Food Prep ?

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How many people do a mass food prep at the weekend , and if so , what keeps best ?

thanks :*
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  • lucys1225
    lucys1225 Posts: 597 Member
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    I do all my proteins on the weekend and just make the vegetables the day of. I find that soups, stews and curries keep the best which, for the most part, I make in my instant pot. I always do a large batch of salsa chicken every other weekend freezing half for the following week. Also, I make a roasted vegetable and egg casserole for my breakfasts. By Sunday afternoon, all my proteins (except fish) for dinners are completed and my breakfasts and lunches are ready to go.
  • livingleanlivingclean
    livingleanlivingclean Posts: 11,751 Member
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    we do. most of ours go in the freezer - I don't leave anything in the fridge past a couple of days

    we cook some protein, leave some raw but portioned out. cooked rice, some vegies, yoghurt (mixed with protein, nut butter and fruit).
  • AnnMarieThomas91
    AnnMarieThomas91 Posts: 119 Member
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    lucys1225 wrote: »
    I do all my proteins on the weekend and just make the vegetables the day of. I find that soups, stews and curries keep the best which, for the most part, I make in my instant pot. I always do a large batch of salsa chicken every other weekend freezing half for the following week. Also, I make a roasted vegetable and egg casserole for my breakfasts. By Sunday afternoon, all my proteins (except fish) for dinners are completed and my breakfasts and lunches are ready to go.

    Salsa chicken that sounds good !! so organised I need to get better at that
  • AnnMarieThomas91
    AnnMarieThomas91 Posts: 119 Member
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    we do. most of ours go in the freezer - I don't leave anything in the fridge past a couple of days

    we cook some protein, leave some raw but portioned out. cooked rice, some vegies, yoghurt (mixed with protein, nut butter and fruit).

    thats a good idea to freeze and portion out other meals =)
  • mjrc2
    mjrc2 Posts: 121 Member
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    It's really hot here and I have been doing a big batch of quinoa and making salads-massaged kale keeps really well, salads can keep for a while-Veggies like celery, carrots, cabbage, peppers and hardy greens do well for a while (3/4 days)-I keep out the tomatoes and cukes until I want them b/c they do not keep as well.
  • Scottgriesser
    Scottgriesser Posts: 172 Member
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    I make one dish on Sunday afternoon to eat Mon-Friday at work. Leave one in the fridge for Monday, rest go in the freezer, when Monday's goes in the lunch bag Tuesday's comes out of the freezer and into the fridge to thaw and so forth.

    Things I've made that have kept just fine (and almost completely customizable for calorie counts):
    Bratwurst and fried egg (protein and fat bomb when I was pushing for low carb)
    Chicken/shrimp stir fry
    Turkey or beef red chilli
    White chicken chili
    Jerk pork tenderloin with red beans and rice
    Chicken or pork yellow curry
    Thai chili turkey filling for lettuce wraps
    Grilled chicken and veg
    ...probably a few others.

    It is my opinion that nothing that is cooked should ever be frozen, but obviously I am doing it anyway for convenience and the world hasn't ended yet.
  • PloddingTurtle
    PloddingTurtle Posts: 283 Member
    edited August 2018
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    I create a week's meal plan every Thursday, select recipes, shop with a list on Saturday, batch cook and meal prep Saturday and Sundays, and that includes individually weighing or portioning out work-day breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for take-along. My current refrigerator is efficient, set at just the right temp, and totally reliable. I do keep it a smidgeon colder than recommended by choice, but not so cold that it freezes fresh vegetables. I have never had any issue with leaving the entire upcoming week's worth of foods or prepared meals sitting in the refrigerator, including:
    • Oatmeal (both traditionally cooked or baked variations) made on Sunday and portioned for an entire week.
    • rice
    • Soups, stews, beans, lentils, pasta, salad items like chicken salad (even w/ mayonnaise) and individually portioned containers of meat/veg/starch.
    • Hard boiled eggs, shelled.
    • Yogurt with fresh fruit added
    • cottage cheese with fresh ingredients added

    Out of a sense of caution I start giving things the sniff test by the next weekend.

