Meal Prepping and Mason Jars-Episode 1
12 hour shifts, busy schedule at home, no time to cook! That was me last year. I started a new job and thought how in the world was I going to still have time to prepare my husband and I healthy meals with that crazy schedule? I didn’t want him eating out on my work nights or getting take out, that wasn’t going to help either of us with our weight loss journey either.
So, I came up with some great ideas that we both love and now I am not worried about what he is going to eat for dinner on my work night.
My Sunday morning consists of writing out my grocery list and menu based on my schedule. I use a meal planner like this one from amazon.com. Throughout the week I have kept a list of items that pop into my head on my phone in the notes and then sit down and write out my list. I look through the pantry, freezer and fridge to see if there is anything that I could use for the upcoming week, this saves on the budget and let’s me be a little creative too. I grab my coupons and make sure that I have gone through the Fred Meyers app and loaded all my coupons that I could possibly want. Head to the store, never on an empty stomach!!!
When I get home, I fill up the sink with water and a cup of white vinegar and get all my veggies soaking. This clears off any of the waxy buildup and any bugs or pesticides they might have used on them. After they have soaked and the rest of the groceries are put away, now it’s time for the prepping.
Mason jars are an easy way to pack your meals and you know what you have in the fridge every morning as you are packing. And food stays fresh in them all week. The first thing I prep is the salads. Check in the fridge for any protein that might be leftover from the past nights dinner too. We don’t like to waste any leftovers. I cook up my chicken, and get it shredded up for the salads. This takes about 30 minutes to slow simmer.
Then it’s time to chop and organize all the additions to this yummy creation. It really depends on what you like in your salads but most importantly you want the “wet” ingredients on the bottom. Your cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, things like that. Then you can add your carbs like beans, corn, pasta, quinoa or brown rice. Then it’s time for the greens. These can be any type of lettuce you choose, or even spinach. Pack it tight, I like alot of greens in mine. And then top it off with avocado or green onions, cheese. Really the sky is the limit on what you can put in the jars. Be creative.
The only thing I don’t put in my jars is the salad dressing. You might see some recipes that call for that and I find that you loose half the dressing stuck to the side of the jar. And we prefer to dump our salads out on a plate or bowl to add the dressing. It’s kind of hard to eat out of the jar although you could. The finished product will last all week long in the fridge as long as your ingredients were fresh.