We went camping this spring to visit my sister-in-law and her family in Colorado. To save money, we cooked our own food at the tent site on a portable propane stove. It was the EASIEST week of cooking that I’ve ever had, even though I was away from home, living in a tent, and water was a hike away.
It was easy, because before we left, I spent 2 hours prepping all our meals. I premixed pancake batter into a gallon bag and froze it. Mixed up casseroles, combined meat with herbs and spices, all ready to dump and reheat.
I figured out some things that didn’t work so well, like putting dry pasta into liquid and freezing it (mush city.) But most of the meals were fantastic. I thought to myself, why not prep like this every week? 2 hours of work is worth a calm and organized week. Right?
Scroll through your ingredient list and action steps in your recipes. Highlight anything that could be done ahead. Here are some suggestions:
1. Cook Rice
2. Boil pasta (Bag and refrigerate)
3. Peel and Chop veggies (except potatoes or sweet potatoes which turn dark.)
4. Cook and chop chicken
5. Brown hamburger or similar
6. Combine dry ingredients for quick breads or yeast breads. (pizza dough, muffins, pancakes, cornbread etc.)
7. Marinate Meats
8. Combine crock pot dishes into baggies, ready to dump and heat.
9. Boil Eggs
10. Fry bacon
Remember, not everything that can be done ahead HAS to be done ahead. Focus on the tasks that would have needed to be done on your busiest days. And tasks, like batch cooking rice, that cover more than one day. As you get used to the prep ahead sessions, you can add more tasks a bit at a time to prevent overwhelm.