I have "Meal Prepped" since 1996, it was called Once a Month Cooking or OMC, Batch/Bulk Cooking, Freezer Cooking, and a myriad of other terms back then.
You know the type of "dorm or RV-Type" that has one long door and the freezer is this itty-bitty compartment- like an afterthought, above the very minuscule refrigerator space? Well, our first apartment fridge 2 years earlier was identical to this one below, then the house we rented was just a smidge larger than this one! If this is you, don't despair, I will post a link on how I did it here soon.
My first batch cooking session entailed making a HUGE batch of tomato sauce and then morphed it into different meal types, such as Spaghetti Sauce transformed into;
I would simmer the sauce all day, then divide into a variety of meal types adding beans, veggies, seasonings... basically everything but the pasta (starch breaks down in 3 days not safe to eat and is NOT tasty!). I worked 50-60 hours 6-7 days/week, as did my hubby on a totally different shift than I did so I was excited I could just heat and eat.
- Chili/Taco Soup, Minestrone, Baked Ziti, Beef-a-Roni, Lasagna, and Chicken Catchatori.
I then progressed to another type of meal prepping, which I will discuss in later posts. The key is to be flexible, ask yourself these vital questions:
1.) Is the way you are meal prepping working for your family-
- Are they complaining about the texture of the meal, the repetitiveness, or types of meal you're making (I.E fixing casseroles when family doesn't like them...)
- How much time is it taking away from you & you from your family? Is the trade off "worth" the sacrifice for your family, yourself, daily schedule/chores, your sanity?
3.) Can you find ways to "tweak" any of this process?
- Make SANe meal pack instead of fully cooked meals or vice versa? Doing Dinner Meals one day/week in place of OAM? Excluding Other meals from your schedule or doing Breakfast or Lunch on another day if at all?