    Sometimes I batch cook in large quantity, or make multiple recipes in a big all-weekend cooking marathon (usually before a big overtime session at work), using my stove top, oven, Crockpot, and Instant Pot simultaneously. I often freeze in containers that hold a quantity equal to five measured or weighed portions of that recipe so that one container will provide five work-day lunches. I will also precook some meat -- burger into patties or meatballs and chicken breasts -- and individually freeze these for impulsive or change of plan meals. This helped cure me of a reliance on fast-food. I make/eat a lot of soup, so anything fresh that is past its prime but still good enough to be souped gets frozen for the next soup-making day. Keeping a running written inventory of what's in my freezer helps me eat everything before the freezer damages it. I check the inventory list first when doing my weekly plan.

    I don't make salad ahead. I prefer chopping veggies for salads in the moment -- I think that I find it rather therapeutic -- but I do the advance prep work to some of the veggies after buying, such as scraping all the carrots, coring peppers, cleaning off any dirt, so that it's really a matter of selecting the veggies I want by handful when I'm ready to make a salad. I keep a big chopping board out on the counter with the knives beside it ready to go. It's very inviting.

  • madwells1
    madwells1 Posts: 510 Member
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    I do all my shopping on Saturdays and only buy enough fruit and vegetables for a week.

    I usually prep the vegetables (i.e., slice cucumbers, cut onions and peppers, clean broccoli, cauliflower etc.) on Sunday so I can quickly use them during the week. I usually make a pot of beans or pot of shredded chicken once a weekend (thanks instant pot), as well as homemade yogurt and hard boiled eggs.

    During the week, I tend to eat simple through the day, but after I get home from the gym, I make whatever protein I have on hand with the stuff I prepped over the weekend.

    Major thing I do is plan what I am going to eat for dinner the night before so if I need protein, I either stop at the store or defrost meat/fish. I have learned that prepping and only buying for the week works for me best as I don't waste hardly anything anymore.
  • HereToLose50
    HereToLose50 Posts: 154 Member
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    The main prep I do is portion and freeze meat as I buy it. That's a huge time saver. It can be raw portions or cook and portion and freeze.

    I work at home now but I used to make my own freezer meals by making extra when I cook then portion it out into containers with compartments to add other things. Eventually you get a nice variety.

    I love buying the already cooked chicken strips - no breading. Those can be heated fast to go in salads or wraps, etc. Chopping some veg every few days is helpful. I don't do more than a couple days worth at a time. I bake extra when I want a potato. Buying small ones - sweet or white, red, etc is a good way to keep calories in check.

  • mjrc2
    mjrc2 Posts: 121 Member
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    I create a week's meal plan every Thursday, select recipes, shop with a list on Saturday, batch cook and meal prep Saturday and Sundays, and that includes individually weighing or portioning out work-day breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for take-along. My current refrigerator is efficient, set at just the right temp, and totally reliable. I do keep it a smidgeon colder than recommended by choice, but not so cold that it freezes fresh vegetables. I have never had any issue with leaving the entire upcoming week's worth of foods or prepared meals sitting in the refrigerator, including:
    • Oatmeal (both traditionally cooked or baked variations) made on Sunday and portioned for an entire week.
    • rice
    • Soups, stews, beans, lentils, pasta, salad items like chicken salad (even w/ mayonnaise) and individually portioned containers of meat/veg/starch.
    • Hard boiled eggs, shelled.
    • Yogurt with fresh fruit added
    • cottage cheese with fresh ingredients added

    Out of a sense of caution I start giving things the sniff test by the next weekend.

    Sometimes I batch cook in large quantity, or make multiple recipes in a big all-weekend cooking marathon (usually before a big overtime session at work), using my stove top, oven, Crockpot, and Instant Pot simultaneously. I often freeze in containers that hold a quantity equal to five measured or weighed portions of that recipe so that one container will provide five work-day lunches. I will also precook some meat -- burger into patties or meatballs and chicken breasts -- and individually freeze these for impulsive or change of plan meals. This helped cure me of a reliance on fast-food. I make/eat a lot of soup, so anything fresh that is past its prime but still good enough to be souped gets frozen for the next soup-making day. Keeping a running written inventory of what's in my freezer helps me eat everything before the freezer damages it. I check the inventory list first when doing my weekly plan.

    I don't make salad ahead. I prefer chopping veggies for salads in the moment -- I think that I find it rather therapeutic -- but I do the advance prep work to some of the veggies after buying, such as scraping all the carrots, coring peppers, cleaning off any dirt, so that it's really a matter of selecting the veggies I want by handful when I'm ready to make a salad. I keep a big chopping board out on the counter with the knives beside it ready to go. It's very inviting.

