Sunday, August 25, 2013

Stocking Up and Being Prepared

I start a new job outside the home this week.  I'm actually VERY EXCITED about it!  It is a temp to hire job working for a local TV station.  I'm so thrilled at this opportunity.  I hope it will be amazing.  The people seem great.  It's the equivalent of a local PBS station - therefore it's everything I believe in - quality programming, education and community outreach.  I can't wait to learn more and see how I can help. 

I will miss my girls, that is true.  But with V in Kindergarten and L so active and into everything, I realize that they will thrive and love being around other children.  I've laid a good foundation for them this summer but I think we're all ready to return to school in our own respects. 

Since I'm going back to that 8 to 5 job (or rather 7:30 to 4:30 in my new case), I know my time will be less in the kitchen when it comes to preparing healthy, fresh meals.  So I'm doing more work on the weekends to set us up for the week.  I am stocking up and preparing ahead of time so our breakfasts and lunches will be ready to go. 

Yesterday I took three pounds of grass fed meat (combination of beef, sausage and veal) and made eleven burgers.  I also took two cans of wild-caught salmon and made eight salmon patties with it.  I baked about ten sweet potatoes. I made my banana cinnamon pancakes and added blueberries to them for this morning and tomorrow's breakfast.  I portioned out the burgers for lunch and froze the three or four I had leftover for future lunches.

Burgers and salmon patties are made with extras to place in freezer.

Baked sweet potatoes for the whole week.  They just need re-heating. 

Today my plan is to steam broccoli and carrots for our lunches this week.  I will make an egg quiche with vegetables for my breakfast for the next several days.  I will also make my favorite carrot bread/muffins for snacks to enjoy this week. 

On average, I spend about 2 hours in the kitchen on a Saturday and Sunday doing prep-work in the kitchen.  That may seem like a lot to some folks - four hours within two days?!  It's worth it to me though.  There are many hours in a day and I can get that done in the mornings while my kids play together.  Those hours will save me tons of time during the work week. The prep-work I did already will allow me to have the following for this week:

Breakfast each day - Alternate egg quiche and pancake

Snacks - Carrot bread, spoonfuls of peanut butter or almond butter, cheese, grapes

Lunches - Alternate burger and salmon patty with a side of sweet potato and steamed veggies. 
On future weeks, I will make my chicken basil burgers and meatloaf.  Or I could make pumpkin chili or sausage and kale soup.

- This will vary.  I imagine I will cook two nights a week, something quick like my stir fry or my dirty rice.  The other nights I will just eat a large mixed salad.   

Dessert - I always have my 90% Lindt Dark Chocolate bars on hand!  :-)

One day a week for lunch and dinner I will allow myself to eat out.   Now that I'll be bringing in some income again, I feel justified to spend a little cash to give myself a break in the kitchen.  I will still make healthy choices in what I choose for take-out though as I always do.

On weekends we will have more time for some of my more labor-intensive meals that involve homemade sauces and lots of vegetable chopping.  This would be things like our Mexican Meatza and Baked Cauli-tater Casserole.  

I think this will work great for our family and allow us to keep up our healthy eating habits without rushing around in the kitchen each day.  I will keep you posted here on how we are doing and how work is going. 

Cheers to the start of something new with preparation in place!

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