So last week my friend posted a video from Goodful (https://www.facebook.com/officialgoodful/videos/1807478305989294/) and i HAD to try it! so i shared and one of my friends commented that she wished she had time to chop & make everything.
so the bad news is it does take time. the good news is it’s not *that* much time for that many meals.
NOW. if you’re trying to squeeze your meal prep into chunks of 5-10 minutes because you have a newborn baby and a toddler (just hypothetically speaking of course) then you might not have 90 minutes to meal prep for the week. but if you can squeeze in this ONE 90 minute session, you’ll be set for four days of lunches & dinners! that’s not too shabby, right?
So what are these meals? There are two lunch options and 4 dinner options. the lunches are brown rice bowls and the dinners are pasta. I’m rocking an elimination diet so i can’t have gluten, corn, soy, peanuts, or cane sugar (on top of my already vegan diet) and i cut out bananas and pineapple because i’m me and i have sensitivities to them. so here’s what i did:
Lunch 1: Brown rice, sweet potato, brussles sprouts, mixed bell peppers, red onion, chickpeas, kale w/a greek yogurt, lime juice, and cilantro sauce
Lunch 2: Brown rice, carrots, broccolini, baby bok choy, mixed bell peppers, red cabbge, sugar snap peas, kale w/a coconut aminos (you could use tamari or soy sauce), maple syrup, garlic, ginger sauce
Dinner 1: GF brown rice pasta, w/onion, tomato sauce, basil, and kale
Dinner 2: GF brown rice pasta w/kale & alfredo sauce
Dinner 3: GF brown rice pasta w/cherry tomatoes & petso
Dinner 4: GF brown rice pasta w/asparagus, mixed bell peppers, garlic, and EVOO
How did i do this all so quickly? A few time saving hacks!
- Shop on amazon prime now. that’s before the clock started ticking but dude. I don’t have time to go to the grocery store & stand in lines and find things. I’d much rather be out running or swimming or biking or watching netflix… whatevs. Saves SO much time and totally worth the $5 tip
- Buy pre-chopped things like cabbage, onions, peppers, & brussels sprouts. I hate chopping so this is a huge time saver! I also like vacuum packaging for food as it keeps products fresh long enough.
- Use a ninja chopper for the things you *do* have to chop. it gets things chopped in like 2 seconds and is super easy to clean!
I also planned my meal prep to make the best use of my time. So i started the water boiling and the rice cooking right away because i knew they’d take long and also don’t need attention. Then i started prepping all my veggies. Did all my washing and then chopping in big chunks to be efficient there too- once you’re in the chopping vibe and have the cutting board and knife all ready to go, just hang out there for like 20 mins and you’ll be good to go with literally everything. and that’s if you’re recording a video and dancing while doing it too.
While the veggies were cooking i made my pasta sauces (alfredo & pesto- you could totally buy them but because of my crazy dietary restrictions i have right now i couldn’t find anything) and set up my pasta.
Then the assembly was super fast- just throw all the veggies on the baking sheets and you’re good! Throw those in the oven & then prep your pasta bowls. i had each pasta dish (w/out the pasta) assembled in separate bowls to be ready as soon as my baking sheets were out of the oven & ready to be replaced w/pasta. if i had a third baking sheet i could have used i would have actually saved even more time & would’ve been able to pop the pasta right into the oven when the veggies came out.
While the pasta dishes were baking i made the sauces for the brown rice bowls and since that took all of 2 minutes i then cleaned up the kitchen and washed my dishes, including my dishes from the dinner i made earlier. say whaaaa!
yeah the whole process from unpacking my groceries from their grocery bags to putting the finished dishes in the fridge took less than 90 minutes. to me that’s amazing for 8 meals. again… i know not everyone has 90 uninterrupted minutes but if you can get ’em it’s worth it! OR break it up into smaller chunks. chop when you have some time and put the prepped veggies in a container. you don’t have to do it all in one fell swoop like i did. to me batch cooking is like therapy time so i just zen out and rock my music and time isn’t even a thing.
i hope you try these meals because they really are delicious and easy to make! oh! and for my pesto i honestly didn’t measure anything. i just blended up whatever basil i had left, some vegetable broth since the box was open, some salt & pepper, a handful of pine nuts, and however much nutritional yeast came out when i shook the jar. and for the alfredo i kind of did the same thing… took my homemade almond milk and whisked it with some tapioca starch (to thicken it up) and garlic and then added in a bunch of nutritional yeast and salt.