Meal Prepping Week 2

I am trying to adopt more meal prepping for the week ahead this year. I'm also trying to focus on grocery spending again this year and part of that is gamifying the points collected at Superstore. My goal is to redeem for some Christmas gifts next year with the point redemption weekends. Checking the Optimum Points app before making my meal plan I made a list of all the items on bonus points and built my menu around that, as well as plans to stock up on a few items we get from there.  I was pretty impressed and got my highest point value from a single shop. I spent a total of $204 and got $41 worth of points. 20% return isn't bad!

Beef and potatoes had point offers on them so based on that I went for some ground beef meals. Based on the inspiration for the "Cook once, eat all eat" cookbook I recently heard about I've decided to try focusing the week's meals around less ingredients. Prior to this idea, I've always tried to have different meats and a few veggie options in the week. I'm fine with eating the same ingredients re-vamped so if this ends up saving me a lot of time I'm going for it.

Recipes are linked below though I'm only using the sauce for the meatball recipe and basically did an extra big recipe of the meatloaf. I also adapted all my recipes to add more grated veggies to them. Cuts the cost of pure meat meals and always good to get extra veggies into the kids that they don't notice.

Beef Stew
Veggie Lasagna
Meat loaf
Shepherd' Pie
Meat balls

I apologize I don't really have recipes for the other ones as I basically made it up throwing the veggies in with the meat.

My prep day plan:
  • Peel potatoes - keep some aside for stew
  • Cook large batch of mashed potatoes in the instant pot
Prep veggies for recipes
  • Grate 5 carrots, 3 zucchini
  • chop container of mushrooms
  • chop 3 onions
Yeah for food processor power!
  • Chop 3 carrots, and a sweet potato for stew
  • Cook 1/3 ground beef for shepherd's pie add in grated veggies (onions, carrots, mushrooms & zucchini)
  • Prep meatloaf base - use 1/2 for meatballs, 1/2 for meatloaf. I added mushrooms (2 cups as serves to replace a bit of meat, but you can't really tell when baked) and about 1 cup of each zucchini, onions and carrots before placing in pan and baking.

This is post removing the batch for meat balls 
  • Bake meatloaf and meatballs, or rather meat squares. Time savings and less mess to simply flatten in bottom of a baking dish and cut up afterwards

  • Mashed potatoes in the stand mixer (after washing of course). Left over mash potatoes to go with the meatballs and meatloaf.
  • Assemble shepherd's pie - leave unbaked for day of
  • Prep stew and cook stew. could do in crockpot, but find better flavour on stove
  • used leftover veggies to make marinara sauce for lasagna. 
    Cooking results: marina sauce, stew, meat squares, two shepherd pies and meat loaves in the oven.

Now I'm just waiting for everything to cool to package it all up. So far it took me about 2.5 hours to prep it all and likely about another 30 mins to finish the clean up. I might put that off till PapaBird gets home and will help me.

I probably made a bit too much for us to eat this week so I'll put the meat loaves and marinara sauce in the freezer till I'm sure we'll get to it this week. Logistically I don't have enough space to fit it all in the fridge at the moment. My future self will thank me later.  I'm really tired now, but still hope to get outside for a quick run before having a nap this afternoon.

I'm hoping by prepping all of this in advance I'll be able to conserve a bit more energy to get the things I want to accomplish done this week. As my 2 year still wakes up in the night my sleep levels are not what I'd like. It doesn't take much to feel completely out of energy at the end of the work day when second family shift starts. Some nights by the time the kids are in bed I'm ready for it myself. Cutting down the hour of meal prep and dishes should help. I've also gone back to running every second day on my lunch hour. This makes sure I get some exercise in, otherwise there definitely isn't enough time or energy in the evening.


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