Food Prep Day!

Roasted veggies, apple bread, rice noodles, and butternut squash on Food Prep Day

Roasted veggies, apple bread, rice noodles, and butternut squash on Food Prep Day

This lovely October morning in the Midwest, the trees are orange and yellow and the sun is shining and it’s Food Prep Day at my house! Twice a week is my goal, but at least once a week, my husband takes our 5 year old daughter on an adventure for a couple of hours and I head for the kitchen to prepare food for the week!

One reason I do this, is that I have several food allergies and having food at the ready makes my life sooooo much easier! Second, it saves lots of time for me and my family and we eat healthy, made with love food more often. Third, we have cut our grocery bill in half! By preparing the perishable foods we’ve already bought, we make it much more likely that we will eat it before it spoils. It’s been all over the news that Americans throw out tons of food each year due to spoilage. Not only is that hard on the wallet, it’s sad to imagine all the work that went into each plant from seedling to harvest and each animal’s life that was supported, then given so that we could eat it, gets wasted! I know, I’m guilty of it, too. But, I’m trying to make a change and my Food Prep Days have made a huge difference!

Here’s how my Food Prep Days go. I recommend shopping the day of or the day before, so that your perishables are as fresh as possible. I pick two grains. Today, I cooked a pot of rice pasta (good for side dishes) and made 2 buckwheat breads (one rosemary flat bread for snacking and sandwiches and one apple bread for desserts). I have gluten sensitivity and a yeast allergy, so making my own breads really makes a difference for me in the week!

Next, I pick vegetables. Today I had a butternut squash that I quartered and baked ( I can cube it or mash it for meals), I had a daikon radish, carrot, onion, and garlic that I cut into 1/4” slices and baked with a bit of oil, thyme and sea salt….yum! (And there’s no way during a busy week that that daikon radish would get sliced and cooked…it would be heading to the dumpster if I hadn’t cooked it!). I threw in 4 potatoes to bake for my husband and daughter (I’m avoiding nightshades at the moment). I don’t think my husband would think of baking a potato during the week, but if I bake them, he’ll mash them, so that’s an easy one, esp. since I have the oven going!). If I have any greens, I’ll wash them and bag them. One less step means I’m more likely to toss them in a bowl with some dressing and eat them!

Protein is an important one to remember! I pick two, today I am baking some chicken breast to later slice for sandwiches, dice into a chicken/noodle salad (using the rice noodles I cooked….see, it all comes together!) and salmon, which we can eat whole, or cut for a tuna like salad. I like to mix it in with Veganaise ( a mayonnaise substitute, it’s low in cholesterol and egg-free, I’m allergic to eggs).

After cooking all my items, I let them cool, and of course sample them! Then, put them in containers and store them. It’s like having a buffet in your fridge!

Right now, my Food Prep Days are Sunday, a weekend day, so I’m likely to at least get that one in, and Wednesday, middle of the week, so I replenish until Sunday. Most times, my husband occupies our daughter while I do this, but other times, she helps me with part of it, or I plan our day so that I wear her out (play, go to the park, swim, etc…), then come home and cook while she watches a movie or draws. So, it can be done. I’ve even done it late at night, because it really makes life so much easier.

So, the benefits of Food Prep Day are having healthy home cooked meals at the ready, cutting your grocery bill by up to half, wasting less perishable food, and having respect for our environment, plants, and animals that we consume! Remember, that prepared and packaged foods have far more calories, fat, and unhealthy ingredients in them. Eating home cooked meals can also help you lose weight and have healthier skin and hair!

Now my food is all prepped, I can go out and enjoy the amazing fall day and when I get home, I will have a bounty of good food to choose from to replenish myself! Let’s hear it for Food Prep Day, start yours today! -Amy Roemer October 10, 2010

Leave a Reply