    You are my food prep idol! I started doing something similar when I started going to school, but I wasn't tracking my calories at that time. I do this on a smaller scale for work meals, and plan on doing a few big cooking days again before school starts back up. I am in awe over the "running inventory list" and am going to step up my food prep game! Thanks for sharing this!
  • Faebert
    Faebert Posts: 1,588 Member
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    I have certain veggie dishes/sides that I like to eat nearly every day that freeze well. I get a food shop online once a week so on the day it arrives or soon after I do a if batch cook. I do a huge pot of ratatouille, a large tray of roasted root veggies, things like stuffed courgette (zucchini) or lentil dhal etc. Other leafier greens that are quick to cook I don’t prep in advance. Tend to have grilled or stir-fried proteins with my veggies so do them quickly while my sides are heating up in the microwave.

    The peeling and chopping can feel a bit arduous but it is satisfying having a freezer full of portioned out and tasty meals/sides!
  • PloddingTurtle
    PloddingTurtle Posts: 283 Member
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    mjrc2 wrote: »
    I create a week's meal plan every Thursday, select recipes, shop with a list on Saturday, batch cook and meal prep Saturday and Sundays, and that includes individually weighing or portioning out work-day breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for take-along. My current refrigerator is efficient, set at just the right temp, and totally reliable. I do keep it a smidgeon colder than recommended by choice, but not so cold that it freezes fresh vegetables. I have never had any issue with leaving the entire upcoming week's worth of foods or prepared meals sitting in the refrigerator, including:
    • Oatmeal (both traditionally cooked or baked variations) made on Sunday and portioned for an entire week.
    • rice
    • Soups, stews, beans, lentils, pasta, salad items like chicken salad (even w/ mayonnaise) and individually portioned containers of meat/veg/starch.
    • Hard boiled eggs, shelled.
    • Yogurt with fresh fruit added
    • cottage cheese with fresh ingredients added

    Out of a sense of caution I start giving things the sniff test by the next weekend.

    Sometimes I batch cook in large quantity, or make multiple recipes in a big all-weekend cooking marathon (usually before a big overtime session at work), using my stove top, oven, Crockpot, and Instant Pot simultaneously. I often freeze in containers that hold a quantity equal to five measured or weighed portions of that recipe so that one container will provide five work-day lunches. I will also precook some meat -- burger into patties or meatballs and chicken breasts -- and individually freeze these for impulsive or change of plan meals. This helped cure me of a reliance on fast-food. I make/eat a lot of soup, so anything fresh that is past its prime but still good enough to be souped gets frozen for the next soup-making day. Keeping a running written inventory of what's in my freezer helps me eat everything before the freezer damages it. I check the inventory list first when doing my weekly plan.

    I don't make salad ahead. I prefer chopping veggies for salads in the moment -- I think that I find it rather therapeutic -- but I do the advance prep work to some of the veggies after buying, such as scraping all the carrots, coring peppers, cleaning off any dirt, so that it's really a matter of selecting the veggies I want by handful when I'm ready to make a salad. I keep a big chopping board out on the counter with the knives beside it ready to go. It's very inviting.

    You are my food prep idol! I started doing something similar when I started going to school, but I wasn't tracking my calories at that time. I do this on a smaller scale for work meals, and plan on doing a few big cooking days again before school starts back up. I am in awe over the "running inventory list" and am going to step up my food prep game! Thanks for sharing this!

    Awww. Thanks for that compliment. I really appreciated those kind words.

    When I first started, it was a hard slog. The first time it took me the entire weekend to get my foods prepped for the upcoming week. I felt so disorganized, I made a mess of my kitchen, and by the time I was done making food and cleaning up after myself, I was exhausted. But I did it again the next weekend. I began implementing more and more efficiencies along the way, and once I had a few things in the freezer inventory ready to go, there was a little less work. It becomes a bit of juggling act of constantly adding while removing things. The best thing is when I get super busy at work and don't feel like cooking or go out of town on a weekend, I can hit the ground running by defrosting a couple of containers and buying fresh salad or stir-fry veggies.

    I really think the important part for me is to write out a plan for the upcoming week -- the whole week -- ahead of time. There are some great apps out there, but I still write mine out old school in my journal, and I use the MFP food log to audition various combinations of meals to fine-tune the macros a little better. I'm having fun with it.
  • Candyspun
    Candyspun Posts: 370 Member
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    I really like zoodles. They’re super fast to prep, very low cal, have iron, have vitamin c, and are delicious. They keep extremely well in the fridge.

