I ended up with:
Things are in bags and glass bowls for easy meal preparation!
From left to right (approx)...All the Chicken (thanks, hubs!), 2 Quart bags of carrots, 5 cups of sliced carrots (in bowls with white lids), 4 half full quart bags of Shredded cauliflower, 1 STUFFED quart bag of sliced onions, 5 cups of chopped onions (bowls with white lids), large bowls of chopped zucchini and yellow squash, and then in the front, 2 large containers of butternut squash and 1 of spaghetti squash!
This takes such a weight off my shoulders and allows me to simply 'throw' together a great big batch of soup. It is such a relief to not have to do all this all throughout the week. I highly recommend doing something like this no matter what your eating style!