Monday, June 16, 2014

Sunday Meal Prep: How To Save You Time During The Week

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I finally feel like life is getting back to normal after the "relaxation" of our family's beach vacation. I don't know about the rest of you, but vacationing with a 2-year-old definitely doesn't feel like vacation! We got home sandy, sleep-deprived and slightly crabby, but had made some good memories too. Our daughter might as well be a mermaid, she loved being in the water so much...we only wish she had liked sleeping half as much as swimming.

But onto the food deliciousness!

This post is all about meal prep and I want to share some of my favorite recipes, tips and tricks you can use to get ready for a busy week. I like to take Sundays and get veggies chopped, meat prepared, breakfasts made ahead of time (you get the idea) make the rest of my week a little less harried.

One of the major food-changes we've made in our house lately has been to stop buying processed lunch meat. My husband packs a lunch every day to work and having that lunch meat 5+ days a week makes for a ton of sodium and other yucky fillers. Occasionally its all good, but as a part of our daily diet it needed to go. I've substituted roasting a whole chicken, then shredding off the meat to keep in the fridge and use for sandwiches or salads throughout the week. My simple roasted chicken really can't get any easier!

Simple Roast Chicken

Another way I like to prepare for the week is to get my salad greens ready to go. Whether using romaine, green leaf or another type of lettuce, it all needs to be washed and chopped before being stored in the fridge. I find I'm much more motivated to eat healthy for lunches if most of my ingredients are ready to go. I don't chop tomatoes or cucumbers ahead of time, mostly because I find the texture gets a bit smushy once they're sliced and sitting in the fridge.

My daughter loves muffins and bananas, so I usually have a few overripe bananas lurking in the fruit bowl or in the freezer, so Sundays are a perfect day to bake up a batch of muffins to use as breakfasts or snacks for her throughout the week. Muffins also freeze beautifully so if you can, make a big batch and freeze most of them to take out and defrost in weeks to come. This recipe is one of my favorite versions of banana muffins. I love the addition of fresh or frozen blueberries to the basic banana muffin recipe and it's always a winner with the toddler in our house (which says a lot)!

Baby Knives' Banana Blueberry Muffins

We are full-swing into summer around here and I've been jonesing to try out the billion popsicle recipes on Pinterest. Thankfully a friend of mine was able to snag some molds for me from Ikea and I added whipping up a batch of pineapple pops to my Sunday prep yesterday. I can't get over how simple these pops are. They're so easy to make I can't even justify creating a printable for you!

Simply Pineapple Pops

3 cups of fresh pineapple
1/3 cup of almond/coconut milk blend
Sugar to taste (optional)

If your fruit is as sweet as mine is, you don't even need the sugar! If you do or if you're working with thawed frozen pineapple, I would suggest adding sugar in maybe 1 tbsp. at a time and adjust it to your taste. Just throw the ingredients in a blender and whiz it up until frothy and smooth. Pour into popsicle molds (this recipe made 11 Ikea-sized pops, they're a little on the small side) and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.

This recipe will work with other fruit as well, I can't wait to try it on strawberries, peaches and mango! Have you had any success with homemade pops? Share your favorite flavor combinations below!

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