As you may know, I am all about that meal prep. Like ALL ABOUT IT. But I haven’t always been. I used to read those blog posts about how life changing meal prep can be and think it just seemed so daunting. Spending hours in the kitchen making giant meals, then portioning them out into all those cute little containers. Not to mention trying to find room for those containers in the fridge somewhere!
So I moved through the week with no direction. I’d pick over things in the fridge, end up going to the grocery store 4 times a week just for a few things and order out a lot. This was the routine for a while. I had time to spend in the kitchen every evening and I enjoyed trying several new recipes each week. However, after my daughter was born things changed pretty drastically. Gone were the relaxing hours spent sipping wine and perfecting my favorite recipes.
Overnight my priorities shifted to keeping this beautiful creature alive and catching any amount of sleep whenever possible. Eating moved to the bottom of the totem pole and preparing lavish meals seemed like a fond and distant memory. I quickly decided this was not sustainable and started looking into meal prep.
Within a month or so, I started prepping my lunch and dinner for the week on Saturday/Sunday afternoons. What a game changer! A few hours spent prepping on the weekend meant that during the week I was free to focus on all the important things that were happening; baby giggles, snuggle time, washing bottles, changing diapers and showering. Hah, yeah right, that last one was a joke.
I pick out two recipes–meals that reheat well and can be made in a large batch–I order all my groceries online because Woodman’s is awesome and then spend a couple hours prepping everything.
If we’ve got a busy weekend I’ll try to spread the meal prep out over the weekend. For instance, this weekend while the family was watching TV and vegging out on Friday night I started a pot on the stove and cooked my noodles. Then I happened to wake up uncharacteristically early on Saturday morning so I threw together the dill pesto before we ran errands. During naptime that afternoon I chopped all the veggies and assembled the salads. Then on Sunday I threw my second meal prep recipe in the crock pot and we spent the day at my grandparents house celebrating Easter. When we got home I shredded my pork and finished prepping my stuffed peppers for the week.
I feel like you’ve heard it all before. But seriously if you’re stressing about dinner, feel like you’re spending too much money on food every month or just need some sort of routine and stability, it’s time to meal prep!
Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Dill Pesto
- 16 oz. whole wheat pasta, cooked according to package directions
- 1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 1 cup halved green olives
- 1 cup diced green pepper
- 1/3 cup julienne sun dried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup petite diced red onion
- 8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh dill
- 1/2 cup toasted pecans
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
Start by dividing pasta between 8 containers. Then divide remaining ingredients evenly between the 8 containers.
To make the pesto add dill, pecans, garlic and lemon juice to a food processor. While you are processing, slowly drizzle in olive oil until all ingredients are well minced and form a thick pesto. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Divide pesto evenly between pasta salad and toss to coat.