Meal Prep – Buffet ideas

So I officially started 21 day fix extreme Monday.  After completing a whole 30 days without cheating on Whole30, I think I can make it through extreme. The only difference is that because I’m doing a slight reintro on foods, I may slip a little bit, but going to try my hardest not too!!

For this weeks meal prep I wanted to keep it a simple buffet style, because sometimes I get a little crazy and mess up my containers. I decided I was going to do ground turkey to make taco meat for taco salads, chicken thighs, shrimp, hardboiled eggs, chicken sausages, roasted veggies, spaghetti squash, and the creamy quinoa porridge from Fixate. Quinoa is my reintro for this week, let’s see how it goes!

What makes this a buffet style is that I make everything separate, and then mix and match. That’s it! I ended up doing the prep in smaller sessions, because I didn’t really have it in my to do it all at once Sunday night.. plus season 8 for Vampire Diaries was released and I kindaaaa binge watched until after midnight..

First thing I do for prep is make a list of what I have to make. From that point, I decide on what I need to get done right away, and what can be made the following day or two. It helps me see it all, and plan ahead, and not let myself get too overwhelmed. For Sunday night, I knew I could do a few things all at the same time that would get me through the next few days. I preheated the oven to 425, so I could start roasting my veggies right away. Spaghetti squash, brussel sprouts, and sweet potato all can be roasted same temp, so I had to do the squash first and the other veggies second (couldn’t fit it all together!).

While my spaghetti squash was roasting, takes close to an hour, I put my hard boiled eggs on, as well as cooked my taco meat. For the hardboiled eggs, I put them in the pot, fully cover them with cold water, and then turn heat to high. Once it starts to rapid boil, my timer goes on for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes is up, I pull them off the heat and run it under cold water until I can touch them. Then they go right in the fridge or freezer to slow the cooking process! I plan to buy a cooker for them, one less stovetop item for prep night! For the taco meat, I put it in a pan with a little olive oil and taco seasoning and cook until browned.

Once the meat and eggs were done, I spent a few minutes chopping up the brussels and potatoes and put them on their separate pans. When the squash came out of the oven, the rest of the vegetables went right in! I roasted those for about 30 minutes until they were starting to brown.

As the second batch of veggies were roasting, I cut up my strawberries and portioned them out as well as portioned out my grapes. This is something sometimes I don’t do depending on time, because it’s quick to do the day of. But with waiting for the veggies to roast I did that quick in the meantime. I also cleaned and cut up the romaine lettuce to place into separate containers for the salads.

That is all I did on Sunday. By the time the veggies came out of the oven I was already watching episode 1.. and I was done for the night LOL. It took me about 2 hours to complete all of that.

Monday morning I got up and made the creamy quinoa porridge for breakfast as well as some scrambled eggs. The recipe makes 6 servings, so my boyfriend and I ate it together this morning when it was done, and the rest was put away for the rest of the week.

Tuesday morning I made chicken sausages with peppers and onions for breakfast. Same thing as Monday, made a few servings, ate Tuesday together and the rest was packed for the rest of the week!

Before I left for work on Tuesday, I threw 4 chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet, and then baked them for about 15 minutes. 2 thighs for me, and 2 thighs for the boyfriend!

Wednesday morning will be quinoa porridge for breakfast again. No prep involved, just a little heating up! For dinner, the spaghetti squash is already roasted, so all that’s left to do is make the shrimp for the scampi.  Dinner ready in less than 30 minutes!

All in all, the point of this post is to show that you don’t necessarily have to do one large prep on one day. Sometimes I do that, but this week, I am doing small prep work throughout the week. A lot of people have a fear of meal prepping to be one large responsibility, and it doesn’t have to be.  On Sunday, I wanted to binge watch Netflix, so I planned enough for the week ahead to be able to do so. I never leave myself to a point where I get so stressed that I stop all together.

Throughout the week I pull items out of the freezer, prep more fruit, and sometimes I need to stop at the store on my way home from work. It has become such a habit for me, but I am never without healthy options. I always have food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I use up all of my leftovers as well. I had leftover roast from the past weekend I added to sweet potatoes and zoodles this week, delicious lunch.

Anyone can meal prep. Just don’t give up before you even start. There are options to fit your lifestyle, just need to give it a try to figure out what’s best!

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