    I also find tinned tuna, chickpeas, beans and lentils to be easy to prep and keep well.
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 9,527 Member
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    Nope, cooking my dinner takes 30 minutes max, and I usually cook for 2-3 days. I never have cooked food for breakfast or lunch. I'd not like to waste my weekend spending more time in the kitchen than necessary, plus I enjoy the variation I cook.
  • PloddingTurtle
    PloddingTurtle Posts: 283 Member
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    For five months of the year I work 12-hour days for two or three consecutive weeks, get a week of normal hours, then I'm back on 12-hour days again. I'm also checking in on and running errands for an elderly relative. My schedule is really tight. Not having resources in the freezer or being prepared for the week pushes me to a point where I don't care what I eat, when I eat, or how much I eat. It also led to an addictive reliance on fast food and drive-thrus.

    Meal prepping is clearly not for everyone. For me it hits a number of my essential needs: saves time, saves money, eliminate food waste, keeps me on plan and eating healthy, and I never have to think about what I'm going to make/eat when I'm exhausted.

    I have friends and relatives who cannot eat the same meal two days in a row. They need variety more than efficiency. I don't get it and I secretly think they're crazy, but I love them anyway. :) My style of meal prepping the same meals for a week (then changing it for the next week) would not work for them. Their free style of winging it proved disastrous to me.
  • mjrc2
    mjrc2 Posts: 121 Member
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    I am in a similar boat. I work 10-15 hour shifts, and will be back in school 3/4 time soon, so my life is too busy for daily cooking. I do not like to rely on processed foods, powders, and bars. They do not make me feel good. I have always lived alone on a tight budget, so eating the same thing for days is common. I have found that I like doing a "cooking fest" where I cook and freeze a bunch of different meals so I can switch it up during the work week. I wish I had the time to make up something fresh every day, but my life just is not that way.
    I am trying to find what works for me and is healthy. Having things prepped and in the freezer is a huge lifesaver. I am also finding that having healthy raw veggies ready to rock at all times is helping. Winging it food wise would have me eating whoopie pies and cookies at work and pizza and wings at home...and that is why I am a member of MFP!
    @PloddingTurtle- You are my food sister!
  • AnnMarieThomas91
    AnnMarieThomas91 Posts: 119 Member
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    For five months of the year I work 12-hour days for two or three consecutive weeks, get a week of normal hours, then I'm back on 12-hour days again. I'm also checking in on and running errands for an elderly relative. My schedule is really tight. Not having resources in the freezer or being prepared for the week pushes me to a point where I don't care what I eat, when I eat, or how much I eat. It also led to an addictive reliance on fast food and drive-thrus.

    Meal prepping is clearly not for everyone. For me it hits a number of my essential needs: saves time, saves money, eliminate food waste, keeps me on plan and eating healthy, and I never have to think about what I'm going to make/eat when I'm exhausted.

    I have friends and relatives who cannot eat the same meal two days in a row. They need variety more than efficiency. I don't get it and I secretly think they're crazy, but I love them anyway. :) My style of meal prepping the same meals for a week (then changing it for the next week) would not work for them. Their free style of winging it proved disastrous to me.

    this is my issue, I work 8:30 to 4:30 im up and out at by 6;30am to do childcare run and back home about 5:30pm I then have two young kids to feed and get ready for bed , whilst hubby goes to work (night shifts boooo) if I dont make lunches up I will either not eat lunch, or by crap as lets face it ready made healthy foods for me in central london cost a bomb, I spent £8.10 on half a roast chicken and some salad :( this is why I need to get better at food prep, how ever I end up hating eating the same foods over and over again.
  • AnnMarieThomas91
    AnnMarieThomas91 Posts: 119 Member
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    Candyspun wrote: »
    I really like zoodles. They’re super fast to prep, very low cal, have iron, have vitamin c, and are delicious. They keep extremely well in the fridge.

    I also find tinned tuna, chickpeas, beans and lentils to be easy to prep and keep well.

    Whats a Zoodle ?
  • Candyspun
    Candyspun Posts: 370 Member
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    Zoodles are noodles made from zucchinis. You push the zucchini through this thing that looks like a pencil sharpener and noodle-shaped zucchini comes out.